Friday, January 17, 2014

2013 Year in Review and Big Plans for 2014!

   Well, this blog post is long overdue but the combination of website issues, late-year grind fails, holidays in Hawaii and then travelling to the PCA immediately after that has left me with little time to spare as of late.

   Where to start? Let's rewind a bit to the start of the madness, which begun in December, 2013. After a year full of earning a lot less VPPs than I'm used to, I found myself in a tough spot to earn even the 200,000 milestone bonus. I needed about 29k VPPs in the first 19 days of December (was leaving then) to cross the milestone and in a year where 20k+ VPP months were hard to come by, I knew this would be no easy feat. That number would be cakewalk in the past for me but for some reason I really hadn't been able to get into "full grind mode" without that year long goal to chase. With that in mind, I wanted to make the December push about more than just earning the $2,600 that came along with the bonus-I really wanted to cross the 200k mark to feel that sense of accomplishment that had been lacking in a sense for most of the year. I was also hoping that the "grind mentality" would carry over to the new year and aid my potential 2014 SNE chase.

   I got to work pretty fast and 10-12 hour days gradually became the norm as I approached December 19th but I didn't really mind that much. It felt good to feel productive again, even though my results weren't that great. I was playing my regular stakes (100nl+200nl FR) for most of the month but I tried to play some CAP for a day or 2 as my time was winding down to earn more VPPs/hour. My CAP experience didn't last long though lol...I somehow lost like $800 over 1-2 days even though when I checked the all-in pots that I won/lost, I seemed to win way more than I lost. I took that information to basically mean that I was folding my blinds way too much and bleeding away so much money that I would not be profitable playing CAP unless I drastically changed my play-something that would require too much time and effort when both were of the essence. With that, I abandoned CAP and went back to my normal games to finish off the month. I was basically breaking-even at my normal games but the games were pretty good and I think that I was running fairly bad and not playing my A-game due to the very high volume. Despite that, the end was in sight with 2 days left and it was going to be 2 12-16 hour days ahead of me but I was going to make it.

   The reason for travelling on the 19th was to spend Christmas in Hawaii for a little family time. I called my mom on the 17th to confirm when we would be meeting up and when we would be leaving on the 19th and that's when things unfolded pretty quickly. I found out that we were actually leaving on the 18th, not the 19th, and I somehow got the date wrong by one day!! As always, I had things planned out to the very last minute and this time not leaving any room to spare came back to bite me in the ass. There really was no way that I could have earned the remaining 5k VPPs without playing in games where the variance would be much greater than the $2,600 I would earn from the milestone. I considered changing flights, coming back early etc. but all of the scenarios were complicated and the flights were non-transferable and non-refundable. In 2010, when I reached SNE, I actually cancelled on a family vacation in December but I wasn't about to do it again...especially not over $2,600. So with that, I came to peace with my poor time management fairly quickly and did in fact end the year with 195,000 VPPs. I spent the last night before leaving with my girlfriend, instead of grinding all through the night, and had a great holiday with my family in Maui and Kona and don't regret the decision to leave some money at the tables.


   Looking back on 2013, I view it as a great year overall but fairly disappointing on the poker front. With my low volume, I only earned about $50k-$60k...which is still a fine amount of money but is relatively small compared to what I've made in the past. I felt like my effort and hours were there but as I've mentioned before, without that year long goal to keep me motivated each month I found myself playing less than I have in the past. Also, January, April/May and November were pretty much write-offs due to life and poker-related things getting in the way. I don't have close to all of the hands that I played this year, due to cleaning out a lot of hands when my computer was lagging but I do have a 700K+ sample to post for the past few months. I have a winrate of over 2bb/100 from this sample and my actual winrate is probably a bit higher than this (had a couple of good months at the start of the year) but 2bb is more or less accurate, I think. I'm pretty happy with that winrate and would be stoked if I could maintain that over a higher amount of volume. Graph of past several months:

   Switching gears to 2014, as you've probably guessed by now I am planning on going for Supernova Elite! I guess it's somewhat fitting that I'm back to writing on the old blog, at least for now since this is where everything began for me poker-wise back in 2010. I was basically anonymous, had just enough money for a bankroll and had no idea what was in store for me over the next few years. I think it's time to bring this thing full circle and grind even harder than I did back then.

