Thursday, December 25, 2008

Back in Sac-town


The photo is me and Jack - my nephew from Dallas.

I'm back and continuing the laziness. I actually played 3 tourneys today, but for whatever reason I can't get the new update on Tilt to download on my desktop so I can't use my pokertracker and don't really like playing on this laptop. I think I will be getting a new computer next year because it is now like 7 years old and is just getting slower and slower.

Our Wisco friends' flights got canceled so my wife and I will just enjoy vegging out a bit this weekend. She needs and deserves it - she works way too much. I am hoping to get in a couple of movies since so many good ones are out now.

Christmas is pretty anticlimactic this year since my wife is working 30+ hours, but we will be celebrating with her family when they come up next week for new years.

Monday, December 22, 2008

In Dallas

So I am enjoying my time just chilling with my family here in Dallas. I have gotten a couple of messages from people wondering about the possibility of becoming my "protege" next year. I'll be honest and say that I really haven't given in that much thought, so I am not sure exactly what it will entail or how I will go about picking possible students. No matter what, it won't happen until February. Once I do figure it out, I'll make sure to let interested people know.

Depending on how well I travel, I should be home tomorrow - and then we have some friends coming (this time if they travel well) from Wisconsin on Friday. Then my wife's family comes up to visit us for New Years so I probably won't be playing or posting much until next year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting bored?

So I have been doing nothing the last couple of days and thought I was getting bored enough to play today. Turns out I am bored but still not really into playing. I entered 2 tourneys at 5:00 with the plan of playing the quarter million on stars and the sniper on UB at 6:00 but after I made an iffy call in one and got coolered in the other I just decided to hang it up.

Tomorrow I have some errands to run before we head off to Dallas so I won't be playing then either.

Motivation seems to be my achilles heel - hopefully I can figure something out because the only way for me to make more money is by playing more volume.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Year in Review Time/Goals for Next Year

At this time of the year there are always programs recapping the last year on tv, so I figured it is time for me to do so as well.

My goals for this year were:
1) pass the bar exam
2) attain at least a 50% ROI playing poker
3) make $100 k playing poker, and
4) get back in shape.

I accomplished 1 and 2 and although I didn't make 100k I made enough so that with our combined income we lived perfectly comfortably. I am still woefully out of shape so of the four goals that is the one I failed most miserably.

I also became an instructor for pokerpwnage.com which was unexpected but has gone really well so far. So all in all, I feel like I had a really good year.

My goals for next year are going to be pretty similar to last years':

1) I want to maintain an ROI of at least 50%
2) I want to profit 100 k playing poker
3) I want to play at least 2500 tourneys (doubling my volume this year - and basically guaranteeing a 100k year if I can get close to a 50% ROI)
4) I want to continue garnering more exposure in the pokerworld which will hopefully lead to more moneymaking opportunities (sponsorships, writing deals, etc.), and
5) I want to get back in shape.

I am also seriously considering taking on a student or two as a sort of "protege" and will coach them in return for a percentage of their winnings. The only thing keeping me back from announcing this at this point is that I want to really concentrate on getting my volume in first - once I feel that I have that under control and have time for coaching I will do so.

The rest of this year will consist of playing when I can but there is going to be a lot of non-playing time too with all of the visits and visitors we have planned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting Christmasy

So I haven't played since my final table on Tuesday (which really shouldn't be a surprise with me). When I actually put in volume I let the house go to crap a bit, so I've been catching up on raking the yard, cleaning the garage, just generally getting the house in order.

I also bought a christmas tree, only to realize when I got it home that it was too big for our tree stand. So a couple hours of using the crappy saw that I have and shaving parts of the trunk off and I try again... only to realize the tree is just too damn big for the plastic stand that we had. The f-bombs were definitely flying but today I walked the dog to the neighborhood hardware store and got a new stand. And finally we got the sucker up. Yay for small successes.

Pokerwise I am thinking seriously of what I want my goals for next year to be. I am debating about whether I want to take a student or two on or if I just want to focus on playing as much as I can. I do know that I want to try and double my volume - if I can keep around the same ROI as this year and double my volume I should have a super successful year.

Tomorrow my father-in-law comes in and my wife is off for the weekend, so I'll probably be back and playing next Monday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little hot streak going

I got 5th in the Nightly 100k on pokerstars. I feel I played really well overall so even though I am disappointed not to take down the 1st place (which was over $20k), I still can't be too upset.

The last three days I've played I've made a final table so that's pretty amazing especially considering the low volume I put in (I only played 4 tourneys tonight). My bankroll is comfy again too, which just takes a lot of stress off.

A big part of me is considering just coasting into next year with a nice profitable December and not really playing anymore this month, but we'll see how bored I get.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Errands

I haven't played much because I am just getting stuff done. Yardwork/x-mas shopping/cooking/etc. We are going to be doing quite a bit of family/friend visits as well these next 4 weeks so I definitely won't get a full schedule in this month.

This weekend my father-in-law comes. Next week I go to Dallas to visit my sister and fam. X-mas week we have some friends from Wisco coming in. And then New Years we have my sister's family coming in.

I will try and get a session in tonight and the rest of this week until my suegro comes in on Friday.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Big steps

I won the $55 Freeze out on Stars for over $15k today. It feels great to win again and plowing through a field that big (almost 2000 entries) is really tough. Basically I won back everything I lost playing cash, so I am just vowing to myself that I won't play cash anymore. I win money playing tourneys, I lose money playing cash - so it should be a no brainer.

Anyhoo - my wife is off tonight and tomorrow, so I'm taking a little time off and then I'll be back at it next week.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Small Steps

I got 3rd in the afternoon $55 tourney on Fulltilt. I still felt a little (ok a lot) deflated as I got reamed/coolered in 2 huge hands late. It's easy to say all you can do is get it in good and focus on your play not the results, it's a lot harder to swallow when 3rd place is 2700 and 1st is 6k.

The nice part is that I finally had a positive day after so many consecutive losing days. The bad part is that it really only covers about 3 days of losses.

I am playing really really well though, so I feel a big score coming...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Volume is tiring

I played really well this afternoon, but didn't get much of a break in during the afternoon like I usually do and played like poo tonight. It was my first time playing like poo for a while so I just need to make sure not to play when I'm tired.

Tomorrow is another day...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Poker time

Well, I finally have like a two week window where I can put in a lot of volume. November was really frustrating because I played so little in terms of tourneys and I never got a real good score, and I was playing quite a bit of cash which just went horribly so my bankroll has suffered.

The last two days I have (and will be) playing a lot of tourneys, and I am playing great, but just not getting rewarded. Yesterday was full of bad beats which just shows I am getting it in way ahead. Today was not bad beats as much as it was just never winning a race when I really needed to.

My bankroll is now the lowest it has been for months, and I am anxious to get it back up again, but I need to make sure to just keep playing well otherwise I have a tendency to get overaggressive trying to make things happen and I just blow up opportunities to make deep runs.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey weekend

So the plan was to just make a baked chicken for me and the wife. Instead she invited 4 others so while I was shopping I figured I might as well just get the free turkey at the grocery store. Of course there were only like 10 turkeys left at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, so I got the smallest one, which was a svelte 19 pounds, and after a couple of hours of hot water down it's throat, tom turkey was finally thawed enough to go in the oven.

I was definitely concerned that it wouldn't get done, but in the end it was just fine. We actually had a really good time with a co-resident and her husband... maybe too good of a time, as my wife spent the next day recuperating.

Today was absolutely gorgeous out so we took the dog for a nice walk, and then went and got a little shopping done. We topped it off with a movie and saw Changeling, which we both thought was one of those movies you should probably watch at some point, but isn't really necessary to see at a theater.

Pokerwise, I am playing a full day tomorrow and as usual after a little time off I am excited to play. Hopefully I'll remember it's just one mile out of the marathon so although I hope to have a great day results wise tomorrow all I can do is control my play and let everything else work its own way out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grindin' Some Back

I got 4th in a small tourney for like $1.5k. I took a bad beat 4 handed but I can't bitch too much because I gave a lot of bad beats as well. At this point I am just pissed at myself for donking away all that money playing cash - but there really is nothing I can do but move on, play well, and win it back.

I will be playing a small aft session tomorrow and then will be off for a bit again as my wife actually has Thanksgiving off.

So happy turkey day to all!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bad Sunday

I cashed just one of the 13 tourneys I played today. But my losses were all due to bad beats or coolers so I am playing very very well. Just going through a bad spell.

Unfortunately I lost quite bit playing cash as well this weekend so my bankroll has taken quite a beating. Time to start grinding it back - I'm due for a good win.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meh x2

The horridness continued tonight. I am still playing fine so blah blah blah the results will come, but still tilts me to lose. I did win back about half my buyins for the night in 10 minutes playing 15/30 heads up limit so that makes me feel a bit better.

