Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Delayed weekend post

Last weekend my family from L.A. and my cousin and her family from San Fran came for the weekend. We went and played at the river one day and then the next day we drove up into the mountains and hiked to these natural waterslides. I am a big family guy, so as always I had a blast just hanging out and having fun.

Pokerwise, I haven't played since last Friday (when they came into town) basically because I just haven't felt like it. We leave for a belated anniversary trip to wine country this weekend and then I am thinking of going to Reno next week to play some live poker at a casino that is having a series of tourneys in October.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I am taking today off and just sort of evaluating where I am, where I want to be, and what I need to do to accomplish my goals. And to do all of that I always think it is good to look back and see where you have been.

It is hard for me to believe that I have now been playing professionally for over 2 years. When I started with my 30k bankroll I had dreams that I would consistently be making $10k+ every month, that my bankroll would steadily increase and that I could then move up in limits and my ROI would stay the same and then I would be consistently making $20k+ every month. That this cycle would just continue until I was a bazillionaire and life would be eeeeeeeeasy.

Instead I have found that I generally take 2 or 3 small steps back before taking one giant step forward that is big enough to jump over those backward movements. That the "consistent" 10k months are a pipe dream - I generally have one losing month for every 2 winning months.

If I had kept a bankroll graph it would be the spikiest thing ever. I have gone from 30k, down to less than 25k, back up to over 30k, up to 40k, back down to 30k, back to 40, up to 50, back to 40, up to 50, up to 60, back down to 40, back up to 60, back down to 40, then as recently as mid August I was back down to 32k and since then I have built it back up to where it currently stands at 68k.

I have learned that between downswings, monthly withdrawals, and laziness leading to low volume, growing or even maintaining my bankroll is HARD! So although I never thought I would still only be halfway to my goal of a 100k bankroll two years after I started this, I am not really upset with myself.

Here's what I am proud of:

I have kept my tilt in control and have not spewed off my bankroll playing in cash games over my head when I am in the midst of downswings hoping to chase my losses.

I have practiced good Bankroll Management and have looked for backing when I need it so that I can play in games that I know I am +EV in and give me the best shot of making huge money but I just can't afford to play on my own dime at the moment.

I have made and exceeded the monthly withdrawals that my wife and I have agreed upon and have still been able to (gradually) increase my bankroll.

I made a WSOP final table.

I have become an instructor on an up and coming poker instructional site.

I have not donked off my roll.

This is what I still need to work on:

volume, volume, and more volume. I am a lazy mofo. The more I play, the more I make - and yet I still find ways not to play. I can't help but think that if I had put in the volume I am capable of, that my bankroll would already be at the 100k point.

If I can continue to grow and play as well as I have these last two years AND I actually put in some significant volume I believe that my next two years can be even better than these last two. Here's to making that happen...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Double Final Table

I won a small $55 6 max on stars and then got 5th in the $75k nightly tourney on Fulltilt.

I feel like I played pretty flawlessly all night long and it was maybe the first time that I have ever made 2 final tables in one night. It still hurt to lose in 5th in the 75k when 1st place is like $25k but, I know it will happen one of these nights and I feel very very strong about my game again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

No more WCOOP

I was backed to play the Main Event today which was a $5k buy-in and after 13 long hours I made the money. I feel like I played really well in all of the events I entered, but this was the only one I cashed in the whole series. It wasn't a huge payout since I had so little of myself, but it did feel good to play so well. I am obviously disappointed that after so many hours of playing today I barely made any money, but these are the days where I need to remember that I easily could be multiple thousands of dollars in the hole rather than a little bit positive for the day.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to have my knee looked at, and next weekend my family from LA and San Fran are coming to visit us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bah Final Table Bubble

I got 12th in the 50k on Tilt today which was frustrating because I had to play so patiently just to get that far and then for it all to come to naught blows goats. I know I got down to extremely short stacked at one point in the tourney (like maybe 3 BBs) after getting coolered so I was really happy to have made such a big comeback...

