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I LEFT a corporate 9-5 job that drained my soul for about 3 years. It is my goal to keep pursuing poker until I can comfortably support myself playing full-time.

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Nightmare October Ends and Ramblings (11/3/2013)

October ended for me almost exactly the way it started; a complete nightmare.  I finished the month up +$705 in 149 hours.  So far only June was a bigger nightmare, the only month I actually ended up down net playing live this year.

October was my highest volume live month of the year.  Unfortunately I look back on all the hard work and only remember a blur of confusion, rage, and pain.

I’m not going to get into the grueling details about how something like this can happen right now so I’ll just leave it at that; whatever…

Right now I feel like I’m not in a great place.  My bankroll is quite low for what I’ve been used to throughout most of my poker career.  Also, grinding mid-stakes isn’t really enjoyable to me.  Additionally, the transition to becoming a successful online player has been incredibly slow to say the least.  For the first time (since maybe the first 6 months I started grinding full-time) I’ve justified that there is a distinct possibility that poker may not work out for me.  And you know what?  That’s fine.

I have a solid career path that I can take if it comes to that.  Also, as long as I give it my best shot I can’t be too angry if things don’t work out.  Life will go on.  And fuck I’ll have more than I started with.  Not only more assets, but some really cool experiences I wouldn’t trade anything for.  And if I ever do leave for good I’m cutting down at least one tree from each casino that forced me through the hell of having to walk through their shit poker room.

Anyways, one thing that has plagued much of my year has been scheduling, it’s been a constant leak.  My body goes through periods where it no longer responds well to a grave-yard shift.  When I was younger it didn't bother me, but now it really does.  For example, recently I’ve been suffering with insomnia, half the time I have to take melatonin to force myself into a “normal sleep”.  Additionally, I’m not nearly productive enough because of my sleep schedule.  I’ll barely put in 8 hours live, but finish past 4a.m and my entire next day is screwed up.  Another huge problem is my schedule does not allow me to be productive enough to improve at the pace I need too online.

I’ve thought about things a lot and decided it’s either get on an earlier schedule, or completely stop putting time in online all-together.  I stayed on the late schedule because the live games are better late, but I still think it’s the right play to get on an earlier schedule to put myself in the best position to truly succeed.  Besides, what did my committment to the night shift give me this year?  Honestly almost nothing.  If I'm going to get my nuts kicked in constanly I might as well be on an earlier healthier schedule.  Sure live poker will still suck earlier, but at least the rest of my life won't be fucked (including body/mind).  Besides if I'm having a good day (haha that's funny) I can always push it into the later night if I really need too for some reason.

Starting November (now) I’m back on an earlier shift.  When I play live I’m going to start early to late afternoon-ish.  I think the earlier shift will also allow my mind to be much clearer especially for online days.  Online days are a waste if I’m not ready to rapidly absorb information.  Here has been my typical online day the past two months:

A)  Be in a state of complete brain-fog because I went to bed the previous night past 4a.m like an idiot.

B)  Possibly decide to pay $50 for a hour lesson where I absorb maybe 40% of the information.

C)  Play multiple tables at C-game because my mind is too fucked to do any better.  Shame my C-game online isn’t good enough to win, this isn’t live.

D)  Not work-out hard enough or nearly often enough

E)  No study outside of an hour or two coaching.  Even if I did it wouldn’t matter, my mind is in no state to learn.

And my new online days:

A)  Have a completely clear mind ready to study hard and rapidly absorb new information.

B)  If I use one of my lessons, I’ll be completely ready to absorb the information and make it worth-while. 

C)  Work out hard and often.

D)  Play no less than B-game at any given time while multi-tabling.

E)  Study a mandatory two hours before playing.



Updates: Life, Running Bad; Playing Average (10/11/2013)

For the month of October I now find myself running really bad, while playing average.  I’m about break even so far. 

Looking at my session for Thursday I lost -$185 in 6 hours.  I had very little chance to make money, but I didn’t play to the best of my ability.  I had four spots where I could have taken squeeze spots to fight for dead money pre-flop, I only took one, which of course failed.  I could have at least taken one out of the other three.

