New Year Resolutions

Posted: January 2, 2010 in General
I feel like this year was very eye-opening to me as far as understanding better the business end of having a poker career. It’s not just bankroll management and putting in the hours on the felt. It’s so much more about maximizing your earn. Whether that is through self investment, diversifying, giving up equity to gain opportunity, or consolidating, common business practices are constantly in use and the need to be well versed in such practices is vital to both success and survival. That being said my poker resolutions this year will be much more geared to factors/decisions I make off the felt. My life resolutions will likely reflect the ones I made last year as well, especially since I failed to meet a lot of them…

Poker Goals:
#1 End my backing deal. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had an awesome stake online w/a ton of freedom, but being backed has essentially created a ceiling for myself which from a career stand point is a huge hindrance on my financial growth.

#2 Profit $250k. I won’t be content w/less. Basically if I don’t reach this number it means I failed in numerous other aspirations that will fall on this list.

#3 Diversify more. Basically I would like to spread a small piece of my $ out amongst a concentrated group of winning players. This will be tough at first as I’m not rolled, but in time I’d like my small investments to cover my bill money and my own gains to go toward self investment.

#4 Be more diligent in creating a financial plan and sticking to it. Basically I see a huge benefit in knowing ahead of time what events I plan to play for the year. So I would like to map out my travel, my event schedule, costs etc. and follow through. If I’m under rolled at some point consolidating by selling action should be 10x more profitable than just taking on a year-long stake. This includes my online schedule. Seems tedious but given that I plan to play a lot of live cash I’ll likely only be online during big events like Sundays, ftops, minis and S/WCOOPs.

#5 Grind Grind Grind live cash. It gets stale and I tend to burnout but if I can work on 10-15 sessions a month I should see the results I’m looking for. Also game selection is big, I have to be willing to leave a bad 10/20 game at Bellagio to go to a 5/10 at Venetian or even 2/5 at Red Rock. I think I should be fine in that regard as it was tougher when I was backed in the bigger games, but on my own dime there is much less incentive to play big in a marginal game.

#6 Pace myself better for the WSOP in cash games and MTTs. I feel like I was over saturated with games that weren’t that great resulting in playing too often and losing too much. I also feel that I gave into the lure of WSOP events and the big money concentrating a small amt. of my BR for a handful of events I saw myself having an edge in. It was semi successful as I broke even w/a day 2 in the $1500 shootout, but I definitely missed the boat w/Venetian events.

#7 Play the WSOP ME w/at least 50% of my own action. I achieved this last year but it basically led to ending my live cash stake.

#8 Gotta blog at worst bi-monthly. It isn’t that I care that much about putting my thoughts in writing as much as it is an easy exercise that forces me to really examine all aspects of poker, the business and my life. I often look back and read my old posts/blogs and think either wow I really got it and did things right/against the grain or think I’m retarded. It’s a big part of maturing and excelling, and its nice to have a reminder of your mistakes along the way. Not to mention the occasional feedback is a big bonus as well.

#9 Pay very close attention the flow and changes in the game, both MTTs and cash. With these changes will come mistakes. Identifying and exploiting those mistakes will always be my edge, and figuring them out before the field catches up is crucial in achieving some to all of the goals I have set forth.

#10 Don’t succumb to the struggle, find a solution instead. It’s not hard to map a year out and know each day where you need to be and what you need to accomplish. But in our business the money to invest fluctuates, the failures weigh on our confidence and mental state, and if you let it the outside factors can force at worst a vacation. My goal will be to see through my mapped out plan even if it requires selling action, getting staked or altering the plan to include smaller buy ins or lower stakes. I think this will be the hardest goal to achieve as I know my expectations are high and my goals higher.

Ok that ends the poker content of this blog feel free to stop reading. For those who care this will be the handful of things I’m hoping to accomplish in my life these next 12 months. I hope I can be as tough on myself in this aspect as I am in poker, but I tend to cut myself slack in the life department which I think is a big flaw.

Life Goals:
#1 Be a better friend/grandson. My friends and family mean the world to me and were 100% of my life up until graduating college. Sometime between becoming an adult and now life seems to constantly get in the way and I find myself slowly drifting away from those that used to be closest to me. Some of it isn’t my fault, everyone has their own cross to bear, but I know I don’t put the effort in that I used to. This especially applies to my Grandma. Its not too much to ask to call her every other day instead of waiting for her to get ahold of me. Even when I go home I know she’s dying to spend time w/me but I’ll have a million things going on. I just don’t ever want to look back and regret the tail end of my Grandma’s life the way I do my Pap’s.

#2 Find more activities that don’t require a hard-fast commitment. Example I play pick up hoops a few times a week and enjoy it, but baseball gives me fits as it’s every sunday for the bulk of the year and people are counting on me being there. My love for baseball is head and shoulders above the little enjoyment I get from hooping, but the freedom of pickup(and the fact that baseball is on the worst day of the week) leads to me spending more time doing something I enjoy less. I’m looking into pickup volleyball once a week or so as well as roller hockey.

#3 Commit to Sunday baseball. I know it interferes but I’m not going to allow a torturous Sunday online grind get in the way of doing something I dedicated a large portion of my life to. So long as I can compete at a high level baseball should be my outlet.

#4 At least begin considering what needs to happen in my life in order for me to obtain a small place of my own back home near Pittsburgh. I’m not saying I want to give up the Vegas life for good, but I am saying that ultimately my heart is in the ‘Burgh and I’ll likely spend my life there. My hopes are within the next 5 years I will earn enough to have a permanent home in Pitt and some sort of option in Vegas as well. Ultimately I would like to open up a sort of baseball academy back home offering opportunities for kids committed to making a career out of the game. I can’t count the amount of times where I said, “If I only knew then what I know now my opportunities would have been endless.” I’d like to set up a “school” of sorts where we would focus on teaching kids what it takes to make it in the game as well as provide them w/the networking that it takes to get their foot in the door. I’ve always had a huge desire to coach, but I feel this way I will be able to reach more kids and more importantly kids who have as much drive and desire as I once did. Not to mention this situation would be 100x more conducive to playing poker compared to coaching a team that would require constant attention during the spring and summer.

#5 Schedule one big event for all of my boys to get together. This may be tough to accomplish by year’s end especially if I don’t get on the ball asap. Not everyone has the financial or general freedom that I have so notice will definitely be an issue. That being said this is a goal I really really really hope to achieve. It goes hand in hand w/#1 and even if I don’t have these guys in my life 24/7 the way it was in H.S. and College a long weekend or week trip can go a long way rekindling.

#6 Next Christmas make it be known I want no gifts purchased from a store. If people want me to buy them stuff in return so be it, but I can’t tolerate how cheapened Christmas has become. If my friends and family want to get me a gift let it be something w/some thought and sentiment behind it. And in return I will likely be doing the same for them.

#7 Maintain my physical health, but purchase some form of health insurance.

#8 Make a more conscious effort to further educate myself about world affairs. Seems to be a necessary step as our current situation in this country doesn’t seem to have an immediate end in site.

#9 Add to this list as I achieve certain goals stated above.

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