Monday, July 23, 2007

Miscellaneous Stuff

I’ve created a new method of accomplishing small tasks. I break each hour down into 5-minute intervals, then assign 12 small tasks to complete. I know it sounds absolutely bonkers and ridiculous, but 5-minute tasks are not overwhelming. In fact, they’re easy to accomplish. This may be the trick to completing larger projects that take me forever to finish. Like home remodeling. Screenplays. I’ve turned tasks into games. I’ve always used a version of this method, but I’ve never broken things down into such small units before. So far it’s worked. I’ve getting things done, even ugly things. 5 minutes is nothing.

I played around 5-6 hours of poker over the weekend. I’m noticing in my cash play that I sometimes sabotage my stack by making ridiculous bets, hoping my opponent will fold. However, it’s clear my opponent has a hand. This happened yesterday when I had AK on a TT8 flop. I had raised prefop and the bb called. The bb bet out and I raised all in. I was pretty much drawing dead as he had AT. I did that again the day before when I had AJ and the board was 679J. I pushed all in and was called by a set. Horrible. I really need to erase that play from my game plan. The only hands calling me are hands that beat me. At any rate, even though I made a few horrid plays, I still managed to win $50 for the weekend. I’m down about $130 total since playing cash games this month. I’m playing very low limits (.25/.50), and finding that when I play four tables at once I do better than playing only one. Perhaps it’s because I play more disciplined. I’m not playing a hand if I don’t have to, especially since playing four tables can get real crazy. The downside, of course, to playing four tables is you miss a lot of information. The game is so easy when the cards fall my way. I’m getting better at picking up weakness. Most of the players at this level will advertise exactly what they have. A big all in push almost always means the nuts. I’m growing less inclined to make this play because it’s so obvious. One play I’ve been doing a lot is betting around half the pot on the river with what appears to be the nuts. If I’m raised, I’ve lost and will fold. It’s a good protection type bet that has actually won me lots of pots when I had nothing.

I leave for Seattle and Calgary in a few days. My current cash flow situation is pretty bad. I need to win a poker tournament at some point because I’m running out of money to pay for things. I’ve reconsolidated my credit card bills so I have one more year to earn a big payday. With the information I’m learning from, I’m hopeful I’ll one day score that big win. Luck sure plays a big part in poker tournaments though. I have been somewhat unlucky with my major holdings (last night my KK lost to QQ when a Q hit on the river...this has been happening to me with great frequency this month). Everything evens out in the long run though.

Screenwriting. I have not been devoting much time to screenwriting, but that is about to change. I have a new script I’m writing with Chris (our romantic comedy) and Don’s Making a Prophet script which I feel absolutely no confidence in tackling. But I am determined to complete the assignment (even though it’s two years overdue). This is where my 5-minute assignment game can really make a difference, I think. I hope. I need to get that script monkey off my back (the way I was able to get Grandudes off my back).
I’ve done it before, and I’m in a good place to do it now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Little of Everything

Tonight I play poker at Craig’s. It’s the second week of a 21-week season. I haven’t cashed at Craig’s in about two months. Overall, my cards have been very cold and it’s really affected my tilt factor. When I lose consistently my confidence plummets. I don’t want to see myself as a hard luck case. I can get lucky, but lately I get sucked out more often than not. At two sng’s over the weekend, I had QQ to an AA and KK. Then I had TT to a KK and JJ. That’s just bad luck. At the same time in a cash game, my AA got cracked to 87 when the idiot hit his straight on the river. All the money went in post-flop. My luck in cash games is very shaky. I do seem to get my money in with the best of it, though.

I’m hitting my poker studies hard this weekend with 12 hours of PokerXFactor videos to review. I may as well watch all of them since I paid for the service. I sure would like to see some kind of return on my poker studies.

Last night, Chris and I began work on our next script, a romantic comedy about a woman who keeps going out with the same guy in hopes that he falls in love with her. She goes out on the same first date with him. Chris came up with the idea and I think it has lots of play. It’s like Groundhog Day, only different. Could have great potential.

