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Sep 032012
 

In two weeks time I’m turning 30. I doubt I’ll make another blog before that because I have a pretty packed schedule. 30 sounds old (to me), it is probably old for a poker player but I’m already certain it’s going to be a great year because I’ve already planned a lot of fun stuff. More about that later, I first want to write something about last week’s Sunday Million.

My first response after busting the Sunday Million was pure disappointment. I looked for something to blame and I found it but looking back now I don’t think I did anything wrong. When I wrote my blog I was still very disappointed but I do think it was a good idea to write it because it really showed how most poker players feel after getting so close to the big money. I felt miserable for a day but the next day it was time to move on and so I did. The coming 3 weeks it’s WCOOP time on PokerStars so I can only hope for another deep run. I was surprised how easy you can actually get so deep, you only need a little bit of luck so that’s what I’m hoping for ūüėČ I planned to start the WCOOP yesterday with event #2 ($215 NL) but I was pretty dead after a bike ride (more on that later) so in the end I skipped it. Coming weekend I will play at least 4 events, WCOOP #19 ($109 NL), WCOOP #20 ($320 NL), WCOOP #21 ($215 LHE) & WCOOP #21 ($215 NL). That will be¬†the weekend I got to do it since the week after its B-day weekend! I might play the $320 Mixed Hold’em (#27) during the week as well but that’s for sure the last one. In case you haven’t done it yet, you can check out the schedule here: http://www.pokerstars.eu/wcoop/

As said the weekend after will be my B-day weekend. It starts on Friday the 14th¬†with my real B-day which means I’m doing nothing at all. I’ve never worked on my B-day, skipped school when I was younger and plan to never do anything on my B-day for the rest of my life unless I enjoy doing it. This normally means I get out of bed in the afternoon, start eating all kinds of unhealthy food, go out for dinner with¬†some family (& friends)¬†and end the day¬†with some friends, drinking beer. I haven’t celebrated my B-day since my 25th so this year I’ll throw a small party on the 15th. I expect 50-60 people, we meet in one of my favorite places and we will see how things go. Most of the time this involves a lot of alcohol and ends pretty late which means I’m in no state to play any poker on Sunday ūüôā On Monday I leave for Barcelona with my girlfriend for a week which should be the perfect start of my 31st year on this planet.

Next to¬†Barcelona¬†I’m already looking forward to another trip¬†which I’ve already booked and that’s another trip to the French Alps.¬†Two weeks ago I made a short trip to the French Alps to cycle up Alp d’Huez. I already did it once but I really wanted to go back and hoped to make more people enthusiastic for a longer trip somewhere next year. In the end we only went with two people but it was awesome anyway. I hoped to beat my previous time¬†(1:48)¬†by a lot since I knew I could do it much faster and also I’m two years further which should mean better trained. My buddy never cycled any big mountains but actually took the lead in the first 2,5 steepest kilometers of the ride. It was extremely hot, 33C+ and I might have started a little to fast because I just couldn’t accelerate after those first 2,5km, which was the plan from the start. I finished the 14km long ride a¬†30s after my buddy¬†in 1:47, a disappointing 1 minute faster but at least it was faster!

We had some beer at the top, cycled downhill with speeds going¬†over 70km/h and enjoyed some more beer at the pool in our hotel. The plan was to cycle up the Galibier (32km)¬†the next day but because of the weather we decided¬†not to. Les Deux¬†Alpes (9km) seemed like a better plan which resulted in some more beer. The next day we got to the foot of the mountain at 11:00 (33C again), we both had a small hangover and we forgot to do a warm-up before going up the mountain. The last 3km’s there was no shade to be found and I was pretty exhausted when we made it to the top but we did it again! It’s just such a great feeling, we both wanted more.


On the way back our car broke down just before Luxembourg so we had to leave our bikes and car (brand new lease car) in France but it didn’t take any effort to convince my buddy to come back next year for a week to cycle the other big mountains like the Galibier, Glandon and Croix de Fer. The rumors that Alp d’Huez will be part of the 100th Tour de France, which is next year, were very strong so we’ve booked a chalet in the 3rd week of the Tour de France at the foot of Alp d’Huez in Bourg d’Oissans. We already got 6 guys and have room for 2 more which means this is going to be a really awesome trip for all of us. If the Tour de France will actually finish on Alp d’Huez we hope to make our way to the Dutch Corner (#7) and party along with hundreds of crazy Dutch people.


