Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tracking Travels

The year is nearly done, and I’m again recalling other end-of-year posts including many from the first several years of the blog that spent a lot of effort measuring (or at least summarizing) what had happened over the previous twelve months.

Anyone happening by here who happens to scroll down and look along the right-hand column will notice how I’ve been scribbling away on a constant basis since April 2006, meaning I’m more than halfway through a tenth year of all this chronicling of my poker-related thoughts. And thoughts that aren’t necessarily poker-related, yet I’ve found a way to relate them to poker, anyway.

One personal benefit of having carried on at such length with a blog is the way it helps me remember details of things I myself have done, as well as sometimes helping me track down particulars of various stories or events from the poker world over the last near-decade (if, of course, I happened to have written anything about them).

For example, to highlight a personal item, I was trying this week to recall how many poker-related trips I’d taken in 2015. Given enough time, I could probably do so on my own, but a quick check through all my “travel report” posts here helped me find the answer a lot more quickly.

I took six trips altogether -- to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in Nassau, Bahamas, LAPT Chile in Viña del Mar, the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, LAPT Peru in Lima, EPT Barcelona, and the LAPT Grand Final in São Paulo, Brazil. It’s a good number for me -- enough to be out and about a lot, but not so many that I’m away from the farm more than I’d like to be.

I know in previous years I’ve had more trips. And of course those years when I’d go to Vegas all summer for the World Series of Poker I’ve been away from home more days total, though for the last couple of summers I’ve stayed home.

I’m suddenly mindful this week of this sort of counting exercise -- and of exercise, generally speaking -- thanks to Vera Valmore’s mother giving me a FitBit for Christmas. The stats I’ve been most intrigued by so far have been the ones related to my sleep (how long I’m sleeping, how restless I am, and how many times I’m waking up), what my heart rate is and how it goes up and down during the course of a day, and the number of steps I’m taking and miles I’m covering each day.

There’s more I could be tracking with this sucker, and perhaps I will eventually. Reminds me a little of the endless stats produced by PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager when playing online, measuring and tabulating every last movement you make.

It’s also making me remember how sometimes I’d become conscious of all the measuring going on, knowing whenever I would three-bet (or perform any other action) how that would affect the percentage for the session. So, too, with the FitBit it’s easy to be encouraged to walk a few extra steps to reach a particular number and the like.

Meanwhile, I’m starting to think about my next trip when I’ll be going back to the Bahamas next week for the 2016 PCA. Kind of curious to see how many steps I take and miles I cover in a typical day of tournament reporting. Yet another way to track my travels.

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