Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 Poker Review

In my 2005 Poker Review I set myself six targets for the year to come.

Some very clearly defined, others less so.

  • Learn new games

  • Play live more

  • Move up limits

  • Take some shots

  • Meet more bloggers

  • Clear $6,000

So, how did I get on?

Learn New Games

This went about as well as I could have hoped for.

Early in the year, I dedicated an entire month to Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo and followed it up with a month of Stud Hi/Lo.

I built on this as the year progressed with some 7 Card Stud and even a smidgen on Triple Draw.

Additionally, I spent periods of time focusing on different aspects of my Hold Em game.

Intense bursts of multi-tabling on PokerStars has given me a SNG game which I am confident I can rely on.

My No Limit Hold Em cash game has also come on in leaps and bounds with a positive effect on my bankroll.

On the whole then, I can confidently tick this off as a target hit.

Play Live More

The same cannot be said for my live game.

I don't keep concise records of where or when I played live, but it was certainly less in 2006 than 2005.

The home game disappeared - primarily due to time constraints such as expanding families - and I rarely made it into Glasgow to play at any of the established venues.

Poker is an unforgiving hobby when allied to a 9-5 day job, and limited weekend time.

The one achievement I can claim is cashing at the Stanley £50 freezeout.

This goes down as a target missed, but let's call it a glorious failure rather than a tragic one!

Move Up Limits

This is looking like a 50/50 to me, though as in many poker situations the 50/50 is perhaps more 54/46.

In limit Hold Em I'd hoped to be routinely playing $3/6 or beyond, which has indeed come to pass.

In big bet games, I'd been aiming for $1/2 at least. That hasn't quite happened yet - though many people on my bankroll would already have made the move - but I'm optimistic it is not too far away.

Take Some Shots

An abject failure. Simply I don't seem capable of finding the time to devote to playing big MTTs, hence shot taking is not an option.

Just about the only shots taken accompanied an IM chat with Al.

Meet More Bloggers

Adding another member of the bloggerati in Joe Speaker to the list was certainly a big plus. I thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Glasgow, and even the unreliable Scottish weather cooperated. Just a shame Ryanair and ScotRail didn't!

I had high hopes of making it to Vegas in December, but alas work demands got in the way. As it happened, this may not have been a bad thing.

So, quality over quantity was the motto here.

Clear $6,000

Two years in a row I've posted this aim, and twice I've missed by a wide margin.

This year the numbers were:
Starting Bankroll:$3,469
Ending Bankroll:$6,305

At least I am consistent!

Looking at those numbers shows that in theory I could be playing higher already, but my approach to bankroll management is quite conservative. I seeded my online accounts with a couple of hundred dollars and have never had to reload, so it's all profit to me.

As I said last year, not many hobbies are self funding.

On the whole then, I can hardly characterise 2006 as an unrestricted success, but it was hardly a disaster either.

At the half-way stage I gave myself a C-. My first live cash, and a late rally in the bankroll, have persuaded me I can upgrade this to a C+.

I'm not entirely happy, but at least I didn't go bust.

I'm going to apply the lesson learned from 2005 and 2006 when setting aims for 2007, to make them more achievable given my personal circumstances. Thus the aims for 2007 are primarily progressions on those for 2006.

Perhaps there's a lack of ambition in this, but poker to me is a hobby, not a profession.

The 2007 targets:

Deepen Experience of Other Poker Variants

It has been exciting to see PokerStars and Full Tilt in particular expand their mixed game offerings. I want to spend more time at these tables, playing for meaningful stakes.

Clear $6,000

I'm not giving up on this! One year I shall succeed.

Do Some Interesting Poker Related Stuff

A deliberately vague target. This could mean that long anticipated Vegas return. It could be satelliting into a decent size UK event. It could be a trip to one of the EPT events.

Much as I have no desire to live the life of a poker pro, I am envious of the travel opportunities it affords. Doing something along those lines would be a nice segue between poker and my wider ambitions in life.

I think that gives me enough to work with, without setting unrealistic aims. As always it's not a roadmap for the year ahead, but gives me a few points of reference on the journey that awaits.

Two years down the line, I'm still enthused and challenged by this game, and looking forward to discovering what 2007 holds for me.

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