Gotta love poker sometimes. You're all-in and the opponent's a raging favourite with their pocket pair beating yours. Flop gives nothing, the cruel bitch. You catch air on the turn, the final nail in the coffin etched into you now. Then... the dreaded river card. The one that'll keep you in this tournament or consign you to the part of the history books no one ever reads about. 2 outs. That's the equation. You're praying, hoping, doing a little dance, anything you think that'll get you over the line. Dealer pats the table like it's a puppy who doesn't really care whether you win or lose because that means they're one step closer to going home. Card's burnt, then... it's your out! That card you needed! You keep it in, you exhale so hard it could topple totem poles then you sit down, gather your thoughts (or if you didn't like your opponent, give them the finger [jks]) then stack your chips because you're back in the damn game.

Yeah, that's poker. The game that gives us a heart attack and pure ecstacy at the best of times. I've unfortunately experienced this a few times. Then there's the bad part. You can't get a hand even if you got dealt the whole deck, your C-Bets are being reraised time and time again, you're getting bad hands in good positions and the whole table knows your bleeding chips, the sharks circling ready for a feeding frenzy.

I've experienced the latter all too often. I don't know how or why. I'd like to think I'm a decent player but if I was, I'd be making bank and winning bracelets every month. So why the hate? It's a strong word, but there's a reason. My gripe is that no matter how well or disciplined I play, I'm always on the wrong side of the coin flip and "bad beat" might as well be my nickname. It got so bad, I decided to watch tutorials, read books and obsessively write notes summarising each section. Endless hours being awake, long trips to the pub (in Australia, as far as I know, there are free poker leagues held every night across the city)... all for trying out some new technique and fine-tuning my own skills. Maybe I'm not as diligent. After all, I see poker as a hobby and not a profession or passionate occupation. If I was whole heartedly committed, maybe results would happen.

It got to the stage where I figured it was all too much. The time and energy spent was too much. I haven't "given up" but I think I needed to step back and reevaluate my standing with the game I enjoyed so much in my late-teens. How can I get the passion back and more importantly, how can I start seeing results when I've tried to train myself the best I can?

Either case, I remember one time I was in an all-in situation with 3-4 runners, holding the ducks. Totally dominated, destroyed and defeated... or so I thought. That magic river card produces a diamond, completing my flush with that measly 2 of diamonds in my hand. I felt sheepish, sure... but I won. I'm left wondering if I'll ever get that "luck" and passion back for the game.