emotionally in check...

Speaking from personal experience, I believe that in order for one to be successful on the poker tables, one must have his or her emotions in check. I play a tight aggressive game, for the most part. I have a disciplined starting hand selection, and I'm not afraid to use it. Having discipline preflop, however, is not going to win you massive chips in the cash games, nor is it going to win tourney after tourney. One must rely on post-flop playing skills, which include reading your opposition in order to deepen the bankrolls and take down tourneys.

Generally speaking, I am great at reading people. Whether it be in life or on the felt, I generally make great reads very quickly. While this is "usually" the case, there are definitely times when I do not make great reads... Times when I am prone to mis-reading, mis-playing everything. I find that when I am meeting people (in life, on the table), and I'm carrying "unresolved baggage," I make poor reads. This is of course if I'm even able to make a read.

I find that when I'm going through "shit" so to speak, I can't make a read at all. I shut myself down. I won't emotionally engage. I lack the ability to see into one's soul, to look another in the eye. And getting on the poker table when in such an unresolved state is a disaster in the making for me.

I begin pushing my hands, bullying the table, taking out my frustrations on the table. This isn't necessarily different from the norm, well, other than the motivation is different than when I normally push peeps around on the table.

For starters, when "irritated" I seem to forget what the hell position is. This ends up burning me, as I'm just playing hands. Additionally, I lack the ability to figure out if I am behind or not. I don't even think about making reads. I resort to just simply knowing how strong my hand is. I become one of those players who I swear have no clue that the opposition even has cards. I make no reads, I seemingly care less as to whether or not I'm behind. In fact, it seems that I'm just looking to get chips into the center of the table win or lose.

As one could imagine, this eventually comes back to bite me in the ass. While it's not "totally" true that I don't think about reads, I begin playing with fire. I think to myself "there's NO WAY he has a three in his hand" when the flop comes 5-3-3 and he's just come over top of me. Or when someone is on an apparant blind steal at a rather insignificant blind level in a tournament I think "they are just messing with me," and I all-in with nothing, because they "can't possibly" have anything strong.

My point, don't make the mistake of playing through a bad week... nuff said. Back to normal writing tommorrow.