"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's hard to read."
Have I mentioned I've had a bad run? I've had a bad run. I've probably had the worst run yet of this little hobby of mine. I'm not broke, I'm far from it, but a significant percentage of my recent big score has just piddled piddled away.
May was awesome. I cashed thrice in the BBT, I was making $50 NL my own personal ATM, and I capped it off with a final table appearance in the $26K. My roll, she was happy.
June was a bad run all month, but at least I didn't play very much. July appears to have taken that dearth of June sessions to mean that it, too, is June. May came in like a lamb, but June and July are eating me like a lion.
A bad run? A horrible run. I feel like I'm playing well, it's just not happening. I'm not tilted. But I'm not happy. I could tell you beat stories that would . . . well, bore you. I'd tell you it was unbelievable, and if you were predisposed to be kind, you agree. "Unbelievable," you say or type, but it would be all too believable. You've been here too.
So, for those of you like me who don't remember the last time they were able to put together a winning session, here are four difficult things to do after a bad run.
1) Dealing with the roll you have, not wishing for roll you used to have. Say you start the year with 2 apples. The apple business is good, and suddenly, you find yourself with 22 apples. You feel great. You make apple pie with abandon. Apple crisp. Apple Brown Betty. You're juggling the things. Suddenly the apple tree catches an infestation of scrofulous bole-grubs and you find that all your apple-thrift ways have left you with . . . oh dear, just 8 apples? Eight nasty apples?
It's hard not to panic now. You don't remember when you had two apples. Do you? You don't remember when 8 apples was good times. Do you? You don't want to figure out what the best thing is to do with 8 apples. Your only concern is getting at LEAST back to 16 apples, and immediately.
This brings me to . . .
2) Moving down levels. It's fun when you are rolled to move up the ladder. Suddenly that double-through is twice as much as before. You're working with an entirely different metric. And you get used to those numbers. Going back to where you were before can feel like wading in the kiddie pool after swimming in the ocean. But when you're running badly, you need to play within your means. More than that, it is critical to return to the mental place you were before you got big(ger). And that leads me to . . .
3) Realizing that a big downswing is not just bad luck. It's not, is it? I mean, look, I've had some really really REALLY sick beats recently. Runner runner counterfeited set? Yes, sure. Flush over flush? Twice. Counterfeited straight? Three times. There's no fold equity at all, so I'm pushing hard with big draws (I'm talking 12-21 outs twice) and getting called by hands like top pair 6th kicker, pocket pair representing 4th pair, stuff like that. My draws missed each time. That's in the last 24 hours. If I limp with T8 Mookiestyle, and flop J97, the turn will sho nuff bring an 8 and the river will sho nuff bring a Ten. I only wish I were kidding.
So it's been like that.
But let's be real. You don't go on an epic cooler like this without having some junk in your game.
Yeah but --
Listen it was runner-runner you won't BELIEVE what these donkeys call wi--
I am so cold-decked wait until I tell you--
I will be clear. I don't think I've played terrible poker. I think even if I'd played perfectly, I'd have lost over this period. It's been a pretty sick run of variance. But I do know that after I score big, I can watch that big peak in my graph go down, down, down down. It's happened before, oh yeah. Patterns must not be denied. The holes that are indubitably there are not the reason I've been bleeding chips, but they may be the reason why I'm bleeding MORE chips than need be.
Which leads me to . . .
4) Take a break. It's time to chill for a while, and remember that my nine apples still represent a nice step up from where I started. It's time to read my Harringtons again, and maybe some other books. Time to write a bit more, maybe see if I can knock off more than a Table Profile a month, finally man up and finish that enormous basement project I've been avoiding.
I'll play the BBT Freeroll, and I think I've got a potential poker night with a friend, but other than that, I think I'm laying low in July.