Monday, February 18, 2008

A Weekend of Poker

I learn more about poker each time I play. Over the weekend, I played around 15 tournaments, some satellites and a few SNGs. I usually get my money in with the best of it, but I seem to suffer 2-,3-and 5-out syndrome on the turn and river. It's tough. I'm getting good as just accepting my fate and moving on, though at times it's hard. One thing I notice about my play is I don't fear getting knocked out on the bubble. I'll go for something when I feel someone's making a play at me. I play almost exclusively at PokerStars. Lots of tournaments, good players and and lots of good deals. I won $300 in a 10,000 FPP tournament that had $2 million in payouts. I like that. First prize was $200K. I got knocked out with 99 v AK. A king on the turn. Oh well. That's poker. I felt I played pretty well over the weekend. I didn't make too many mistakes, and many of the hands played themselves. I'm still waiting for a sizeable win. Hasn't really happened yet.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Feeling Pressure and Hearing Those Damn Voices

Poker over the weekend was frustrating. I don’t have a very large bankroll at the moment, and I keep losing. My attitude is also really hurting my game. The pessimistic, “I’m so unlucky” part of me has thrown all kinds of doubt into my game. I focus on all the unlucky beats that happen to me, and seem somewhat lost in a hand. Rather than pay attention to the players and their beating patterns, I play too many games at once and don’t completely focus on what is happening at the table.

Therefore, I’m going back to poker basics. Relearning the game from the ground up. Rereading some of the books I’ve read, and also start paying attention to just one game at a time. I need to increase my bankroll before I can multitable at PokerStars again (unfortunately).
I’ll continue with the freerolls and play as many as I can. I’m not thinking through my decisions as much as I should.

Gavin Smith told Doyle Brunson the single most important paragraph about poker is sometimes taking the worst of it in certain spots because you picked up all those small pots at little risk.
There are lots of exceptional poker players nowadays. My current records are not very impressive. I’ve never won a big tournament with any big money. And I sure could use a win right now.

I am going to create a Word file of a poker log, along with an Excel file of my poker performance. I’ve been too careless with my poker logs. I’m not taking my results seriously enough. I understand maximizing time, but I also think it’s important to play few tables at once, especially no limit, which is so much harder than limit.

There is a way to win at this game, but it takes patience, commitment, discipline and stamina. It also takes money. I can really improve my game, but I have to get serious, stay humble, and not let my emotions get the better of me. Play to win, both in poker and in life.

I was very depressed yesterday, and it’s true that I’m starting to feel the pressure of not having much money to fall back on; however, I do feel energized today and look forward to playing poker and studying tonight.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Swimming in the Ocean

So much swimming in my mind. An ocean of ideas, thoughts, to-do lists, tasks to complete. My mind can get that way. Never enough time to do what I want to do. Way too many outrageous chores. Between poker and screenwriting there’s not much time left for other pursuits. And yet I keep pursuing.
Super Tuesday was last night and it seems no questions were answered. We’re still where we were the night before. Not knowing is starting to make me nervous. I’d hate to see a chaotic convention in Denver. I fear the desire to win may trump the best intentions of the party. I see both sides to the Clinton Obama choice. Both make sense. I’m with Obama, but more importantly, I want to win in November. I don’t know what I’d do if a Republican president won in ’08. It would make no sense to me, much like the past 8 years have made no sense to me.
Screenwriting, poker, dating, email blogging, watching TV, reading, walking the dog, eating, work, chores. It never ends.
My cash flow is about to run dry soon. I need a big poker win to start paying for all the trips I’m taking this year. Money, money, money...

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Month, New Goals

I was very productive in January. I usually am. Once my shingles cleared I was able to focus on my exercise routine, screenwriting, poker, and connecting with friends and family.

Chris visited me over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. We spent the weekend writing our script Deja Bride, caught a few movies, and enjoyed each other’s company the way we always do. He’s so much fun and makes me laugh all the time. A truly hysterical character. We caught a debate between the Democratic candidates and he started to get caught up in the exciting contest. He and I hope to have a working draft of our script completed by the end of February. I think that’s a totally realistic goal. I have high hopes for this script. We need to do a far better job at marketing ourselves, however. This will take work, but I think there are lessons from Barack Obama that I can use in my own life. Confidence without arrogance. Win them over with charm and wit. I can’t say enough about that strategy.

Poker. Frustrating and not very profitable this month. My mindset was not good for poker. I constantly feel as though I’m going to lose hands. That’s not how I should play this game. My tough-mindedness gave way to indecision and defeat. I lost $108 accumulating FPPs on Poker Stars. I’m down $550 since December at $1/2. Not the end of the world, but certainly disappointing. This game is a mind game like no other. I have a lot to learn and study, even four years into this endeavor. My day will come. Why not tonight! I caught a few PokerXFactor videos and studied their patience, their calculations that go into pushing all in, calling or folding. I think my best game is in the tournament sphere, though I have still not won a big tournament yet. With the increased FPPs I’m winning, I should be able to buy into several of these $215 tournaments down the road. I’d also like to buy into some World Series of Poker satellites, too. I’ll study those videos and do what I can to win a seat again. That will be my top priority online this year. I also want to check out satellites for the Shooting Stars tournament. I need to earmark time for more live play, especially tournament play. I always seem to be stuck in small limit mode. Not fun.

I came back from Kansas City today. I spent the weekend there with mom at Jill & Chris’s. Jill’s second child Hayden spent a week in the NICU because he wasn’t getting enough oxygen. The baby was released this morning, much to Jill’s relief. It was an enjoyable weekend. I stayed with Jill two nights at the hospital. The room was comfortable. Jill had been an emotional mess throughout the week, but I think my presence with her at the hospital calmed her down. It was nice hanging out with her for a few days.

China: I have to start preparing for this incredibly expensive but exciting trip. It’s going to be expensive, but I’ll figure out a way to pay for it. I really need to win at poker eventually. I do win live, but he rake is so much at the card clubs in Oakland. Playing $3/6 is hardly worth it, and playing larger stakes requires a larger bankroll. That’s my catch. Playing tournaments at Poker Stars will help.

My February goals have been written. I am determined to have the most successful month of my life starting now!