My 2018 Poker Goals And Beyond: It’s Time To Put All My Cards On The Table

I’m 33 years old. I live alone.

I have no girlfriend. No kids. Never been married.

In some respects, this is exactly the spot I want to be in, as I still have goals I want to achieve before really settling down.

In other respects, I miss having that someone by your side, morning and night. I miss that one person you can tell everything to and share everything with. 

If there’s anything I’ve learned throughout my life, it’s that sometimes, timing is everything. 

There’s never been a better time than RIGHT NOW, to forge ahead with my poker playing and writing. Sure, I have a career that can be exhausting and demanding at times, but I really do have a lot of time on my hands. I choose to spend it somewhat wisely. I read a lot. I play poker a lot. I write a lot. I recently began investing and studying up on crypto currency. All of those things make me money on the side. 

A side hustle, if you will. Some that make me more money from my job one week, others in which I lose just as much. It’s all a part of the portfolio of Noah Watry. The one thing, however, that has made me consistent money on a yearly basis, is poker. I have been playing, watching, studying, reading and blogging about the game for over 12 years now. 

While it’s been a nice side income for a few things in life, it really hasn’t launched the way I had imagined. Always the river card. Always playing above my bankroll. Always having to take money out for unexpected life happenings. Always playing to chase my losses. Always something. 

Always an excuse. 

I can’t make excuses and lie to myself any longer. I am a good poker player. You can look me up online and see that I am a winning player. You can ask people who have played against me and they will tell you I’m among the best they’ve played against. Or at least one of the more tricky ones. I’m not here trying to claim I’m this world class player, because I’m not. Very far from it. And the reason is… myself. 

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I let my emotions get in the way sometimes. I even let my own fear of success get in the way. Sounds weird right? I know I am a winning player over time, and yet, I still can’t find the confidence to make a real move and go “all in” on my poker playing? I’ll never get ahead being like that. Not just in poker, but with anything in life. If you want something bad enough, you have to go for it. I mean, really fucking go for it.

Stop the complaining on Facebook about your lack of a love life or how your boyfriend is so terrible. Leave him. Love yourself before you try to love someone else. Is your job just so underpaid and you work with a bunch of idiots? Quit and go somewhere that you’re respected or at least given a chance to earn more. Everyone is guilty of complaining and then not doing anything about it. I am admitting right here that I am guilty of complaining when poker doesn’t go my way, and then making the same mistakes over and over again.

New Year’s Eve, I wanted to get the hell out of 2017 and come into 2018 with guns blazing. I had the weekend off, so I was able to drink and be merry and do whatever I wanted. I drank. A lot. I played poker. A lot. It went very well… until it didn’t. I went on such a rollercoaster of a ride, that I went from a sense of euphoria to a sense of this life of mine is not attractive. I don’t like what I’m doing and where I’m headed. 

Cue the “New Year, New Me” headline. 

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I went from being up $500 online while playing poker and streaming  (https://www.twitch.tv/watryn), to losing $400 by the time I had enough. The bottles were empty and my poker account had taken a pretty bad hit. More than a flesh wound. I realized that I need to get my poker playing back on track, and play within the ways I know to be profitable and healthy. 2017 was an up and down year, as it is for most people, but I want 2018 to be the greatest year of my life. And then, in 2019, to be even greater than that. But first, I have to set some ground rules to follow, and continue with. I need to be held accountable, and by posting this, on a lonely Friday night, I am doing just that. 

So, without further adieu, I have mapped out my 10 guidelines to leading a healthy poker lifestyle and goals for 2018.

