Thursday, November 8, 2012

And...We're Back

In case you missed the memo (and it was intentionally not well distributed for probably nitty security concerns) Danielle and I just spent 9 nights on the Big Island in Hawaii.  It was my first real vacation since our American Southwest Trip, which stunningly ended nearly 3.5 years ago.  Looking back on that trip, and comparing it to this one, it's kind of amazing to see how much I have changed.  At that time I was not even a year into my professional poker career, and was just brimming with confidence, energy, and a positive outlook that bordered on madness.  I had basically never lost (that trip almost exactly marked the beginning of my "18 months of despair" or whatever you'd call that year and a half where I basically didn't win any money) and things just couldn't be rosier.  Fast forward to today and my attitude has changed dramatically.  I guess I could say more about that, but it'd be really hard and I'm planning to write a lot of words today so I think I'll save the effort.  Suffice it to say that how you're going to feel on a vacation of this magnitude has a lot to do with who you are as a person and how your outlook on life currently tilts.  I'll write more about the trip later, although I'm not sure if I have a 10  part trip report complete with pictures in me this time.  Danielle will really want me to do that....but man it's a lot of work.  The cliffs are "snorkeled with manta rays and dolphins, hiked a lot including 3 miles to see actively flowing lava, took a bus to 14k feet to look at the stars, and ate and drank a lot of good food and coffee"

I always feel like I'm "way behind" on the blog but when I sit down to write one of these "lots of little updates" posts it ends up passionless and feels like I'm just putting a checklist up on the internet.  It still makes me feel good though, so here we go.

The recent initiative of trying a new schedule failed miserably.  I wasn't able to get enough sleep, and the games were frequently not good enough to justify it.  I also had a very difficult time getting out of the casino before traffic, and when I did I arrived home too tired to much of anything.  I've thought long and hard on the matter, and there are only two more things I can really try.  First, I could switch to a grave (or bordering on grave) schedule.  But that'd just be fucking awful, and I don't see any way I'll be able to coerce my body into following that plan without a clock to punch (as I had at Garden City, may she rest in piece, long live Casino Matrix).  The only reason I even considered it, and this is just so sick I'm hesitant to even say it but whatever, is to prove to Danielle that I could.  You see, upon this last initiative failing she basically told me she was sure I'd never be able to do it and wasn't surprised in the slightest when I failed.  That cut me like a knife, to be honest.  I mean, she's entitled to her opinion, and she happened to be right on this one, but that's just not something I really needed to hear, you know?  I probably shouldn't have let it bother me as much as I did, but that's something we all probably wish we could do at least a couple of times per week.  So yeah, part of me wants to go on the grave schedule just for the sake of "doing hard things" and to prove that I am in charge of me and I will do whatever I need to do to make this work.  But that's ridiculous, and would amount to little more than cutting off my nose to spite my own face, so I'm not going to try it.  At least not yet.  Instead....

I'm going to give up on the "day in day out" pattern I've been following for quite some time now.  I've actually gone out of my way to treat poker "just like a job," in order to make sure I was taking it seriously and such.  But you know what?  I'm past that.  I've been at this for over four years and as was pointed out on 2p2 I'm not "dead, broke, or insane so that probably puts me in the top few percent of all live pros."  I can do this on my own terms.  Death Donkey gave me some advice a while back saying that the whole reason he got into poker was exactly because it WASN'T just like a job, or at least didn't have to be.  And that advice has been echoed back to me again and again from lots and lots of people through lots and lots of forums, and you know what, I'm going to give it a try.  Today was my second day using the new plan, and boy oh boy was it tough not to just drive into the casino and start playing.  In fact, I'm not even in the clear yet, but think I have enough stuff to keep myself busy long enough that I'll be able to not go in.  This realization in and of itself is both extremely promising (I really want to go play...I want to go do my job) and very scary (in that as I've seen poker just eats away at you if you let it).  The new stated plan that I'm going to try out for the rest of the year goes roughly as follows.  I'm going to play far fewer days, and occasionally (once every week or two) spend a night at commerce.  On those overnight trips I'm going to grind my balls off, playing something like 24 out of 34 hours, and on the days I do play I'm going to shoot for at least eight hours of playing time, and attempt to play more like nine or even ten plus.  These changes in aggregate will result in me logging fewer total hours, but not dramatically so.  I'll probably drop from the grueling 2000+/year pace I'm on now down to something more manageable in the 1600 range.  And what's important is that I'll generate lots and lots of these entire days off (like the one I'm taking now) which (and the actually important part) I can use to pursue and develop some other talents/hobbies/interests.  What are those other interests going to be?  I'm not sure yet, but they'll be focused on developing friendships, staying fit and active, and advancing some intellectual pursuits that could add fulfillment to my life.  We're talking about softball, surfing, bowling, the gym, basketball, who knows maybe coaching/teaching, and (and this is pretty scary to put down on paper here) starting to collect all my stories and experiences quote my 8th grade wood shop teacher "something back there that possibly could resemble the very beginnings of" a book.  Yeah, that's right, a freaking book.  People starting telling me I should try to write one a year into my poker career, and you know what I'm going to give it a shot and see where it goes.  Will it ever get published and incarnated in actual honest to goodness holdable book form?  Probably not, but that's not really important.  Could it maybe be an e-book that people would buy for their kindles?  Maybe.  It is almost 2013 after all.  Who buys real books?  Anyway, that's the plan.  Haters gonna hate, but that's what I've got.

I suppose that's about it for now.  The old diet plan 2.0 obviously didn't pan out exactly as I'd hoped.  I started the thing at 172 pounds and got down to 164, so it wasn't a complete disaster or anything (I didn't actually gain weight at any point) but it also wasn't a blazing success.  Somehow someway I didn't gain weight in Hawaii (I feel like I gained 10 pounds), and I suppose that was because of all the hiking we did (in the entire trip I laid down on the beach exactly twice).  The new policies above should allow me to maintain a good level of fitness, and for now I'm just going to be content not to gain any weight (remember at the beginning of the first weight loss bet I was 180 pounds!).  And I played 9 hours yesterday and torched off another $3000, which went nicely with the $22k I lost last month at the tables (I'm pretty sure that was my worst month ever).  It was absurd, really, just hand after hand of unbelievable beats.  5 way capped pot flop an open ender can't get there.  AdQc vs 65dd the board is I swear to you Q83ddd-Ar.  Seriously, that happened and no I did not bink the river.  A9 loses to K7 on AK9-7-K (I get 3 bets in on the turn and ZERO go in on the river lol you fucking fish how are you not broke).  AJ can't beat KJ on an ace high flop.  Blah blah blah.  I guess that's part of the reason I wanted to go back today to play, and that's the real rub of the poker lifestyle.  If you win, you enjoyed it and you want to go back and get some more.  If you lost, you're a bit upset and want to back and win it back.  Maybe this is the beginnings of how a gambling problem starts?  Maybe?  I dunno.  Anyway, I'm not playing today, and life is going to be a little different going forward.

Oh and in closing....Google just issued me my second check for earnings on the blog.  In the four years or whatever this thing has been live I have earned $234.  That's like 30 cents per post!


that_pope said...

Don't tell PJ that, he will think you were stupid for not letting everyone know you would be gone for over a week.

Jesse Smithnosky said...

For the record, three people have requested rights to edit (or in one case copy edit, which I think is probably different) the book. So if you want in on that, take a number line forms behind Babar.

avoidthe9to5 said...

SIIIIGH....i'll just have to suffice as a critic, i suppose

Doug Meyer said...

Could not encourage this change strongly enough. Good luck, man.