Saturday, August 27, 2005

Going Pro: Week 5 (late)

Ok ok I got some flack last time from readers and friends about a lackluster post, and my theory on that is for every person who actually tells me it sucked, there are probably 15 (minimum) who were thinking it but didn't say it, so I waited to do this one till I could do it right.

So ya, poker has been treating me very well lately and closing in on the end of my sixth week, I still have yet to post a losing week, and wont unless things go horribly wrong in the next two days (my week is Tuesday-Monday). This week was split about even between live NL cash games and Party SNG's. Profits were about equal in each and totaled just under $1500.

When I started out I had absolutely no balance and was in front of the computer for over 50 hours a week, and I hated life even though I was winning at the tables. Now I'm splitting my time more between Online and Live and also doing a lot more things outside of poker-things moved along pretty quickly with somebody I was dating, went to Reno this week and also a family camping trip last weekend. This balance definately makes this life a lot more attractive and fun to lead. The first couple of weeks I went too hardcore at the tables and I lived nothing but poker, now it is just my 'job' and I do other things with my non-working time. This has done wonders for my satisfaction with poker and with life in general. It is finally starting to feel like something I would like to do for a long period of time.

I'm getting a place with a friend who's moving here from Santa Barbara and he's pondering going pro as well, at least for awhile. Having a partner in crime on this will be nice. I had to lie to the family on the campout after the negative reaction I got from telling my step-mom (two separate families, its complicated), told them I'm doing my company still blah blah. Public perception of this sucks! I'm still lying for the most part to my new girlfriend about it, she knows I'm way into poker but she thinks I run my company for the main job. The fact that I have the office still makes it very easy to lead this double life. I tell her I'm at work, and I'm not lying. I'm grinding out sets, talking to her on the phone while doing it even:

Her: 'How's work going'
Me: 'Well its one of those days, nothing seems to be going right (read: I've had aces cracked 4 times already and bubbled out after having 5-way chip lead 3 times!)'

What is wrong with doing this full-time? If people really understood what it was like they would not only not think it was some kind of negative thing to be doing, they would likely be very very jealous! Now that I am keeping normal hours and being social, there is no difference between what I am doing and what most working people do, except for the fact that I make a lot more money than most people my age and I get to choose my own hours and take time off whenever I please.

I know poker is making some progress in this area but it still sucks, at least to me. As a non-WPT/WSOP professional, it feels like I am on the fringes of society in a lot of peoples eyes.


So I need to find a way to tell my girlfriend and family about what I'm doing, and I also need to brace myself for the losing streak thats surely just around the bend, but for now I'm enjoying this heater.


Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!


Wild Bill

Monday, August 15, 2005

Going Pro: Week 4

This past week my hours were again down from their peak, but this life felt a heckuva lot more 'doable' to me. I had a couple of 12 hour+ sessions and sparse playing in between those, with hours totalling around 30. Profit was nice, a tad under $2,000 in total. I have been adding live play into my game a lot more. I lived in Los Angeles up until a couple of months ago, so most of my NL Live play was done in Brick & Mortar cardrooms, but there aren't many of those where I'm living now, and I've been craving the balance that gives to my game. It really helps to switch from one form of poker to the other (tournament to ring games) when things get tough, or just plain boring, which can get to be the case with playin SNG's non-stop.

Most of this weeks profit came from live NL play, at a variety of sites. I'm really getting into this whole rakeback thing and I'm discovering that there are a bunch of good sites out there where you can get great deals and some decent bonuses too ;) Our Empire group is coming together great and I really think we'll be able to get it up to our target revene in September, so 30% for all of my SNG play!!

I took the advice I received from multiple sources and did something besides eat, sleep and play poker this week and last, and I think it is really paying off with a great long term potential in this, and also in me playing better when I do play. I obviously still have some bad days/sessions, but when I have a release or two, and don't just have to dwell on it, wake up and do it again, I am much happier and play much better. Life can also be a distraction, I didn't play at all this weekend, but balance is a must I've discovered.

