24 May 2006

Catching the Fire

I missed American Idol, choosing instead to research for several interviews I'm doing (James Woods questions in the wind, several emerging pros). Not sure how many of the performances were good last night, but Prince performed. I understand that I lean more toward the R&B edge than the rock edge (OK, it's more than lean), but Prince in my mind is in that select small group of artists that last and are just great. In my generation, who else has done that from the 80's? The small group would include U2, Sting, Prince, then who else? This is after Prince having rehabilitated his music and image in the last decade or so. The King of Pop could take some notes. I'll admit I really don't know much about this topic but would be interested in thoughts.

Just in case you needed evidence that we poker players/bloggers aren't the lamest people on Earth: talent show reenactment of Mario Brothers Level 1.

I stumbled upon a player that I'm interviewing with a really fascinating story. He's twenty-four, closed his company, and started playing SNG's mainly then MTT's. He plays what he calls sets of SNG's, normally four at a time, starting with the 33's then the 55's and 109's. He's had goals of forty a day and a thousand a month. He also goes wherever he wants, moving to Thailand, then hopping to Australia for a bit, cruising to Hawaii for a week, now he's in LA having just left the Commerce tourney. I guess this just hit me, but it's easy to forget that these are at least some of the players we're up against. When you think of someone who plays professionally, it's easy to forget that these guys and ladies do this with a relentless passion, a deep study of the game. They figure out some of the things that we know, the video game components of poker (the secrets to move from Level 5 to Level 6), then they get their best and brightest colleagues to help figure out what to do in the CO after the 29/16 player has reraised the board from the bb with AsJdJs3s and we're holding AhKs. It makes me feel like a rank hobbyist to read this stuff to be sure. It did get me fired up enough to crack open a 30+3 SNG and take it down last night. One major misplay after I tripled up beautifully with AA (I'm on the button, UTG raises 5x bb, CO triples his bet, I smooth call, UTG shoves, CO shoves, I call with another 100 chips left to see UTG have KK and CO have TT). One of the players left that I had typed TIGHT in the notes min-raises my QJo raise, and I call. Flop comes Qxx and I end up doubling KK up. We got it all in on the turn and it was stupid for me, but I was able stay in there. Now if I had played 39 more SNG's, would I have made the mistake with the QJo? Who knows as I'm pretty much dumb sometimes.

I'm reading a book about burnout, Reclaiming the Fire by Dr. Steven Berglas. The author introduces eustress, the "...good stress derived from stimulating circumstances or challenges. Eustress--in contrast to distress which has come to be known simply as stress--is necessary for both physical and mental health. The mind needs to be actively stimulated with inputs from the external world or it will create its own stimulation through dreams, fantasies, or, if need be, hallucinations. Performing a skilled activity you have mastered in an environment that is wholly familiar can block stimulation and the experiences of eustress almost as effectively as blindfolds, earplugs, and swaddling block our sensory stimulation. If you're a golfer, imagine playing the same hole for life." I wonder if this is getting closer to why I pursue poker, this hunt for eustress. There are other things in the book that are helpful and intriguing, but I definitely understand this concept of eustress. Distress or anxiety I've had only a few times, but eustress is something I thrive on and hold close to me. When that is absent, I think I struggle a great deal.

If you haven't signed up for the PokerStars blogger tourney, so do. I should be in Shanghai and can't make it, but it should be a ton of fun.

Trying to figure out how I can get to Vegas this summer, hopefully on the way to China (vs. on the way back). I sold a bunch of office furniture odds and ends to someone in the building, then Sweetie confiscated the check destined for my bankroll! What's the dilly, yo? I mean, this was my free office furniture from the other office we had (thanks Picturetel), then I get the energy to sell these filing cabinets and the horrible sofa and she absconds with the funds! I'll have to try and lobby her a bit more (hopefully). Movers are coming for the last stuff next Wednesday, then I'll be home officing again. I need to get psyched up for it. I'm trying to get my arms around the concept that my quality of life is in my control, that I can create a work environment that I can really enjoy and thrive in. Wish me luck.

Options before going to China:
  • Okie-Vegas (don't have any details, not invited, but some folks have dropped out so maybe I can crash this)
  • Vegas: play at Bellagio, either buy in or play satellites for WPT Mandalay Bay tourney
  • Vegas: play at Bellagio, either buy in or play satellite for early Caesar's tourney
  • Vegas: return from Shanghai, then head to Vegas, play at Bellagio or Rio, play satellites daily for WSOP tourneys (would only be able to be at the early tourney as I have to go to Furman Soccer Camp with the boys)
  • Tunica: return from Shanghai, play Gold Strike Classic
  • LA: return from Shanghai, play in Mini Series of Poker
  • None of the above--just get home and keep cranking; you'll be worn out and have to really focus to make this China project come off
I should go to China three times this summer, each for roughly two weeks (once in June, July, and August). Any thoughts on the above would be appreciated.

Enough for now. Thanks for stopping by, and take care.

ADDENDUM: Felicia, could you email me (csquard@yahoo.com) or add me to your friends on LJ? I'm csquard there. Thanks.

12 Comments:

Blogger TenMile said...

cc:

I've referred your post to GCox25 and as he is at work, he asked me to extend an invitation to the Okie-Vegas.

I'm giving you his work email as his employer allows those, but not blogs.

That is: gcox@kirby-smith.com

You must initiate the mail/reply to.

He will respond promptly, under normal conditions.

10:42 AM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

That Mario Bros. show has to be one of the cleverest things I've seen. Thanks for the link. Another talent show did "Super Punch Out," the graybox version, and it's another great one.

I say either Okie-Vegas or Vegas for you. You deserve a break. Plus I'll get to read good posts that way.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Scott Cunningham said...

I agree with pokerpeaker. That was awesome! I'm not searching for a nintendo emulator online. I hear there's one out there somewhere, and I want some supermario!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Got your post on my blog just as I was writing a post about your blog and eustress. Freaky!

1:54 PM  
Blogger TripJax said...

Came over to give you the scoop on Okie-Vegas, but it looks like tenmile has hooked you up. Good stuff.

If you need any info or have any questions don't hesitate to comment or email.

Hope you can make it, even if for a portion of the trip.

And I meant to post that mario brothers thing a few weeks ago. Glad you posted it as I had forgotten...I love it.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Felicia :) said...

You guys need to invite Gary Garson :)

2:20 PM  
Blogger TripJax said...

Felicia, I think that would be a trip...think he is down with $30 sng's at the lake and no foldem poker at the redneck riviera. Woohoo!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

OK the post is up dude:

http://fuel55.blogspot.com/2006/05/eustress-more-insight-into-poker-mind.html

Your comments welcome.

4:06 PM  
Blogger DrChako said...

I'd put Elton John in the group, but not many others.

Have fun in China.

-DrC

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