Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Going Pro: Week 1

Party being down on Wednesday gave me some time to write the preface and just as I finished all of this typing, Party got their act together (being down for over an hour in peak time+cancelling Super Wednesday HAS to be bad for business) and I sat back in my chair and fired up 3 SNG's and 1 MTT with a big grin, it was all meant to be: 7th, 5th, 5th arghhh! AA no good vs. Q9s, KK vs AA limper UTG, the usual. No prob, lets fire up a couple more SNG's and keep this tourney going: 10, 5. Twice forced into bubble agression and snapped, the usual. MTT got down to 30 from the money but I had same chips I started with after not getting a hand and got snapped on a push, typically how I bust out of any tourney ;)

So all-in all it was a HORRIBLE start to my pro career. Oviously I couldn't let that stand, so I took a few hours off: reviewed some HH's, watched a movie, called mom to setup a trip later in the week, then got started again sometime after midnight. Felt better this time and no worries of playing bad or desperate etc. I used to have major problems dumping large amounts of cash while on tilt, so now I am uber-careful about monitoring myself in this regard.

First set of 109's lost a couple hundred. Most down to bubble with the push-fest crapshoot not falling my way. Got in a multi and had Party servers go berzerk for the second time in a day and didn't get to play so I started a fresh set of 4, mixing it up with 1 55, 2 109's and 1 215. I decided to try to not pay a great deal of attention to which was which. The 55 busted very quickly and I bubbled out on the 215 leaving my 2 109's as my only chance at saving this otherwise horrendous first day as a pro. I can't recall how but I won them both. Yipee! In true grinder fashion I received almost all of my days pull in one ten minute period, capping off hours and hours of slow agonizing tedium.

I knew what I was getting myself into before I took this leap, and I should have expected nothing less. I played a couple more meaningless sets and went to bed at around 8am showing a very small profit for my first day.

Start the second day at around 7pm after waking up at 6pm to some confused looking new roomates who I previously told I owned a marketing company. 'So uh, what's your schedule?' I'll get to them next week.

I play seven consecutive 100+9 tourneys and do not ITM once. Some of the beats? AA beaten by ATo all in pre when AT quads up on river. KK vs AJ and other routine beats. Yada yada yada. Is god trying to tell me something here? I review my own HH's, have a friend review two. I'm playing perfectly. I'm actually getting pretty good cards too. Thats poker. This day has taken a hit from the bankroll and before it gets any deeper and I start to get nervous and whatnot, I'm going to temporarily put on hold my playing at the 200+15 level and 100+9 level until I have built it back up to where it was when I started. So to the 55's primarily now, but I'm actually going to go ahead and murder some unlucky participants in the 33's for a little bit, just to build confidence.


Ok thats exactly what i needed. A nice little slap the little kids around session. Two wins in a set of 33's and neither one of them were even in doubt once I doubled up early. The last one some guy left and I kept his short stack alive for him and used it to my advantage for about four orbits. It was art. Nobody would call my pushes till they were forced in by the blinds. I stole half the chips in play with that little short stack. The dude even ended up getting 3rd out of the deal. Lucky shmuck

Feels much better not having to think while playing. Decided to stay in the 33's for a bit just to be certain that the winning part was well taken care of, as there are a host of other concerns that come along with taking this leap...not the least of which is:

Telling the parents!

I put myself through college and while a student and since I've been finished, very few major decisions in my life have been made with a large consideration given to what my family would think about the outcome. I'm just an independent person I suppose. But with this decision, I knew there would be a backlash. I knew feathers would get ruffled and assumptions made. So time to have them all out in the open.

By chance occurance I got an email from my Step-Mother within a couple of hours of making my decision. What better time to let this out. So I typed it all up, even included a link to this blog. How proud I was, told of some of my conquests and tried to shed some light on the positive sides of this game and profession.

A horrible response I got. I think this line about sums it up:

"Poker, huh? Cant say that makes me proud, but you've always done what you want no matter what we think! Why should this be any different!"

Wow. Awesome. Fantastic. Superb.

Also in my email I told about how my younger brother has been having some issues (he's just out of high school) and my mother (got two separate families going here...) thinks I could straighten him out if he comes to stay with me...so I suggested in the email that possibly my other brother, living with my father and step-mother, may want to do the same at some point, as he's having some of the same early-adult life issues. Response?

"Don't think (where you live) would be a good place for Chris, not enough structure...I don't think gambling would be a good addiction for him to get into."

Have traditional, religious, semi-closed minded, set-in-their ways parents? Expect a response like this when you break the news of your poker career.

I had my little brother over for the weekend helping me setup my new office. One trapping leftover from this decision is the 12-month lease I signed on some office space for my company. But I actually think it will be +EV to keep it even if all I do is play poker. Its only about $1300 a month with all the bills included, and for me, getting up everyday, getting ready 'for work' and going in and feeding the fish, checking email etc. is a very positive experience. Much better than rolling out of bed, grabbing my computer chair half asleep and frazzled and firing up a set. This certainly feels like it could last much longer and feel much healthier. Oh how sweet it would be to find a couple of others to share the office as a full-time poker center!

So anyway, having him over was a bit distracting and only got in about 20 33's and a couple of failed MTT's. About even for the stretch. Though when I took him home Sunday night I stopped by the Indian Casino near his house to see if they had any poker and was very pleasantly surprised to find a wild 3-5 blind NL game going. The buy-in was advertised as $100, and most people bought in for that, but I asked if I could buy-in for more and they told me there was no cap! No cap!! Awesome!! I cover the biggest stack at the table (around 1k) and am very happy to scoop pot after pot over a few hours and make close to $500 off of the loose agressive fish in this game. I only left because I wouldn't be able to make the three hour drive if I stayed any later.

Monday I get into the office around ten and get started playing right away. I'm trying to add more tables in the mix to take advantage of the unthinking style it takes to beat the 33's. I do six tables for most of the day and get in a total of 40 tourneys (I do them in sets but start up new ones if I bustout early). I have a great day with 17 ITM (42.5%), 9 1sts (22.5%), 4 2nd and 4 3rd (ROI 47%+). Even though I profited less than I would have if I had played just one 215 and won it, it felt great. Got the confidence in high gear and actually convinced me to stay awhile in the 33's. If I can 6 table them and complete 40 a day and at least 1000 per month, that is a pretty sweet living. I know I can and will do better, but for now, I think I will probably stick to that and deal with all of the other entanglements that come along with making this leap first.

So all in all it was an up and down first week, though I expected as much. I got to take time off as I pleased during the weak and work very odd hours at times, huge perks for me. I also made a decent amount of money from playing (around $1,000 total) but roughly matched that total with some of my side-income from poker, as each of my other area's showed a profit for the week as well (coaching, backing, piece sharing, rakeback), so with that figured in, I'd say it was a pretty outstanding week, by my standards at least.

I'd like to thank everybody who has helped me along so far with their support and well wishes (via PM's, email, AIM, calls and posts) and also those who have been down this road who have so graciously reached out with a helping hand to provide some invaluable advice that has no doubt led to some of the decisions I have made this week.

Wish me luck in the coming week and thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Wild Bill