If anyone is still checking this blog, you know it’s a very long time ago I’ve updated it. The last time was actually the 1st of June which was a couple of days before my trip to France & Italy. Since then I’ve been more then busy and as blogging isn’t the most important thing on my to-do list I just didn’t create the time to start typing. Sure I haven’t been doing stuff non-stop during the last 2,5 months, but I need some time to relax as well. Not sure if I’m going to blog more often from now on, but at least an update for now which will cover the last 2,5 months.
Early June I left for holiday with one of my best mates. The idea was too cycle up Alpe D’Huez first and then relax in San Remo (Italy), Monaco, Nice, Juan-les-Pins, Cannes & st Tropez. Driving thru France was fun and we enjoyed a stop at Nancy before leaving on Saturday to Alpe D’Huez. I had never been to the alp’s before and only knew them from TV. Seeing how high these mountains really were was impressive but even more so, seeing the first bit of the climb off Alpe D’Huez really shocked me! The first 1,5km (1mile) is more then 10% and that’s steep! Luckily we were still in the car that day so I could get a little bit of rest before the big day on Sunday. We had a very nice hotel half-way up the climb with beautiful view.
I woke up early on Sunday and was ready to go around 09:00 in the morning. I was feeling fit but was anxious to see if I would make it. My goal was going up without stepping down a single time and I didn’t really care about the time it would take me. My mate would go ahead by car and would stop at every hairpin to make photo’s and do some filming. Maybe you don’t care about all the cycling, but I’ll add some pictures as this was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done!
The climb is 13,8km(8.5miles) long with an average gradient of 7,9%, consists of 21 hairpins finishing at a height of 1.860 meters (6.100ft). The first 5 hairpins (about 2,5km) are incredible hard. It’s over 10% and although I was still fresh since I just started, it hurts! There is a constant pressure on your legs and back and my only thought was reaching the next hairpin. In each hairpin you could stretch your back a bit, slow down the pace without falling of your bike and get ready for the next part. Every hairpin I needed those 10 seconds of rest and my buddy was asking how I was doing since I looked like cracking already. After passing the 5th hairpin things got a little less steep and I could handle the gradient very well. Besides a part about 2/3 of the climb I really had a nice rhythm going but I didn’t want to push myself to hard as I was afraid I might have to pay the price later on. 1 hour and 49 minutes later I reached the finish and I didn’t step down a single time. It was a very long ride and I couldn’t have handled more then 10%. This climb was probably perfect for me and my training paid off! I will definitely do it again, although possibly another climb. I’m already thinking about what I would like to plan for next year, an experience to never forget!
After that I enjoyed a relaxed vacation, we had good weather, enjoyed the sight seeing, enjoyed the beach and didn’t party much at all. I wouldn’t bore you with all the details, let’s get to some more poker related topics!
May wasn’t really a good month as you could read in my previous blog and I was planning to play some poker next to watching as many worldcup matches in June. On the first day of my return, The Netherlands played against Denmark. We won, we had a lot of fun and I was planning to start playing the weekend after. I played a bit on Friday, The Netherlands played another match on Saturday and on Sunday I went to the beach as the weather was perfect. I started playing on Sunday evening again which is my real poker night and after 3 PokerStars freezes and a PokerTracker that was lagging I quit. I re-installed PokerTracker, couldn’t play on Monday because of that and on Tuesday I did another small session. The Netherlands reached the next round and the weather was still beautiful giving me enough excuses to hardly play any poker at all. June was the saddest month in 1,5 year of poker, playing only a total of 10.718 hands (I have days where I play 16K hands normally), losing a total of $23 bucks and some VPPs/FPPs.
Sure I enjoyed myself, but I started a SNE chase at the beginning of the year and I this wasn’t really according to plan. It was July and The Netherlands were still in the worldcup. I didn’t only watch the matches of our national team, I didn’t miss a single match! Therefor July started slow and I lost about $2.000 the first week. That week The Netherlands beat Brazil in the Quarter finals and we were up against Uruguay in the semi’s! I watched every match in a old restaurant which is owned by some friends, watching the worldcup with the same group of 40/50 people was the most fun I ever had during a worldcup. After beating Uruguay we were up against Spain in the finals, which unfortunately we lost 🙁 It would have been so cool if we would have won the worldcup, Spain did deserve the victory however and I had a blast for about a month long, which is something I’ll never forget!
