You don’t have to be out of Harvard to realize that alcohol is a great social lubricant. In low doses, it has the virtue of considerably lowering what psychologists call in their jargon “behavioral brakes” and which can be more simply translated as embarrassment. Take a super stiff girl or guy, dip him / her in a two or even three glasses of wine; it will emerge a human being much more at his ease!
Poker and alcohol are siblings capable of achieving the best and the worst together. As often in this column, I will take my time machine and send myself back to 2008, in the beautiful city of San Remo. I’m here to play a major EPT event. As the tournament progresses, I realize that I am playing very conservative poker, far removed from the agro style that I used to play. I must have left my “No Mercy” costume in the hotel room apparently, because I play in neat mode. However, I cannot clearly identify why my game is so thigh. Then comes the meal break. Perfect timing.
Small context necessary for the dinner break: Unlike the American-style meal breaks which last from 45 minutes to 60 minutes maximum, we are here in Europe, on a continent where eating is not only a biological necessity like on the other side of the Atlantic, but an art of living as well, even a philosophy sometimes. We have time: 120 big minutes to forget the poker tables and relax. Besides, that’s what I decide to do. At the little restaurant next to the casino, I have my habits; you eat well and the cellar invites you to discover oenology. What better way to get rid of my behavioral brakes that make me play like a beginner who is afraid of everything?
So I decide to accompany my sparkling water with a little white wine. But white wine, when it is good, is drunk much faster than carbonated water. Strange. Short story, I had a very nice and long wine tasting and I remember that the owner of the establishment gave us a round of Limoncello, this Italian lemon liqueur so aromatic … and so treacherous at the same time!
When I left the restaurant, I was obviously beyond the “tipsy” hemisphere, I was in an area somewhere between the “I’m sooooo happy!” and the “Push everyone, I’m invincible!”.
At the table I continued not to drink water and followed up with glasses of bubbles, glasses of wine, assorted digestives, and… end credits. I don’t remember anything. Like in a movie, I will use the flash-forward technique and find myself the next morning, in my room. Eyes open. The weather in my head is heavy fog and lightning.
I hear banging on the door. It can’t be the hotel staff. No, it is my friend Marc-André, who is accompanying me on this trip and who is obviously in better shape than me this morning. We are very familiar with this delicate moment when we ask our friends to tell us about the end of the evening of the day before. I was in the tournament, I remember that, but then …
– Isa, don’t you remember about the tournament? Are you kidding?
– No, how did it end?
– But … that just didn’t end, that’s why I’m here.
– What do you mean?
– You’re still in the tournament!
– Wow, cool. And how many chips do I have?
– Say a number.
– I dunno. 50K?
– MORE! You have 125K! You are the third biggest stack!
Yesterday, Isa la neat handed over orders to No Mercy alcoholic and apparently it was a massacre. M-A remakes me the movie of the evening: “You kept doing your show! You talked to everyone, you played a lot of pots, you raised, reraised all-in non-stop, it was a real spectacle! Do you remember any of that? “
Unfortunately, when I returned the steering wheel, the powered on No Mercy forgot to spin the memory card so no, I didn’t remember anything. Apparently, according to my friend, all the guys at the table got up at the end to come and shake my hand because of this show they liked so much. Unfortunately, despite this mutant stack, I didn’t make it to ITM…
This story is not an apology for alcohol as a magical potion to become a good player, at least an agro player. Any decent coach will tell you, drinking alcohol while playing is ALWAYS a bad idea. The fleeting feeling of invincibility felt after a few drinks of alcohol will never replace in the long term the clairvoyance and the necessary concentration that a player must have to play his A-Game!
Meet me at the tables on CoinPoker to practice your skills and enjoy the action. Open yourself a CoinPoker account today.
Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
WPT Winner & OFC “Progressive” World Champion