2010: A Year in Review (long)

2010 is over, wow. It seems like I was just writing my 2009 Year in Review blog entry. While the past year wasn't the best year of my life, it was definitely a very very good one. I managed to book another winning poker year (my 4th out of 5 years as a professional poker player, albeit my smallest winning one) and graduate college. I also felt like I grew a lot as a person, and I hope that I can continue to do so in 2011. Below is a bit of what I was up to in the past year.

I brought in the New Year at the bars in Birmingham, AL as I anxiously awaited my last semester of college. It was an exciting time for me as an Alabama fan, too, as I'd made plans to fly out to Pasadena along with my Mom, sisters Heather and Carly, and my brother-in-law Ben to watch Alabama play for the national football championship. In what I can best describe as a top 5 day of my life, I got to watch Alabama beat Texas with my loved ones. 

My first poker trip of 2010 was a short one down to Biloxi, MS for the WPT event in January. I was out within a few hours and on my way back to Tuscaloosa. The year was off to a rocky start until I had a big Sunday in mid-February online. Things turned sour again in March and April as I had a rough couple months online all-the-while grinding out a difficult course load at school. When the beginning of May came around, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel though as I was one week away from completing my final exams and graduating.

I was lucky to draw day-time exam slots in that final week, as I was interested in playing the FTOPS events that were taking place a few days before I graduated. In what was one of the most special, memorable nights of my poker career, I sat alone on the couch in my apartment in Tuscaloosa and outright won the $300 rebuy FTOPS event on Cinco de Mayo (after uncharacteristically turning down a friend's offer to get drinks) for $214,000, the largest score of my online tournament career. A few days later I won the $100 rebuy on Stars for $44,000ish. 

As a college graduate at this point, I was now free to play a lot of live tournaments. I immediately went down to New Orleans to play the WSOPC event but again had a bad showing. From there I headed to Vegas for the 6 week long marathon that is the WSOP. This is the point that the year pretty much took a turn for the worse. I played a ton, ton, ton of poker, 34 events, which shattered my previous high of 29 events in 2009. I did manage to cash a career WSOP best 5 times, but none of the cashes was very large as I lost about $70,000 in events on the summer. Additionally, I put a lot of money in action on other individuals in the main event and that did not materialize. For a minute, I thought I might make a very deep run in the WSOP main event. I entered day 5 with 1.5x the average chip stack with 550ish players left in an event that would pay the eventual winner $9 million. The most heartbreaking hand of my life occured as I had tens full vs kings full against a guy that covered me on KT33 to bust in 515th for around $30,000. I'm still without a WSOP bracelet, which is something I desperately want.

I headed pretty much straight from Vegas over to Newport, Wales (lol) for this $20,000 6 person sit-n-go that I'd won a package to online. It was winner-take-all, and Annette Obrestad and I pretty much flipped for the $120,000 in equity as Tony G was very short. My ATo couldn't hold against her QJss as it came 9xx8Q. 

I came back to the States and headed to Los Angeles for WPT Legends and had yet another disappointing early day 1 exit. From there, I embarked on another trip across the pond. This time it was London for 23 days for the WSOP Europe as well as EPT London. I really enjoyed my time in London (a city that most either love or hate) and roomed with a cool group of guys that I liked getting to know better. The poker was miserable though as I bricked everything there. There were several huge buy-in tournaments I played there, so my yearly figure had pretty much taken a nosedive back to even overall. 

When I got back home again, I had a week off before heading for another 3 week or so journey. I went to Las Vegas and bricked a few prelims before busting the WPT Festa al Lago. The next stop was in Indiana just outside of Chicago for the inaugural $10k WSOPC Regional Championship. This tournament actually treated me well as I went on to finish 6th at the televised final table for around $100,000. After the final table, I headed up to Foxwoods in Connecticut where I bought in on day 2 of the WPT and busted in the last level of the evening. 

I had one more tour to close out the year. I went to Los Angeles where I cashed in the NAPT event and then went to Florida where I cashed in the Fall Poker Open. I concluded the year with unsuccessful trips to Vegas for WPT Five Diamond and then WSOPC Atlantic City. I battled hard on December 26th, the final workday of the year to book a $37k winner by outright winning a tournament on UB as well as winning my 3rd PCA package. This helped to make my end of the year figure look more attractive. 

All told, I'm satisfied with how 2010 ended up. I've resolved to make some changes to my routine both in and out of poker. As far as poker goes, I'd really like to play as many of the Sunday online tournament sessions as I can. In 2010 I played 32 Sundays, compared to 23 in 2009 and (surprisingly) 39 in 2008. There is a lot of value in playing these, although often a live event overlaps. Not to mention, I hit a few NFL games each year and there are other matters that sometimes cause me to miss one.

Outside of poker, I want to become more cultured and find some new things that interest me. I consider myself a very happy individual, but I want to continue to challenge myself, and I want to continue to grow everyday. I really want to get in tip-top shape, too. This starts by cutting down on the nights that I go out, sadly. It's just too easy to decline the gym trip when you're hungover as hell and I'm too often a slave to the nightlife schedule Thursday-Saturday nights. I'm in a very unique situation being young, financially stable, single and not having that many responsibilities, but that doesn't mean I hafta be out 3-4 nights per week, and I'll work hard towards finding a balance this year. 

That's all I've got. Thank you very much to those of you who read it all. I encourage you to follow me on Twitter (shannonshorr), as I post a lot of random thoughts there as opposed to the much harder work that is blogging.

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