Yearly Objectives...Late  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Ok. I've postponed that one long enough now. And, any way I put it, I've painted myself in a corner here; it's January 31st, and I haven't wrote down any 2009 objectives, so it's now or never basically cause, well, call me stupid, but I can't really set myself to writing yearly objectives in February... The year would be just too advanced for my tastes... Lol.

I'll try to be brief, mostly because it should help keeping my objectives brief, thus, projecting the illusion that I've, at least, learned a little from last year ;-).

Considering we're at the end of January, it is quite obvious I had time to ponder and brood over what could be realistic, simple yet challenging objectives for 2009. So here we go:

  • Play at least 150k hands of online cash game poker
  • Define what the fsck poker is, and can be in my life

That's it?!?!?
That's it.

Self-explanatory. Might be harder than I think though. Or easier. We'll see, lol.

Defining Poker in My Life
Well, that one might get a little trickier, and deserves a quick explanation, imo.

I have been playing poker as a "hobby-and-maybe-more" for about 2 years, very irregularly and very emotionally, while entertaining some rather ambitious goals, hopes and dreams. All in all, giving me a bunch of highs, coupled with a bunch of lows, and that tends to factor in a lot in my general mood outside of poker, which I cannot say I care very much for. Every high brings its load of confidence boost and renewed beliefs, while ever next low brings its obvious load of self-doubt and deception and anger. Which, in short, questions the worth of the whole thing, really. So, I guess I'd like to answer that question as definitely as possible, hopefully, sooner rather than later, mainly because this one seems pretty fundamental to me. Hehe :-).


Make-Up Session  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Ok. After much much kicking and screaming, and then some more, I think I managed to take some kind of relative distance, while keeping dabbing at the game. And, god how silly it sounds now I'm writing it, but I think the most important lesson in my latest bad streak (I could venture saying it might be the case for all cold streaks, but I feel rather humble by the game, and life these days ;-)) is: poker is not a fscking lottery. While it is silly, I believe it deserves some quick explanation. The thing is, and I'm sure I've come to this exact same realization before (god, I am dumb...), I tend to tarp myself whenever I'm closing in on a proper bankroll for a next stake. And then (I'm grossly hypothesizing here), two major kinda unconscious behviors and patterns take just enough control of my game to screw it all to pieces... These 2 patterns/behaviors would be, in no particular order, *drumrolls*: 1) I feel I've beaten a level, and thus, chest pumped, I figure I can outplay anyone. 2) I fall into the impatient-yet-complacent tarp and spew with no regards to opponents, board textures, stacks, stats, action, forgetting along the way some basic facts of Holdem, like, oh I dunno, from the top of my head, hands can improve AND weaken. You know, stuff like your Rockets are just one overpair on a KhJhQhTcTs board, and if super-nit villain suddenly wakes up on the river, you will not correct your commitment mistake by shove-calling. And overplaying monster starting hands late in a hand is, for me anyway, falling into the lottery tarp; I feel I just won the lottery when waking up with rockets, so they cannot be beaten right? I mean, I've just won the lottery, didn't I? Poker is not a fscking lottery, dumb fsck, really :P.

The good news is, besides that very retarded "duh! I get it", with my dabbings/grindings, plus the slowish motherfscking bonus whoring ever, plus a fat-fat VIP rakeback check, I am almost back where I was before the proverbial shit hit the proverbial fan. And, best of all (although part of me goes "I'm shaking in my boots"... Ironically, and that might be a sign of my ego, the voice is Ghostface's from Scream. Not too sure how I feel about that one, actually. LOL!), I can now take another shot at NL50. Thank you bonus whoring!!!! But then this begs the question I think I might be shying away from: am I a winning player?


"We Do What We Must Do"
Or, the 2008 Recap

Posted by Alex Laforest in , ,
But alas, I cannot; 'we do what we must do'. So here goes nothing.

2008 is no more... And, I curse through my teeth my only too common human nature and that stupid 2-hockey-period-timespan-memory of ours, which, at the end of the... year, puts me right in that famous spot: "I can hardly remember how I built my bankroll, but I can't stop thinking of how I lost it" (Mike McDermott, Rounders, 1998, John Dahl). Hehe. I also hear Knish's voice sometimes, going "It happens to everyone. Time to time, everyone goes bust" (ibidem). But that's the thing now, is it; I get myself all worked up like that and I haven't even gotten busto. What does that tell me about me, I wonder... Time to take a fscking hard look at meself in a mirror, I think... And what better than a quick wrap-up of 2008.