The worldcup ended at the 11th of July and it was time for some serious grinding. Now the Tour de France (Cycling) also already started and I really love to watch the mountain stages. I had a brilliant idea to combine the Tour the France and a big grind by taking a week off from work and grind every single evening/night and during the day watch the Tour the France. This wasn’t all relaxing and watching sport but it was the best combo ever! Putting in hours was easy as I knew I could enjoy watching the Tour the France the next day and I had a record day at the 19th of July playing 16.879 hands in just 11,5 hours. Only a week later I broke that record again by playing 16.944 hands in 12 hours. I played a total of 152.476 hands in a little over 110,17 hours with an average of 1.384 hands/hour. Unfortunately there were not much $5/$10 tables (which is normal for June/July) and I only gathered 83.344VPPs. After the bad start I did won some money back finishing at -$654 but including FPPs/Milestone Bonus ($7.867) the overall score was +$7.213. Not that bad, but with 538K VPPs in total I was behind pace!
So August started and I was ready for another good month of grinding. During the full week of grinding I really enjoyed playing, won money and had a nice confident boost. August however had other plans for me…
The first day I lost $1.415 in 15K hands, the next 3 days another $1k and on the 8th I lost $1.764,50 and the following day another $1.121. In total I was down about $6.000 in only 10 days and 62K hands. There were a lot more $5/$10 tables and besides the fact that these tables are a lot tougher and I’m probably not a winner at these stakes anyway (not anymore that is), I was really running afwul. If I didn’t think this was true I could better stop playing anyway, but I really had some soul crushing hands. Around 05:00 in the morning on Tuesday I quit my session, which is the 2nd time ever I quit because I just couldn’t handle the beats any longer. The last time was in February where I decided after that night I needed to move down in limits.
Since Tuesday I played two small sessions after work, trying to play less tables and focus on my game. I have some plans to mix things up and although it didn’t work out the first day (losing $181 in 2k hands), I had a extremely good session on Thursday winning $1.089 in a little over 3k hands. I checked how long ago it was until I had a $1K+ winning day and was shocked to found out it was the 3th of May! This used to happen a lot more and I’ve been up $1K+ plenty of times the last couple of months, I just could never finish the day on my high. I only played about 15/16 tables at the same time during these two sessions and although the sample is really small, I could really use this! I’m still down $5k for this month but I hope I can continue this upswing on Sunday and win back some money and get more confident about my game.
During the last months I really had the feeling I was not playing worse then last year, but my opponents really improved a lot. Since I’m working part-time next to trying to achieve SNE I really have no time to work on my game and study my opponents in detail. I’ve actually never done this really and if you would ask me this wasn’t really necessary last year to be a small winner at $5/$10 but it is now. I’m 100% familiar with the fact poker isn’t just playing and studying should be part of your game, but when deciding to go for SNE at the beginning of the year I knew I would have little time for this. It’s one of the sacrifices of going for SNE and I don’t like it at all at the moment! I’ll have little choice and will just have to try my best until the end of the year. I’m curently at 578K VPPs which is 36K behind pace. That might not sounds that bad but I’ve also got an upcoming trip to California and Las Vegas which will start at the 3rd of September! Something horrible need to happen to me if I’ll not be a SNE at the end of the year but there is still a lot of grinding ahead of me! Luckily the amount of $3/$5 and $5/$10 tables is going up again and normally during the WSOP broadcasts, WCOOP and final months were everybody is trying to reach SN/Milestones or SNE the amount of VPPs/Hour will go up again. Still I will probably have to work about 28 hours a week until the end of the year and that is excluding the 24 hours/week I have to work at my job!
During the first 5 months of the year my girlfriend was away but now she’s back I also have to give her enough attention of course! I already promised a trip to Miami/Bahamas (PCA) for coming January (I will play the PCA as SNE reward) so that leaves me no other choice then to work hard and have a little less fun. I’ve had a blast so far this summer and I’ve been drinking every weekend with hardly any exercise. I’ve cycled 3 times since my Alpe D’Huez trip and together with the bad results this doesn’t help my game at all of course. Las Vegas is in 3 weeks and when I’m back I’ll change my lifestyle back again to little/no drinking, more exercise and a little healthier food! You got to enjoy life so I’m not cutting down now it’s summer but it’s definitely affects my game! Also I have to cycle 150km in two weeks and I’m not sure how the heck I’m going to do that without any training!
For now this is it, I hope you can forgive the fact that I’m not blogging that active at the moment. Looking at my schedule I’ll probably not going to put in a lot more blogs till the end of the year. You can follow me on Twitter and possibly I’ll write a small blog about my Las Vegas trip, no promises! I’m planning to party a lot, playing a bit of cash games but poker isn’t the main goal this time.
Thanks for your patience and see you at the tables!