March 13, 2014

Bro, do you even lift?

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As Chuck would say, "Fatty's gotta hit the gym." Well I don't think that either he or I would qualify as fatties, but hitting the gym turns out to be a pretty good idea. 

Story time: I was pretty much always been a scrawny kid, I played sports growing up, but wasn't anything special and by the time that lifting got involved, soccer was about the only sport I was playing seriously. While there was plenty of running involved, the gym was a "do on your own" thing. Since most of my time was dedicated to video games and friends, by the time I left high school, the gym was basically an untouched mystery to me, and would remain so for another couple years.  

Fast forward to after college. Around this time I decided that my metabolism wasn't going to stay high forever, so I decided to take advantage of the gym at my work. For $11/month you can't beat it. One of the things that had deterred me for all these years was the fact that I had no plan, no idea what to do, no schedule, and no guidance. A recommendation from a friend brought me to Built For Show by Nate Green it was a perfect no bullshit guide to getting started in the gym as well as tackling the nutrition side of things. If you start to do some research into fitness and nutrition, it's a pretty vast wealth of misinformation, and a daunting task to wade through it all. This book helped me get started with something I could use right away and helped to dispel some of the anecdotal wisdom that I'd heard. So, I'd recommend it. 

I stuck with the gym 3 times/week pretty steadily after work, because my commute was brutal if I left right at 5pm. This lasted a solid couple of months and I ended up getting some reasonable muscle definition and feeling pretty awesome about myself. I ended up getting sick for about a month straight and afterwards getting back in was somewhat sporadic. Kinda disappointing reflecting on it. If I'd kept going regularly from then until today, I imagine I'd look like some sort of Greek God by now, but alas. Shortly after that I quit my job to play poker (yay!) and shortly after that, Black Friday happened (boo!) and going to the gym fell by the wayside for a while. I'd make it in for a few stints here and there over since BF, but nothing regular. Until now????? Been going regularly and reinvigorated about the whole situation. Can't wait to continue along my evolution as a lifting man.

So what's all this got to do with poker!? Well it turns out that the gym is the solution to the problem that I was having in my last post. Consistent volume. I don't know the physiology behind it, but basically after I work out, I am able to be super focused for quite a while. I work out, come home, eat, and then sit down to play and all I care about is just playing super super well. The old me would spend too much time clicking buttons at the beginning of my session, before I was really dialed in, then I'd eventually get in the zone, but after a while my focus just wasn't there, and I would quit early. 

Honestly, the biggest thing that was keeping me out of the gym, was laziness. I know it's good for me, I even knew that it was good for my poker game (although I forgot how good). There are a lot of things like that in life that just get brushed to the side because you are lazy, or don't prioritize them,  or just don't put two and two together. This year especially, I am trying really hard to remember to do those things, to work on those areas. There was a line from a Tommy Angelo post that I wrote down a few years ago:

"The surest way to get better at poker is to get better at everything and have poker rise with the tide."

I think that there is a lot of truth in that with regards to poker or whatever other venture you're pursuing. And you've done something that improves the quality of your life in another way. That's pretty sweet. 

 

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 05:05 AM

13 Comments

Tags: gym Zone Laziness

February 21, 2014

Truth.

True.


 Detective. Is phenomenal. If you have HBO, there's no reason you shouldn't be watching this. 

Other truths: I need to get in more hands. Stop being a bum and get in there. Set aside time, get in the zone, and start crushing. 

I've probably said this in previous posts, but I find that when I'm putting in hands every day, I reach that A-game zone faster, stay in it longer, and overall win more. Taking a few days off throws me out of my rhythm and I end up just stagnating until I can hit that threshold again. Once that starts clicking, I get the hunger, and the hunger is good. That means that I can go to bed, and sleep easy. 

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Sweet dreams...

 

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 06:56 PM

4 Comments

Tags: $$$ HBO Truth Huell

January 30, 2014

The Notebook(s).