  1. Do not play poker unless you feel you can comfortably play your “A” game. That includes, but is not limited to: Do not play drunk. Do not play exhausted. Do not play sad. Do not play angry. Do not play if you don’t feel like playing. These feel like no brainers, but you’d be surprised at how often I play like this. Sure, I can come away with money sometimes like this, but overall, I end up losing money. I need to play when I am well rested and confident in my ability to make money.
  2.  Play at least 10 hours of poker per week. Some weeks this will be easy, and can be obtained within a day or two. Those will be the times I have the weekend off and/or holidays or am on my low week for being “on call.” Other weeks, I may get pretty busy with work and/or other engagements. I need to make poker a priority and there is no substitute for getting better than by playing more. 
  3.  Continue blogging for the PokerNews and PokerShares websites, as well as my own website. I have definitely fallen off the face of the Earth on this one. The flat Earth. Ha, just kidding. If you like that sort of thing, check my buddy out (@MrMattyMoses). Anyway, I need to keep up on my blogging. I gain a little bit of an audience, and then I disappear. Never going to get ahead by quitting every time. Writing is something I love to do, and it is therapeutic in a way, for me. It helps me connect with my own goals and the public. 
  4. Set a streaming schedule and follow it. I am going to be putting myself out there more as a poker player, and as such, I need to get with the times. Gone are the days of just playing poker and maybe posting about it on Facebook. Hey, when I first started playing, I would blog about my tournaments on Myspace. Fucking Myspace, remember that? Who was on your Top 8? Not only will I be streaming more and release a schedule soon (every other Sunday and Thursday seem to be locks right now), but I will also be working on posting more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and of course, my Snapchat: watry.n (see below for links to all).
  5. Have a play to study ration of 4:1. I fully believe that the only way to learn, grow and get better is by playing. But there is also the need to understand why I am playing the way I do. I need to learn why my opponents are doing what they are doing to beat me in pots. I need to keep up with new strategies and be more active on forums. After all, the poker community is a tight knit group that, for the most part, has wonderful people who only want to get better and have all been there before.
  6. Do not play poker outside of my means, unless it’s to shot take or go for something bigger once in awhile. This one can be viewed subjectively, because yes, I do not have the bankroll to play for thousands of dollars on a regular basis, even though I have done so in the past. Just because I can beat these games once in awhile, it doesn’t mean I need to do so every chance I get. I need to go back to building a bankroll the correct way and by following bankroll management. There will be a couple times I will break this rule, but I will not do so to chase losses or to try and get lucky one day, it will be when I deem necessary and feel I am a favorite in the games going on.
  7. Win or lose, stay focused and realize how grateful I really am. I get to play a card game for a nice side income. How lucky am I? In the end, poker playing won’t break me. It won’t send me into a tailspin in where I go broke in life. I still have my career. I still have my bills being paid. I still have my 401k. I still have my savings. I still have my crypto investment portfolio. I still have my condo, my car, food and a chance to do what I want with my free time. Poker is not a means to an end for me, but rather, the chance to live an even greater life.
  8. Treat my poker like a business. I need to take this as serious as possible. I need to go back to journaling and using spreadsheets. I need to invest in a HUD (heads up display) if I’m going to be putting higher volume online. I need to upgrade my streaming setup and look at everything as an opportunity cost. If I’m just going to be using my poker time to browse Twitter or look up poker memes, that’s time I could be using to play poker and actually make money. 
  9. Play in the WSOP Circuit Events coming to Potawatomi Casino in February. I have always dreamed of playing in WSOP events. Whether it is out in Vegas during their annual summer extravaganza (high fields and buy ins that award bracelets + money) or their circuit events (smaller fields and buy ins, which award rings + money), I always wanted to play. I never went for it. I never chased my true dreams. I used excuses, but this year, I’m playing all that I can in a few weeks. I have used a week vacation at work to spend the time playing in these circuit events and using my time to solely focus on each one I enter. Here is the schedule: WSOP Milwaukee Circuit Schedule 
  10. Have Fun.  Again, I’m playing a card game for fun and side income. I am trying to focus and take things serious with this again, but I also need to decompress and just step away once in awhile. I get burned out. I get upset and feel down when I have a losing week or two or three. Hell, I may have a bad half year, but I need to enjoy the game to continue on with this. I love poker more than anything in the world. Yes, you heard correctly. It has always been my passion since the day I played, and won, my first tournament. As long as I keep the faith, put in the work and have fun, there’s no stopping me this year. And beyond.

So there you have it! What are some of your goals? What are some of your thoughts on my list of 10? Any ideas are welcome, and any players who wish to contact me, may certainly do so!

 

-Noah Watry

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