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60k VPP, RB pro thoughts
  vltava, Oct 21 2010

Gained 10k VPP in about five days, while also working on Jeux d'Eau by Ravel, a Hindemith viola sonata I'm accompanying, and my daily scales, and attending three cool chamber music concerts - a piano trio in Pasadena on Saturday night, the Juilliard string quartet at Cal Tech on Sunday, and a string sextet with members of the LA Phil last night in Arcadia. So naturally I'm looking at SNE and thinking I could make it pretty easily, and to boot, I could do it while beating the rake. However, I'd like for poker not to be the only thing in my life, and I don't think cutting back that much on music would leave me with a very fulfilling life, and I certainly don't see pursuing a degree one day and SNE at the same time. The extra pile of cash and free ME WSOP is tempting, but I can probably sat or buy my way in if I keep grinding it up.

In terms of profit the last week I've actually just been treading water. I joined SNGgrinders and have been devouring azntracker's videos, and I've definitely begun plugging some leaks, but I think my luck has taken a downswing at the same time so my results don't reflect the improvement yet. I've also noticed that there is at least one RB pro at this level who just does not play well enough to beat the rake, not even close. He's trying too hard, being too laggy, too fancy, and simply making some appalling calldowns. There are others who play better who are still just about breaking even without rakeback. It's sobering, but I think I can still continue to win.

I think a reasonable question to pose to myself, then, is "why aren't these guys winning if I can [supposedly] figure it out so easily?" I think it's probable that hubris comes into play. A person thinks he is a good poker player, and he may be right, but he just doesn't have the discipline to play extremely tight when it's the only correct style, as it sometimes is. (E.g. the early levels of a SNG... another example is low to mid stakes cash games in southern California, for a theoretical reason I'll cover in another post.) Aspiring pros learn that in most situations in poker, there is a wide range of preflop strategies which work, and also that the better you are, the more hands you can profitably play. Hubris steps in when you have to convince yourself that you are just an incredibly awesome player, therefore obviously you must play the loosest profitable strategy you can manage. (Or maybe you're just afraid that by playing conservatively, that is conceding that you might be a winner, but not a superstar.)

Going to the Pasadena Symphony on Saturday night, then to a lecture by Sam Harris at Cal Tech on Sunday. Starting work this week on the first movement of the Schumann piano concerto, to prepare for a competition in the spring.

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50k VPP, girlfriend issues, philosophy of gaming
  vltava, Oct 15 2010

Man, girlfriend + piano lessons + poker is hard. Add in the fact that I waste time doing stuff like playing random games on the side, and I don't know how I even manage to survive. Bought a new laptop a month ago, but then procrastinated about getting HEM up and running because it tends to be such a pain in the ass to set up, so I didn't play any poker for three weeks or so. However, about a week ago I finally got HEM working and I've started hitting the SNG's and $4/$8 8-game again, hitting the 50k VPP mark for the year today. I'm up close to $3k in that time. I also uninstalled MTG Online yesterday, to reduce pointless distractions.

Obviously my supernova goal is trivially easy at this point, thanks to getting up to the $60's. So I think I need to focus on just playing a lot. I can use the milestones as little motivators, but it would be irresponsible, I think, to only just barely make supernova by the end of the year. Also, Carol and I have agreed to break up, but at the moment, I'm not planning on moving out until after the semester ends, so I can focus on school, and so I will be able to devote a decent amount of time to apartment hunting. So I think that it would be wise to make it before the end of the semester.

I definitely need to live alone in a house or apartment, not rent a room or have a room mate. I need the freedom to play poker, practice the piano, and go to concerts on my own schedule. Barring the unlikely event that I meet a liberal atheist female who likes poker and classical music, I'm going to need to be single in order to do the things that matter to me. C'est la vie, although I'm not completely giving up hope.

WoW is very tempting with Cataclysm coming out next month. I've never tried to figure out what my hourly winrate is all that precisely, but I should probably do that soon, so I can estimate how many hours per month WoW would take away from poker, so I can calculate how much playing the game generally costs me (hint: it's more than $19.95 per month). I guess I should remember the general principle: My obsession with games and my perennial difficulties in life finally started to resolve each other when I discovered poker. Although poker isn't huge loads of fun like it was when it was fresh and new, I keep myself playing by reminding myself how much better it's made my life, and how tough my life was before it.

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PokerStars won't install?!
  vltava, Sep 19 2010

Normally it downloads within a minute. I just started using a new laptop, and now after 20+ minutes it is only 3% complete. Anyone else ever experience or hear of his?

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