Daniel Negreanu: Poker Mind In Depth Part IX

[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]

We continue with the Twitter inspired revelations, this time from Daniel Negreanu. When we left off with Daniel last time, he was in his seventh consecutive night of 3 AM finishes and was commenting about the late night loopy feelings. Later that same night, he left this Twitter message:

"This is mentally tough. Seven straight 15 hour days. Not for everyone. I kinda hate it, but I kinda love pushing myself to the edge."

Daniel went on to make it ten straight 3 AM finishes before he finally had an early evening bustout at 9:30 PM. So he went home and got some down time and a full night's sleep. I caught up with him the next day.

Shrink: "How are you feeling today after those ten days in a row? You look a bit worn out."

Daniel: "Well the funny thing is that I did get a break finally, an evening off and a good long night's sleep and today I feel like crap. I kinda hit a wall when I got this break, maybe it was must because I altered my routine."

Shrink: "The run itself was really great, if we just consider the poker and your results."

Daniel: "Well I knew looking at the schedule that there was going to be a time during this WSOP that I was going to be playing day after day after day. I didn't know it would happen quite this soon, but the whole point of getting physically prepared this year was in anticipation of a big run with lots of late nights. Not sure if I anticipated ten in a row and I really thought it might be later but I was ready."

"But I feel good, sure I wish I had won the two or three events where I went deep. But I am putting in a good effort and playing solid even when it is a fifteen hour day."

Shrink: "And going forward."

Daniel: "I keep looking at the schedule, trying to find that free time and it's just not there, at least not yet. Maybe next week, maybe. I will have to figure something out because you can only push yourself so far before you start making mistakes."

Shrink: "I see you looking tired and then a few hours later you seem better."

Daniel: "Oh, I definitely go through phases. Sometimes I look like death, like now and then I get to the table and get all spunky and talkative. I get a second or a third wind, I get a massage and I am back. It is definitely an ebb and flow type of thing, as far as energy goes. I try and stay as level as possible, but those two and three AM finishes, I can get a little loopy and I just have to try and avoid mistakes on the downswings. I can go on auto-pilot and not make mistakes, the problem with that is I also am not making good reads and making moves off of those reads. But when I get a bit goofy and unfocused, you just have to compensate for those times and play good, solid auto-poker."

Shrink: "So you are going to try and find a day off."

Daniel: "Try yes. Like today, if I bust out, I am not playing tomorrow until 5 PM. So I get an afternoon off. It's not a full day and that is what I really need about now."

As things turned out, Daniel did play the late event after our conversation and he did play until 3 AM making another day two. He busted midday the following day and jumped right into the 5 PM HORSE tournament. The following day he played the 5 PM event again but he busted just after 2 AM. Then, finally! He took a full day off after playing 14 of 18 days until 3 AM.