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Monday, March 20, 2006 

Distractions

So, you’re two off from the bubble. First place would let you pay off quite a few debts. Would be real nice to cash deep in this tournament. You push all in with AK clubs suited thinking it’s best to go for the win rather then settle for a minimal profit just getting past the bubble. You’re thinking you’ll just pick up the blinds and be done with it.

Phone starts to ring. You ignore it.

One caller. Large stacked.

Dog start’s scratching the door.

Cards turn over. He reveals Kc Kd. Shit!

Dog gets a strange look in his eye.

Flop comes Qd 10c Jd

Not looking good.

Dog #1 starts heaving.

I start calculating my odds as I yell to my dog to STOP!!!

Turn brings 7 of diamonds now giving my fine feathered friend a flush draw to boot.

Dog #2 begins eating vomit.

I holler at both dogs resulting in a knocked over lamp.

I step in the hidden vomit behind my chair.

Wife starts yelling from the other room talking about office gossip and why I’m not paying attention.

River brings an Ace of Spades.
Ahhhhhh

People wonder why my hair is turning grey at 31. Sigh.

Needless to say, distractions are part of life when playing poker online and off. Unfortunately, distractions are far more rampant in my online world than I would like. Dealing with those distractions are not easy. How does one juggle such distractions and be successful? While I would love to be the all knowing poker guru, the truth is, I don’t have all the answers. Common sense would suggest I limit my distractions. And while that may seem far easier said than done, it really does help. While life continues to happen, even when I’m playing poker, there are in fact things I can do to ensure I have a limited amount of interruptions while playing. Let the dogs out. Eat dinner BEFORE I begin a tournament. Use the bathroom myself. Get that snack ready before starting. Turn the phone off. Actually have a discussion with my wife prior to the tournament. Spend time with said wife prior to tournament. I should mention here that I list these items in no particular order.

While taking care of such mundane, common items; the reality is that if I spent the sheer amount of time addressing these items, I would have no time left to myself to play poker. I’m a fairly busy person. I work a pretty long work day. I do try to “communicate” with my wife when I get home. I do try and sit down to dinner. But like many, I gotta get my poker fix and often jump online as quickly as possible and begin my nightly poker session. Every minute not playing is subtracting from my bankroll. I’ll set up shop with my laptop out in the living room. I’ll eat dinner at the same time, watch television. Jump up and grab a snack in between hands, use the bathroom while pissing people off at the table. Let the dogs in and out, etc.

For me, the data is obvious. When I endure more distractions, I make less money, less final tables, less first place finishes.

When I’ve locked myself away in my home office away from the world, I’ve walked away with several respectable wins.

Problem with locking myself away though, it severely hinders my home life. How does one balance? I thought the balance was taking the laptop out to the living room, but I’m starting to wonder how much that has actually cost me in the long run. It might be time for me to re-evaluate and make some decisions. Perhaps nights without any online play and balancing those nights with poker nights. Who knows.

The search for eternal poker enlightenment continues. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this topic as the WSOP draws closer. Until then, avoid the dog vomit.

-Adam

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