Aug 082011

It’s Friday and I’m at work. My sister calls and I turn down the call since I’m in a meeting. Within 1 minute she calls again so I’ll take the call and tell her that I only have time when it’s really important. Unfortunately it is, grandpa has inflammation of the lungs, deadly to somebody of his age.

Grandpa is my only grandpa I’ve ever knew. He isn’t the father of my mother but that doesn’t make any difference for me. He was a cab driver in Amsterdam and always had great stories to tell, if he told a story you wished you would have been born earlier. He spent all his money enjoying life when he still could and he was fit for most of his life. Last year we saw him getting old really fast and during the last months it was cruel to see somebody almost getting worse by the day. He didn’t had any concrete disease but he lost about all functions in his body 1 by 1.

Back to Friday. I rush from work and meet my family at his room at the nursing center. He is still awake but is barely able to speak any words. He recognises everybody right away, his body isn’t willing anymore but he knows exactly what’s happening. The last couple of weeks he already wished he would die, there was no chance on recovery anymore. We need to say goodbye, he is awake now but as soon as he gets morphine he will probably go to sleep for the last time. It’s the first time I can really say goodbye to somebody who is dying and it makes it even harder because he understands exactly what is happening. Till the end he didn’t lose his sense of humor, he still makes jokes but each word cost loads of energy. He says thank you, he says goodbye. We say goodbye and he says: “As long as I’m awake, I can’t die”. He is just to tired to stay awake, it’s time to leave, it’s time to let him rest.

The next morning at 05:30 he breathe out his last breath. The only things that remain are great memories.

Rest in peace

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Aug 012011

My last blog was dated from when I got back from Las Vegas. Most of the year I’ve updated my blog about every week but since I came back from Las Vegas I needed a small break.

Not because I was losing money, not because I was burned out but because I had no direction to go. Since ‘Black Friday’ (Friday, April 15 for those who forgot) I had lost my course in poker. I’ve been 24 tabling as long as I can remember and that was the thing I could do best. After diner I sat down with a bottle of water, fired up 24 tables and kept playing as long as I could until I was hungry. I would grab some food, watch a TV-Series and then start up my 24 tables again until I could hardly keep myself awake around 08:00 in the morning. After ‘Black Friday’ I could have dropped stakes to keep 24-tabling but I couldn’t interest myself for any $1/$2 tables, I could have switched my game to 6-max but couldn’t bring up the energy to go through the learning curve. I pondered and tried to buy myself some time. These weren’t excuses, I knew what I was doing but I still didn’t found my new course.

I started playing more MTT’s again which was fun, had a pretty intense SCOOP and after that I was preparing for Las Vegas. At least I still had fun things to do in poker so it wasn’t that I was unhappy with it all but I missed my old routine. The day I got back from Las Vegas I tried to get back into my game again. Playing 12-14 tables of $2/$4 – $5/$10 Full Ring, Limit Hold’em but I just couldn’t focus playing so few tables. I won money, that wasn’t the problem but I couldn’t play for any longer then 2 hours. Since my mind had plenty of time to think about other stuff then poker while playing, I was distracted all the time. Often thinking about what other fun things I could do and most of those plans I brought into action. Enjoying the good life at the beach (unfortunately not the last few weeks), having diner and drinks with friends and visiting dance festivals and dance the night away. Also my normal day job required a bit more of my attention. I’ve worked a little extra because I was needed to help keeping a pretty big IT-project on track. I’ve started to work on that project in 2008 so I couldn’t turn away from it when I was most needed.

Probably everybody gets by now that things have changed. Starting yesterday I’ve changed course and got some pretty clear directions where to go to. As usual it not only related to poker but also cycling but more on that next week. I’m not planning to drastically change my course in poker, I’ll keep playing my beloved LHE games and have learned to accept the days of 24-tabling are over. The accepting part is the most important thing. I didn’t need a totally new direction, I just needed to slightly change it, which means playing less tables and improve my winrate with it. Yesterday I played a 5 hours session playing 10-14 tables and found my peace in not being able to play more tables. It actually felt pretty relaxed and for sure I had my portion of distractions but it couldn’t stop me from playing. Together with the small sessions I played earlier this month I won almost $3.000 in a little under 9.000 hands, winning 5.49BB/100. I feel ashamed by saying this is my best month since November 2009 table profit wise. There are plenty of months I made a lot more money due to all the rakeback I received by playing over 100.000-250.000 hands a month and in the end it’s the total amount of $ earned that counts. 9.000 hands is also a really small sample size but since I got back from Las Vegas my game did improve and it feels good to profit again in the games.

I already hoped for it in one of my previous blogs. Each year when I get back from Las Vegas my game improved. My best months were always the months that followed after a Las Vegas visit and this time it’s no different. I played some cashgames in the Bellagio but more important, I played with the best during the LHE tournaments at the WSOP. I’ve improved a lot in the blinds, play a bit more hands (1,5%) and I’m more creative. With this knowledge my new direction in poker is pretty simple, just play the game. There are no VPP goals, no $ goals. There is no need to 24 table, no need to improve my Razz or even 8-game and I’m not going to hope to be lucky by playing MTT’s for a while. As usual I will be playing on the Sunday & Monday evening/nights and Tuesday evening and I’ll do the best I can. If I indeed got better I might be able to move up but not before I played roughly 50.000 hands, 10-14 tabling and keep a decent winrate.

It won’t mean I will not play any tournament at all anymore but currently it doesn’t have my interest. I am going to select a couple of tournaments during the WCOOP which I really want to play. The LHE and Razz tournaments for sure and possible a select No-Limit schedule. The WCOOP starts the 4th of September and ends the 25th and there is guaranteed prize pool of $30.000.000 distributed in 62 events! Another sweet tournament series at PokerStars.

For now it’s time to enjoy the sun a bit today as it hasn’t been out much lately. I hope to go cycling as well and then I’ll be back at the poker tables tonight! Next week I’ll write my next blog in which I can hopefully brag about my unsustainable 5,5BB/100 winrate! See you again at the tables!

 Posted by at 12:17 pm