Siesta time

Well, yet again I’ve been rubbish with this blogging malarkey. Realised I haven’t made a post in 6 months. My plan was to keep everyone up to date with my adventure, but in all honestly not much has happened. Everyone thinks you move to Spain and you lead this amazing holiday lifestyle.

Which it would be very nice if I could go to the beach every day and parties every night, but unfortunately it is just business as usual. My day still consists of running my web design company from 9-5 and then jumping into the poker grind at 7pm for 4 or 5 nights a week. I still have to go out and do my food shopping, go into town to the bank and do all the things you have to do back in the UK, only difference is it is hotter here (and the service is poorer… believe it or not).

I left off on my last blog with people coming to visit. I had an amazing couple of weeks with Jilly, Math, Cha and my parents. It was very tiring having so many visitors in such a short space of time, and spent too much on going out and eating, but it was amazing to show everyone my little Spanish town, I think everyone had a good time.

After everyone left and I recovered it started to turn to winter… which means everyone leaves this little town. I thought Blackpool was bad for seasonal traffic, but this is definitely more extreme. In summer it’s bustling with holiday makers, people partying, fiesta’s going on every week. In the winter you can sometimes walk the main streets at weekends and not see a single person. Most of the restaurants are closed and the only nightclub in town also closes its doors.

To be honest, it’s now coming to the end of February and I’m a little bored… I’m starting to miss the big city hustle and bustle. You don’t appreciate how good it is to get a McDonalds at 3am or even to catch a local bus. Whereas Moraira is one of the most beautiful little places I have been, I don’t think it is really for my age group long term and maybe it will be a place I would like to come to retire.

This year my plan is to move nearer a big city (Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona), which it will be nearer to the airports (reducing costs to come travel for poker more again) and to the casino (need to definitely polish up my live game).

Mid last year, poker wasn’t going so well. I got into a hole with Bankroll Supply (which hasn’t really happened in the last 4 years of playing with them). It was a time also that I really was depending on the money which really increases the pressure on trying to make a profit every month. I think I have been quite lucky as I have played poker over 10 years and it has been the first time I have been in this situation. Mainly because I have always refused to ever make poker my sole income. Although I’m not the most organised person with my finances, I know I couldn’t deal with the full time pressure of not having a more secure income to pay my rent, bills and food.

Psychologically the downswing really got in my head. I don’t know about a lot of you poker players out there that are at least semi-dependant on a poker income, but sometimes I have a dream that one day I might wake up and have literally completely forget everything I know about the game and not be able to win any more. Well this downswing I actually convinced myself that had happened. It was like I had forgotten even my A-game and just couldn’t find my way to a final table no matter what I did.

Overall I think it could have been a lot worse, I definitely could have lost more than I did. I was a good girl and dropped stakes, went to the softer games I know I can beat and took more time away from playing as I started to hate it. I always promised myself if I didn’t win at the game I wouldn’t bother playing any more…. What’s the point!

I would never claim to be a particularly good poker player, however one thing I know is that my bankroll management and discipline has made me through over 10 years of winning, and I do believe that those qualities are if not more important than an actual knowledge of how to play.

At the end of the day we all mainly play poker for one thing (apart from those weirdoes that actually enjoy it) we play to be able to make a long term profit from the game. I have seen it hundreds of times in poker, these so called hot shots binking a tidy sum that could make life a lot easier for a while, to then be picking up chips off the floor for their dinner the following week as they start to think they are indestructible in the higher stakes.

I will agree though, one downside to my admittedly slightly over-disciplined-ness, is that I have probably missed out on some bigger shots and banked my profit rather than played higher buyins, taken deals and chops instead of going for the win.

However looking back at my main aim, to make a long term profit, the decisions and restrictions I have placed on myself have achieved that goal.

I managed to turn it back around this year and have got back off to a great start. I managed to win a satellite for a live event but decided to cash it in due to travel expenses. That generally goes against one of my rules; I always believe if you win a seat you should play…. You never know if that could be your big bink.

I’m on the fence about going to Vegas this year; I want to focus on moving house around that time so might be too much hassle. I’ve started to save money just in case. I miss Vegas sooooooo much <3

I’ve also forgot to mention my trip back to the UK (stupid poker rant) over Xmas and New Year. It was really crazy to go back; it felt like a different life. I think I must have got used to the very chilled out and relaxed atmosphere in Spain. I look back now and wondered how I managed doing all that I do as well as the social life I had, going out with friends, going to Dusk Till Dawn.

I do miss things a lot back home and wish I could bring all my friends and some of my old lifestyle here in the nice weather.

I got to hang out at Cha’s which always makes it feel like Xmas. Blackpool is always a fun time, and I have some of the funniest amazing best friends.

I then rented a car and drove to Nottingham to see all that crew, played a tournament in Dusk Till Dawn… I think that was the strangest to go back to. Got to catch up with Alex (Otter) and Rachel, Danny and Poppy among others.

Then it was on to London for New Year with Jilly, thankfully we had a nice quiet time as Jilly had to work a lot. I was exhausted by this point. Then drive back to Blackpool to get the flight back.

I got back on Claudio’s birthday, so went for some cake with the family. I still haven’t learned to speak to them all in Spanish yet so I just sit and smile a lot. (Scary crazy English girl alert)

Things are good at the moment and feeling really happy, looking forward to this year and where it is going to take me….let’s see in the next blog….


