Sometimes a weakness is more than just a weakness
I have been thinking a lot about my downswing. I have always followed up great months/times with bad downswings. I attribute this mainly to getting overconfident and lazy about my play. I get bored with poker when I have sucess. I actaully really enjoyed last spring when I moved down to 5k plo because it offered me a new challenge. I wanted to prove to myself that I was a top PLO player. I have had amazing results in PLO since then.
Challenge? No, I don't think so. I don't think it's about challenge. I think it's about the thrill of risk-taking. That's not the same thing as a challenge. A challenge is an intellectual thrill, the thrill of risk-taking is a physical thrill.
I have talked to some of the best young players, who are up to 10 years my senior, and they say they dont play as well anymore because it doesnt hurt to lose. I have noticed this about myself as well. I play amazing poker when the money I lose really hurts if I didn't have it.
Let's just ignore te part where he thinks it's better to learn from the best inexperienced players than to learn from the best. We can write that off to his own inexperience, he'll learn better when he gets some maturity.
But the part about it hurting is important. He needs help and he needs it now.
Have you ever known anyone who engaged in self-mutilation? Cutting themselves, burning themselves with cigarettes?
It's about intentionally creating pain. Not that far removed from making it "hurt to lose". Like every other kind of human behavior, there's a couple of different types of cause for the behavior.
As some of y'all know I have some severe depression in my background. I've had periods of intense internal pain. Just hurting, really, really hurting. Not from some physical cause, but from depression itself. It's a mental pain, but it's a mental pain that's felt physically without a physical pain. Sometimes depression does that to you. Other times depression is about no feeling at all. A nothingness. Numbness. No pain, no nothing.
Either of those kinds of feelings can be alleviated by self-mutilation. I've never engaged in self-mutilation but I can understand the kinds of situations that might make someone think it's a good idea.
That's what I think of when I see someone talking about a need to gamble high enough so that it "hurts when I lose". I think of the need to create a sense of pain to either mask some internal pain that really, really hurts or of the need to create a pain that gives you some kind of re-assurance that you're actually alive.
In either case it's not a good thing for a gambler. Brian needs to think about his risk-taking needs with a much broader personal scope than just his poker game.
Maybe I'm over-reacting. But I don't think so.