Maybe I'm focusing too much on the last few weeks, but I must say I feel I failed in 2008. Thing is, I always sucked big time at setting and reaching personal objectives... The irony is, of course, that I am nevertheless quite introspective... And thus, last January, I found myself caught up by the notion that I might had overgrown this flaw of mine, and overblew it a little with this humongous list of goals for 2008:

  • Play at least 50,000 hands of online poker
  • Play way more live, and find a personal comfort zone
  • Settle at NL10, then NL25 and NL50 by the end of the year
  • Develop a proficiency for another game (Razz, Stud or Omaha)
  • Start dabbing at split games
  • Win a tournament
  • Pull a major stone-cold bluff
  • Hustle some poor schlob in a pub or hustle myself a date :P
  • Visit every Montreal poker room
  • Take a week-end trip to Atlantic City
  • Run a tight blog :P
  • Keep the mailing list/discussion group alive
  • Stay aggressive, uncompromising and unapologetic at the tables, while remaining affable, lighthearted and zen
  • Create myself a slick avatar
  • Create a Poker course
  • Keep taking bad beats with the reverence and awe of a devout
  • Write my Poker & Self-Enlightenment piece

I only managed to crush and achieve one, namely playing at least 50k hands. Actually played in little over 100k online cash game hands in 2008, which is pretty satisfying to me. Among the other numerous objectives, I think I can still say some of them are half-successes;

  • I believe I kept a somewhat tight, entertaining blog;
  • I probably pulled a very decent bluff, and probably much more, as a matter of fact, but must say I now consider this one the fruit of my Hollywood-based upbringing and that romantic notion that bluffs must be for all the marbles, in a life and death situation, or something... lol bluffaments :D!
  • I did not play more than 40ish tournaments, mostly Sit'nGos, in which I kept a positive RoI%.
  • The mailing list and poker course thingy might have taken a new bloggish form (to be continued)...
  • And lastly, though I had to step back from NL50 at the stroke of midnight, almost, I did get to NL20 and then took a roughly half-decent shot at it, so I can't really rule that one as a total failure.

Still, lots and lots learned... hopefully ;-). And while I do remember I suck at setting up objectives and fighting to accomplish them, I will try and refine and mature from this last year, and manage to set better targets for 2009. I'm thinking: broader... And a lot less of them ;-).

"Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up."

December: Downward Spiral To Downright Depression  

Posted by Alex Laforest in , ,

Ouch. Been mostly too depressed (and yes, busy trying to stop the bleeding... can't really say that I have either... nerf that start of '09 :-P) to post my monthly report for December. While I don't feel like going into details, not yet anyway, I think I fell, very big this time, for my oldest archenemy again, ie, me; overplaying pocket and top pairs, forgetting to think AND act accordingly, not even using stats, even though they're there, staring me in the face, and when using them, doing it just badly, plain and simple. Oh, and yes, combined to all that bad play, and I did play like a dumb fsck, I did run into the coldest mstherfscking streak of my life... (Resigned I am, and blaming it all on luck, I am not...;-))

Anyway, though I do feel embarrassed by it, and not because of volume woes this time (funny how those are easier to cope with at the end of the day... Nerf the result-oriented paradigm I guess :-P), I do have to post the usual graph :-S...

On the positive side of things, since I haven't (yet) decided to call it quits, volume was excellent in December, while keeping my social life pretty active as well. Great. Cinema took the blow though, but hey, it's a juggling act really :-P! And to grant myself kind of perspective, this is actually the first negative month in quite some time... I just have to manage to ignore the voice in my head that goes "Yeah, but what a loss!!!"... lol

Stay tuned for a painstaking wrap-up of 2008, as soon as I muster to courage, cause I'm guessing it's going to be a long one ;-).



And now for something...

... completely different...

For all the media and art buffs out there, here's what I'm tripping on lately, besides poker... Comments and/or suggestions welcomed ;-).

  • Alias (Bendis!) (Graphic Novel)

  • Last Worthy Movie
    Milk (Gus Van Sant)

    And while we're at it, other personal stuff includes (contains French ramblings :P):
  • My Trials With Photography
  • Mise en Abyme (Movie Blog)