For sure we all need to train for this week and last weekend I had my last organised ride of this year. Since my bike didn’t return from France till Wednesday there was no way for me to do any training on my bike so after doing nothing for two weeks I had to cycle 110km. No training doesn’t help, drinking a lot of alcohol on Friday didn’t help either and eating pretty unhealthy over the last 2 weeks might not have been such a good idea either. An old colleague of mine joined us for the ride and he was a little bit more trained then the rest of us. I think he cycled up front 80% of the time and after 95km I cracked and a little later I even had to get off my bike to avoid huge cramps about anywhere in my legs. If I want to achieve my goals for next year I have to train more and I found a really perfect App/Website which hopefully is going to help me with this: www.strava.com. If you cycle or run and currently use RunKeeper or MyTracks I would really advice you to check this out, some of the features (f.e. segments) are so awesome that I can’t wait to go for a ride again.

Well, that’s it for now. As said I’m looking forward to the coming weeks, I’ll probably blog again when I’m back from Barcelona unless I win one of the WCOOPs. I wish everybody good luck and in case you are a cyclist as well feel free to add me on Strava!

 Posted by at 4:41 pm
Aug 272012
 

The last couple of weeks I again hardly played any poker. Sometimes it feels like I have to move on and fully focus on my career, on the other hand the poker player is still in me, I just can’t find the motivation and time to grind next to my other activities. Work is soaking up most of the time, the current project I’m working on is really interesting and fun and I don’t mind to work a little extra. Cycling is going great, I’m just back from France but I’ll tell the rest of the story another time. I also played¬† a lot of Diablo 3, after work I just love to¬†do some mindless clicking and D3 is the perfect game for me to release some tension.

Before I left for France I played D3 every day, I didn’t have any¬†time after¬†my trip until last Saturday. I fired up the game but after 5 minutes I didn’t feel like playing anymore, it seems that I’m done with the game and often that means it’s time to move on (or move back). I was watching EPT Barcelona because Fatima Moreira de Melo was doing great (16th in the end)¬†but also because Pokernews.nl reintroduced video recaps¬†and boy did I miss that (welcome back Scriptdude and also well done Frank op de Woerd ofc). I felt eager to play some poker and I was happy to get back to the online tables for a small Sunday MTT grind. I started with the Sunday Warm-up and the last MTT which I regged was the Sunday Million, 8 MTTs in total. I tried to play tight, don’t do anything stupid and see how far it will take me. I busted some of the smaller tournaments pretty quick, couldn’t lay down AJo on KK9A9 vs the Big Blind in the Sunday Warm-up for almost all my stack and at 20:25 I almost unregged the Sunday Million since I was doing pretty poor.

I didn’t and got an early double-up with Aces, some more chips with 75s¬†in a multiway pot and¬†because of my early double up it was no problem to run into AA with QQ. Some more rungood and I was top10 in chips but there were still 2100 people left so it didn’t really mean a thing.¬†I never really know what to do with so many blinds so probably pulled some stupid moves like:


After that I mainly waited for hands, often won the blinds and was ahead almost all the time except for some standard coinflips. Looking back I don’t really see a lot of hands in which I really had a decision to make, I doubled up with TT vs¬†88 to get a decent¬†stack and¬†with roughly 150 left I didn’t get a lot of playable hands except for KK and QQ once¬†but could only pick up the blinds. I was 27/46, floated most of the time somewhere between 12 and¬†20 blinds and got some help when I opened with KQs from UTG, the chipleader called in the BB and shoved with K3o on Q73 after my c-bet. 1.7M in chips, the most I ever had in the Sunday Million for sure and after a long absence¬†I was in the¬†top10 again.

It was the last hand that I got to showdown with, from there on I only shoved or re-shoved and never got any callers. I only (re-)shoved with good hands like AK or TT, I didn’t pull any “crazy moves” so would have been fine if I got a caller but winning without showdown is of course an even saver way to stay in a tournament.¬†9th with 21 left and I was pretty nervous. I’m not a great MTT player and didn’t play any proper poker the last weeks, I grabbed a standard Push/Fold chart for some help. A standard Push/Fold chart isn’t perfect but it is probably more close then figuring out what to do on the spot for a Limit player like me. I didn’t get any spots in which I really needed to use it and we got down to two tables, I couldn’t wait to wake up my best buddy telling him I was at the Final Table of the Sunday Million. I had around 2.5M in chips and a lot of people were floating around that size with blinds being 65.000/130.000. Some antes and blinds later some had¬†bust, some took the blinds or doubled up and I shoved 33 from the cut-off to keep my stack a little above 2M. Blinds went up to 80.000/160.000 and with 1.8m left I got J8o on the button, I checked my Push/Fold chart saw it was a shove and didn’t think about it. I got called by ATo, closed my eyes and heard the checkbox popping up telling I busted in 15th.