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Gosling, McAdams, more Gosling, more McAdams. a little James Gardener, a lot of tears. This is what usually comes to mind when someone talks about the notebook (for me at least?). But this is in fact a different kind of notebook, or rather notebooks.

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I picked up two Moleskine notebooks for carrying around with me. I got a small one (3.5"x5.5") that fits in my pocket and a mediumish sized one (5" x8.25" ) that's pretty easy to carry in a jacket pocket or bag. I've ended up using the small one for a ton of day to day stuff; jotting down ideas, keeping to do lists, taking notes in meetings, etc... The larger one I wasn't quite sure what to do with since I couldn't easily have on my person all the time, then it hit me!

I just finished up a sweet post on all these goals and aspirations for 2014. Let's make this be the poker notebook! BINGO BANGO BONGO! 

So I've got a nice little system that I'm trying to implement with this. The first couple pages are all about poker goals in different areas for this year. I've got some NL goals, some PLO goals, some MTT goals, some Live Poker goals, and some other just general goals. From there I try to use it somewhat as a session log where I briefly recap my sessions, noting interesting hands, spots to review later etc... I also talk about mindset and mental game for that session. I leave a blank page there to come back and revist when I'm reviewing. I also use it to take notes on videos, podcasts, etc... It may be a little "old fashioned" since it's usually just easier to type it up, and my handwriting is borderline illegible, but I think that the act of writing it down helps you remember it just as much or more as being able to look at it later. Also, it's something that's tangible and in front of me, as opposed to a ton of files strewn across my hard drive.  

I enjoy having something at hand to jot my thoughts down into, and so hopefully this will help to keep me on track and focused.

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Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 09:52 PM

25 Comments

Tags: goals writing Notebooks Gosling

January 14, 2014

New Year, Goals? Dreams? Aspirations?


2013 was a pretty interesting year pokerwise. I am pretty happy with my results, but I think that 2014 can be even better. I really shifted from treating poker as a side interest/hobby to a full on serious pursuit again, for the first time since Black Friday. I revamped my approach to the game and steadily ramped up the time and effort that I was putting into it. I am also proud that I've branched out into some new areas of poker. While MTT's are quite silly overall, I've put some time into working on them and applying my cashgame skills to a new environment. I have also dabbled some in PLO and as I have been telling myself for the last 4-5 years, this year is the year that I actually seriously work on my PLO game. 

In late 2011, I made a list of some goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2012, many were poker related. I think that 2012, the online landscape for US players was too uncertain to have realistically accomplished a lot of them, but I also think that I didn't put in the amount of effort that I should have either. 2013 ended up being the year that I really actually did apply myself and ended up managing to accomplish almost all of those. So for 2014, I'm going to try to continue that and literally double my efforts. This year, I'll be able to devote much more time, and with a new game to explore, I'll need it.

The biggest lesson that I learned over the past two years has been this: Don't put an artificial ceiling on yourself or your abilities. Do away with limiting beliefs. This was never something that I really did consciously like "I can't ever do ____" or "I can't see myself being successful at [whatever]". But at certain times, I've looked at people more skilled or successful than myself and kind of treated their level as not something I could realistically achieve. This isn't just with poker, this is with all things in life. I'm not trying to make this sound like some metaphysical "Secret" nonsense or anything, like all you need is the power of positive thinking to make all your hopes and dreams come true. I just honestly know that in the past I've held myself back from being as good as I could've been.

(This graph belongs to CTS. Sicko)

I think that success in any endeavor comes from fully committing yourself. It transforms your pursuit from something that you do, to something that is a part of your life. I think that most successful players will agree that at some point they ate, slept, breathed poker nonstop. Put in work on the tables and away from them. When you're looking at what you want to accomplish in the next year, aim high. Aim really high. Aim past where you thought your ceiling was. You may not have the abilities or tools to get you there right now, but you can figure out how to get the resources you need to develop them. A year is a long time. And if you can get there in 2014, think of what the future past that holds.

