Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Goals, They Are In High Fashion

Ah yes, a new year -- a time to look back at goals so old, and to set wildly delusional aspirations of accomplishments for the coming year.

Actually, I set the bar pretty damn low for myself in 2008. During 2007, I'd set out a ton of poker-related goals that I not only fell short of, but in many cases never even put myself in a position to make a run at. So last year, I took a different tack and simply set out some general guidelines for how I wanted to spend the year. So how did that turn out? Let's take a look.

a. Blog more. This is a blog. It is meant to be used. And abused. And used some more. Blog it. Just do it.

Well shoot, I managed to take that goal seriously, and achieved it in spades. Prior to 2008, the most blog entries I'd ever written over the course of a calendar year was 24. Yup, I was basically a non-blogging blogger until last year. But once I actually took an interest in it, my volume went up like a 10-table SNG grinder's. I wrote 281 blog entries in 2008.

Of course, not all blogs are created equal, and more a few of mine were simply video links to things I found of interest, with minimal comment. However, the 2008 elections provided great fodder, and I did memorialize a lot of my online poker experiences of last year. Nevertheless, I have no delusions of grandeur with regard to the level of interest in anything I write. So I have no qualms about keeping this more as a shared personal diary of life, be it local music, bad beats, MTT brags, or politics. It does feel good having become an actual active blogger, and I will endeavor to keep it up.

b. Play a few bloggerments. There was once I time when I was a fairly regular participant in the Mookie. I would really like to do so again. However, this will require a re-up at Full Tilt. Especially if I want to join these guys, too.

c. Play the $mokkee over at Bodog. I downloaded and deposited over there for the explicit purpose of it. I won't exactly plug his tourney yet, when there's others already gettin' paid to do it, but there's a real nice T$ overlay factor, and the fields are both talented and small.

These two kinda go hand in hand. I did end up playing at least half of the Bodog Blogger Tournaments from the first series, and a few of the series just ended. Thursdays were just a bad night for me to play, and once it was clear I wasn't going to qualify for the TOC on points, I decided to bag it and focus more on non-series MTTs. I did play a couple of NYRambler's events, and several editions of the Skillz game, and actually cashed a handful of times. My participation level dropped later in the year, as my FTP roll was kinda small to be spending $25+ in donkey-fueled bloggerments on that site. But overall, I think I did reasonably okay in this non-quantified goal.

My one bummer is I don't think I played the Mookie. Not one single time. Wednesdays were just not a poker night for me.

d. Write more reviews. This is actually a non-poker goal, as it involves writing more for these guys. Last year, I freelanced a bit of music writing for them, and enjoy it. I'd like to do more this year than I did last year, especially since I've had fuckall luck actually finding a new band to join myself.

Well, anyone who reads this blog knows I actually joined a band a few months ago, and in fact, have begun playing shows in local Denver dive bars. As for reviews, I never wrote for Westword, but I recently began writing some material for Hybrid Magazine. In retrospect, having a band has been more important to me, as the blog pretty much fills my miniscule writing jones.

And that was it for '08. No specific poker goals in terms of wins, profits, etc. Ironically, it was my best year overall. I scored my first ever MTTs wins, cashed in the Caesars Palace Mega Stack, and had a profitable year. I came into 2008 with a total of around $150 online all told, and never once had to reload. Most of that is thanks to my few sponsors, but nevertheless, 2008 was the only year since I started playing online that I never had to deposit. That feels so good. And while I may sweat about how I've recently lost about half my roll, the truth is, I managed to end the year with enough to at least allow me to keep playing $5 and $10 MTTs for a while.

So what about 2009? Do I make hard core goals, such as winning a WSOP seat, or cashing in an FTOPS event? Some of that may be setting myself up for failure, because I don't know how much I'm going to play this year. As long as New Ben Franklins keeps going, my online time is going to be cut at least in half, because once I take time out for rehearsals, gigs, and recording, I really do want to prioritize time with the Good Doctor Mondo. She's more important than any of this other stuff. So I don't see playing as much as I did last year. Less opportunity most likely means less of everything else. But here goes:

a. I will set a goal of winning a bloggerment. I'm not sure where I'll start playing them regularly, but it's a reasonable goal. I believe I had two 2nd place finishes in NY Rambler's series. So it can be done.

b. Win an Omaha MTT. I've had several final tables in various flavors of Omaha tournaments (most recently, a 4th of 190 a few days ago). I'd like to think I'm capable of winning one, if I can just find the final table rungood switch. Limit, pot limit, or no limit, Omaha or Hi-Lo, I'm okay with it, as I enjoy all the Omaha variants, and have about the same level of "not quite there but close" success in each.

c. Retain my current sponsors. This is going to be tough, in the current economy, but I'm hopeful. In fact, I've followed up with both, given that our current arrangements expired within the last few days or so. We'll see what happens. But a lot of my other goals are somewhat dependent on continued sponsorship.

d. Play a Sunday Major. I don't care which site. Last weekend, I came two spots from qualifying for Bodog's $100k Sunday, in one of their $4 satellites, when I open shoved A8o from 1st or 2nd position into a mid position's 99 and lost. I'd been card dead four about four orbits and short, and had about 3 BBs left. I also just missed out on a PokerStars Sunday Million seat a couple months ago, when I finished 3rd in one of their double shootouts awarding two seats -- I think it was a case of QQ going down to AK, or something similar. I can't afford to buy in to a Sunday major, but I can take some cheap shots at getting into one. On the other hand, if anyone wants to stake me into a couple, let's talk.... (yeah, right)

e. Finish 2009 with more $$$ online than I'm starting the year with. I've found my style of play works best in slightly higher buy-in MTTs. For instance, when I scored my few hits last year, I was able to play some $27.50s, and even satellited my way into a couple 50/50s. Once in those tourneys, I actually acquitted myself well. I believe I cashed in two of three entries into FTP's 50/50, and came up just short in my only attempt at PokerStars' version of the same. The deeper the stacks and better the levels, the better it seems to suit my game. But I have to build a roll to be able to play at that level responsibly, and I am certainly not there at the present. Anything about $15 is just bad bankroll management for my current position.

Okay, I suppose that's enough goalage. We'll see how the year goes. Good luck to you all, in all you do.

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