Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 and Beyond

Writing a recap of 2007 in this here poker blog has proven a little difficult, as I've started and stopped this post quite a few times over the last few days. A lot of that is due to my increasingly schizo blogging nature that developed during the year, with a lot more of my time spent on my house flipping blog than here. Writing about poker also feels weird, as part of me wants to insist that I didn't even really play poker this year, despite lots of evidence to the contrary.

With so much of my time devoted to renovating houses in 2007, my own personal poker play definitely took a backseat. Throw in the tournament reporting gigs for PokerRoom and my other affiliate and freelance work, and life, and that left poker squeezed out of even the backseat, forced to hitch a trailer to the back of the rapidly accelerating vehicle zooming down the highway.

Part of me definitely does miss the heady days of yore, when I couldn't read enough about poker and rushed home to excitedly log on to play some cards after work, but much more of me is definitely happy to largely close that chapter of my life. My competitive nature gets the best of me at time, and poker is a dangerous mistress in that regard. Even when I was fully wrapped up in the world of poker I was uneasy about the amount of time it consumed on a daily basis, and all I can do is shake my head sadly when looking back from an even greater remove.

As far as results, it was a prerry schizo year. I finished in the hole about $2,500 on the year as far as online play, after bouncing around all over the place during the year, playing MTTs, SnGs, cash games, HU, you name it. Booking a loss does sting, but it is what it is. I could sugarcoat it or resort to the ever-fun tactic of misdirection and half-truths, but, really and truly, I donked it up online the whole year.

I rarely had a proper bankroll and showed absolutely no table or game selection, signing up for the Sunday Million on a whim, jumping into a Omaha tournament at the last minute for no reason whatsoever, jumping into SnGs over my roll, you name it, I did it. When I buckled down and ground out $50NL and $100 NL cash games I had lots of success, but I'd inevitably get impatient and sit in a $400 NL game, or play a bunch of big buy-in Sunday tournaments, or anything else to hamstring myself.

Much of that loss came from ad money and other "found" money, but I actually deposited about $800 of my own money (the first deposit I'd made into the poker economy in many moons) throughout the year. I've currently got $2.37 total in my online accounts after decimating my remaining bankroll while bored on vacation. Which isn't exactly, umm, robusto.

On the flip side, I showed about a $6,000 profit from live play during the year, which included playing at the Bike, Commerce, and Las Vegas. About $4,000 came from tournament winnings, with the rest from $1/2 and $2/4 NL cash games. I was actually just shy of $8K in profits before the last trip, but dumped back a chunk of those profits.

I could try to explain the gap there and vow to play more live poker in 2008, due to my mad people reading skillz and savvy tournament learnings, but that'd be a pretty dumb exercise. Reading anything at all into 10-15 tournament results and 25 hours or so of cash game play is sheer silliness, as that's too wee a sample size to conclude much of anything.

Perhaps more importantly than the bottom line dollars and cents is that for the most part, I enjoyed playing poker in 2007, with less and less compulsion to play a certain amount of hands or trying to extract a certain amount of profit from the game. I've talked in the past about attempts to return poker to "enjoyable hobby" status, and I feel like I'm nearly there.

Much of the online losses are solely due to playing over my bankroll, so I'm not quite there, as the compulsion to jump into games over my head is pretty directly linked to the "one big score" fantasy, where I like to pretend that a win in the Sunday Millions will provide me with the proper bankroll to be an online poker holla balla, yada yada yada. Donking off $2,500 in a year is kind of pricey for an "enjoyablee hobby", though, so I either need to take my online play more seriously (unlikely) or limit myself to playing lower stake tournaments and SnGs (more likely).

As far as my own play, I'm not too terribly unhappy with where I'm at poker-wise. The tournament reporting gig has definitely helped, as far as simply watching many, many hours of live tournament play at the WSOP, WPT Legends, WPT North American Poker Championship, and WPT Five Diamonds events. It's also been nice to be around poker players on those trips, as far as discussing hands, how to play certain situations, etc. I also got a lot of live play in, something I've actually done very little of in the past.

As far as poker goals for 2008, I'm hoping to be able to play 2-3 preliminary WSOP events this year, assuming I get the two investment houses I currently own sold by June. I'll likely stick some cash back into Full Tilt when their WSOP satellites start back up, as I've had pretty good success in those in the past, and it'd be nice to grab an entry or two on the cheap. But I'm pretty committed to buying into at least a couple of events, and have set aside the profits from this last year's play for that.

I'd like to get back into the habit of posting here more, but the jury is still out on that. I wish I had the energy and drive of Pauly and could post more here during poker tournament trips, but I'm usually too busy and/or exhausted to do anything more writerly than the work I'm being paid to do, so usually nothing gets posted here. I've toyed with the idea of re-entering the poker and casino affiliate world, which would probably lead to more posting here, but I'm having enough success in my other affiliate ventures to get excited about the prospect at the moment, as the uncertainty and feeling of having already been burned once is still a bit too strong.

So, in the end, who knows. I'll definitely still poke my head in here from time to time and if you see me at the online tables, rejoice, as there's likely money to be made. Hope everyone had a great 2007 and an even better 2008.

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