I also missed a very easy bluff spot against a regular multi-way which would have resulted in +$200 over 80% of the time.  I actually recognized each spot while they came up, I just failed to pull the trigger.  Sometimes I recognize the correct play, but don’t take it because it’s still somewhat out of my comfort zone.  Also, having a bad month makes it even harder to play optimally, you naturally miss more spots.  Your instinct becomes to tighten up and just wait for value, that’s what got me to where I am.  But that doesn’t always work anymore, it’s not that easy anymore, I feel I’m running out of time in general.  I’m not trying to grind mid-stakes for the rest of my life. 

I have to keep my foot on the gas-pedal.  I don’t get enough value spots, that’s not me, I have to go to absolute war to earn anything .  I’ll sit there for 8 hours and not get dealt QQ+ or hit a set, that’ fine my life sucks, I’m used to that.  But I’m going to go down kicking and screaming, I won’t go easy.  I have to push my game to it’s limits right now.  I don’t have time to wait for value spots, I don’t want to play live poker 180 hours per month.  That's not in my blood, I'm not passionate about playing poker like that anymore.   I’ll go to war to jack my win-rate up by any means possible.  If that means I lose this month fine, but I’m not taking my foot off the pedal, that shit is not happening.

Since it’s been such a horrendous week I’m trying to look at leaks in my game which prevent my win-rate from being as high as it could be.  Instead of sitting there in misery waiting for live hell variance to turn around I’m trying to proactively improve.  At least I’m trying to improve in certain areas, I think that’s the only way I can stay sane playing live going forward.  Proactively try to improve my game weekly; that has to be the goal, not the money.

In addition to trying to improve, I recognize I’ve had some off the table leaks as well.  My schedule is chronically messed up, so I’m not sleeping enough, which leads to me not playing well enough.  Also I haven’t worked out enough the past few weeks because I’ve been so busy.  That has to change going forward.  I need to have a more normal sleep schedule, and I need to work out twice per week minimum.  That was screwed up at first because moving took up so much time.  But now time to sign up for the gyms again, getting cold outside.

I’m planning to play sessions Fri-Sun, so plenty of work ahead of me the next few nights.

I want to start updating this site again some for myself because I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, maybe it can help keep me on track; writing is powerful.  My life has been really crazy during the past few months. 

Some highlights to catch you up:

1)  I just moved to a different state.  I’d prefer not mentioning where I am on this blog.  I’m really not here to tip off grinders on where I think games are more profitable, it’s really for my self improvement and tracking my progress.  That may sound selfish, but I don’t really care.

2)  I purchased a new car a few months ago.  That’s right, I didn’t go back up to high stakes only to get smashed again and repeat.  I may never get back to high stakes because I bought a car, it was completely irresponsible, but I’m fine with that.  I think at the time I really just needed some justification that I earned something playing poker.  The past three years, so many crazy ups and downs, at least I have something to show for it now.  And no one can take that from me.  Also, playing higher wasn’t important to me at the time.  For some reason I wanted to gravitate towards a less stressful existence at the time.  I’m just now getting my real competitive nature back.

3)  I recently broke off a 5 month relationship.  It’s tough, but I feel like this is my only chance to get to where I want to be in the poker world.  However, the main reason honestly was that I couldn’t see myself ever moving in with the girl or wanting to marry her.  Therefore, I justified it as a waste of time in my mind.  It was great sex even at the end, but just not enough to cancel out all the negatives.  Also, I felt I didn’t have the time for a relationship anymore.  The 2 days wasted per week need to now be used to play and sometimes improve.  And when I do take a break I’d rather just spend the time with friends, not deal with her bull-shit.  Maybe I’m not capable of being in a relationship with anyone right now, and I’m fine with that for the time being.  I worked too hard to get myself in a position to be self-sustaining working for myself, I can’t throw that away yet; it’s all I have.  I have to fight on.

