EPT Deauville, Day 2
Well, I believe in nothing but the best quality on this blog, and so I am able to give you an accurate minute-by-minute account of my entire second day’s play at EPT Deauville:
12:05: Thomas Kremser announces “shuffle up and deal.” The day’s play starts with me full of hope of getting back into the fray.
12:06: I look down at 6c2d in the big blind after the button has moved all-in. Pass.
12:08: There is a raising war before my small blind. I look down at KJ and pass.
12:10: It folds to me on the button, and I move all-in for 7,800 with QdJd.
12:10:02: The big blind calls with ace-ten.
12:11: I am half way to Deauville train station, desperate to make my flight home.
It was a standard exit, but it doesn’t seem to stop it being so gutting, especially in the EPT. However, this disappointment is just one of the mental challenges that you have to be able to deal with in poker. The train journey back to Paris got me thinking about how this game really tests your emotions, and whether it does so in a positive way.
The biggest downside of the game is the players who are not prepared to take bad luck on the chin, or not humble enough to acknowledge that their play may have been wrong. Whilst it can be a frustration to see people’s egos get in the way of the game, the flip side is that I find poker a very interesting test of character. Confidence and ego are two quite different things, and it is an interesting challenge to have one and not the other. The game also demands a difficult balance between recklessness and patience, between suspicion and discretion and between the ability to seek out your mistakes and the ability to forgive yourself for them.
Something that is a shame amongst some successful players is that high amounts of money flying around in the tournaments mean that they can become numb to the value of money in real life. However, this is not the case for most players, and it is always refreshing to see them demand value for money, even if it could be seen as realtively unimportant compared to the tournament buy-in.
Deauville seemed another case of a venue taking adavanatge of a percieved disregard for money amongst the players. However, prices like 3 Euros for a can of coke angered a lot of people, and I think the EPT will have to revise their opinions of whether the players want high prices in a silly, fancy location, or a reasonable, less spectacular venue that is more accessible. I think almost every player vastly prefers the latter, and I hope a venue like Deauville in the middle of nowhere will soon be replaced by a much more sensible venue with good air links and reasonably-priced hotels. The word Nottingham springs immediately to mind.
So, does poker do an overall good or bad to a player’s character? Well, one thing that I’ve always found important is most player’s refreshing attitude to the game, and in particular a sensible attitude to money. I think a number of setbacks does no harm to a man’s character, and it is in fact character building to have to deal with disappointment as often as tournament poker demands. There is a real need to get over the fear of busting out, both in terms of playing the game well, and also being prepared for the shock when it comes.
It’s a lesson that is incredibly valuable in life- don’t worry about what bad things could happen, just do your best to avoid them. If the worst happens, accept the fate that life hands out to you, and learn what you can from it before the next time.
The next time for me is the Dom Classics of Poker in Utrecht, Holland. It starts on Thursday, and hopefully the poker update can be a little longer than this one!