The wife is off this weekend so I should be back playing on Monday.

Meh

Well I finally got an afternoon session in and meh. I can't remember so many bad beats in a while. Only tourney i got really close to doing anything in was the $20 rebuy on tilt where I lost a chiplead pot with AK<88. So I played fine and ran bad. Seems standard.

I should be playing again tonight.

Tourneys are frustrating because you can play technically perfect and you still won't cash like 80% of the time. bad beats/failing to win races/card dead/etc and poof you're out. Adding to the frustration is that you put in 3+ hours and end up walking away a loser.

Here's to running good/keeping a good mindframe/getting in some volume.

Wheeeeeeeeeee.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still trying to get back in the swing of things

Well I continued my delve into the sickness that is heads-up Limit Poker. It is different than any other game because you basically end up seeing on a flop on almost every hand. Since it's limit the biggest bet you have to call preflop is just one BB and since you're just playing one opponent who has position that person is raising close to 100% of the time. So you end up defending your blind an incredibly high percentage of the time.

It is a fun game but it is incredibly swingy - moreso than headsup NL in my opinion, which leads me to just get into these huge sessions where I just sit down and play and play and play and play.

Monday night I began a session and I didn't stop until noon on Tuesday. So I am still exhausted and just trying to get motivated to play. As always with me, motivation is my biggest hurdle. When you get down to it, I think I am just naturally lazy. Getting motivated to work out, to play poker, to clean the house, to do errands... it's just always more of a challenge than I think it should be. It's so much easier to lie down in front of the tv, fart around on the internet, and do nothing. Then again doing nothing gets pretty boring after awhile and so the cycle begins again.

Anyhoo - I'm going to get a run in today by running to Trader Joe's (ha killing two birds with one stone) and then will play my nightly schedule. Hopefully after a good night sleep tonight things will be start clicking back to normal.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Decided I wanted to play but didnt want to think...

So I played Heads-up Limit poker. I am now pretty cautious playing this game because even though you don't have to think, there is something about it that just sucks you in. My eyes glaze over, but I keep on playing. It's because of this that I've lost a buttload playing this game before so I was careful this time and stuck to one table. But it did suck me in again.

I think i've played like 16 out of the last 24 hrs. And I am basically even. LOL.

At least I earned a ton of points and am now super close to getting a new computer screen which should be nice.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back to it

So the dogsitting is over and I got to actually play on Sunday which is a good thing.

The bad thing is I made a pretty spewy move in the FTOPs Main Event when I had a stack where it was unnecessary to do so and then I bubbled the only tourney I came close to cashing in which was the Second Chance on Stars. So I wasn't real happy about my play, but the leaks are definitely patchable.

I should hopefully get some real volume in this week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grinding some cash

I actually played one tourney today - I bubbled the FTOPs omaha event. Other than that I've been playing some small sessions of Heads Up cash on Tilt. Yesterday was about even - today was super positive. I won like 2 1/2 buyins in a small period of time. I know that HU is vey swingy so I just need to make sure to watch my tilt monkey and make sure I don't go nutso. The nice thing is I'm only playing 1/2 so I can't donk off that much. From what I've seen so far the players stick to their "normal" style and aren't real good at adjusting and adjusting is what heads up play is all about, so I might have finally found a cash game that I could excel at if I took some time to pursue it.

In other news it looks like Bush is going to storm trooper his UIGEA bill in at the last minute which has the online poker world up in arms. As I've told other people, I think a lot of people tend to take an attitude that the sky is falling when we still don't know all the info or what exactly is going to happen. If the worst possibility happens and online poker goes busto, at least I have my bar privileges...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back Home

Well we made it back safe and sound. I haven't got back into playing because we are now dogsitting an ancient little dog that belongs to one of my wife's co-interns. Figuring out this dog's sleep routine has taken a little longer than I thought. I'm not sure how well playing tourneys will work this week, since he needs to be taken out whenever he wakes up or else he goes to the bathroom inside the house so I might try and focus on some cash - otherwise I'll just wait until next week to play again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Vacationing

Just a quick update to say we are doing fine. Relaxing, eating good meals, getting out in the sun, running/playing basketball, and just spending time with the fam is always nice. Watching Obabma win was a nice cherry on top as well.

The party ends on Saturday and I should be playing again on Sunday...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Off to SB

I am going to have to hide in the garage for a couple of hours tonight when the first horde of kiddlies comes through our neighborhood since we didn't buy any candy this year. And by hordes, I mean hordes. They literally bring the kids in by the busload to our neighborhood since it is safe, the houses are close together, and it is wealthy enough that everyone has good candy. But as soon as my wife is off work (hopefully by 7) we are hitting the road.

Word on the street is that we might be able to get internet access for the first time at her mom's house, but I'm not going to put total faith in that so it's very possible I won't be blogging again until we return.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another what if night

I took a bad beat somewhat deep in the 250k on stars and am now going through the inescapable "what if I had won that hand" phase. I won't bore you with the details but I was a 75% favorite postflop for a stack that I could have crusied to the final two tables with. Knowing that it's getting a top 3 in these big payout tourneys which basically determines whether you make good money or spectacular money in a given year always makes losing in them even more bitter. The fact that I've now gotten close to big payouts (over 20k) three times in the last week is encouraging since it shows I've been playing well. The fact that I haven't got there in any of those three still blows goats tho.

Still grindin'

I played a small aft session today because I quickly got bad beat in my first two tourneys and then unregistered for the other 3 I was going to play because my mind was not in it. I think a lot of my lack of volume comes from that - I know I'm in a crappy mindset so I don't play. It's good that I'm not tilting, but I do need to figure out a way to play through it so I can get my volume. One other big reason for my lack of volume comes from the simple fact that I am actually running much better than I thought. As a tourney player I am going to have many more losing days than winning ones, so it feels like I am constantly losing. In fact, I have not had a losing month since May, and the last 4 months (June-Oct)have all been really profitable months so I just felt no need to play.

I am going to play a normal session tonight and tomorrow, and then we leave for a week vacation (another reason my volume is never huge).

Since I have open time this aft, I'm going to go for a run and try and clean up the house a bit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another close call

I actually played a really light schedule today because my wife was on call last night and when she got home she said that she wanted to be woken up at 4:30 ish. I haven't spent time with her in like a week so i figured I could play some of the tourneys that started at 11:00 and if I got deep that was great, and if not, I would be free by 4:30. Well I got deep in one of the two "Sunday Majors" (the buy-ins at 215+ across all the major sites on Sunday). I got 12th in the Sunday Brawl on Tilt. 1st was over $70k, even 5th place was $20k. Unfortunately for me, 12th was only $2800.

I was definitely disappointed since I was so close to a huge score, but I sucked out like 3 times (cracking AA three separate times) just to get there so I can't bemoan my luck too much. The what ifs always go through your mind after getting so deep and then not quite getting the results you were looking for, but I played great and am playing great overall and as long as I keep plugging away the results will come.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Almost reversed the curse

I got 6th in the $100k guarantee on Pokerstars last night. For whatever reason, when I make a FT on Stars (which is not very often) I just can't finish the job. Last night was more of the same. I got it in 3 times where I was either a slight favorite or a slight underdog and I lost all three times. Alas, that's poker so although I will be going to bed with the dreams of the $20k that I almost had for first place, the bankroll still did get juiced about $5k so I won't cry myself to sleep.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

1000 tourneys

I finally passed the 1000 tourney mark for the year today. For those that don't understand playing tournament poker professionally, that's an awfull small number. Considering that I can put in 12 tourneys a day (which is also considered a small number), that means that I've really only played like a little over 80 days this year. And for a fulltime job, that's obviously not many days. We talked about it last night, and I really just need a way to light a fire under my ass so that I can get more volume in. I feel like I should be at double this amount (at least 2000 tourneys) and even if I made just 50% as much as I did over the first 1k, I'd be at $100k profit for the year now.

As far as the stats go - I'm super pleased with my ROI which is at 73%. My itm is at 14.4% which seems low, but a lot of that has to do with my double up or go home mentality - I am working on relaxing a bit more w/15-25 BBs, so hopefully that will increase. My FT percentage is 2.5% - I don't know what to make of that. It seems low, but it also seems to be working. I think when I do make a FT I get a top 3 score a huge percentage of the time, so I'd like to increase my FT percentage in case I start picking up some more 4-9ths rather than 1-3rds.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday

Sundays are big days for online tourney players as it is the day most sites have their biggest weekly tourney(s). It is a good day to play because you actually have the opportunity to win a huge (i.e. 6 figure) payout, but it can also be a frustrating day to play because all of the buy-ins are generally high ($200 ish) and if you don't cash anything you can easily blow through thousands of dollars. I generally don't play on Sundays because that's usually the day my wife has off. But yesterday my wife had to study so I actually got to play a bit. I was planning on playing a pretty full schedule, but I just wasn't feeling the mojo so I ended up only playing 4 tourneys and then packing it in. I didn't play excellent but didn't play horribly either. Oh well, it looks like I'll get to play again next Sunday so not a huge deal.