It’s never fun to bust a tourney, especially not so deep. After a minute or so I wondered why I shoved J8o after playing so tight all the time? I told myself to stick to the sheet, looked at the sheet one more time and saw I had to wrong page in front of me. It was the range when having only 4 or 6 BB left, it made sense pretty quick, J8o was way to light and I could have known it but I just didn’t think. I instantly got pretty pissed at myself. I don’t regret my decision to base my play on a Push/Fold chart since I’m just not an expert in MTTs, was tired and nervous but I do regret the poor execution of that decision. I can only blame myself which I also do at this moment, how often do you get this far (especially someone like me who hardly plays MTTs). Busting with AA vs KTo wouldn’t have been more fun but at least I wouldn’t have¬†regret my own play. The $5.373 is nice but it’s not even close to the $194.600 which was up for grabs for the winner.

I went to bed after cooling down, slept pretty good but I’m still pissed at myself. Normally after some decent sleep I would forget a big loss almost instant, however this feels different. Losses are almost a daily part of poker, for me getting so deep in a big MTT is far from standard. I’m sure I’ll get over it by the end of the day and might be able to turn this around and see it as a good preparation of the WCOOP¬†which already starts coming Sunday! I’ll end today with a quote from Batman Begins:

“Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”

 Posted by at 3:28 pm

A healthy hangover

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Jul 022012
 

I probably still have enough alcohol in my blood to fail an alcohol test but it was worth it! Last week I watched most matches of the Euro Championship and for the finals me and¬†a bunch of my friends wanted to watch it in an Italian restaurant where some of my friends used to work. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to drink but since it was Sunday and most of the guys had to work the next day I thought it was a good idea to have some wine during dinner and maybe a Limoncello afterwards. Spain was better so there wasn’t anything to celebrate but we still managed to down 5 bottles of Limoncello and nobody wanted to go home so we went out in town. I can only remember where we’ve been but that’s about it, I woke up with a huge hangover and a smile on my face so I think I had fun ūüôā¬†

Drink once every 2/3 weeks is fine, unfortunately with a hangover like this I won’t be playing any poker this afternoon so I feel a bit guilty but on the other hand the Euro Championship is over now and I behaved pretty good the last two weeks. I’m not only skipping alcohol because of the effects¬†the next day but also because I want to lose weight and I normally eat a lot of bad stuff when (or after) I drink. I didn’t eat any bad stuff this time and I actually lost weight compared to yesterday so I’m a happy man. I’ve exercised 6 out of 7 days last week and tonight I’m going to hit the gym again. I got a tennis bet with a buddy in which I only have to win 5 games in two sets and the last time we played I won 6-1, 7-5 so I’m pretty confident I’ll get there. He normally always wins but 5 games should be possible. I also cycled yesterday and discussed a possible trip to Alpe d’Huez at the end of August which I’m already pretty excited about!

I wanted to write a blog about poker this week but I can be pretty short about that. I played two good sessions in the afternoon and one terrible session Monday evening. This could be variance but also the competition at night is better than during the day. This means I’m going to try to play more poker during the day on Mon/Tue, to bad today isn’t really working out. Still I’m not worried because I’m really happy with my new schedule and yesterday was really a one-off. Last week I played plenty of poker as planned and tonight and tomorrow I should play some as well. I’m considering playing some of the MicroMillions II tournaments which starts the 12th but as you all know I’m not a big fan of tournaments so we will see. I’m also in Spain from the 13th till the 16th but might play some poker at the pool ūüôā

Next week some more updates again, time for the Tour de France! ūüôā

 Posted by at 4:37 pm

This might work out after all

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Jun 242012
 

It’s just one week after my previous blog in which I said I wanted to change a lot of stuff and most of it actually¬†already happened. Sure it’s only one week but I’m motivated and don’t really have to keep myself away from “breaking bad”.

I went to the gym almost every day except Tuesday, when I cycled and yesterday when I played some Tennis. 8 out of 8 for exercising is something I’m not planning to keep up but it’s a good start. Today I won’t do anything but tomorrow I’m planning to be back at the gym and I hope to keep exercising on a 1/3 ratio. So every 3 days I should take 1 day rest although a bit cardio can’t do any harm.¬†Yesterday it was too windy to cycle but because our gravel court over here lies between two dunes it was okay to play tennis. I didn’t play tennis since the Bahamas in January and it showed, so it’s time to get some more practice again.

