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Happy New Year!

To all my readers and fellow poker players, let me wish you all a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year. Though we've all had our ups and downs, our good fortune and our bad luck, we keep coming back for more no matter the odds! It's those things that set poker players and poker bloggers apart from the rest...for better or worse.

And speaking of poker, it looks like I'm back in business!

After a near three-month hiatus from the tables, I returned to poker last Friday evening.

Where? Party Poker.

Why? They gave me a free $75 to piss away as I saw fit.

What? $100 NL because I was sick of playing in the minors.

All in all, my game felt rusty but passably good. I ended up picking up a few bucks on Friday night after getting lucky a few times and pulling in a little profit on top of the impossible-to-clear $75 bonus.

I was playing short-stack poker for the most part. My strategy was to buy-in for $35 at a 6-max $100 NL table. If I dropped below $30, I'd re-buy back up to $35 if possible. And each time that I managed to build my stack up past the $50 mark, I quickly "went south" with my chips by leaving the table and buying in for $35 at a fresh table.

This strategy worked quite well. I got a lot of action because the big stacks simply wanted to pick me off. I just had to sit back, pick a hand, and commit all my chips pre-flop or on the flop. Although I got a little unlucky twice and found myself sitting with only $20 left in my Party account, I managed to turn things around pretty quickly.

I finished my first night back with $110 in my Party account.

Since then, I've returned to my Titan Poker and started frequenting the $100 6-max tables there. Although I've shown a small loss thus far, things are going as well as can be expected. I'm still trying to redefine my style of play and things are coming along nicely.

I'm currently reading and re-reading Professional No-Limit Hold'em like a madman, desperately trying to re-integrate the REM Process, Commitment Thresholds, and Stack-to-Pot Ratios back into my natural thought process at the poker table. Once things start to click again, it should be smooth sailing for me.

My immediate plan is to stick with the $100 NL at Titan Poker. I'll continue to buy-in for $50 until my bankroll clears the $2000 mark. Once I've hit the magic 20 buy-in threshold, I'll start buying in for the maximum and making the appropriate changes to my game to take full advantage of the larger stack size (see Fuel55's posts to see how creative you can be when playing with all barrels locked and loaded).

As for the amount of poker that I plan on playing, I'll try to aim for at least 6 table hours or 500 poker hands a week, whichever comes last. I'm sure there will be weeks when I play more and I'm fine with that. I'm not immune to the addictive qualities of playing winning poker and I'll ride any hot streaks into the ground whenever given the chance. Likewise, bad streaks will help me get some more time in with the many video games that I've got lined up.

Before I leave, I just want to thank my readers for helping Klopzi's Mediocre Poker continue to grow over the course of 2007. Although I left the poker tables for a while, I was pleased to see that my regulars readers stayed on to read anything and everything that I could post. Your loyalty and encouragement has not gone unnoticed and I truly appreciate the show of support. I hope to keep things more poker-related in the New Year even though I'll continue to balance poker and video games for the foreseeable future.

For those of you celebrating tonight, be safe and have fun!

Happy New Year everyone!

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