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Views: 906
Date Posted: Sep. 28, 12:36am, 3 Comments

Standard cash game scenario.  You have A,K suited in late position and a middle position player bets.  You naturally three bet them to isolate and they call. The flop comes 10,6,3 with two of your suit.  The middle position player leads out.  You re-raise and it's likely the money is going all in on the flop if they have an overpair to the board.  You clearly don't have the best hand presently, but you are making your decision to play the hand so strongly on the flop because you likely have 15 outs to improve, making you the favorite by the river to win the hand.  Whether you hit one of your outs or not, you are making your play based on your equity advantage.

I've always been a firm believer that having success in poker and in life is about making good decisions.  It's not realistic to expect perfect decisions, but certainly more good ones than bad ones.  Just as in poker, the results are often out of your control.  There are factors you don't have much affect over.  You can only do your part and hope for the best. When I started playing poker, a made hand had more value to me than a drawing hand.  One was ahead, while one wasn't.  Every hand that beat me when I was previously ahead hurt me.  I only focused on the results.

As I got further into poker, I learned that I should really focus on was making +EV decisions at the table.  It didn't matter whether you won or lost the actual hand, as long as you made the right decision, which long term statistics prove are correct. Determining what the best +EV decision is what matters.   But that isn't how most of the world sees it.  It's all about the win.  Results are what count to most people.  Win and you are a hero, lose and you are forgotten.  It is the case in poker, business, politics and especially sports.

Recently, my 11 year old son joined his first classic soccer team.  This is a stepped up level from recreational soccer which requires a tryout.  Unfortunately his team is saddled with some poor players and limited athletes with little classic experience, so they are struggling.  Every game, as they come home losers, I try to focus his mind on playing up to his potential.  He isn't interested in hearing that.  He doesn't want advice or criticism.  He wants wins.  They all do; the parents, coaches and players.  I see this as a learning experience where he is stepping up his game to a new level.  I am happy if the team plays up to their potential and plays well, which they clearly haven't so far.  They don't control the level of competition.  He doesn't control the other players on his team's athletic ability or skill level.  All he controls is how he plays on the field.

I asked him point blank yesterday, after their latest loss, if he would be happy if they played badly but won? Without a doubt, he said he would be satisfied. All mistakes or bad play get swept away by a win. I don't see it that way, but I seem to be in the minority.  Winning consumes people.  If you win, no one criticizes or questions you.  You may or may not even deserve the win due to your action, but it doesn't matter to most people.

I sometimes wonder if I'm not really getting it. Should I care more about the win? Is a factor of rationalizing the losses as a parent?  Is it easy for me to not mind the losing because I'm not the one actually playing?  I wonder if my +EV perspective will ever win over most people.

Views: 954
Date Posted: Sep. 21, 7:42pm, 1 Comment

Everyone rightly insists that confidence is a big key to life. It helps to believe you can do it before you actually do. In poker, having confidence at the table is essential to play your best game. You need to feel that you can pull off the necessary reads, bluffs and call downs. You need to feel confident that you can outplay your opponents. Any indecision or insecurity can lead to failure. The same confidence ameliorates your losses and fuels your comebacks. Away from the table, that same blend of confidence propels you in all aspects of your life. Women will often rate self-confidence in a man as one of their sexiest qualities. But how do you get it if you don't have it?

Colin Cowherd, the ESPN TV and radio personality, was discussing on a recent show his theory about the "it" factor amongst top sports figures. He feels if a guy has had success with the women in his life (e.g. mother, sisters, girlfriends etc.), especially in his formative years up to 15, he is likely to be more confident, resilient and able to be a better leader. He insists that women are the provider and gauge of our confidence. If we can be properly fueled by their love, attention and adoration that we are more likely to overcome all other obstacles.


It certainly helps to have the reassurance and support of those around you. I have shared previously that one important catalyst to my gaining more confidence in my twenties was when my girlfriend, now wife, fell in love with me. I was still the same person who hadn't achieved all that much in life, but her love and belief was a catalyst to realizing I wasn't alone and I could realize my potential.


When I look back on my development, I gained confidence not by beating the world, but by doing the world. What I mean by that is by simply putting yourself out there, you gain confidence. You can gain confidence through experience, both your failures and successes. In the poker world, you can't fully gain confidence just by studying books or viewing videos. Preparation is only one aspect to confidence. Only when you put your knowledge into action do you start to build confidence. By implementing your preparation you actualize your confidence. It can plunge in the short term when you become purely results oriented, but reframed, you can see that your experience is the foundation for future confidence.


