February 2010 was the worst month of my poker career. Well, sort of. I lost about $5k at the tables, and made about $5k in rakeback and bonuses. So we'll call that about even. I also won several percent fewer showdowns than I usually do, and suffered a 600 BB downswing. This was the first 400 BB downswing of my Limit Holdem career. I did not tilt. But I didn't exactly play my A game the whole month, either. I gave in to a host of distractions and played half as many hands as January, at about half the level of focus. I can take responsibility for my poor effort, while running awful was largely responsible for my poor results.
On the other hand, I put out a solid effort and ran quite well in other areas of life. I produced four videos for Drag the Bar, which was a lot of work. Two of those came out in February, and the others will be released this week and the next. I also played a great show with my band, did some coaching, and wrote a fair bit. But what I feel most fortunate for, was luck that was not mine.
On February 24th, I wrote a blog about finding a purpose. My plan was to play a psychotic number of hours in an effort to raise money for Johan's cancer treatment. This may not have been the wisest plan, but I was looking forward to having a reason to play. You know, besides the money.
Also on February 24th, unbeknownst to me, the Dutch government agreed to pay for Johan's treatment; (he's Dutch). This was of course outstanding news! It was also surprising news. Why? To begin with, the treatment costs about $300k. That's a lot of money. While the Netherlands has national health care, bureaucracies will typically stall until a patient is terminal, then deny treatment because it's "too late." Fortunately, since Johan is only 39, they managed to get this one approved.
Where does this leave me? Very happy, to begin with. It's pretty easy to stomach a losing month when something so unexpected and fortunate happens to someone who really needs it. I'm still going to follow through with my four weeks of poker solitude, but I'm making some modifications. I'm optimizing for performance instead of audacity. For now, I'll take my health and my happiness, and go do some kicking and shredding.