For a couple days last week I didn't work. I woke up, walked to Casa, ate my lunch, sat with my friends until lunch hours ended, and then sat in the empty restaurant, staring out the window.
What do I want to do with my life? Not the whole thing, but right now.
Conversion Doubler isn't going to get off the ground. It turns out that too many people have bizarre unique requirements that reduce it's usefulness. The book is going okay, but at the end of the day I hate marketing and don't want to spend my time doing it.
I love this site. I love writing articles, working on the design, and reading peoples comments. My friend Annie asked me what the best compliments I get are, and among other things I said, "getting e-mails from people saying I changed their lives".
In other words, the one constant productive thing I've enjoyed doing for the past few years is this site. It's rewarding on a lot of levels.
And here's the good news: for the first time ever I checked my all time subscriber stats for the site. And they're going up. Not just a random pattern, but a smooth line upwards.
So some day I will probably make enough money from this site that I don't have to do anything else. That will be awesome.
Maybe it will take six months, maybe five years.
But until then, I need to make serious money. More money, more plane tickets.
An old friend from the pro gambling days sent me an IM. We chatted for a few minutes and he asked what I was doing.
"Trying to figure out what to do next."
Within a few minutes I decided to become a professional poker player.
Poker is beautiful. It weaves together psychology, math, logic, and discipline all into one. It's honest. You sit down with your own money and you back everything you do up with real cash. You're there to take your opponents money, and they're there to take yours. No pretenses, no marketing hype, no finding customers. Just your brains and your wallets on the table.
People think it's about luck, but it's not. A small enough slice of a game can be luck, but a career isn't. The better you are, the less luck can come into play. Amateurs have good or bad luck, but pros don't.
Unfortunately, I'm not very good at No Limit Hold 'Em, the game of choice. I'm good enough to place in most home tournaments, and bad enough to get eaten alive at a real table.
I'm pretty good at Limit, but it's not fun. It's a grind and to make money you have to play 6-12 tables AT ONCE online. It's frantic and robotic. I had a world class teacher when I was in LA and I gave up because I couldn't get into it.
Some of the hardest parts of being a poker player are things that I have in my blood now. I have no emotional attachment to gambling. All of the math is familiar and some of it is automatic. I can handle swings.
At the same time, I have TONS to learn. I've been watching videos and reading the bible of No Limit, and I now realize that I knew nothing about poker. I know five percent of what I'll need.
The good part, though, is that all of the information is out there. If I understand everything in that book, I'll be making six figures working ten hours a week. With my new-for-this-year turbo discipline, that's probably just 2-3 months of intense all day playing and studying. There's a clear path to mastery (or at least winning player level proficiency). Maybe I'll lose money along the way, but it's the price of education. Think of how much normal people pay to learn skills that make half what a poker player makes.
For those who want to follow along at home, here's my current plan:
That's the plan. I'll keep you updated.
Hi everyone, There is a new Hold'em book that is selling on Amazon.com called New Hold'em Method. it is short and to the point. it helps all level of players including pros. It concentrates towards the community cards only which is very unique. it will show you what type of cards can show up at different deals. It's a math ratio thing and it works. You can search it by B00FQ25T1W and it may change your entire style of play. Hope this helps
Run, run while you can. Get an application to starbucks. Its not just get in make money. Its much harder to make six figures.
Hi. Why don't you try this: Go and play on Silver Sands online poker. I'm in South Africa and we are sort of "getting on the map" thanks to Ray coming 3rd in the world series a year ago. If you want, I'll send you an Invite. That way be both make some money. Most importantly there are 2 features that might interest/help. One: you play in Rands (about 8R-1$) and 2 there are a large number of tournaments with re-buys. I'm not a fan of re-buys, but they allow for you to come back from a mistake but still be in the game. Might be good practice. There are some very cheap low-buy in tournaments. If you are interested e-mail me and I'll send the link. My name is Aldo and my online name there is Tigershark. I play live 1-2 times a week and actually supplement my income with cash games and the occasional tournament. Good luck.
Poker is one the least-fulfilling things you can do for a career. I've done it for 3.5 years, and am much happier since I quit. The money is nice, but the swings sap your motivation and playing skills.
Here's the results from a few of my months.
I played about 40,000 hands/month. In May I was up a few grand, then had a downswing that crushed me. Playing poker professionally just adds to the stress.
The best advice I can give you is to not take poker seriously. Don't turn it into a 4 hours/day 5 days/week grind.
Why don't you just go back to whatever you were doing as a pro gambler before? You already know how so there's no learning curve and you were making more than your lawyer friend, according to one of your recent stories.
"This may sound harsh but I really think you struggle with seeing things through."
No sh*t! I know this only too well, because I'm the same way.
Ty, 99% of those CD requirements would be solved by building a stand-alone CMS into it. At the rate you produce things that's like a month locked away in Panama, at the end of which you'll have the internet marketing product that everyone wants and everyone else wants to promote.