As I put in my very first blog back in 2007, "...life is a matter of perspective. If you change yours, you can see the world change before your very eyes." People who have confidence don't have more good things happen to them. They simply choose to frame their life in a positive manner. They look to build off from the good that has happened before in their lives, no matter how small they are. We all have some of those to reference if we look hard enough.


Confidence isn't about bragging. In fact, I would assert that those who are most self-assured don't need to ever brag. They speak their truth and aren't threatened by others. Anyone who feels they must brag is projecting an insecurity with their actions.


I'll share one story that I have heard before about the source of confidence:


"The business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy. Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said. After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you." He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time."Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!"I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check.

At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man."I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He's always escaping from the hospital and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller. "And she led the old man away by the arm.The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after. Renew your confidence from within......."


Another motivational saying that I have often repeated in the past "Be yourself, no one else can be." We are all unique people with unrepeatable life experiences. Don't try to be someone else, but realize the strengths from where you came. Or as Joseph Campbell once said "
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."

Views: 921
Date Posted: Sep. 17, 5:33pm, 1 Comment

In a recent conversation with a fellow poker player, the topic of whether "a tiger can change its stripes" occurred. My contention was that if you are young, you have the opportunity to change who you are, but once you are an adult, unless you have some catastrophic event, you are pretty set about who you are. As a poker player in your teens or early 20's, you can be molded into a variety of styles, but if you are a seasoned player and person, you are likely stuck with your natural tendencies. I wanted to share a personal example from my family to further illustrate this point.

Whenever I used to be asked to describe the difference between my two children, I used to always illustrate with this one story from a trip to Disney World years ago. It seemed to capture their different essences well. We were going to the special Cirque Du Soleil show at Disney World. We were running late and cutting it close. We hustled along the long walkway up to the special auditorium. As we entered the main seating area, a clown took our tickets. Never having ever been to a Cirque show before, I figured maybe this was how it was done. We were led down some steps, then down some more steps approaching the main stage. Then we noticed a spotlight on us as we approached the stage, obviously too close to be our actual seats. By being late, we had become part of the show. The clown started to mock us a bit, using mime. He took our six tickets and walked onto the empty stage. He lay them side by side and motioned to my son to retrieve them. The audience was laughing, thousands of people focused solely on us. He froze and cowered by my side. When it was obvious that he wouldn't budge, my daughter boldly walked on the stage, confidently picked up the tickets, and walked back to us. The clown continued to mock us, but the audience was now applauding. We were then led back to our seats to watch the main show in peace.


The story illustrated my daughter's comfort with crowds, attention, uncomfortable situations and the unknown while my son preferred to avoid any such situation. It is now years later and we have accepted the differences in our children. Except that my son is now 11 and my daughter 13. They are now in different stages. They are developing as people and that involves change.


An incident from last night shows that respective change. We headed out to our annual sojourn to Oktoberfest. It is held in an old German influenced farming community 45 minutes to the south of us. We walked around checking out the craft booths, food stalls, displays and men and women in their traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl outfits. They have numerous beer halls and Weingarten and we have our personal favorite that we always visit. It's the medium sized big hall that always has the same bands from Germany and Canada performing for the over 15 years we've visited. We sat at one of the crowded benches in the middle.


One of the traditions at Oktoberfest is to dance the "Chicken Dance." It's a silly little dance, but an easy one for everyone to do. The first band announced that they would pick a best dance winner or two from the thousand or so people in the audience. When it was time, my son and I got up to dance. We enthusiastically danced the silly dance while my daughter refused, embarrassed that we were showing so much exuberance. When is was over, the woman on the stage selected my son as her winner. Without a second's pause, he confidently strode up to the stage to accept his free T-shirt prize and to the warm applause of the crowd walked back to our table and quickly put on his new shirt. I have to admit it as a proud moment for me. As a father, it is small things like that which are symbolic and important. He could never have done that a few years ago. Whereas my daughter is in a new stage where she doesn't want to seem silly and cares what people think. They both have changed and may change again, but as a parent I was happy to see that he could overcome his previous fears of the unknown and being in the limelight.


