Thursday, September 29, 2005

Going Pro: Week 10 (The World Travelling Poker Pro)

The World Travelling Poker Pro-what is that exactly? A man with his laptop and backpack, in search of only two things: an amazing connection in your wireless hotspot and and fabulous time in your city.

Headed off to Bangkok, Thailand early next week (October 4th to be exact) and with little plan for what to do for the weeks and months thereafter, the thought of travelling the world with my laptop and playing online poker professionally is becoming very very appealing to me. This combines my two great passions: poker and travel.

I can think of every reason in the world why I should do this, and none why I should not. I do have a serious girlfriend here now, but we are meeting in Amsterdam in early November for a ten-day jaunt through the Netherlands and two a couple of festivals in Germany. She is in grad school and working full-time for the next several months, but after that she is free to travel as well. I see no issue with coming back to the states at least a couple of more times before next summer and having her come to see me a couple of times until then, and us making it just fine.

The cost of living in countries like Thailand and Argentina and India is so cheap compared to what it costs to live in California, and with the way my earn is going now it really doesn't make all that much difference. I can be seeing the most beautiful places on earth and working 10-15 hours a week AND STILL be saving more money than most people my age slaving away at their 9-5's. Why on earth would I NOT do it?

Wild Bill

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

400 SNG Challenge!

Follow my progress on 2+2.

Challenge Thread Link

So far its 56 tourneys down and $2300+ in profit.

Thailand here I come!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Going Pro: Week 9 (Vegas Trip Report)

Started off the weekend by heading down to LA to play some live chips. Oh how I miss my live play up here in NL-less Northern California. I started off with my roomate in a $400 Buy-In 5-10 blind game. The table was very agressive and fairly good. I played for about two hours and with the exception of one hand that I played very very well (AQ flopped top pair and I extracted maximum value from a calling station with a weak underpair) I felt thoroughly outmatched. I was re-raised at least five times pre-flop and I folded each time. The last hand was actually against my roomate and if he is putting moves on me (he later said he held 57o vs my AJo) then I am obviously emitting some serious vaginal vibes. Seems like its a slippery slope against good players, once they see that you'll fold to pressure...they'll just keep applying it at every opportunity.

I walked away from the game with $400 in chips but a $600 loser as I had rebought (you are allowed to add $600 if you bust). I then went upstairs and played a $130 Sit N Go for tournament chips to get into the California State Poker Championships. I started off with most players thinking I was a tool-box for asking the dealer multiple questions before I acted on my first hand (how many starting chips, how often do the blinds rise, is this winner take all etc etc) then raising with my AKs. Though I got the last laugh as the only player at the table who understood anything close to proper STT strategy was the guy who I got heads up with. Though even he didn't understand the need to open up your calling standards versus a push-bot and after I refused his chop request he got pretty much blinded off and the $1000+ first prize was mine.

This got me to thinking. I've been on a pretty poor run lately in my NL cash game play, some of this due to bad cards but a lot more is due to me being outmached I think. As my bankroll has grown the stakes that interest me have changed, and for MTT and STT play this is fine, because my game has also improved a great deal. But for my cash game play, this is not necessarily the case. Though I still do very well in lower buy-in cash games, when I start getting up to the $500+ buy-in games my leaks start to become very evident and I don't do nearly as well, unless I catch amazing cards. I really am stuck with how to handle this, as I definately want to be a complete poker player and master multiple different types of play. Though if I have to play 1-2 blind NL to win, I am MUCH better off playing STT's from a $/hr standpoint.

Whatever, I go back after the STT and play some 2-5 blind $200 buy-in NL and do very well. I made just over $500 more in several more hours of play. Felt nice to be back in the aquarium again.

After Commerce we hung around LA for another 12 hours or so and then headed to Vegas! Me and a couple of buddies nearly finished a bottle of Grey Goose on the way and the trip was off to a great start. We stopped in at Whiskey Petes as is our tradition and played some house edge games and drank more Grey Goose. By the time we got to Vegas it was well past 1am so we decided to just go to Spearmint Rhino. Several hours, $2,000 and many drinks later, the four of us decided to call it a night. I'll save the details to protect the innocent, but we'll just say a good time was had by all ;)

The next day was a full-on poker expedition. I started off poorly by dumping $500 at the 2-5 NL game at the Wynn. Over the next 24 hours I would repeat this feat a couple of more times with the exact dollar amount varying slightly each time. So I drank.

Two friends decided to head back on Sunday night but me and one friend decided to stay behind. There are few places I'd rather be in the world than at the Bellagio. We stayed thru Wednesday night and finally decided to come back when his winning streak started to come to a close and my losses started to stress me out.

