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Join Date: May 13
Blog Entries: 11
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  1. I spent the first 2 weeks of the month doing travelling for church related stuff so I didn’t get in much volume. However, despite getting in few tournaments for the month, I was able to get some deep runs going, including a 2nd in the Merge Big Ticket the second weekend of the month for $5400. Altogether I ended up with over $13,000 in cashes, so it was nice to get things rolling again after a somewhat slow start to the year.

    For the first time this year I actually ran better than expectation so that helped as well. However, in the few tourney’s I played on WPN, I continued to run extremely bad. Not sure what’s up right now on there but it seems everyone I know or follow on Twitch or Twitter that plays on any of the skins is in massive downswings there. Thankfully since I don’t play a lot there it’s not a huge deal to me but man it sure would be nice to catch a break for once on there.

    Happy though with the overall results. Still on a bit of a winless streak but the number of Final Tables and top 3’s got back to a respectable number so binks are just a matter of time. In any case, here’s what the month looked like…

    121…Tournaments Played
    54…. Cashes (45%)
    14…. Final Tables
    5....…Top 3 Finishes
    0……Wins

    $13,065.77 in total cashes (48.5% ROI)

    Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to get out to the WSOP at all this summer. Have all kinds of family obligations in June so I thought maybe July would be a possibility. However, my wife got notice that she’s on call for jury duty for all of July so just going to have to sweat my friends from a far. Good luck to everyone, hope you bring home a bracelet!

    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: $ 429,482.07

    Career Lifetime Total: $492,622.23

    Career number of Cashes: 3822

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

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

    Gilbert

  2. The good news is my 2016 poker year was awesome!!! The bad news was the tax bill. I came home the Wednesday night before taxes were due and in my mailbox was a package with my completed taxes from my accountant. I knew I was going to owe some money due to having another great poker year but I was stunned to see a bill for nearly $11,000! Unfortunately, because of some of the write-offs I can take as a pastor, I couldn’t “double-dip” so my poker income had almost nothing to off-set as write-offs. In other years this has been partially compensated for because of my wife’s business, but poker has been going so well that basically she has not had to work (or at least has been able to be more selective in taking on new business).

    Again it was a bit of a shock but thankfully we intentionally live off of only 60% of our income anyway so we had plenty of money saved up for emergencies and rainy days. So Uncle Sam got way more than I thought he would but even in that I’m thankful. The last results I saw showed that only about 7% of poker players even show $1 profit per year. So to have enough profit to have a tax bill of 11k on it means I’m truly blessed to be able to play a game I love in my spare time and make enough to give my wife and I a lot of freedom we wouldn’t have with strictly my pastoral income.

    As for my play in April, I again continued in the midst of some serious run-bad. It wasn’t quite as bad in April and would have been basically a break-even month had I not fired 2 bullet’s in the Million Dollar Guarantee on WPN the last day of the month. However, the run bad has lasted for a few months now and I’m sure is impacting my game in other ways so I’m in the midst of taking some steps to remedy that so if the run bad continues, I’ll at least minimize it as much as possible.

    Funny thing is as I look back at last year, I did ok the first few months then had a similar streak of run-bad through the summer then turned it around at the end of the year to be able to have a huge tax bill. 2015, had a similar stretch as well. So I’m not too worried about it but I do want to make sure I’m not making it any worse than it needs to be.

    April was a light volume month due to some church obligations and some travel. It also marked the first time in years that I had 0 wins in a month. In fact, I had 0 top 3’s so thus my comments from above about how I think the run-bad is now also resulting in some play-bad.

    April also marked my 5th year on the Merge Network. Very grateful to have been in profit all 5 years with each year increasingly being better than the previous. Hoping to keep the streak going. In any case, here are April’s results….

    132…Tournaments Played
    48…. Cashes (36%)
    5…. Final Tables
    0....…Top 3 Finishes
    0……Wins

    $7734.97 in total cashes (-13.72% 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: $ 416941.99

    Career Lifetime Total: $479556.46

    Career number of Cashes: 3768

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

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

    Gilbert

  3. March Results- Haiti Hiatus
    My March volume was way down and for good reason…I spent a week serving down in Haiti. I have been to other 3rd world countries but nothing like Haiti. It is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the sights, sounds and smells are something that I’m still trying to process now 2 weeks after having returned.

    There are many stories I could share but I guess the thing that keeps coming back to me is how fortunate we are as American’s or other 1st world nations. Even though the language of Haiti is Creole, almost every native child we met knew how to say in perfect English, “Will you please give me a dollar”. The poverty there is so extreme that in the market we saw “mud cookies” for sale. Imagine that…being so hungry that you’d resort to eating dirt that someone was “kind enough” to try to make flavorful for you.

    Since returning, everything I see I do the instant math in my head to compare it what it’s like for the average Haitian. I’ve now counted 8 items in my home that I own that cost more than what a Haitian makes in an entire year. And this has applied to poker as well…since returning I’ve had 2 online cashes for the equivalent of what a Haitian makes. My largest score ever would take a Haitian about 7 years to make.

    Also I’ve found it a lot harder to complain about bad beats since I’ve returned. Sort of hard to complain about the 2-outer someone hit, on the river, at a final table, against you, for a massive pot when you know 75%+ of an entire nation is just trying to figure out how to get their next meal. As a side note, while Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, they “only” rank #20 on the list of poorest countries in the entire world.

    So with all that said, there are personal changes that I’m making as well as my church that I pastor to try to do our part. From a spiritual standpoint, we “adopted” a sister church down there and will be paying their entire budget for the year, plus sending 2 more teams down in the next year to help with various projects around the church and around their community. Also, we want to help with access to clean drinking water. We were able to visit a facility which provides sand filters for homes that river and stream water can be poured into and made safe. It cost the company $50 to make them and then they sell them to the Haitians for $3. Yep you read that right! They lose $47 every time that they sell one. I made the old joke to them…”Yeah but you make it up in volume”. In all seriousness, they are dependent on contributions to make up the difference. Thankfully a church in the U.S. pays their salary to live so all donated funds then can go to make up the $47 in lost cost. If you are interested in helping give towards this project, please click the following link... http://exponential.church/give/give-now When prompted choose the "Missions" fund and then the sub-fund "Haiti".

    As for poker in March, I once again was on the wrong side of variance. Incredibly for March I ran 13bb/100 below expectation and I’m about 7bb/100 below for the year so far. I’ve been through these spells before and keep telling myself that eventually it always turns around but it’s obviously never any fun in the midst of it. Like I said though the Haiti trip is helping me keep proper perspective about it all.

    Here are March’s results…

    116…Tournaments Played
    45…. Cashes (39%)
    8…. Final Tables
    3....…Top 3 Finishes
    1……Wins

    $4918.74 in total cashes (-16.04% 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. NOTE: I just realized I had not sorted SNG’s out of these tourney results in previous posts. I don’t play a ton of them but this post now has the accurate numbers with those filtered out. So career cashes will go down in this post by about 100 and money will drop about 1.5k.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $ 411976.85

    Career Lifetime Total: $471821.49

    Career number of Cashes: 3720

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

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

    Gilbert

 
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