As a poker player at my age, I may be stuck with a certain playing style, but I'm glad my children still have the opportunity and flexibility to re-define who they are.

Views: 784
Date Posted: Sep. 15, 12:29pm, 4 Comments

The death wasn’t sudden.  Deaths like this rarely are.  The signs accumulate for months and even years.  Then one day it’s over.  My very first online poker villain was no more.  
Friedman at WSOP
The man behind the villain is alive and well.  His name, none other than Prahlad Friedman.  Yes, the infamous spirit rock and Mahatma from the early days of high stakes online poker on Ultimate Bet.  He was the very first poker villain I rooted heavily against. He embodied the traits of all good poker villains.  He had a mysterious edge to himself. He was cocky and consumed.  He talked smack regularly to his opponents.  He took on all comers, including all the top players in the world.  He was playing the highest stakes online, battling in long heads up sessions.  He was the obstacle that every aspiring high stakes player had to challenge.

Who battles a villain, but a hero? One of my first high stakes heroes was a University of Illinois student and NLHE specialist who went by the online name of Green Plastic.  He led the then youthful and spirited charge against the villain. He engaged in many fierce battles with spirit rock and Mahatma. He was one of the few to get the better of the mighty villain and it established his place on the high stakes stage from where he went on to found and lead the CardRunners poker training site.

The villain, though, has since gone on to many other battles.  He was crushing the games in 2005 and 2006, but then after losing a lot of it to the superusers that Russ Hamilton orchestrated, he pulled back from his visible role on the live circuit and as the top online cash game villain. Prahlad would resurface each year at the World Series.  He placed 20th in 2006, losing a couple huge pots to eventual winner Jamie Gold. That same year, he had his famous clash with Jeffrey Lisandro caught on ESPN.

The signs of his coming death started to increase in the following years. No longer was this brash villain wanting the same level of attention.  He left UB and was trying to play anonymously on Stars and Full Tilt.  Sure, every once in a while, he would roll out some new rap that generally brought him much ridicule, but also some ESPN attention.  We heard he was living in Malibu in some nice home.  He had married a Vietnamese woman and was active in raising her son. He was a principled vegan who shared his passion for basketball and free throws on Twitter.    

Today, I watched his recent Pokerstatic interview.  He was in the news again for the controversial ruling and situation he found himself in at this year’s WSOP.  It was listening to all his other thoughts that confirmed the death of my first poker villain.  Here was a man who gave a lot of credit for his success to his wife.  He shared that he now played with a firm stop loss.  He shared that his wife encouraged him to play within his bankroll.  He played not for ego or fame, but to support his family.  He no longer aspired to be the top dog, just a profitable one. He admitted railing the current highest stakes games and marvelling at the play while trying to pick up a thing or two for his game. He admitted he doesn’t like to play friends, because he doesn’t like taking their money. He had recently traveled to Vietnam to visit his wife’s family and get to know her background.  He seemed to be prioritizing family commitments and life balancing activities along with his poker.   What self respecting villain does this?

That is not to say that I like everything about Prahlad.  Wearing sunglasses indoors to a filmed interview is still douchy in my eyes.  His recent rap song “Corn On The Cob” with fellow poker rapper Jeff Madsen shows they still have a long way to go to climb the respectable or talented rap mountain.  He still has an air about him where I don’t think I could really like him as a close buddy.  But, you don’t have to like him to no longer consider him a villain.  I respect him now.  I can sympathize with him now. I will actually see myself pulling for him in his poker future.  

So my first poker villain has passed away, but there are others to take his place.  RIP spirit rock!

Views: 561
Date Posted: Sep. 11, 2:51pm, 1 Comment

Being In The MomentLast night, I took out Mrs. Zimba for a “date night.”  We had a couple hours to kill before having to pick up our daughter from her Friday evening ballet session.  We sat at the bar because we had eaten earlier and proceeded to have a couple drinks. Next to us was a couple in their late twenties or early thirties.  Upon sitting down at the bar, they proceeded to access their respective smart phones.  They sat side by side engaged with their smart phones almost the entire time.  In fact, the woman didn’t put hers down the entire 90 minutes she was next to us.  She surfed the net, checked email, ordered something online with a credit card, and viewed her Twitter feed incessantly. She barely looked up at her partner.  They eventually headed off to see a movie.


