Sunday, June 14, 2015

2015 Goals

This year so far has felt a bit lackluster in terms of overall direction because I haven't written down any goals to hold myself accountable for. So let's get started:

Automotive Career
There's a lot for me to learn in my new job as Product Development Engineer. Considering I spent the past 6+ years in a completely different line of business, there's going to be a bit of a learning curve here. The important thing is that I work on developing the skill set needed to succeed in this new position. Another thing I want to do this year is write the Professional Engineering exam so that I can become a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario. I plan to submit my experience forms shortly and hopefully write the exams being held in December.
  • Succeed in new role
  • Pass P.Eng exam

Health and Fitness
I feel that I've struck a great balance with badminton and fitness that works for me. Currently I'm training once a week with my brother and play games on 2 other days. The remainder of the week is spent in my home gym doing StrongLifts 5x5 (2 days) and either light cardio or rest. If I can fit in exercise at least 5 days a week I'm happy. I'll be turning 30 this year but I won't let that stop me from being in the best shape I've ever been in.

  • Keep getting better at badminton
  • Exercise 5 days per week

I haven't played online at all this year but I'm feeling the itch to click buttons and make money again. Achieving Supernova in only 6 months will likely be impossible. But maintaining Platinum Star might be doable. I'll start small this month at 50NL and move up to 100NL once I feel comfortable.

How am I supposed to play poker with a steering wheel ... ?

Since I stopped playing, I converted my poker grind station into an online sim racing station. Playing poker behind a steering wheel might take some getting used to...

  • Maintain Platinum Star for July+
  • Stretch Goal: Supernova??
The car has already raced once this year in CSCS Round 1 with Richard Boake behind the wheel. He managed to grab 2nd place which is not bad considering we decided to run the car at 11PM the night before.

Richard killing it at CSCS Round 1 (TMP)
Photo by skootermedia

This year my plan is to get back behind the wheel for a couple events (not competitively) just to enjoy the track again. Online sim racing has been fun and all, but it just doesn't compare to the real thing.

Safety upgrades for 2015. Dobaru approves.

For 2015, I've made some safety upgrades: roll bar, 6-pt harnesses, HANS device, and a new helmet.

Looking serious now.

The car also received some front end aero upgrades: Prodrive hood vents and Can-Jam custom canards.

Temporary setup: GTX-3076R stock location. 
The hood dampers and 20-cell Antigravity battery are new.

Here is how the engine bay currently sits with the loaner turbo. My own turbo should hopefully be in the car and tuned by next month. It will be a rotated GTX-3576R .82 A/R tuned by OnPoint Dyno.
  • Attend 3+ track days
  • Keep the shiny side up

Sunday, June 7, 2015

2014 Goals in Review

It's June and I haven't posted anything this year? Better late than never... But before that I need to review what happened last year. In 2014 I had two big goals:

2014 Goal #1: To become a better poker player

Supernova is the 2nd Highest VIP Tier on PokerStars

I can say that I met this goal. Not just from a monetary perspective, but from an educational Game Theory perspective as well. I can’t say that I've developed a strategy that’s even close to optimal – but the key is that I now understand the mathematical concepts necessary to do so. And it’s definitely helped me gain a competitive edge in other games as well (especially board games). Counting all the profit since I returned to poker at the end of 2013, I made just over $15k CAD in the time I spent playing online.

Terra Mystica, one of my favourite board games

I decided to take a huge break from poker after hitting Supernova status in Q4 2014. Mentally and physically I managed to burn myself out. Also things at work started getting very busy. December to March is crunch time for my line of business. It’s very difficult to come home from a professional 9-5 job every day and put in a solid 2 hours of A-game poker and another 1-2 hours of studying concepts and reviewing hands. For those who aren't aware of the intensity of the games, think of it as writing an exam after you’re already exhausted from your day job, every day and on weekends too. And putting in anything less has the detriment of causing you to lose money.

QA Truth

It's a good thing I decided to take a break. With the extra time and energy I had, I was able to focus on excelling at my career and I'm happy to announce that I managed to earn a promotion at work. I've finally moved out of the Quality Assurance line of business and into Product Development Engineering. This is going to be an exciting change for me as it's something I've always wanted to do.

Naturally, I'll want to focus on getting up to speed with my new job so there will be less time for poker in 2015. I actually haven't played online at all this year. But the long break has actually revitalized me and I might start to dabble in the games again.

2014 Goal #2: To become a better badminton player

I'm not going to rehash the reasons why I didn't have much time to focus on badminton. Clearly it was a secondary objective for me. But I do think that I got a lot better overall. Mostly in part to meeting a lot of great new people who are much better at the sport than I am. That's the way to get better at anything!

Passmore Badminton Club

Excessive poker playing in Q4 2014 resulted in a rotator cuff injury but I've since recovered 100% thanks to an amazing physiotherapist (shout-out to Mr. Physio!). One thing was for certain – I needed to start training the rest of my body to prevent injuries from happening again. That shoulder injury was NOT fun. 

Basement Gym

So in January I purchased some gym equipment for my basement. I've been doing a modified version of the StrongLifts 5x5 routine (2x/week instead of 3x) and have seen some pretty solid results so far. My core is much stronger and I no longer get as sore from intense badminton games. I plan to continue what I'm doing for 2015: 3-4 days per week of badminton followed by 1-2 days of lifting.