Today I am taking off from poker. I'm going to clean up the house. Maybe cook some meals for the week ahead, and tonight I play volleyball. So I'll get back to the grind tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A little more light

I got 3rd in the 90k 6 max tourney on Tilt for $10k.

wheeeeeee - back to positive for the month.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A little light at the end of the tunnel

I finally cashed more than one tourney tonight and I even got 3rd in the small sniper tourney on UB to actually have a positive day.

It was nothing huge, but feels good to stop the bleeding at least.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Barftastic night

After getting down to less than 1 BB I somehow managed to not only make the money but get a decent stack in the 65k guarantee on Tilt. And then my connection went out and players started stealing my blinds. By the time I made it back, I was down to less than 15 BBs and went out soon after in 19th when a good spot to reshove didn't get there.

I also bubbled the deepstack tourney on UB which is always tilting since it takes like 4 hours just to get to the bubble and then to not even make the money just blows.

Anyhoo - I'm still playing good. Just a matter of time before I break out.

Back to it.

So the downswing continues, but I am playing fine. It is this aspect of poker which is really hard for non-poker players to understand. Playing well and losing money plays a real havoc on your mind. Sometimes I start to press and force things other times I go into supernit mode because I don't want to spew. In the end it always comes down to playing well and then just letting things happen. But knowing this never ever makes it any easier for me when I am losing $1k/day.

Away from the tables, I went to S.F. to visit my family this last weekend and had a blast. It's nice to only have to drive 2 hours to S.F. rather than the 6+ to L.A. or Santa Barbara. My sister was in town for a conference so I got to see her as well. My next extended leave from the tables should be in a couple of weeks when my wife goes on vacation. Until then, I hope to actually get some decent volume in and hopefully pop out of this downswing.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Downswinging... Again

I've played close to 40 tourneys this week and have only cashed in one. I actually have made a couple of mistakes, but for the most part I am just running bad. I feel like this always seems to happen after I make a decent score. I'm not sure how much of it is a mental block and how much of it is just standard - you can't always run well.

I know that if I keep playing well it will turn around, but as always it is hard getting through the downswings.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Back at it.... again

So after a basic 2 week hiatus (I've played once since Sep. 20) I played again a bit. I have volleyball tonight so I actually only played 3 tourneys, but it's a start. I should be playing a full schedule during this week, but then I'm going up to S.F. to visit my family this weekend, so the volume is still not going to be huge this month.

We had a good time with my in-laws. The whole premise of the trip was actually a b-day gift to my sister-in-law who is a terrific dancer and really likes to watch the show "So You Think You Can Dance" on Fox. My wife and mother-in-law really like the show too, so we bought everyone tickets for a performance where they had their top ten dancers doing performances from last season. I was expecting it to be us and thousands of 12 yr old girls, but was surprised to see a wide spectrum of people. And the audience really gets into it, so it was more like a rock concert than a standard dance performance. We all had a blast.

Her family is also super active, so we went biking/rollerblading/running/hiking as well and had a nice steak dinner out one of the nights too.

Anyhoo, I should get back into playing/making some videos for pokerpwnage these next couple of weeks, and I feel excited to play again, so hopefully I can get another decent score.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September recap - who needs volume?

I put in basically no volume - just over 100 tourneys for the month. But the two final tables I got in those tourneys were a 1st and a 2nd so I didn't really need to play anymore.

I think I'm going to try and make some guaranteed money today and tomorrow by doing some videos. I also want to watch a lot of baseball this week (I get to root for both the cubs and brewers which should be fun although the cubs are the team I really care about) plus my inlaws are coming up for a long weekend starting Thursday, so I probably won't play at all this week.

I also finally got out and played some volleyball last night - I am sore today, but oit was fun and should be a weekly thing for me now.

Anyhoo - I made about 13k for the month, so all's good. I should get back to actually playing again next week.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another daytrip another flat tire

Although walking on the bikepath along the American river here in Sacramento is beautiful and close we do like exploring other areas too, so this last weekend we drove about a half hour north (in a town called Weimar) and went on a hike that was supposed to end at a 50 ft waterfall. It was unseasonably hot (like 95 degrees), but I like the heat. My wife freaked out a bit because it was a steep, gravel road down to the start of the hike and we went in our old pickup which never feels too secure anyways. But we made it, and once we started hiking it was beautiful.

The hike goes along the northern portion of the American river, which is always beautiful.



For the last 1/4 mile or so it then veers off into the forest and you end at what is supposed to be a 50 ft waterfall. However, since it is the end of a hot summer, the "falls" had disappeared and we were left with this:



There was still a trickle of water though, which was enough for a memorable Chula vs. frog moment:




On the way back we made a little detour to the river and found a nice swimming spot for a refreshing dip.



Then on the drive home, the karmic gods decided that one blown tire in a week wasn't enough, so we shredded a tire on the pickup as well.



Luckily we were able to get off the freeway and onto a sidestreet safely and we paid $40 to have someone come and put the spare on and then we were back on our way safe and sound. Today I went and got 4 new tires since the ones on the pickup were pretty shot. All in all a fun weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Slowly getting back into it

I played 4 afternoon tourneys today after a week break. Played fine, didn't luck out, that's poker.

The one thing I have realized this week, is that I need to get out of this fricking house more. I seriously know NO ONE in this city.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The after-win lull

I often take a break from playing after a big score. Usually it's because I'm amped from the win, don't sleep well that night and am just too tired to play well the next day. But lately it has also been because I am excited to increase my bankroll and don't want to lose any of it by playing and losing. I know that in order for me to win longterm I need to keep playing, but I also want to delay what I feel is an inevitable downswing from happening. I also realize that it's dumb/weird to think that way, but that's why I haven't played this week.

But after doing nothing the last two days, I am bored, so I'm getting back to it tonight. In the meantime, I fixed our stereo, got our flat tire taken care of, raked/mowed the yard, and made chicken chilequiles - so it's not all bad to take a break either.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Too quick of a visit


My family from L.A. came to visit for the weekend. I feel bad that they basically spent the whole weekend driving. They came up Friday night (about a 6 hr drive) and left this afternoon.

Yesterday we took them to the hike we really like where you end at a set of about 4 waterfalls which you can slide down. I was the only one with enough cojones to brave the cold, but it was still a nice hike and the dogs definitely enjoyed it.

The new car got its first flat yesterday as well so I'll take that in tomorrow to get fixed. My plan this week is to do some stuff around the house (big thing is I want to re-waterproof the patio), and finally go to the open gym and play volleyball.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quick update part 2

I only played 3 tourneys today since my L.A. fam is coming and I wanted to clean the house. But I managed to luckbox my way to a 2nd place finish in the $40k on Tilt for just under $12k.

So wheeeeee. I'll be back at it on Monday.

Quick update

Poker has been bad results wise this week. I feel I am playing very well, so it's just a matter of time for another nice score. If/when I ever get on a hot streak I feel like my bankroll will finally take off to a point where I can finally feel comfortable that playing fulltime is going to work. My problem is I win and then lose it all back the next couple of weeks, win again, rinse, repeat. I know big picture I have actually increased my bankroll while making monthly withdrawals, but big pictures are hard to look at when you are grabbing your ankles.

Non-poker wise - my L.A. family is coming up for the weekend so I am excited about that. My wife has a "golden weekend" so it will be nice to just spend time away from the computer. I'll try and get a standard day in tomorrow and then take the weekend off.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Poker drama

Although I have no idea what the actual numbers are, it is pretty clear that the vast majority of online poker players are young, male, and computer savvy. The mixture of money to be made and the anonymity of making that money without anyone knowing your "true" identity sets up a situation which these young, money loving kids try to exploit anyway that they can.

In cash games, the easiest way to exploit the system is simply to get a group of players together and 'team up' against the unknowing opponents at the table. In tournaments this is more difficult to do since you are randomly put at tables. However, even in tourneys, players have tried and continue to try to exploit the system by playing for other players and by using multiple accounts so that they can enter the same tourney multiple times.

