Monday, March 31, 2008

Appropos For Opening Day

From a Sporting News article a couple weeks back:

Hurdle calls the concept “showering well.” You go out, you prepare, you focus, you let it all out on the field. After the game, you honestly self-evaluate, then take a shower and go home. Don’t carry it with you, don’t wear it. Yes, there will be save opportunities blown; yes, there will be outs made with winning runs in scoring position. Yes, there will be managerial levers pulled that don’t work. No one is perfect. There are, Hurdle acknowledges, nights where you can’t help but wear it, individually or as a team. But the sooner you get rid of those things, the better to show up the next day with, as he says, good ears and fresh eyes and the freedom to let your skills play. “Patience,” Hurdle likes to say, in both the large and small scheme of things, “takes courage.”

Yes, there will be missed value bets, yes, you will have hands where you're 95% on the turn go down in flames. Yes, you will lose tourneys on the bubble where you were already in a safe $$$ position. Yes, you will run QQ into AA and get coolered. And yes, there are nights when you can't help but tilt.

"But the sooner you get rid of those things, the better to show up the next day with, as he says, good ears and fresh eyes and the freedom to let your skills play." - Clint Hurdle

I just can't emphasize that statement enough.

Much like the Rockies' 1-9 road trip from last June (once thought to be disasterous), where Brian Fuentes blew four save opportunities in a row (two on walkoffs), a bad run does not define you or your play, nor does it mean you've suddenly lost the ability to play poker. That is, not unless you let it. Maybe you have to drop back in levels, and play a bit more small ball, instead of swinging for the fences. But the game itself does not fundamentally change.

Another concept Clint Hurdle likes to talk about is "slowing the game down". Very very rarely in poker will you need to define your play in a session by a single hand. This is much more so in cash games than tournaments, of course. It's one thing to get a read on another player, but another thing to recognize the situation when to take advantage of that read. Stealing blinds/antes is important, but stopping to consider when you're most likely to be played back at is equally so.

Anyway, today is Opening Day, one of my favorite days of the entire year. We picked up snow last night, and it's cold, so I'm pretty pleased the Rockies are opening on the road. The home opener on Friday can't get here soon enough, though, especially given the quality of tickets the Good Doctor Mondo and I are holding. I'm sort of on work tilt, because I don't have an AM radio at the office, and I don't seem to have the bandwidth available to make buying worthwhile today. But it's the start of defending our 2007 National League Championship, just the same, and I'm all decked out in purple and black.

Hopefully, I'll be able to take Hurdle's lessons to the tables later tonight, though.

1 comment:

lightning36 said...

Great intelligent post, mondo.