Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Big word that one. If you take it for it's true meaning. I'll start with some context...

[EDIT - Essay alert!]

New Years Eve for me could be perceived to have been a bit of a disaster. Sorted out a small house party with a few close friends and it promised to be a great night of friendly banter, drinks, entertainment and merryment. That was cut short before 11pm by a phonecall telling Libby that her sister had overdone things slightly and was being rushed to A&E. So Twedd and Libby have to leave and the party is cut short. Shortly before midnight we decide to head round to Dawson's mam's house to wish her Happy New Year and for me to be firstfoot. She always thought I was a bit of a cheeky bugger so it should be pretty amusing. It's at this point I must tell you that I'm in Tow Law in Co Durham, which is approximately ten billion feet above sea level, there is two foot of snow, and it's coming down so thick you can barely see two lamposts ahead of you.

The plan was to hop a fence and take a shortcut through a field. Should be a five minute walk max. Fortunately though I was the only one with enough ability to get over said fence, Dawson and Ony wimped out and walked the long way around. I was already over so I hotfooted it through the field and back onto the street to meet them halfway. I say fortunately because the events that followed us taking the long way around have definitely impacted a few lives!

As I was walking down to meet them, I saw Dawson and Ony crouching behind a car. I initially thought that they were making snowballs and about to ambush me. They weren't. They had almost walked past an old lady who had slipped and fell under a car at the side of the road, unable to free herself. Ony heard a faint cry for help and could just make out the top third of a person covered in snow, stuck under a car. We pulled her out and myself and Dawson carried her home, got her warm and called her family. Turns out she'd left the pub at 11.20, so she'd been stuck for about 20 minutes. It was one of Dawson's friends aunties, who is well known throughout the village for being the old fiendly chatterbox, so she would have been sorely missed. She'd maybe have been found in the next hour or so if a few locals had been in the pub, but certainly in a worse condition. I don't wish to speculate about such a matter, but it was deathly quiet where we found her, subzero temperature, and snow falling the heaviest I've ever seen. My New Year ticks over with me on my own on a deserted street, cold, and covered in snow to the degree that I look like a walking Jack Frost.

In the week after Christmas and before New Year, I used the downtime to get my finances in order and sort out a proper poker plan for 2010. As you can tell from my blog, my record keeping has been basically non-existent. I can tell you how much I've roughly won in a month, but I would bank varying amounts, downswing a larger bankroll than usual, and generally fritter away money day-to-day like it was going out of fashion. That's going to change. Correction. That HAS changed :-)

With Ben's help, I have successfully created the world's second-most-complex (behind his obviously) poker finance tracker in excel. I'd been up in Newcastle for FA Cup weekend and kind of a Vegas re-union. We played the Soccer Saturday drinking game at Agers, before the premiere of the DVD compilation I made of all our Vegas footage. Was well received and I had a great time making it, even if it did take forever! We then play more drinking games watching the darts, and then in true Vegas style, play beer pong. Yes, we were hammered!

Next day I see Man Utd lose to Leeds. Words cannot describe how much I hate Leeds. But with them being so out of my awareness for so long, I kind of feel a bit numb about the defeat. Still we were shite and deserved nothing less. I had cinema tickets booked for the evening though.

On my way to see Avatar in IMAX 3d, I take a wrong turn and miss the Yellow Car Park at the Metro Centre. I curse my inability and aggresively turn round between those kerbed car park divides with plants in the middle. These ones were particularly high with rockeries in the middle of them. Yep, you already know what's coming next. I way overdo the pace thinking that what I see ahead of me is slush and although I might lose it a little bit, it won't be much and we all like a little powerslide from time to time. Nope that is solid ICE! I skid the split second I turn the wheel, my rear end kicks out and I gear down and start to gun it to get out the slide before I hit this divide. It's all ice though, I have no grip and in what seems like about 10 minutes I see the huge kerb slowly approach, like in a Jaws film, about to take a huge chunk out of the nearside front of my car. Dur dum, dur dum. What happened next can only be appreciated by a poker player...