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 06:27 PM

10 Comments

July 15, 2013

New pursuits...

Golf.

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Such a silly, terrible, wonderful game. I've had golf clubs for 10+ years now, but this is the first year that I've really actually decided to take it seriously. I have already dropped my score from a horrific 130ish to a somewhat less horrific 110, and feel like I could break 100 by the end of the summer.

It's fun going through some of the growing pains of learning a new game. It's a struggle of practice and execution making sure that the work that you do on the driving range/putting green translates when you're actually out on the course. Also similar to poker, golf is a game that I'll hopefully be able to play when I'm an crotchety old man. 

I'm open to all tips/pointers/suggestions/insults regarding golf. I've been getting lessons once every couple of weeks and have felt some serious improvements, but there is a whole other side of the golf game, outside of the swing mechanics that I could use help with as well. P.S. If anyone in CO wants to go golfing, let's set it up!

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Pokerwise, things have been going very well for me recently. I didn't end up making it out to Vegas this summer for any WSOP, but I fully plan on heading out next summer. I've been studying and playing more tournaments (clearly a foolish move) and have been actually learning a lot. Only one person goes home happy when they play a tournament, but they can be fun to get deep in, and still seem like decent ev. Silly silly tournaments...  

Lastly, go check out www.betraisefoldmovie.com if you haven't already... 

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Very well done, and great storytelling. I identified with so much of what was in this movie, but even non poker players that I watched this with really enjoyed it. A+.

 

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 11:07 PM

10 Comments

Tags: golf MTTs Stupid things I do BRF

April 15, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

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It's weird to think about, but 2 years ago today, life took a rather unexpected turn. I remember it quite well. I woke up that morning as I usually did, ate breakfast, and went down to my office in the basement to start playing some heads up. I had a short HU session, won a little more than a buyin, but wasn't really feeling that awake yet, so I took a break. During this break, I came back upstairs and was catching up on some DC posts, twitter, blogs, etc... when I saw someone tweet about Stars, FTP, and UB/Absolute being seized. Following the link to the 2p2 thread, I wasn't quite sure what to think. I don't frequent 2p2 that much but was well aware that there can often be silly unbelievable posts that start to get a little traction and wasn't sure if this was one of them. I checked the stars and FTP websites and everything looked like business as usual. I saw something about the DNS propagation and how I might not see it yet. Again, I wasn't sure if that was real or not or how that really worked. After an hour or so of reading more about it I finally saw the FBI/DOJ warning page on the webpages and it really hit home. After that, things became kind of a blur. 

Having your whole world crash down around you can never really come at a good time, but this was NOT a good time for this to happen. I had just finished up my taxes the night before and I had just put down a deposit on a new, more expensive, place to live and was going to have to move at the end of the month. I was also coming off a bit of a downswing since February and was really trying to refocus my energy and efforts into learning and really getting in a good amount of hands. Oh yeah and I'd  just bought a $2k bonus that needed clearing on FTP. Awesome.

Looking back... 

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Looking back, things really sucked for a while after Black Friday. I had big plans in the works! They were probably like "play a bunch of poker, hopefully make a bunch of money." I don't remember what they really were, but they were vague, and probably not that great. My whole existence has been crushed! Poker was certainly a big part of my life then and still is today, but I was starting to feel burnt out, I was very good at putting off other things in my life in favor of putting in a session. I didn't feel like I was growing very much as a player either. I just quit my job to do this! I was lucky to find a new job that I love and am able to still play and coach around that. Ahhhhhhhhhh! I felt more than a bit freaked out then, but I feel great about where things are at now and where they are headed. My money! Give me back my money!! My money! Give me back my money!!

Looking forward...

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I've got a decent idea of where I think things are headed for myself, but who knows what's in store... Without making a cheesy poker analogy, there will always be things in the world that you can't control, but you have to push yourself to do your best with what you've got and always be looking to learn and improve. Happy Travels forward... 

