Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's time for the 6th installment of my annual reflections and musings on the future. Previous New Year's posts: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

Looking back on 2010, for the first time in a few years, I actually played a bit of poker! Nowhere near as much as my love for the game would have me play, but I did play regularly (thanks in part to an online poker league I joined with a friend on Full Tilt). I also made it out to the local casinos a few times for live poker, and made my favorite trip to the poker mecca for the WPBT Winter Classic in 2010.

I feel like my game is improving, and not necessarily due to any studying or practice I'm doing. It's improving more because I'm maturing as a person. Maybe maturing isn't the right word - but a fatal flaw in my poker game is tied to a personality trait whereby I don't like to cause conflict. (So, yes - raising is hard for me to do!) But the older I get, the more I feel like in life that I will step right up and cause conflict if it suits my needs or my beliefs. (Get outta my way - I'm becoming a badass in my old age!) And that, my friends, is helping my poker game. I'm a lot more comfortable at the tables than I've ever really been in the past.

I had a really good year in 2010. It was an incredibly difficult year at work, but I channeled those challenges into fueling progress in my personal life. I lost 80 pounds in 2010, and settled into a whole-foods organic lifestyle. I went vegetarian in March 2010, and around that time, also completed the Couch to 5K running training program. I'm now a runner! I run at least 3 miles, 3 times a week, with my "long" run at the 5 mile mark right now. My race pace is around 11:30/mi and regular pace is around 12:00/mi. I ran four 5K races in 2010, with a personal best time of 36:32.

It was a pretty good year financially too. For me, "pretty good" means, I didn't struggle to make ends meet every month. In light of the economy and the general state of things, I consider myself very blessed to have solid full time and half time jobs. I was also able to earn some extra income with photography and portraiture, as I'd hoped in 2009 when I spent what would have been my Vegas money on a set of studio lights instead. I'm patting myself on the back. That was a good decision.

Travel was another high point of my year. At this time last year, I was hoping to make it on at least one trip in 2010. I managed to hit all 3 - a week-long photography workshop in New Mexico in February, an August trip to San Diego to attend the Syndicate World Conference and meet my guild mates in Ultima Online, and of course the WPBT Winter Classic in Vegas in December. And, miraculously enough, I came home from Vegas even - which means, 2011 begins with some money in the poker box!

You see, the poker box is my poker bankroll. It has been a few years since I've had a poker bankroll. When I moved into this house 4 years ago, I had a decent low-stakes bankroll, but spent it on new furniture. Then came some rough years financially, and I didn't have the extra cash to refill the poker box. This year, though, the poker box is starting out with a few buy-in's - which is a fledgling state at best, but it's a start!

So, what am I looking forward to in 2011?

First and foremost, I look forward to continuing this more healthy lifestyle that I've adopted. I plan to hit my final weight loss goals in 2011 - to hit the -100# mark this spring, and -15# or so more by the end of the year. (Hitting -100# puts me in the healthy range for my weight, so those last 15 are vanity pounds). I plan to run a 10K in the spring, and am considering training for a half marathon by the end of the year. Now that my finances are a bit more settled, I plan to make a concerted effort to pay down some debt and put more money into savings. (Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that via poker!)

And yes, I do plan to play more poker in 2011, particularly live poker. The old Empress Casino Joliet is now a Hollywood Casino property. They spread NL now, and while there are only 5 tables, it's better than the 3 they used to have. It's a much nicer poker room these days, and I plan to play a bit more there. I've also heard rumors of a poker room opening at Harrah's Joliet this spring. That would be interesting. I'd love to have 2 close-to-home options, in addition to the Indiana boats (which are close to work but the opposite direction from home).

I hope that you've all found something to be thankful for in 2010, and something to look forward to in 2011! Here's to a happy and healthy new year to you and yours. Thanks for your support and friendship and for all the good times! And many more...

1 Comment:

  1. DrChako said...
    Great goals. Let me know if you're gonna run any races out this way.


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