Monday, January 03, 2005

Things to do in 2005

I don't believe in making resolutions, as my "resolve" usually falters quickly. Instead, I've come up with a list of things I'd like to do in the coming year... some that I'm fairly certain I'll get to, others more problematic. In no particular order:

Return to the Birmingham-Southern College Conference "Writing Today" conference in March and see my `Bama family again. Last year was a little wild as my friend Jill's mother was in the hospital undergoing cardiac bypass surgery (she's now fully recovered), but a Saturday barbecue at her sister Leigh's house still remains as one the highlights of 2004 for me.

Go soaring. Think I'll try the Greater Boston Soaring Club first when spring comes. If they're not around in Sterling anymore, maybe a day trip up to Franconia to check out the Franconia Soaring Association.

Entice Peggy to the top of Mt. Washington for the MAMA Minis-on-top rally.

Win a "big" Texas Hold `Em tourney. I'm still working on the definition of what I think qualifies as satisfactorily "big", but the PartyPoker.com Million tournament is definitely on that plane.

Related to the above, I've been playing No Limit Hold `Em for a little over a year now, mostly on-line, and just recently for money. I think I’ve improved my game over the year, mainly by moving away from the on-line free-roll* tournaments (which have as little in common with real Texas Hold `Em poker tournaments as an Ashlee Simpson performance does with a real concert) and focusing on cash Sit-n-Goes.* I’ve tripled my stake (although it’s been recently been beaten down by my losing attempts at the progressive jackpot at Party Poker – a subject that deserves a post to itself), finished in 8th place in a 133-player money tournament (the October Poker bloggers tourney), and tried my hand at a live tourney.

In 2005 I want the same steady progression. I want to be comfortable with bigger buy-ins… and I want to make some money not just from poker but from writing about poker.

We’ll see if I have anything interesting to say.

*“free-roll”: A tournament that doesn’t require money to enter. Most on-line free-rolls will get you an entry into another, often money, tourney if you place high enough. On-line free-rolls are characterized by high number of entries – several thousand isn’t unusual – and loose, often extremely stupid, play, especially in the first hour. Part of this is due to the theory that the best way of winning a free-roll is to build a large a stack as possible in the first hour. Most of this is due to the fact that many people playing free-rolls are bored, looking for action, and don’t care whether they win or lose.

**“Sit-n’-Goes”: a.k.a. SNGs. SNGs are mini-tourneys of 9 or 10 (or more) people. The name comes from when a table is filled, play begins. I do better at SNGs than I do at any other type of table. I suspect this is because I tend to lose my focus after a couple of hours of play, especially when the cards aren’t coming.


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