Lately, I’ve been very motivated and geared toward work. My To-Do list tricks have been working very well. Lately, I’ve developed this scheme whereas I assign myself 5-minute tasks, 12 of them, and do them. I try and finish before the hour is up. In the meantime, I get an hour’s worth of chores finished. Pretty neat!

I had dinner with Becky last Sunday and afterward she told me she just wanted to be friends. Wow, it’s like a broken record. There must be something very wrong with me because I meet these women who share so many of the same interests I share, yet there’s never any mutual chemistry. How sad. I think I may be single forever. I sure don’t want to be, but I may as well get used to it. My prospects don’t look good and I’m not getting any younger.
At any rate, that’s all for now. No big tournament wins and no one’s calling me up to read my scripts. I’m ready to change that though.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Reading, Medi(p)ocre

I didn’t make the WSOP Main event this year and I’m disappointed, but also doubly determined to make it next year. I feel I have a ways to go to get good at this game. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I’m really quite average and not nearly as good as I’ve led myself to believe. My reason for thinking this is my recent no limit play at the .25/.50 table. I’ve losing badly at these tables and I’m not sure what to do about it. I feel as though I’m getting out-played. People are pushing back at me and I either can’t make the call or make the call and have a much worse hand. It’s frustrating. Yes, I’ve taken some bad beats as well, and run into some impossible situations, but still, isn’t poker about overcoming these unfortunate situations and still managing a profit? More and more I’m finding myself rooting for luck to temper my losses. That can’t be good poker. I don’t know why, but I really seem to suck on the internet.
I’m reading more these days, trying to read 200 pages every two days if possible. I have so many books at home that I haven’t read. Right now I’m finishing “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” Ian McEwan’s “the comfort of strangers,” Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World,” “Good Mood,” and No Limit Theory and Practice, the Concepts section, which I’m writing out in Word. I’m enjoying reading five books at once. I may start doing more of this because it’s simply how I think, how I am.

Monday, July 2, 2007

High Energy, Bad Cards

I get on these incredibly unrealistic kicks that throw my entire schedule out of kilter. I’m toying with the idea of reading all six Harry Potter books in order to be ready for the 7th and final installment July 20 at midnight. That is simply crazy. And yet, why not become part of the most unbelievable publishing event in history. It would be a lot of fun. I would need to read roughly 170 pages a day from now until the 20th. Okay, that’s fine, I could do that, but what about my poker, which I need to crank up and win money on before my credit cards come due in August? And what about my investing, and the other books I have to plow through. It makes more sense to read through those first, and then read the Harry Potter books. The reality is I have projects to finish first before tackling something so ridiculously impractical and time-consuming. Besides, Harry Potter is not really part of my world. I have movies to watch and other books to read. Okay, perhaps another time.
I went out with Becky last night to see Knocked Up. This was our fifth “date” together. I enjoy her company and have been taking things slow with her. She’s a very sweet woman with strong opinions. So far I like her. We’ll see what develops.
I managed to submit an application to the Disney Fellowship last week. I was happy I did that. It took a bit of effort to complete. I now need other contests to submit my work to.
There are weeks when I have tons of energy, and weeks when I have no energy at all. I have a lot of energy this week. I hope it lasts.
Over the weekend, I spent an entire afternoon and evening with Richard. We really hadn’t spent time together in months. I picked up a few books after listening to him talk about them. They are “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” and “Armed Madhouse” by Greg Palast. I’m about 50 pages into “Confessions” right now. Very interesting.
I played about 30 minutes of poker Friday night and lost $50 on very loose play. I lost about $175 playing no limit holdem. I worry that I’m really horrible at this game. When I lose, my confidence goes way down. I seem to be losing a lot and don’t really know what to do. I guess I could tighten up a bit and only play hands in position. Most of the time I get in trouble when I’m out of position with a good starting hand. It’s tough to play out of position, especially on the turn.Turn play needs improvement. I plan to read my Sklanski book tonight and really work on improving my turn play. I’ve watched all the cash game videos at pokerxfactor and now need to practice what Rizen preaches. I wish I were a better player though.