In years past I would have belted out a large 'FUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK' and smashed my hands into the steering wheel. Upon coming to rest - got out and kicked a hole in the side of my car, grab my de-icer from the side compartment, and in a fit of revenge fuelled rage, gone back and systematically de-iced the offending area of tarmac. Take that ice!

But I didn't. As the kerb neared, I thought to myself 'Meh, I'm going to hit that' in that really gay way you console and re-assure yourself in your head. Like getting it in good on the turn only to be two-outered on the river, I accepted with an inner-peace that I am now screwed and it was going to cost me a lot of money.

I limped the car into a proper parking spot and got out and checked the damage. To my amazement I hadn't lost a panel. The wheel however was bashed up and into the wheel arch and was facing ~30deg in the opposite direction to which it should be so my front wheels kind of looked like this / \ I locked up and walked to the cinema.

One thing you have to absolutely do this year is go and see a film on the new IMAX 3d screen at the Metro. The best cinematic experience I've ever had, overtaking Independance Day with my cousins when I was a young un. The effects and digital imagery in Avatar makes the LOTR trilogy look like that 1930s Lost World film with plasticine dinosaurs. Then put that into 3d. Absolutely incredible. Ignoring that side of things though, I absolutely loved the film. I think this stems from my over-playing of Final Fantasy VII on the playstation, as there are a few parallels from that storyline. Go see it!

I get the car recovered to a mates house as it would have cost £90 more to go back to mine, and he also knows a few local mechanics. I book the car in, and spend the day playing poker, losing nearly 13 buyins nine tabling NL50 over the course of the afternoon. So I don't yet know how much my car is going to cost, it could be upwards of £500 if the axle is bent, and I've just lost £600 playing poker. Remarkably, I feel great.

So I see in New Year alone, cold and covered in snow. But I potentially helped save a life. A few days later I bin my car then before it's fixed lose £600 at poker. Thankfully the wishbone took the impact so a relatively cheap £100 fix.

Follow those events and it's negative, positive, negative, negative, small positive. It would be a fair assumption to say I am now feeling good because the last major thing to happen to me was a positive. Well it wasn't actually. I missed getting home and saying goodbye to my sister by about 5 minutes. She's off to Aus & NZ for 3 months.

Yet I feel great. I feel focused and driven. I ambled through last year, playing a bit of poker and making some money, but had no plan for anything, at all. I didn't know where I'd be or what I'd be doing in two days time. My spending was ridiculous.

Back to that word 'resolution'. If something is brought to a resolution, it's solved, done & dusted. I've never written out a meaninful list of 'resolutions'. I've made false promises to myself at New Year, but nothing is a true resolution unless it actually becomes resolved, and only you can do that.

Even though it is Jan 5th and I have done absolutely nothing, I feel a great sense of achievement in that I've actually made 'resolutions' which I feel compelled to achieve, which in itself I feel has 'resolved' a part of me that needed addressing. I feel my base level of general happyness, midset and focus has risen quite dramatically in the last couple of weeks having done this exercise.

In poor 2009 record keeping style, I made ~£2.2k in December. I can't wait to post my first detailed Month End report in 2010, even if I'll have to work extra hard to make it a good one :-) One of my resolutions is to play 15k hands a week, so I best get busy. Good luck all and best wishes for 2010 :-) I'm looking forward to it!


Anonymous said...

Well done helping the old woman, maybe some good karma will come your way.

Sorry but I can't help myself with the following, "Marching on together....."

Best of luck in 2010 but why don't you just use Hold'em Manager to track your results?

Poker play the Soap way said...

Did the old women sit and chat to you for an hr and then you just recited everything she said in your post ;) !!!!

Please go back to exciting updates such as how the leg is :)

GL 2010 I am sure you will nail it.

BH said...

Good results for Dec mate, and sure you'll turn around Jan.

Got to comment on one of the best lines I've ever seen in a non-comic blog...

'Even though it is Jan 5th and I have done absolutely nothing, I feel a great sense of achievement...'


Brenos said...

Just re-read this. Christ I can waffle!

Pud, I do use HEM but I play mixed currencies so it all amalgamates into some kind of £$€ hybrid. This will break it down for me.

BH, it makes sense as long as you don't selectively half quote me. Git.