Jan 222011

Another blog this year and I haven’t even played a hand on the LHE Tables in 2011 yet!

After coming back from the Bahamas I didn’t want to start playing straight away. I figured I would be tired after the first days back at work and I could have played small sessions but I rather take some more time away from the tables to do some other stuff before I start grinding again. The last week I’ve been updating my PokerTracker database, I’m a real geek when it comes to this. I’ve completed my database with all hands, tournaments and SnG’s since 2006 and have manually checked all tournaments to enter any rebuys/add-ons that were missing. I’ve played close to 3million hands and a little over 500 tournaments and SnG’s. I just like to be as complete as possible when I’m doing something so I really spent a lot of time on it. I’m currently creating a new PokerTracker database with only my 2010 hands since those will be more relevant for my HUD. Data from 2009 isn’t that relevant as most players have changed their game by now, maybe it would have been even better to only import the 2nd half of 2010 but I like to have big samples on people.

I’ve figured out my poker plan for 2011 as well. Currently I’m not planning to go for Supernova Elite again. I really would love to reach it again, but last year has showed me that leaving no time to work on your game can cost you a lot of money. I’ve not totally scrapped it of my list but currently I’ve planned to get roughly 750.000 VPPs this year. My standard week looks like this:
– Sunday Evening/Night: 7.500 VPPs
– Monday Evening/Night: 6.500 VPPs
– Tuesday Evening: 3.000 VPPs
For a total of 17.000 VPPs a week. This should take me about 20/22 hours and I will still continue to work 24 hours a week as well so it will be a packed schedule anyway even without going for Supernova Elite. Now if suddenly I’m a big winner in the game I can always move up and increase my play to still get SNE but I have no reasons to believe this is going to happen. This also needs to happen pretty early in the year as else I’m to far behind to still make a run for it. In case this dream scenario isn’t happening I will probably end up at 700.000 VPPs so I can give myself some more free time when things are not going as planned or when it’s beach weather.

I will continue to play $2/$4 till $5/$10 Full Ring Limit Hold’em but will also mix in some tournaments this year. I’ve made an excel sheet with a planning of the whole year and have made a fixed schedule of when to play tournaments. Every last Saturday of the month I will be playing the VIP freerolls and the $215 Weekly Fixed Limit Tournament. Every last Sunday of the month I will be playing the Sunday Warm-Up, Sunday Million and Turbo Takedown. I might add some smaller tournaments next to these as well but will most likely play those during the week when I just feel like playing around. On days I play tournaments I will most likely only play a couple of cashgames on the side since I’m very bad in mixing cashgames with tournaments. I will also make a selection of tournaments this year in which I want to participate during the SCOOP and WCOOP, which will be most likely a mix of LHE, NL, Razz or maybe even 8-game.

Tomorrow will be my first day back at the LHE tables and I feel a bit rusty. Normally it just takes a couple of hours to get used to the game again and I’m planning to continue with the changes I’ve made to my game late December which proved to be successful over a small sample. I’m hoping this change will help to be a winning player in the game again as this is also one of my main goals this year. I had very few negative comments on becoming a member of PokerStars Team: Online but those who commented pointed at my negative outcome at the tables. It’s something I’m not happy with either but it’s not really true that I’m only a rakeback pro. I’ve been a winner since 2006 and this year is my first losing year on the tables. My SNE chase of course has something to do with it but not as much as most people think. If I would have been a losing player without making SNE I would have lost way more and in case I would have dropped going for SNE there is no guarantee I would have been a winner in the game. I hope I can show people I can win money on the tables as well but if I’m only a winner after rakeback then it’s not that bad as most people say it is. If you are winning after rakeback you still beat the game, you are just not beating the rake. You are still better then the average player and you still profit from playing. Sure it doesn’t look that cool but you at least still make money from the game and most people can’t say that. Still I would really like to do better on the tables, not only to look goal but simply to make more money out of playing poker!

I’m not planning to suddenly show up at a lot of Live tournaments but I am planning to got to the Venlo Vip Days (Netherlands) where 4 tournaments are held from the 31st of March till the 3rd of April. I’ll probably play the first 3 tournaments which have a buy-in of €200, €300 and €1.000. Based on how my year and tournaments are going I still have to choose if I’m getting $10.000 cash, a WSOP Main Event Package or a EPT Grand Final Package as my second SNE reward. I would love to play another big tournament but I’ll postpone that decision till later in the year.

