To start this blog post off, I want to first extend my thoughts and well-wishes to my buddy Sam, a grad student at Carnegie Mellon and an online poker player who I've enjoyed chatting/ranting/joking with about the many stresses of poker in the past couple years. He was recently diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, and his drug treatment failed, and will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant operation soon at the Dana-Farber Institute. It is truly sobering to personally know someone my age to have encountered such horrid luck. It really puts me in my place when we are discussing/complaining about how “unlucky” we were during a particular poker session. That stuff and everything else is really so trivial compared to our health. I try my best not to take anything for granted ever, and it would be wise for everyone to do the same. I definitely wish Sam the best run good of his life in the next few months, “like it's nbd.”
Anyways, since my last post, fall has nestled itself quite nicely in the area. The big story for me this past summer was my full-out plunge into road biking (for pleasure though, not competitive). I bought a decent used road bike and off I went on trails all over the Arlington and DC area. All the different parts of my costume (I went as a biker for Halloween last weekend haha), including those tight Spandex biker shorts, compression shorts, and jerseys came one by one as I got more and more into it! Nothing beats cruising along at 20 mph jamming out to tunes, lost in your own world. And I only fell once! In total this summer, I logged 933.99 miles on 43 rides for a total of 60 hours biked. This included a pair of long Saturday morning rides out west (65 and 67 miles), which were the most incredible and fun athletic activities I've done since my running days years ago.
When I wasn't biking, I was of course thinking about and planning any trips I could take. Unfortunately, and this is unique to this blog post, I don't have any poker trips to report on since I didn't take any. I set a very high point goal for myself at the beginning of the year and have been extremely reluctant to take time out of my daily playing to make extended poker trips, which are often unproductive and not too fun for me. I am happy to say however that I was able to take a random, completely non poker-related trip with my good friend and freshman year roommate. We met up in Phoenix, AZ, rented a car, and started a scenic roadtrip up the western United States. We drove through Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah (my favorite state of the trip!), Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, and finally South Dakota. Highlights of the trip included the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches NP, the salt flats of Utah, Salt Lake City and all those Mormons!, Yellowstone NP, and the Badlands in South Dakota. After a week and 2,383 miles of driving, we finally flew back from Rapid City, SD. My favorite part of the trip was not centered at any named place, but was simply during the drive just outside Yellowstone and close to Buffalo Bill Reservoir. It was just past dusk when we witnessed an incredible gigantic moon rising between two mountains against a purple sky behind a shimmering lake. The accompanying feelings of remoteness, serenity, and awe is indescribable. There was even a little gazebo where anyone could have enjoyed a lovely dinner with no one around. I'm obviously returning to this place in the future; that image has been seared into my brain.
Besides that stroll down memory lane, and returning to the poker aspect of this blog, I've been staying put in Arlington and grinding online a fair bit. In my last post, I mentioned aiming for 2M VPPs, but I have since increased that goal to 2,250,000 VPPs since there is an extra bonus at that level and I am fully capable of hitting it. I'm currently at 1,827,574 VPPs, almost double my previous count, but still a bit behind pace for 2.25M. For the remaining 57 days of the 2010, I will have to play pretty much 90% of days for an avg of ~4-5 hrs a day, and that is definitely within reason for me. I'm feeling very good about my game currently and other than dealing with the inevitable daily or weekly downswings, it really will just take endurance and patience to get to my goal.
With the arrival of colder temps and shorter days, I'll be playing more poker anyways since there's less opportunity to bike. Instead, I am going to get into weight lifting, something I've been far too lazy to do in the past. I'm hoping I can channel the buildup of unused cycling energy to it, we'll see!
In regards to my upcoming plans for travel, the only set trip I'll be taking is back to the Bahamas for the PCA in January 2011. This will be my 3rd time there, and it's always a ton of fun since a bunch of friends always fly down with me! And wet money obv. Meeting up with poker players I know is also an interesting experience... I will also be attending the final event of the European Poker Tour, which will occur sometime in April 2011. It will no longer be in Monte Carlo next year. Instead, I've heard that it will be in Cannes (France) or Rome, but nothing is set yet. I hope it's in Rome!
WSOP 2013 Update
2 weeks ago