Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life goes on

Since my last post, my run good has continued with poker. I have had 17 winning days in a row now, with the game profit in those days being almost 16k. On Saturday I ended up final tabling the weekly 215$ turbo and got 5th place for 5k. I min raised AQo from the button with 15 bbs into a short stack in the SB, and the big stack who was really good and super aggro in the BB. I expected the BB to re jam fairly wide if the SB folded, which was the case, I obv called and he had K9 of clubs and rivered a flush. I would have been the chipleader with 5 left, with a good shot to take down 17.3k, instead I get 5th. I got pretty lucky to get that far, combined with the past 2 and a half weeks as a whole I can't complain at all. Then On Sunday I am stuck almost 2k with my buyins, run like god at a 60$ 180 man and get 2nd place to get me even for the day. I cashed in a couple other things and profited 400$ for the day. I have had a few days like that now where I am stuck a good bit and then come out of it before the day is over, this win streak is truly amazing and def marks my longest consecutive day win streak in my career.

I am impressed with myself and how I am approaching the games the same exact way as I was 2 weeks ago. In the past I would let this get to my head, think I was the best player on the planet, and play tough games and my avg ABI would be way higher than it normally is. I am still grinding 15-60$ sngs, playing soft 100-200$ sngs, and I am still studying daily, and I am still trying to improve as a player before I head back into the 100-300$ sngs on a regular basis. Doing this has hurt my VPP/FPP's tremendously. Given I am not going for SNE this year anymore, I am perfectly fine with sacrificing VPPS/FPPS to make sure my game progression is coming along well.

The grind house we have setup has been going pretty well. It is awesome to live in the same place with 2 sickos. Matty(Mrpaintball) has killed it so far this year and is just crushing 180 mans. Jordan (bigbluffzinc) has run into some tough variance, but given the buyins he plays, he is going to experience this kind of thing way more often. There will be months where he will win 40-50k in sngs, which is just not possible for Matty and I. He feels like he sucks at poker right now, as anyone who downswings would feel (I felt this way after my 8k downswing to start the year), but Matty and myself will be the first to tell anybody that he is better than us.

Its just really refreshing to live in the same place as people who do the same stuff you do. Reflecting on when I lived with my best friends Dave and Adam, it would be so hard to motivate myself to play when they were home, especially on the weekends. There would be so many distractions, whether its going out, smoking trees and playing video games, watching TV, or just simply shooting the shit. Now living with other poker professionals, we are motivated by each other. We wake up, grind grind grind grind, coach a little during the day, and end our days with studying. Or if one of us is deep in a MTT we all get into it and bounce ideas back and forth about certain situations, which imo is studying as well. We go out to eat a couple times a week, and go out and get drunk once a week basically, the rest of our time is dedicated to poker. There is no TV here, there are no video games, I have nothing to do but play poker when I am in this house, which is exactly how I would want to have it since I moved across the continent to play poker. I feel like I could balance life with work a little better, but given how fresh Matty and I are to being back on the grind, I have no regrets with how I have spent the first month and half here.

I will say this though, it is incredibly hard to be so far away from home. I have no family here, I have made new friends here, but the friends I have grown up, some since the age of 3, and experienced so much of my life with, are not here. It is very difficult to live your life in a place so far away from "home", and I feel sometimes that my body is in Vancouver, but my mind and heart is in Pittsburgh.

A couple weeks ago my brother Tony and his wife Rayna had to give birth to their child Prematurely. The baby was due on April 20th, they had it almost 10 weeks early, which is very very early. I forget the name of condition that caused the baby to be born prematurely, but from what my Mom told me it was very serious. This was very difficult for me because of the simple fact that I could not be there.

Since my brother got back from Iraq a few years ago, he changed completely, and grew very distant from my brother and I (My brother Tony is pictured to the right, where I am wearing my Kentucky blue hoodie). He completely mellowed out, and My brother Andy and I were just living completely different lifestyles. We were living the partying fast lane lifestyle, and he came back with such a mellow personality, which is understandable for a Veteran of war, and experiencing the things he went through. I felt like not being there for him for his first child period, let alone in this situation, is just making the distance between us bigger. I tried to call him a couple times and he did not answer, and when I would text him to see how it was going, he would answer my text messages with 2-5 word answers such as "Were fine". I ended up getting all of the updates from my mom, and things look good now! The baby is still in the hospital but has devoloped everything perfectly fine. I will be home in about a month for a few things, bar tour at penn state, pirates home opener, and Easter, but more importantly I will be able to see my brother, his wife, and my first niece.

I feel like since moving away from home, I have grown into a completely different person. I am appreciating a lot of the small things in life that I always took for granted. I am not sure if its the move, or just maturing, but I feel like my goals in life, and in general what I want out of life are a lot more clear to me. I have always been the one day at a time kind of guy, and in the process that has caused me to make some bad decisions in life. I do not regret these decisions as I might not be the person I am today if it weren't for those decisions. My outlook is that I am finally becoming comfortable with who I am and what I am trying to accomplish, and the feeling I have now might have not happened if I didn't make some of those bad decisions in the past.

