I bubbled in the Luck Game. That pretty much sums up how things have been going for the last 2 months. It has been a rough patch, filled with unfortunate beats at tough times, big draws that don't come, inside straight draws that hit for the villain, and (if I'm honest with myself) plenty of spewing from tilt play and inadviseable shots. I'm looking for the holes in my game, and hopefully I will plug them.
But I know what my underlying problem is. I lost the joy.
I forgot that I'm not trying to be a pro. I forgot that this game is fun. I forgot that it's a boffo mental exercise played with cards, not my primary income source. I forgot that I used to be a ninja master at using the chat to get the guy who just sucked out on me to laugh comfortably at their lucky play, while I sharpened my knives for the comeback. All too often now I'm just another turkey telling you how bad you played. I'm going to try to catch my focus again, and as a result I'm slowing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down. I'll be playing tiny buy-in 1 table SNGs to tinker with my game and get the love back. I'll see you in the Blogger Tournies when I feel I'm back to normal.
Anyway, what's better than end-of-year lists . . . besides NOTHING? Here's some lists!
Goat Goals 2008:
1) Write a lot. I have a novel in the works and about 5 other good ideas for them kicking around upstairs. Afraid I can't publish any of the novel here (though you may get some more of my 'warm up' short stories if I think they're worth reading), since I want to actually submit it for publication. But, if you are interested, you may certainly have an excerpt. I am a total junkie for attention when it comes to writing, it's sick. Just hit me in the chat sometime (check the profile) and ask.
2) Read a lot. Reading good writing is the best way to gear up for writing well. My goals are interconnected here. Can't really do #1 without eventually doing #2. It's true in both fiction and going to to the bathroom!
3) Play less. I see that Chad of all people has this one up there, too. We're not alone, either. It looks like any number of folks are thinking about easing back, or even giving up the holy game of poker. I've been reading all the end of year stuff. The UIGA made the games harder. No, the games are easier. Poker is dying. Poker's never been doing better. It's the end. It's just the beginning. I have perhaps a different take on it, though. I'm not phasing it down to a hobby like some, because there's never been a doubt that it's a hobby. What I intend to do is play deliberately. In other words, no just getting on spur of the moment because there is nothing else going on. When I'm getting online to play poker, it will be a planned moment with a specific focus. I don't want it to be the weed that's time-choking my other interests and ventures (see #1 and #2, above). In fact, this is what I'm going to be trying to accomplish outside of poker, as well. To live more deliberately.
And for what it's worth, I don't think that the games have ever been easier than what I've seen this year.
4) Get on Chad's Top Five Worst Blogs List. I figure LOST ought to do the trick. I'll just post 1500 words on the Season 4 premier episode, followed by the most specious possible poker connection. "Kate lied to Jack and it cost her at in inopportune time. Be sure to time your bluffs well!"
5) Win a large-field MTT. This is the dream. I've been so close. Just last night I played one with 2,056 runners and lost a race to go out 16th. I'd warrant I've been final tabled or two-tabled about 10 times in 2007 and it just hasn't fallen right for me, or I've screwed up, or gotten coolered somehow. 2008 is the year? I mean . . . 2008 is the year!
6) Be a force in the inevitable BBT3. I was among the few to profit off of BBT1 and final tabled the freeroll. I really stunk up the joint in BBT2 but weaseled my way into the TOC. I want more for BBT3. I want to be immortalized with Bayne and Jec. We'll be the Doyle Brunsen and Johnny Moss and Amarillo Slim of maladjusted online poker geeks! Together we'll fight crime and pollution. Catch all our adventures on Saturday mornings on ABC!
My Top 10 of 2008
10) The Wheatie Shuts The Doors. Yes, this is still kind of alive as the Monkey Tourney, but it's not really the same. The regularly scheduled blogger tournament that started it all called it quits this summer. I hadn't played in a while, since Tuesdays are rarely a free night in my schedule, but I played the last one. I got sucked out on by an ATC donkey. It was great. Wil final tabled his tournament for the first time (which is hard to believe, but that's what he said), and that was pretty much it for blogger tournaments on PokerStars, the original site of the blogaments. GG again, Wil, hope you show up at the MATH someday.
9) Cashing in FTOPS Event #1. This will always be the 'what if' moment of the year for me. My internet provider took me down for about 35 minutes right at the bubble. When I came out of the dark, I'd had about 1/3 of my stack blinded off. All the same, I'm pleased with this accomplishment and I even have a free hat to honor the occasion.
