Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Back on track

It's strange how sometimes in life, the smallest things can provide the biggest kick start. Attention to detail on one area of life can lead to huge improvements in other areas for example. March has been a helluva month!

Throughout February, I've been dictating to my eldest that success doesn't come without effort and practise - he's ben training for a Biathlon. Having won the West Midland regional event last October, he qualified for the National event at Crystal Palace, and this took place last Sunday. I've been pushing him hard to train and improve his running - his swimming is all good, but his running was pretty poor. To have any chance at the finals, he needed to take a big chunk off his track time. His reluctance to train was so disappointing and frustrating, but with a boot up his backside he would get out for the odd run here and there. And boy, did those begrudged training runs do him good - in fact so good that he sliced 25 seconds off his personal best track time for a 1km run! On the day, it transpired that if he had extracted just 1 second more, he would have finished in the medals - an awe inspiring performance considering he arrived at the event ranked 25th!

Hats off to Anthony - well done lad... really proud of you!

I think the attention to detail that I forced upon Anthony in his training has done something to my poker mindset too. Before the GUKPT event at Walsall, I read a lot of MTT strategy articles to try and get my head in the right place, and to load up with tactics and strategies from the pros. I wasn't really sure that it would do me any good, but it felt right to be "training". At Walsall, I played just about the best tournament poker I've ever played, and in the end was unlucky.

Coming back to real life and the daily grind of online poker, I've come to realise how much I benefitted from that hard work and revision. Considering that last year online was a losing year for me, and I was down in 10 months of 12, I had started to question whether I had the patience for this game any more...... this year so far, I have yet to have a losing week, and am already more than $5k up.

In the past fortnight, I've cashed in the opening round of the APAT online season, also scoring valuable ranking points; have final tabled a $33 MTT on PokerStars for $760; have min-cashed in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm Up for $400ish; have min-cashed in a Betfair $22 MTT; have final tabled the same Betfair tourney the next night finishing 2nd for $640; have cashed in a $33 PLO tourney on PokerStars; then last night final tabled a $60 MTT on Betfair coming 4th for $960. All in all, a pretty good month. My mojo is back, and like Anthony, I'm back on track.

It was galling to miss the APAT Welsh Open last weekend - the opening event of APAT's live season, but family came first for a change. Katharine and Rebecca were off to the ballet on Saturday, and Sunday was our day at Crystal Palace. In some respects, missing the Welsh Open wasn't so bad - the memories of last year's event are not good ones... this was the time when the seriousness of Dad's illness became apparent and I had to rush home. Next month the tour is off to the Victoria Casino in London for the UK Amateur event - my chance to become the first APAT player to successfully defend a title.... to say I'm "up for it" is an under-statement. This run of form could not have come at a better time, and my seat was won during the very first satellite tournament (wonder if that's a sign?!).

In closing, this weekend will see the second weekend on the Worcestershire county swimming championships, at which I will be officiating, and hopefully Anthony will be adding to the two bronze medals he won at the first weekend a fortnight ago. The only problem with this weekend is that the clocks go back, meaning a lost hour of sleep in the middle of an extremely arduous and exhausting weekend - couple that with the fact that the next APAT online tourney is on Saturday night.... Sunday looks like being a really tough day. I won't even be able to get an early night on Sunday as I've qualified for a Battle of the Planets $50k shootout on PokerStars, courtesy of a strong performance in a string of 20 Sit And Goes earlier this month. I look forward to Monday, and getting back to work for a rest!!

Til next time...

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