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Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back and forward - New Year's resolutions

Pfeeewww.... 12 months without writing anything in my blog. This year was busy, hectic, crazy and pretty much x5 that the last 3 words in it covers. In one word i would describe the year as TOUGH, and so that would explain why it was last thing for me to write anything here. But i will try to remember back at stuff and post some short memoir of the best and worst of this year.

I prefer to start with the best and good as most likely this is what will keep me coming back at later days in my life when i revisit these days. I already often picture the best things since Kristof was born, but i'll put out an effort right now and describe it from my perspective. His arrival planted very controversial thoughts in me at first (mostly about freedom, love, life and responsibility), I never really understood what it means to be a father, and the first few months of his arrival i could best describe it as CHANGE, WORK, RESPONSIBILITY and I don't really have anything else to say here. All i was thinking how i'm gonna cope with all new that struck into our home. Now back 16 months ago i still was a kid in a man's body (am afraid i still am) so being afraid of having a child was totally alright, but i started to grow into my role day by day. With the rhythm of my life it was often not very easy. But i grew every day and I'm growing as of yet into it. After a few months of getting used to it, i am starting to realize that having and raising a child is the deepest most intense sport there is to life. The love and bonding between son and father is so huge i would not be able to describe it even to my best efforts (Imagine that multiplied by infinite and thats what it is between mother and child). And yet he is just 16 months old. He is the greatest thing in my life and i hope to be the best father to him just as my father was to me. I have started to understand just recently how much our father has given to us, how much he fought for us, for our comfort, our well being and our future. He fought the world alone if he had to, didn't let anyone to hurt us, he fought for the better always, and never stopped doing so. I couldn't understand, really, up till now. Being a father is huge, and you get enormous power from it, power to protect, to fight and to keep going. That's how i understand it. And that's the expectation i set out for myself to be the best me i can be, to be the best father, who will protect his son in storm and fire, no matter what happens.  These are my expectations, and i hope they will match and overachieve my son's beliefs. He is the greatest boy. He gave so much to us this year, always smiling, being really really happy, that says something about his environment he is growing up in, he is loved so greatly he is a very happy child. I remember back in last January we were amazed when he was sitting up causing one of the biggest break-through to us, we haven't yet known anything, the next steps like standing up, walking and saying the first words just came so quickly. It was not so long ago, when let him hang and sleep on my arms as a baby and now he is almost talking to us. Everything happened so quickly, before we had enough time to enjoy the first developments the next happens and again and again. By now he is saying daddy, he likes to play with me and he greets me every day with the biggest smile and joy when he sees me. I "think" i love being a dad. :) I wonder where our road will lead us... but i look forward to that adventure from the bottom of my heart...

A child's coming into a relationship is not all hee hee and ha ha though, it puts a heavy stone on the couple and the frustration, the change, the coping with the newborn caused a lot of trouble, stress and emotion into our relation, but after ending this year i think we destroyed some barriers and can lead on a happier life with wife. We broke through a lot of milestones this year, and while our journey together is far from over, i look forward with great expectations to a happy life with Csilla. I'd like to mention that she as a mother is fantastic, she started cooking this year and added quite a bit of recipes to her repertoire and made it her own so much that now im having trouble eating somebody else's food. Now this  is a great thing, prior to this year Csilla never cooked we always ate out and now that im getting spoiled with some home cooked heaven its really teasing me well. I already have some real favorites like homemade hamburgers, her bolognese lasagna or the multiple choices of soups she can make. The soups are probabily my favorite, probabily because i just love soup so much in general, but to give a compliment i like her stock more all day long than my mom's and thats a huge thing. So yes, it was a tough year for us, she had to cope with Kristof for the most part, with cooking and time to time with me as well not to mention Benny. So yes it wasn't easy. Oh yea, Csilla also did the shopping all the time this year, i think im gonna add a bit more of that into my chores so she wouldnt feel all left alone. 

