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2Mar/100

Goals and Purpose

I finally set goals for this year. Like a true poker player, I set goals to be accomplished by the time the WSOP starts. Basically, I created them within 5 categories – Finance, Career, Health, Relationships, and Personal Development. From there I created a kind of operational plan to achieve each one, which could be broken into a weekly plan. I have to say it feels really good to be organized and purposeful.

In 2009, I kind of lived without pressures, plans, deadlines, etc (including trips to Costa Rica, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Vegas, Hawaii). I had a great start to the year capped off in Feb. by winning a big tournament for 100K here in Panama. I had a girlfriend at the time and did some traveling with her, and had some friends come down to Panama, and hardly played for about 6 weeks through March. In April I had some big cash game results, and barely played during May. Then in June/July I had some great results at the WSOP and Caesars MegaStack final. By this time I already had my biggest year to date. Guess how hard I worked in August/September/October? Not very. I’d win a little at cash and quit, or donk around in some tournaments without putting in a concerted effort. By the time November and December came around, I was struggling, which led into January. I had a great time in 2009, but I think it’s better to have a balance. In poker, you will always eventually fall off, if you don’t stay focused. The point of this is that it’s time to get back to work, and I’m excited!

This goal setting/planning has really helped to bring the motivation and faith back. I started this process in the middle of February, enjoyed Carnival, and finished it Wednesday the 17th at the end of Carnival, the start of Lent, and just after the start of the Chinese year of the Tiger (my year, btw☺). It’s like a snowball. Working out and eating healthy helps me to feel better, being organized in other areas keeps my mind clear, and this all sets the table for focused success at the poker tables. I put in enough hands at cash to keep my Supernova status and solidify some leaks, and build some bankroll on some other sites. I won a modest ~$5K, but it’s a good momentum builder for the first 20K hands. Also, I’m starting to apply my focus towards online MTTs. After my initial “get my **** together” session on the 13th, I played well in the Sunday Million on the 14th and got put out 102nd, but I started to feel the grind become easier and more automatic to visualize success – and this is how it always starts for me. After Carnival was over, I just missed a final table in the $109 rebuy, getting 10th. Then, on Sunday the 21st, I felt confident, finishing 4th in the 80-Grand $200K for $17K, and going deep’ish in several others (44th in 2nd chance, 66th in $75K, 148th in Sunday Mulligan). Again, it’s modest momentum, but a good start building towards putting in some successful online MTT volume like some of the great grinders (e.g. 8 time triple crown winners ChipSteela and 7DeLuX) . I also got my car fixed, lost 5 or 6 lbs, and spent some time hanging out a couple times with a good friend that I don’t see as much these days.

I left my intense corporate job, because I wanted to relax, have fun, travel, do what I want, and “live the dream”. I’ve done a lot of that, but what I’ve found is that part of living my dream still includes taking journeys towards objectives, accomplishing things, and challenging myself.

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