Wednesday, November 30, 2005


In high school, I was on the cross-country running team. I asked one of my friends on the team what his goals were for the season. "I don't set goals," he said. "I just try to do my best."

That seemed odd to me because I thought you should always have a plan about where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. I thought I would always try to have specific objectives for myself.

But then when reading Alan Schoonmaker's latest article in Card Player magazine, I realized that I haven't set out a specific plan for what I want to do with poker.

So far, my only goals have been to climb the limit ladder, improve my game and keep making enough money to live on until I find a job.

Now I realize I need a more specific outline for my poker career.

1) I want to beat $15/$30 for 1.5 big bets an hour on a regular basis. For this to happen, I need to be playing $15/$30 as my regular game for at least 50,000 hands before I can come to any initial conclusion about my winrate.

2) I need to analyze my assets and liabilities. My assets are that I constantly study the game, I am focused on my play and that I have the discipline to resist tilting away unnecessary bets. My liabilities are that I don't have a steady primary source of income, and I have a hard time growing my bankroll because of life expenditures.

3) My plan is to get a job by the end of this year. I will play a lot of poker up until then, and after I get a job, I hope to continue playing for about 2 hours a day. I will rebuild my bankroll at the lower limits, and I may need to rejuvenate it with money from a real job. Normally I would resist using real-life money for poker playing, but the only reason I've dropped down in limits from $15/$30 already is because my bankroll has shrunk due to life expenses. I would like my bankroll to roughly reflect my poker earnings so that I can play at limits where I feel like I have the most profit potential.

4) I will review where I am once a month, starting Jan. 1. My goals are attainable if I successfully land the job I want. If I don't get that job, I will need to continue playing at limits within my bankroll before I can afford to take another shot.

It's disappointing that I hit a bad run of cards shortly after moving up to $15/$30. I'm not afraid of that game -- it seemed quite fishy to me. Without the bankroll for it, though, I have no business playing there.

I'm not worried. I'll be back soon, and then the fish will pay.

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