Next to poker I’m planning to hit the gym a lot as well, starting Monday. I’m feeling bloated lately and I have nobody else to blame but me. That’s also a big factor in deciding not to go for SNE again because if I would I know I wouldn’t have time enough to exercise. I’m planning to hit the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday like I did last year as well (only skipping less this year) and cycle on Monday or Tuesday afternoon, Thursday evening and Saturday or Sunday afternoon. This seems like a lot, but it’s okay if I miss 1 or 2 sessions once in a while and as long as I at least exercise 3 times a week I’m happy. We’ve signed up with 10 people to do the Amstel Gold Race in April so that is going to be great fun. I’m the only one that really cycles a lot and most don’t even have a suitable bike for the race so we definitely have to start training. We are only doing the 65km route but it still contains some ugly climbs. I cycled the 100km last year so I doubt I will get into trouble but I’m already excited to scream my mates to the top. I’ll try to take them with me as much as possible when training on the bike and most of them have already started working out again in the gym as well. We will probably all lose a couple of kilo’s and that’s a welcome bonus! It’s really good that we all have a goal which motivates us to exercise. It’s my mother’s wedding day at the 24th of June and I really want to look fit at the pictures, so next to exercising I also going to try to drink alcohol as little as possible and eat a lot more healthy for the coming months. I’m not totally quitting alcohol, which I’ve done multiple times in the past, but I want to minimize it to parties and birthdays only this time. 92 kilo’s is the goal for the 24th of June and I’m roughly 102 kilo’s now. I’ve promised myself that whenever I got above the 100 kilo mark (after being 135 kilos in 2007) I would always make sure my priority would be to lose weight again, so that’s definitely one of my main goals for the coming months!

I think that’s most of it about my goals and plans for 2011. I’ll continue with some random stuff which I’ve been doing or planning to do the coming weeks. I’ve been catching up with “The Big Game” which was recommended by a lot of people to watch. I’ve only watched week 1 so far but I’m planning to watch the rest of the episodes as well. I hardly ever watch poker on television but this is really a good format and funny to watch. You can check all episodes on http://www.pokerstars.tv but I’m sure most of you out there have already seen it so this shouldn’t be a shocker. Next to watching the big game I can’t wait for Season 2 of Spartacus that started this Friday. I so loved this series and I hope Season 2 is as good as Season 1 was. Next to Spartacus, V, Fringe and White Collar have already started again and I’m also waiting for new episodes of Entourage & True Blood. Not sure when they are all coming but there are plenty of series to watch this year. I got a huge list of stuff I still want to watch as well but I think I might get into problems if I start following even more series.

Coming Sunday I will most probably play the Prerelease of the new Magic The Gathering set: Mirrodin Besieged. I haven’t played Magic in almost a year now but I still love the game and I think it’s going to be good fun. It’s in Amsterdam so pretty close and I think we will go with the four of us so we are going to have fun anyways. I’m also still planning to play the StarCraft II campaign but for the moment I don’t really have more free time then I had last year since there is plenty to do but it’s still on my list 🙂 I just love playing games! That actually reminds me of the fact that this week I did play some Poker, I played 8-game on PokerStars Home Games. It’s not like I’m a trendsetter with playing 8-game as most pro’s are getting more into mixes games the last 2 years but I really love it. I’ve played Stud before, actually hardly played Omaha, never a Hi/Lo game and had never played 2-7 Triple Draw. My least favorite game in 8-game is Hold’em NL and I actually like all the others. I’ve always loved Razz, I like stud (not so much the Hi/Lo) and actually like both Omaha games. I’ve only played for 0,20/0,40 with friends and we had the standard type of fun where people were still thinking we are playing Razz while already switched to Stud. I also always get the feeling my cards are faced up after first playing Stud games and then switching to Omaha. It’s just good fun and it’s really good the sharks can’t join our games 😉 Next Sunday we also have our first Home Games Tournament scheduled and probably we’ll have some side action on the cash tables as well. I hope it doesn’t distract me to much as I really have to start grinding!