 

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 06:43 PM

6 Comments

Tags: BF Looking back Looking ahead

April 01, 2013

Pregame routine suggestions?

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As the clever title suggests, I'm looking for a more structured warm up routine. Lately, I've been finding myself not playing my best at the beginning of sessions and I think that it's partially due to a lack of a regular routine. 

I usually sit down with a glass of water, close all my browser windows except my Pandora, sit some tables and look for action. Sometimes I browse poker forums or review a HH ahead of time, to get my mind thinking poker. When I sit down to play a HU session, sometimes there is no action right away, so I also need to be better about keeping that focus after I've "started" my session, but before I actually play any hands.

Pre BF, I used to be much more motivated to play and as a result I think that I took things like this more seriously. So DC, what's your best pregame rituals/routines?

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 09:49 PM

11 Comments

Tags: pregame Warm ups pump it up

August 16, 2012

July recap and beyond!

***So DC's blogs seem to be a little bit bugged right now so hopefully the formatting comes out correctly on this. (This is also why my last post was reposted a day ago)

In that last post I talked a little bit about how I was getting the urge to grind again now that things have settled down a bit more. It's certainly taken a little bit to shake the rust off. The month started off great and about halfway through this was what my graph (6m and HU) looked like:
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 Clearly, running well helps. I think that I got a bit over confident actually because of it and I think that I didn't play my best in 2nd half of the month:
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So what was I doing wrong? Offhand, I think that I was playing too many tables. I have always been big into playing 4 tables, focusing, and sacrificing some volume. Multitabling is a skill just like any other skill though and with practice you can increase the number of tables that you can play profitably. This was something that I was actually working on in the months leading up to Black Friday, playing 8 and sometimes as many as 12 tables.  For the majority of the last part of July, I was playing 8 tables, which I think was me just rushing to get back. Too much too soon. 
I think that another big thing was that I wasn't the best about quitting when I should. I would find my in that tired/autopiloting stage and for some reason play for another 15 or 30 minutes before finally forcing myself to quit. I think that it is just another thing that will come back as I get in more experience playing regularly again. 
The last thing, which may seem to run contrary to the two above problems was that I wasn't putting in enough volume. This sounds like it's the opposite problem of someone who plays to many tables AND isn't quitting when they should, but it's more of putting in sessions more regularly instead of a  few long sessions spread out every couple of days. Over the last couple years I have really embraced the "don't play if you're not feeling 100%" idea and I think that I have taken it too far sometimes and left a lot of money on the table because I wasn't 100%. It turned into a copout for being lazy. So I'd play a super short session and quit if my mind would start to wander instead of training myself to concentrate anyways. So the plan moving forward is to play on a more regular basis. 
Anyways, August (so far) has turned things around a little bit in terms of not playing too many tables and increasing volume:
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I plan on getting at least 20k hands in this month and possibly 25k, depending on how much is HU action I can get... Also if you haven't been listening to Badugi All-Stars www.badugiallstars.com, I got a dog a little while back. His name is Oliver and he's a Shihzu-poodle aka a shitpoo. 

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Got to keep on the grind imo.

-2four

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 05:43 AM

30 Comments

Tags: Grind Graphs Pup Keep it up

August 14, 2012

Fellow DC'ers Bart Hanson and Vincent Van Der Fluit on Badugi All-Stars + Back on the Grind!

(got deleted, reposting)

 


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Hey guys, if you haven't gotten a chance to check out Badugi All-Stars, it's a podcast that I co-host with Bryce (Nixonthegrouch) and Tom (TecmoSuperBowl). During the WSOP we've gotten a chance to go to a weekly schedule to keep up with all of the action at the Rio. DC member and coach Vincent "seopgroente" Van Der Fluit came on after his sweet bracelet win in event #11, and last week we were able to have Bart Hanson on. I would humbly suggest that you give it a listen if you haven't already. You won't be sorry... for long. www.badugiallstars.com

User Uploaded Image     In other news, I have gotten back into grinding some on Merge. It feels great and I'm really enjoying poker again. Since BF, it's been difficult for me to put in hands online. 
     Right after everything went down and I got over the initial "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit"/"the sky is falling" I really tried to make being a professional still work. I put money on Carbon and on Cake. I had savings to live off of and despite being massively shaken by Black Friday, I still felt very confident in my game. 

