Friday, April 09, 2004

Pushing The Limit

As of today, I am pulling myself back down from the 1/2 level and concentrating on 50/1 again. A couple of reasons for this, but mostly it's because I just don't feel all that comfortable at 1/2 given the state of my bankroll.

I've been mired as of the last few weeks. Not really winning, not really losing, just sort of see-sawing back and forth between the two. Well, that's not ENTIRELY true. I have improved my bankroll slightly, but I think I'm trying too hard to put the cart before the horse. 1/2 is fun and exciting, especially the short handed games, but I think for now I will only make occasional appearances in the short handed games, and concentrate on grinding it out at the 50/1 for the foreseeable future.

I'm also seriously re-thinking my multi-table strategy. Before I made the plunge into the 1/2 games, I was up to 3 tables of 50/1. I probably would have done 4, but 3 tables overlap quite a bit at 1280x1024, and my current video card won't give me any more then that. Anyway, I went and tried to play 3 tables again today and immediately got that "unable to compute" feeling, so I backed off to two tables and immediately started doing better. I think if I could fit all the tables on the screen without overlapping I would have no trouble playing multiple tables. The biggest problem I have now is that a table that I wasn't following will suddenly "pop up" and I would not only have to figure out what I was to do, but I had to mentally replay the hand in my head to the point I last saw this table. It's a lot of mental gymnastics and most of the time I'm not in the mood to think that hard, especially on a work day! Anyway, I miss my old 20" monitor. It served me well through 8 years and a half dozen moves, but it finally kicked the bucket last spring and I had to settle for this Gateway EV1700 17" monitor. Not bad for the price, but it's lacking. I don't have the requisite fundage to acquire an LCD monitor of any appreciable size, so I'm stuck with CRTs for the immediate future.

Now that I think about it, I do have a 15" monitor sitting in the basement. I'm pretty sure I also have a PCI video card sitting around somewhere I could shove into my current box and I think that'll give me the ability to put up another monitor. Anyone here know how to make this work? I'm running Winblows XP Pro.

Speaking of video cards, I just bought a new one. My existing one is a MSI GeForce3 Ti 200 card with 64MB of video RAM... I just closed the deal on a Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 Pro with 128 MB of video RAM. Holy smokes do I sound like a nerd! Anyway, I did my usual exhaustive research on this little chunk of silicon and apparently for its time it smoked comparably priced cards, so one is on the way to the Casa de ICP. The real clincher was that I can overclock it. Since I'm not the world's most rich guy, and apparently my poker playing won't get me there any time soon, I'm doing my little upgrade in bits and pieces. The new vid card I can plug into my existing system and realize some improvement, though to realize the full potential of it, I need to get a more current motherboard. That I can get with the new processor for around $130 and drop my existing memory and other hardware into. Then the final push will be to get the smoking fast memory upgrade and a new case, at which point my upgrade will be complete and I can build my wife's computer with my old computer parts.

I'm so resourceful, but hey, that's what I used to do for a living before the bottom fell out of the damn I.T. industry.

Actually, I've been toying with starting my own "build-to-order" computer reseller business. I actually have a business plan that was geared more towards a storefront type Computer retailer business. My friend and co-conspirator in this little venture actually went off to Battle Creek with this business plan in hand when 9/11 went down and we both lost the aviation jobs we had gotten days before. He had a couple of people there he knew who opened a computer store, made him the manager and financially backed it, but it ended up having almost nothing to do with the business plan and he has no vested interest in it at all.. He's simply an employee. What's most frustrating is, he and I have an idea how to make that business profitable (it's been basically losing money since day 1 over 2 years ago). Trouble is, he has no controlling interest in the store aside from managing it, and I sure has Hell have no business trying to run the business, so we just sort of watch the waves lap up over the deck and wait for the old girl to roll off to the side and sink.

As I said before, though... I still have that business plan somewhere. It's still mine (ours, actually). I don't think that a store front Computer Retail business will make money in this area, though. If I were to do that, I would have to move back to Illinois, and frankly, I enjoy what I'm doing now. So I'm thinking that by doing a "build to order" business, I don't need to worry about maintaining a storefront, my financial risk is much lower (especially if I require payment up front), and I don't need to maintain "business hours". I've got a great location to do this work (my entire basement is empty). I've got a FedEx distribution facility 10 minutes from my house. I've got a domain set up.

The only problems I have is, I have NO idea how to set up a decent website, and less of an idea of how to set up a secure server to do transactions with. I'm a hardware guy, not a web designer.

All of the above will likely cost some form of money, but like all investments, there will be a return on that. A "virtual business" like this one, though very small in initial capitol outlay to start, still requires some capitol outlay. I think it's time for me to perhaps start poking around again and get some numbers floating around in my head, but if I have to hire someone to put together a website and maintain it, my costs are going to rapidly go through the roof.

Okay, my head is going to explode now. A wrapup on today's poker. I lost $8.75. Not terrible, but not profitable.

Happy Good Friday. Not that I can think of anything remotely good about someone being mercilessly beaten and hung on a wooden cross. I think if you were to ask Jesus, he would definitely agree that Sunday was far and away better then freaking Friday!


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