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Poker, life and everything else.

7 lbs to Vegas

That’s a pretty straight forward goal and completely doable. As I see people planning their Vegas vacations, I’m getting in gear. I’ve been on a roll health wise and now that it is sometimes only -3 here in Montreal I’m even more motivated to get in shape.

Also now that it is starting to warm up I’m getting out of the house more, in the daylight. Today I went to see Kingsman, there is something amazing about going to the movies in the middle of the day. We walked in and no one checks your tickets, no line up for the snack bar and no one kicking your seat because there is only 4 people in the theater. It is like they just opened the theater for me.

Sunday, I went to Cabane Panache et Bois Nord. If it is one thing they have right here in Montreal, it is the street festivals.

This year is the first year I’ve been away from my family for Christmas and Easter and to be honest, I’m a tad homesick, but I’m looking forward to seeing them this summer. I’ll be visiting some family and friends in Toronto the last week of May, then off to my favorite place.

Last year I had to skip Vegas for unforeseen circumstances, otherwise known as, I did my own laundry, emptying pockets is for suckers. This year I will be treating my passport like… a passport. Because of my lack of Vegas last year I’m going to have to make my trip count by staying a whole month!

I don’t think I’ve gone to Vegas once without doing something incredibly stupid, so here’s to Vegas!

Oh, how I failed, but succeeded at the same time.

I’ve never been the type of person that spent a long time looking in the mirror. In fact, I pretty much avoided it as much as I can.

In 2010 I was incredibly thin. Thin does not always equal healthy and I wasn’t healthy. My anxiety and depression had made me stop eating for days at a time and I was also constantly sick to my stomach. During this time period I was unable to look in the mirror, so I didn’t even know how thin I was.

When I final tabled the Ladies event in 2012, I remember watching an interview of myself and thinking, that isn’t me. They had to of stretched me. Not long after I was at a wedding and I saw another photo that I didn’t recognize myself in. I couldn’t believe how much weight I had gained. At this point I missed my old workout buddy Tina and my old trainer.

It happens to all of us… We wake up one morning and step on the scale. We look down and our stomach turns. We hit our peak weight. We talk to our closest friends and admit the hard truth, have never weighed this much in our lives. Not sure how it even happened.

I’ve lost over 20lbs since moving to Montreal, I’ve changed my lifestyle completely. My favorite food was Pizza, now it is crab stuffed zucchini.  I use to be able to do 2 dozen shots and be “Everyone Loves Drunk Lesley”. Now I have one drink and am “Everyone Loves a Cheaper Drunk Lesley.” It has taken me until 32 years of age to truly see myself when I look in the mirror, but I can now. It isn’t just about losing the weight I gained, it is way more than that. I’ve forgiven myself for failing.

A few months ago I had a slight breakdown. I had taken a test that was to pinpoint my strengths. My results were in a transition stage.  I have spent so much of my life trying to make the people around me happy that it was impossible for me to be. I had made that mistake before and I was doing it again and again. This test was a wake up call for me.  I still had it in my head that who I use to be, was who I needed to get back to being. That didn’t work for me the first time, so why was I putting so much pressure on myself to be her again?

So how are my posted goals for the year going… supernova with $100 bankroll—FAIL. I busted that $100, Be more social—Double FAIL, I’ve only gone out about 2 or 3 times this year. What I didn’t fail at were the important ones. I’ve been eating healthy, following a workout plan and working on my fears. I’m still working on PLO, and have a few coaching sessions to help put me back on the right track. As for going out more and being more social, I can’t really answer why I want that. It is just one of those things that I feel I am weird because I don’t want to. What I do want to do is spend time on my projects that I had put on hold, so that is what I’m going to do.

Finally, back to my true love. Poker… WPT is back in Montreal, April, so I’ll be hitting up Playground to play one or two side events. I’m also setting up my Vegas trip for June. And for the love of the poker gods, please let me not lose 39bbs per 100 in the next 20000 PLO hands.

Reach out #BellLetsTalk

I tried to stay off social media today. As much as I support the cause, it is a hard day for me. I still live in fear of falling back into depression and anxiety. Yet, I find myself having to post an hour before midnight.