Recently, pokerstars, has banned the associates of one of the most famous of these young multiple-account players ("JJProdigy"). It is unclear whether they have been banned because JJ was funding them or simply because they were friends with him. What is clear is that the online community will have gossip material for quite some time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back at it

I won the $55 $15k guarantee on Tilt for a little over $5k today. Feels good to take one down again.

It looks like my in-laws are now coming up this weekend, so it will be another low volume week. But as long as I can continue to win like this, then I can really take as much time off as I want...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Close but no cigar

I took a shot at the $530 WCOOP event and got semi-deep. Finished 200 somethingth out of like over 7000 entries. The structure was fantanstic as the blinds increase every 1/2 hour rather than every 15 minutes. So you could just wait and let all the super aggressive players spew chips. I actually never really got anything going - I basically stayed at around a 20BB stack the entire tourney. Good to have a winning day again. I am playing so well, that I do feel a big score is right around the corner. Just need to keep getting it in well.

My folks are coming on Tuesday so I might not get in the volume I would like this week.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Birthdays and Anniversaries oh my!

We went out tonight to celebrate my wife's birthday (yesterday) and our 9th anniversary (today). It's hard to believe it's been 9 years. But when I think of everything we've done, it's also hard to believe it's only been 9 years: Peace Corps, law school, medical school, becoming a lawyer, becoming a doctor, becoming a poker player, moving to Guatemala, to Madison, WI, and to Sacramento, CA, buying our first house, first car... hopefully the next 9 will be as good as the last.

On the poker front, I am taking tomorrow off which is probably a good thing since I am getting increasingly frustrated at my latest downswing. I have been making a whole bunch of final 2 or 3 tables but haven't been able to finish anything off.

Monday, September 01, 2008

August in Review

After starting off with a bang I've hit a major wall these last two weeks. I still profited like $1k so although it's not what I'm expecting at least it's not losing.

But I feel good about my game so I feel a big score coming...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Downswinging

I am putting in lots of volume (at least for me) this week. I have probably played like 60 tourneys this week, and although I made one final table, I have only cashed 5 times and am down quite a bit. The frustrating part is that I feel I am playing really really well - I am just not getting rewarded. I know this is part of the game, but it still gets frustrating nonetheless.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just grindin'

Not much going on here. I am just trying to get in some volume this week, so I've been playing over 10 tourneys a day. So far nothing huge this week, but I am playing well - I just need to run better.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Famous

Haha, not really.

My first video for pokerpwnage is up though and so far the subscribers to the site are giving me positive feedback so that's good. I am actually really enjoying their site and am enjoying the good discussion that goes on on a daily basis in their forums.

In pokernews, I finaltabled a $26 FO on FullTilt and left disappointed in 7th place, but I felt I played well overall and just didn't get the cards to fall my way. It happens, oh well. I also recorded myself playing the last two tables, so hopefully that turned out decently and will be posted at some point on pokerpwnage as well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Weekend

We went up to Tahoe for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. It's only a two hour drive and we've never been so we figured it was time to check it out. We had great weather, great hikes, and even though we only had one full day there, we had a great time.

We stayed in North Tahoe by Kings Beach and we spent Saturday at the beach.



That afternoon we went for a hike up the mountain for a better view of the lake.


Today we drove down to South Lake Tahoe along the Western shore of the lake and went for another hike by Emerald Bay.


And tomorrow we are back at it - the 16 hour days for her, and the 8 hour days of what I still consider fun for me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Weekend Off

We are heading off to Tahoe tomorrow. Neither of us have ever been and we're only a two hour drive away so this is an early b-day gift to myself.

Pokerwise - I went on a bit of monkeytilt tonight so it's probably a good time for a break. I'll be back at it on Monday.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Eye Exam

I went and got my eyes checked today and now have the drugged/dazed look that you can't help having after your eyes get dilated. I am super lackadaisacal about doctor/dentist appointments in general, so it feels good to have gone. Next hurdle is getting off my ass and going to get glasses...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A poker anniversary

1 year ago today I won 6 figures in the FTOPs main event. It was obviously an incredibly exciting time for my wife and I and it allowed us to buy our first house. It was also a somewhat stressful and scary time for myself because we decided that I would keep around $30k as my poker bankroll and from that I could take a shot at playing professionally. If I could make enough to sustain our lifestyle, I could keep playing; if not, it was time for me to get a "real job" and practice law again.

With my propensity of having horrible bankroll management (I have previously donked off rolls of 15-20k), it was touch and go to start. But it is now one year later and somehow I am still playing. The journey so far has not been easy - the downswings have brought my roll down to around 20k and forced me to move down in levels at least 3 different times. But each time that has happened, I have been able to resist the urge to try and get that 10k back by playing higher buy-in tourneys or high limit cash games. Although I am not out of the woods yet, my roll has increased by 50% and I am making monthly withdrawals, so the outlook is brighter now than it was one year ago.

I hope this post is not coming off as being a bragfest because I realize I am neither the best player nor have I made the most money this last year. I simply wanted to let everyone know that I have survived one year and as that old Bartles and James guy used to say "I thank you for your support."

Back at it

I spent the day reviewing some hand histories, clearing up my computer a bit, and then playing tonight. Back to a normal 2 out of 8 cashes. Almost made the final table in one tourney. Thought I played really well. Mindset is much much better.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Time to review

I don't feel like I've been playing badly, but I have only cashed in 1 out of my last 40 tourneys, so tomorrow will be a review day before I start playing anything.

Day trip

We went on a daytrip about an hour and a half away from us in the sierras where there are natural waterfalls that you can slide down. It was the same place we went earlier this spring and were surprised to find snow. I had a blast.




In poker news, I played a full schedule today and didn't make the money in anything. It's always bitter to swallow - but I don't think I played poorly. I'll check the hand histories tomorrow just to make sure. When all is said and done, I am still progressing, so as long as I can end this downswing sooner, rather than later, everything should still be fine.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Olympics

I am a sports nut so I love the Olympics. Everyone else is talking about Michael Phelps (and both his race tonight and the earlier relay race were some of the most exciting sporting events I have ever seen), but I am loving watching beach volleyball. I went to school with and have played against one half of the top seeded men's pair - Todd Rogers. It's hard for me to believe that I actually used to be able to compete with this guy who is now ranked #1 in the world. At one point in my life, my dream was to become a collegiate and then a professional volleyball player. Although I never fulfilled that dream, I did get pretty good. And watching these guys make what is a really difficult game look so simple, is really fun to watch.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Time to stop being retarded

Ok - for those of you that get offended by the word retarded, you can pretend I wrote mentally challenged instead.

Anyhoo, I have just been way way too results oriented this last week which has led to me being frustrated more than I would like. I always do my best when I just focus on making good decisions and letting the results happen. To be perfectly honest, I don't even know how good my decisions have been this last week because all I was doing was focusing on my bad results.

I am taking the rest of today and tomorrow off, and am already looking forward to getting back to it on Sunday.

I also e-mailed the volunteer coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club so hopefully I will start getting out of the house at least once a week and doing something useful in the near future.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Still grinding

Back to the grind. I finally played over 10 tourneys in a day again yesterday - played so/so.

Today I played perfect and just ran bad. I had one horrendous beat on the bubble of the 50 rebuy on stars that sent me in a tizzy. I am playing FTOPs tonight, but I think that will be it.

Here's to running better.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trying to get my head back on straight

For the second night in a row I took some bad beats/coolers early on and just knew I wasn't in the right mindset so I just packed it in. I might take tomorrow off. The good thing is I am not tilting my roll off. The bad thing is I am not getting in any volume. But I'd rather not play at all then play bad.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Once a crybaby always a crybaby

I don't know what it is about me that I still take every bad beat personally. It's more than that though, I still get annoyed whenever I lose a race. I expect to win everytime, and when I don't, I turn into a 5 year old and want to throw a tantrum.

As you can guess, I did not have a good night tonight. It started off bad in the FTOPS event which was my biggest buyin for this series at $1k. I lost early on in a blind battle when my 7d9d ran into 4h6h on a 6d8d6s board which is basically a cointoss. After that I quickly lost in other tourneys in bad beat situations and then I just decided to pack it in for the night and not register anymore.

The crazy thing is that I know I am having a kickass year. After my score last week, I have over a 100% ROI, I have made over 50k this year (in less than 6 months), and I am doing it all in a very low number of overall tourneys which means I am taking tons of time off. Yet even knowing all of this, I still want to break my keyboard whenever my QQ loses to AK.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday

Sundays are big days in online poker. Most of the sites havea big guaranteee tourney and since most people don't work on Sundays, a lot of players who have "real" jobs will take their shot in these tourneys. Since Sunday is usually my wife's day off, I normally don't get to partake in these pretty lucrative tourneys. I got to play today which is always fun, but didn't get any huge results. In fact, my net sum for the day was exactly $1. Better than losing I guess.