The trick for creative people is to find others to take their creative sparks and run the distance. Find a Philippino programmer to hack on CD. Find someone who's passionate about pick-up marketing to write your book newsletters.
Not sure if you've seen it already, but Yaro Starak blogs and teaches using blogs to make your living. I've been reading his material lately, and it seems right up your alley if you're considering making it your main source of income.
Here are some links: http://www.blogmastermind.com/ (coaching/course) and http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/ (blog). Hope this helps!
BTW--finding out about pickup has changed the way I interact with people, and your writing is one of the few that I continue to respect, admire, and be influenced by.
"If I understand everything in that book, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be making six figures working ten hours a week."
If you're just starting to play poker now, it's very unlikely that you will be making 6 figures only playing 10 hours a week.
The biggest thing most people need to understand about playing poker is bankroll management. If you play over your bankroll you will go broke no matter how good you are.
Read all the books, watch all the videos, and practice good bankroll management.
Good luck at the tables!
This may sound harsh but I really think you struggle with seeing things through. A few examples:
- Posting your productivity in the accountability forums
- Updating Life Nomadic (things like country report cards and posts on your last month of travel - it still feels like there are a few stories missing)
- Best in the land
- Conversion Doubler
I agree that you should be focusing on your writing but three of the four things mentioned above are writing related.
I might be way off the mark here but perhaps you need to just give that last 20% in your projects to start seeing returns?
By the way, you seem to view it as something that comes easily, but your storytelling ability is far and above what the average person out there can pull off. I've read the book-- I am still not clear about it and not really sure where to go with it. 'storytelling' is an awesome skill to have-- whether its pickup or everyday life or whatever. How about some Tynan run classes? You get 10 people together and charge $50/each. That's not bad for let's say, 4 hrs work.
I get an annoying amount of email from people asking me how to gamble like I used to. The truth is that what I used to do isn't profitable anymore. It was a right time, right place sort of scenario. Although I'm not a professional gambler anymore, I have been spending time studying and improving at poker (I'm a break-even or slightly profitable player), and I have friends who are pros. There are surely several different paths you can take to make a living gambling; this is the one that I'm aware of and is feasible for someone of above average intelligence.
Despite offering a rough guide to making money gambling, I don't necessarily recommend that you do so. I gambled professionally for seven years. During that time I made a lot of money and enjoyed my life. One morning I woke up and all of my money was gone. The story behind that is complicated, but the gist is that "they caught on". The strongest emotion I felt was a sense of relief. Gambling is fun, but it's not "big". It doesn't contribute in a meaningful way or leave you with a body of work.
Most casino games have a house advantage ranging from 2-5%, assuming "perfect play". That means that if you play perfectly, you can expect to lose, on average, about 2-5% of the action you put through a machine. Perfect play for slot machines is simply to bet the maximum amount of coins (the jackpot is skewed heavily in favor of maximum coins). For blackjack you need to memorize what to do for every combination of player hands vs. dealer hands, specific to each set of rules (hit on soft 17, resplitting aces, etc).
Three times a week I spend an hour driving to the casino to begin my work. On the outside the casino looks like a Disneyland for adults with statues of roman warriors on the outside. I walk in, greet the managers, employees and fellow players and place myself on the 2/5 poker list. For the following 10 hours I shuffle chips with one hand, browse the internet with the other and quietly observe others in order to exploit them. Despite my long-term success; playing poker each day presents me with new challenges. Every hour I face a $500 decision which I must be right more than 80% of the time to be a winning player. Sometimes I chat with other players. Sometimes I listen to music and act solemn. Sometimes I play the role of a douchy frat kid. More than 90% of the time I’m friendly with the other players and chat with every dealer. Everyone knows my name. Some players refuse to sit at my table in fear, despite that I’m really not that great.
Playing poker for a living sounds like the dream, right? When everything is going in my favor I simply can’t help but see poker as a dream. One month I won so much I dropped a grand on clothes and it barely affected my monthly earnings.
I have no boss, yet no employees. I have no schedule. If I piss my “customers” off it usually makes me more money. I can work whenever I want. Also the job is relatively recession proof: gambling increases during times of economic hardships. Sometimes I can watch movies while I play and still make great money. I can listen to music the whole time I play. Writing all of these benefits make me smile irresistibly. I’m literally smiling right now.
Nearly every other day someone asks: “Should I quit my job to play poker for a living?” on the world’s only poker forum.
Honestly, no you should not. Players are continuously becoming better. All poker players are becoming better. If I could go back 8 years ago with the knowledge I posses now, I would earn half a million a year easily. Poker is a dying business to dive into. More and more people start playing poker for a living with each passing day. You can continue to increase your skill level, but at a certain point your efforts are better spent elsewhere.