Next week I will also participate in the WBCOOP (World Blogger Championship of Online Poker) but unfortunately I can’t really play a lot of these tournaments as most are not really suitable for people from Europe. I’ve never played the WBCOOP but it’s a free series of tournaments for people who have an active blog so thought why not sign up? If you want more info you can go to http://www.pokerstars.com/blog_tournament/. Maybe I get to win some SCOOP tickets, I’m playing tournaments anyway next weekend so it fits right into my schedule.

The last thing I want to mention is that I’ve updated my blogroll on the right side. I’ve added all PokerStar Team: Online blogs, all the SNE blogs I could find and some other random poker and non-poker blogs. In case you want to be added feel free to leave  a comment. I’m not really the guy who’s going to do the “I add your link if you add mine” but feel free to add a link to my blog on your website. I will update the 2011 goal pages later this week.

I’m ready for 2011 and wish everybody the best on the tables!

 Posted by at 7:13 pm
Jan 172011

I’ve never tried this before but I’m currently writing a blog from my iPhone while in a plane to Newark. I don’t have Internet access but I’m able to save it local and publish it later so why not do this in stead of watching a move I’ve already seen.

This makes me realize more it’s really time for me to buy a portable device and from the suggestions I got on twitter most people advised me to buy an MacBook. The thing is however that I really would like to have pokertracker installed on the laptop as this is a crucial tool for me to play cashgames. Any suggestions are welcome 🙂

On Thursday I played the 270+100+30 bounty turbo event and not without success. I started out pretty bad, having a lot of fun but probably playing to tight looking at some others at my table. I was shortstacked for the first 10 levels and I managed to fold twice after losing a pot to an even shorter person before I ended up on the BB where I had to call all-in blind considering my stack. My T2o hit the board and from there on it went fast. 24 people got paid and I had a pretty nice stack when I busted somebody to get my first bounty when only 16 people were left. I had a nice chiplead from that moment and reached the final table also as 1st or 2nd in chips. I busted three people, one with A5 vs AJ for almost my tourney life and we are down to 4handed. For some time we all shove but nobody calls so the chips are only going round and then I bust another player who shoves KJo into my A5. Chipleader and only two more to go!

The best player at the table is short and I’m confident I can beat the other with some help from the deck of course since we are playing turbo event. The shortie shoves 22 into my A3 and holds. Then again the chips go round for some time before the weaker players shoves and I find 77 to go all-in as well. The third player insta-calls unfortunately and it’s A6 vs 77 vs JJ. JJ holds the dealer counts our chips and I have 1k chips less then the winner but do get 2nd for $11k. I didn’t play a single hand heads up and the winner got paid $8k more so heads up we would’ve probably made a deal but that’s life.

I was pretty happy with the result of course and for me it feels like I go home with profit since the main event felt like a freeroll. It wasn’t close to the $2M, but I might give that another try at the EPT finale or WSOP.

I’ll write another blog pretty soon with my 2011 goals so stay tuned 😉 I’m planning to start grinding again on Sunday but might play a bit of poker (Home Games) before that.

 Posted by at 8:50 am
Jan 132011

Sunday my PCA Main Event started and I didn’t get very lucky with my table draw. I was in Seat 1 myself and in Seat 2 I had a very good 20 year old Norwegian kid. In seat 3 there was a guy who I actually knew from the WSOP 2009, since I played some limit cashgames with him. Seat 4 was Ryan ‘g0lfa’ D’Angelo who came in 5th last year at the PCA Main Event. Seat 5 had Tom ‘kingsofcards’ Marchese, a well known tournament regular who also played the $100k event earlier. Seat 6 was an unknown czech and seat 7 another tournament pro. Seat 8 might have been the “weak” spot and seat 9 was definitely the weak spot, a crazy russian. To top it off seat 10 was Michael Martin who shipped the EPT London in 2008 and came in 2nd at the MCOP in 2007.

