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Join Date: May 13
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  1. 2016 turned out to be another incredible year for me in poker. The year started out really strong before having a 2 ½ month rough period in the summer. It then closed out with an even stronger finish even with December being a down month. When the year started I had 6 goals I had set for myself which I’ll recap here with some commentary.

    1. $120,000 in cashes- This is down from the $175k in 2015 because I anticipate the church will take more time this year. SUCCESS

    The church that I pastor at bought a new building at the end of 2015 that was in need of desperate renovation. So I set the above goal with that in mind. Happy to report that I did way better than I thought! Here’s a breakdown:
    2004…Tournaments Played
    744…. Cashes (37%)
    340…. Final Tables
    139... …Top 3 Finishes
    63……Wins

    $152795.35 in total cashes (38.7% ROI)

    2. 1000 WPN Tourneys- With the slow Merge cash out times I need to put more volume in on WPN. This is an increase over the 499 on WPN I played in 2015. FAIL

    At the end of 2015, Merge was just beginning to pay-out again in a reasonable time period although I didn’t know it at the time that they would be able to keep it up. To be honest I had 15x the amount of bankroll stuck on Merge that I like to have at any one time. So I thought I’d give more volume to WPN.

    However, Merge gave me early in the year an option to get 5k bank wires. Miraculously they started processing for me about every 8-10 days. It took a few months but eventually I was able to get my roll down to a reasonable size.

    Once I realized I’d be able to get my money off Merge, I just kept playing on there and gave up on this goal. In fact I only ended up playing 362 tourney’s WPN which was even less than the previous year.

    3. Obtain a top 10 USA Ranking on Pocket Fives at least once- I ended 2015 at 13th and have previously been ranked as high as 11th. FAIL (Sort of)

    For the 1st half of the year I hung around in the top 20 and again at one point got as high as #11. Then in the summer I went through a bad downswing which dropped my ranking to in the top 25. Through late summer things started turning back around and I again climbed into the top 20.

    Then on September 5th, Merge decided to stop allowing Pocket Fives to track their tourneys. This was super bad timing because I proceeded to go on an epic heater that would see me get over $52,000 in cashes in just over a 7 week period. The points I’d have accumulated on P5’s would have been massive and I’d have easily gotten into the top 10. Instead, without the results counting, I continue to plummet week after week in the rankings.

    However, it was because of the Merge decision that I started this blog so if you’re enjoying what you’re reading, you can put Merge on your Christmas card list. ;)

    4. Have at least 1 live score that qualifies for Hendon Mob- I have only played 5 that have qualified in the past but have yet to cash in any. SUCCESS

    Being a pastor means I don’t get a lot of opportunity to travel to play live tourneys. I have cashed and won a number of tourneys through the years live but none that actually counted in the Hendon Mob results.

    This summer for the 2nd time I was able to play at the WSOP and ended up cashing in 2 of the 5 events I played. Then went 0 for 2 this December at the WSOPc tour stop at Cherokee. So 2 for 7 live this year…not bad, not great but at least I met my goal.

    5. Write a poker article that gets published- FAIL

    Don’t know that I have a lot to offer on the strategy side of things but as a pastor and player, I think I have a lot to say about life and balance in general that could be helpful to players. To be honest I just didn’t put any time into this particular goal. However, I did write quite a few emails to players helping them with a variety of issues that could be adapted into an article(s) for the future.

    About as close as I got to this goal was answering numerous questions from players on how to respond to people who ask if it’s ok for Christians to be playing poker/gambling. I believe sometime in 2017, the Bet On Drew web-site is planning on adapting my answer for an article so that will have to do for now.

    6. Spend at least 3 hours a week in study/review- SUCCESS

    I got into a nice rhythm for the year where on the days I could wrap-up my church work by 5-5:30, I would then spend the next hour reading, studying, reviewing, watching training videos, etc. Also Friday’s are my day off from church so I usually get some time on Friday mornings for more study. I probably got closer to 5-6 hours a week towards this goal so happy I blew it away.

    So there you have it. Only 3 of 6 goals met but I still feel pretty good about the year. At this point I’m behind on getting my 2017 goals set but will be getting to it soon. Still amazed that something that is essentially a hobby in my “free time” makes me so much money and gives me relaxation and enjoyment all at the same time. Hope and pray you have a great year…as always please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything I can do for you.

