Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 Goals

I have to admit, I'm still kinda flying high from my takedown of the 30k HORSE tournament on full tilt this past Sunday. The money is good, don't get me wrong, but after two big tournament wins in 2006, a guy like me looks to a new year with some trepidation, wondering if when it's going to happen again for me, when the next big payday will come. So to get that out of the way literally within the first few hours of the new year is a truly incredible thing. And I still can't believe I won it in HORSE -- don't get me wrong, I love my HORSE game in general. But that doesn't change the fact that I haven't played razz, or omaha hilo, in a live setting outside of weakass homegames in my entire life, and the fact that I tend to think of myself as quite an amateur in limit holdem, which I've also only played in a live casino setting maybe fewer than 10 times in my life.

Anyways, all this serves as a nice segue into my 2007 goals. As many of you may or may not know, although I actually started blogging about poker sometime in the middle of 2005, I tend to think of the first day of January 2006 as the unofficial beginning to me *really* becoming a blogger. That was the day where I set out my official poker-related goals for 2006, and really started reviewing hands and analyzing the moves I made (or didn't make) in key points in big tournaments, etc. In retrospect, 2006 was truly an unbelievably better year than I ever would have imagined, goals-wise. For example, my first goal for 2006 was to actually win a true MTT online during the year. Any size, any buyin amount, I just wanted to win a frigging mtt online for the first time. Since then it is amazing how much things have changed for me. It was later that same month, in the middle of January, 2006, that I won my first mtt, a $10 buyin event that netted me over a grand for my first 4-digit online poker win ever, and from there it was off to the races. Of course, the highlights of the year included when I won nearly 10 large in the partypoker nightly 40k guaranteed tournament in April against over 2300 other donkeys players, satelliting my way in to the $2500 buyin WSOP Event #13 before being bad beat out by then reigning world poker champion Joe Hachem, and my win of the 55k guaranteed Rebuy Madness in pokerstars in September against over 1500 other combatants and more than 6000 total buyins overall. But along the way there were numerous other tournament wins -- a WWdN, three WWdN Not's, a Mondays at the Hoy, a DADI tournament, two WPBT tournaments, and many others as well of various flavors, in addition to a number of cash game successes (and failures) for good measure. In all, 2006 was clearly the year that I became a good, established online poker player, and you can see it in my goals as I seem to have done an excellent job in meeting or exceeding each of them during my play throughout the year. I won several mtts during the year (2006 goal #1), I definitely tilt far, far less than I ever did in 2005 (goal #2), and without a doubt I have become an expert at trusting my instincts and acting more on my reads of other players than anything else during the year.

With all this in mind, I want to set goals for 2007 that are attainable, but at the same time, not easily attainable. Having had so much success in tournaments during 2006, I'm not going to come on here and make my 2007 goals be to win one more mtt or something like that. I should do better than last year, not the same or worse, as my poker skills and experience continue to improve, so I want to set goals that are a reach for me, but things that I believe I can attain if I play my cards right (pun very much intended).

OK so here are my 2007 goals, in no particular order:

1. Win the Mookie. This is the only consistent blogger tournament I have never yet won, and to be honest, it pisses me the eff off. I've final tabled and cashed this thing several times, but as yet there is no love in the space for my virtual Mookie trophies up on my virtual mantle. As I must have played in a good 40 or so of these things by this point -- including tonight's event at 10pm ET -- in my view it is getting to be about time that I hit that shit and hit it hard. So here's to me taking down the last blogger title that has so far proved so totally elusive to me, at some point during 2007. If I'm sitting here next year still talking about never having won a Mookie, there is gonna be trouble in bloggerland.

2. Top ten in WPBT POY points. As most of you know and as I wrote about often in 2006, I kicked some serious anus in the 2006 POY race for the wpbt tournaments. I think I played in something like 14 events, and ended I think 4th in total wpbt points accumulated, as well as 4th in total POY points per event played, for those with at least 10 events (sorry Chad, you're gonna have to play a lot more than 5 measly events to get props from me on this one). I've said this several times before, but as the only official year-long performance tally in any of the consistent blogger events, to me it is very meaningful to compare my overall results to those of my poker blogging peers. It is no secret that the poker bloggers as a group are of a higher caliber of skill on average than the general online poker-playing public -- probably by a mile, mind you -- and since I'm going to spend so much time playing against these guys, I might as well kick their asses overall in the process, and make that asskick official with something like the WPBT POY race. So for 2007, I expect another strong showing, and a top ten finish by the time all is said and done in the WPBT this year.

3. While I'm on the topic of the WPBT, I am really hoping to attend another wpbt gathering in Vegas during 2007. This one may be easier said than done, as it took quite the herculean effort to even get clearance to head out for a weekend of hookers and blow degeneracy in Vegas last year. But I have to say, between the WSOP and the WPBT tournaments, and just getting to meet so many of you in person for the first time, that weekend in July really stands out for me among the coolest things I did during 2006, and I'm really hoping to do it again sometime this year. As things stand right now, I'm guessing that my best shot at making this happen will be to qualify somehow for one or more of the WSOP events this June, and then doing what I did last year and killing two birds with one stone by playing in the WSOP the same weekend as the summer blogger gathering. Hopefully you'll all be seeing my face in person through a drunken haze once again in 2007.