I personally still have days where I lock myself in my room. They are few but they still happen. I still break down when I think about how my life changed, and I still get embarrassed about it. I know this is something I can’t control. I know that when this happens, I’m irrational, but it just might be a part of me for the rest of my life.

For the longest time I have felt and said “I’m not the person I was before I got sick.” I thought that was a bad thing. It isn’t! It is a great thing! It has lead me to change my life, and has opened my mind up on what matters to me. I now focus on things that I really love or can learn from.

I couldn’t have survived what I went through if I didn’t have the support of my friends and family. If I didn’t have the courage to go see a counselor or a doctor. If you know someone you think is depressed or that you know has anxiety attacks, reach out and listen to them. It may be an awkward conversation but at least it is a conversation. Don’t leave your friends, family or coworkers to battle this alone, help them to get the help that they need.

If you haven’t already please tweet about #BellLetsTalk and be part of the conversation.

Can I build a bankroll from $100 and make Supernova?

In my last blog I told you that my goal this year is to make Supernova.

For those that don’t know. That is about 18k in rake. Jan 1st I started this journey with $100 at the second smallest stake. 5PLO following the bankroll management that is posted on donkr PLO From Scratch

So, that makes me stuck at 5PLO until I have a bankroll of $350. I’m also going to include the bonuses I hit and any $ I win playing the VIP Freerolls in my bankroll.

This week went OK. It did start off strong but ended poorly. I didn’t review any hands this week. Next week I am scheduling in 1 hour a day to review my hands.

firstweek

I have a lot that I am working on right now and I am feel pretty motivated. I’m hoping this is going to be my best year yet!

The Last Checkmark

A few months ago I was going through a rough time and I made a list of activities to do before the year ended to keep me busy and always have something to look forward to. Today marks the day that I completed my to do list of random courses/classes and it was a sweet ending with a chocolate truffle making class.

outside

The class was great. The teacher was great. The class was in french so I was really only getting like every fifth word but I find something really comforting about being taught something from someone that has such a passion for what they do. I had no clue how many different things could be mixed with chocolate.

3 is My Lucky Number

Yesterday, I had my largest live cash. Going into day 3 of WPT Event 3 Montreal at Playground Poker I was sitting 26/28 with a tiny stack. I spent the morning trying to figure out if It would be best to fold my first hand and hope for someone to bust and take a $200 pay jump.

After looking at the positions of the stack sizes, I figured my best play would be to jam a little wider than NES if the first hand was folded to me. I was UTG +1 at a 7 Player table. I looked down at my first hand and had Q8s that made my play pretty easy and I jammed. The reason I picked this spot was simple. The button was a <10bb stack and both the SB and BB had 12-19BBs

Right before the second hand a player busted and we had a table redraw.

I went through the blinds. I was folded to in the BB and I looked down at 58s so I jammed and was snapped off with A5 but I hit a straight.

A little while later I woke up with 99 utg. I raised and was jammed on by the BB. I knew I was in a race, but I was already on a freeroll. My 99 held. Looks like I was going to be playing for a bit and my plans to watch Dumb and Dumber 2 last night would have to wait.

My biggest flaw playing live is I don’t have the experience. I love playing, but I am not good with the chips and I often get confused with my chip stack and raise a bit too large or when players are talking I can’t focus as well. I have only played about 12 – 15 live events lifetime, I know I will get stronger at this in time.

So out of those games why have I now final tabled two events in extremely large fields 7/937 and now 3/1331. The answer is simple before the Ladies WSOP game I had a bit of coaching and I’ve watched a ton of MTT videos from BlueFirePoker. I know what you are thinking, Plug she works for BlueFirePoker but it isn’t it. I don’t get into the situations I have been because I ran well. I have put myself in a spot where I get paid to learn, not many people can say that. I get to watch the videos from Bfizz11, Aaron Been and DDbeast. From watching those videos I have continued to learn how to make my decisions easy and make decisions harder for other players. That brings me to this hand.

