I wrote about becoming a pro poker player a couple weeks ago. I was going to write about something else, but two things sap my motivation:
1. I have wicked bad allergies to something, probably the Cedar-Elm, and can hardly focus on anything for more than 15 to 20 minutes before I start rubbing my eyes and sneezing.
2. All I really do now is play poker, so it's on my mind.
I'm playing .25/.50 NL Hold 'Em. I'm down $650 so far. I lost more up front than I did recently, and the losses up front were more due to stupid play than later ones. That's not to say that I don't still make some incredibly dumb plays - I do - but I'm making less of them.
I'm totally indifferent to the money lost. Some people make a big deal out of it, but I see it as nothing other than paying for education. To expect to become a pro without losing any money up front would be totally preposterous. If I can consistently make money before losing $5k first, I will consider that to be a pretty cool achievement.
As I learn more about poker I really just cement in how little I know. There is so much underlying math which must be grasped at an intuitive level to play properly. I've watched six hours of an eight hour series on the Math of Poker at deucescracked.com, which is amazing. I now understand the math and can work it the "right move" on paper, but I'll need to be able to approximate it MUCH faster. Some I can, some I can't.
My biggest problem is that I'm having a tough time letting go of big hands when it's very likely I'm beat.
"But my hand is so good.... what if he's bluffing?"
This is a classic newbie mistake which I'm working on eliminating. Another is to play when I'm tired. As alert as I think I am, a good portion of my losses have been after my normal bedtime.
I've heard a lot of people warn me that poker is a hard way to make a living or that there are too many bots, etc. I appreciate the advice, but I also disregard it. I have several friends that play poker and make a living doing so, so OBVIOUSLY there's some way to do it, and that's what I'll do.
Every day I educate myself by reading parts or all of that Sklansky book, watching videos on DeucesCracked.com, or reading posts on the TwoPlusTwo forums. I play for maybe 4-10 hours depending on circumstances, probably averaging around 6.
Once I get a bit better I'll join the TwoPlusTwo forums and start posting hands and getting involved in that community.
Some quick updates on other projects:
Dvorak: Still using Dvorak exclusively. I can type about 80wpm now and I'm not convinced I could actually type faster than this on QWERTY. I said 90, but I wish I tested myself before learning Dvorak.
Crossfit: Slacking big time. I was working out with Doug because he has weights and air conditioning, but he's been out of town a lot. I'm looking forward to it getting colder because there's an awesome hiking trail I can run right near Casa and I can do kettlebells outside.
MaxDiet: So good to be back to 100%. I should have done my once a month cheat meal a couple weeks ago, but I keep putting it off. I did eat a piece of peach cobbler that my genius-chef Jonah made.
LifeNomadic: We're starting to plan 2009. It's looking awesome!
RV: Living the good life with solar power and a working fridge. Every night when I sit in my RV I feel very happy and thankful.
Make Her Chase You: Despite stopping all of my advertising campaigns, sales are going pretty well still.
I like reading your stuff, so I hope this isn't giving advice where it isn't asked for. But I was surprised to see your choice of trying to become a pro poker player. I mean, if you enjoy the game, that's great as a hobby, but I can't see it as a meaningful pursuit or identity to do full time. You know, that whole idea of doing something that will ultimately help people, out live you, make meaningful connections, etc. All that inner game self help stuff...help enough other people get what they want and the money thing will take care of itself. Anyway, none of us are perfect on that (myself included) but just thought I'd bring it up. I'm trying to evolve to that next state too. Keep writing, I'm enjoying our unique outlook on life...
Tynan, just curious:
Are you playing cash games or tournaments or both? I think it's good to play both and see which you are better at. Some people don't have the stomach for cash games but can really gut it out in tournaments. You should try both and see what you excel at. It's been profitable for me, at least. Good luck
Hey tynan, I have lurked your blog for a long time and since the first time I visited your site and now I have learned poker and now play for a living at 400nl-1knl. Coincidentally, I also make videos for Deucescracked. My advice is to ignore the NL Book, I have it and it's not too useful for learning to play 6max online NLHE poker. If you want to read a long guide (as opposed to videos or 2+2) read the guide at www.ryanfees.com. Also, if you want real money you should be learning to play a lot of tables. You also should be playing nl50 with at least a 2000 roll if you aren't already. And BTW the people who are worried about bots, = LOL.
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.
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.