Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The End Times

Everything ends.  Jobs.  Relationships.  Your life.  And apparently some things end more than once.  This blog hasn't really ended I guess, although upon review this is my 12th post in 4 years, so I mean let's be honest it's been "mostly dead" (which is part alive!) for some time now.  But it looks like my poker "career" is coming to at the very least some sort of long hiatus and (if things go to plan) basically ending in its current form.  And I mean this has happened before, I'm not saying I'm never going to play cards again.  But for right now I just have to face the facts that things are horrific, getting worse, with no reason to expect big improvements.

Honestly I don't even know what all I want to say, I'm just gonna write until I don't feel like it anymore.  It's therapeutic.

Nothing has gone right for 15 months.  Shortly after Vegas 2018 I just...stopped winning.  I had been on an amazing run for nearly 2.5 years (basically since the day I quit EMC), and was enjoying every minute of it.  You see, I had assumed when I quit software a second time that I'd get bored with cards fairly quickly.  Turns out you don't get bored when you're winning nearly 2 bets per hour for 3000 hours.  I ran so good for so long that I started to believe, while I must have been running hot, the results I was posting had to be somewhere near sustainable.  I mean, how could I possibly be winning literally THOUSANDS of bets more than I was supposed to be?  Sure, I was running hot, but you couldn't run THAT hot, could you?   Turns out you can!  I know a guy who beat the Hustler 25/50 for and I'm not even kidding, over $200/hour for something like 800 hours.

August 2018.  Cue doom switch.

I'd love to say it's all run bad, but it's not.  I haven't been working as hard as I should be away from the table.  Getting your head kicked in day in and day out affects you're play.  I'm surely, undoubtedly, playing worse than I was in 2017 when I won literally $100/hour (before promotions and jackpots) playing mostly 25/50.  $100/hour worse?  LOL obviously not.  But $25 or $30?  Maybe.  I'm not as sharp as I used to be.  I got really out of shape and don't have the energy or focus to play for as long as I used to.  My back hurts (from being old, from bad posture, and probably from the existential angst I'm putting myself through).  I just can't recover mentally like I used to.  I fucking stink, basically.  That's hard to admit, it's hard to say, but I fucking stink.

And on top of that games are getting worse every year, the rake is going up every year.  Fish are literally dying off and not being replaced (you just don't see 25 year old kids out there blowing their brains), and it's going to get REALLY bad when the economy turns south.  Like, hold on to your hats n glasses, this is the wildest ride in the wilderness bad.  The big games are mix games, and apparently I'm terrible at those (I played on kings club for a year and a half, lost a loaded Toyota Camry before I gave up).  And when this fantasy land made of money and 20% returns takes a shit, it's going to be a big smelly one for limit hold 'em for sure.  If I can't win now, what chance do I stand when half the games aren't even running anymore?

I already spend more time driving around the fucking urban hellscape that is LA county than ever, more than could possibly be considered reasonable.  Why?  Because it's harder to find a good game than ever, and with my confidence as shot as it is I can't even justify sitting in mediocre ones thinking "well I'm still winning I can just keep playing".  I just broke even for almost 2000 hours playing in the best games I could find;  how the fuck could I possibly be winning more than $15/hour in a shitty one!?!  And part of playing poker for a living is taking early outs when you're losing;  well guess what, that really adds up when you never win!  And of course I haven't moved closer to the casinos;  I didn't have to while I was running like God and inertia is a real thing and I do like it down here and ostensibly I have lots of friends and relationships but lol sure what the fuck ever.  If I just picked up and moved to DTLA or Long Beach or god I don't know fucking Australia I'd probably hear from like 3 people here in Laguna ever again.

I guess the hardest part of all of this is admitting that while a lot of it is bad luck, I definitely could have been working a lot harder this whole time.  I could have been studying more.  I could have been doing more to stay in physical shape.  I could have been doing more to foster and engender real, supportive, and positive relationships.  I could have worked harder to learn other games, to keep myself engaged.  I could have done a whole lot of shit.  But I didn't and now here we are.

And where exactly is that?  Here is basically broken I guess, at least in terms of poker.  Most of my friends, the ones I have left, have to just be completely sick of my endless negativity.  I have people in my life who are like that, for whom just everything is awful and woe is me I am such a victim.  It's awful.  How many bad beats can you listen to?  How many times can you hear someone bitch about how bad things are going, give them advice, and watch them make zero substantive changes?  How long am I going to feel and act like a victim?  Honestly.  This isn't me.

And I'm no fucking good to them either; I'm no fucking good to anyone like this.  I'm angry.  Depressed.  Anxious.  Scared even.  I never had an over-abundance of self confidence but shit now I've got basically none.  Try sitting with these people for 2000 hours and not winning.  They are stone fucking idiots, the lot of 'em, and yet me and my supposedly big brain cannot defeat them, day in and day out, month in and month out.

So yeah, here is no fucking place to play poker.  Here is losing all my friendships and not building new ones.  Here is completely out of balance.  Too much drinking, too much Netflix, too much driving.  Not enough learning, not enough working out, not enough sex, traveling, sunshine....not enough of anything good.

So I'm just not gonna stay here anymore. 

3 comments:

Ace said...

One third of the battle is accepting things are bad, 1/3 is making a plan to implement the changes, and 1/3 (the hardest) is going thru and making the changes. Are you leaving California and poker or just one of the two?

lightning36 said...

Hi: I landed here after seeing a link on Ace's blog. I am a recreational poker player at the low limits, so I can't say I have experienced what you have. However, in my "real" life I am a professional counselor. Whenever I see a poker player who is having problems, I usually think that I can at least help someone ratchet things up at least a notch. If you are not seeing a professional counselor to help you get past these challenging times, I certainly recommend that you consider seeing one. (S)he might be able to help you get yourself back on a positive track. The best time to do this is now. Think about it. Life is a marathon. Time for you to get back on the right road to having a more satisfying life.

Pokershaman said...

I am sorry to hear about the terrible runbad. You are in a dark place, and it sounds like you are doing at least some of the right things to get out of it.

Friends will be full of helpful suggestions (and I count myself, at least from a distance, as a friend). When I have been in a state like yours, I have heard those suggestions and for each and every one of them I have thought of reasons why they wouldn't work, why they wouldn't apply to me and my situation. This is an illusion. I mean, some of those suggestions are going to be just plain dumb, but most aren't, and it can help to pick some of the least worst and even though you can think of a million reasons why they won't work try them out, and try to follow through with them. This in itself will make things better for you.

I am on Telegram, and I saw that you just joined it this week. If you want to talk to someone who hasn't burned out on your negativity, hit me up.