Being Realistic

World Series of Poker, Las Vegas
$10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship
Report by Daniel Negreanu on Wednesday, 26 May 2004 at 5:07 pm

When I first started playing tournament poker my ultimate dream was to win the "big one". I always felt that if I worked hard enough I would eventually achieve that goal.
Well, times change. It is no longer a priority in my life and if it happens great, if not it’s really no big deal to me either way. Don’t get me wrong I love the tournament and hope it continues to thrive- I’m just being realistic. With so many great unknown players in the tournament now it makes it really tough to get there.
When I was eliminated on the first day it didn’t really bother me as much as it should I guess. I just couldn’t help but think, "Big deal? 2600 other people are going to get knocked out too and it’s not like I was really in the running at any point."

My goal the entire month was to win the Best All Around Player Award. I played in every tournament I could play, and with just one event remaining I think there are maybe two or three people that could catch me. That would be my most precious achievement if I am lucky enough to win that award.

I don’t know if that had an effect on my focus in the final event or not, but I certainly didn’t play well. I knew full well that a patient strategy was the right way to go but for some reason I lacked the necessary patience. I was "supposed" to wait for my opponents to make mistakes, but instead I was the one who made the crucial errors by bluffing in spots where I know better.

I don’t "blame" my opponents at all. THEY made great calls against me, and in a nutshell on those hands totally outplayed me. I don’t buy the argument that they just didn’t know any better and couldn’t lay down a hand. The bottom line is "I" know better and "I" blew it. I take "full" responsibility for getting knocked out.

Failing to recognize that I knocked myself out would be a great fault in my poker thinking. If my opponents call me too often, I’m not supposed to risk my chips on a bluff against them. It’s that simple.

Well, whatever. I blew it. It wasn’t the first time and I can absolutely guarantee you that it won’t be the last! I will however take a lot of positive things with me from the whole experience. I will learn. I will improve. I will make less and less mistakes. Then maybe if I can also get extremely lucky, I may one day have a chance to win the elusive "World Championship of Poker." Of course, I won’t be holding my breath! 🙂

Daniel Negreanu