Sunday, September 27, 2009

One-Way Ticket Out of Limbo

So I've been basically just treading water in life over these last few months. Looking back on my 2009 goals (lose weight, be a winning player at higher limits online, qualify for a major poker tourney, get a new job), the only one I've made a dent into is the weight loss. Jen & I started eating low-carb about a month or so ago, and we've lost about 10 pounds each, so that's something positive. My goal was to drop 30 pounds by June, but I'll be content if I'm there by year-end.

My online pokering has stalled. Even after watching a lot of training videos, constantly reviewing hands with a buddy at work (who's also serious about poker and even won a seat to the World Series main event this summer), and even paying for some group sessions with a respected poker coach...I'm no better than I was six months ago, or at least that's how I feel. I went from playing every night to not playing at all, protecting my psyche/ego from further beatdown. I couldn't go on having another crappy day at work, and follow it up with another online session ending with a two-outer or cooler or poorly-played hand. I'm not thinkly clearly when "in the moment." It's easy to look back and see that I should've folded that hand, I should've check-raised that one, etc. I need to get my brain on that next level and strategize, do a better job of hand-reading while I'm playing the hand. I know I'm smart enough to be a profitable online poker player, I just need to focus more, study more, want it more. It's easy to say you want to make gobs of money playing poker; it's another thing to put in the time and dedication.

Poor results online + making less money at work + little vacation time left = not plunking down a couple hundo here or there for live-tourney qualifiers. Enough said about that goal.

Job prospects have been few and far between, as to be expected in this economy. I thought I had a decent shot at a position within my company, but never heard a peep from the hiring manager. I thought I had more than enough qualities listed on my resume that would warrant at least a callback and/or a first interview, but nada. Rumor has it because so many people in my department had posted out for other jobs in the company, certain managers were told not to hire away too many of us. Of course I have zero proof of this, but I heard too many things from multiple people (both within and outside of the company) that I can't help but think that it might be true. I'd love to be able to call BS and confront the powers that be, but I know all I would get would be a denial. I'd definitely call their river bet with just ace-high. But all I can do is feel angry and slighted, grit my teeth and keep plugging away, hoping that the most recent re-re-re-realignment of my department within the company's organizational structure will bring positive change.

I keep thinking about switching careers, going into business for myself, having more freedom and flexibility in my professional life...and more money. But what would I do instead of working in the field I'm in now? Oh yeah, that's right, I was going to make money playing poker.

I've GOT to break that mental barrier and learn to be a better player. It feels like there's an internal wall I need to break down...I need to get that light bulb to burn, or that switch to flip, or whatever cliche you care to use. I need to have that "a-HA" moment in my head that allows me to implement strategies, exploit other's playing tendencies, put the pieces together during the course of a hand that helps me hand-read more accurately.

I've always had the feeling that I've underachieved, never used my intelligence to its full potential, and now I find myself stuck in a career with no clearly-defined career path. Poker has given me small tastes of success, but I haven't dedicated myself 100% for a long enough period of time to become a better player. I KNOW I can do it, I just need to buckle down and do it.