Raymond Kay opened from utg to 600K. I 3bet from the big blind. I don’t remember the amount I bet, but I do know that I went bigger than I would normally. The reasoning was simple they have already 3 bet me and 4 bet me light. Eventho I didn’t see the hand, I knew because they kept asking me what I folded. Tip: normally when players ask this without showing their hand, they want the pat on the back for making you fold something better. I wanted to make the play a bit harder for them. I knew that they were bullying me because I folded a few times in some small pots. If they flatted the pot would be big enough that I could go all in on the flop and they should be calling fairly light. If they folded, they would most likely slow down because I changed the game that they had gotten into the rhythm of. Best case scenario was they would put me all in. My play was win-win imo.

So what happened?

Raymond raised 600k. I 3-bet
He pondered for a moment before announcing all-in, and Lesley made the quick call.

Raymond: 7c8c
Lesley: QdQc
5s,Jh,9h,6h,Qs

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me, but I am extremely happy with the way I played and ecstatic that I was able to come from 3rd last with a 28 left finish in 3rd for $22k.

PPFC-2014-2026

What Happens When You Fail?

My diet bet challenge to lose 4% of my weight in 28 days ended the other day. I was close, but not close enough to win it. I have really been loving going to kickboxing classes unfortunately I have to take a break from that and pretty much any exercise I have been doing. Last night my back gave out again, not at kickboxing, not at trampoline class. A single step while walking across my living room caused my back to give out, yeah I run good. For those of you that are counting this is the fourth extremely painful time that my back had given out.

I spent a lot of last night and this morning feeling sorry for myself. How every time life seems to be working out I keep getting kicked right back to the starting line. I know I have a life a lot of people would dream of, but is it so wrong to expect more from myself? Is it wrong to want to be in control? Last time this happened, I was in Physio for four months. Is it wrong to think about how much I could have accomplished in that time? The answer to all those questions is simple. YES, it is wrong. I can’t do anything about it, but work on what is next. Weight wise, I can focus harder on a diet. Work out wise, I am stumped. Open for suggestions.

Unfortunately, this isn’t going to be the last time this happens to me. Once my back is better I am going to go try again and if I get hurt again, I am going to deal with it. The only thing worse than the pain I am in right now would be giving up trying to be the best me I can be.

WPT Montreal starts in a few days and I am excited to go play a few side events. If it wasn’t for this coming to town I would have most likely put off going to the doctor for a few days but I really want to go and play. Scratch that, I need to go and play.

PLO wise, I feel like I have learned a lot pretty fast. My goal this month is not to play a single ZOOM hand. I am going to keep this part of my blog pretty small while I am  trying to learn and until January. That is when my real goal starts. For those of you that missed that post, it is to make Supernova by playing PLO. Add in a positive win rate pre rake-back and you have a goal. I’ve never tried for supernova or played a ton of hands online. I really should have by now, so I’m way overdue.

Hopefully stars does not make crazy changes to VIP system.

So, What happens when you fail? I start again.

Little Hero

Yesterday was Halloween, my favorite time of the year.  I didn’t get a single kid knock on the door. Even with a few decorations. I kept looking out the window and didn’t see any kids walking down the street.  When I lived in Toronto I had 200+ kids every year trick or treating and some adults. My two Halloweens in Montreal, living in two different places, I have had a total of 0 kids combined knock on my door.

Back in Toronto my niece did something a little different for Halloween. She and her friend traded in her trick or treat pillowcase for a box. Instead of candy she went door to door and asked for food donations for the food Bank. They collected two boxes of food for the needy.  She is a constant breath of fresh air and she saw a great opportunity to help others and she took it. This isn’t the first time she has done something that has inspired me or surprised me.

She once made a vow of silence with her friends so that they could feel what it was like to have no voice or say like some women live every day. I can imagine this was extremely hard for her as she is so talkative and curious. I am sure that her parents thought no way she would be able to do it, but she did. She felt the feeling of not being able to communicate for herself, not be able to stand up for herself or question others.

As she grows I hope she never loses this mindset and keeps trying to empathize with people in different situations. She is a true hero.