The Highest of the Highs or the Lowest of the Lows. Why we play tournament poker?

12 03 2013


Why do we play poker?  There are many reasons, but no matter how bad we are running and how sad we get, for some reason we go play another tournament.  Why?  I have been running terrible this year with now 4 cashes in my last 27 tournaments but all the cashes have been min cashes.  Now I have heard many times from regular tournament grinders that losing is just variance.  But it doesn’t change that I am losing and that sucks.

There is so many times just this year that I wanted to quit for good.  My routine for each series that I have gone to goes something like this being out of a 10 day tournament series.  Day 1 I’m super excited to play a series, feeling like I’m going to win a tournament and get back on track.  Late day 1, I get bad beat.  “That’s ok, I will get the next one, and this is going to be a long series.”  Day 2-4 I miss play a few hands and maybe a few bad beats.  My mood starts to shift from optimistic to I’m the biggest fish here.  Last series in Reno I made a terrible call and out of emotion I announced to all my friends throughout the room, “Don’t let me sign up for anymore of these, I am the biggest fish in the game.”  I started to look for flights home and decided that I could suck it up or in the case in Reno I actually just flew home. 

So if I feel like I’m terrible and a losing player why do I play?  Maybe I am a degenerate or have tricked my mind into thinking I can start playing better.  But the reason we all play even when we are losing is because the highest of the highs triumphs the lowest of the lows.  There is no other feeling like winning a tournament.  You can lose 50 tournaments in a row and then win one and it validates everything.  I have lost a majority of my stack a few times and my heart just sinks.  I am sad because I am about to lose but if I win a few pots and get back to where I was before I lost a big pot then my happiness of winning just to make a comeback brings me much more joy than the sadness of losing or almost losing a tournament.

Going into this I knew that I would be signing up for an emotional rollercoaster.  I am an emotional person so my emotions will be all over the place, but once I get my first taste of a big win I know that all the tournaments and emotions were worth the effort.  Just got to get that first big one and I will be off to the moon!




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