Hey all. With 2012 winding down, I figured I would do what a lot of poker bloggers do and write a year in review. I wanted to put some thoughts on paper on how I feel my year went and want to set some goals for 2013. I did achieve some goals this year which was awesome, but hopefully next year I will able to achieve even more of them.

I will break this into two parts. The first will cover everything up until the WSOP that started in June.

The year did not start off too good for me. I had a pretty bad run at the WSOPC at my home casino at the Bike. I thought I played pretty well, but I felt like I was missing something and it wasn’t just losing key flips. I just felt like I could not get or maintain a big stack even if I did get lucky early. The highlight of this series was when I got to rail one of my best friends and watch him win his first Ring. Big Game James dominated the event and I was just happy that I was there to support him and celebrate after.

The LAPC was next and I did have a couple of min cashes (shocker) and I did make it to the final two tables in one of the events. Again it was an ok showing, but my aggression was too low and I know I needed help to get to the next level. I was still doing the training sessions with the MCB, but I felt like I also needed some outside help to try and take my game up to the next level.

At the end of February, I met with John Kim of Stackem Coaching and my poker life changed instantly. He asked me to be a feature student on Stackemcoaching.com and besides the coaching I was going to get from him and Joe Tehan, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to be able to talk to such great players about the game I love.

We had our first 2 hour session in the beginning of March right before the Rincon WSOPC series. Those were two really good sessions and I decided I was going to try a few new things and see how they worked out.

As you all know by now, all the things they told me worked out great. I made two final tables and won my first ring. I know that I had a ton of run good down there, but I did feel the things I incorporated in my game really came together, a few things “clicked”, and the results were phenomenal. I did get hit by the deck really hard when I was heads up with David Clark and realized after how good he was and that I did get really lucky to beat him. I have a ton of respect for him and his girlfriend La. They are both great players and not only that, they are great human beings. I am very happy that we have become friends and I look forward to a lot of nights playing OFC with them and just having a good time.

I was on cloud nine after Rincon, but I also remember what John had told me in that first meeting. He said “Don’t ever think you know enough to stop learning. The great ones try to learn something every time they go out and play. Keep your mind open and keep trying to improve your game.” Wow was he ever right.

After Rincon ended, I didn’t really play a ton in April and May to get ready for the WSOP in Vegas. I did only play locally but didn’t  have any great finishes. I felt like I was still playing pretty well but I remember losing a lot of key flips so I had no big scores. I did start playing a little more cash and I was starting to win at it, so it was becoming more fun to play. I guess all gambling is fun when you are winning.

A week before the WSOP, I decided to really chill and work on my game. I had another couple of sessions with John and Joe, and I was really excited to get to the WSOP and make a run at the big money. In those sessions, they told me a couple of key things. They were:

  1. The tables at the WSOP will be mixed with really good players and recreational players. Don’t feel like you have to “outplay” the good players every hand. Sometimes our ego gets in the way of good solid poker. Try to just play the hand as best you can no matter who the opponent is.
  2. Try not to make any stack size mistakes. Play your stack the way you were taught no matter what the situation is.

Both of these things were really important to my game, as they are I am sure to playing solid poker.

I know we can all relate to the first one. We get to a new table, see the player we think is the best, and for some reason, want to outplay them right from the get go. Ladies and gentleman that is your ego talking. There is no reason to go out of your way to play them. Pros say they let the game come to them so don’t force hands and put yourself in spots against them that will be –EV in the long run. Again, just try to play solid poker.

As for the second one, I get into many conversations with my friends and coaches about stack sizes and the correct moves to make with a certain stack size. This is probably what I spend most of my time thinking about when I am studying the game. It is a big key to my recent success.

Personally, I am trying to make the game as simple as possible. In order to do that, I feel like I should become a robot (online term) and in turn, that will make the game easier. This has worked well for me and even though I ship 67s into AA once in a while, I still understand it was the correct move and even though I lost, I will continue to do it because I have so much confidence in this system that over the long run, it will become profitable for me. In other words, try not to look at the results, but after the hand, look back and just make sure you took the most optimal line. BGJ always says I sometimes tie my results into dissecting the hand after the fact so I am going to really try and separate the two this year.

I will stop here for part 1. Next week, before the New Year starts, I will post part two.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone had a great Holiday.


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