I can't say I was too sad to see 2009 go, so, you know, yay for that. Not that it was necessarily a bad year (especially compared to what some people went through) but it felt like I spent the whole year rolling multiple rocks uphill, able to keep them all at around the midway point but unable to get any individual stone over the top and thus crossed off the list.
As far as 2010, well, we'll see. I'm 99% certain that I'm going to take a break from all the real estate scheming, as that just flat wore me out the last half of 2009. My patience for chasing contractors is at an all-time low, and that's all it seemed I did for much of the end of 2009. Kind of makes me sad, as I really enjoy working on houses, but it's a hard thing to do on top of a full-time job(s). The plan is to keep the three rental houses I picked up over the last few years, as they'll all cash flow pretty well (well, two do, as the third is still being renovated) for the foreseeable future, but I'm not looking to buy anything new for awhile, unless some amazing deal absolutely falls into my lap.
On the freelance side, I've got work coming out of my ears, to the point that I may have to actually hire someone just to keep up. Which is all very good, and ties into the above somewhat. While the freelance work isn't the most exciting or gratifying work in the world, it doesn't involve the outlay of many thousands of dollars or chasing around grown-ass men to try to get them to do something they said they'd do two weeks ago. I don't mind working my ass off on a regular basis; I'd just rather do it in a relatively stress-free environment that I control.
The day job has plumbed new depths of corporate hell, but with my wife out of work since last April, it's still necessary to strap on the spelunking gear. Aside from a paycheck, I'm trying to take the approach that I'm learning, on a daily basis, important lessons in how never to run a business, as well as picking up valuable tips on the absolute worst way to treat people who work for you. So there is that at least. Yes, the lemonade tastes great, thanks for asking.
As far as poker, I got sucked into yet another poker experiment at the end of the year, spending the last three months or so banging out about half a million hands of $100 NL, 16 tabling at the full ring games at FullTilt. I was contemplating giving SNE a run at PokerStars in 2010 so I wanted to see if I could handle that many tables, what sort of win rate was possible, etc.
It was definitely an interesting experiment, and reasonably profitable with rakeback thrown in, as far as making about $25/hour. My win rate from poker play itself, though, was pretty much -.25 PTBB/100 to about +.25 PTBB/100, so rakeback was pretty much the sole source of any profits. Handling the tables wasn't really that hard (especially after downloading TableNinja), so definitely doable, but it after the initial "Woo hoo, I'm getting 5,000 FTP points a day" wore off, it very much becomes trading one job for another. There's also a surprising amount of variance as well when you're playing that many hands/tables, as I had multiple -20 buy-in days, something I wouldn't have thought possible at full ring $100 NL, playing a pretty tight style. It makes sense, though, if you think of it more as 25,000 hand chunks of poker; it's just strange when that's crammed into one day.
As far as managing that grind for a whole year, meh, not so much. I'm glad I gave it a whirl and it's not a bad back-up plan if the need arises to buckle down and grind out some money in the short term, but I'd have to become a better poker player/multi-tasker to get the win rate up to really make it worthwhile.
Trying to avoid making any grand plans or goals for 2010, as I have in the past, and take things more as they come. Planning on working for bwin again at the 2010 WSOP, so there's that to look forward to, and I've been slowly getting back into the world of affiliate marketing the last month or two. These promises have been entirely untrustworthy in the past, but the plan is to be a little more active into poking my head more regularly into assorted blogs I have in the future, as I'm back to spending more time noodling with PHP instead of covered in grout or paint.