Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 -- Goals in Review

Yes, it seems that this time of year just about everyone does a post like this, but as far as I'm concerned, goals are something that are a very important part of my poker and my blog performance, so I'm going to go ahead and do it too. This is the time of year when I get to look back at my 2007 goals as stated here on the blog at the beginning of the year and assess my performance against those goals. I don't want to spend too much time here on New Year's Eve day, so let me jump right in, pasting right out of my January 2, 2007 post listing my six goals for 2007, along with how I think I fared on each of these points:

1. Win the Mookie. Oops. It's my first goal for 2007, and it's something I could not get done, despite as I discussed last week probably a good 43 tries. It's embarrassing, and it's pathetic, but I have to deal with the reality of the situation and in this case, that reality is that I did not accomplish my primary goal for all of 2007 when it comes to poker. Not sure what to say about that exactly. As I mentioned in a post last week, I made at least four final tables in the Mookie this year, and came what I consider to be very close on at least three occasions. I was heads-up against Surflexus with the chip lead and we got it allin before the flop with Surf about a 60-40 favorite over me, but one of my many outs hit the flop, the turn ragged off, and I was one card (and six outs, or 13 percentage points) away from achieving my goal sometime this summer. That one didn't work out (thank you, river!). I made it to the Mookie final 4 during the BBTwo with the big stack, but ran AQ into budohorseman's KK who ended up using pocket Kings twice in the last 15 minutes or so to post a big victory and leave me high and dry once again in a spot where, if I win with that AQ, I almost surely win the tournament. I made a third final table a week or two later in another BBTwo Mookie, also made it to the final 4 or 5 with a big chip stack, and then suffered a big suckout followed by a setup hand, also with AQ as I recall, and once again fell short. So in the end, I got close but clearly did not accomplish my goal as far as winning the only blogger tournament I still have yet to win. You will surely see this goal show up on my list of 2008 goals later this week, as well as some news on some interesting prop bet(s) related to my non-Mookie-winningness in the coming days.

2. Finish in the top ten in WPBT POY points. Now this goal, I don't even know what happened to it. I mean, I was totally into the first WPBT race back in 2006, as I came out for every tournament and I ended up in 4th place in what I thought was a really fun competition that included a lot of holdem and non-holdem games, and I was very proud and excited about that finish and about competing with the bloggers again in 2007. Somewhere along the way, what even happened to the WPBT? My fear is that the BBT might have kinda quashed it, since I don't even know if there were WPBT tournaments for the past several months, and if that is in fact the case then I see that as a sad and of course totally unintended result of what I think was otherwise an awesome development with the whole BBT thang. So although I surely did not achieve this goal either in 2007, I don't even know if it would have been achievable and I certainly don't view this one in particular as something I "failed" at during 2007 so much as one that just didn't happen, probably for a number of different reasons.

3. Attend another WPBT gathering in Vegas during 2007. Ding ding ding! Finally a goal that I actually achieved during 2007. I did in fact attend the June 2007 blogger gathering out in Vegas, taking my two Bracelet Races won and ending up cashing in my second-ever World Series of Poker tournament, this time the $1500 shorthanded nl holdem tournament. I also played in the WPBT tournament at the Orleans I think it was, which played off more like one of those 100-chip super-turbo full tilt tournaments than anything else, playing awesome and bubbling the final table for my second out of two live WPBT tournaments. And most of all, I renewed a number of great friendships forged at the 2006 gathering, as well as meeting tons of new people, new players and new bloggers this year, which ultimately is what these things are all about. Well, that and cashing in the fucking WSOP!!

4. Play in a large buyin live poker tournament. Here is another goal that I am happy to say I accomplished during 2007, several times over. In March or April, I played in the Caesar's WSOP Circuit Event, the $300 buyin nlh tournament, which was at the time the largest-buyin live tournament I had ever played in other than my WSOP flameout in the summer of 2006. I lasted maybe 7 1/2 or 8 hours, also my longest ever performance and deepest run in a live casino tournament of my poker career to that point. Around this time I also qualified for my first of what turned out to be three Monday 1k $1000 buyin tournaments on full tilt. The first and the last involved me busting within the first hour or two, but in the middle Monday 1k I played, a bunch of you were on the rail to see me heading towards the cash with about a top-third stack, flop a set of 3s against some jackass holding AJ in his hand who got it allin with me on the Q73 flop, and who then proceeded to go runnerrunner on my ass with the King on the turn and the Ten on the river to bounce me most unceremoniously just short of the large cash. And then of course there was my $1500 buyin WSOP 6-max nlh tournament during the WPBT gathering this past June, where I recorded what I still say is my greatest individual performance in cashing, outlasting around 95% of the 1527-player field on my way to winning a little over $2500 and building a memory that will doubtless last with me for my lifetime.