Now I am the last one who should complain about others spending a lot of time online or at a computer, but to me this was such a disconnect.  They were out on a Friday evening, after their presumably tough work week, at a decent bar/restaurant and she couldn’t disconnect to have intelligent conversation or take in the space.  Her focus was on her little touch screen and its connection to a world she couldn’t let go of.


The only time I experienced this was a few years ago when I had my Blackberry and was managing CardRunners.  Everywhere I went, I felt I had to check on things; whether it be driving in a car, at my child’s soccer game, wherever.  I felt I had a responsibility to be on top of every issue 24/7. I lost the feeling of what it was like to be in the moment.  These days, I still work 7 days a week, but when I am not at the computer my mind is on the activity I’m involved in.  When I go to my son’s games, I root for their team or I engage in conversation with other parents. If I’m out with my wife or family, I’m engaged with them.  Whatever environment I find myself in, it is my goal to enjoy the space I’m in.  The same goes for when I’m in my home office, working away.  I am full engaged and connected with the online poker elements that consume my life for those necessary hours.  Those are my moments to be connected and productive.


The next step for me is to remove myself from the daily connection, and return to a place where I can go away for a full day, days, or weeks and not be missed.  I am working towards that day, but for now I’m happy to be in the moment when I’m not grinding my job.

Views: 519
Date Posted: Sep. 9, 1:21am, 1 Comment

Today I was suffering from writer's block. I've been writing so many poker related articles lately that it is getting more and more difficult to come up with new subjects and fresh angles. Try as I might, nothing was coming to me. So I decided to step totally away from poker writing and onto something I find inspirational. As my blog readers know, I have spent considerable time living and traveling in Africa. They also know that I enjoy anthemic music. So I decided to scour up some good music videos of African songs that I considered particularly moving. They did the trick, removing me from my very narrow perspective of late, and freeing up my mind to consider things on a more global scale.


First off, let me recommend the 1992 movie The Power of One both for the inspirational music and story.


The first couple songs come from the classic South African musical - Sarafina.


Sechaba

Freedom is coming

A classic South African tribute song and movie - Senzenina

Lastly, a film score for another African movie, Tears of the Sun, by Hans Zimmer

 

My head is cleared and I'm back to writing...

Views: 597
Date Posted: Sep. 5, 7:52pm, 1 Comment

What is the purpose of advertising?

 

  • To increase sales by attract new buyers or luring back former customers.
  • To build brand awareness and define an identity.
  • To introduce new products, changes or special offers.
  • To carry out public relations or public service (e.g. BP ads since their spill)

Wandering around the net this weekend, I stumbled on this series of poker room ads that I found a bit perplexing. They are three years old, but I hadn't seen them previously. After watching the series, I was left wondering if they accomplished any of the above goals. The sense of humor was so edgy and perplexing that I wondered what audience they were after.


Decide for yourself in the "Good Poker Players Always..." series:

 



Views: 508
Date Posted: Sep. 3, 7:49pm, 1 Comment

Designed flaw?I was kneeling on my computer chair this morning. Leaning backwards over the back seat as I have to do these days to relieve my relapsed back discomfort, when one of the legs snapped and I tumbled to the floor.  This is a solid looking luxury leather high back chair with seemingly good construction.  I've had it for several years and it's still in good shape, except for the broken leg.

In the moments immediately afterwards, images flashed through my mind.  My son coming up to me this week showing me one hole in his sneakers that otherwise were perfectly good.  My wife showing me a dress shirt that I've only worn a few times where the buttons disintegrated in the wash.  Our microwave's rotating arm broke recently.  The microwave has worked great for years and everything else continues to work well on it. We also had a TV that went black. I brought it to the repair shop and it was essentially cheaper to buy a new one.  They don't want you to fix things these days, just buy new ones.

I have three decades under my belt as a consumer.  I can look back to the days when manufacturers attempted to make something last as long as possible.  Things were made locally, at least some of them were, and you were accountable to those whom you sold a product. Customer service and tech support came as a part of your purchase price.

