Saturday, May 30, 2009

Poker Shrink to Poker Media: Take a Breath

[Content Disclosure: 100% Wisdom of the Shrink]

This is free advice from the Poker Shrink to all of my companions in the WSOP media. Take a breath! No really, that is not a joke or a metaphor, I really mean take a breath. Slowly inhale and ever so slowly breath out. Repeat several times. 

You didn't do the breathing did you?

Moving on. It is way too early in the WSOP grind for exhaustion and drama. There are still six more weeks of poker, chips, restarts, final tables and late nights. How do you plan to survive if you can't make it to the first weekend? Being the Shrink o'Poker allow me to offer some concrete advice, which you will ignore.***

1. If this is your very first time reporting at the World Series of Poker you can stop reading right now. You already know better than any of us old-timers and you will not fall victim to the ravages of the Series that I am yacking about. No, No you really do know better. Be on your way, ignore the shaking heads and muffled giggles, please continue with your 14 hour workdays and party nights.

2. If this is not your first time at the WSOP then might I ask: "What the hell are you thinking?" Have you reported one hand so far that has ended global warming? or solved the problem with stock swap derivatives? No. Then why exactly are you driving yourself to exhaustion?*** Poker Media like Poker Players are involved in a very individual activity. No one will take care of you except you and.. and.. and... you have been here before! Do we not learn from our previous follies?

3. Taking Breaks: This involves first lifting your numb ass out of that chair and at the very least leaving the Amazon Room, which does not mean doing a quick survey of one of the other tournament rooms. Leave the area, even better leave the Rio. Did you know that if you go offsite for a long lunch or even a workout at the gym---they do not stop playing the tournaments! Others will report on the meaningful events that transpire while you are away and no one will be the wiser. No really, your pithy words and earth-shattering wit will actually not be missed for upwards of two, even three hours.

4. Just to dispel some myths, which you use as excuses to work irrational hours:

-You are working for a new company this year and they demand more words --- check out what they did last year, you are doing that or better right? So take a breath.
-Something important might happen and if I am not here I will miss it --- so you report it an hour or even three hours later, its the internet, just how many readers do you think are hitting the refresh key on your brilliance anyway?
-Something important might happen (Part II). It's poker. A game not a sport and in theory at least it is suppose to be fun for someone, why not you?
-If I get a hand or a chip count wrong, the rabid internet fans will know it. Yes, they might and they might even flame you for calling the seven of clubs, the seven of spades.*** So what? Your self-worth is measured by an online forum post...

5. Delegate and share assignments. The reigning king loon of poker media, the great and powerful Dr. Pauly has hired himself help for the Series this year. If the good Dr. is now an shining example of sanity, what does that say about you? Myself, I have more to say and more smug advice to offer but the good doctor and I are going out for a leisurely breakfast and then perhaps a sea salt scrub at the spa.

Write On!
***Apologies to BJ, who does actually find such mistakes to be mortal sins, but BJ is different.
***None of this advice applies to Dan M. who does drive himself to exhaustion but never while actually at work.
***Yes Jen, I do mean you!

---for those seeking the next installment of The Poker Mind In Depth.... Phil Hellmuth tomorrow.


Pauly said...

The Shrink doesn't want you to know that he actually outsourced this post. Brilliant. Bravo, sir. See you at the spa.

Jennifer said...

I will take your words under advisement. ;)

Honestly, these are good reminders, and I needed to hear some of them!

BJ Nemeth said...

Now that a week of this sucker is in the books, I find myself working harder this year than I ever have before. How the fuck did that happen?