I did about an hour worth of work for my company the past week, and still entertaining the idea of ramping it up again, though with the steady poker profits and the more balanced life I'm creating, this is starting to grow on me. You just can't argue with the flexibility and freedom that this life creates. Reading about Unarmed's (2+2) success and plans to travel and play for a year really inspired me. I have a thriving travel bug in me, how awesome it would be to grind it out from the laptop in hotels accross the world.

To anybody who is considering doing this on their own, one thing that I would say is an absolute must is to find some people who have done it, and try to learn from them. I have been very fortunate to have some great guys who play professionally reach out to me and provide some much needed advice and guidance. You know who you are, thank you. And also thank you to everybody who has given me feedback for this blog, please keep it coming, I take it very seriously.

Anybody who likes this blog has definately got to check out Fox's Diary of an Online Pro hosted on www.pocketfives.com (also a great resource). He has some great stuff in there on whoring and also what its like to be a pro. Highly recomended.


Now get back to the tables!

Wild Bill

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Going Pro: Week 3

I made a couple of other posts through this past week, so if you'd like some more detail feel free to scroll down and check these posts, also note the Acronyms list on the lower right. I'll add more as they creep in.

This week was by far the best I've had yet from a financial and enjoyability perspective. I made a total of 5 final tables in my MTT play and cashed a total of 7 times. I played very few SNG's and my total number of hours was also quite low, though I had a great time and the love for poker is starting to creep back.

I began the week with my horrible 1/16 ITM streak at the 55's stretching to 2/24 (1 of my next 8). I was really considering not going on with this in the midst of this. My roll was in fine shape but I was just not getting the kinds of results I had anticipated, though going into this I knew this type of thing would happen. I guess all the mental preparation in the world can't fully prepare you for what it is like to depend on poker as a source of income, and have the cards not fall as you'd like them to.

I began rounding up investors to get my company back into action and doing some research on some new web projects. I hadn't fully ever thrown in the towel but I had the towel in my hand and my arm was cocked. Then I decided to give some MTT's a shot and had a huge score on Wednesday night, making two final tables (a 5th and a 2nd) and grabbing a nice payday. (For more info on these tourneys see below posts). I FT'd again on Thursday in a 390 player 100+9 event, I then took Friday off and spent it with some college friends in San Francisco having a great time and enjoying not staring at the computer for awhile. Saturday when I came back I made two more final tables! That is a total of 5 FT's in four days, and just three sessions! I never won one but the total take was very nice, less than five figures but a great boost to the bottom line, and the confidence.

So now is a very odd time. I just made a ton of money and am stoked with these results, but I am also in a difficult pickle because I know that the lean times are again just around the bend and I have shown myself that it is pretty hard for me to weather these times psychologically. I got some great feedback from the readers of this blog that I should spend less time playing and more time on 'life' and this week I did that, spending two full days playing no poker and two others with a minimal schedule.

So as for what the next week holds, I really don't know. I very well could have a bad session and restart the company or have a great one and decide to continue on. I am very much on the fence at the moment. Nice to have outs though.

The rakeback group I talked about last time is coming together well and with the added money from that (I am currently only getting 20%) it should help to keep my head above water in the lean times.


Until next time.


Wild Bill

Saturday, August 06, 2005

5 FT's in 3 Sessions!

I'll make a full-post Tuesday, but the heater continues. Took yesterday off and went to San Francisco to see come college friends, and final tabled twice in two tourneys today...30+3 Rebuy/Addon on Party (5th) and 50+5 Rebuy/Addon on Empire (4th). Now if I could just close one!!!!


Wild Bill

Friday, August 05, 2005

Another Good Finish

Played some MTT's tonite and made it very far in the PP 100+9 with 390 entries. Final tabled with the average stack and 7 handed I busted on this hand:

