Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fearing the thing that has already happened.

Its an interesting phenomenon really. Why is it that we fear something that has already come and gone? The past cannot be changed, and to let fear of a past action/mistake/experience hinder your progress is counter-productive. So it is in poker as well. I've seen it happen, and been a victim myself. Fear of a past action, a past loss, a past misplayed hand may affect how you play a hand in the future. And it shouldn't. With each new hand come new possibilities and that is a mantra I must keep in my head.

The title is particuarly apt when it comes on the heels of the start of a new year. For the previous year has past, and therefore has nothing further contained that we should fear. Whether you had a wonderful or terrible 2009, the year 2010 brings with it a multitude of possibilities and the ability to start anything that you may have misplayed again. 2010 is a new hand, and the last hand is over and done with. You can no longer change the results. Look forward to the future and make the right decisions every time. The mantra continues.

2009 was an interesting year. Many people compare life to a rollercoaster, and I have no doubt that my year epitomizes that. I started off 2009 4 months into a new job that was going nowhere, My son was about to fnish the first year of his life, and a whole slew of new things had started with him, rolling and crawling were on the menu and walking and talking were soon to come. My parents visited in February which was a real treat. Since moving to Tennessee, visits are few and far between. That may change in the future, either with more visiting or closer quarters, but my parents being able to see all five of their grandchildren on a regular basis is important to me.

March came along and the dip started as I lost my job at a company that had little appreciation for me to begin with. No big loss, other than the hit to my confidence and stability of our life. My wife deserves more credit than I can possibly give her for keeping us afloat during the layoff. For any and all that go through a job loss in these times, my deepest sympathies go to you.

With April, a climb back up began as I found a new job with a major telecommunications company. The odd thing being that when I took the job at the unappreciative gutter of the previous job it was by turning down the job I now have. Essentially, I took a 6 month detour from a company that actually does appreciate my service and respects me as an employee to be with one that was all take and no give. But, with the arrival of a new job, the money woes dimminished a bit, always a good thing.

The summer came and went, fairly uneventful. Though I did start reading an amusing poker blog that would come into play later on. No trip to California this year after an amazing trip in 08. We decided it was best to conserve our funds after the great lost job fiasco.

So with the summer gone and the kids and wife happy healthy and fortunes turning around, the coaster took another dip. In august, my wife and I faced a lawsuit and were forced to get a lawyer. Note: Lawyers are damned expensive. With me and my wife both working and going to school, we placed our son back in day care, which is a good thing for him. Although he does seem to have some animosity towards one or two other kids, he seems to like it there and his vocabulary improves daily.

The lawsuit ended in November, and the little roller coaster that could began to climb again, near the end of November, the poker blog that I read mentioned a short blurb about the possibility of poker coaching. Seeing as its always been a dream of mine, I decided that sooner rather than later was the right time to get in touch and try my hand at something. Turns out, that was the right decision. I finished my first semester of grad school,and I've discovered that without modesty I can say that I feel like I'm a natural at poker. I finished the first 1.5 months of play with a 48% ROI, and i've earned nearly ten buy-ins per hour of work put in. Everything I've read shows that this is a very good number. Though my sample size is still small, I feel confident that my numbers will continue this way.

The roller coaster is on the way up a big hill. one that I don't see an end to right now. And thats fine by me, I think there will be a few small hills in 2010, but nothing that me and my family wont be able to overcome. We have survived what can rightly be called our worst experiences as a family this year, and we have persevered.

So with these notes, the past is now the past. The fear that was experienced is no longer, and the future looks bright. Our hand will not be played with the fear of the past in our eyes, and we will come out on top, raking in the pot. Winners are those that make the right play every time, regardless of past actions. Continue to make the right play in life and take down a big year. That goes for everyone who reads this as well as for me personally. The mantra survives.

Onward to the goals and the poker recap for December.

Entering December I set a list of four goals to accomplish. Lets recap.

1. Play 1,200 games this month. 2. Review at least one full hand history before starting every session. 3.Upgrade from 5 tables to 8 by the end of the month. 4. Work hard, work harder, complete my school semester, and play the best I can play.

So lets review. 1,200 games with my schedule was a tad ambitious. That said, its a goal that I am going to keep for the current month, and I'll explain why in a moment. I finished the month with 750 games played, a very good total for someone jugglign work, finals, and family. I also finished the month with a 53% ROI, and a nice profit. I haven't decided whether to post my profit numbers here or not, but if I do, I'll come back and change this post. I have also commenced playing seven dollar tournaments, so if my ROI keeps up on those games, the profit will increase significantly.

Reviewing one hand history before play was not done as often as I wanted. It is an important thing to review and get an idea of why I did what I did, but it came down to hours in a day and that there just werent enough. I will work harder on this going forward.

Upgrade from 5 to 8 tables? Count it, and add one as my general session consists of nine at a time. I was having trouble with this for quite a while, but at one point, it just clicked, and my eyes and fingers and thoughts were flying around the screen. At first it affected my ability to make the right play every time, and mistakes still pop up here and there, but the number of mistakes is quite a bit lower than when I started nine tabling. It is for this reason that I am keeping my 1,200 game goal for the month. Yesterday got me off to a good start.

I feel like number 4 was accomplished quite well. In terms of working hard,I played 100% of the days in December. Yes that includes Christmas and New Years. I did not take one day off, and it shows the dedication I have to learning and improving my craft. I also completed my semester with an A and a B in my courses, not an easy feat when taking two graduate level courses at once working full time. With those out of the way next semester, homework will not be an issue, and more time can be devoted to the tables.

This post is long enough, and hopefully doesn't lure any of you into tl,dr territory. Ill have another up tonight outlining my goals for the year 2010. Here's a hint: It involves making a ton of money at poker.


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