My biggest leak at the moment is definately craps. As with the cash games, due to my bankroll size, the stakes that interest me at the craps table have changed. So I bet more. This then compunds my losses (as the house will always beat me long-run at the craps table) and puts me on life-tilt. I really have got to stop playing craps if I expect to spend a lot of time in Vegas.

I finally caught a heater the last day in town with some of the heat coming from online play and then with us missing our flight I made $500ish back at Wynn in the 2-5 game. Then when we got back to LA I played some more at Commerce and made just under $700. I also pulled off some nice market timing with some stocks I own and that little psychological bump put me in nice form coming back home to get grinding again.

So all in all, the trip was definately not a profitable one...but it was great to spend some time with my buddies and see Vegas. Nothing energizes me more than the Bellagio.

Off to Thailand October 4th and until then will be 8-tabling till my eyes bleed hopefully.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!

Wild Bill

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Going Pro: Week 8

Life is good.

On the way to Vegas for the weekend (I turn 25 on Saturday) via a two day stop over in Los Angeles for some much needed live play action at the California State Poker Championships.

8-Tabling the 109's still and have a 23% ROI so far. I had one $2.5k downswing, but it was after I was up over $7k overall, so it didn't hurt all that bad. I hope to stay at this level for some time, and as I'm averaging ~$25 for every tourney I play (roughly $200 per hour plus rakeback) it appears I have what it takes, though until I hit 1,000 tourneys I'm not drawing any conclusions.

I've gone away every weekend for the last 5 and am taking a one-way trip to Thailand in early October with no plan for when I'm going to return. Staying at least three weeks there, then around Southeast Asia for a bit, then who knows what. As long as they have fast wireless some place over there I'll be content to four-table it on the laptop and hopefully break even for my travels.

All thanks to poker.

Two months into this and definately gaining confidence that I have what it takes.

I'll put up a full trip report when I get back from Vegas.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!

Wild Bill

Monday, September 05, 2005

Going Pro: Week 6 and 7

Today marks the end of the seventh week that I've been playing for a living. It feels like I am turning a corner now and this is moving from experimentation to reality. I got some amazing feedback last week from readers and did a lot of soul searching the last several days. I have decided to close down the office as the $1200+ per month it costs to keep it open is probably greater than the EV I am gaining from the positive benefits of coming here to play everyday. Also as some friends pointed out, I can always get another smaller office in a few weeks or a month if working and playing from home doesn't work out.

I am just a little hesitant to work from home as my first job out of college as an outside sales rep included doing a lot of work from home, and I didn't like it much at all. I hardly ever left the house, didn't eat healthy or exercise and generally hated it. Though things are different now in other areas of life (I didn't know anybody in that area, didn't have a girlfriend, didn't have all that much disposable income or even a car...) so it is very possible that I could try it again and have a good experience.

The last ten days were absolutely phenomenal financially. I started 8-tabling the 109's and from the first set I have been on a massive heater. Through today's play I have only not profited in 2 sets, one of them a $372 loss and the other a $172 loss. In the win column I have multiple sets that profited more than $1,000 and many others that profited more than $500. All in all in just under 20 hours of play, I am showing a $6200 profit. It literally feels like it is raining money with things going like this at this level of play.

I have gotten very aggressive with my investing and saving, otherwise I'd probably be getting very aggressive with my spending ;) I am currently keeping 30 buy-ins between my two accounts, and pulling off everything else and putting it into stocks and savings. I highly reccomend anybody else lucky enough to have significant poker earnings going through their till do the same. At 24 I am probably one of the senior online pro's, I know if I was to have the kind of money I have now a couple of years ago I would have blown a great portion of it. The book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' as well as 'The Millionaire Next Door' and 'The Intelligent Investor' have helped me a great deal in managing and growing money. This poker boom may not last forever, and if and when it ends, I want to make sure I have something to show for it, and options available to me outside of tending bar or taking an entry level sales job.

I have had to adjust my game to the better players at the 109's and am still tweaking that part, but I am very optimistic I can play and win at this level. Rakeback alone is $18 per set currently, and once we get our group up to $50,000 in revenue per month that will be $21.60 per set. My goal is to hit 10% ROI, that totals to over $100 per hour. I'm going to say that one more time....that is over one hundred dollars per hour lounging in front of my beautiful monitors in a giant papasan chair listening to Jack Johnson and working whenever I damned well please.

Things going great with the girl and I'm telling her more and more about the poker thing, told her I plan on closing the office and have been telling her when I'm playing poker as opposed to lying and saying I'm 'at work'. I haven't actually said 'I am playing poker professionally' but she gets the hint I think. I think.

Thanks again for all the great feedback guys, positive and negative. Feel free to rip into me as you see fit. Also feel free to email me with any questions about poker, rakeback, bonus whoring or anything else.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!

Wild Bill