I have been taking baby steps to get my health back, which is the biggest thing I have neglected in the past. In the past I would say im going to lose weight, I am going to quit smoking, I am going to do this, I am going to do that, Ill start tomorrow. The funny thing is tomorrow never came. I wake up now and say I am going to do this, and I am going to do that, and I am doing it today. I have attempted to quit smoking, which lasted a couple days. I am still smoking, but I have cut back from a pack a day, to anywhere between 6-10 a day, and everyday I am disgusted with myself for it. Quitting is in the near future, but I feel like I am overwhelming myself with getting back in shape + quitting smoking + grinding out poker 60 hours a week. I am smart enough to realize this may be my brain rationalizing postponing quitting, because I am a addict, But I want to quit, and have attempted to quit, which in itself has never happened, and I know my days of smoking are not going to last much longer.

I have been working out via jogging, situps, crunches, pushups, just standard easy stuff for now. My body feels great just doing a little workout everyday, and I wake up without needing to force myself to do it, I actually want to do it, which in my opinion is something you need if you actually want to change.

My biggest goal though, is to start living in Vancouver. I am out here to pursue what I love to do, and that is play poker, but in the process I do not think I am truly living in Vancouver yet. I will find more happiness with my life If i stop trying to live in the past, and start living in the present. I need to realize that at this age in my life, people move all around the world to pursue their dreams and goals, and its no different for me. All of the things I am missing about home will still be there when I go to visit a couple times a year, and when I am in Vancouver, I just need to say fuck it, lets live here in Vancouver, and that life goes on.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First month back on stars recap

Being back is great. I am truly enjoying poker again, and everything it has to offer. I am a little disappointed with my volume the past few days, and how I make use of my time, but overall I would say I am pretty happy with myself in respects to both volume and putting in the study hours to keep improving my game.

As i stated in my last post, One of my goals this year was to get SNE. With the 60k VPPS i got carried over from last year, and starting to play on the 23rd, this seemed like a realistic and doable goal. I am pleased to say today that I am not going for it, and I wish anybody luck that is adventuring into hell aka the SNE grind.

I am not disappointed with myself for not going for it, because it was something I said I was going to do without putting too much thought into it. After thinking about it thoroughly, the idea does not appeal to me at all. There is nothing fun about 20 tabling 90-100% reg pool games for 8-10 hours a day with 5 figure swings regularly. This is what I would have to do if I were to get it, as I would be spending roughly 2 months in the states this year for WSOP in June and to be at home in Pittsburgh. I might try to get it next year if regulation seems distant, as it is a 2 year minimum commitment, combined with a couple other variables, but its just unrealistic this year as I am not mentally able to handle the swings both financially and mentally.

Moving on...

The first two weeks I started grinding it went just about as bad as it could go. I won about 2,000 my first couple of days playing, and then I put together 12 losing days in a row aside from 1 where I put about 2k or so into a sunday MTT grind and ended the day up like 200$ or something. I was running horribly, which also caused me to not play optimally, its funny how those two things go hand and hand a lot. I went on a 8k downswing and the last two days of the downswing I moved down buyins to get my confidence back and I was grinding nothing but 15-30$ games, a lot of them being non turbo 9-27 mans, and those two days I lost like 200$ both days, which isn't a lot in the scheme of things, but I was still losing, and losing in really really soft games.

Mazurite came over and we did HH reviews of both of our games, as he was down swinging as well. I think we both mutually benefited from it, and we both pointed out leaks in each others game and bounced ideas and spots back and forth etc. More importantly it made me realize how important studying is and from that day I have studied just about every single day and it feels like it has made a world of difference.

I have had 13 winning days in a row now, and have made about 10k in those 13 days. My confidence is back up and I feel I am playing pretty well. Some of it is good variance, but most of it is playing well combined with game selection. I am just going to continue with what I have been doing and hopefully the results will keep coming. Playing this way won't get me SNE, but I will for sure get 300k, but will aim for 400k vpps, which is still a nice hunk of change in rakeback.

Overall though I need to manage my time better. I am putting in a lot and lot of hours playing, and a lot of the time I spend is watering down my hourly a lot. I am playing a lot of sets of 8-12 games, which I am fine with, but I will end up 1 tabling for like 30 minutes sometimes or something. I need to mix in hypers more to start/end my sets, Or I need to load my next set when I have 1 table left in my last set, which is a hard thing to do because I am addicted to nicotine.

Overall my focus is there, I am playing well, and I expect a lot out of myself this year.

I will end this blog with my stats so far for the year and I will follow this post up tommorow with some other stuff I want to write, but for now I am too tired to continue.

Frenzuh 2,059 $2.37 $37 18% $4,875 - N/A PokerStars 1/1/2012 2/23/2012

Frenzuh 1,862 $2.09 $36 22% $3,891 - N/A PokerStars 1/1/2012 2/23/2012 SNG Only

Frenzuh 197 $5 $49 -13% $984 - N/A PokerStars 1/1/2012 2/23/2012 Sch. Only