   I haven't had SNE status since 2011 and want to get it back badly. Motivation is a funny thing in poker-it seems to come and go and for whatever reason I just feel super motivated to play right now. The PCA was another great trip and experience but I've been itching to come home and work for a while now. So, how am I going to earn 1,000,000 VPPs when I couldn't even clear 200k last year you ask? Well, as I just mentioned...there were 3-4 months where I hardly logged any volume at all due to my house-hunt, the PCA in January and my website redesign in November. Making sure that I make every month count will obviously be crucial to a successful SNE chase. Also, due to eating cleanly and exercising regularly I have been springing out of bed at 8-9am at the latest...sometimes I wouldn't wake up until 2pm or later in 2010. With more hours to work with and stricter discipline, hopefully I can stick to a productive routine of 6-10 hour days according to what I need to do. With all of that said, I do have to admit that I really feel less confident about making SNE this time around than 2010. I earn less VPPs/hand now compared to back then so I'll have to increase my volume and/or the stakes that I'm going to play. I do have a plan to get SNE...I'm just not entirely convinced it's a good one ;)

   The plan will be to play my normal stakes (100/200nl full-ring) for at least the start of the year and stay as close to SNE pace as I can. SNE pace is about 83K VPPs per month but realistically, I won't be able to earn much more than 60K each month by playing my regular games. Especially with my short January, I'm going to try and weigh my game-selection towards 200nl as much as I can and push the ceiling as the year unfolds, probably sooner rather than later. I might start including 400nl/600nl games as early as February but we'll have to see how things are going. It's important to be flexible and re-evaluate things as the year unwinds when you have these long term goals. Also, I am also considering playing a more vpp-friendly game, such as PLO or limit-hold'em, for 1-2 months (probably near the end of the year) if I need a big VPP boost. Additionally, I will be playing with a low-stakes MTT bankroll on the side of my cash games for additional VPPs.

   So yeah, the plan is set and now it's just time to put the wheels in motion. This is almost definitely not the best way to go about getting SNE as falling beind pace from the get-go is pretty awful but it's as good of plan as I got. I suppose that even if I fall short of SNE a more productive yaer will still be the by-product of the chase. I really have no idea how my winrate will be affected with all of this volume. I assume it will go down but by how much, I do not know. I don't have a profit goal or anything for 2014 but I suppose that anything less than 6-figures will not be satisfying for how much effort I plan on putting in.


   Away from the tables, things were pretty exciting and great overall in 2013. I ended up buying my first condo in my favorite area in Vancouver and am enjoying my money being put towards something that I will ultimately own outright, hopefully sooner rather than later. I also decided to get myself into better shape and started crossfit training and being quite strict with my diet. I've been making gradual changes to my diet and fitness for a couple of years now and am to the point where I feel like I understand what it takes to change my body and how to feel pretty great. I'll post one douchy selfie of my results to up the NSFW content of this blog for y'all and be done with it ;)...took this at some point in December to send to gf in hopes that she'd return the favour...she did not. Enjoy:

   Fitness goals for the year are pretty simple. I'd like to try to gain 15-20lbs of muscle and continue doing crossfit and sports and I think that it should be a pretty attainable goal. I'm currently about 155-160 and am 5"10. I'd like to be a bit stronger and bigger for athletic purposes so I'll do a clean bulk at a pretty slow pace and adjust from there. I'll plan on over-shooting my target weight of 175lbs by a bit and then do a cut back down to that number to lean up a bit. If anyone wants to know more about my diet and training I'd be happy to do a blog post about it but for now I'll stop it at that. Judging from stuff I've seen on poker forums, there does seem to be a movement from more and more poker players to want to get in shape. I think that given the free time that poker allows us and the ill-effects of a desk job, players should make exercising a priority in their life and don't really have an excuse not to. I'll be looking to exercise 3-5 times a week-crossfit 3-4 times and hockey 1-2!

Other Thoughts

   Social media is something that I want to improve upon this year. I have an active twitter (@frosty012) and facebook (Tyler "frosty012" Frost fan page) account and an instagram account (frosty0012) that is more or less just for fun. I'd like to try and grow my following on both the facebook and twitter page and will be making more of an effort to tweet/fb update more consistently and with better content. The SNE grind should present plenty of poker material for me to talk about so I think that it will be natural for me to be more engaged in social media throughout 2014. Also, when I was down at the PCA I did a new photo shoot and am excited to update a lot of my now-outdated pics with some new material on each of my social media outlets.

   I'm going to continue to do coaching for PokerSchoolOnline twice a month as far as I know. If you're not aware, I coach on 2 Sundays a month and am always open to class suggestions. The classes are always free (some have small VPP requirements) and PSO seems to be growing quite rapidly, which is nice to see. I hope to see you at some of my classes. As for now, I'm not offering any personal coaching...I find it hard to imagine that I'll have the time to do that this year anyways.

   That's about all I can think of for now...I don't have a specific timetable for blog updates-it may be hard to find a lot of spare time to write but I'm thinking 1 a week type thing will probably be typical but we'll see. Anyways, gl to everyone on the grind this year...let's get 2014 started!

gl at the tables!!!


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