[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]
I caught up with Mike for our second interview on an off-day for him at the Rio. He had come in to sign some books and to play a little Chinese poker in the VIP lounge before he headed to a final table to sweat a couple of his horses in the $10,000 Mixed Game event.
Shrink: "I know you have been sticking to your plan to play only a few tournaments. Any changes?"
Mike: "Well right now I have played just three, well four with that one I double-dipped and only played the first two hours. I have taken two breaks of a couple of days between events. But a lot of that is planning to be ready and rested for tournaments I really want to play. Like tomorrow is the $10,000 Omaha 8 or better, one of my favorite events. So I could have played today but I am not fond of double-dipping even though I did it once the first week. But after the Omaha tournament, I may be playing a few more tournaments. Not every day but maybe four or five a week."
"You know it makes sense, if you are going to play a 5 PM tournament, which goes until 3 AM in the morning. Just how clear are you going to be a noon the next day to start another tournament and then jump into your day two restart at 2 PM. It's too much."
Shrink: "So you are still feeling good?'
Mike: "Well I am not having any adverse reactions to my medications which is really nice and the new one has really eliminated my depression. There are still days when I don't feel as sharp as I would like, but I can work through those times."
Shrink: "Say a little more about those less than sharp times."
Mike: "Well, you have seen that I am talking a lot at the tables. When everything is working right, I don't talk as much because I am focused on the game. When I am not as sharp, I use the table talk to sort of stay in the game. It's really not all that planned, I'm just talkative or I'm not. The quiet days are usually my best days, particularly on day ones of events. You can't be up and talking for 10 hours straight, which is how long those 5 PM tournaments play."
Shrink: "Let's talk for a moment about the promotion for your autobiography. We've done a lot already but there is more coming up. Is that affecting your game at all."
Mike: "The book signings here at the Rio are fun. I like talking with the fans and kidding with them. I was going to do four of those during the preliminary events but now I just come in an hour or two early every time I am at the Series and sit down and sign for anyone who is there. If you have a copy of the book, I am happy to autograph it for you."
Shrink: ". . . and all the radio and newspaper interviews?"
Mike: "Most of those are just phone calls. The only problem will be this "drive time" radio day. We have to get up really early for those East Coast morning shows. But I want the book to be read, so we will work it out. The promotion isn't getting in the way of my play and I am damn proud of the book. It's all good."
Mike made day two of the $10,000 Omaha 8 but busted short of the money. He also played the $3,000 HORSE two days later and today he will be in the Day Two restart of the $10,000 Deuce-to-Seven tournament. Last year this event was a $5,000 rebuy event that Mike won for his third WSOP bracelet.