But of course that makes it all the more frustrating when you get it in good as like a 70% favorite and lose when you are down to just 15 players. Oh well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nothing earth shattering to report

I played a full session yesterday and ended my cashless streak which was nice. I got deep in a couple of tourneys and gave myself every opportunity to take them down, but it just wasn't meant to be.

I also played the $1k WCOOP event and made an aggressive (maybe overly so?) move against a guy who had been raising 25% of hands from middle position. I shipped it in over his raise with 25 BBs w/9Ts and one of the players to my left woke up with AA - gg me. I am still somewhat on the fence with the play. 25 BBs is a big enough stack that I don't need to risk it all in that spot, but I also think that unless my opps wake up with TT or JJ+ I am not going to get called - so it's going to work a lot.

I have also been staked to play in the $5k WCOOP main event this Sunday and I am looking forward to that.

On the non-poker front, charmian left her phone on top of our car earlier this week and it was eaten by the freeway when it fell off so we went and got her a new fancy phone today. Her sister comes in this Friday for the weekend so I will play tomorrow, Friday aft., and then take Fri. night and all of Saturday off.

Hopefully a few final tables will start coming my way again soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stupid Sunday

Sundays are either extremely frustrating or extremely satisfying. Today was a frustrating day. It was the first day in a long long time that I failed to cash in any of the tourneys I entered. I played well but just couldn't win the crucial late races. But I was probably due for an 0fer day so that's ok.

At least it was a good football weekend. Both the Badgers and Packers won in good, close games.

I am also getting bored of not playing, so I think I will probably be getting back into playing some decent volume this week again.

We'll see...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day Off

I took the day off to spend some time with Charmian and to finally get to all the outside chores I have been putting off. The back patio is now clean, the yard raked and mowed, the side of the house is cleared of the weeds and crap and I put down some of that cocoa mulch (mmmm smells good), and I planted some flowers and mint (mojitos here we come).

I still want to clean the gutters, but I will wait to do that until after the leaves have fallen since that will happen soon enough. Other than that I just need to clean a bit more inside and the house will finally be back in some semblance of shape. Charmian should be home soon and then we are off to the river to walk Chula.

I am not sure when I will get back to playing fulltime again but it is nice to not have to feel that I NEED to play.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Out... of... shape (gasp)!

I went for like just a 30 minute bikeride today and almost collapsed, so it is time to get my rear back in gear. I plan to go out every other day until I can ride without being winded for an hour. I am surprised at how pathetically out of shape I really am.

My knee is also still bothering me so I am making an appointment tomorrow - at this point I feel like surgery is probably likely for me because rest/ice has done nothing and it has been a long time that it has been bothering me now.

Pokerwise I played a night session today and played great again but took a few bad beats in spots where I really needed hands to hold up so the results were obviously lacking. As long as I can keep getting people to put the money in bad against me, the odds will run back in my favor again.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Taking things super slowly

As is often the case after I get a 5 figure score, I am getting back into the swing of things super slowly. I have played half days yesterday and today just because I don't have the mojo to keep grinding. I feel like I am still playing really well, I just don't feel the need or pressure to play anymore than 1 session a day.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

10 Years!!

On a beautiful September day in 1996 you, on the spur of the moment, suggested we bike from your mom's house in Santa Barbara to my dad's house in L.A. We were young and stupid - me in my flip flops and bike with no ballbearings and only half of a seat and you in your do-rag, hemp necklace, and eco-warrior hairy legs, and neither of us with helmets - but god it was fun to be young and stupid. It was on that day that I reeled you in "for keeps."