All I needed in 2 of the tourneys I played was to run a little better, but my play was fine - I know in the long run, I will get there again.

I also got a run in today for the first time in a long time, so I will try to continue with that. I was hoping to play volleyball tomorrow night, but I forgot I have agreed to play the $1k FTOPs event, so maybe next week.

Other than that, life is good. I am enjoying watching the Olympics, getting back in shape, and even though I am not playing the volume I would like, I am still enjoying playing.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Whoops

I was supposed to play the FTOPS $300 1 rebuy/1 add-on tourney today and thought that it started at 6:00 when it actually started at 11:00. Worst part is that I was awake and ready to play.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Back to some goals

Wife is back to working lots, no family reunions in the near future, no big item purchases coming up, lots of free time = time to get back to some goals. Working out, running, playing volleyball, basketball, and maybe some volunteering are all in the mix.

I got my first workout in today; tomorrow I am planning on running. We'll see how it goes...

Pokerwise, I should be back to a full schedule tonight. I'm just going to continue to concentrate on playing well, and let the results come from there. I'm also going to be finishing up my video for pokerpwnage this week. So far we haven't got my account set up there, but I actually always learn something from reviewing my own play, so it can't hurt.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

wheeeee for 5 figure scores

well I didn't put in the volume I wanted, but I got the results I've been wanting. I got 3rd in the nightly 100k guarantee on Stars for $16k. I've been running so horribly on stars this year that it felt nice to finally turn it around.

The FTOPS (a series of higher buy-in tourneys on FullTilt) starts tomorrow, so I'll be back at it for that.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mr. Fix-It

I am absolutely horrible at fixing things. That's why we bought a "turn-key" house - I might have the time to complete the projects necessary for a fixer-upper, but I have neither the know-how nor the patience to actually do them. Which is why today I feel super impressed with my fixer upper tasks. First I switched a sprinkler head from a full circle spray to semi-circle so that our deck would get a little less doused everytime the sprinklers go on; second and more impressively I fixed the kitchen faucet. The water pressure in that sink was just atrocious. I ended up breaking a filter off, but it worked and there is still another filter at the end of the faucet so I really don't see a problem.

On the poker front, my plan is to start playing tonight around 5, and to get a full session in tonight.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Weekend Off

My wife just got home from call, which for a resident means that she worked a 24 hour shift. But she is off the rest of the weekend and Monday as well, which means I am taking the rest of the weekend and Monday off too.

I continue to love the flexibility that poker gives me. In fact, it is that flexibility that finally turned my wife around and made her a proponent of me playing poker rather than practicing law. If I had a "real job," there would be times when she is off that I would have to work; we might not be able to get the exact same weeks off for vacation; I would want to spend some of my time off playing poker. Since I get to set my own schedule, none of that is true, and we are able to maximize what little time off she gets together.

On the other hand, I think I may have fallen a little too much in love with this whole idea of setting my own schedule. After reviewing my stats last night, I realized that I have only played 600 tourneys this year. For most pros, that equates to two months worth of tourneys or less. I don't play as many tables as others, but even I am surprised at how little I have actually played this year. I can easily play 12 tourneys in an 8 hour day. 12*15=180. So even if I just played every other day I should be playing at least 180 tourneys a month. In fact, I have averaged just 120 tourneys per month (I have only played 5 months this year because I didn't really play in January or February as I was studying for the bar exam). That means I have played only 10 full days of poker per month on average. Although I want to make sure that I don't play so much that I get burned out, I also realize that I am losing money by not playing - the more volume I can play (as long as it is around the same ROI), the more I make. So I need to play more. My goal is going to be 200 tourneys/month.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Small victory

I took down the Big Double "B" on Tilt for a little over $3k. Nothing huge, but it keeps my bankroll going in the right direction. The funny thing was, I actually got super frustrated tonight because I just have been taking some horrible beats. This tourney was the last one I was in for the night, and everything just worked out. I played mistake free, and got a big enough stack that even when I got sucked out on I could keep grinding my stack back up. The only thing I feel bad about is that I didn't record it as I was playing - it would have made a good video because it was one of those rare times where I was the chip leader with like 100 left and stayed at the top until the very end.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

First pokerpwnage video

So I recorded my first segment for pokerpwnage today. I decided to do the $26 Knockout that I won on Fulltilt a couple of months ago. I am actually surprised at some of the moves I made early on in that tourney as I think I misplayed a few hands and was playing way tighter than normal. But I also think a lot can be learned from mistakes, so hopefully people will like it. Even if they don't, I always end up gaining from doing the videos as it gives me insight into my own play, so it really is a can't lose proposition.

I am about to fire up some tourneys and am hoping to put in a pretty full day. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to the grind

Well the title of this post really isn't fair. I am back to working again, but I have to say that I still really enjoy playing so it isn't a grind at all. I know quite a few poker pros who no longer enjoy playing - for them poker really has become a grind. Thankfully, it's still not like that for me. I think a big part of it is that I take lots of time off and with my wife's guaranteed income I am fortunate to be able to do that. So I'm not working 7 days a week. I'm not playing 16 hours a day. Basically I am not burning myself out.

Tonight is just another example of my refusal to force myself to play. I normally would be playing an evening session, but the Cubs/Brewers game is on and I'd rather watch that. So I am.

Anyhoo, I didn't make any money today, but I played well. Tomorrow should be a full schedule. I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Car buying

So we got it. We (more like she) chose an Audi A4. It's deep-sea blue and has a whole bunch of nice gadgets, such as navigation and bluetooth (meaning we can talk on the phone without having to punch any buttons), so it's a nice new car. Now that we have it, my wife is in the "did we pay too much for a car" phase, but once she drives it on a daily basis, I'm pretty sure she'll be happy with it.

Anyhoo, now that it's finally here, I can also get back to work, and getting back in shape, and finding someplace to volunteer.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Car shopping

My style of shopping, is much different than my wife's. However, after a second weekend of re-testdriving, looking at colors, and doing research on edmunds.com we have decided on a car we want. Now all I have to do is haggle a bit about the price today and then hopefully it will be ours w/in this week.

I feel bad that we dragged our sister-in-law to all of this, but my wife was very happy to have her help. It was nice having her here as well.

I need to finish a video that I had promised to do for grinderschool, and then I need to start my first one for pokerpwnage. I'd also like to start playing again this week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekend Off

My wife is actually off for the entire weekend and her sister came up to visit for the weekend, so I am just going to chill and spend some time with the fam.

Being able to have this flexibility is one of the many reasons why I hope that I can continue to have success at playing poker professionally.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

pokerpwnage

I was asked to become a guest instructor for a new poker training site called pokerpwnage.com today. The site already has quite a few of the top ranked online tournament players as instructors, including USCPhildo, GhettoFabulous, UHBigTex, and Assassinato. Since I do not play anywhere close to the volume of these top ranked players (they play about 4 times as many tourneys as I do), I am not nearly as well known as them, so I was somewhat surprised even to be asked.

Anyways, my current poker goals are: 1) to keep winning at the same rate that I have been this last year, but also 2) to get my name out in the poker community as much as possible to try and bring in some other money making opportunites such as this one. So I am excited to this, and hopefully this site will take off and people will like my videos. If so, maybe some rizenesque opportunities could come my way. We shall see...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nice Sunday score

I got 5th in the 200k guarantee on UB for just over 10k.

I was a little disappointed not to win it since I was in first place with 6 to go, but winning 5 figures in a day is still a big deal for me.

So wheeeeeeeee!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Poker Year in Review

After getting 9th place in a big tourney last night and going to place dejected that I didn't get a top 3 finish I realized today that I needed to take a step back and review the year.

For the year I have played 540 tourneys, cashed 87, final tabled 16 (5 firsts (all on Tilt), 1 second, and 1 third).

Considering that I really didn't play much the first three months of the year since I was studying for the bar, I am very happy with both my profit (over 30k) and ROI over 70% for the year.

I am still on target to make over 60k this year, for my roll to grow, and for good things to keep happening. The toughest part for me has been the mental aspect since I am always expecting to win it still frustrates me to run bad. I also still want to become more socially and physically active. But all in all, I really have nothing to complain about. When you add in the fact that I passed the bar and can become employed if I need to, life really is purty good.

This weekend we should be test driving some cars, once we make the final purchase I'll post pics.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back from Vacation

I just got back from a great couple of weeks relaxing, playing, visiting family in Santa Barbara and L.A. The plan now that I'm back is to make a whole bunch of doctorish appointments (I need new glasses, dentist, etc.), buy a new car, and of course play some poker.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rest of Vegas

After bubbling the 5k I had a few days open so I entered a $350 tourney on my own dime at Caesar's. I played super well and ended up losing 3 hands where I was at least a 70% favorite at the final table. If I had won any of those (especially the last one AQ < AT) I would have made at least $10k more. As it was, I am still very happy with my first live cash being over $14k.

