You’re in for a treat today eager readers! (And by treat I mean another essay length entry about stuff that you don’t even care about! This could be the biggest one yet!) To the two of you who have read it, you’ll remember that back in Feb I promised a double-month review. To the rest of you reading this, back in Feb I promised a double-month review. Now that we’re all on the same page we can deal with the pressing issue, and that’s that I haven’t really written anything since January. In my defence I gave you all warning at the creation of this blog to be prepared for disappointment. And I think being my seventh entry I’m already among husng.com’s most consistent blog performers anyway. But the truth is that since publishing my last post I haven’t actually played much poker. I began the year pretty motivated, I am currently as commitment free as I’ve ever been in other areas of my life, and I probably have the easiest study load in the history of study loads. I’ve never gone this long, and had this much time on my hands, and played so little poker. Which begs the question: just wtf have I been doing with my time??
I started the year with the goal of just playing $100s well and making some money. I’d also stumbled across the somewhat obvious realisation that I wasn’t going to make enough money from poker to retire and buy a mansion. It seems kind of odd but previous to this year I was honestly just aimlessly grinding to try and make money for what point I’m not so sure. To buy stuff? To holiday? To party? In the end it really just consumed my life and if anything actually prevented me from doing those things. Upon the realisation that I wasn’t setting myself up for an early retirement my mindset completely shifted to just making enough money to have a nice lifestyle for the next few years while I study and travel. Acknowledging that my life was by and large going to be the same whether I had $10k or $100k in my bank account led to feeling content to just grind the $100s where previously I was anxiously trying to rush through volume and build a roll to move up stakes.
Anyways, with my new found ‘contentness’ and the enthusiasm that only the start of a year and fresh sharkscope leaderboards can bring I set off on the grind. By the end of January I was quite happy, I’d hit places on leaderboards on both SS and FTP, and coupled with rakeback I began the year $10k+ in the black.
However, while this was happening my somewhat already pessimistic views on money and society probably got a little worse. (Watching the TROM doco and Zeitgeist stuff, whilst not without their glaring faults and biases, certainly didn’t help my poker cause) The truth is I’ve always resented being asked what I’m going to “do” with my life and I hate how at times it feels like living in our society isn’t about living at all, but rather about finding a way to sell your time until you’re old enough to retire. I think about the countless hours of my life that have been wasted in a terribly inefficient education system and wonder if they couldn’t have been better spent. I’m worried about the same thing occurring once I leave uni. I guess I’m starting to look at poker the same way too.
When people ask me what I’m going to do with my life I tell them how I’d love to travel and live in different cities. I want to return to Chile one day and perfect my Spanish ("Chilean"), I want to take my Italian to Italy, I’m doing another exchange in the US next year, I’d love to spend a year or two going through south east Asia, and then maybe eastern Europe. I can tell them about music, or language, or my interests in physics and the universe. I’d love to study and learn a whole lot more about all of those things.
“Yes, yes Judy, but what are you going to do with your life?”
All anyone ever seems to mean by this is “What job are you going to have?” and all I ever want to say is “lol why would I want a job?” But with a lot of family, friends, potential in-laws and even strangers, and the knowledge that there’s an easy way and an incredibly frustrating way to proceed with this conversation, I take a breath and cave.
Put on fake enthusiasm, pretend this stuff interests me, smile, ready aaand go Judy go! “Well my degree could get me a lot of different spots in government. Maybe working in foreign policy. That’d be great too because I could apply for positions abroad and travel. Even look into becoming a diplomat or something. There’s a lot of options really, it’s a broad field and there’ll always be a position somewhere. But likely something along the lines of policy making, working in or interpreting the international system, some peers want to work in the UN and other international organisations so yeh.”
“Ooh”, “aah”, “how interesting”, etc. I pass the test but I’m dry reaching inside.
I remember reading “Hatchet” in primary school. It was a story about a kid who goes down in a small plane and lands in a forest somewhere. The pilot is dead and this kid is all alone, left to survive for the entire duration of the book with only a hatchet he had. I thought it was cool and since then I’ve constantly been drawn to this idea of becoming isolated in some accident and having to survive. “Castaway” did it again when I watched it, as did walking through a lot of the nature reserves in Patagonia. I don’t know if I should be concerned or not, nor if I’ve already mentioned this, but there’s a part of me that every time I board a plane wants it to crash, just so I can be the sole survivor and live on some tropical island.
