I final tabled my second consecutive UBOC event on Wednesday night (I didn't play Monday or Tuesday's events), taking 8th in the PLO8. Obviously 8th is a frustrating result-- especially since I won a big pot when the FT started to take the chip lead with 9 left. The next four pots I played where money went in post flop, I got 0, 1/4, 0, and 0 from. I may have overplayed some hands, but I'm pretty sure in a split-pot game that counts as running bad. (Speaking of running bad, I had dodged some bullets and stealthily skulked around with a short stack in the FTP 55k last night, to get into the money, and then the servers crashed. The way I was playing I felt sure I would win it. Oh well.)
I've been considering returning to the live circuit in 2008. I feel like I'm playing well, when I trust my instincts and the reads I make. I almost owe it to myself to try for another big score, and this fits well when the plan I've laid out for my life in the next couple of years.
(Speaking of all that, part of the reason I don't write more is that I tend to stick with poker themes here. I have other stuff going on in my life, and other important decisions to make. Do you, the reader, want to hear about those? I can write more about my life beyond poker if that interests you.)
Here's something that may help your game:
One thing I noticed (because I found it happening to me lately) and remembered recently was something I was told in a sports psychology class in college. In big games, in high-pressure situations, we tend to feel nervous or anxious. Our body is producing a higher level of energy than normal, and we're not sure what to do with it. So we call it nervousness and try to calm it down. But this is incorrect. The energy is not nervous-- it is our body's response to what our mind knows is an important situation. Our mind has told our body to produce extra energy to prepare for this important event, to play it at our highest level.
What you misidentify as nervousness is your body entering a heightened state of awareness for the upcoming challenge. You don't need to calm down-- you just need to harness and focus that energy. Remember, don't be nervous, be excited.
Pretty good advice in any area of life. Don't be nervous, be excited. The difference is a matter of your own perception and control.