Wednesday, September 28, 2011

to lose gracefully.

it's been almost three months since i went to vegas.  it was familiar, yet foreign, going back there, to a place i hadn't been for around two years.  you forget, but just missing one series creates a two year gap, and in two years, the landscape of poker completely changed, yet again.  since 2003, really, every year has had a huge change in who's who, what is considered standard play, what the latest drama is going on and the ever increasing level of talent.

5 years ago, i would've said with full confidence that i was in the top 5% of players playing the main event.  this year, i think i might barely crack the top 25%.  while my skills have progressed, the reality of the landscape is that the game has become more and more accessible to more people who would have a natural talent towards it, and theoretical edges against one another become smaller and smaller.

i now acknowledge that going down to the world series may no longer be a hugely profitable endeavor for me (profitable still, but not as much once you factor in flights, hotels, and other expenses from being in vegas), and did not enjoy the trip overall.  i do think that it was a good trip for me to go to overall, to take in the experiences that i did, but i will say that i did not enjoy it this time around for many reasons:

a) many of the players that i was friends with over the years have moved on to different things.  as a result, i felt that i was almost "holding the fort" by going, and was only there with one other friend.

b) simply put, it's harder to win now.  winning is more fun than losing, obviously.

c) i am not a wide eyed 22 year old anymore.  in the poker world, i'm something of a dinosaur, probably around the age where retirement is considered to not be outlandish.  it's true, no one wants to be in the grind forever.

going deep in back to back WPT borgata open tournamnets was a nice outcome, even if i came a bit short (7th it seems, is my destiny), and a good reminder that this old dog still has some new tricks left in him.  however, i don't plan on playing any other tournaments until next years' WSOP, and perhaps not even then.  i will probably only go if i see it being worth my while in terms of fun and enjoyment, than merely just profit.

no one knows how the poker landscape will be in the next couple years, let alone in 5 or 10.  i can't make any overarching assumptions and assume that i can plan for how big of a part it will play in my life so i will acknowledge that transitioning to something different may take a while, until something else becomes a much larger part of my life.

here's to keeping myself busy.