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.
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).
First I would like to start by saying I am incredibly disapointed in my performance, but also I realize I shouldn't have expected much considering this is my first time trading the stock market actively.Since placing my first trade in January I am up 66.25% which is really good I guess, but I was expecting, and with what I've seen I know its possible, to be making around 10% a week. This might sound crazy, but the stock market is absolutely on fire and here are just a couple of the mistakes I did
1. Traded OTC stocks without settled funds: In stock market trading you have a margin account that you use to trade stocks because it takes three days for each trasaction to clear. Your broker knows you have the money, and that it is just in transit getting cleared, so it loans you money so you can trade while you wait. as long as you don't borrow above your account's net worth you are in the clear unless you want to take on levereage. Unforuntately OTC stocks cannot be traded on margin, so if you buy them without cash that has settled (which takes 3 days) you can't sell them until 3 days later lest you incur a trading violation. I traded some OTC stocks I thought were going to skyrocket like this, and many did the first 1-2 days, but then came crashing down on the third day, and by the time my funds clears, I had lost all my gains and in sometimes taken a loss. I no longer trade otc stocks on margin
2. My biggest losses have been earnings plays: I played two earnings plays like an idiot and lost a lot of money because of it. Moral of the story, do not play earnings ever!
3. not having very tight stop losses on speculative plays: I have made and lost money on speculative trades aka trades you get in only because you think momentum will carry it up, instead of a catalyst or something of the like. I have also made a good amount of money, in fact most of my money on these trades because the market is just so crazy hot. Regardless A couple of times I didn't have tight stop losses, and these types of trades ethier go up, stay flat, or go down hard, so every time you lose you can lose alot. Moral of story: With speculative plays, aka trades not backed by earnings power/theme/catalyst, cut losses quicker than you normally would as things can get out of hand quick.and the risk reward is usually more like a lottery/casino (the money is in the pay out ratio not into the chance to win)
What I've been doing right