I discussed traveling to the US West Coast and playing in the two upcoming WPT tournaments there with a friend recently, and after that I’ve played some of the best poker in my life. To say I was motivated would be a gross understatement. I didn’t qualify or won enough money to go there and play, at least not yet (I live in Northern Europe and the trip across the Atlantic is expensive), but I’ve seen a marked improvement of my game. Poker is a patient person’s game, and being motivated makes it easier to be patient during long hours of playing, makes timing easier. Staying power is essential, or one essential factor. It’s about a thousand things, big and small, but most of all about focus and determination (like everything is), and processing information. I used to waste at least half of the online tournaments I started in because I was bored before I even began playing. I don’t do that anymore. As I’ve stated before: It’s important to play every game as if it was your last. That way your chance of success improves dramatically in the long run. I guess this should be self-evident, and it is, and it was, too, but the kind of motivation factor I was speaking about here wasn’t. Last night I was tired, really, but I had committed myself to playing. This is a type of situation where I would have quickly been gone from the game earlier, but utilizing my inborn stubbornness combined with the image of Southern California at the forefront of my mind made me finish in eight place of close to two thousand players. I almost always get paid these days, and I reach the final table more often.
A risk here, of course, is that the thought of sunny California (or seeing yourself at the final table of a major tournament) could distract you from the game, but it doesn’t work like that for me, not anymore. I know poker is hard (but enjoyable) work. I am both in a hurry and not. I have a long-term goal of making it to a major table of a WPT or WSOP tournament within three years or so (2010). I hope it will be before that, but I don’t plan for it. I don’t allow that desire to distract me from living my life. It’s quite simply an added inspiration to live it to the fullest.