***** Hand History for Game 2481051444 *****
NL Texas Hold'em Trny:14556356 Level:17 Blinds (3000/6000) - Friday, August 05, 04:26:18 EDT 2005
Table Multi-Table(416685) Table #1 (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Total number of players : 7
Seat 5: deeandell ( $114037 )
Seat 6: ChagiFish ( $47918 )
Seat 10: gmoney234923 ( $103746 )
Seat 1: brett_ho ( $42696 )
Seat 2: JohnMunch ( $8898 )
Seat 4: RazeIt ( $40016 )
Seat 9: tvladxx ( $32689 )
Trny:14556356 Level:17
Blinds (3000/6000)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to ChagiFish [ Ks Kc ]
RazeIt: vernie doesn't count...he hopes to get picked up by a serial killer
gmoney234923 folds.
RazeIt: and no normal person want that'
brett_ho folds.
JohnMunch folds.
ImJustAPatsy: can anyone loan me $50
RazeIt folds.
deeandell calls [6000].
freefalling2: same here :)
ChagiFish raises [15000].
ImJustAPatsy: can anyone loan me just $50 i'll be payback
tvladxx folds.
deeandell calls [12000].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Js, Th, 5s ]
Your time bank will become active in less than 20 seconds. If you do not want it to be used, please act now.
ChagiFish is all-In [29918]
deeandell calls [29918].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Jc ]
** Dealing River ** [ 4h ]
ChagiFish shows [ Ks, Kc ] two pairs, kings and jacks.
deeandell shows [ 4c, 4s ] a full house, Fours full of jacks.
deeandell wins 101836 chips from the main pot with a full house, Fours full of jacks.
Player ChagiFish finished in 7 place
ChagiFish has left the table.
The Small Blind left the table. The Dealer button remains in place.



This is not a whining post. I seriously laughed when that 4 hit. Do I want that call? You bet. Now the next 9 times that happens, I'll walk away with all the chips, and likely the tournament.

The reason he called me is explained very nicely in Dan Harringtons Harrington on Hold Em Volume 1. I had gotten a crazy run of cards to get up to this point in the tournament. This was at least my 4th time having KK and though I never saw AA I had QQ also twice and AK a couple of times from 20 players down till this hand. The thing is, I never had to show down one of these hands. In tournament poker I really pump my strong hands most of the time. I rarely slow play them for fear of getting beat. So because of this, I often either bust/double through a guy or win myself a small pot PF or on the flop, and this is perfectly fine with me.

Well now here is this big stack watching me ramming and jamming another pot when nobody has called me on my previous attempts, and he decides to play sherriff. Perfect. Because I have cowboys. My feedback from the player chat really let me peak into my growth as a player, I just typed in 'lol' 'nh dude' 'gg guys' and one player said 'gracsious player, even on a beat like that, no whining'. This really made me reflect back in my progress, a year or two ago I would have been fuming and punching things and very upset. Now I am perfectly fine with that result, because I made a great decision and got exactly the result I wanted...I made him call me when he was destroyed. I can't control the cards, but I can control the way I play them and the way I take beats. It was another stellar cash and for another day, poker is my friend.

Wild Bill

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ahhhhhh Thanks Doc, Much Better

This weak started like dog poo. String of beats started Monday night kept going Tuesday and by last night I was really starting to rethink this whole thing. Then as if the poker gods had realized I was on my last shred of hope they decided to change the batteries in my luckbox and I PWNed a couple of MTT's on PP tonite. I still do not have my first ever real money MTT win, though I am sitting on a great little payday. FINALLY!!! As I've said in the past, it all comes in bunches. Anybody wanting to do this for themselves better be ready for the swings. In one sitting I more than doubled my income for the entire last two weeks, and it had been a decent two weeks.

I played 4 MTT's on Stars to start the day, where my new nick seems to be quite popular in the chat box (GigaFan) and cashed in two small events and made it very far in the 50+5 rebuy before busting on a difficult hand against a great player, Colson10. Then as these were winding down I started 3 on Party as well, a 20+2, 50+5 and 100+9.

The 20+2 ended before the money, but on the 50+5 I was tourney chipleader from 1/2 the field down to around 30 when I briefly lost it. I ended up taking 5th in this after making a marginal to bad call late with my AQs to a limp re-raise from the SB. Many people may see that as an auto-muck, but for me my table image really comes into play in these spots. I am very Loose Agressive in MTT's when the blinds get big. This guy had been at my table from 50 down to now. He saw me do a lot of this type of stuff. Thats all I do. I am horrible at 'poker' (well not horrible, but I am not by any means a great player post-flop etc), where I excel is at spotting weakness and having absolutely no qualms about putting a ton of chips in the middle with a marginal hand if I think a guy can't call me. Well he flipped JJ and I lost the flip and in retrospect, he was trying to trap me, and he was not taking a stand (what I had hoped) so I probably would have been correct to fold. Though if I had won that flip I would have had the majority of chips in play 4 handed, so I don't think a lot of second guessing needs to take place.

