MT - Online and Life Grind 2012

Sup y’all - Mark here. It's been a long time since I’ve seen most of my poker friends so I thought I’d blog an entry to let you all know what’s been going in my life over the past 6 months or so. Well being a poker blog it would make sense to start with telling you about how things have been going for me poker wise first.

As some of you will know with the exception of the odd game I’ve not played live now for well over 6 months. The main reason for this is I decided to give online a real good go. What kick started it all was a change from my usual $4 180 SnG’s to the far more exciting and entertaining $2.50T and then the $8T and $15T 180’s on PokerStars. Like many before and many after I followed the ill advice of KQ4EVA who cleverly targets local agro fish to play in his regular online games - the sneaky twat.

However, his plan backfired and I had some instant success and found a real passion for the online grind again. I was on a bit of heater didn’t see the need to venture out for a live game. For the first couple of months I was making some good profits & I was padding my bankroll nicely for an increase in volume. It was great, I figured out that I’d beat them consistently and bring a nice additional little income into the household. Easy game.

Things didn’t quite work out as planned though as inevitably variance played it’s part. Don't get me wrong, I was expecting it, I was mentally ready and handled it like I knew I had to but I just couldn't fight it off. Instead of taking a step back and reviewing my play or going through some hand histories with friends or whatever I decided it would be easier to try and play myself out of it. So I put more and more focus on volume, hoping to ride it out. It kind of worked for a while, but the brutal variance was killing me. I was expecting bad variance in these games but the actual reality of it astounded me. Honestly, night after night after night. Well, it turns out there is only so much of that I can take. I eventually became more & more tilted and too eager to gamble. Over the next couple of months I gave back a chunk of my profits due to a mix of running and playing badly.

The frustration of it eventually got the better of me and I just slowly, almost unknowingly dropped my volume & spent less nights grinding and more nights chilling in front of the TV. For the last month or two I’m at a point where I’m playing maybe twice a week. I’ll generally have a set of 180’s on night when my wife is on night shift and then I try to always have a little gamble on a Sunday night with a few $10 MTT’s and every now and again i'll have a shot in the Millions. That’s really it now for me as far as poker goes.

Do I still love poker? Yes I totally do. However ,whist I feel how I do the plan going forward is just to continue my mini break from grinding every night and just focus on other things for the next few weeks. I have my upcoming holiday to Vegas which I’m very much looking forward to and I want to get a few important things out of the way at work too. Hopefully in about 4-6 weeks I’ll have the urge to give my online grind another real go. Looking back at my online SnG stats on the sharkscope graph below it doesn't look as bad as I thought but it certainly has been a very frustrating period for me. Online aside, I must admit though, I have started to miss the live scene and do plan to play a few of the good value local games over the next few months again.

Away from the poker 2012 has been quite an eventful year for me. As a few of you might know I don’t play in the NPF football days due to a bad knee injury I received playing Sunday league about 8 years ago. Well after at least 3 or 4 embarrassingly short comebacks and moments of pure agony I had reluctantly given up on football completely until the lads at work organised a game of a 5aside. I didn't play the first few weeks because I was worried about my knee but in the end peer pressure and my own enthusiasm got the better of me and I thought I’d be OK to join them. After all, it was 8 years since the initial injury and I'd ran and cycled on it plenty since. Well, predictably I didn't even make it to the kick off. During my warm up I struck the ball as hard as I could towards goal (in hindsight probably not the best idea). My knee instantly gave way and I dropped to the floor again in pure agony yet again. It actually felt more painful this time around but that's probably just old age lowing my pain threshold.In recognition that no amount of time was going to heal my knee without medical help and the fact that I couldn't put any weight whatsoever onto my left leg I went to hospital to have it looked at. So after an X-ray, lots of physiotherapy and an eventual MRI scan they concluded I had severely damaged my anterior cruciate ligament years ago and left it untreated. I’m pleased I've eventually started the process of getting it sorted so I can hopefully play golf with my mates again and hopefully football with my boy too. I'm now waiting for an appointment to see an orthopedic knee specialist to discuss my options which will likely mean surgery.

Other than that my knee, things have been generally really chilled out for me lately. I've spent a few nice weekends away with the family and were all looking forward to our family holiday abroad in August. It something I always really look forward to and it will be a nice break from work which has been really tough lately as the company is recovering from a slow start to the year. For those that don't know I work in recruitment and we lost a big account at the end of last year which had a significant impact on the business.In my opinion, in a way it has been good for the company. When the chips are down you see who is really willing to step up and fight and face the challenges ahead and it cleared all the driftwood. Things changed within the infrastructure of the business for the better and thankfully the corner has now turned. There is plenty still to do but the experience has definitely helped me gain a lot more clarity and purpose with my professional career, I am now very focused and have some big personal plans. 

Before I change the world however I have the small matter of my imminent annual blow out in Las Vegas next week. I’m really looking forward to Vegas more than ever this year. Last year I spent most of my time playing poker and played in some of the best card rooms and tournaments in the world which was truly awesome. Looking back though I felt it was pretty much all I had done so I wanted this trip to be a bit more balanced. Dan has lined up a few really cool activities to do through the day away from the strip as well as having penciled in some nice shows and restaurants in the evening. The reality is we'll likely be too preoccupied or wasted to see any of the shows but he has good intentions all the same.

It will eventually give my the change to see some of the other side of Las Vegas which I'm really looking forward to. I'll still penciled in a few tournaments to play when I'm out there because I just love them but they are certainty not my main focus this time around. The focus this time is just to have a great time, spend time with some good friends and make some great memories. I’m sure you’ll no doubt read all about it on here sometime soon. 

Thanks for reading and hope to see you all soon.

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