Eating healthier was pretty simple. I probably ate to little this week, max 2000 calories a day and I’m a big guy so I should be careful not too eat to little. I¬†normally just eat 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) but I try to change that to 5/6 times a¬†day at least on the days I’m working. I should eat at 07:00/10:00/12:30/15:00/18:00 and maybe a healthy snack after the gym. If I have diner¬†after¬†gym I could eat a snack before going to the gym. I start every morning with two slices of bread with chicken, turkey, roast beef or fricandeau. Currently I don’t eat anything at 10:00 but I’ve ordered protein flapjacks ¬†with low fat which should give me the needed proteins to resupply my muscles. I’ve already started to cut my lunch in half so I eat half¬†of it at 12:30 and the other half during the afternoon. I often¬†order half a french bread with salmon and egg, chicken or roast beef so that should be fine as well. Diner is the hardest part of my schedule, I always eat a lot and overall it contains to much fat as well. This week went great except when I had to resist Macaroni a la Veenman, my favorite meal. I’ll do my best to cut fat and eat less but even when I eat a bit too much it shouldn’t be a problem as my schedule during the day is pretty low in calories. I’m trying to cut on milk again as well, I’ll maybe not cut it completely but I’m used to drink milk during lunch and dinner and probably have close to a liter a day, 2 glasses a day would be fine but I’ll try to replace it with water as often as possible.

I’m planning to keep this up until I’m 30, which is about 80 days from today and that would make it 91 days in total. I started around 103/104 kg and my aim is at least below 100kg (should be easy)¬†but preferably below 95kg. I did plan a long weekend away in July so hope that won’t mess up my schedule to much, normally vacations are either the start or the end of a healthy schedule! I want to drink as little alcohol as possible but I’m not going to say that I won’t have any, that’s pretty much¬†the same for any food as well but when I feel motivated like this and exercise a lot I normally don’t feel the urge to drink or eat a lot of bad stuff.

I want to throw a big party when I’m 30 but I’m still thinking what to do. I don’t have a yard for a BBQ and my house doesn’t fit 60/70 people to throw a party, maybe I’ll try to book a venue somewhere but that could cost a lot of money. After my birthday I’m going to Barcelona for a week with my girlfriend, enjoying the good life! I booked the Grand Hotel¬†Central¬†which is really in the centre of Barcelona so that should give us plenty of opportunity to walk around and enjoy the city. Since we are staying for a week I wanted an hotel with a pool and I think we got ourselves a nice one.

 

My first poker session last week went fine and this week I should play a full schedule again. I want to log at least 16 but hopefully 20 hours in the coming three days and I’m curious how I’ll do.¬†The Tour de France also starts next week and I really can’t wait! I’ll probably also watch the last 4 matches of the soccer championship, the quarters finals were pretty boring so far compared to the group matches but I hope to watch some good semi-finals. I think Spain will win again but hope Italy could surprise everybody or maybe even England. Next week I’m planning to give a poker related update and might look back at my Vegas trip as well so stay tuned ūüėČ

 Posted by at 2:25 pm

Time for change! (Yes again)

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Jun 182012
 

I haven’t blogged in a long time but I don’t really feel like catching up on all things I’ve done since my last blog. One thing is for sure and that is the fact that I’ve enjoyed myself during this period, life is great but it really is time to look a bit further down the road again and that is mainly what I’m going to write about today.

I’m an ambitious lazy guy. I have many dreams and¬†many goals I still want to achieve in my life¬†but day to day I’m a pretty lazy guy. If I can get someone else to do something for me I’m happy to sit on my couch and do nothing. This makes achieving things in life pretty hard but so far things have always come very easy. The fact that things always came pretty easy makes me even lazier, it also makes me a bit¬†arrogant¬†and less ambitious. If I would only look at the short term I would say my life is really good and that shows by the fact that I enjoy my life almost every day. I’m a happy guy, I do a lot of fun things and hardly ever do something I don’t want to do. Some people would wonder what the hell the problem is then and a big part of me fully agrees with them. You should enjoy life when you still can and I’m really somebody who embraces that fully. However between long and short term there is also something in the middle and that’s what I want to try to keep in mind a little more often.

The last¬†2/3¬†months I haven’t played a lot of poker, I’ve done what’s necessary but that’s about it. My main focus, especially just before my trip to Vegas, was to finish an assignment at work which required me to put more hours in then the regular 24hrs/week. I cycled a bit but never more than once a week, I didn’t play any tennis or visited the gym. From the 15th of May I did play a lot of Diablo III and loved every second of it! I was either playing SCOOP or playing Diablo during that first week, I really felt like 16 again! I also¬†had some great weekends with my friends like the weekend cycling the Amstel Gold Race¬†in April. The vacation with my buddies to Vegas in June was really the greatest two weeks of the last 3 months, what a blast again! I might write some more about it later in this blog or another, Vegas still feels like a second home to me! When I got¬†back from Vegas I also didn’t miss a single¬†European championship football match, including the talk shows after the matches.¬†The problem is that I want to keep doing all these things and for almost all these things I would also like to put some more effort in them. Looking at the last 3 months this especially counts for poker and exercising. I can shift priorities whatever I like but that doesn’t give me 28 hours in a day and that’s basically what I would need.

