Friday, January 1, 2010

State of the notion

When I was running competitively, I got into the habit of setting two goals every time I started preparing for a race: a base goal (which if not achieved would lead me to consider that I had failed) and a stretch goal (which if achieved signified undoubted success). I suppose my goals going into 2010 are more or less the same as they were at the start of this year: the base goal is to continue to earn enough income to comfortably provide for my family, while the stretch goal is to get the sort of life-changing score that allows me to play everything I want to play.

Live, my year was characterised by consistency but lacking in the kind of major score I landed last year at the European Deepstack. I cashed in more ranking tournaments (19) than any other player in the country, and made more final tables (15). I won or chopped six rankings tournaments (as well as seven non ranking ones). This year I also made my EPT debut, cashing in San Remo. Unfortunately, my bigger results this year came in side events: it was a year of nearlies in main event. I went out on the second last table of both the European Deepstack and the JP Masters, five tables out in the IPO, and near the bubble of the Irish Open. I finished second in the official Irish rankings (and also second in the voting for Player of the Year behind Jude Ainsworth). I also finished second in my TV poker debut, qualifying for Late Night Stars of Poker but losing out headsup to Jim Rock in my heat. I also finished the year with a heartening run of form, final tabling 10 of my last 13 tournaments, and chopping two of them.

Online, it's been a good year, again characterised by consistency rather than one big score. About 80% of my effort has been grinding sit n goes, but only about 20% of my profit. The rest has come mainly from mtts, where I've notched up wins on Ipoker, Full Tilt and Poker Stars. I cashed in a WCOOP and an ECOOP.

I also got involved with co-hosting Irish Poker Radio, which I've greatly enjoyed. I also coached a number of players to success (some more than my own!).

The plan for next year is, well, more of the same, but hopefully bigger and better. I'm now bankrolled to play bigger online MTTs and intend to turn the focus to there. The lesson of this year has been that that's where my biggest edge lies. It's generally accepted that stts have gotten harder: some of the biggest winners in the world in previous years failed to beat them last year, so the fact I continued to beat them by a reasonably comfortable margin is heartening. But there's no point beating your head against a rock wall when there's a much softer mtt cushion nearby.

Live, I hope to play more big events overseas. I hope to play most of the UKIPTs, a few GUKPTs, and more than one EPT. I'd also like to break my WSOP duck. However, I'm also looking forward to playing as many Irish events as I can. One of the real perks of this "job" is the number of great people you meet at poker events, particularly Irish ones. Thanks to all those who supported me during the year or took the trouble to tell me either online or in person how much they enjoyed this blog. May you all have a great 2010, at the tables and elsewhere.

UPDATE: Plan to play more big foreign events off to a good start, I snagged an EPT Deauville package on Stars. Not really rolled for a 5K event so have already offloaded some. Also, if anyone wants me to wear a patch or be their human billboard for the event, give me a shout :)


Good post Dara, you've had a very successful year by all accounts.

Here's to another one, for all of us ;)

Best of luck in 2010 Dara.

I'm sure you will click a big score this year; i'd lay money on it.

Indeed Cat: may we all have even better 2010s.

Thanks Thomas: I like your confidence! Deuaville would be a nice place to start.

Impressive year! Long may it continue indeed - you are on the road to becoming a true pro... in fact you already are, seeing you are making a decent enough living out of this. WP Sir!

Incredibly consistent year Dara, wp. Gl in 2010

Thanks Julianne and Gary: may the poker Gods be kind to you this year.


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