These thoughts are quickly drowned out, firstly, by the much more rational part of me which starts screaming “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THIS PLANE BETTER NOT GO DOWN” every time I hear an odd noise or feel a bit of turbulence, and secondly, by the knowledge that if such a scenario were to arise I would undoubtedly get rivered and wake up on my island with the world’s biggest douchebags or wake up on a rock with none of the beaches, sand, coconuts or fish that I’d previously envisaged. In any case, I guess my point with all of this rambling is that if anything I’m trying to escape the normal life, I don’t want to be a slave to money, and I would be quite content to just move to a cheaper country and teach English or something and spend my spare time learning about stuff.
With this type of thinking growing, and February’s downswing kicking in, I started to care less and less about making money. I became bored with poker in a way. I was playing cash games up to 25/50 because, well, why not? If I lose I don’t care. New Irish game? Sweet! I ran decently but to tell the truth I think deep down I knew I was going to keep playing til I busted haha. Thankfully I’d already withdrawn most of my bankroll, on both FTP and Stars, and what was left didn’t faze me. Because by this stage I’d stumbled onto another realisation: I had all the money I needed. I don’t know if it’s a brag or a beat, and I’m not even joking here, but the $15k-ish I’d already withdrawn over the start of the year was enough for me to live off of for the rest of the year. The savings I have are more than enough to cover me for exchange next year. I have everything I need to enjoy this year, to go and enjoy America next year, and then to come home and plan my next move. Perhaps I was just sick of the swings and sick of not having amazing success at poker, but all my incentives and motivation were rapidly drying out.
The final straw was perhaps the FTOPs HUMTT. All I want to do right now is go into an expletive-ridden, caps-locked, keyboard-mashing rage about how much I hate that f&%^ing tournament. But I will try to contain myself. The time of the mtt means I have to wake up early; anywhere between 2-5am. For those of you who don’t know me, this old lady HATES waking up early and ffs do I hate alarms. But I have been doing this, every few months, for the last 3 or 4 years; forking out the $535, picturing that first-place prize hitting my BR, and dragging myself out of bed, such is my commitment to shipping this thing. If I bust straight away, then so be it, ffs donks, I run so bad, etc. But I never bust straight away. I, along with most, usually get a bye and I’m forced to sit there in bed, laptop screen bright and tilting me, barely awake, barely sleeping, while the first round plays out. An hour later I’ll get my match and probably 2 hands into it run into a scheduled break. I’ll win this round and then for the next 30 minutes go back to my dozing on and off while the round continues. By the time it gets to the bubble I’ve been up for hours, I’m tired, but more awake and focused now and all I can think is JUDY IT IS BORDERLINE MATHEMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO BUBBLE AGAIN, THIS IS IT, THIS IS THE TIME YOU WILL FINALLY HIT THE MIN CASH AND FEEL THE EARLY START WAS WORTH IT.
YET I ALWAYS F(*%*(&(*& BUBBLE
And there I am, too awake to go back to sleep, too tired to do anything constructive, and too tilted to do anything other than sit there and steam. Everything about FTOPs is designed to tilt me.
So ANYWAYS, I guess by March I’m not really playing much, and my motivation to get back into it has all but vanished. I still have 50+ buyins online but it's just sitting there. This leads us back to the introductory question: so just what have I been doing?
Well readers, sorry to disappoint but in a cliff-hanger not even worthy of a daytime soap I’m going to leave it there for now. Yes, I know, I set out to review the year and all I’ve done is spend 1500+ words saying that I grew less interested in poker and haven’t played it much. But due to already excessive length I have no choice but to split this entry and publish part 2 next week. Give an old lady a break though, this is practically 6 months worth of blog entries, just crammed into two. (And part 2 will be no less than my eighth entry on this site, surely cementing me into husng.com’s bloggers hall of fame. Although given my celebrity status it would be a crime if I wasn’t already there)
I’ve come across a lot of YouTube gold the last few months but given the lack of regular entries I’ve forgotten about a lot. I’ll just have to go through my history and leave you with a couple of recent highlights:
Cat on Roomba dressed as a shark
Man gobbling with turkeys
Some convo with a dog
I'll be back next week with part 2, so get out the calendars and start the countdown.