Poker Cats

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A singular focus

-World War II mural, Punchbowl National Cemetery, Honolulu, Feb. 15, 2006

Never create what you can't control.
-tagline, Battlestar Galactica series

For years the Punchbowl quote, scrolled out on the cemetery's fantastic war murals that depict all of the major Pacific battles, had stood out in my mind. I wrote it down once in my journal, years ago in 1992 before I crossed the rest of the Pacific myself and went to live in Japan.

How could a war happen that was so brutal, an uncapped slugfest where the odds of winning were never completely clear? I feel that once again we are in similar times, the world is spoiling for a fight.

I've also turned that quote toward myself. For the last two days I haven't played any poker at all, instead popping VCD after VCD into my computer of the new Battlestar Galactia series. It's good.

When I was little, I saw the original BSG series on TV, when they actually aired in 1978 and parts of that show have stayed with me all these years, even when I didn't realize it. I remember being in awe of the "Turbo" button of the Vipers, as "Turbo" was a new thing then.

But my childhood love for it doesn't explain why I'm up past 2 a.m. night after night, spent episode VCDs piled one on top of another at the base of my computer tower, like the discarded casings from artillery rounds.

It's clearly obsessive behavior but one that I wonder was created over generations because it has its uses -- you can reach your goals very quickly when you deprioritze everything else. It's how I can plow right into poker for weeks and weeks at a time. It's how, when I put all my energy into running, I could eke out miles under 7:30 for miles at a time and how I would even run twice a day if I had to. (I actually miss those days and am trying to find a way to come back).

Sometimes I wonder if this behavior is why I don't worry about bankroll being up or down. Simply doing the task, playing through hand after hand after hand, is enough.

But you wonder if even then that's too much after a while. I've been out a few days already this week, the latest being tonight dipping into my bankroll taking Giovanna, Doug and his wife, Carolina, out to dinner. Man, some days spending a little green seems money so much better spent than having it disappear somewhere on a less than fortunate hand.

I always find it interesting when people stop because the engine has run off the rails. I stop because the singular focus has turned elsewhere. We should be taking more breaks anyway. I wonder if I kid myself to think that I can walk away from it all at anytime.

I feel fortunate that I'm starting to understand these things about myself. And lucky that at the end of it all, when I'm ready to take a break, Kuro and Clonie are always ready to play.

But not poker. The old games, that involve chasing string and toy mice and being scratched behind the ears.

I'll be back for poker. Just not right now.


  • Don't kid yourself. If Kuro and Clonie had opposable thumbs and a brain larger than an black eyed pea you would attempt to rope them into a .10/.25 game. Or a H.O.R.S.E. tourney for Pounce treats.

    By Blogger deliverator, at 4:36 PM  

  • It's the other way around. You'll see when that R2 unit gets deliverated to you.

    By Blogger kurokitty, at 11:18 PM  

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