July 2010
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This blog's last hurrah

This is likely to be the beginning of the end of this blog.

Certainly if either of my readers have been paying attention, they’ll have noticed a distinct lack of noise coming from this direction recently.  In fact, until I posted this one, there was still an entry visible on the front page from my last Las Vegas trip – which was over three months ago!

That’s just not good enough.  I always told myself if I can’t be bothered to update it at least once a week it’s not worth carrying on with.  I already censured myself once.  And then dismissed another a month’s silence like it really wasn’t a big deal.

I could claim that I have less to write about because I haven’t played online poker at all this year (yes, that’s actually true!).  But as I’ve said before, I lost interest in play-by-play poker reporting quite some time ago.  In any case, those online encounters don’t tend to be punctuated by anything valuely worth remembering.

Go all in. Lose a 60/40. Type “nh” sarcastically. Who wants to know?

So I really wanted to make it through to this summer’s trip report.  And I’ve got there, in a fashion.  I’d started writing this earlier in the week but finally finished it on the plane.

Considering the lack of hype for a change, it might be surprising to hear that I’m on the way to Las Vegas. Right now.

I’d been planning to write something every day, just like I have the past three years, and I probably still will. But I did also think I’d also be posting a little bit of pre-trip excitement now and then.

Here’s the thing: even yesterday, T-1, just one ace left on the wall, packing looming, an excited Claire and an even more excited Vegas virgin friend (who doesn’t join us for another two weeks), I was considerably more meh than I would have expected at this late stage.

OK, to be fair, an email I had today from Terrible’s which told me I could earn a “floppy hat” got me a little bit excited, but nowhere near the usual levels.

Consider this: I can’t remember the last time I went between two trips without needing to watch Ocean’s 11 at least once.  It’s just not normal.

Now I know this will change. It’s Vegas, right? And it’s me in Vegas for fuck’s sake. I’m coming back for the 25th time, and it’s yet to disappoint.

But right up until the minute I got on the plane – while I was still trying to cram in some last minute tweaks for a customer – I’ve had my work head on almost 24/7 and barely been able to justify the time to look forward to it.

This is surely a good thing. Well, the 16 hour days and terrible sleep pattern isn’t great, but I’m working on that. And the fact I’m eating roughly half what I used to (without even trying to cut down, I’ve just stopped being able to finish meals) is probably a mixed blessing. I expect it’s nothing a good all-you-can-eat buffet won’t sort out. Especially if the casino is paying for it.

But I have a level of motivation I’ve not known for some time, I’m driven to create awesome things like never before and – despite what it’s pretentiously said on my business card for more than ten years – it feels like the first time I’ve actually been doing a little bit of managing, and a little bit of directing.

Business, of course, is a gamble – and so I’d like to think that now it seems to have become my game of choice, I’ll apply myself to it with the same dedication and commitment I’ve given to learning how to eek out an edge at video poker, or finding online casino bonus that are so good it’s worth borrowing my mum’s credit card so I can play them twice.

It’s not that I’ve completely dossed away the past ten years of working for myself. But there’s been a certain amount of plodding along, doing the same tired stuff, no focus, no growth. Not to mention the delusion that online poker could actually be a sustainable source of income, or the pipedream of writing about gambling for a living.

Understanding what it takes to be an advantage player I can relate many of the same concepts that are involved in winning in a casino to winning in business.

Do I have the best of it?  How do I maximise my edge?  How do I reduce variance?  Can I actually handle the swings?  What happens if I run bad?

Was that really a free lunch?

Right now, I am finding this more exciting than I ever imagined.

So where does taking a month off to go and gamble fit into my business plan?

This is a very good question. It really doesn’t. But I’ve always taken these extended summer trips on the basis that I’ll have a base in a house away from the action, set up an office and be able to stay in touch, and to work as much as I need to.

While that sounds great in theory, it’s not proven that effective in the past. I’ve probably spent more time in my makeshift office blogging than working the past few years. Which is why I’m just not sure how things will pan out this time, when I know I won’t be able to detach myself completely (boy did I have a panic when I thought I’d lost the US sim card for my iPhone yesterday) and I’m still struggling with the idea of taking a small step back to have some fun for a while.

There’s a balance to be found between spending a month in fantasy land and keeping my real life ticking over the way I want to. It might take a few days, but I’m going to find it!

I really hope I’ll be able to keep on blogging too. After all, it’s the only way I’ll ever remember the stuff that – well, the stuff I choose to remember 🙂

And so, for anyone that made it this far, the trip report finally begins. Expect somewhere between 1 and 28 more entries, and then I’m probably done.

1 comment to This blog’s last hurrah

  • James

    It will be a shame as I have always enjoyed the blog but the focus on the bussines is always a good thing.
    Still I will enjoy following this Vegas trip,

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