     I cashed out some from Carbon and went to cash out my Cake roll to move it over to Carbon where I was putting in most of my volume anyways, and that's when the uncertainty of the whole situation really hit me. The Carbon cashout took almost 2 months and Cake took over 3 months. During that time, Blue Monday seizures happened, Quicktender Scandal went down, and I was stuck wondering how I was possibly going to be a professional poker player living in the US (moving abroad wasn't really an option). So I hunkered down, got a real job and transitioned back into "normal" life. I was still playing online some, but there were often times when I would just say "What's the point? Why put all this effort into grinding a roll back up if it could all get snatched away again." Or "will I be ok with not getting my money for months after I cashout?"  It was a little bit depressing and I became less focused when I actually was playing, and less motivated to play.

     I was able to continue to play live some; there are some small mountain casinos here in CO that run 1/2-100 and 2/5-100 Spread limit games. The 1/2-100 essentially plays like NL in almost all situations, but the rake is pretty brutal. The 2/5-100 plays a bit tricky with the $100 betting cap, and while the players are a little bit better, the games are still very beatable. It's just a bit of an ordeal to go up there often so I only go up every once in a while. It was pretty easy for me to get burnt out if I went to often, but it is fun to do every once in a while. 
     So finally about a year later, I have really gotten the itch again to crush souls and I have been getting a decent amount of hands in and I have been running well which is always nice, but I feel like I've really been playing pretty well also. I've seen people complain a lot about the state of the games, but they seem softer than FTP was in early 2011. There are a surprising number of very weak passive players still and the regs mostly seem to try to avoid confrontation instead of really playing back a ton. So I am going to try to shoot for some decent volume and continue to really focus on sitting down and playing well. I may even post a garph(!!!) to see how the month finished up. 
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     Last item: I would like to congratulate a student of mine for getting accepted into a Danish poker camp run by DC's Saibot: http://www.deucescracked.com/forums/4-General-Poker-Discussion/531971-Participate-in-Danish-Pok
     I am very excited for him, and think that this kind of poker environment is going to be just what he needs to take it to the next step in his poker development. I am proud to have been able to help him get to this point and hopefully continue even further. Congrats Mang!

-2four

Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 10:55 PM

15 Comments

Tags: poker badugi Grind imo

November 06, 2011

VEY-GOOSE!

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Bottle service at The Bank was ridiculous. #Ballin! Giannetti had a couple of tables for some of his friends and family that're in town to support him tomorrow (and hopefully tuesday!) at the WSOP ME final table. He told me that he is just antsy to actually get to playing poker instead of all the business/promotional stuff that is associated with being in the Nov 9. He didn't drink and is feeling really focused. Hell of a way to start off the trip, I can't wait for tomorrow when it all get's started!

I am just so happy for him, he's always been a super sicko at poker and has always been super motivated to grind real hard. He's been a successful live pro for a couple years now, but was pretty unknown outside of live cash game circles. He has had a couple of deep runs in some live events and online events pre-BF, but never made a prestigious final table or took down a sunday major. After making the Nov 9 and taking down WPT Malta, he's certainly becoming a more well known name in the poker world. Obviously winning a tournament doesn't mean that you're a poker badass, but if you happen to be one, it doesn't hurt. Stoked for tomorrow's FT!

Off to Lotus tonight... food porn to follow. 

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Posted By 2fouroffsuit at 12:27 AM

8 Comments

Tags: vegas sick brag IMO Giannetti Nov9 Food Porn


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