Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If I wait long enough, goals will be easy...

I've been meaning to do a look back at '08 and goals for '09 type of post but I just haven't had the time. Beginning the new year, I moved to a different department within the company as part of a pretty prestigious program for managers here that they rolled out. In short, it's a great opportunity for me and so I was determined to make the best of it. That meant that I would be working decent hours and with my basketball/work out routine being what it is, my time for poker was sure to dwindle. It did, especially on the weekdays, and I was ok with that. My outlook has changed significantly over the past year as the economic landscape shifted. I went from assuming that I would always have a job to "I could get laid off anytime" type of mentality... not in an unhealthy way. I'm a CPA with 10+ yrs of experience and I actually loved public accounting so I am still comfortable with the fact that if I'm not picky, I can find a job if I need to. But I guess what I mean by that is that even in this economic environment, I've actually been given a chance to succeed with a lot of opportunities thrown my way so I am definitely grateful and I want to make the most of it.

2008 has been an interesting year to say the least. As a matter of fact, 2008 sucked ass. Even though this happened in the tail end of 2007, I guess I will include it in the 2008 sucking ass category since that's literally when all the changes started happening. My wife left me in Dec of 2007, which I think most of you that read this blog knows. It's probably impossible to convince anyone that poker isn't the reason, you know, what with the fact that I'm writing this on a poker blog... but poker wasn't the reason. As a matter of fact, I still don't really know what the reason is. I can only assume that it's a multitude of reasons culminating in the fact that she no longer wanted to be with me but I can't help but feel that I got the bad beat end of this thing. When things got rocky, I suggested many things, including trying to take more time for each other, trying marriage counseling, etc but she said no to it all. I think she mentally checked out of our marriage long before she made the decision. All my friends were very supportive (though many suggested on numerous occasions if she was cheating on me - she may be or she may not be, I have no idea and at this point, I don't care) and for that, I was very appreciative. There was an awkward period where I continued to defend her from others because they all knew that she was married before as well and based on her personality, they just thought that maybe she wasn't the marriage-type. Not that your resume reflects commitment issues but I don't think she's held the same job for more than 2 years at a time. I think she may have had about 6 different jobs in the 8 years of her professional career when I met her. I could be wrong but I'm certainly not way off either. Either way, I made a mistake somewhere... and I hate that this is one mistake I can't undo. Sure, you can get a divorce and it's over but you're forever labeled as "divorced" and I personally hate that. That's a black spot on my life resume I never wanted.

2 years ago, if you asked me, I woulda said I would have a kid or two by now. Instead, I'm single and I have to go through the process I've always hated... DATING. Ugh. I fuckin hate dating more than anything. But I want a family... so for that, I gotta find my "the one" out there and in order to do that, you gotta sift through a lot of donkeys... it's like an MTT in a way I guess. You sift through the donkeys, trying to avoid the minefield, suffering the occasional setups and bad beats but you hopefully make a good play to get that ultimate score. Or should I equate it to KO tourneys where along the way you can collect bounties... Shit, and I'll be the first one to admit that I don't have much of a MTT game. Interpret that how you will but I'm pretty sure I beat these guys to the punch. :)

So anyways, there was that. Then, as you can see to the right (unless you are reading through bloglines or google reader or whatever feed thingy you're reading through), my cat died. Another devastating loss and my first experience of a pet dying. Seriously, could my life get any better?

Then I started to run like shit. I mean really shitty. There were a few months where I was afraid of poker cuz I ran so bad. But I played through it. And it wasn't easy. It was just some sick beats after sick beats and then after a while, you just don't even know if they were set up hands, bad beats or bad plays... they start running together and you're like in a fog. Phew, I really don't want to go through that again.

My vacation to Montreal was fun in the sense that I got to hang with my friends but wasn't ideal.

So, to say that the first half of my 2008 was shitty would be an understatement... however, there were a few bright spots in 2008 also.

First and foremost, my best friend got married. I flew to Tokyo for my briefest stay there just to be a part of it. I wouldn't change that for anything in the world. I was happy for him and very happy to have been able to be there.

Also, in the latter part of 2008 was when the announcement was made and I was made an offer to enter this program at this company. Job and career wise, that was a tremendous boost and this is a good move regardless of where I may end up. In other words, even if I were to get laid off or I decide to move on, being part of this program will round out my experience even more so it can only be a positive. A lot of work will come with it but this is clearly a positive.

So, heading into 2009, there are lots of good things going for me. Steelers making the Superbowl is a good first step.

In poker, I'm not gonna make any particular goals. I want to branch out further into other games but right now, poker is not at the top of my priority list. I love the game and it's still up there and I still play every day but it's definitely not my main focus. And for now, I am ok with that. So there aren't gonna be "I wanna get a big score in MTT" or "I wanna move up couple of levels" type of goals... at least not now, not at this moment. I have a lot of good things going for me, I have some baggage that I want to unload, and those are the things I'm gonna try to focus on.

For now, here are the things that I plan on doing/accomplishing this year:
- Run a half marathon. Mclarich just did one and I think I want to do one this year as well
- Trip to Europe (Sweden and Amsterdam are high on the list) with a buddy of mine from college. We both love blondes so we figured, why not?
- Play in a WSOP event. I know I'm not an MTTer. But you know what? I don't care. There are so many events so it'll be fun to be a part of it.

Let me point out one more thing. The reason why I don't want to come up with poker goals is because right now, I know I don't have the drive to try to accomplish it. Everyone out there is doing the goals thing and I think that's great. But you know what? If you want to improve or move up or whatever, you really have to spend time thinking about the game, breaking down your game, etc etc... I mean really doing it. Not just taking 15 minutes out of the day to look at a few key hands or whatever. I mean really taking the time to read, watch vids, think about your game, look through HH... in other words, there are times you will spend more time analyzing your game away from the table than you would playing. Look at the ones who are truly successful and I can guarantee you that they are doing that. Like who? Gnome and Brue/Brack duo are the first ones that come to mind when thinking about cash games.

So, to me, at this point, it would be silly and naive for me to come up with poker goals until I can shift my focus back to the game. And just because it's not my focus, it doesn't mean it doesn't pay my bills either. :)


lj said...

fly to a'dam on icelandair and make a stop in reykjavik. meet lots of blondes. eat at the seafood cellar.

pokerpeaker said...

I'd love to help you run a half marathon. Find me on yahoo one night and I could go through a training plan for you. It's an awesome experience.

kurokitty said...

Or, if you are running about four miles for a run on a regular clip, you can easily eke one out. It may be painful near the end, but doable.

Don't sweat the 1/2. The only race you ever have to REALLY worry about is the full marathon.

Nice MTT analogy.

spritpot said...

thanks for the props/shoutout. although i def don't review hh's poker education is derived strictly from mashing the pot button and going arr in.


spritpot said... mean you're straight?

sprstoner said...

hey man, can i get your email?


jamyhawk said...

Don't stop thinking that the best is still to come. Believe me, I know. I have been through a lot of the stuff you went through last year.