The other highlight was busting some lady who for whatever reason felt she had to enter every pot that I played.

My next tourney was the 3k WSOP event where my KK got cracked by A3s on a 337 board fairly early.

I then made another day two and my first cash in an WSOP event when I cashed the 1.5k event. I had a huge stack going into day 2 - I was 7th out of like 150 players, but I made a huge bluff against the eventual winner on the turn with 55 on a 227Q board and he had AQ.

My last tourney was another bad beat when my JJ < TT in another 1.5k WSOP event.

After that tourney, I was scheduled to stay in vegas for like 5 more days, but I was just vegased out, so I switched flights and came home early.

Looking back on it, the trip was great. I played well, I made some decent money, and I will definitely be playing some more live events in the future. I played against some well-known pros and even busted one (Eric Seidel) who is the current #1 ranked player.

Tomorrow we are off to Santa Barbara and I will be staying in So Cal for the next 2 weeks so I probably won't be posting or playing much.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 2 of the $5k NL Event

So I made it through a grueling 13 hour day and was in good shape with over 70k in chips to start day 2. I had a hard time sleeping that night as I was both exhausted and amped over the possibility of not only cashing but making some major cash in my very first event - being in a strange bed didn't help either.

I had thoughts of just sitting on my stack and folding to the money but that's just not my style so I just tried to relax and play my game and take the opportunities as they came. I actually was pretty aggressive early on and people were folding to me. I then made a bad double barrel bluff against an older guy at the table which lost me some chips but I still had a decent stack. Soon thereafter an older French guy got moved directly to my left and I had played with him the day before and knew that he made some bad shoves. With blinds at 800/1600 I got dealt 99 from the button and made a standard raise to 4500ish and Frenchie overshoved like 35k more. It folded to me and I snap called much to the table's surprise. I was delighted when he showed A9 offsuit, but wasn't as happy when the A came on the flop. That hand decimated me, but I was able to chip back up to about 20k when I then ran AK into TT and couldn't win that race and I was out in 80th place when 72 got paid.

I was definitely disappointed in the result and just went back to my hotel room to sit and sulk. But I was happy about my play and can't be upset about getting all my chips in when I was way ahead. I also had not played much live, so it was a confidence builder to know that I could get deep in a high buy-in event against players who are some of the best in the world.

Next post will detail my foray into a Caesar's tourney and my first live cash.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Las Vegas Recap

Day 1



I arrived in Vegas on Tuesday, June 10 in the afternoon and checked into the Imperial Palace which would be my home for the next ten days. It's one of the crappier hotels on the strip, but it is on the strip, it is cheap, about $50/night (I was staying with a poker friend to make it even cheaper), and it has a bed, shower, and tv which is all I really need. I unpacked and then headed over to the RIO to get my registration finalized. I had heard of hugely long lines the previous year, but I must have picked a good time because I had no wait and was quickly registered for the $5k event the next day, as well as a $3k and two $1.5k events in the upcoming days. Since I had time to spare, I went in and checked out the main poker room and got to just soak in the atmospehere a bit. The whole thing really is a zoo. When I got there the last three tables of a big buy-in ($5k) rebuy lowball event was going on. Because this event was so expensive to play, the field was stacked with well known pros who I have spent the last 5 years watching on t.v. Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Erik Lindgren, were all playing and the crowd was 3 people deep with people snapping pictures. There are usually at least 3 different tourneys going on at once during the series, and this day was no different, so across the room were hundreds of other players in a different tourney and there is a constant chirping of chips being shuffled and shouts of "seat open" at table x when a player is eliminated. After watching the big names play for a bit, I headed back to my hotel and just watched tv and relaxed until the next day when I would be playing my first WSOP event.



Day 2 - Day 1 of the $5k NL Event



I think I was probably the only player to arrive to the RIO on the free shuttle which runs every 30 minutes from Caesars, but I got there plenty early and just waited for the fun to begin. The structure of this tourney was very deepstacked, we started w/10k in chips and blinds just starting at 25/50 with one hour levels so there was plenty of play.

I picked up AA early to win a small pot and that helped to ease the nerves. Other than that there was nothing really spectacular. The only really two good players at the table were directly to my left, which didn't leave me much wiggle room. I lost a decent sized pot w/AK and was down to about 7k with blinds at 200/400 when a young internet player to my right who had just been moved to the table raised and I woke up with AQ in the cutoff and shoved. The BB called me w/TT and I won that race to stay alive.

After that I was able to chip up simply by stealing and restealing. I didn't show down any other hand until late at the end of day 1 when I was fortunate to have my AA run into AK and doubled through to like 70k. Since I had never played live before I felt a little retarded going through the process of bagging my chips for the next day (I forgot to put the confirmation sheet in the bag before sealing it so had to do it over), but I felt super good that I had survived the first day and had a decent chip stack and a really good shot to make the money the next day. We finished that day with like 120 players and 72 would get paid. The one thing I was super surprised about was how tired I was. We played for 10 hours, but with breaks we were there for over 13 hours and by the end of the night I was just blitzed. I also had a really hard time sleeping that night. I am generally a pretty laid back guy, but being in a new bed, going deep in a high buy-in event, and having a shot to make big money all kept me from getting the deep sleep I craved.

Next post will detail my quick day 2 and then my first live cash.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back from Vegas

I wasn't due back until Tuesday, but I played my last tourney today and realized that I am just spent. So I came home early. Vegas was profitable and educational. I'll write about it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Off to vegas on a Good Note

I got deep in the Sunday Warmup today but then lost a race, went card dead and I was out in 35th. I was definitely hoping for a final table there as first was almost $100k, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Still, I am clearly playing very well, my bankroll is in good shape so I can leave and feel fine when I get back, and since I am being staked for Vegas there is really little downside to me going. Tomorrow I need to tie some loose ends around the house, and then I'm off on Tuesday. I'm excited to go.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Winning is FUN!!

Took down another smallish tourney on Tilt today.

Wheeeeeeee!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Swingy much?

After 2 really frustrating months I have had back to back nice days and everything feels good again. Got 4th in the 40k daily guarantee on Tilt for close to $5k. So that's about 10k in the last two days, which makes me feel good again.

This is definitely a game that plays with your mind. I just need to remember that these good days should return when I'm grinding through the days where nothing seems to work.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Little win = Huge confidence boost

I won the 17.5k guarantee on Tilt which is a $75 FO tourney for $5.7k. My bankroll had been in a slow and steady decline prior to this the last couple of months so it just feels good to win again.

Next week I am off to Vegas and I'm looking forward to it, when I get back my wife has some time off work so I'll be vacationing until probably mid July. I want to get into some basketball/volleyball leagues when I do get back in July and will also look into volunteering. Either at a Boys & Girls Club type place or maybe some sort of pro bono work now that I can actually practice here in CA.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back to work

So the inlaws have come and gone. We bladed, ran, biked, walked, weeded, ate, and made numerous trips to Starbucks. And now it is back to the routine. I have a couple of weeks before I am off to Vegas and I am hoping to get a decent score in between now and then.

As far as my bar privileges, it turns out my score is valid for 5 years. So my plan now is to just sit on them and if I can't make the money I want playing poker then I will swear in and start looking for a job. If the poker train keeps steaming along, then I'll still swear in in a couple of years and then transfer to what is called "inactive" status where I get to keep my bar privileges without having to take that stupid exam again.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Passing the CA Bar Exam

I have been reading blogs of some of the other people who took the bar exam with me this February. Some passed, some failed. For those who failed, I understand the ego crush since I failed my first time as well. I received a 1369 my first time (you need a 1440 to pass), which from what I have gathered is a pretty bad score. Basically I got 55s on all my essays. So for those that failed - if I can pass it, so can you.

Double wheeeeeeee!!

I passed the CA bar exam!!

I am not sure how long this poker thing will work out, so having the ability to practice law and become relatively quickly employed is a huge relief.

Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

wheeeeee

Finally won a tourney again today.

Nothing huge, but it just feels good to win again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Trying very hard to keep focus

I just have not had any good results for the last month. I have been playing well, reviewing hand histories, and generally not tilting (although I do whine a bit occassionally). But the cards are just not falling my way. Poker people call this variance. I call it insanity provoking.

Tomorrow is another day...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Still waiting for that big score

2 final tables the last two days, but nothing big. Then I ran horribly playing just for like 15 minutes of cash, lost my daily risk of $600 and am now sitting here shaking my head.

