2021: Quarter 1 Update
It's hard to believe it's already April and that my last full fledge update was at the beginning of January.
Through my last update, I had a career year while simultaneously going through the worst downswing of my career (oxymoron?); it was definitely a bittersweet feeling but I was excited for 2021.
I finally had some capital to back me up and my skill set has never been higher I was ready to do some damage...
It was January 3rd at around 1 AM, I took a deep breath and instantly closed out my tables. I added my balances on my site and looked at the total tab.
The worst part of the session is I was grinding a small win and then in span of 20 minutes I dropped a new car (the variance of HU poker is real!).
I forgot how much downswings suck I thought to myself. I had really been working on my game HU and the results were just not reflecting.
I won't lie in the past this kind of swing would be really devastating to me; but while I was frustrated with how things were going there was an inevitability that I'd be fine.
January 3rd feels like ages ago. Since that day, it's been pretty smooth sailing poker wise. I wrapped up the quarter going 3/3 on winning months and am well ahead of pace for another career year
So as far as results, I'm pretty happy. Working with Clanty has been great and I've turned myself into a pretty formidable HU player pretty quickly; it was a bet on myself that's already turned out great.
Other small reasons for success, A singular focus on cash. Last year, I tried dabbling in tournaments (spoiler: it did not go well) and this year I'm happy to say I've played only one godforsaken tournament (2nd in a HU tourney cause they're fun).
For better or worse, cash is going to be my game til I retire, the opportunity cost of moving from NLH is too high for me to move away from.
Throughout my poker career, the #1 (and pretty much only investment) I made was my poker roll. Moving up stakes and competing were big goals for me at the onset of my journey.
With my past two years of success, I've finally been able to put money aside into different ventures and finally using my capital to make more $. I've noticed that it's a lot easier to make money when you have money.
I've had a few successful staking ventures and have put my money in the market/crypto as well. While the Fed continues to pump I've put about 20-25% of my networth in crypto/gold/silver with the majority of it now in crypto.
I do not trade and I'm not the most educated on it; I just firmly believe it's a great store of value and worth the appropriate amount of risk (most of crypto is in BTC/ETH).
I've also put $ away in the market; much more conservative in this nature although I do have a pretty big position in DKNG. I'm extremely bullish on sportsbetting future for the US to say the least.
So yeah this is the first year where I'm earning solid money outside of actually playing. I definitely would like to get more educated on markets etc in the future; I find them very interesting to be honest.
I'm in all honesty have a little bit too much $ between the market and crypto, but since I'm holding/ have pretty strong belief in what I'm investing the swings really don't bother me.
Otherwise, I'm doing well. I did just buy my first new car ever, a 2020 Nissan Morano.
The future of Online Poker in the US
As I'm sure most are aware, legislation is coming out in the near future to begin combining more player pools; I'm hoping this will lead to higher MS/HS games going as the HS landscape in the US is pretty bare.
Obviously, with new players there will be new regs; this will inevitably lead to people getting squeezed as the pool gets more competitive.
Without sounding like a braggart, as far as the US landscape I feel like I'm at the top of the mountain so my future outlook is really promising; I just have to continue moving forward and getting better.
That being said...still a lottttt of things I have to get better in. I'm very grateful I have an awesome community of players I know that help me. It keeps me grounded because I know there are a lot of areas to improve on if I want to maximize myself and get to that world class level.
I think I have a lot of natural talent in poker so it's just putting in more of the work; I've put a lot more solver work in the last 6 months just improving my theoretical knowledge in so many different nodes that I'm exciting to see what this last half of the year will bring.
Life seems great right? Yes, I mean this when I say I've probably run top 1% as far as advantages given to me in life. I've had supportive parents and an easy upbringing, I've run well in the big spots in my career, and I have a clean bill of health and amazing wife.
But...I've been really struggling lately. Feeling tired and a bit overwhelmed with a lot. Stretched pretty thin with coaching and poker on top of the twists and turns of life has led me to feeling burnt out. Not burnt out with poker, I guess more so emotionally exhausted which leads me to my last section of this post.
Last I checked in with everyone, it was January and we have had a bunch of setbacks when it came to surrogacy. Long story short, the hormones my cousin (Jazz) was taking were not working as they should; this was a little unexpected as this part of the process was usually ho-hum and the transfer is where you need the luck.
The second time she took the hormones it looked like it was working but Jazz got kidney stones and we could not move forward til that was taken care of, which led to another delay (the medication process is about a month and each process is a few thousand $$.)
Victoria has been so emotionally invested that these misses really took a toll on her, and it's a bit of a helpless feeling. Being in poker, and being out of control probably made me take it a bit easier as I've kinda had the thought process it's gonna happen when it's gonna happen.
So, that brings us to the third time, in the beginning of January. She starts the medication and wouldn't you know it third time is the charm. We're cleared for a transfer.
Is there ever a hand that comes to mind in your career that really sticks out? Like if I just won this flip it could change my career trajectory. That's a bit of what this felt like. We had approximately a 60-70% of the transfer working. So really was just holding with QQ vs AKo (and then some)
It's February 2nd at 9am. The three of us take the drive down together and get to the clinic.
They take us to the operating room and we're in a large rectangular room; with a large screen overlooking the patient bed and a plexiglass screen on the left side.
The screen turns on, and we hear the embryologist speak through the mic, just letting us know the procedure. They show our embryo (we told them to pick the healthiest one, didn't want to choose the gender) with our names and we can see it slightly vibrating almost.
He puts in a catheter after having the embryo thaw from last night and hands it to the doctor through the screen, the doctor does her thing and the transfer is done.
We get a blood test one week later and we find out the results.
And now we wait.
Screaming. Blood curling screaming is all I can hear, as I jump up in a drunken stupor trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
I quick scan, bleary eyed to all hell and see my wife running at me with such force I cannot lie I was a little scared.
She's sobbing so again still not sure if it's good news or bad news, but she says it worked.
Biggest flip I ever won. I'm gonna be a dad.
Two Weeks On
The next two weeks were a blur, lots of celebrating with our close family and a lot of excitement obviously. I've always really looked forward to being a Dad and now it's going to happen. The process had been such a whirlwind but also made it feel a bit more special ya know?
The two weeks flew by and the post decision news really had all of us in great spirits, now we had to see the first ultrasound to make sure everything was good.
Again, the three of us drove down together; chatting the whole way, talking about the entire journey and how much we still have together.
We get to the facility and we find our normal doctor is not gonna be there but the head doctor (or guy who owns the practice) will be doing the ultrasound with us.
We get to the waiting room and he calls us in.
As we enter the patient room, he congratulates us and tells us he just wants to take a look and make sure the embryo took right and everything is working well.
A nurse walks in and begins the ultrasound.
The ultrasound screen turns on and I'll be honest guys; I didn't really have a clue what was going on...but I did see a little circular embryo.
As my wife, saw it she began to break down and I turn from the ultrasound to embrace her...and that's when I hear a little "Oh".
I turn around and hear my cousin looking shocked; "is that-" she starts
"Yes, twins...identical twins"
My wife starts another cry that could be heard round the world, I make a little joke to the nurse that she's just excited, but the nurse isn't smiling and she's stonefaced.
And then I hear the doctor...
"Well, wait a second here, it looks like we have triplets"
To Be Continued