The very first hand I open to 125, not very smart as the blinds are 50/100 so it’s a call. I did sort of the same thing at the WSOP, where I raised to 1050 in the very first hand in stead of 250 because I took 2, 500 chips in stead of 100 chips. At least my image is set 😉 I’m wasn’t as nervous as I was at the WSOP and at least I had position on 2 weaker players this time. I played a couple of hands at the start but didn’t flop anything interesting. All hands but one never got past the flop. Some time later I 3betted QQ and didn’t get a call on a low flop, I opened 99 and Marchese called but didn’t get creative this time (he was most of the time) when I flopped my set. The first hand that got past the flop was after I 3betted seat 8 with AKs and on a KJ9 board, I bet and he calls. The turn is a T which didn’t make me very happy but I continued betting as I assumed that he would only continue with a Q or a set and didn’t want to be put in the position to call a river bet if I checked. He folded and that was the only hand where I actually saw the turn during the whole tournament.

Marchese busted first at the table after a rollercoaster, Martin busted and D’Angelo as well. Seat 3 also busted and got replaced by another tournament pro and Marchese got replaced by a scottish 200fpp qualifier. We continued 9 handed since Martin didn’t get replaced and I had a better spot on the 2 weaker players at my left. I flop another set of nines but nobody pays me and then seat 7 busts and get replaced by Isildur1 (Viktor Blom), why not 🙂 He looked very grumpy and a bit clumsy with his cards and chips. Just before he sat down the crazy russian donks his stack off and I see my buddy Robbertjan walking over to my table. I ask him if he’s busted but he shows me the Table 33 Seat 9 card. How bizarre to be at the same table with basically the only guy I really know in a big tournament like this.

At that moment we are in the 500/1.000/100 level and we both have a 20k stack. Robbertjan starts as BB and when he is on the button he shoves his remaining 18k to the middle. I’m in the SB, look at my TT and make the call with 18.3k….. All-in for the first time this tournament but why did it really had to be versus RJ? The dealer takes 3 cards from the deck and I see 2 halfway when he turns them over, no Ace! The third card however is an ace. The Q turn is not important but the T river makes the hand even more crazy! I bust my best mate, double up and just can’t really believe it had to go this way. We both know it’s poker and know it can happen but it would have been nice if it would have been a little later in the tournament, I’ll just have to win it now to make up for it. 

Isildur creates even more action on the table then I’ve seen earlier (when all the pro’s were still at my table) and 5bet shoves KJ0 and shows. From that moment he looked a lot happier and chatted with the table about the fact he never folds a K, loved RJ’s replacement in seat 9 because he 3betted 25o and won vs AA and a little later we are ready to play the last level of the day. The seat 9 likes to play a lot of hands and I 3bet him with KK, a K flops and I bet small and hope that he comes over the top for all of his stack (which was about my stack), he tanks for like 4/5minutes and folds. Half hour later an announcement is made that we play 8 more hands and Isildur opens again the 2nd last hand of the day. The “crazy” seat 9 had won some stack and played all of the last 8 hands and 3bets and the Norwegian kid shoves all-in. Nobody really believed Isildur and seat9 would have a playable hand but the guy in seat 9 calls with KK and the Norwegian kid shows AK and loses. The last hand of the day Seat 9 opens again and I 3bet 88, he calls. The flop comes TT8 and I bet small again but again he folds. Argh, but at least I made it to day 2 with 44.200.

Before going back to my hotel room I do an interview with the guys from Pokernews NL. They host a radio show every Sunday at 21:00 which I normally listen to so it’s fun to actually be in one of the shows myself this time. You can listen to the show by clicking here: http://nl.pokernews.com/nieuws/2011/01/pokernews-radio-luister-de-uitzending-terug-van-9-januari-6065.htm

I get some sleep and get ready for day 2. My table draw looks okay with no real outstanding names but I really have to get some more chips. I fold the first 2 orbits and play my firs hand, 66 UTG but get 3bet by the UTG+1 player. Since this is my first hand I doubt I’m getting 3bet lite and I decide to wait a little bit longer to get it all-in. Then 1 orbit later the inevitable happens: A loose player UTG opens, another loose player UTG+2 3bets, I find myself AQs in the SB and shove hoping for 2 folds (I shove 32K over a 3.200 preflop raise and a call), a flip or just get lucky. To my surprise the BB actually calls and the UTG raiser folds after tanking for some time and the other caller does as well. This can’t be good news and the BB turns over AKo, K on the flop no redraws on the turn and it’s game over.