That isn't the case any longer. Today you have to pay extra to receive any support for your product.  Warranties are so limited and short in duration that they rarely serve any purpose.  If you make something work too well or last too long, you don't get repeat sales.  Apparently, the trick is to design most aspects of your product in a superior fashion to the past, so it seems like a significant improvement, but then to subtly allow for weak design elements.  The consumer is initially thrilled with their new product.  That is until that weak design element brings the entire product to the state of worthlessness. Sure, 90% of your product continues to function well.  It has utility, but only in a society where repairs are reasonable.  Our society is a throw away society.  It is easier to buy a new one than to repair an existing product.  Forget the waste, or that most of your product works fine.

In a society with affluence, this model of designed weakness fuels the economy.  In many developing countries where that option is a luxury people can't afford, people learn to repair and extend the life of their products. 

By the way, I'm enjoying my new $200 luxury leather high back computer chair.  I selected one with cast iron options for some of the support framing and stronger legs.  But I already anticipate some unseen 5% piece of the chair will snap, break, or otherwise fail long before the natural life of the chair is over.  Such is life in our modern society.

Views: 517
Date Posted: Sep. 1, 12:49pm, 0 Comments

Developing a Poker PlanIn part one of “Developing a Poker Plan”, we discussed the importance of establishing a poker plan whether you were a professional or amateur poker player.  The act of creating a plan begins the process of actualizing your goals. In part two, I will share two examples of concrete poker plans that can inspire you to create one of your own.

Amateur Player Poker Plan - Your general goal is to have fun and make some money.

While the goal is simple and vague, achieving it is not.  First ask yourself some questions.  When do you have to play? What can you invest into your poker playing?

1) Time - A couple nights a week and Sunday afternoons are potential playing times - 8 hours/wk
2)Investment - I can take $200 from my paycheck to start my online bankroll.
3) Game - I enjoy Sit n Go’s best as like outlasting players and can make money usually.
4) Level - I will play $5 Sit n Go’s until I reach $350, at which time I’ll play $10 Sit n Go’s  
5) Reward - I will withdraw $50 when I reach $350 to treat my girlfriend to a dinner
6) Profit improvement - I currently play 2 at a time, but will try 3 and compare results as I usually make the money in 1/2.
7) Stop Loss - If I finish out of the money 4 in a row, I take a break or call it quits for the day.
8) Strategy - I’ve been reading on some forums and articles that it’s important to ramp up my aggression near the money bubble to ensure I don’t enter the money short as the most money is in the top two spots. I want to watch some higher stakes SNG’s being played to watch how they change gears
9) Records - I will track my results to determine my ROI% and compare it to other similar level players on Sharkscope or PTR.
10) Future - I want to befriend another Sit n Go player, find a supportive poker forum or buy a poker book that will help me improve my play.

Semi-Professional Player Poker Plan - Goal is to go from $1-2 to $2-4 or $3-6 this year.

1) Time - Part time job to pay some living expenses (20 hrs/wk) Play poker 30+ hours a week.
2) Investment - Online bankroll currently at $7500.  I intend to grow it to $10-12K before withdrawing so I can more comfortably play 4-6 tables and handle swings better. Goal is to reach $16-$18k before moving up to $2-4.
3) Game - Currently 6 max, but want to work some HU into the mix.
4) Level - $1-2 with the occasional shot at $2-4 if the game is juicy. Cut out the shots until I meet my goal.  
5) Reward - Once I reach $12k, I will withdraw $1k a month for living expenses if I keep my bankroll about that mark. Make sure to take $50-100 of that to do something nice for friend or family so they see the fruits of my labor.
6) Profit improvement - I currently 3-4 table.  Try to play a minimum of 4 tables with 5-6 more regularly if good tables are running. Consider more play on site with rakeback than the FPP site I often play.
7) Stop Loss - Stop loss is 5 BI if I’m feeling good about my game.  Keep to it strictly.  
8) Strategy - I need to take more advantage of the sweat sessions and strategy forum on the training site I belong to.  I noticed 3 and 4 bet aggression increasing in $2-4 games, need to figure out how to combat it better and increase my money won at showdown. Watch some HU videos to start getting a better handle for short handed play and playing HU more.
9) Records - Spend 30-60 minutes weekly reviewing my sessions in Hold’em Manager.  Make sure my 3 and 4 bet % and post flop AF are at recommended levels.
10) Future - Set up some coaching with respected HU player at my training site.  Would be great if he also plays $2-$4 NLHE 6 max or better to give advice about the move up.  If $2-$4 move goes well, consider cutting back on part time job in order to play more.

