Life and poker – goals and objectives

It has been almost a month since my previous post on life (time for an update). The cliff’s notes from that post are that I’ve settled in Portland (for the time being) and decided to pursue playing poker as a career.


As with any career I think it is important to have goals. Without goals to achieve, there is just work. The goals I have set myself are pictured below. These goals are stuck to the wall above my desk directly in front of where I sit every morning with a pot of coffee.


While writing this post, I realised that the goals I had set myself were incomplete. Goals are intended to be broad, however without a timeframe I think it is possible they could remain forever on the horizon, just out of reach. So here are my updated goals:


Explanation of goals:

Goal 1: $10k savings by end of Feb 2017

This goal is number 1 for a reason. Without $$, goals number 2 and 3 are unachievable. I have placed a timeframe of February 2017 for achieving this goal. I believe this is a realistic timeframe as it would require me to save, on average, $1,500 per month between now and then.

Goal 2: Trip to Vegas to play before the World Series (June 2017)

Really this goal is to take a shot at playing in some bigger games. In Portland I exclusively play games with $1/$2 blinds. This is due to bankroll restrictions (i.e. I don’t have the funds to take a shot at higher games at the moment) and the fact that there aren’t many bigger games that run regularly here in Portland. Vegas has any, and every, game you could dream of!

Goal 3: World Series of Poker 2017 – $10k – Play 6 events

I edited this goal to include “play 6 events”. Last year I played in four events. Six is 1.5 times four. I want to play in 1.5x more events than last year.


Achieving goals is not something that just happens by willing them to happen. Therefore, in order to achieve my goals I have set myself some objectives.

In setting my objectives I consulted someone extremely wise and also profoundly stupid for guidance. That someone was the internet. Here is a snippet from some internet guidance I found on setting goals and objectives: “A goal is an overarching principle that guides decision making. Objectives are specific, measurable steps that can be taken to meet the goal.”

The idea behind the objectives I have set myself is that they are specific and measurable steps that, if taken, will help me to achieve my goals. The objectives I’ve set myself are:

  1. Play 120 hours of cash game poker per month
  2. Read two poker books per quarter
  3. Develop a budget to track monthly spending, and track spending on a monthly basis

The idea behind objective 1 is to generate income! The idea behind objective 2 is to become better at my job. The idea behind objective 3 is to become aware of my spending habits, and where I can improve these. I believe that if I regularly achieve these objectives, I will put myself in a great position to achieve my goals.


The reason I have posted my goals and objectives on my blog is for accountability.

I don’t know how many people read this blog, but the fact that it exists in the ether of the internet and is capable of being read by someone creates a sense of accountability. This blog is a way for me to tangibly track my progress. It is a way to hold myself accountable.

To those that do read this, a massive thank you! You probably do not understand the magnitude of power behind the attention of your eyes.


For last month or so I have experienced conflicting thoughts. I believe there may be a connection between the realisation that I am settling into a new life and the development of these thoughts. The conflicting thoughts are generated by two versions of myself. The two versions of myself I will aptly name Mark A and Mark B.

The personas of these versions of myself shape the thoughts that they each have. Mark A cares deeply about what other people think of him and wants nothing more than to make other people proud. Mark B cares little about what others think and, while he would also like others to be proud of him, more importantly he wants nothing more than to be proud of himself and his achievements.

Mark A:

Mark A has a desire to return to his comfort zone. He is struggling to comprehend the situation he has found himself in. Mark A doesn’t understand how he went from working in a respected accounting firm, wearing a suit, waking up at 6:30 in the morning and going to bed at 9:30 at night, to working in an office that will never be accepted as such by anyone other than the very few that work there, wearing a hoodie, waking up at 11 in the morning and going to bed at midnight or later. Mark A struggles with the rejection and misunderstanding that he experiences when he tells people what he does for work. Mark A is worried if he continues down this new path, what will happen to him; where he will end up – broke, alone? Mark A is thinking that it may be easier to turn back and pick up where he left off on the path that he knows. Mark A is afraid.

Mark B:

Mark B experiences genuine passion when he works. Mark B is proud of his work. Mark B thinks it is others who are crazy, not him. Mark B understands that the reason he wakes up at 11am and goes to bed at midnight is because he is his own boss now. Mark B listens to other people when they suggest he should get a job. He listens when they judge him for his work. He listens to them, but he does not hear them. Mark B thinks that this is excellent motivational fuel to pour on the fire inside him. Mark B thinks it is a wonderful thing to be chasing his dreams. Mark B is not afraid.

Mark, listen to Mark B.

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