Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pokered flat

I decided to take a week off from live poker. I probably made a mistake playing too soon after Drogheda, and to be honest I just felt unfocused and burnt out. I don't think I played particularly badly, no major mistakes as such, but I just didn't have my usual intense focus. Though reading about the Blonde Poker team event down in Waterford at the weekend kinda made me sorry I wasn't there. Could have put together a decent team with myself, my brother, Sean's friend Martin, and our star, A.N. Other.

Haven't been playing online much either. Started trying to qualify for the Poker Million on Ladbrokes. Flew threw the super satellites where the standard was predictably appalling, but no joy in either of the Daily finals. OK, I was unlucky yesterday to have Jacks cracked by 10's all in preflop, but to be honest I don't think I'm all that good a shorthanded player. I'm fine when it gets shorthanded in a 10 seater STT, in fact I've a huge edge, but against the good specialists, I'm definitely not there yet. So the plan is to play lots of 6 seater STTs until I get better.

I've finally started learning (Pot Limit) Omaha. Deliberately steering cleer of reading material on it for now as I'm a great believer in being able to work things out from first principles. All of which makes me a right PLO fish right now, so look out for me on the cash tables.

I'll probably play 2 and maybe 3 of the forthcoming End of Month tournaments. I've coaxed Sean out of semi-retirement for the Fitz EOM. He's been running horribly online of late, he took out most of his online bankroll for lifestyle rake a while ago just before his bad run, and I think he also blew most of the grand I gave him as "coaching" fee from Drogheda. Bah, how dare he have a life outside poker.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to balance the poker with the running, not to even mention the day job and family life. The running clearly helps the poker, but the reverse isn't true. Particularly in intense training periods like the one I'm in now: with three speed sessions and one long run every week, you're supposed to be sleeping at least 10 hours a day (Paula Radcliffe supposedly manages 18!) for recovery, not up all night playing poker with degens. I'm trying to keep my poker and running endeavours separate as I doubt too many poker players are interested in the intricate details of my speed sessions or what exactly it feels like to run 126 miles in one day, and I know my running friends glaze over when I start telling them about bad beats (actually, my poker friends do too), but I can't keep them completely separate as they affect each other. Right now it's probably fair to say my main immediate focus is on my next big 6 hour race in Brno (where I hope to be competitive and also break Tony Mangan's national record) at the end of next month rather than anything poker (even the Irish Open, which I am looking forward to, the week before Brno).



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