Sunday, March 08, 2009

If you can keep your head



when all about you are losing theirs...

Last night Paul was eliminated from the NBC National Heads Up Poker Classic. Although he played brilliantly in the last match, he needed to catch one of 12 cards on the river to stay alive, and none came. When the final card "bricked," I felt sick to my stomach, which is probably one tenth of the feeling Paul felt. The disappointment hit me in waves: on the way to the cage to get paid, throughout the impromptu business meeting with Paul's newest sponsors, and on the drive back to Paul's amazing Vegas house.

Just as I had allowed myself to feel excited, nervous, and exuberant during the first 24 hours of the tournament, I allowed myself to feel the loss. Since 2008 had been a frustrating year from both a personal and professional standpoint, I'd resolved to do 2009 differently. This year is about authenticity with myself and with the people in my life.



Paul was eliminated in the round of sixteen, which makes this the second tournament cash (of two) in a row. In back to back tournaments, he has been on the doorstep of what I consider big time money. While it is frustrating to have come this close twice in a short succession, I am also extremely proud of his performance and mine. The poker landscape is as tough as it's ever been: There is less room for error, less spots with great equity, less weak players looking to give money away.

These tournies take a lot out of Paul and I but we are both getting better at getting what we need both from and during them. Last night after studying footage and going over the blind structure in preparation for his next opponent, we ran for miles through the Vegas chill and then practiced sun salutations on his patio. The day before, when I'd awoken with a hangover and a migraine, we both went to the spa for massages and a steam bath.

Yes I was disappointed last night but today is a new day and today I take solace and joy in knowing that we are doing a lot of things correctly. We know what the new poker frontier requires. Our new approach has rekindled my competitive fire and made me fall in love again with this job. I'm calm, I'm happy, and I absolutely cannot wait to do it again.

6 comments:

Walker said...

It's disappointing when things don't go your way. All you can do is play/plan your best, but sometimes the cards just don't come your way. I'm glad to see how fired up both you and Paul are.

Jessica M. said...

That's a very grown-up way to approach things--glad it's working out.

willowjp4 said...

No reason to blame today's clouds on yesterday's rain. Just look forward to tomorrow's sun.

JESSIE said...

Oh, the plateau... You and I have had this conversation in relation to dancing, and you know it leads to epiphany. I can't wait to hear about yours :)

Anonymous said...

Truman, thanks again for a great weekend. You really work your tail off for Paul and it shows!Kandice and I appreciate all of the "love" shown to us over the weekend and we enjoyed spending time with you and the crew. Phil

Ethan & Amanda Foulkes said...

uh, i know that feeling... kinda. :)