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  #1  
Old 11-24-2007, 07:33 AM
Clayton Clayton is offline
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Default Apathy or unquenched desire?

Posted from my iPhone in the midfle of nowhere so I apologize for not being wordy. Coming into this next tournament series, the 5 diamond, I am not entirely excited but look forward to it. Reading some blogs on the iPhone has shown me just how psyched people get at the prospects of winning a tournament. Myself, besides the financial benefits I just don't feel it. What it one tournament, 100 tournaments, going to prove? Anyways, getting to the point of the discussion, I am curious what kind of personality is better for the tournament mind: someone detached from emotions entirely but generally apathetic in approach to results, or someone who is insanely driven to be the best while at the same time becoming subject to the torment that comes with it?
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:13 AM
JP OSU JP OSU is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

I think that people being extremely competitive is why they get into tournaments in the first place. I mean if not for the thrill of the final table and winning a tournament, I'd probably be exclusively a cash game player... Even if it's not right, people use wins to validate themselves... Especially in this game where we lose 99% of the time when you can finally get a win it's so huge... I think ego has a lot to do with it also...

WRT your question, you're basically asking if it's better to be you or Nath, and I don't really know... I think it really depends on your own personality and whether you can deal with pouring yourself into tourney results...

Hope to meet ya at Bellagio...
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2007, 08:16 AM
Superfluous Man Superfluous Man is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

Who cares what 1 or 100 or 1 million tournaments prove? I get excited about the prospect of a 7-figure score. I get excited about sitting at a table with 2-3 guaranteed soft spots instead of having to wait and bum-hunt online cash games and grind against the regs. I want to make money playing poker. Period. Sure, having the respect of my poker-playing peers would be nice, and maybe parlaying a big tournament score into sponsorships/"fame" would be interesting. But first and foremost, show me the money. In fact, the prospect of making this big score is such a powerful motivator that I am flying out to Vegas to play these, despite the fact that I have never cashed in a live event with a buyin greater than 5k and am probably stuck near 6-figures in live tournaments lifetime.

Honestly, the question behind this should be "would you rather run super hot and be thought of as a clown (vietcong01) or run cold/average and be thought of as a good player (any number of mttc regs)?"

Anyway, to answer your question before I ramble out of control, there's probably some happy middle between the two polar personalities you describe. Someone who is generally apathetic will eventually stop caring whether he plays well. He thinks, "why should I care about maximizing my EV here?" He cannot motivate himself to do well, because he doesn't even care about his results. Someone who is "insanely driven to be the best" will be unable to detach himself from his results. Every beat is a personal blow from the variance gods. Every mistake, no matter how small, is devastating for him; after all, how can he be anywhere near the best if he makes an incorrect play? "THE BEST PLAYERS NEVER MAKE MISTAKES," he screams to himself. A bad run crushes this player's soul, possibly before he ever even runs good enough to get a shot at that big score.

I'm player number two, I fear. But I'm trying to change that.

Anyway, neither personality is well-suited to tournament poker. Or really, poker in general. You have to be apathetic enough to ignore the variance in the short run, even if the short run feels like a marathon. You have to be apathetic enough to shake off your mistakes and not let them compound themselves with tilt, but driven enough to recognize and correct said mistakes. You also have to be driven enough to care about winning. You have to stay motivated and play well and have confidence in yourself, no matter the slings and arrows variance hits you with.

Hope this helps answer the question?
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:41 AM
Clayton Clayton is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

Ignore this post as i misread leos post

-------------////

I also am rambling but this us hard on ab inphone so i will try tp contribute more qhen i can acruallyvtype. For today tjo, gooooo dawgs etc
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2007, 08:52 AM
Clayton Clayton is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

and to elaborate, i would say i am motivated but the excitement isnt there anymore unless im really deep insometbing significant. So that.maybe explains best... As a result of this numbness of sorts now, am i better off as a player? I can be more objective in playing hands, and my heart doesnt skip a beat as often.

Anorher way to put it is: Assuming 2 horses of similar skill and exp , would urather bavk the one who clearly wants it more to the point of mood swings or the one who doesnt want it nearly as much however is most likely to be even keel


cliffnotes: what emotional composition defines the perfect mtt plater?
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2007, 08:56 AM
Superfluous Man Superfluous Man is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

[ QUOTE ]
leo i like ur answer but the intent behind my question was more in regards to what majes a better mtt player; obsession to the point of manic depression or aparhy to the point of not being motivated enough. Motivation is obv key with success but when i see people like myself i wonder if my attitude sets my ROI back

[/ QUOTE ]
And I'm saying neither option is really good. Both will burn out/become losers/fail for different reasons and probably in different ways, too. You seem to imply it yourself.