So it might be good to focus on some of these things but I’ve tried to complete that puzzle and I just can’t seem to solve it. Two years ago I didn’t really have to choose between work and poker but nowadays it’s becoming harder and harder to find the right¬†balance. Just playing poker isn’t enough anymore to keep winning money, I also need to invest time in learning and studying the game. Limit hasn’t become any softer so if I want to keep beating it I need to work for it, I’ve thought about switching games but that would require even more study time for at least a couple of months and I just don’t have that time. However quitting poker is really something I don’t want to do. So why not¬†quit work a lot of people would say? Well that isn’t that simple either. Besides that fact that I really like that stable income which makes me play poker comfortably, I also really like my job and think in the long term it holds more value. Two years ago I had a busy job but I was really experienced in that line of work so it gave me little stress and it was pretty easy to do in the 24 hours I worked. However since then I’ve moved up and I’m really a junior in my current role. This means I have to work harder and limiting it to only 24 hours a week¬†is really hard which bites with my poker ambitions. So what to do? I’ve pondered about this for months and still don’t know it ūüôĀ

For the midterm it would also be good to get some more exercise and try to look at what I eat and drink. This has been a topic many times before in my blog but despite writing about it and putting in some effort for 2-5 weeks it never really changed anything the last year. I promised myself never to get above the 100kg again and I can’t remember the last time I was below the 100kg, it’s probably almost a year ago by now. I really feel good and healthy and being 103kg isn’t really an issue but I don’t want to wait till I’m 115kg¬†and my health is going downhill which will make it even harder to lose that weight again.

Well combine the above and you understand why “Time for change!” is the topic of this blog. Luckily I didn’t even start-up Diablo III after my holiday so that gives me some more hours to spent on other things. The Netherlands (worth a complete blog as well)¬†didn’t qualify for the next round so that will save me a lot of time as well. I could also¬†be a bit less lazy and hopefully these things combined¬†give me those extra hours I’m looking for! The next thing is prioritizing the things I do want to do and¬†exercise is going to be¬†my top priority for the moment. I think it’s the hardest thing to keep doing if it’s not your top priority as it’s pretty easy to not go to the gym for one day while it’s unlikely to skip work for a whole day. Next on the list is poker for the same reason as exercise, it’s easier to skip a¬†poker session then a day at work. Third on the list will be everything else and no that doesn’t mean that if I have to choose between my girlfriend, family or friends and poker that I chose poker above them, this is only about prioritizing time. I really hope I can find a good balance between all these things, I know it’s going to be hard and I really have to work for it but I do think it’s possible. Work is going to be a huge factor in this and I just hope I won’t get flooded. I already know that I’m going to get a pretty tough assignment till the 1st of October (and I doubt¬†that will ever stop)¬†and it’s really hard to say no at my job since there is no manager that really wants to hear no at the level I’m working at in the¬†company but they will just have to accept that in some cases. I got a contract for 24hours, I’m willing to work a bit more when needed, I’m always flexible but I do have other obligations as well. It’s way easier to skip a gym or a¬†poker session then to say no at work¬†and I think when this isn’t working out I really have to make a choice between poker and work. Basically this is my last effort in finding a balance between the two of them and when it doesn’t work out I will force myself in making a decision.

I already started with my new exercise routine. I’ve been 4 times to the gym the last 7 days and 3 times in the last 3 days. Tomorrow I give myself a break in the gym but might go cycling for an hour or so. I teamed up with a buddy of mine who is always really serious for longer periods of time and he just had a small break and started last week again as well so hopefully that’s going to be really stimulating. So far the sessions went really well and I hope exercising more will also give me more energy at work and¬†poker. Tomorrow I will start playing poker again (didn’t play since my return last week from Vegas)¬†and I should put in at least 6 hours and next week I should be back to my normal routine(20hours a week). This week I’m also starting my new assignment at work so it’s going to be very interesting how everything is going to work out! Oh yeah, the Tour de France also almost starts, don’t forget the Olympics and let’s not even think about what will happen if the sun comes out and it’s really going to be summer over here……..

 Posted by at 10:41 pm