8) Hoy Gets Beaten By A 12 Year Old. I am still laughing. Does that qualify me for the hater list?
7) I Final Table the 28K. My biggest single cash to date. I took a smallish stack into the bubble and found myself seated next to the chip leader . . . none other than Astin. I caught some great flops and took a bunch of his chips. Three-tabled and shortish I pushed 99 into a stealer and was flat called by 33 on the button. Three in the flop, blank the turn, NINE ON THE RIVER!!! Best resuck ever in a key spot and I got to the final table where I finally went out in fifth. I still remember the name of the guy who decided to call over 50% of his chips with 33 and nearly got paid for it. Even though I prevailed I'm still incredulous.
6) I win a MATH and a Mook. These were awesome. I pretty much just got a huge stack both times and rode them all the way. Hopefully these were only the tip of the iceberg (though blogger tournies are far and away the biggest hole in my bankroll).
5) The_Goat_Speaks Begins Its Reign of Quasi-Literate Terror. I started writing in here on a whim, primarily as a way to keep myself from doing anything dumb to my bankroll following an awful beat deep deep DEEP into the Stars 28K Guarantee. I never expected to have anybody read this stuff, and I certainly didn't expect this level of inclusion and encouragement. It's safe to say that nothing I have done has been as beneficial for either my poker game or my enjoyment of poker. Thanks once again, one and all.
4) Bloggers Cash In Big Events. 2007 wasn't the first year that major tournaments heard from members of the blogging crew, and I doubt it will be the last. The biggest cash was Drawing Dead Jordan's 6th place finish in the Poker News Cup , but we also have to give some love to Fuel, just short of the final table in the BCPC Main Event, and to Hoy and LJ for some nifty WSOP cashes. Good job, folks, now let's make some noise in 2008 for the blonkeys!
3) WDANK Begins Broadcasting. Without doubt, one of the great developments in poker blogging is this experiment in live radio. The blogaments are about community in poker, simple as that. Since around BBT1, Dank and Tragedy have let us hear voices that before existed only in the chatbox, provided us with commentary, laughs, heckling, curses, and occasionally some great music. Usually, though, some dummy has loaded up the queue with ABBA.
2) Jeciimd Wins A Trip To Australia. I just wrote about how awesome this is, but I will reiterate. Sometimes the good guys win. I just hope this leads to the #1 entry in 2008. Go build a stack so big you can't even see the sharks, Dr. J.
Which leads us to . . .
1) The BBT Revolution Changes Blogger Tournies (For the Better). Is there any question? Can there be any doubt? Others may nay-say, but what happened with the advent of the BBT was seismic. One of the major sites is not just allowing us to host our little knitting-circle games with them, they are actively courting us, and with serious swag, to boot. What does this mean? Well, it means that our voice is being heard, collectively speaking. It also means that these little knitting-circle games are starting to matter toward those elusive, pie-in-the-sky poker pipe dreams of ours. I'm not dropping 10K on a major tourney, and I bet Dr. J is in the same boat, but now he's got a crack at the real stuff. It's a different show now. And yes, it can occasionally lead to some bickering or some trash talk, and we all hope that it doesn't get mean-spirited (any more). But you know what? One of the things I've always loved about poker is the boisterious, jostling, camaraderie of it. That definitely includes trash talk.
When it returns, it's going to return bigger. What might it become? That's up to us. It's like Al convinced Full Tilt to just give us a free house, but it's an unfurnished house right now. What are we going to decorate it with? BuddyDank radio is a good start. Chad and Waffles are working on a tracking database, which is like Jerry working with Newman, but still . . . hooray! What else? Let's work on this house of ours.
This could turn into something of great worth, something lasting. It's a very, very good thing.
My Favorite Five Posts 2008
Hey, it's my blog. Let's close out with my picks from 2007.
5) Poker Haiku. This one just rolled out as I played a SNG against the worst players in the whole world.
4) Table Profiles: Rig A. MyRoll. I enjoyed all the profiles, and hope to be inspired someday for more. I think this one holds up best among them.
3) The Fallacy Of Bad Beats. My second post, and one I still refer to when I've just been smacked with the old high hairy beatdown stick.
2) Big Game 2: Hanging With The Big Dogs. This was probably the most fun I had in a blogament that I didn't win, and an epic starting table to boot.
1) Ghosts of Poker. Kind of an obvious pick, but this was just a blast to write.
Happy New Year! See you out there in 2008.