As I don’t play $2-4, please don’t hold me to those exact numbers, but rather to the idea that you are concretely planning out your needs and goals.  You are now accountable to something.  You may need to revise your plan once you get a month or two under your belt.  The idea it that the plan forces a positive structure to your play.  It actualizes your goals in a realistic format for achieving them.  Those who plan, both their play and their poker career, are much more likely to reach their goals.  So get started on your poker plan today. 

Views: 602
Date Posted: Sep. 1, 12:49pm, 1 Comment

Developing a Poker PlanIn part one of “Developing a Poker Plan”, we discussed the importance of establishing a poker plan whether you were a professional or amateur poker player.  The act of creating a plan begins the process of actualizing your goals. In part two, I will share two examples of concrete poker plans that can inspire you to create one of your own.

Amateur Player Poker Plan - Your general goal is to have fun and make some money.

While the goal is simple and vague, achieving it is not.  First ask yourself some questions.  When do you have to play? What can you invest into your poker playing?

1) Time - A couple nights a week and Sunday afternoons are potential playing times - 8 hours/wk
2)Investment - I can take $200 from my paycheck to start my online bankroll.
3) Game - I enjoy Sit n Go’s best as like outlasting players and can make money usually.
4) Level - I will play $5 Sit n Go’s until I reach $350, at which time I’ll play $10 Sit n Go’s  
5) Reward - I will withdraw $50 when I reach $350 to treat my girlfriend to a dinner
6) Profit improvement - I currently play 2 at a time, but will try 3 and compare results as I usually make the money in 1/2.
7) Stop Loss - If I finish out of the money 4 in a row, I take a break or call it quits for the day.
8) Strategy - I’ve been reading on some forums and articles that it’s important to ramp up my aggression near the money bubble to ensure I don’t enter the money short as the most money is in the top two spots. I want to watch some higher stakes SNG’s being played to watch how they change gears
9) Records - I will track my results to determine my ROI% and compare it to other similar level players on Sharkscope or PTR.
10) Future - I want to befriend another Sit n Go player, find a supportive poker forum or buy a poker book that will help me improve my play.

Semi-Professional Player Poker Plan - Goal is to go from $1-2 to $2-4 or $3-6 this year.

1) Time - Part time job to pay some living expenses (20 hrs/wk) Play poker 30+ hours a week.
2) Investment - Online bankroll currently at $7500.  I intend to grow it to $10-12K before withdrawing so I can more comfortably play 4-6 tables and handle swings better. Goal is to reach $16-$18k before moving up to $2-4.
3) Game - Currently 6 max, but want to work some HU into the mix.
4) Level - $1-2 with the occasional shot at $2-4 if the game is juicy. Cut out the shots until I meet my goal.  
5) Reward - Once I reach $12k, I will withdraw $1k a month for living expenses if I keep my bankroll about that mark. Make sure to take $50-100 of that to do something nice for friend or family so they see the fruits of my labor.
6) Profit improvement - I currently 3-4 table.  Try to play a minimum of 4 tables with 5-6 more regularly if good tables are running. Consider more play on site with rakeback than the FPP site I often play.
7) Stop Loss - Stop loss is 5 BI if I’m feeling good about my game.  Keep to it strictly.  
8) Strategy - I need to take more advantage of the sweat sessions and strategy forum on the training site I belong to.  I noticed 3 and 4 bet aggression increasing in $2-4 games, need to figure out how to combat it better and increase my money won at showdown. Watch some HU videos to start getting a better handle for short handed play and playing HU more.
9) Records - Spend 30-60 minutes weekly reviewing my sessions in Hold’em Manager.  Make sure my 3 and 4 bet % and post flop AF are at recommended levels.
10) Future - Set up some coaching with respected HU player at my training site.  Would be great if he also plays $2-$4 NLHE 6 max or better to give advice about the move up.  If $2-$4 move goes well, consider cutting back on part time job in order to play more.

As I don’t play $2-4, please don’t hold me to those exact numbers, but rather to the idea that you are concretely planning out your needs and goals.  You are now accountable to something.  You may need to revise your plan once you get a month or two under your belt.  The idea it that the plan forces a positive structure to your play.  It actualizes your goals in a realistic format for achieving them.  Those who plan, both their play and their poker career, are much more likely to reach their goals.  So get started on your poker plan today. 

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