Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Staying the course

With the WSOP approaching, I'm in an excellent place. I've gained experience playing for 8+ hours in a tournament setting, and been pleased with my early attempts at 2/5 NL. My online game feels solid, and has done wonders for my confidence and bankroll. I've gained valuable experience navigating and closing out final tables with deep runs and wins. My shorthanded game is less-bad now, and I've put in some work on my heads-up game.

I'm looking forward to the Employee Event in late May and at least one Aria summer event in late June, as well as the Arizona Championship in early August.

A part of me wants recognition. I want my “I have arrived” moment – an Employee Event final table, or shipping a Rio deepstack. Something like that.

And maybe I shouldn't want that. My focus over the last few years has been building my bankroll and my skillset. I focused on putting in hours, and using those hours effectively. I am pleased with that process, and I want to keep it going. Credit goes to Tarheel for the wisdom that the hours you spend on poker are the easiest thing to control. You can't control results. Do work, and the money will come. Win money, and recognition will come.

The way I finished runner-up in the Sunday 15K on wsopdotcom was a bit of an eyeopener. I had played the winner before, months before, at the $5 and $10 HU sng level. He had improved, and I had not. I didn't embarrass myself in that HU match, but I felt like he was polished and composed in comparison. So I went to work to improve in that area.

I don't know why I'm wired to crave recognition. “Look at how good I am!” Why can't I be quiet about my small-pond success? Why do I feel the need to prove something to others or to myself? I've always been a tryhard, driven to be the best I can be even when natural talent was lacking. Perhaps that's the other edge of the sword. I'm driven to excel, but I want people to notice. The effort and improvement should be its own reward.

I've been told by multiple people that I'm doing things the right way. I'm profitable at the levels where I spend the most time, and I'm not too timid or outclassed when I take shots a level above normal.

There doesn't seem to be any reason to change course now. It feels like continuing on this path is the way to go. I am a little apprehensive for the future when it comes to the balance of my poker dealing versus my poker play. Two days ago, I sent an email to our scheduling manager asking for less shifts during the WSOP, and I have not received a reply. I am also considering a move to a poker room where I would be working less than 5 days/week. Dealing two days a week and playing 4-5 would be interesting, and if I'm honest with myself, a little scary.

I've been preparing for this. I'm ready for the next chapter and the next level.