5. 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. This is a goal that I easily met during 2007, although I don't even play HORSE nearly as much as I once did. After winning the weekly 30k guaranteed HORSE tournament on the first Sunday of the year in 2007, I played in that particular tournament maybe 4 or 5 more times, but it quickly ceased being a priority for me as I grew somewhat disillusioned with the incredibly donkchasey HORSE play available on full tilt at basically every level of buyin tournament I've played in. That said, I played quite a bit of HORSE overall during 2007, and more than that, I played in more than my fair share of Omaha tournaments, both inside and outside of the FTOPS, in addition to several razz tournaments, PLO sngs, cashing in my first-ever stud hilo tournament, and even dabbling a little bit in deuce-to-seven and draw poker on jackassstars before I quit that bullshit poker site for good somewhere around the middle of this year. I look very much forward to the Blogger Skill Series run by KOD which will feature a different non-holdem game every Tuesday night during 2008, something which I know will be fun and which I definitely expect to excel in. All that as long as I can keep myself from tilting and the generally highly idiotic chasedonky play exhibited by most people in any $12 buyin non-holdem limit tournament out there.

6. Write some more in the blog about non-poker endeavors. Again, this is one I think I have done a very good job at during 2007. I made it a real point during this year to extend myself beyond the almost exclusively poker that I wrote about during 2006. That said, I also made a conscious effort not to let this space become a completely non-poker-related blog, and I think I succeeded well on both counts. When I thought the previous night's Lost episode was particularly good, you read about it here. When I called some little kid's mom a bad word in a prominent New York City museum's cafeteria, you read about it here. And when I watched the biggest bunch of cheating assholes go undefeated in the NFL for an entire season, you were the first to know my thoughts. I am happy about that, and I might address this goal again in some form when I write up my 2008 poker- and blog-related goals later in the week. We'll just have to wait for that.

So overall, how do I assess my performance against my stated goals here for 2007? I would say very well overall. Not winning a Mookie tournament is a major black mark on my poker resume as far as I'm concerned, don't get me wrong, and I make no bones about that fact whatsoever. I still can't believe myself that this hasn't happened for me yet. But aside from that, I played a bunch of great poker in 2007, and I had several of my biggest-ever successes at this game in during the year. I performed very well in the games that I focused the most on by far -- in 2007, that would clearly be the blonkaments, which I will write a bit more about later this week as well -- and yet I also stepped it up and played outside of my comfort zone in a number of larger tournaments that I honestly would never even have dreamed I could be playing in just a few short years ago. And believe me, if I had thought that actually cashing and playing very, very well in the actual World Series of Poker was even remotely possible, that itself would have been a specific goal of mine for this year, so I can't feel anything but awesome about that whole thing either. Overall, I will need to spend some time this week searching my soul for what I plan to focus on during 2008, and setting up goals relating to that purpose once I've figured it all out (I honestly don't know yet as I sit here right now). But I had an absolute blast playing with and reading you guys during 2007 and I can't wait for more of the same during the coming 12 months as we head into a new year of blogging, blog reading, and playing this game we all know and love.

A very, very Happy New Year to everyone out there reading this, and I'll be back later in the week with some forward-looking and even some more backward-looking commentary for you all to chew on.

Btw, don't forget, tonight is the last Mondays at the Hoy of the year on full tilt:

10pm ET tonight, password as always is "hammer". Tonight will be a $26 buyin HORSE tournament to celebrate the last MATH of 2007. I plan to be there, and anyone else with nothing better to do on New Years Eve than play online poker should feel more than free to join in and donk it up!

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Blogger Chad C said...

HOY's biggest goal of 2007 is to win a $10 tournament! My god man, that's just sick!!!! You are truly disturbed if not winning a $10 ATC all in fest gets to you this bad :) I think you need to devise a whole new plan if you want to win a mookie. Here is my formula for you;

1. Any two face cards see EVERY flop, no matter the price!

2. If anyone goes all in and you have Ace face anything you must call. This includes CALLING the 4th re raise all in with Ace any Face!

3. ANY PAIR is all in, even calling! Even if you get like 44 UTG on the final table you must raise that powerful hand and CALL all re raises!

4. ANY FLUSH DRAW IS ALL IN, calling or betting it doesn't really matter which! When I say any, I mean ANY, like FUEL55 Any two soooooooted!

5. MAKE ANGRY ALL IN CALLS! If you raise and someone shoves on you and you aren't even getting a good price call with T7, 87, A6 it doesn't really matter, just CALL anyway.

In closing you have to learn to CALL more. CALLING is the most powerful play in bloggaments!

3:21 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

To add to Chad's advice - change your name to Astin and then follow his advice. Works like a charm.

Alternate options: pvanharibo, bayne_s, up4poker.

Have a great new year! I seriously doubt I'll be at the MATH tonight. Something tells me my 20 some-odd guests might notice my absence.

4:03 AM  
Blogger BamBam said...

Understanding that I am at full risk of being called a "Hoy-ass-O" kisser, I choose to wish you all the best for 2008 Hoy.

It's always a pleasure running into you at the games I can make it out too.

5:20 AM  

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