The second tournament was a 100+9 on Party and I really just hung around the whole tournament. I played my first hand with 540 chips left when I pushed my KTs and was called by QJ and won. Then I started opening up at 75-150 and pushing. Doubled up a couple of times but never had more than average until we were very close to the money. I was concentrating so hard on the other table that this one was pretty ABC down to the money. 15 handed I pushed with 44 UTG (trying to get the blinds to fold as my LAG self) and ran into 99 and JJ. Flop had a 4 and it was pretty smooth sailing after this triple up.

Final table started a bit later and at the final table I really opened up and started nabbing blinds. 4 way I got two shorties in with AQ vs 99 and 88 and spiked the Q on the turn and got HU. Though HU this guy caught a great run of cards, or just flat-outplayed me, and I didn't hit a single pair and went out pressing the hell out of a flopped 4 flush. Another second. No regrets on this one either though. Great payday (I'm not going to list MTT cash amounts for reasons I stated in my last entry) and put me very solid in the black for the week, after a bad two days.

Its late and I need sleep but that was a ton of fun and for today, the love is back and looking nice. I am also very committed to my LAG MTT game now. I have been discussing tournament strategy a great deal with a friend and me and him probably couldn't be further apart on the spectrum of styles. I tried being a nit for a week or so in MTT's and the best I did was to survive for a long time and cash well before the real money a bunch of times. Ok thats fine for some people, but not me. I like to press people, and run delayed bluffs and try all the new tricks I learn (hence my Stars handle GigaFan), so I am once again committed to that. Wild Bill is back!!!

Thanks for all the feedback and all the hits. I think this blog is really starting to get a following. Over 3,000 hits on Tuesday and 1,000 today, and I didn't promote at all today. So please keep the feedback coming (positive is nice, but the constructive criticism is more valuable), any changes you'd like me to make or things you'd like me to add or take away.


Until next time,


Wild Bill

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Going Pro: Week 2

Hello all and thanks for coming back to check on the second weeks progress. The second week was overall about a 6 on a scale of 1-10 for enjoyablity, with financial results a bit better than this. I broke even, lost less than 100 or won less than 200 every day until Saturday. This is while living, eating, sleeping and breathing poker. Ever have dreams of poker hands? I do, all the time. Maybe this is just something to be gotten used to but for me, it was a bit difficult to take. When Saturday finally rolled around I was sure ready for the streak that came in, I finished the day up around a grand and with a much needed confidence boost.

I started off the week (which I count as beginning on Tuesday for those of you wondering where this post was yesterday-this is due to the fact that Monday's are my best day and if I take days off they are most likely going to be Tuesday and Wednesday's) playing a lot of MTT's mixed in with sets of $30+3 SNG's. I made it deep in a number of MTT's but never cashed big, busting each time before the final table. Some beats, some of them I just played my short stack right and was lucky to get as far as I did.

The 33's weren't a lot of success, though I did make some money in them. I just found it odd to be playing $100+9 MTT's and then a set of $30+3 SNG's, so I decided on Friday to take a shot higher, in the $50+5 SNG's. Things started fantastically well, as they usally do when going to a new level (for me at least). Friday would have been a good day had it not been for the MTT buy-ins pulling down the numbers. At the end of the day I decided to give one of the local cardrooms a try and found the location of one I had heard of about a half hour from me. They had a $100-200 Buy-In $2-5 Blind NLHE game spread. The fish were plentiful and with an hour I was up over $300. Then I caught two bad hands with KK losing to AQ all in PF and then flopping OESFD and losing to AA. I ended up giving back the won money plus $185 of my own and after the last big hand I called it a night.