This was only my 2nd all-in after the first being against RJ and I’m dissapointed I couldn’t really do anything during the tournament. I folded a lot and never got paid when I had a hand, which make sense since player probably see me as a tight player but some more luck would have been nice of course. I doubt I made any big mistakes but that’s easy if you don’t play a lot of hands. On the other hand I wasn’t the dangerous player for sure so I didn’t create a lot of opportunities myself to build a decent stack. It was pretty boring for a long time since all I did was fold but it was also fun to watch players like D’Angelo, Marchese and Isildur as they create interesting pots and especially Isildur puts the pressure on people with remarkable hands. No big score, no cash but it was sunny outside, so I changed my jeans for some shorts and it was time to hit the pool.

The last couple of days I didn’t do anything else then lying in the pool and I even got a small tan. The water slides are fun and the weather was pretty good except yesterday. We railed Wesley Wiemus for some time who busted as the last dutchie in 31st. I didn’t know him before but chatted with him for about 20minutes before the start of day 4 and he really only cared about reaching the top 3. He was very active on the table to get more chips so at least it was a fun rail with a lot of all-ins. There are multiple side events each day but I don’t want to play to much poker after promising my girlfriend I would only play the Main Event. She did however agree that I can play a small side event tonight which should maybe last a max of 4/5 hours which is the 270+100+30 bounty turbo at 20:00. Nothing big, nothing special but at least I can get some more poker in and I’ve never played a bounty tournament so I’m hoping to bust some people 🙂

I don’t know yet what I’m exactly going to do when I’m at home. I get home on Monday and start to work again on Wednesday so I hope to get a year schedule out on Tuesday. A lot of things crossed my mind, even getting SNE again but I really don’t know it yet. I do want to play some more live events so might go to the Venlo Series and see if I can get something going there. I still have to decide if I’m going to get the $10k cash, play the WSOP or EPT Final (Monte Carlo?) and maybe after playing some more live events this choice will be easier. Currently I’m thinking about taking the $10k cash but I would really love to get another shot at winning big. My friends managed to register for the Amstel Gold Cycling Race so I’m really looking forward to start training for that again as I feel pretty “fat”. I’m planning on hitting the gym 2/3 times a week and cycle at least 2 times a week as well so should drop some weight again and get back into shape.

I’m currently checking out the new “Home Games” feature. This really looks like good fun where you can play your friends in private games so you don’t have to worry about other people joining. Also you can create your own private tournaments and have a leader board and player statistics and as you know I’m a big stats fan so this should be interesting 🙂 You can read some more about it (and see a small video) here: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2011/01/pokerstars-launch-home-games-online-9632.htm Remko (@happyfreaked) was at the press conference and looking at the current options and the possibilities for the future this thing could become really big. Currently the maximum is set to have 50 people in your private club but the idea is that larger clubs will be allowed in the future as well so you could think about a pokernews, 2+2 or any other community club and get automated leader boards. I’ll play a bit more with it when I get home, might try and play some mixed games, which is probably more fun with 7 noobs I actually know 😉

It’s time for me to get some breakfast now and hope the sun comes out. My next blog will probably be about my plans for 2011 so I can update my website so it’s ready for 2011!

 Posted by at 3:20 pm

Orlando, Miami & The Bahamas

 Poker, Social  Comments Off on Orlando, Miami & The Bahamas
Jan 092011

This feels a bit strange because since I’ve reached SNE I haven’t played a single hand of poker while last year I already grinded out 50.000 VPPs around this time. I’ve only logged on to PokerStars to check my new PokerStars Team: Online status and avatar and then I left for the airport. This is not a complaint, I do however look forward to get back to the grind but not before I’ve relaxed a couple of more days in this beautifull resort at the Bahamas.

On the 2nd of January I left for Orlando. Since the 1st of January there isn’t any direct connection anymore from Amsterdam so we had a stop-over at Newark. For the first time ever there wasn’t a long line at customs so we got into the USA pretty smooth. We arrived pretty late in Orlando but this was pretty convenient as we went to bed right away and when we woke up the next morning I didn’t feel jetlagged at all. Orlando is all about the amusement parks and we had selected Seaworld as our first pick. With the perfect weather and the relaxed atmosphere my holiday couldn’t start any better. We all really liked the park and I would recommended everybody to go there.

