I'm writing this at almost midnight on my fifth day at the Million Dollar Heater at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS. It's been a rough poker week.
I started out well by placing in the $500k Guarantee opening tournament for the series (87th place out of 1,972 players) and it's been all downhill since then. I could tell you several bad beat stories but won't bore you with the gory details. In short, I've played in quite a few tournaments and haven't made a dime. I've lost all my winnings from the first event and am now in the hole by more than I care to mention.
It is at times like these that a gut check is in order. Can I afford to keep losing like this? Will I ever win again? Is it possible to win a "race"? Have I lost it? Did I ever have it? Am I kidding myself? Is it time to quit poker?
It's funny how poker often mirrors life. A lot of times people get down on themselves over one aspect or another of life. I've heard several variations of some of the following from different people and have had some of these thoughts myself: Is the system against me? Why is it that everything I try to do seems to end in failure? Can I do ANYTHING right? I've made so many mistakes that it seems I've dug a hole too deep to climb out of. Is it worth the effort or should I just resign myself to mediocrity? Why is it that I can't get that promotion when I've worked so hard? Am I incapable of sustaining a long term relationship with the opposite sex? Why is it that I don't seem to have any friends? The list goes on and on. All of these questions are essentially the same question and can be stated thus: Am I doomed to failure and should I just give up? The answer is a resounding "NO"!!
Let's face it, in poker as well as in life sometimes things just seem to go wrong no matter what you do. Is that a reason to give up? No. The proper course of action is to evaluate the situation, differentiate between the things you control and the things that are out of your control, change what you can for the better, rededicate yourself to happiness and success and move onward and upward.
Of course, if you evaluate the situation and find that you consistently lose at poker and really CAN'T afford to keep losing don't be afraid to face reality and move on to other endeavors. And never play poker with grocery money!
I've honestly evaluated my poker game, accepted that there are some things I can't control (sometimes AQ offsuit beats AA), continued to fine tune my game and dedicate myself to making better decisions, and I'll be back at it tomorrow with the full confidence that I can succeed.
Will I win tomorrow? I'm playing in a tournament so, statistically the odds are against me. If I get knocked out before the money I'll pick myself up and try again. I've heard it said that you haven't failed until you've quit trying. I CAN be successful, I HAVE been successful, and I WILL be successful--both in poker and in life.