Saturday I woke up at the butt-crack of noon and came into the office and started to get all of my technical gadgetry setup. PokerTracker, PlayerView, SNG Tracker and all of these other wonderful tools are something I have always had on the back burner out of pure laziness and lack of technical knowledge. Well now I know I need to start using every tool available to me, so I got them started, and finished getting them all installed and running on Sunday. I watched movies on the laptop while trying to qualify for the Million Gauranteed, $280 into that quest I decided to regroup. I decided to not play any more MTT's for a bit, and focus on building my roll up and getting some steady income before undertaking speculative poker risks (such as qualifiers, MTTs etc.).

The rest of the day was aweome. Just playing SNG's was perfect, I got my focus going and did very well, profiting around $1,000 on the day. Just like that I was showing a respectable profit for the week.

Sunday I only got in about 3 sets of $55's before I took some advice from a friend and took an evening off of poker and went on a date. I've been totally putting off everything else in life for the last couple of weeks and just playing. If this is going to last I need some balance. Date went well and was a nice way to not think about poker after the taxing week. Afterward I came back and decided to play a couple of late night sets, first one was 1st, 1st, 1st, 4th. Second one I busted all 4. Funny game. So with that Sunday also showed a profit and I went home for the night.

Monday got off to a fantatic start with me just playing 55's. After 4 sets I was up just under $300 and making a slow steady profit with each set (what I wouldn't give for it to always be like that). Then on the 5th set I bubbled out of 3 and had a $220 loss. Thats poker. I decided that would be a good time for a lunch break and took off for a bit. When I came back it was 15 minutes until the Super Monday was starting, and as taking 2nd in that a month ago is what got this journey off the ground, I decided to give it a try. Bad idea. Got my QQ all-in pre against KK early on with little choice in the matter and that was about that. Killed my momentum for the day and put me in a crappy mood. Took a break for awhile to do some chatting and stock research then got back on the ball with about the best run of PF hands I've ever seen, then about the worst boards.

Sufferend my first significant downswing with a 1/16 ITM streak at the 55's. I had AA lose to two non-pair undercards twice, KK to the same once, and big pairs lose to lower pairs three times I can recall. Mixed in were assorted other more routine beats like AK losing to A5 etc. Every time I got down to the bubble in these 4 sets it was looking nice, then I'd pickup a huge hand and think I was gonna close and WHACK! Thats poker. Down $510 in just over 3 hours.

Just about that time I started catching up on some 2+2 reading and got an IM from Lacky, 'chipleader', he was doing well in the Super, as he has been doing well in everything lately...and got to watch him luckbox his way all the way down to a HU chiplead. In the end the cards didn't fall his way but still a nice little 17k to throw on the pile of what has already been a phenomenal week and month for the guy. Big ups to lacky! Not only is he a great poker player, but a great guy. He's really reached a helping hand out to me in this quest, as he's been doing it for a couple of years now, and given some invaluable advice.

---------------

So all in all it was a good fiscal week,. it showed a profit but was difficult to navigate. I was having some doubts about this endeavor mid-week, not for fear of going broke, as I wasn't losing, but for fear of not making any serious money. Things started looking up toward the end of the week, then somewhat of a crash landing took place Monday evening. Them are the breaks I guess.

One very good note was a collaboration that took place on Monday between me and a couple of good friends and some fellow 2+2ers. As my current rakeback deal only gives me 20% and these others are in a similar spot, we've decided to try and pool our collective revenue's and get a better deal from Empire under one affiliate account. The ultimate goal would be to acheive a top level % of 3o+, obviously the more people we pool with, the better the chance of that. At minimum we'll be able to get the 25% they offer for $10k+, and that will mean a lot to the bottom line in lean times. Anybody that can provide any tips on this process, or who has any other questions about it, feel free to post here or contact me through 2+2.


I was asked to post results from week to week, so I will start that below:

I have decided to only post STT results and not my overall win/loss records for cash games or for MTT play. I'd hate to get into any trouble with the IRS should I make a mistake in my accounting here, though for SNG's it is flawless with Hood's amazing SNG Tracker.


Since going pro STT totals are as follows:

ROI: 14%
ITM: 35%
TOURNIES: 285
PROFIT: $2339

120 of these are 33's
123 are 55's
The rest are 109's and 215's

Until next time,


Wild Bill