Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Looking Back & Looking Forward

Looking Back

Looking BackWas reading Foucault’s recap post and saw how he -- like I’ve seen others doing -- mostly spoke about 2007 in terms of the goals he’d set for himself at the beginning of the year. (Foucault is terrific, by the way -- go add him to yr subscriptions, if you haven’t already.)

I can’t really do that. (No surprise, there. There’s a lot I can’t do that Foucault can.) One reason why is that, well, I didn’t really make any goals for 2007. Looking back at one of my last posts from 2006, I see myself shunning the whole idea of goal-setting, saying “As far as resolutions go, I got nothin’ other than to try to keep having fun (and making a few berries here and there) playing our favorite game.”

That was the truth, Ruth. I essentially had zero expectations heading into 2007, although I will admit to having a vaguely-formed hope that I’d end up earning more than I had in 2006. Didn’t quite get there, although I came relatively close.

Ain’t gonna get into specifics about exactly how much money I’ve made playing online poker. Those who’ve followed the blog probably will have at least some idea where I’m at. (I’m sure I’ve dropped enough clues about win rates and hands played for some eager sleuth to put it all together.) I spent most of the year still playing quite small (1/2 LHE and PLO25 or 50), and frequently cashed out funds whenever I could. Meaning my active “bankroll” -- i.e., the moneys I have online and “in play” -- might have allowed me to post a big blind or two in an episode of High Stakes Poker.

That being said, I have wasted some time creating this little graph comparing my last three years of online play and thought somebody, somewhere (other than myself) might find it interesting. So here it be, sans totals:

Short-Stacked Shamus, online earnings, 2005-2007A brief, happy moment there right around the start of December where it looked like 2007 might overtake 2006, but a truly bone-headed, tilty session just prior to Xmas put the kibosh on that fantasy. Might also notice how the first two months of 2007 didn’t go so well (indeed, I was in the red there at the end of Feb.). Spent most of Jan. and Feb. playing LHE 1/2 (6-handed), where I found myself posting lots of short winning sessions and a few lengthy losers. Finally in March I took a seat at a PLO table and pretty much stayed there the rest of the year.

(By the way, this here graph only reflects online play. Actually left Vegas a winner back in April, exhaustively chronicled here at the time.)

Another interesting tidbit relative to the graphs. In 2005 I was mostly playing micro stakes NLHE (I think the buy-in was usually ten bucks -- wasn’t yet recording that stuff at the time). Late in the year I got more into limit, and spent a great deal of 2006 playing 6-handed LHE at $0.50/$1.00, moving up to 1/2 late in the year. Then in 2007 I played more PLO, and when I did get back into LHE in the late summer it was still 1/2, but almost exclusively at full 9- or 10-handed tables. If we could zero into this graph a bit closer, we’d see the swings in 2007 -- particularly the last ten months (the Omaha era) -- were much, much wilder than in either ’05 or ’06.

By the way, MTTs and SNGs don’t really factor here. I played ’em off and on, but never paid much in entry fees and didn’t really have any big scores at all during the calendar year. I did win that entry into a PokerStars Sunday Million back in November ’06 (playing for FPPs) -- and ended up taking half of what I’d won in cash in May 2007, which I believe partially explains that little recovery that quickly followed a harrowing dip at the beginning of that month.

Looking Forward

Looking AheadSo I didn’t achieve my only goal of the year, though I can’t claim ever to have committed that strongly to it in the first place. What about 2008?

I probably put in enough hours to qualify as a “part-time” player, though I really can’t claim higher than “recreational” status. If I’m being honest, that is. I’m likely much more studious about the game than yr average “for fun”-type rounder, but I have many, many other obligations -- including a full-time job that has nothing to do with poker -- that will always make playing a secondary (tertiary?) activity for me.

As such, I’m gonna keep “having fun” and “making a few berries here and there” as primary goals for the coming year. In the odd quiet moment -- say, just before sleep or during a particularly dull commute -- I am possessed by ambitious thoughts of big scores and new experiences. But I ain’t affected so much by such reveries that I can codify them into a sober list of unambiguous poker goals.

Some may regard that self-imposed inhibition as a flaw of sorts -- that whether I am conscious of it or not, I am stunting my “growth” as a player by refusing even to entertain the kinds of risks all great players have to have taken somewhere along the way. Maybe so. But, really . . . such a thought requires a variety of self-aggrandizement of which I simply ain’t capable. Yeah, I’m okay and win a little here and there. But what kind of fool would I have to be to think I’m ever gonna commit myself that much more to the game than I already have?

Still, I wanna have a few specifics in place here when I look back 365 days from now. So here’s a list of poker-playing goals for 2008:

1. Have fun.

2. Make a few berries. You know, cabbage. Cheddar, scratch, moolah. Bread, man! We’re talkin' bread . . . .

3. Play more MTTs and SNGs. (And play them well.) The lengthy multi-tablers are always a challenge for me, since I usually don’t have available to me too many three-plus hour-long stretches to sit and play. I do enjoy the tourneys, though, and do think -- esp. in PLO -- myself capable of making some decent scores.

4. Learn at least one new game to the point where I can win consistently. Am most interested in Stud and Stud/8 here, though those games are sometimes a bit scarce online (at my levels, anyhow).

5. Get back into NLHE cash games. Was where I began this here journey, and is where all the friggin’ action is.

6. Earn more than I did in 2006 (my best year). Let’s put us another little squiggly on the chart that goes higher than any of these, how ’bout it?

That’s all I can think of at the moment, in terms of poker-playing. I do have some other goals associated with the blog as well, one of which is to post more frequently. As in every weekday.

In my scrounging through Google Analytics I see how the traffic stays high Monday-Friday (when people read at work, I assume), and dips on the weekends. Might try to post something new each weekday, though that will probably mean fewer of those superlong, two-thousand-word manifestoes. I’ll still cut loose if something really grinds my gears (as Peter of Family Guy would say). But in order to make the posts more frequent, I may try (mostly) to make the posts more manageable in length. You guys who made it to the end of this one don’t care, probably, but some readers will be happy to see some shorter posts.

All feedback welcome here -- about any of it. And best to all you in yr efforts to achieve them ’08 goals.



Anonymous time2win said...

I love the first goal:


I hope it will be a good year for online poker. no more cheating, multiaccount, poker ban,...


1/02/2008 12:21 PM  

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