August 06, 2012

Armistice...


I have temporarily had to cease from engaging in warpokerfare at the tables as I have buggered up my right arm. Unfortunately for me it hurts to manoeuvre a mouse for any length of time (and tbh typing isn't exactly a trip to Disney World either, so this might not be the longest of blog posts).

After several days of pain I decided it was time to go to a doctor. Unfortunately I couldn't get an appointment for 4 days so I went to a walk in clinic instead. The nurse practitioner told me that I had Repetitive Strain Injury, which was a concern I had from Googling my symptoms. FML, that's not going to be good long term for the pokerz.

Whilst not being able to play I did a few things to try and sort out my poker setup to be more friendly to my body. I don't think I have been sitting very well (slouching), which really can't be good for my back considering the long periods of time I'm in that position. I recommend everyone spend a little time looking into this and getting their set-ups to be a bit more ergonomically friendly.


I also did some reasearch on some mice. I tried using my Logitech M570 trackball for a while, but I just can't get on with it sufficiently. So I shelled out and replaced my haggered Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 with a Wireless Evoluent 4. I haven't had chance to test it out fully yet, but I do really like it, and it might even give me some extra hotkey options as it has buttons that can be assigned a shift/toggle function.


                              Out      ---------------->      In

I decided to still go to my Doctors appointment. This Doctor actually examined me and diagnosed me with Golfer's Elbow, instead of RSI. Whilst I think this is positive for the long term (hopefully it will go away in the future and not be a continual problem like RSI) for the short term I think it's pretty shitty. I've played almost no poker in the last 2 weeks and I anticipate it not being healed for at least another 2 weeks. I'm in a bit of a tough spot because. I don't want to exacerbate the problem and prolong my agony, but nor do I want to make no money for a whole month. I'm going to have to suck it up soon and just do what I can to put some volume in.


To prevent me from feeling like a complete bum, I decided to go an play some live pokerz in the form of the £430 Genting Poker Series event in Stoke, where I lived for a year whilst studying at Keele University. I had a friendly table, upon which I had a "Moneymaker moment" waiting what seemed like an age for a short-stack to make a decision for all his chips (having led out on the flop and then being raised), to the point of me considering calling the clock on them, before it being pointed out to me that the action was on me, FML (ironically I was listening to a song on my iPad called "Wait for You" whilst I was unknowingly tanking my Ace high hand).



As usual there are pros and cons with live poker, I enjoyed the social side and it was nice to see some friends there, but I busted twice (it was a re-entry tournament) and the first buy-in felt somewhat spewy, and the second one I got sicked in an AKs vs A7os AIPF spot, so it was a pretty disappointing day from that perspective.

I'm really anxious to get back playing online, and it's really frustrating not being able to. This is one of the downsides of being a professional poker player that I first came across when a severe case of conjunctivitis put me out of action for a couple of weeks in 2010. No play, no pay :(

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8 Comments to "Armistice..."

sharplea said...

Set up hotkeys and use keyboard only?

Aaron said...

James,

The Evoluent 4 is damn near perfect. Extra buttons, neutral grip, smooth action.

I had v3 several years ago working email support, then finally got the lefthanded v4 for my home office two summers ago when I began my climb through the FTP micro/low SNGs (about to jump to the $11s just after Black Friday lolol).

Hope you're healthy again soon :D

Circumstances aside, the timing of this post in the wake of last week's news feels like such a good omen! I hope to see you on the virtual felt soon!

André Coimbra said...

I had some pain back in 2009 and ordered the Evoluent, but I hated it.

At some point I tried the "Logitech Wireless Trackball M570". I was misclicking like crazy during the first two weeks, but after that. I got used to it.I've been using it ever since and didn't have any wrist/hand pain what so ever.

A massage every now and then also helps :)

darrelplant said...

Take a look at using a stylus and tablet like the Wacom Bamboo. It can take getting used to for some people, but I started using tablets for graphics work twenty years ago and I'll carry one around with me rather than use a mouse on the road. Most importantly, I've managed to avoid RSI and similar problems while compatriots all around me have ended up with wrist supports and surgery. They're pretty inexpensive.

Stuart said...

I'm suffering with something similar at the moment. Trapped a nerve in my elbow throwing a ball for the dog.

Problem is the nerve is rubbed when i rest my arm of a table to type.

Anti-inflammatories help, but a cushion, or something soft to rest your elbow on whilst at the computer will definitely make all the difference. That plus lots of rest.

Being pedantic, it isn't golfers elbow, or tennis elbow, (unless you play either), but very similar. I've has pins and needles in 3 fingers on my left hand for 3/4 weeks now :(

Jim Perry said...

dont know if you're back playing yet, fwiw I had a very serious hand injury this spring and had to have tendon surgery on my right hand. While I was in a splint for about 6 weeks I started 4 tabling PLO with my left hand. By the end of week 1 I was able to 8 table without much problem, and by the end of the 4 weeks of splint time I was pretty easily 12 tabling.

I'd just teach yourself to use the mouse with your left hand. It will be easier than you think. To compensate for the slower pace since you'll take longer with your off hand you can play a game that you don't know well so that extra time can go to decision making.

gl

jim

Anonymous said...

I found trackballs are more stressful on the wrist and quickly learned with my left hand.

-Markmax33

James Atkin said...

Thanks for all the advice.

Fortunately arm feeling much better now, getting used to my Evoluent 4 which is great and as advised I'm using my left hand on occasion with a special key pad.

Cheers,
James