4. With all of the tournament success that I have had in 2006, I've decided that 2007 is high time for me to play in a large buyin live poker tournament. This doesn't necessarily have to be a 10k buyin event, although I would love that, but something at least $1500 or more, with payouts concurrently large to go along with such a large buyin amount. I did this when I won a Bracelet Race to the WSOP last year from full tilt, but other than that, I've never played any poker tournament for more than a $200 buyin. As I sit and watch guys like Lucko, Chad and Smokkee post big score after big score in things like the Sunday Million tournaments, the nightly 100k on pokerstars, and the big weekly and monthly events on full tilt, it only further increases my drive to do the same thing for my own self, rather than continuing night after night to donk it up in these 2000-person, $15, $26 and similar buyin amount things where anything can happen, and you basically have to survive no less than 6 or 7 blind 50-50 races just to make it to the end.

5. My fourth goal there actually blends quite nicely into my 5th goal for 2007, which is to continue to hone my HORSE game and to improve my play in general in the non-holdem games that are regularly available to play online. I'm not sure why this is so important to me, but I do know, as I look back on things, that I definitely burned out on nlh to some extent on at least two occasions during last year. And it was those times when it was really great to have hilo to fall back on, razz to fall back on, and eventually HORSE to fall back on and to focus on when holdem was really cheesing me off. I am happy to report that last Sunday's HORSE 30k win for me falls neatly into both of my goals #4 and #5, as I have been focusing on the weekly HORSE mtt with the $200 buyin of late in addition to the twice-weekly Winners' Choice tournaments on full tilt. Hopefully I can take this weekly HORSE event down multiple times during 2007, and starting off with a win in just the first few hours of the new year is the best way to get that all rolling. And along the same lines here, another sub-goal I have in this regard is that I want to cash in a live poker tournament during 2007 that is not no-limit holdem.

6. My last goal is more blog-related and less poker-related, but it is equally important to me. After spending the entirety of 2006 posting more or less daily about poker, hands I played in poker, fun aspects of poker, good poker books I've read, etc., I feel like I've hit a bit of a crossroads in my poker writing for the blog. During 2007, I plan to write some more in the blog about non-poker endeavors. No, this is not going to become a haven for my daily non-poker musings, but you know what? A lot of days last year I was really chewing on particular thoughts about current events, sports, the stock market, whatever, but I purposely avoided blogging about them, I guess because on some level I have felt some kind of guilt about doing a post that is not purely poker-related. No more. In 2007, you're going to get a better insight into what's really going on in my head, be it poker, sports, or anything else on my mind. If you don't like it, that's ok; this has always been and will most certainly always remain largely a blog about poker and its various aspects. But if I throw in a post or two about what a-holes the Dallas Cowboys are, or how crazy some of the shit on Lost has driven me since we've been watching it on dvd over the past month or two, or whatever else comes to my mind, you'll all get over it. In 2006 I captured a good amount of eyeballs and interest with my purely poker writing. 2007, I hope, will be the year that I expand that, much like many of the great poker bloggers out there that we all know and love, to include other things that will not leave my readers with only poker thoughts 365 days a year.

That's it for my 2007 goals. I want to win a Mookie, focus more on getting into big-buyin live nlh tournaments, keep playing HORSE and other non-holdem games, attend another WPBT gathering, rock the WPBT POY chase, and write more about non-poker. Some of these will be a stretch, but in general these are goals I plan to work hard to achieve during the next twelve months, and I look forward to sharing that pursuit with you all along the way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck with your goals, Hoy. I'm sure you'll meet and exceed them.

And, be sure to include gaggles of screenshots on the non-poker posts, too. Preferably of the NSFW variety a la ACH.

6:13 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

some good goals Hoy. GL in '07!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

WSOP 07 brotha.

The time is upon all of us.

Not a doubt you will have a great year, and I personally am looking forward to some nonpoker-related rants to complenent the usual goot stuff.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pwned the wpbt, I don't have time for that crap :) Everytime I play I win, so I will just let you have it this time. Even though you insulted my domination :)

2:41 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

What, nothing about winning the Pick 'Em league? ;)

I'll be interested to read your thoughts on various non-poker subjects. Thanks for writing as much as you do, Hoy!

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lofty goals, good sir, lofty goals. Hell yeah, write about good stocks, too. I'm no tout, but check out SPIL.

With luck and good forture, I'll make that summer blogger gathering, too, and may just have to buy you the coldest martini ever.

Anyway, it was fun sweating you a bit in the $25k last night. After winning 10 of 10 showdowns, I went out 32nd, getting rivered in both my final two showdowns.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you make it out to another blogger get-together, as well as all your other goals!

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent goals, Hoy. As Iak and the others, I am def. looking forward to hearing your thoughts on some of the random goings on in da non poker world. And I comletely concur with doog, that screenshots ala ACH are g0000t. See ya out there.

6:17 AM  
Blogger lucko said...

Good luck with goals 1-5.
Likes the poker content --->

11:24 PM  

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