I was thinking about the anger issues again yesterday, and something (perhaps obvious) occurred to me. I had always thought I should be used to making mistakes and getting over anger. But actually that’s precisely what has made the anger get worse – the fact that I am so experienced and shouldn’t be making such amateur mistakes. The more experience I have at something, quite understandably the more it will sting when I make a rudimentary mistake at it.
And the rudimentary mistakes I’m talking about are the ones that no one of decent caliber should be making. It can’t be compared to something like a great basketball player missing a free throw. No; basketball players miss free throws because it is impossible, even for a great shooter, to make every basket. There is chaos in the physical body; we are not machines. The major mistakes I’m talking about are more akin to a basketball player suddenly turning around and accidentally taking a shot at his own basket.
As much as I tell myself to wait a few seconds before every action, even when I think I know the right move, I still sometimes find myself ignoring my own instructions and ignorantly rushing in. I’d say 90% of the time I make a tactical mistake, it’s one I wouldn’t have made if I had just analyzed the situation for a few seconds more.
I’d also say that, apart from the normal ebb and flow of the cards, it’s often me outplaying myself. I mean, if I get knocked out of the rare tournament I play, it’s either the usual run of the cards (which doesn’t bother me) or it’s me doing something I feel is very stupid in hindsight. I can’t remember the last time I felt like I got outplayed. It’s usually just me outplaying myself. I am my own worst enemy at the table and I get angry at myself accordingly.
So what else is left but to move on and learn from this stuff? A few days heals my wounds and I am left with a renewed desire to get back out there and this time make no mistakes. I routinely go from feeling like I never want to see another deck of cards to feeling the insatiable urge to get out there and crush the competition.
I don’t know how common this love/hate for the game is, but it’s either one or the other in me. It’s probably 75% love, 25% hate for me, if I had to break it down…