If I had to pick one, I guess I'd go with apathy, because it's a softer, less mentally jarring slope to the bottom. The apathetic player won't jump off a bridge after he bubbles a big donkament, or takes a shot that goes badly. Apathy, to a certain extent, is probably helpful. Psyduck mentioned MrSmokey1, who always seems apathetic and calm, even after becoming the youngest bracelet winner ever. And maybe he doesn't give a [censored]. But he certainly gave enough of a [censored] to improve his game, to get to the point where he is at. I mean, unless he was somehow born an amazing poker player. I doubt it.

Like I said, I used to be more apathetic, but now I'm not and I hate it. I live and die with every buyin I make in cash, every tournament I go deep in, every good or bad play I make. I don't even know what happened to make it this way, I used to be much more calm. "Naturally stoned" as Adanthar once put it. So, yeah, as someone who's slowly becoming the model for the overly driven, bipolar, punish-myself-for-playing-bad-ever type, I'm able to look back very fondly on my days of relative apathy. But that doesn't mean apathy is so god damn great. Too much apathy and you cease improving while everyone else flies by you. You allow yourself to sink in a sink-or-swim situation, all the while not caring that you're drowning.

To sum it up: Apathy is good, it prevents you from going crazy. Too much is not, it prevents you from improving. Being driven is good, it makes you take conscious steps towards improving your game. Being overly driven is not, it makes you a results-oriented little bitch, like me of late.

I haven't slept in a while, so this will all probably look stupid when I wake up. But I hope I clarified some things and didn't waste like 10 minutes on what honestly seemed like a drunken joke post on first read.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2007, 09:13 AM
Clayton Clayton is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

Nah Leo ur replies have been great and they foster good discussion. I know there is no correct answer for such a complicated question but I always look for ways to improve and lately I have noticed I am trending oppositely from Leo. That opens up self criticism and discussion, its just too bad imin Augusta for thanksgiving without Internet bc this thread lookslik e a djk drrunk post. As I types this I'm in a cracker barrel [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2007, 10:06 AM
Highn Highn is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

Somehow this has turned into an abomination of a rant, mega tl dr warning, also this is all old news so don't waste ten minutes of your life trying to read this, unless when really, really bored.

I think to become really great you need to be a passionate and driven person. However, one of the skills you need to develop is to some extent apathy. The apathy could also be translated as an understanding of variance. I like to think that I'm very passionate about improving myself and trying to play every hand perfectly. But certainly I also aim to cope with losing, which is probably one of the most important abilities to have when pursuing to play poker for a living. Considering most of us are perfectionists, competitive, and ambitious this is possibly the most difficult things to teach oneself.

How do I do this?

First of all I try to understand that playing MTT's means you will lose all the time and occasionally win. I mean, most of us understand this rationally but when egos are involved we tend to become emotional and forget.

Secondly my goal is to play a lot of tournaments a day. I remember from a Well post by a well respected STT'er (can't remember the name, sorry) that he told the forum he didn't get fazed by bad beats anymore, basically because he has seen them happen so ridiculously often. So besides reducing variance, playing a lot also helps you to numb the pain of getting sucked out on.

Thirdly, because I recognize that even with the above mentioned precautions you will occasionally have your dreams crushed because losing when being a massive favorite when deep in a MTT is way more frustrating then losing in a STT. You need take a moment to allow yourself to accept the sick beat; ignoring that you're feeling kind of tilted is the worst.

In essence I guess what I'm trying to say is;

Variance in tourneys is HUGE, in (live) tourneys you will never play enough to be able to ignore variance. Accepting this and being passionate about playing well and trying to maintain some form of apathy about the result seems to be the easy answer.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:19 PM
gobboboy gobboboy is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

I think Leo's responses here have been the best poker writing I have ever read in my life.

After Australia I was stricken with apathy and now that I've lost a ton of money since then I've been stricken with being ridiculously over-attentive with each and every result. I can't handle playing cash games and every tournament I enter I am incredibly worried about.

I've always been an emotional person but I never really realized how much it sets me back. Today that changes.

Amazing posts, Leo.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:39 PM
JayPez JayPez is offline
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Default Re: Apathy or unquenched desire?

[ QUOTE ]

Amazing posts, Leo.

[/ QUOTE ]
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