During the year we went Croatia for a week and i must say it was absolutely great, Kristof really enjoys the sun and the water, so he is looking to grow into some real beach person. :) I'm definitely taking family back again this year, i could even make a good case for the same hotel same place as the town had a fantastic atmosphere, the water was nice and clean and the hotel was super awesome with great food for kids as well. 
So we will see.... To our surprise Kristof really did wear himself fine, it was me who couldnt take the long drive. Actually there is a good story about this. We started out at midnight so we would be at the hotel by the morning and so Kristof would sleep through the night, now we ended up almost turning back home at the Croatian border (about 4hrs away from destination but 3 hrs away from home) as we didnt have Kristof written into our passport. So it looked like we are trying to steal baby out of the EU and stuff. :) Now since running around the EU countries is so easy we never thought this could happen, but it did, so thinking about it we had a few options, either we try by the Slovenian border or we are not going to Croatia and go to Italy which is part of the EU. So we decided to try the Slovenian border which wasnt far away, but we got our punishment big time, while we were let in Croatia there, it was quite a good trip down there , it turned into morning and traffic from all west and north countries emerged into a fantastic 5-6hr traffic jam... So beautiful Kristof also started to be a bit cranky, not to mention me. So the story is that instead of a 7hr easy trip it became a 15hr eternal hell drive... Wonder why it always happens to me that im missing planes traines and rides or everything takes double time... I wonder ... :)

My task for this year was only one challenge. To make money in poker and support family, to some extent i am through this one challenging year, to some extents we are not secure enough and pretty vulnerable to short term variance and other risk factors, so i'm not really sure where this career will lead, but i'm always ready to challenge myself into something new. Now that is not a talk of giving up, although i'm pretty sure what i've been through this year most people would give up. First of all i left the hotel business(own choice) end of last year so i can 100% give into poker and make a great year, turning myself a pro. It wasn't without lot of thought and consideration given into it, and we had a good team behind us with a pretty successful last year earning somewhat short of 40K. So if i think about it it wasn't a random idea, plus i've been playing poker for 4 years at that point and every year except the 1st one i turned a decent profit. But the year started out pretty bad, first without the hotel's income not supporting my back i turned more vulnerable to tilt, my game deteriorated from its A game and i mostly played in a B to C game status all year with hugely bad variance hitting me for the most part of the year, i actually have never ran so bad in my life, and just figured what bad variance can mean this year. I ran around 4K dollar below expectation for the whole year maybe a bit more plus the other factors not included that my luck was just plain shit, at least what it comes down to cards. Also in the first half of year right after the big decision to go pro my team fell apart somewhat as we got scammed by our old coach. Pretty shit situation to be, started to question every single move i made and it didnt help my game for sure. So struggling with my game struggling not to go under with bankroll and struggling with tilt, wife creeping out on financial issues and all kinds of distractions like my old office where it wasn't quiet and calm it wasn't really a good start as a pro. Another distraction through middle of the year was moving and changing apartments with a 9 month old. Please do not try such a foolish thing. Definitely not recommending it. My dad was key in this situation, he organized the rebuilding and construction work, so that made our life so much easier, but still. I was for the most part of the year under rolled and that just felt like always keeping one hand in the fire. Games got also much tougher and definitely higher variance. What i dont mention is that it was really hard getting back to normal, getting back to a focused mindset, i was working on my game all year long, but when you are working on the wrong stuff you can work your ass off results will not come your way, at least not positive ones. Definitely after we moved and i got my own quiet workplace in the new apartment, my focus turned for the better, i started to play immediately my A game for at least 60-70% of the time and now i feel comfortable that when the variance changes i will produce the results. I really believe that this is the toughest career one can choose, and with all the insecurity of online poker im not quite convinced i chose the right path. This next year will have to be even harder work, i have the cooler environment, i have faced the hardest emotional barriers, we got used to changing our standard of living a bit this year, got accommodated with son in family, so i'm really looking forward to hard work and definitely more positive results than this year. I will also have an alternative game to cash games and will try to beat and grind some low stake sitngos as well. So with better prospects to the new year im ready to leave the old one with heads up and hopefully with a solid start i can really achieve what i set out for next year. 

