I did it!
I ended the year with 1,000,051 points. I wish I could say it was easy and that I ended the year on a high note. Unfortunately, it was the exact opposite. December 2008 was without a doubt the worst week of my professional life. Not only did I play every day but one from the 2nd until the 30th (I actually knocked out a record 7,000 points on the 30th to wrap it up), but I got my ass kicked in the process. I don't want to go into the exact numbers, but I will say that it was my worst month ever by a substantial margin.
While I know that I ran into some pretty horrific luck this month, I'm certain that for most of the time I wasn't playing winning poker. I just don't have it in me to play 7 or 8 games at a time for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Ideally, I should be playing 4 games at a time 6 hours a day, 5 days a week so it was a real stretch.
In this case my hands were tied. I needed to make up for the fact that I did 7 months of work in the first 9 months of the year by doing 5 months of work in the last 3. Like I said before, it was not easy and I am beat! In 2009 I expect to do a much better job of spreading my effort over the whole year evenly.
But guess what? I MADE IT TO SUPERNOVA ELITE! Myself from a year and a half ago wouldn't have believed it. In fact I think this was one of the first times in my life that people doubted me. While I don't think anyone would have called me a hard working guy until recently, almost everyone would call me a smart, capable guy. But I can't tell you how many people said to me "Are you going to make it?" in all seriousness even when I was coming down the home stretch. Not "how is it going with the points?" Or "What is it going to take for you to make it?"
Every time I heard "are you going to make it?" in the last few months of the year I wanted to say "Are you fucking kidding me? Am I going to make it? OF COURSE I'M GOING TO MAKE IT! Do you think I'm going to bail on $30,000 that I've been working towards all year? Do you think I'm just going to wake up one morning, not feel like playing and just blow it off? ARE YOU CRAZY!? Do you think I'm a totally unreliable, flaky, idiot?"
Of course I never actually said that, but it's what I was thinking every time. Normally I just responded by saying that I was going to make it no matter what it took, but if you are one of the people who asked me if I was going to make it, don't feel bad. Almost everyone I know used those exact words!
Within 5 minutes of earning that last point I was sucking on an $80 Magnum of Champagne that I had bought specifically for celebrating that exact moment. It was hard to feel too excited since I knew this was coming for a long time, but now that it's been 24 hours and it's had some time to sink in, I'm pretty proud of myself. I don't think I've ever achieved a goal in my life that took so long, and involved so much effort.
The second part of the celebrations starts tomorrow! My wife Jen and I are leaving our son with his grandparents and heading out for two nights in Vegas (at the Bellagio - BOOM!)! Actually the genesis of this trip was the fact that it's actually a bachelor/bachelorette party for our good friends Jake and Chrissy who are getting married on January 10th. Our other good friends E.B. and Jean will be there and we're going to drink, eat and gamble as if we are celebrating all kinds of good shit (which we are) and are living the kind of lives that most people only dream about (which we are).
Now that I'm done killing myself I'll have more time to blog. I enjoy it, but some days I just need to be away from the computer! I'm taking the next 11 days off (YAY!), but then it will be time to start work on Supernova Elite 2009!
Also on the horizon are some WCOOP or FTOPS style tournaments on Ultimate bet in mid January. The buy ins are smaller, they prize pools are smaller, there are many fewer tournaments and the prestige is close to nothing, but I expect weak play from my opponents and it could be a chance to make some solid cash. I haven't decided if I'm going to take backers on this one or not, but I'll keep you posted and put up a schedule of events when I get back from Vegas.
2008 was a great year for me in my personal and professional life. I hope that it was great for you too and that 2009 is even better for us all! HAPPY NEW YEAR!