The good thing is, last year I would be chasing my losses and losing multiple buyins. So this bankroll management thing has finally sunk in. Now I'm just waiting to be rewarded.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My world of backing is getting bigger

So I just found out that someone else wants to back me for a longterm deal. This will allow me to play the majority of the FTOPS events which I will be looking forward to in May.

April didn't turn out for me as I had hoped results wise, but I am confident May will be better.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I hate losing

So I put in another pretty full week of close to 50 tourneys and although I won one small one, I ended up losing money for the week. No matter how much I realize and understand that losing streaks like this will happen, I still hate to lose and it frustrates me. That's probably the worst part of being a poker player for me.

On other fronts, I am getting back in shape and it feels good. It is hard for me to believe that I am so out of shape when I feel like it was just yesterday that I biked 120 miles from Santa Barbara to L.A. on the spur of the moment; or that I climbed a 13,000 foot volcano. Now, I am still dying after running just 20 minutes - but it is also starting to feel good too. So I'll keep at it.

The weather here is supposed to get super nice this weekend - too bad my wife is on call tomorrow to miss it. I absolutely, positively could not work her hours. Since she is on call tomorrow, this week will be close to 100 hours for her. Which basically means that her day off, Sunday, will just be spent sleeping. It's a stupid system which needs major retinkering for the good of the mental, physical, and spiritual health of all new doctors and their families.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Aciphex

Tonight my tv was bombarded with these Aciphex commercials.

Maybe it's just me, but I would think the makers of this drug would have rethought the name considering it is pronounced "ass effects."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WSOP Dreaming

I started playing poker back in law school about 5 years ago when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series Main Event and poker was becoming huge on T.V. At that point I had no real concept of bankroll management, pot odds, or any of the other intricacies of the game. But I saw some regular guy winning lots of money and I thought in the back of my head "wouldn't it be great if I could do that?"

Because playing in the Series this year just seemed to fall into place, I somewhat forgot about how much of a dream this really was just a few years ago and how crazy it really it is that I am able to play poker as a profession. Here's to hoping even more dreams come true.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Why Being a Poker Player Rocks

My internet was acting funky last night and today + people are coming over tonight but I don't really know when or what I am supposed to do + it is really nice outside today = I just won't play today and can't get in trouble.

wheeeeeeeeeee

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Going to the WSOP

wheeeeee

I got staked my full amount, so now I just need to buy a ticket and find a place to stay.

I'm excited to get some bigger buyin events under my belt.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Looking for Backing for the WSOP

Ok so here's my pitch:

I am looking to get staked $11 k in order to play 4 events in this year's WSOP. All of the tournies I am looking at are NL Holdem events.

1) The $5k on June 11th
2) The $3k on June 15th
3 and 4) 2 out of the 3 $1.5k events running on the 17th, 19th, and 21st. I will register for these events depending on how well I do in the $3k event (i.e. if I make the final table of the $3k 3 day event, then I clearly won't register for the one on the 17th).

A schedule for all of these events can be found here.

In 2007, I basically just played on FullTilt and PokerStars. I trust that you can look my stats up yourself at OPR. Combined I played just over 700 tournies and has an ROI of 425%. If you take my 6 figure score out of the equation then I had a combined ROI of 81%.

In 2008, I had to study for the bar exam so I haven't been putting in any volume until recently. I have added UB into the mix this year as well. So far, I have played just over 150 tournies and have a combined ROI of 142%.

If you are interested in a longterm deal covering more than just this series I would be willing to talk about that and would be looking for a 50/50 deal with makeup.

If you are interested in just staking me for this series, I am looking for a 75% staker/25% me deal.

(For those of you who are reading my blog and have no idea what that means, it means that any money I profit will be divvied up by giving 75% to my backer and 25% goes to me).

If interested, the best way to contact me is through e-mail at chardrian@hotmail.com

EDIT - I Will be keeping an update of how much is available here as well.

As of 4/16 I have been staked $4k; $7k to go.

REEDIT - I am now fully backed for the WSOP.

Poker Happenings

So I put in my most volume last week, playing 50 tourneys from M-F. That should be a standard schedule for me, but it was my first time doing it. The results were not great, but I didn't lose a ton either.

Last night, I finally made some $$ by getting 2nd in a $35k guarantee on FullTilt for over $5k.

It's nice to be making money again but I also realized that I will not make enough these next two months to be able to play in the WSOP (World Series of Poker) off of my own bankroll, so I am going to try and get backed. I know there are a lot of players out there who are backed, but I've always thought that I'd rather make 100% of my own winnings and not have to feel bad or pressured if I lose because it is on someone else's dime. But I also feel like this year's WSOP is a great opportunity for me to play some live events, and maybe get a little more exposure. So I am going to put my name out there and see if I get any bites.

We'll see...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Finally into a Routine??

So I finished our fed taxes (yikes!!), there are no trips or vacations or family visits on the horizon, and I think I finally will get to start playing lots of poker.

It always takes me a bit to get back in the swing of things after a long layoff, so yesterday I only played like 5 tourneys and then watched the basketball game.

Today I've already played 5 and plan on playing again tonight, so hopefully things will start heating up at the table for me.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm back

Vacation was great. Getting back home is always a double edged sword. It's nice to be back in my own bed, in my own house. It stinks getting everything back in order.

I did manage to get a weird case of vertigo right when I got back from Belize, but I googled it, and have self-diagnosed myself with BPPV - you can read about it here. I've also started home treatment so hopefully I won't be spinning when I don't want to anymore. (Of course my doctor wife loved hearing about my self-help rather than making an appointment with a doctor).

The rest of this week should be spent doing taxes, cleaning the house, and playing poker. On Thursday my sister, 3 of her kids, my dad, stepmom and their two kids all come to stay for the weekend at our lovely 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house. Should be fun.

Oh - I also got a brand new tv today. 37 inches. I even managed to set it up and program one remote to control everything. Fairly successful for my first day back home.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Vacation

My wife started her vacation tonight, which means I start mine tonight as well.

We're going to Belize for 10 days and then to Santa Barbara for a couple of days.

Maybe I'll even post pictures when I get back.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Adventures in the Snow




My wife and I went for a hike yesterday about an hour drive away from our house and were unpreparedly surprised to find out that half of it was through snow. Wet feet and pants legs were worth it. Photos were taken on the wife's camera, but hopefully I'll figure out how to post them.
EDIT - I figured out how to post them, but whenever I post pictures they go to the top instead of the bottom. I'll figure that out later - this is good enough for now.


Friday, March 07, 2008

A Taste of Spring

Although I love Wisconsin, by the time February came around, I was ready to migrate. And when March came, spring fever was in full force. So for that, I am happy to be in Sacramento, where spring has already begun. For my badger friends, who are still head high in snow, here are some photos of things to come...


Trees will bud, and dogs will lounge outdoors in the sun.






Flowers will bloom, maybe strawberries will come?


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Playing Poker Again and Still Ruminating over the Damn Bar

Well I started playing again last night. I put in a solid 7-8 hours and felt like I played fine. Hopefully I can get some decent results these next two weeks.

The night before last was the first good night of sleep I had gotten in a week. Prior to the bar I was stressing, while taking the bar I was stressing, and then even the 3 days following the bar I was still stressing because I would realize issues that I missed - and all of that led to bad sleep. The good thing about realizing I missed issues is that it demonstrates how much more I actually knew this time around because I didn't even know enough law last time to realize what issues I had missed. The bad thing is I know I missed issues. My pat answer to everyone who has asked "how did it go" is that I will be very disappointed if I failed, but I won't be surprised if that's the case.

I really don't want to study again for this stupid exam (especially since motivating myself to study is so hard when I know that I would rather play poker than practice law), but I also really want the security of having the privilege to practice law in my back pocket in case this poker thing doesn't work out. I also realize that there isn't anything I can do at this point but sit and wait for the results. But that doesn't stop me from ruminating.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Studying for the Bar made me fat

I think it was all the soda I was drinking. But I am the portliest I have ever been.

I went for a run today and started my stomach crunches. My goal is to lose 10-15 lbs in two weeks for our vacation to Belize. Winning a couple grand in that timeframe would be nice too.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Done with the Bar

Yippee!!

Yesterday was the multiple guess day which is impossible to tell how you've done. Today was 3 more essays - a community property question which I feel good about, and then a wills and trusts and a corporations question which I have no idea how I did (I am not an expert in either subject). I feel that I knew a lot more substantive law this time in comparison to July, so I am hoping that I passed, I will feel very disappointed if I didn't, but at the same time I wouldn't be totally astonished if I failed either.

The test is just so hard. And long. And tiring. And it's hard to tell what the graders are looking for. But at this point, it's over, and it's not worth worrying about.