Our second pick was Universal Studios because I also really liked Universal Studios in Los Angeles. We bought a combo-ticket so we could also visit Adventure Island which is next to Universal Studios. Our first ride was a motion simulator with “The Simpsons” as theme, it was really awesome and I actually liked it more then being on a rollercoaster. After this great start all other attractions were pretty boring. We didn’t go into the extreme rollercoaster ride (as most people in our party are not big rollercoaster fans) but besides the “okay” mummy rollercoaster most attractions where pretty dull. We then visited the Adventure Island park which looked great but we weren’t really in the rollercoaster mood. We walked over to the just opened Harry Potter part of the park which was unbelievable crowded. There was a 2,5 hour queue to go into the castle and I’ve never seen so much people walking with merchandise. There was literally a 30min queue to get into the merchandise shops! The castle did look amazing and I think this park is more value for your money then Universal Studios is (not talking about the LA one). 

Our next visit was Miami South Beach. We stayed in the Albion hotel which is at the corner of Lincoln road. This is the shopping/dining area in south beach so we had a perfect spot. At check-in my room wasn’t ready yet so we went out for a walk at the beach to see what Miami is all about. I would love to stay a little longer next time as I really liked the beach and surrounding area. At the end of the afternoon we came back and got news that we got a small room upgrade. We actually got the biggest penthouse suite of the hotel, which was in the corner of the building as well so we had a two-way view from our separate living room, next to our balcony. The next day we drove to Sawgrass recreation park to spot some alligators with an airboat. Some people warned me that this would be pretty boring but I actually liked it very much. It was a 30min airboat trip which was enough to spot a couple of alligators and not long enough to get bored.

Since the weather got really bad for a couple of hours we went over to Ft Lauderdale to do some outlet shopping. It wasn’t that bad and I actually bought some clothes myself. 

After a good night sleep we got on a plane to the Bahamas. Our plane had a small delay and some suitcases had to be unloaded because some passengers didn’t show up. I only saw 2 empty seats in the small plane but a lot more suitcases got unloaded. I actually saw that one of our suitcases got unloaded but just hoped I was wrong. Arriving  at the Bahamas I found out I wasn’t and we had to report two missing suitcases. The lady told us that the plane was to heavy and that they then just unload some random suitcases and don’t want to tell that to the people as most people would freak out. Since our suitcases arrived later in the evening it was all okay afterall but I wouldn’t know what to do if it really got missing since I don’t really want to go shopping over here 🙂

Atlantis is just like you’ve probably seen on the pictures, wow! The “normal” rooms are actually pretty basic (kinda old) but “the Cove” is the nuts. The picture below is not only the view from our balcony but also from our bed! The bathroom is huge and it’s really nice to be awarded with something like this after a year of hard work to become SNE.

I’m of course not only here to relax but also to play some poker. I only play the main event but there is a schedule of 48 tournaments in just 10 days! I only play the main event myself and I moved my start day from 1A to 1B so I could relax a little bit today. We tried out the water park and after lying in the water for over two hours we’ve not even done half the water slides. It isn’t very cheap over here but the food is great so far and the place is just beautiful. The pokerroom looks good and I’m really excited to play tomorrow. I’m not a tournament expert at all and looking at my WSOP 2009 performance I shouldn’t get my hopes up but I’m really eager to do well. In case that doesn’t work out I can enjoy the other half of the water slides so it could be worse but I would love to get my first Hendon Mob flag!

You should be able to follow me via the pokernews (NL) live reporting at www.pokernews.com or www.pokernews.nl . You could also view the PokerStars Blog at www.pokerstarsblog.com/nl or follow my updates on twitter via www.twitter.com/Tzen1 I’ll do my best and as soon as I’m busted I’ll relax a couple of more days before I’ll start my grind again at the Limit tables at PokerStars.