    Gilbert

    P.S. Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor


    P.P.S Here is a repeat of the end of the December blog in case you missed the most up-to-date numbers as of the end of 2016:

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $ 397023.41

    Career Lifetime Total: $451081.46

    Career number of Cashes: 3613

  2. As anticipated I didn’t really have a lot of time to play in December. Being a pastor means that December is a busier time of the year, so poker definitely takes a backseat. Our church though had a great Christmas season and to me one of the highlights was our band covering Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo”.

    As for poker, in the little I was able to play it was a rough month. I remember one night losing set over set 4 times within about a 90 minute period…every time you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. However, that’s the nature of variance and you just keep reminding yourself to make good decisions and that it will all even out.

    Actually coming off a few great months leading into December, this was it evening out on the negative side so I really couldn’t be too bummed about it. What made it hard though was with such low volume, it made it seems worse than it was because every day seemed like a loser.
    I also add a new screen name on WPN on the True Poker skin so I could play the Million Dollar Guarantee. I made a decent run in the tourney but ended up outside the money. However, I did do well on True for the remainder of the month and may give WPN some more volume in 2017. In the coming days I’ll be sharing my 2016 goals and a recap on how I did with them. There was a similar vow to play WPN more last year but I didn’t so we’ll see how this new year goes.
    With all that said, here are the December results…

    131…Tournaments Played
    49…. Cashes (37%)
    17…. Final Tables
    6... …Top 3 Finishes
    3……Wins

    $6879.31 in total cashes (-17.78% ROI)

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $ 397023.41

    Career Lifetime Total: $451081.46

    Career number of Cashes: 3613

    Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor

  3. After last month’s near record for cashes, I came into November thinking that I’d cut some of my volume since I had made such a huge push towards the end of October. However, even with playing less the first few days of the month, I had a bunch of huge results including a 3rd in the Merge Sunday Big Ticket which right away put me on pace for November to be a new record. So I pushed hard again but I ended up not playing much at all the last 10 days or so of the month, so I fell quite a bit short, but it was still another great month altogether.

    201…Tournaments Played
    87…. Cashes (43%)
    29…. Final Tables
    16…. Top 3 Finishes
    6…… Wins

    $21375.85 in total cashes (37.18% ROI)

    The highlight of the month was taking last month’s earnings and going out and paying cash for a new car. I’m the type of person that drives a car until it’s got huge miles on it and repairs are becoming too costly and too time consuming. We were able to get a great deal on a 2013 Honda Civic with only 36k miles on it and paying cash for it from my October results made the whole thing so tangible in my mind. The study, hard work, play good and run good is now something I can actually see…and drive!

    Part of the reason I didn’t play much towards the end of the month had to do with Thanksgiving obviously but also that Lisa and I are on vacation. A part of that vacation though was the opportunity to play in 2 WSOP Circuit Events in Cherokee, NC. In my first event I was actually running great, but others were running just a bit better. I can’t remember ever having so many big hands (big pocket pairs, 2 pair, and sets) cracked by slightly better hands. I eventually busted in level 7.

    My second event was the 100k gtd Deep Stack and they had almost 1000 people enter. I ended up about 420th. Had some interesting hands throughout the day including one where I had AA, after the dealer had exposed an Ace. I ended up losing that hand and then later in level 14 I busted QQ to KK to a new friend I made on this trip, Chris Hayes.

    I met Chris because a bunch of my friends were staying in a cabin together near Cherokee and Chris was staying there as well. Each night after my bust-outs, I went over and spent some time with the guys and the 2nd night was a meet-up of various Twitch streamers. It was a lot of fun hanging out with John “DrewPeacoq8” Gonzalez, Cory “wildwAAland” Waaland, Derek “KillingBird” Tenbusch, Carlos “HipHop101Trivia” Welch, Justin “LappyPoker” Lapka, Chris “GutshotHayes” Hayes, Luke “Luke_Mernin” Mernin and Mark “1DullGeek” Horn.

    My guess is that December’s volume will be light since as a pastor I have a lot of additional stuff going on around the Christmas holiday as compared to what the typical person might have. In any case, 2016 is going to prove to be another great year and I can’t wait to re-cap it for you next month.

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $ 391268.68

    Career Lifetime Total: $444202.15

    Career number of Cashes: 3564

    Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor



 
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