Sunday, 5 January 2014

Happy New Two Thousand and Fourteen!


Happy New Year! I hope that you all have had some great New Years celebrations! Its always kinda nice to spend some time with family and friends together during the Christmas period.

In England, the best fireworks are the ones in London, by the Thames. Its pretty cool that they incorporate using the London Eye into the firework celebrations!



WHATS UP FOR 2014

POKER

Its really taken a while for my confidence to return poker wise. Its been such a journey. Firstly to realize how bad I am, and then to relearn everything and understand what I was doing wrong. But in the process I achieved Supernova status on Pokerstars, which is quite an achievement considering my results. So my basic plan is to maintain that status by getting the 100k VPPs as soon as possible, hopefully by the summer and then reevaluate whether I wanna go for 200k VPPs (that $2600 bonus looks tasty!) or expand into 180ms again. But for now getting that 100k is going to be my priority. I know quite a few poker players who left their VPP goals really last minute, and don't wanna be one of those guys... its too stressful!

Also with the casino opening so close to me, I really should try my hand at playing more live tournaments. Even though they are ridiculously slow, and fields are not that great, its still worth the experience. Also, there should be quite a few main events that I could satellite into, so its worth a try for sure.

Dec and Jan being the two busiest months for different reasons!
In December all the regs are trying to make their VPP goals, so the games were quite reg infested, but in saying that most regs were trying to get volume in which meant that they're quality of play probably wasn't as good as usual.

January I expect it to be a busy time because all the overly optimistic regs will probably go for Supernova Elite. So the mass grinding begins as they all try to get off to a good start. However, many will fail due to various reasons, whether it be keeping this motivation up, the variance hitting them, or just life events that are uncontrollable. Gaining Supernova Elite is very hard to do and last few years has averaged around 300 players making it. I'm sure that the estimated $200k in bonus money is worth it, but its no easy task, that's for sure!

How us "pro's" play online poker! Just joking haha


TRAVELLING

After going to one of my best friends' weddings and back to my homeland of Hong Kong, its reinforced my urge to travel more. However, this means that saving up for a rainy day is a lot harder, and is also going to be dependent on me getting better results, but with less pressure since I am Supernova.

3 places I really want to go to this year is gonna be New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver. I might combine the San Fran/Vancouver trip possibly since they're on the west side and it might be cheaper overall. Either way, it should be good, and a great motivational factor for me to work towards.

When travelling you meet so many people, enjoy yourself with friends, see so much stuff and generally have amazing memories and experiences. I read somewhere that in various studies humans are more happier in spending money on experiences over consumer goods.

I wanna see the Golden Gate bridge!



[PLAYING] STARCRAFT

I really would like to raise my level in playing Starcraft, but since its usually after my poker sessions, I'm kinda unwilling to spend a few more hours sitting in front of the computer after already being there for a good 5-6 hours. That's the biggest problem. I would like to get better of course, but Terran is a hard race because its so mechanical and micro heavy. Sometimes there's so much action its hard to keep track of everything and make sure that your spending your money.

I'm currently Gold, lets get that to Platinum and possibly Diamond. I plan to pretty much stream when I play. 2 years on, my love for this game still hasn't subsided.

Current State of the Game (From Terran's POV)
Its Deja Vu!! As the new year starts, Terran has now been nerfed to becoming the weakest race yet again. But this time, instead of Brood Lord - Infestor being the dominant composition, we see Protoss air openings being very strong and winning many tournaments. Now typical moaning and groaning about imbalance is usually all tongue and cheek, mostly as a joke at each other. But the main concern with Terran really is that our new units doesn't contribute as much (got nerfed) or basically doesn't exist anymore! Its sad to say that Terran of HoTS is basically almost the same Terran of WoL.

We can compare the new units latest nerf/buffs for all races to see what I mean;

Terran:
Widow Mines - Nerfed radius damage from 160 to 125. Splash damage reduced.
Hellbat - Nerfed 18 +12 vs light to 18.
Warhound - Removed completely from the game.

Protoss:
Mothership Core - Buffed photon overcharge range 13 damage 20 for 60 seconds.
Tempest - Kinetic Overload weapon damage vs massive increased from 30 to 50.
Oracle - Movement speed increased from 3.375 to 4, Acceleration increased from 2 to 3.

Zerg:
Swarm Host - Health increased from 120 to 160.
Viper - Health increased from 120 to 150.

So as you can see in the latest balance patches of the new units, Terran really has had the bad end of the stick. On top of this, the level of adjustments towards us has increased, so it feels like a double whammy when something like mines have been nerfed, and Zerg has improved their level of play towards adjusting to this unit.



[WATCHING] STARCRAFT

I really like what they've done to Starcraft in 2013, introducing the WCS as an overall league which went towards a final overall tournament at the end of the year at Blizzcon. They done really well to also work with other corporations to make sure that other tournaments were still around and got good viewership.

It is true that there has been way too much WCS content, with the 3 Seasons, with 3 Regions and 3 end of Season tournaments on top of that, and also the qualifiers. Dropping it down to 2 Seasons can be a good idea, we'll see how it evolves and how it effects the numbers, especially personal streamers.

The constant retouching of the game making certain units/abilities stronger or weaker keeps the game interesting. If something is made stronger, how does it effect the matchup? On top of that there are map changes which also effect the game and viable strategies. I like the idea that things are always constantly changing which refreshes the game and brings in new viewers.

There's always the constant debate about Koreans vs Foreigners in the scene. Note that the term "Foreigner" is basically meaning non-Korean. The Koreans are so dominant and lot of the player complain when they are competing in different regions. This year players have to play 200 games within their ladder region to participate in it, so at least they give something back in terms of experience to the ladder.

With Stephano gone, the ball is in Naniwa and Scarlett's court on who is the best foreigner. A big showmatch was done where they played it out and Naniwa won 4-2, just showing his experience in preparation matches, where he punished Scarlett's greed in her games. Who will be more successful in 2014 and will we have any other foreigners stepping up?


FAVE GAMES 2013

Sometime last year I did a post on my top 10 games (in no order coz its too hard to judge). There has been some awesome games this previous year as well! And one of the coolest things is that content is becoming more free! Tried to get embedding to include start times but dunno why its not working :(

1. Taeja vs Innovation crazy Bio vs Mech game 3. (54m55s)




2. Jaedong vs Stardust with interesting finish to game 3!(56m45s)




3. Scarlett vs Bomber 2 Rax to midgame madness!




4. Parting vs Life crazy hold vs speedling timing in the Group of Death.




5. Life vs DRG Game 7 decider Iron Squid Final - Holding off 10 pool speeding vs hatch first gas. (2m18s)




6. Taeja vs Rain's insane Ghost control in Game 2 (28m15s)




7. Bomber vs Goswer crazy game! Seeker missiles on own medivacs as a homing device, self nuking armies and insane base trades!




8. Innovation vs MVP...what a crazy comeback with Mech




9. Awesome ZvT Jaedong vs Maru Game 4 (42m39s)




10. Jaedong vs Deer Game 5 awesome burrow roach play at Blizzcon Finals (1hr00m25s)


GOMTV has released all its content in 2013 for free here.

Man I gotta make shorter posts! Anyways Happy New Year, hope everyone will have a great 2014!

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