I wish I could buy time. I don’t even work full-time and I’m still complaining but 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough. I have so many plans in my head but I just lack the time to execute them. For some of these things it’s not only time that’s lacking, I need to improve my own skills and for that I again need time.
My motivation for poker is at a peak, I’ll explain later why. It’s probably as high as it was before my SNE run in 2010 with the big difference that I have less time to spent on playing poker because my private situation has changed in these 3 years. I’m now living together with my girlfriend and back in 2009 our relationship had only just started and she went away for the first 5 months of 2010. Also my part-time job has changed from a job I could do with my eyes closed to a job in which it hard to do it proper in just the 24 hours I should be working. This is not really a complaint, it’s just merely stating the facts. When I look at my current situation and my overall happiness I’m at a peak as well, one which started many years ago but I’m sure that being able to work part-time and play poker have a lot to do with it. Sure I have my ups and downs as well but my I’m blessed feeling the way I feel.
In 2010 I’ve worked really hard to achieve SNE and I continued to put in the same effort during the first months of 2011 but since black Friday this shifted to less poker and more work. Basically in 2012 this continued, with the addition of taking a lot of time off to relax. I didn’t work a single day in January (Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao), went to Vegas for 2 weeks, a week to Barcelona and I did a couple of short trips as well. I’ve doubted a lot if I should stop playing poker, mainly because it became harder and harder to balance my job and poker but also because I had lost some motivation since black Friday, it just wasn’t the same. There are multiple reasons to not quit poker, money is one thing, having more freedom is something else and the odd chance to still win something big one day is still lingering in my head as well. The biggest reason not to quit poker however should be the fact that the quality of life has so much improved since 2009, something I sometimes forget because you start to take things for granted. I still love the game, it doesn’t bore me like most computer games do after a couple of weeks/months, pretty strange when you think of it.
I’m 30 now and I’m at a stage where a lot of things around me start to change. People around me start settling, get married and make babies. I see some examples of people who play poker and have small kids, I think this is doable but I think it’s really going to be though if you have a part-time job as well. It’s already hard to balance things now, adding another factor for sure isn’t going to make it any easier. My girlfriend is almost 25 and we are not at the stage yet that we are thinking about kids, however that time will probably come one day. When that day comes I’ll probably also have to make a choice between my job and poker but till that day as long as I enjoy both I want to continue doing both. So knowing that at least for next year (but hopefully longer) I’m still playing poker I think I should get as much out of it as possible and that’s one of the reasons why my motivation is at its peak.
The other reason is the talks I’ve had with many poker players the last couple of weeks. This started at the Master Classics of Poker and continued at the “Open Poker Dag” in Utrecht two weeks ago and the PokerStars VIPClub party last Saturday. The best way to get motivation to play poker is to talk about it with other people who have the same drive. I’ve talked to a lot of people at these events, amateurs but also other professional players and this gave me back the motivation I had missed since black Friday. The “Open Poker Dag” was a big freeroll with 240 players with free drinks and food so you can already figured out what happened 🙂
The next day I felt pretty tired but managed to make a pretty deep run in the Sunday Warm-up, finishing 56th with QQ < TT. I played with some friends in Amsterdam and it was a lot of fun to support each other while we were all playing the MicroMillions Main Event and other tourneys. Going deep in a MTT is for sure another way to get motivated 😉
At the PokerStars VIPClub party we didn’t play any poker but again the drinks were free so I ended up drinking a lot of alcohol again. Having evenings like that is great fun, however playing poker the next day is really hard and most of the time it means that you start playing pretty late since you are still hung over. As said I’m lacking time and I think I know where to gain to most from, stop drinking alcohol. Now this has been a subject many times before in my blog and sometimes I kept my promises for a couple of weeks but most of the time it didn’t last too long before I got back into my old habits. I don’t need alcohol to have fun but especially the last 1,5 years I prioritised fun above anything else and this resulted in suboptimal poker conditions during most weekends. I’m definitely not planning to quit alcohol forever but if I complain about time and want to be serious at playing poker I think it’s a no brainer that I can gain the most from quitting alcohol for a period of time. Drinking less often or just less would be a better way I do know that but after all these years I still can’t find a good mode, the switch is either on or off. Quitting alcohol will help my other goals for next year as well. As you might know my weight has been another topic which has been discussed more than once in this blog and the other big plan I have for next year is my cycling week in France and guess what would really help? Indeed quitting alcohol for some time.
So the plan is that I won’t drink alcohol for 6 months, starting the day I return from the Bahamas, January 13 till the day I leave for France, July 13. I’m also so sure about this that I’m willing to propbet it at even odds for a max of $2.000. If people are serious about making this bet the only rule I have is that I need to have seen you in real life at least once. Feel free to leave a comment on this blog, twitter or facebook if you are interested. The reason for wanting to make a propbet out of this is because most of the time I don’t find it difficult to quit for a couple of weeks, then the moment comes that you drink just this one time at a party and from there on you are back to your old habits. If I propbet it I know that the step to drink at only that one party will be a lot higher so I hope that this will prevent me from doing it at all.
The last few weeks after the many talks about poker I have a good idea on how I can improve myself as a poker player. I’m back in love with LHE cashgames but if that doesn’t work out I think SNG’s will be my back-up plan. I will also definitely continue to play MTTs, my results have been pretty good the last months and I really hope to get lucky and make a big(ger) score. I don’t expect to win a Sunday Million out of the blue but with my many deep runs lately I’m hoping that I can get just that little bit deeper and this time make it to the top 3. If I’m really lucky it’s in one of the big ones, the feeling that this could happen is one of the reasons I started playing and I’m still looking for that sort of excitement when I’m playing, something that’s less around when playing cashgames. My main effort will however go into improving my LHE cashgames by studying, I’m planning to do this in a real mathematical approach. When people who are not into poker ask me why I’m good at poker I often answered that it was because I’m good at math but that’s probably only half true. I think it has more to do with the fact that I’m very analytic, a useful skill for both math and poker but I never really went far with using math at the poker tables, something that a lot of people have been doing for a long time in poker already.
This month you might see me play less tables, maybe not even playing at all because I’m studying 🙂 After I return from the Bahamas I should have a lot more time in the weekends since I’m not hung over and I hope to use that time to play a lot of poker again, lose some weight and be faster on my bike then ever!