Tomorrow, I get to clean our house, and back to playing some poker. I'm hoping to get out and enjoy our weather too (it got up to like 70 today which would never have happened in Madison).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One day down two to go

So the bar exam started today. The 3 essay questions involved, torts, crim law, and professional responsibilities. I don't feel like I bombed any of them, but it's also really hard to know what the graders are looking for. The second half of the day was a performance test which was basically writing a brief. My only apprehension there was simply time management - I would have liked to write much more.

Tomorrow is the multiple guess session. If I do decent tomorrow I feel I should be in decent shape to pass. I will probably review some civil procedure and corporations for the essays on Thursday - if I feel the same about the essays as I did today, I will be surprised if I fail (but I don't want to jinx myself either).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

6 days until the Bar...

And I've hit somewhat of a wall. I am feeling so-so about the 6 core areas but I still have a lot to review/learn in the other areas which could come up on the essays. But I'm also just bored of it right now. I tried getting through some wills and trusts this morning but just couldn't. My hope at this point is that my multiple guess score will be above average so that my essays can be just a little under average and I'll scrape by. I am so looking forward to this being over...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sitemeter is funny

So I am taking a quick study break and figured I'd see if anyone actually reads this thing. It turns out the answer is basically no, but the rare few who do meander here always interest me. Yesterday someone from Portugal googled my poker screen name and came upon this blog. Which makes me think who in the hell do I know from Portugal - and why would anyone be googling me recently since I haven't been playing poker at all? I have no idea. But it is a nice diversion from studying.

On that note - studying is going ok. I think I will do much better on the multiple guess section this time. I am still not sure how well I will do on the essays, but I don't see how I could do worse. The 4 month wait will be the hardest part.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eeeek - 2 weeks until the Bar Exam

Ay ay ay. 2 weeks to go. I am still not sure I will get everything pounded into my head. But I think I know more now than I did last time. It's funny - I wish I had more time to study, but I also am so sick of this already that I am glad I only have 2 more weeks to go.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wheeeeeee

I took the day off from studying to play some poker and I'm glad I did.

I won a $150 tourney of FullTilt for almost $15k. That will be the last time I play until I finish taking the bar. But I now feel good knowing that I have a nice cushion to fall back on when I come back and play.

Feels good.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

3 weeks to go

Ok down to three weeks to go and we have now gotten through the nitty gritty 6 core subjects (Real Property, Torts, Crim, Constitutional, Evidence, and Contracts) which make up the areas tested on the multiple guess portion and are also free game for the essays. We are now going through the add-on subjects which are also free game for the essays (Civ Pro, Prof. Responsibilities, Agency, Corporations, Wills, Trusts, Community Property, Remedies, and maybe other stuff I am forgetting). I freaked out last week when I got a worse score on the practice multiple guess test they gave us then I did when I actually failed the bar, but it turns out the test they gave is freakishly hard. My score was actually in the top 25% so I feel ok again.

There is still lots of stuff I haven't memorized, I still am awestruck at how anyone could write an answer as good as the sample answers for the essays in just one hour (that's all we get, is one hour per essay), and I am still nervous that I won't get it all done. But I also just hit a point each night where enough is enough and so I just stop. I am feeling good about spotting issues, now it is just a matter of regurgitating the rules rather than just knowing the correct conclusions.

Wish me luck.

p.s. I played a couple of tourneys on Sunday and made a final table in one. Unfortunately it was just for 6th place but it still feels good to know I can play good.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

4 weeks to go

Still just grinding the studying out. The bar exam is a 3 day exam. The 1st and 3rd day are the same format - 3 essays in the morning and then a "performance test" in the afternoon (basically this consists of being given a file to read and then pretend you're an underling lawyer and write a memo, so this part doesn't freak me out as much). The 2nd day is pure multiple guess (yeah, yeah I know it is really supposed to be multiple choice). So yesterday the bar review course gave us a practice multiple guess test.... and I'm not sure if they are trying to freak us out or not but I did worse on this exam than I did when I took the real bar in July after hardly studying at all. From what I can tell from other students in the class, everyone did pretty bad, but it's still pretty dumb to give a practice test that is way harder than anything we'll ever take.

In general this whole process is like one of those graphs we had to do in calculus. Totally up and down (vacilating might be the "correct" term). Some days I feel like I will pass no problem since all I need to do is get one level higher on each essay than I did when I took it in July and I should be able to do that since I'm studying this time. Other days I feel like no matter what I do, I am not going to memorize all of these stupid rules and I'm just destined to keep getting about the same score (this is basically an IQ test after all, and IQs shouldn't change).

Meh - enough whining. Whatever happens, happens. Just 4 more weeks to grind.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I have good moral character

Or at least that's what the state bar of California thinks. To get bar privileges you need to basically tell the state where you've been and what you've been doing since birth, and then give references who will basically say that "yes, it's true, chardrian has never been convicted of a felony." I remember the Wisconsin one being worse than California's but California took longer to determine that I am in fact morally qualified to practice law here.

Now, whether or not I am legally qualified (by passing this stupid test) is a whole other question. At this point I am feeling very overwhelmed, which is a rare feeling for me (I am generally verrrrrrrrrrrry laid back). Mostly because there is just too much stuff and I haven't memorized it yet, but also because I keep turning in these damn practice essays to my Bar/Bri course and keep failing them. Not only did I never fail an exam in law school, but I was usually towards the top of my class and now I keep failing which is not very good positive reinforcement.

Mostly, it's because I need to dumb it down a bit. You are supposed to use a system called IRAC where you first spot the issue, then you state the rule of law that applies to that issue, then you apply the facts to the rule and issue, and finally you give a conclusion. I was taught to give a conclusion at the beginning and at the end because judges want to know up front what you are arguing so I need to stop doing that I guess. And I also will often join the rule with the facts because it makes it a lot quicker and I think easier to read. But my reader doesn't seem to like that either, so I guess I will try and break it down more.

The whole thing is still pretty dumb though I think. A huge part of the exam is simply memorizing rules and their exceptions (e.g. contracts for goods over $500 must be in writing to be enforceable pursuant to the Statutue of Frauds - and then there are a whole bunch of exceptions to the rule). But in real practice, you don't really need to have any of these rules memorized because you can always just look them up. So my law school training focused more on spotting issues and then learning how to apply facts to rules rather than memorizing rules (except for Evidence I can't think of a class where we were not allowed to use an outline). This exam, on the other hand, focuses more on memorizing the stupid rules and there are just kazillions of them to memorize.

Anyhoo, I am still hating studying. But if I pass the exam at least I am now qualified to practice here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Still studying

Well 2 weeks down and I'm still overwhelmed but grinding through it. As homework, the program gives us lots of multiple choice practice as well as practice essays. The problem is I spend so much time doing the questions that I don't have time to memorize the black letter law. So I keep having to cheat on the essays and look up the black letter law and then apply the facts. I am hoping that by doing enough of these the law will start to just sink in. The dumbest part of this bar exam is that it is basically a memorization test and in real life, lawyers don't really need to have anything memorized because you can always look stuff up (the only exception is perhaps knowing evidence if you have to go to trial, since you can't make an objection the day after). I am fine with spotting issues and applying facts to law - but I am bad at memorizing the exact law because I've never had to (even in law school we got to use outlines). 6 more weeks and it will be done.

On another note one of my poker forum buddies directed me to this. I thought it was pretty insightful. At this point in my life I still believe that poker is my calling and I'm looking forward to getting back into it once I'm done with this studying. That doesn't mean that I am positive this will be my calling forever and ever, but for now it is something I am passionate about and I feel fortunate to have a shot to work at something that is my passion. Hopefully it will all work out...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Contracts and Torts

So the first week is over, and I'm still alive, but barely. The course consists of sitting in a law school room (like a big ampitheater) and watching professors ramble on about a whole subject in the matter of 8-12 hours (they usually try to throw some humor in there too). Whereas when I was actually in law school we got like 50-60 hours per subject. Anyhoo, it looks like they try and break most subjects into 2-3 lectures but yesterday we had to endure 8 straight hours of torts and get it all over in one day.

At this point Statute of Frauds, duress, warranties, consideration (that's all Contracts lingo), are still just as jumbled as battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and strict liability (torts) but hopefully it will all come together by the end of next month (if not, I might have to commit some sort of tort against myself). No matter what I'll keep forging ahead.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Let the classes begin

So today was my first day of my bar review classes. And the next two months are going to suck. Looks like 8-12 hours of studying/classes every day. Barf. Reminds me a little bit of my first semester of law school, where I just studied like a maniac because I had not been in school for a while and wanted to make sure I started off well. I know I'll get it done, but I'm not looking forward to it.