The last week has been a total waste. I was correct in my self diagnosis of strep throat, and it kept me coughing and exhausted for the majority of the week even after getting penicillin from the medical center. I got two small sessions of poker in on Thursday and Friday but both times I was by no means at full mental capacity, though I managed to pull off a deep run in the FTOPS 300r which ended generically somewhere in the 50 something places. Otherwise I have been mostly lying about my couch watching movies and longing for the gym, which I returned to this evening with about half the energy as usual. It felt good to be there either way.
Mid way through the FTOPS event I found myself on the same table as infamous online player Chad "Lil'holdem" Batista. Around four years ago I recall doing an interview with pocketfives and mentioning that I thought he was overrated. In the time after that I was critical of his table talk (notably his angry words for "Intervention") and wrote a comical script about the whole affair. In the early few years of my online poker career I was critical of a ton of guys, be it their play or their personality. I've met Chad since and in person he's a pretty chilled out and personable guy, and I think we had a laugh over what we wrote. We had some friendly table talk, and I told him I'd say he's likely among the five best online tournament poker players around.
I don't know if it's been the years of accumulated beats (and I'm not saying mine are worse than others), or the pick up, or the working out, or all the weed, but somewhere along the way I became pretty much the most chilled out guy around. I don't really see the point of hating on anyone anymore, unless they truly and genuinely are a scumbag like say JJprodigy or Men "totally legit poker hall of fame candidate" Nguyen. I believe that's his nickname. The point is, I think most of my early career trash talking mostly came from a place of envy. I'm not saying criticizing someones play or character is out of line, but there are mature and adult ways of going about it that aren't taking cheap shots or being rude. I can still confidently say I think Chad's comments to "Intervention" were out of line (it's old news at this stage, and I'm pretty sure water under the bridge between those two), I can still say that Hellmuth's behavior is pretty clownish (and likely awesome for TV ratings), but these days I'd rather get to know a guy thoroughly and try to understand his motivations than make snap judgments about him. Chad and I talked about blazing some joints together in Vegas and I'd happily follow through with it and supply as talking poker with that guy would be fascinating even if he can't always articulate why he knows what he knows.
Maybe I simply don't have the time to be a hater anymore? After a three week delay I'm finally getting back into my routine tomorrow. I won't be waking up at some insane hour to do a huge Monday (Sunday for you boys in the States) since I'm still getting over the strep, but I'll get up and play a normal sized session. After that I'll head straight to the gym to crush myself, then right back home to get showered and changed. I'll then head over to Crown where prior to eating dinner I'll make sure to chat up at least one girl (no weed allowed on the day until I've attempted at least one pick up which guarantees I won't make any excuses about it) then back home to write an entry for each of my various logs on the new website before I can finally relax and blaze away. Some nights I'll have a girl over, others I'll sit on the computer and review a friends hand history because I'm a geek like that and I enjoy studying poker again these days. If they're comfortable with it, I'll copy/paste the interesting hands from the review into my pokerlog and include our discussion on the hand. Some guys are more relaxed about their play being exposed than others. I'll only be taking one day off a week (likely Saturday) from all of this and the exceptionally strict diet I'm on will prevent me from any late nights drinking or big dinners out. I think to most online players spending that much time grinding is a hellish idea, but I'm really looking forward to it all. I miss my job. Nothing about any of this will change until I leave for the WSOP.