Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fat Boys and Bucket Lists

"Life is a journey, not a destination."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I had a bit of a big life wake-up call hit me repeatedly over the head during the past few months. It started when a close family member was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive and deadly form of cancer. This news coincided almost exactly with my own milestone birthday of turning the big five-oh. Couple these hard facts with a) the arrival of the dreaded "Congratulations, you're eligible to join AARP" letter in the mailbox; b) the less-than-stellar results of a routine medical check-up; and...

...well, enough whining. To be honest, I really can't complain. All-in-all, I lead a relatively contented life. I've got a great wife, a well paid and interesting job, two adult kids (mostly) out on their own, a roof over my head, food in the pantry, and plenty of fulfilling interests and hobbies, including poker of course...

...ah, but there's something missing, something that's been nagging at me for the past few years, something that ESPN is now reminding me of every Tuesday night as they begin broadcasting the run-up to this year's main event final table.

So what's missing? Answer: the realization that I have never played in the WSOP, despite claiming on the very masthead of this blog when I started it up that this was the ultimate goal of me learning poker in the first place. The years just keep passing by, the excuses and reasons keep piling up, and I've yet to make the trip to Vegas to play in the WSOP. Hell, I've never even gone to Sin City during the WSOP as a spectator to what is arguably poker's biggest gathering, despite living just a handful of hours away by car.

So enough, already. It's time to put up or shut up.

Soooo: I'm hereby publicly proclaiming herein this blog that I will attend and play in next year's WSOP, come hell or high water. Dunno what event I'll play in, but I will play.

Okay, so with that in mind, a few immediate problems arise. First and foremost is the fact that I'm primarily a cash  game player. An online cash game player. Obviously, I've got a lot of MTT studying to do, plus I've got to get in significantly more live play experience if I want to stand a chance of making a deep run in a crowded WSOP event.

Second, I'm out of shape. How out of shape? Think 30+ pounds, poor cardio, and a BMI that is better suited to that of a sumo wrestler than the champion freestyle wrestler and karate kid that I once was in high school and college, respectively. Said another way: my current stamina simply ain't up to the task of a long, multi-day tournament. I will need to get seriously busy now getting this tub of goo I call my body into shape for a multi-day endurance event next June; it's only ten months away, which is actually not a lot of time to go from a couch potato to a lean, mean, poker machine.

Third, my day job is best described as frenetic and reactionary, and it promises to get worse this coming year with the start of a huge construction project in another state that I'm responsible for. I'll need to plan far in advance to schedule my workload to accommodate this, ahem, major mid-life crisis.

And fourth.... uh, well, there really isn't any fourth thing holding me back. Money isn't a big impediment; sure, I'd like to win my way in, but if necessary, I can afford to simply pay the entry fee into one of the lower buy-in events. Also, I've got the support of my wife (especially if I enter the senior's event, which she has begun reminding me daily that I'm now qualified to play in. sigh). I've also got a fairly decent set of fundamental poker skills and a fairly intense desire to get better. In other words, there isn't really any real show stoppers in the way holding me back from finally taking the plunge. Like I said, it's time to put up or shut up.

Life is short, people. Don't sit around, waiting for these bucket list things to happen on their own; you have to make them materialize or they almost never do. Playing in the WSOP has been on my own list for over ten years. It's about damn time I did something about it. Ralph E. himself would probably counsel me that it's time to get this particular journey going, or the destination will never happen.

All-in for now...

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