Monday, January 02, 2006

2005 Poker Review

Well, since I kicked off this blog at the start of last year, I can effectively roll up the annual review and blog anniversary posts into one.

Which is just as well, as I'm lagging behind again.

Looking back to my earliest posts, it's amazing how much things have changed already.

In the early days I was playing exclusively No Limit Hold Em SnG on Pacific Poker, within a few weeks I'd moved on to cash Limit Hold Em on Party Poker, and by year end I was playing cash Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo across a number of sites, including PokerStars.

In the interim I've played the very occasional blogger tourney (damn international time zones), read a lot of great posts, had some extreme silliness at the micro NLH tables, and even met the blogfather in person - and the blogfather's father!

I've also got involved in a homegame which meets on a too irregular basis (the TPT), and Glasgow has participated in the poker boom with the introduction of The Cincinnati Club to the scene, and rumours of card room expansion at the Gala Riverboat Casino.

Additionally, I have become something of a sponge for poker knowledge, with several books already read and re-read, and a whole pile more to work through.

The only target I set for the year was a somewhat one dimensional profit target of $6000.

Which, I'm well aware, pales into insignificance when I follow the adventures of the likes of DoubleAs or Scott McMillan, but even so I managed to miss it by a country mile.

Starting Bankroll:$440
Ending Bankroll:$3,469

So, the glass is either half full; or half empty.

I'm inclined to see it as the former, since my original target was set with a degree of naivety.

I hadn't been playing that long, I'd hit a somewhat lucky streak, and I had no appreciation of the range of games that were on offer.

Equally, I had no idea just how time consuming bringing up baby would be. Ah, how innocent I was pre-June.

As I got engrossed in games other than No Limit Hold Em, I had to stick around the micro limits a lot longer than expected. Consequently my hourly win rate has been pretty low. Multiply that by a much lower than anticipated time at the tables, and it all becomes clear.

For next year my aims are slightly broader.

I want to continue expanding my experience of other forms of poker. Next targets will probably be Stud and Stud Hi-Lo. If that goes well I might even take a crack at Triple Draw.

I don't expect to be a genius in any of these games by year end, or a mixed games specialist, but I'd certainly like to be capable of taking on a HORSE tourney without breaking out in a cold sweat.

I want to play live more. That's partly dependent on friends availability for homegames, and my capacity for getting out to play at other card rooms.

In the games I already play, I want to move up the limits. Presently I wouldn't feel comfortable buying into a Pot Limit Omaha game for more than $100.

I'd like to be in the $200 games by year end, and I should already be perfectly capable of beating the Party $3/$6 Limit Hold Em tables.

I want to take a few shots at bigger events. Maybe try to satellite into the PokerStars $500k like the guy who won $110,103 last night, after qualifying from a $3 rebuy!

Or perhaps take a shot at qualifying for one of the WSOP, WPT, or EPT events.

More of a wishlist entry, than a proper target, would be to actually attend a proper WPBT event. Since that's pretty unlikely (unless taking a shot produces a VERY good result), maybe I should have a chat with some of the UK bloggers and Jan about forming an EPBT circuit.

It would be somewhat craven to avoid setting a monetary target too, so I'll stick with the same number as last year and hope to clear $6,000.

So, to summarise:

  • Learn new games

  • Play live more

  • Move up limits

  • Take some shots

  • Meet more bloggers

  • Clear $6,000

That seems pretty attainable to me. Most importantly, I intend to have even more fun next year than I did last.

Despite the occasional badbeats, nonsensical play, and teeth grindingly irritating table chat, poker is still lots-and-lots of fun, with many more highpoints than lows.

I'm lucky to have found a hobby which is effectively self financing, and which has given me a lot of pleasure, as well as an outlet for my more creative impulses.

Wishing you a happy, and successful 2006.

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