Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 Quick Review and 2012 Expectations

Happy 2012 to all. Hopefully the Mayans were smoking some silly stuff and a year from now we can look back and go through this exercise again. I am glad 2011 is behind us in a lot of ways. I don't think I, or a lot of poker players, really understood the effect Black Friday had on our game and our lives initially. I miss playing on Stars and Tilt tremendously and while I do think legislation of some sort is inevitable, I have no clue on the timing of it and have very little confidence in legislators to do it in a sensible way. Time will tell.

The following were my goals for 2011 as I wrote up a year ago. I have provided my actual results related to each in bold:
  • $40k of total net profits playing part-time. This includes online and live as well as bonus money from Stars. Obviously the regulatory landscape may change and have some affect on this goal. This amount is approx. $3.5k/month and also equates to one of my biggest personal annual expenses (hint: kids are VERY expensive). Pretty prescient post as the shutdown of the "Big 2" sites clearly affected my ability to achieve this goal. I ended up a shade under $25k for the year with only ~$10k of that coming on-line. I am still owed a decent amount by Full Tilt and while the latest news on that front has been positive, the whole situation has been an absolute CF since Black Friday. Until the cash is in my hand I won't count on those dollars.
  • Ship at least one live tournament. While this is impossible to control getting deep in a bunch of events is key to being able to close something out. So making final tables and making good decisions deep in tournaments is all I can do to put myself in a position to ship. I made a few final tables (3 I think) in 100+ player live events. This included a chop at a PLO8 event at Caesar's in June. I will count this as a success.
  • Improve my WSOP record and play at least one mixed game event (HORSE or 8 game depending on the schedule). Obviously going deep in a WSOP is a total crapshoot since other than the Main Event the structures are pretty LOL but I would like to see myself with a good chance for a deep run. I played the $1,500 HORSE and left very confident I could play in this game profitably. I had no cashes in WSOP events. Not pleased about this.
  • At least one online score in excess of 10k. Again hard to control but playing well deep in tournaments giving myself chances are the key. Black Friday killed any chance for this. I did have multiple cashes in the $1500-2k range which isn't too bad considering I mostly played small and mid buy-in events on line.
  • Get some coaching for NLHE cash games if I am going to play them on-line. Didn't do this again in part due to Black Friday.
  • Play more for profits and less for rakeback/bonuses. Having said that Supernova 200k should be relatively easy if I don't slack off all summer as usual. Supernova 200k is worth approximately $15k in bonuses while 300k is worth a bit north of $22k. So I can't ignore its value entirely. I was easily on pace to make Supernova 200k and had made FTP Black Card status pre-BF. I did a better job of table selecting though I start to log a lot more time on Rush Poker which obv didn't allow for table/seat selection.
  • Play 40k hands/month of PLO8. If I do this a lot of the other goals take care of themselves. Black Friday
  • I also wouldn't mind finding my passion again for golf this summer and compete at the highest level in my state/area. Perhaps qualify for another USGA event. Played glory days might be behind me here. But doesn't seem to bother me too much. I tried to get my shit together midway through the summer but at the level I used to play that is just not enough time.
Overall I would rate the year a C+ but maybe more realistically an INCOMPLETE since the whole landscape changed so drastically on that sad day in April.

2012 Goals/Expectations

My goals really aren't a lot different this year than last year though they have been tweaked a bit for the obvious changes.

  • $30k in profits from playing. This may be a stretch without online poker/rewards programs/etc. But it is certainly an attainable goal if I put the hours in.
  • Win at least 1 live tournament of 100+ players. I have sort of resigned myself to the fact that my edges now come in non-holdem games. I still feel I can compete in Holdem tournaments but my edges are smaller and there are fewer and fewer weak spots particularly as you move deep into tournaments. This is not necessarily the case in mixed games and/or non-holdem events. So I think PLO, PLO8, HORSE events, etc. offer me more opportunity to ship.
  • I am going to take a different approach to the WSOP this year I think. I am still going to spend a good bit of time in Vegas but am really going to focus on some of the smaller/medium buy-in events at Caesar's and Venetian. I will likely still play 1 or 2 WSOP events but unless I have a large score pre-WSOP I will be focusing more on the $300-1k buy in events at these venues.
  • Having said the above, I will make one exception for the WSOP ME which I really would like to satellite into this year and play. My WSOP league has not started well but there are still plenty of games left to get up to the top and win a seat. Or winning a seat on-site is still an option.
There are a few specific smaller goals I have that will help me in these areas but I will not list them all here.

My next live play will be the week of January 22 when I am going up to Borgata for the Winter Open. My guess is I will play 3 or 4 events (including PLO, maybe Omaha HL) depending on making day 2s, etc.