Been a long time, by Gavin Griffin
"It's been a long time since I rock and rolled.
It's been a long time since I did the stroll.
Oh baby, let me get back, let me get back,
Let me get back, Baby where I come from"
Two years. Seriously, two years! It's been that long since I have won a tournament either online or live that wasn't a sit n go or the $215 NL 2-7 single draw on Poker Stars. That's the type of thing that can really mess with someone's head. I used to be a closer. My stats in that regard were ridiculous. In fact, zeejustin posted a blog about it on his website. If I got to the final 27 of a tournament, I won almost every time. Obviously some of that was running well and some of that was playing well. I certainly didn't lose heads up. Including my win at the Borgata two years ago, I only had two 2nd place finishes in online tournaments and zero in live tournaments.
So, what happened? Did I lose it? Am I just running poorly? Am I even good at poker anymore? What am I doing wrong? Did I get cursed for joining Team Poker Stars Pro Besides that last one, these thoughts can plague all of us who play tournaments. One of the things I realized is that I wasn't putting in enough volume, live or online. I know I'm more than capable of crushing in tournaments, I just have to put in the commitment and not be lazy. Play every Sunday that I'm not playing a live event or have another commitment, and stick it out to the end. Don't give up after the first 5 tournaments bust. Play some of the smaller LA live events, they have tons of value.
Second of all, examine your game all the time. Don't get complacent. Work with the tools that are afforded to you, experiment with different playing styles, examine your hand histories after each session and see if there were some spots where you could have played better. I had let myself get confident with my game and wasn't working hard to improve all the time. It's not hard to do really. I had just won some pretty major tournaments. It's easy to presume that you don't need to get better when you've won a tournament on the three biggest tours in the world.
Finally, I realized that people are getting better at poker. Whereas I used to sit down at a table and presume people were bad until they show me that they aren't, now I play and presume people are good until they prove otherwise. I try to learn from the best players both live and online. What is moorman1 doing that I'm not doing? What is charder30 doing that I'm not doing? What is nanonoko doing that I'm not doing? How can I get to be as good or better than those guys? You can even learn from the people who aren't very good. They may still have some ideas about poker that are relevant and they misapply or they may do one thing that is useful. They can even teach you by doing something that's really bad and giving you an idea of what not to do.
I guess what it boils down to is that hard work is always a good thing and no matter what your results are, you can always get better. Players like Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are trying to get better, why shouldn't I? The last thing I want to say is thank you to my wonderful fiance Amy. She puts up with me being whiny on Sundays and after live tournaments and though it's tough on her, she does her best to make me feel better after a long day of tournaments.
Gavin Griffin finally broke his not-winning streak this past weekend when he took down the PokerStars Nightly Hundred Grand.