Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Black Card Status Achieved!

I had two stretch goals for 2012:

1) Win the CSCS SuperStreet AWD Championship
2) Achieve Black Card status on Full Tilt Poker

I started working on my 2nd stretch goal on July 1st and 270 hours and 224,000 hands later I'm proud to say that I've managed to achieve my goal.

Black Card status is the highest VIP level you can reach on Full Tilt Poker without being sponsored. When FTP was closed in 2010, I had a large amount of unclaimed Full Tilt points on my account. Only once you become a Black Card player are you allowed to cash out those points into cold hard cash. Which has now become a reality for me. My bankroll is now in a very healthy state to be able to take a shot at the $100NL games.

There were some major setbacks along the way. Particularly a large downswing which wiped out about 75% of my bankroll between August/September. I had to move down limits twice and spend a lot of time analyzing my database, but I managed to revamp my game and grind my way back up from $25NL.

Then in October I got hit by a stomach virus and pneumonia shortly after. Most of October was a write-off which pushed me even further back on the 100-day rolling average.

I'm so glad to be done with this challenge. I have to admit that it took a lot longer than I expected. The lesson here is to always account for the unexpected - which in my case was the downswing and getting really sick.

I'm almost done playing for the year. I have a small bonus left to claim which should only take me about 3 hours of playing. After that it's time to relax and enjoy the rest of the holidays :D

Dobie says Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

2014 Goals

I've always considered myself to be an athlete at heart in the purest sense. Meaning that I love competing in something at a high level regardless of what it actually is. It doesn't matter if it's racing cars, sports, video games, or even board games.

One of the non-monetary reasons that I'm leaving Time Attack racing is that I feel a large % of the competitive advantage can be bought. I'm not afraid to admit that I probably spent the most money out of all my competitors this year, and subsequently won because of it.

If you spend a lot of money on your platform then you WILL be faster than someone who didn't. I'm not calling anyone out in particular, or saying that there's no skill involved. Driving fast takes plenty of skill (and balls). But relative to other competitive mediums, money has a much bigger impact on results in motorsports than in anything else I've ever competed in.

For 2014 I've decided to revisit some old hobbies of mine and re-ignite my competitive flame in them.

My goals for 2014 are:
  1. To become a better poker player
  2. To become a better badminton player
These should do well to fulfil my competitive needs, and also (hopefully) make me wealthier and healthier.

Become a Better Poker Player

Poker was a large part of my life between 2006-2010. Many people don't know this but poker actually helped fund my motorsports career. I played for small stakes and grinded a steady profit each year. It was like a second job to me.

But playing poker every night on top of my full time job became overwhelming in 2010. I decided to take an extended break  from the game and enjoy some of my winnings with racing.

Now that my extended break is over, I feel that I have a renewed energy for the game. I really miss the strategic depth of the game and the element of personal mastery needed to overcome the inevitable variance and downswings. To put it bluntly, I miss using my brain. I also miss making money.

Over the past few months I've been ramping up my play significantly and shaving off all that rust. I've read a few books along the way that have really solidified my mental game. I recently joined Phil Galfond's new poker community Run It Once and I'm hoping to become an active member there as well. I feel that 2014 is going to be a very positive year for me at the tables.

Become a Better Badminton Player

After an 8 year hiatus from playing with the Varsity Blues in 2004, I picked up my racket again at the end of 2012. Although I've just been playing casually for the better part of a year, I really want to improve my game and start competing in tournaments again.

For the past few months I've been training with famous YouTube coach Lee Jae Bok. He's helped me improve my game a lot so far but I still have a long way to go.

I can't claim to be a good badminton player yet, and I've been struggling with a wrist injury for the better part of a year. But my plan is to keep training and improving on a weekly basis that will allow for steady improvements throughout the year. At the very least, I'll improve my fitness and health, which is a win no matter what!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 End of Year Update

I haven't updated this blog in a few months so I wanted to take a moment to write about a few important changes coming up.

I've decided to take a break from Time Attack racing indefinitely.

This season was exhausting. I went over budget on my build trying to keep up with the arms race that the Super Street AWD category has become. Ultimately, I won the championship, but not without great sacrifice. Motorsports accounted for over 50% of my spending this year including mortgage payments and regular living stuff. That is completely unacceptable and unsustainable.

I'm getting married in 2014 and there will be a lot of bills to pay. The reality is racing is an expensive sport and I don't think I'll be able to continue racing competitively without going completely bankrupt. This doesn't mean I'm quitting driving though! Just competing.

I debated selling my car. I even put it up for sale. If I get a decent offer for it, I won't hesitate to let it go. But that's probably not going to happen as my asking price is a little high (I put a lot into it, and don't want to lose too much). If I can't sell the car, then it will likely be detuned back to something less hardcore and more of a weekend warrior/project.

Even if I had the money to continue racing competitively, I wouldn't. I'm at a point in my life right now where I need to start being smarter with my money instead of blowing everything on a depreciating hunk of metal. I would like to be financially free sooner rather than later. On top of that, I just feel like the competition in motorsports can be too easily "bought" by anyone willing to spend the money. More on this later.

Thank you to all the people who supported my short lived motorsports career. I'm sorry there won't be as many motorsports updates. But hopefully you will still find my blog interesting as it changes direction in 2014.