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Good riddance to a bad end of the year

At the beginning of autumn, I had big plans. I was not only going to play a full load of WCOOP events, but I had a lot of European live tournaments on my schedule. I hoped to get a good start in the WCOOP, but I had an awful run, one of the worst in my life. I played 20-30 tournaments a day, every day for three weeks in a row and I didn't make one final table until the very last day. I was running so cold, losing every all-in, it didn't matter what I did. Between the high events, the Main Event, and the high roller, I dropped a pretty substantial amount in buy-ins.

I chilled for a couple of days after WCOOP, then boarded a plane for London. Although I busted out of the UKIPT Main Event pretty quickly, I built a big stack in the UKIPT High Roller. I was the chip leader with 25 players left, but I ended up finishing 16th. Vanessa Selbst ended up winning it and I was really happy for her. Next up was the EPT London Main Event, but unfortunately, variance reared its ugly head again. The guy on my left was three-betting, four-betting, five-betting me every hand. It was unbelievable and he sucked out every time. Eventually, he took all my chips. Once I was out of the Main Event, I played a lot of the smaller tournaments including the Open-Face Chinese event. I also played the £2,000 turbo and was the chip leader with nine players left. Of course, disaster struck and I ended up finishing eighth. First place in that one was £80,000 and it could have undone a lot of the damage I'd done over the last month. But instead, nothing.


I was pretty frustrated, but I decided to go to Paris for the World Series of Poker Europe. I lived in France when I was in my early twenties, so Paris is a very special city to me. My French is just as good as my English, so I spent a lot of time chilling with friends, eating in good restaurants, and going out. I ended up playing a few WSOPE events, but my bad run continued and I didn't cash in any of them. At that point, I thought I had enough. I hung out with my friends for a few more days until I found out about some really good cash games in Madrid. I went down there and they turned out to be just as juicy as I heard. However, my bad luck was still in full force. I was stuck a lot in those games and although I made some of it back, I didn't turn a profit.

At that point, I was in a pretty bad mental space. After so many terrible beats, my brain was totally scrambled. Sometimes when you run that bad, you aren't even motivated to play anymore. So I went back to Argentina and told myself I would take a small break and focus on my other businesses for a while. Well, that didn't last too long. Only a few weeks later, I was on another plane, this time to Las Vegas, for another poker tournament and the added bonus of tickets to a UFC fight at the MGM Grand.

What can I say? I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

Nacho Barbero is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

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