So it’s December and I have a great feeling which isn’t good. I got the feeling I’m already there, which isn’t the case of course. Having pulled off a 145K VPPs month in November, getting less then 100K VPPs seems simple. It is however my 3th biggest month ever when I’m done. I’m a volume monster but due to November I’m even more so then before. I can put my mind into a grind gear and stop when my target is reached.
Now there is still 84,5K VPPs to go and I have a pretty relaxed planning with no poker in the weekend. Last Friday I had a great party and came home completely wasted, Saturday I had a huge hangover and around 16:00 I could finally “wiggle my toe” again. I prefer not to have a hangover but really enjoyed being among friends again. Saturday evening I went over to one of my best friends and played a bit of World of Warcraft and StarCraft II again, it itches. I want to play video games again, like I always used to.
Back in the days I played a text-based online strategy game called Planetarion. I’ve mentioned this before in one of my previous blogs and I think I was hooked for about 3/4 years. During that time I was invited to play online poker by some fellow gamers who were making easy money on the tables. I already played live poker before and created an account on Paradise Poker, I can’t really remember when this was but I think it was around 2001/2002. I remember winning $100 and cashing out. I cashed out and got a check and never redeemed it because I was lazy. I also remember I cashed out because back then Poker was still something shady to most people. Cashing out via checks really seemed even more shady to me and everybody always warned me not to get addicted and/or to trust these sites. I was happy with my winning, didn’t see the potential of making a living out of it and already had a good job, so why even consider it? I didn’t even know about the WSOP back then, I had already played the 20/40 LHE cashgame in Amsterdam the month I turned 18 back in 2000 but lost ƒ800 (This was before the euro) in about 1,5 hour, I didn’t know Rolf Slotboom was waiting for aces all the time back then 😉
So my first experience with online poker was really good but I already had a good job for 3/4 years and really never expected I could earn more money playing poker. After my Planetarion addiction ended, I played Counter Strike for about a year before I discovered World of Warcraft in 2005. I was insta-hooked and didn’t really do anything else for the next 2 years. I was guild leader of a completely Dutch Speaking guild with 70-100 people and was playing every day except on Fri/Sat evening or when I planned something with friends who didn’t play WoW. In early 2006 I saw Noah Boeken on TV with Pokerkings and in 1994-1998 I played Magic The Gathering just like him. I remembered Noah as a great MtG player and knew him a little bit from the MtG circuit and the Tuesday night’s at Kempinski at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. So if he could make money playing poker, why couldn’t I do the same? I played a lot of poker in 1996-1999 (weekly) and had decent winning from which I bought my first scooter and computer! I didn’t play for a long time but saw the poker boom evolving. I was still playing WoW during the week but during the weekend I tried to mix in as much as poker as I could. The edge was huge of course (people really had no clue back then) and I started to develop idea’s to make more money playing poker. In September 2006 my local casino started offering weekly LHE cashgames and I didn’t miss a single week. I went over to the Holland Casino in Amsterdam in November 2006 to watch the MCOP and knew I wanted to play there as well the next year.
The thing however was that I still had my WoW life and it was a busy one. Being a guild leader comes with a lot of responsibilities and most of you would say it’s just a game but it’s not about the game at all. It’s about the community and I just love community based games. Planetarion was a community based game, but also MtG and Poker in a way. It becomes more fun when you meet people and get to know each other and talk about your shared passion. I was struggling to quit WoW but I saw the potential in poker and really wanted to get into poker more.
We are still in November 2006 and at the 6th of that month my father passed away. It was a complete surprise and it made me realise a couple of things. Especially my unhealthy lifestyle was something to consider. I had developed the following pattern: 07:30 – 18:00 work, eat, 20:00 – 03:30 Casino and 4 hours of sleep and repeat. This was my Monday/Tuesday schedule (since only those days LHE cashgames were offered) and the rest of the week I was still playing a lot of WoW. I was 133KG (309lbs) not really healthy as well, something needed to change! I quit my WoW life instant but continued to play live poker so didn’t really change a lot.
In April 2007 I visited Las Vegas. I was already going to LV every year since 2004 but never played a lot of poker, I always played blackjack and craps and a little bit if 7card stud. However the day before I left I could hardly walk and was in real pain. I always had back issues and they were back. I’ve been operated before when I was 17, the issues came back when I was 19 and there I was again. I was determent to go to LV, since I wanted to test my poker skills but this almost ruined my trip. I crawled to the plane, made it to Vegas and that trip I almost only played poker (LHE). It was a profitable trip but I realised I needed to change my lifestyle and quitting WoW wasn’t enough.
From the moment I came back I started playing online poker. I always preferred live and looking back now I wish I would have started online in 2006. I should have quit WoW earlier which I almost did about 100 times but I think most people have a similar story why they didn’t get into poker earlier. I stop playing live which meant I wasn’t going to bed at 03:30 any longer and made myself a schedule to lose weight. 40 weeks no alcohol, lot’s of cycling and a less food. I didn’t try a diet, I just eat less of what I would normally eat and it proved successful. During those 40 weeks I lost 41Kg (90 lbs) and played a lot of poker online. My life was getting a lot healthier just by losing weight and stop playing live poker.
I ended my weight loss period April 1, 2008. The day after I went to LV again and in October that year I went for another trip. After my October trip things went really good online and in December 2008 I decided to start working part-time as of January 2009. I became an online semi-poker pro and most stuff that happened after that should already be somewhere in this blog.
Jeez, I wanted to tell you guys something about video-games and I ended up writing about 16 years of history. So back to what I wanted to write. WoW kinda blocked my way into poker but now I haven’t played any video games really since 2006. I miss it, I want to enjoy it again but I’m not sure what to do. My plans for next year are completely open but I also just installed StarCraft II on my computer which I promised myself not to do before I was SNE (I haven’t played yet…). So what will it be? Another year of poker, a year of cycling sounds really tempting as well or just relax and play games like WoW, Starcraft II and Diablo III again?
I still don’t know but I do know I have to finish my SNE first! There is a small chance legislation will decide things for us (read more on 2+2) since Stars might have to pull out of the USA for some time(don’t panic!). 4 weeks to go and I’m at the Bahamas and probably there I will decide what to do. I love poker, I love video games, I love cycling but I probably can’t do all at the same time.
Strange blog now I read it again, but well.. 84,5k VPPs to go, the countdown makes it easy but I’m not there yet. Good luck to everybody wrapping up what hopefully is a successful year of poker!
Thanks for all the support!