When i wrote my last years resolution blog i said i dont expect much from this year, and i still got so much more from it, im happy that our family really backed us so well this year without them it would be so much harder. And every minute and cent of their help just raised us from sinking under. I really appreciate their help, in my opinion that can only come from them. I would mention a few poker buddies as well, but i believe poker buddies are more for socializing and for learning, they are not gonna come over and solve your problems. You have to take accountability for everything you do and achieve, even if the results are not to your liking. It has to be you who makes the change -  after all your neighbor wont come through your door giving a helping hand, in this country if they come they always come with a complaint. Now that i just said that we have a lucky situation in this regard, we have some really cool elderly neighbors by our apartment :)

And finally I'm going for the New Year's plans and resolutions, i set my expectations high and look forward to achieve all of it in a good fashion... 

- take action on my sleeping and more routine into my sleeping habits even if i go to bed 3AM in the morning, but i want a routine that becomes a standard and have my 8hrs of sleep consistently (thats how much i need or my body shows its effects)
- do 2x a week power yoga (that would be 104x yoga for the year) and if i feel like doing more i can add extra exercise (like swimming, biking, running, etc), definitely biking is due as we plan this for years
- learning French, Spanish (the year's goal is to pass through some basic knowledge and acquire basic communication skills in French)
- possibly buy a bigger car (not sure about this as the new seat for my child is a perfect fit) and i just don't wanna sell the car if not necessary, although a cheaper maintenance car would be nice too, we will see as the year goes along
- while it is unlikely that we gonna move this year again, i haven't given up on the idea of living on a nice tropical island or in a warmer climate place for a few years or possibly moving into a bigger city destination with more opportunities ... this I just put out here as a reminder for myself that i still have some way to go towards this, but it should be done within next few yrs
- possibly write a blog every quarter at least (that means 4 blogs for next year - 4x overcommitment compared to this year)

- few trips around the year (skiing, visiting some sea and maybe hiking trip)
- I'm not saying that i'm not ready for a little Susy, so we never know what 2011 brings  :D
- Date nights weekly with Csilla - better planning and execution as we lacked about this quite a bit this year and if we had a date night it was every few weeks time, so we definitely need to be more alert about this
- complete furnishing Kristof's room (bed, some drawers, etc)

- sell part of real estate so we can build it up or sell entire real estate
- start up trading fund from money and start seriously learning to trade, it is a function of what happens with real estate
- depends on poker results consider options into the future (possible future businesses, career opportunities)

- mostly playing 100NL for the most part of the year , looking to build my skills and game and bankroll to a healthy 200NL position with better security while i can still withdraw monthly for expenses
- continuous improvement in SNGs and do a monthly volume of around 1500 on the side of cash games
- Discipline about bankroll, game selection, and volume (especially in SNGs)
- Create game plan for SNGs and gameplan for Cash game (that is first week of January thing) and keep to it
- Playing a bit more of easy live games as well, especially cash games (maybe setting goal for 1x / week at least)
- Consider some coaching as year goes along to up your game both in SNGs and Cash games

At the moment nothing else comes through my mind (probabily missing a bunch of stuff, but thats what happens when you wanna cover the whole year in one plain blog), the year was very busy, mentally challenging, financially draining, but on the other side we learnt to value things from a different perspective, we grew love to a higher level in the family and we certainly became better at ourselves in whatever physical and mental development that we passed through. Year passed, came out smarter and stronger and definitely more experienced !!! Good bye 2010, Welcome 2011!!! 

And if u still happen to read my blog, I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

And last i would like to post one quote that is one favorite of mine and i try to live by the quote from the movie Rocky Balboa coming from Rocky:

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done ! Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth.

But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers, saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody ! Cowards do that, and that ain’t you!”.


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