Oh My Sunny Days!!!!

The continued attempt to be less geeky has failed again…. “Yes, another self absorbed blogger”… I hear you say.

I found an old number of Blog posts on MySpace that I used to update about 4 years ago; I remember packing it in as it always felt like homework. I used to go to a poker event and then come home and then ramble about my weekend, similar to being back at school in English class.

This time however I have a different reason for starting a blog, I don’t want to bore the world with bad beat stories and idle poker chit chat, I’m sure there is more in this world than that….and I’m going to find out.

My plan is to go off travelling for a year, starting (hopefully) in Barcelona come this October. I have already informed a lot of my close friends, family and work clients and noticed the most common reaction to the news was “WOW, always wanted to do something like that, so Jealous!!!!”… So my aims are to try and blog about the whole process and maybe even inspire others to take the leap and go and experience the world.

Two of my inspirations for doing this are Cos and Amatay who went on a fun filled trip to Thailand. Reading through their blog posts every other week and seeing what an amazing time they had really made me realise that there is so much more to see, rather than being sat behind a computer screen 14 hours a day. (If you want to read their antics click here)

So to bring you up to speed, here is what I have done and planned so far:

My biggest worry was my business, I have been struggling to manage everything recently as sometimes things get a bit crazy and I essentially try to work within 3 job roles, Developer, Support, General Admin. It’s not easy having all that on your shoulders for one tiny person.

So I have managed to get onboard a nice young developer chap that will be taking over the majority of the development work and I can take on a more manager role and deal with the admin side of things. The good thing about my job is I can work from anywhere as long as I’m plugged in.

I believe this could be a good step forward for my business; I just could never work enough hours to generate 2 incomes and be able to afford to take on a second person. This way I will have much lower living costs than I do in the UK and also would like to get a few odd jobs away from the computer, so hopefully will be able to build things up over the next year and have a proper functional business with employees and everything :) HOW GROWD UP AM I!!!!

I also have a few online sites that generate some income, namely Poker Satellite Centre, make sure you all sign up so you can keep me fed while I’m away :)

So this is the stage I am at currently, training up the newbie. Drawing up contracts and getting everything sorted.

Then the next bit is the one I’m not looking forward to, selling and sorting all my stuff out. I slowly wandered around my house the other week analysing my personal belongings. What a lot of crap we build up over the years. When I said to myself “What would I actually NEED to take with me” it’s actually very little. Why do we hoard all this pointless material rubbish?!?!

So yeah, it will be car boot sales, ebay etc etc. I plan to put my bigger/expensive items in storage and take any high value items to my mums. Sadly I realised that my Hard Drive is probably the one thing I would be distraught over if I lost, not only from a business work perspective but the years of pictures, videos and a bucket load of music I have collected.

A lot of things such as bookcases, coffee tables etc, I may just get rid of. It works out cheaper paying £60 for new ones when I get back than storing such big items for a year.

I’m also planning to sell my car, funnily enough I worked out that I would finishing paying off the car loan in October. Definitely a sign!!!! So that should give me some extra start up money.

Once I have all my stuff sorted, then the planning of where I’m going and what I’m doing. FINALLY THE FUN BIT!!!!!

I have a couple of friends that are interested in doing the same thing. So hopefully it will work out that we do this together, however if that falls through I will still be doing it on my own. Even started to learn Spanish but I’m pretty rubbish. I can say about 3 things and I can’t roll my “R”s. Not to worry, I downloaded a speech translator on my iPod.

Don’t really want to make too many plans for the actual trip, although I really would like to travel about a bit and live in a few different European Countries, I figure if I like somewhere I don’t want to have to move on for the sake of it. Or if I meet some crazy hippies that are going over to Australia or somewhere I may just hop along on their happy bus.

There are definitely things I’m going to miss, especially my friends. I’m lucky in that I have some amazing mates but hopefully they will come and visit me abroad, I’m sure they will as it’s a cheap holiday… bloody freeloaders lol :p

I’m also going to really miss Nottingham. I will have lived here for 4 years by the time I go and it felt like home the moment I landed. So much cool stuff here such as DTD Poker club and has great restaurants/nightlife. Again I have made some amazing friends and would most likely move back here (if I do move back).

One thing I’m not going to miss is Poker. I might still play on occasion while I’m away to keep my game up, probably more live than online as the Spanish Poker laws changed this year and there are no longer many sites that allow Spanish players. Although I have always done well at poker and again met some really cool people along the way, I do think it can be a very toxic environment for many reasons. I have made some very naive mistakes the last year in trusting the wrong people which has come and bit me in the ass. But lessons learned I hope, silver lining I do think it has more impact when you learn from your own mistakes. Fool me once, shame on you…. fool me twice, shame on me.

The main thing is that there always seems to be a severe lack of justice, and at the end of the day I don’t want to live in a world like that. I don’t want to always have to watch my own back and worrying about the people I can trust. I know the world in general can be like that but unfortunately in the Poker scene, probably because of its nature it can attract the lowest of characters, it seems to be quite an evil place at times.

Anyway, this is turning out to be quite a ramble and apologies for such a text based first post, but I’m sure there will be lots of cool pictures and videos to come for the people that can’t process reading the English language very well.

All in all, exciting times ahead :)

I will miss everyone loads but hopefully keep in touch on FB.

Peace out folks!!!!