For the next three years we lived with your mom while we finished school at UCSB, spent a year living with the girls at Lodge in South Africa, and spent a summer in Ecuador. Finishing our undergrad education might have been our priority back then, but the most important lesson we learned was that we made a really good match, and even with all of the retarded small fights we got into, we still knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

Although you had given up your vegetarianism in South Africa, you still had enough eco-warrior in you that your save the world ideals and strong passion for travel meant that the Peace Corps was your dream job after graduating from UCSB. Since I didn't really care what I did as long as I was with you, I decided to hitch along for the ride. With a little help from Peace Corps policy (which dictates that for a couple to be placed together, they must be married) we decided to get married sooner rather than later. And so, on September 5, 1999 about 3 years after our 120 mile bike ride, we were married in front of family and friends in a beautiful park in Montecito.

The Peace Corps might have been the impetus (or kick in the pants as Chingui would have said) to get us married, but Chula has been the measuring stick for our marriage.

Bought for 5 quetzales, she was given to us in a costal, and arrived at our home with a belly bloated full of lombrices and a skinny little body full of fleas. We literally scared the shit out of her when we took her out of the bag, and after bathing her, deparasiting her, and then failing miserably when we tried to take her for a walk and she just hunkered down, you asked me "is she ever going to love us?" It became pretty obvious, pretty soon, that the answer was yes and she has been our constant companion ever since.

She loved us even after I took her stitches out too early.

She loved playing with her chucho in arms, Pachak. She was the only dog in Tejutla allowed on the bus and she joined us on our adventures vaccinating animals, building greenhouses, starting goat projects, climbing Tajumulco, or just hanging out in the backyard.

She was adopted along with us by the Munoz family (even eating off the table) and was there for our tearful good-bye.

And then she joined us for our next chapter when we both went to professional school in Madison. She got to experience the leaves fall in autumn, the snow in winter, the sun and fun in summer, getting in good graces with my mom, trying on your scrubs from med school, and joining me on my lunch breaks from my first "real job" as an AAG.

To top off a decade of moving, she came with us on our trek back West. Camping in Colorado and Utah, our new house in Sacramento, and on those precious moments when you have time off, walks to the American river.

With the crazy hours you are working and the stress you are under it has to be hard to stop and reflect, so I am hoping this gives you the chance to reminisce about how vast, varied, and wonderful our last ten years together have been. From undergrads working at Dr. Frawley's and Lucky's, to Peace Corps volunteers, to professional students, to lawyer, to poker player to doctor. From Santa Barbara, to Guatemala, to Madison, to Sacramento - living with your mom, living with my mom, buying our first home. From the incredible highs of going to Guate, getting accepted to medical school, winning your scholarship, winning enough money from poker to put the down on a house, to the incredible lows of leaving our newfound family and friends in Guate, losing Chula, the deaths of Tita and Grandpa, and hitting the rockbottom of residency hell. At this stage of our lives we are in somewhat of a grind, so it is easy to forget that we have experienced more in these ten years than many people experience in their lives.

With less than two years of grinding to go, we will soon enough be facing the stresses and excitement of new adventures. Where will we end up two years from now? Where will we end up five years from now? Are kids, a new dog, a new house, a new job in our future? I am anxious, nervous, and excited to find out what the answers to those questions will be but I am reassured that with you by my side, wherever we end up and whatever we end up doing, I'll be just fine.

Happy Anniversary Charmiancita! I love you very much and am so looking forward to our next ten years together.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Don't know whether to wheee or sigh

I got 2nd in the $50k on Tilt for almost $14k, but I took a very bad beat heads up for the win when I had QQ versus my opponents 77 and he rivered the 7. So right now I am frustrated about the 8-9k that I lost on that one hand, but I am sure I will get over it.

Today is my wife's b-day and tomorrow is our 10th anniversary so I am going to take the rest of tonight and tomorrow off and clean the house, make her a nice meal. I'll be back at it this weekend.

Back at it

I took a couple of days off and started back up again today with the WCOOP starting today. I made two deep runs out of just 11 tourneys that I played today, and ended in 8th and 10th which is once again encouraging because it shows how well I am playing, but discouraging because I just can't break through. Tomorrow is another day...