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Jan 012011

Today I’ve been introduced as a new member of Team PokerStars: Online

First of all I’m very happy that I’ve been given this opportunity. I’ve known this news for some time now but still when it was announced today I was extremely excited! I will explain how it all happened and what my plans for 2011 are. In case you want to read about what I did in 2010 I would recommended my previous blogpost as it’s a recap of 2010 with some nice cycling footage 🙂

On the 25th of November I got a call from PokerStars. It was around 14:00 but I was still sleeping since I just grinded out a long session till 08:00. Two things crossed my mind, 1) Somebody hacked my Poker-account 2) Team online? The Round 2 candidate selection deadline had already passed on the 20th so I didn’t really expect that I would still receive a call. I didn’t think my chances were that high anyway but still you always hope that you will be selected for something like this. I’ve chatted with the PokerStars rep and did a mini interview via the phone. I got told that I would hear back something very soon so the waiting started. Now that I knew I was in Round2, I really wanted to get picked so the waiting started!

On Friday the 10th of December I got contacted again and they told me I was selected to become a new member of Team PokerStars: Online! Wow, I was thrilled! I did already know however that there were certain things I had to do before everything could be made official. I got the contract a couple of days later and had some time to think about all the consequences. I still have a regular job which I didn’t want to lose so I had to get permission from my employer. That was a lot easier then expected and after detailing some other points in the contract it wasn’t before the 29th/30rd of December until I actually finalised everything with PokerStars and did the actual signing. I was still busy with my SNE chase and also due to the Christmas period things were delayed a bit more then usual but this was an opportunity I wanted to grab with both hands! I celebrated my signing on the 29th, together with my last VPPs of the year to become SNE. You can read more about this in my previous blog but what a party it was!

When I got contacted by PokerStars I was in the middle of my worst month ever. These things make you think about your future and I was really in doubt what to do. Since this was actually my first year losing on the tables (I did won money after rakeback) I didn’t want to go out like that but I also have a very nice career going at my employer for which I already work since 1999. I decided I would delay my decision till the PCA, since it would be best to make a big decision like that when I wasn’t in the middle of a crazy SNE chase. The opportunity to become a member of Team PokerStars: Online of course changed this and I’m already looking forward to again a year on the virtual tables at PokerStars.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do exactly but tomorrow I will leave for Florida and the Bahamas so I got some time to think about it. My first poker this year will happen at the PCA and when I’m back I’ll be playing the Full-Ring Limit Hold’em tables again. I doubt I will put in the same volume as this year, so I won’t go for SNE but I still expect to play roughly 1.000.000 hands of poker next year. Till 2009 I played a lot of tournaments as well and I really missed that this year since I was only grinding the limit cashgames. I will not switch my maingame to tournaments for sure but I do expect to do some Sunday, WCOOP and SCOOP Tournament grinding again as I’ve always loved doing that before. On the Full-Ring Limit tables I want to prove again that I can be a winning player. In 2010 I’ve lost at all stakes ($2/4 till $15/$30) but up till the start of 2010 I was winning at all those stakes. This year I focused purely on volume which hurted my game a lot. Poker is still growing as a game and everybody keeps improving. For the coming year I expect to improve a lot myself again and hopefully beat the stakes again which I was playing back in December 2009 (up till $15/30). At least beating $5/$10 tables should be doable for me so that will be my first goal.

Next to Poker Goals I will have think about other goals as well. Alpe d’Huez was fantastic last year (see the movie in my previous blog) and I want to do something like that again. Mt. Ventoux or maybe cycle a full-classic like Luik-Bastenaken-Luik, I’m just not sure yet. Those goals will be a great help for my other goal, getting fit again 🙂 I hardly cycled anymore since Alpe d’Huez which was in June and in stead of going to the gym 3 times a week, I probably didn’t even go twice a week on average during the last 4 months. I gained 8 kilo’s since the summer so it’s time for some exercize again! When I’m back from my holiday I will update my website with the goals for 2011.

Tomorrow I will take the plane to Orlando together with my girlfriend, best mate and his girlfriend. On the 7th I will arrive at the Bahamas and hopefully play Day1B but I’m currently registered for Day1A. I’ll give an update somewhere next week and will keep blogging throughout the year.

I would like to thank everybody for their support, thank PokerStars for this great opportunity and thank all my family & friends for the great fun I have with them day in, day out!

Best wishes for 2011!

 Posted by at 6:52 pm