Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I'm Back

So, I got back from Texas today, were I've been for the last 5 days and I think it was exactly the break I need to get me back into the swing of things. February to this point has been......, well, pathetic. If I'm going to get off telling people that I'm a professional poker player, I better start playing some poker. My bankroll is sitting at 3k after a car, airfare, various other bills and some miscellanous purchases and I'm not pleased with how I've been doing playing wise.

I'm thinking about starting some kind of goals/rewards for myself to encourage putting in the hands. I'm going to come up with a few items that I would really like to purchase and decide how many weeks in a row I need to meet my hands goals to be able to buy myself the item. At the same time however I need to focus on building the bankroll so that sometime in the next few months I can move up to $10/20 and get comfortable. Realistically, every dollar I take out now is costing me twice as much because it's holding me back from the higher levels. I need to figure out some sort of budget and stick to it. Let me tell everyone right now, the hardest thing about being a poker pro is not the cards, that's the easy part. Money management, emotional control, and motivation are far harder than deciding whether to raise the flop or wait for the turn.

All that being said, I've sat down and come up with a preliminary budget/goals for the rest of February and March. For February I have another three or four hundred needed to get me through the month (including March's rent/bills though) so financially I should be fine. My goals are to play another 7500 hands by the end of the month, (just over 1k hands/day). I'd like to finish the month with $550 in rakeback at least (should be automatic if I hit my hand goals). I'd like to also play in at least one more WSOP qualifier, and get in a live session at Soaring Eagle by the end of the month.

My goals for March are similar, I want to spend less than 1k on bills/April's rent/food/etc. Hands-wise I'd like to get in 5k hands/wk and an extra 10 hours of Pot Limit Omaha play throughout the month. I'd like to play in 4 WSOP qualifiers (unless I win a seat, then I'll settle for less), and get in 2 live sessions. I'd also like to have a bankroll of $7500 by the end of the month and be within a stone's throw of 10/20. To keep myself on track I'm re-committing to posting 2 times a week. Sunday's will be my week's end post again and Wednesday's will be a mid-week unstructured post.

Is all this possible? Yes. Would I bet on myself here? No. In the past I've done the same thing over and over again, set goals, follow them to the letter for a couple of weeks and then start slacking off. I was talking to a mentor of mine and he said the best thing to do was keep setting goals and trying hard to not slack off. The more times you do it, the more likely you are to suceed at accomplishing your goals.

Anyway, until Sunday.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

So Close, Yet So Far Away

I plan on posting the update for the last two weeks later tonight or sometime tomorrow, but I thought I'd give an update on how last nights WSOP qualifier went. There were 129 players and 1 seat, plus 3 payouts up to $960 for second. I started out real well, coasting through the first two breaks sitting at 2x the average stacks, flirting with and eventually taking the chip lead when I was around 10k.

I hit a run of poor cards and was treading water for a while when I picked up queens in EP. I made a raise to 3x and was re-raised by one of the blinds, an aggressive player who had seen this move work a couple times recently. So I pushed, he had KK and I'm down to 5600. I wait a while, lose a couple more pots, finally get down to 2400 with a 600 Blind coming around, and push with T9 of spades (live unders). I beat AKo and double up. A couple rounds later I manage to pull it off again (T9 of spades against AKo) and am sitting pretty at 15k with 7 players left. Chip leader has 40k and a couple others have 25k stacks. Then the hand that will live in infamy.

An EP player min-raises and I am looking at JJ, I'm not to worried about the raise because he's done it before and folded to pressure, I re-raise to 5k (original was 1600), and get pushed on by the large stack, another 8k to me. I think about it for a second, decide the pot odds are right (thank you harrington) and call, he shows 99.

At this point I pumped my fist and said "yes" until I saw the 9 hit the turn. I'm out. The sucky thing is I know I was the best player at that table, the others were nothing amazing, and I feel like I lost 12k to one card. Ugh. I will however be playing in these qualifiers every Saturday.

Till tonight,