I think I'm back, I enjoyed writing this post.  Aiming to update after my sessions this weekend.  I'll be fighting.

Going forward I want to be playing 130 hours live per month, and 50 online minimum.  I expect to hit those numbers this October.



Updates, Bad Relationship, and Goals (8/23/2013)

I can't actually explain why I haven't posted in so long.  I've been incredibly busy and my life has been all over the place.  For some reason I lost my drive to update.

I've still been grinding 2/5 and trying to transition online unsuccessful.  The online transition has been unsuccessful because I simply just haven't had enough time to commit.  However, I feel my online experience is really helping me improve as a player.

My life has been dominated my some pretty big stressors the past three months.  One of them has been moving to a new state.  The other has been a new girlfriend, which has now become a completely dysfunctional relationship.  It's gone on for about three months now, but last week it became so bad I insisted we take a BREAK, yes a break after three months haha.

The relationship started off really fun the first month, then it started adding negative to my life weekly, it just took me a while to accept it.  So I started tracking the effects the relationship was having on my emotions daily starting at the beginning of August.  I would track my emotional scale "1-10".  A rating of "5" would indicate neutral.  If it was a '5' for the day, that meant the girlfriend was added nothing for the day, no net positive or negative.  

I was a nice grader.  Even if she added nothing on a given day, I'd most likely give her a +1, because it's good having someone there to talk to (I guess), and hell at least the sex is amazing.

But if we got in a big fight obviously it would become something like a -3 for the day.  Yes if she got mad about some retarded b.s that doesn't even make sense and it led to a huge fight, that's going to be at least -3.  Because if she wasn't in my life it would be 0 neutral for the day.

Anyways, mid-way through August she was at a net of -27, so that was all the sample size I needed.  Yes minus twenty fucking seven, I can't actually make this shit up.  After the last twilight zone bull-shit arugment/fight that screwed up my day, I decided I wasn't hanging out with her during the upcoming weekend.  As soon as she sensed I was fed up her personality changed 100%, it was the most logical and sane she had been in over 2 months.  If she acted anything like she did during the past 8 weeks it would have been easy to break it off, but instead I ended up pussying out and just going on a break.  I've decided I'm going to give her one more chance to act like a normal human being, but the amount of time we hang out is going to be VERY reduced at first, like once per week.  My gut is that 90% this relationship is doomed anyway, but whatever, let's see her miraculous change she promised!

Going forward I'm going to try to play 25-30 hours per week live, while committing the rest of the time online.  This doesn't leave for enough time online, but it should get better when I relocate and I'm actually close to where I'm going to be playing live.  Rather than commuting and staying out of hotels every week.


Live Hell and Updates (4/15/2013)

It’s really hard to write about things right now, so I just haven’t been doing it, but wanted to provide some updates for anyone who still follows this blog.  The thought of even living what I go through weekly ONE TIME is already way too much to handle, much less writing about it a second time, and then reliving it a third time proof-reading.

Every day I decide to not play online is another day I’m stuck in this never ending hell that is live poker with no way out.  So that’s a decent motivation to grind online.  But I still don’t have enough time in a given week to transition. 

For March 2013 I played 111 hours live and won just under 4k.  I also put in 72 hours online, and won $45.  I’m currently 1-3 tabling 25NL right now.  I'm trying to do things right with online and take it slow this time around.  As in just keeping the tables way down and focusing on improving.  I’m somewhat happy with my coaching set-up and progress, I just don’t know if the opportunity cost is worth it.  It’s a shit load of time and work that might go wasted if things don’t work out long-term.  One comparitive advantage I have online is a coach who is absolutely crushing it at a higher stakes, so if I stick with him and work really hard I might have a chance.  Another comparitive advantage I have online is the money means absolutely nothing to me.  I lose in one pot playing live my entire online bankroll.

As for live, I’m in a small down-swing right now.  I’m running into set-up hands once per session, crazy shit going wrong that normally happens once a month maybe, or for most live regulars never.  Last night capped it off as I played 10 hours to win +$12 (yes twelve fucking dollars) in one of the best games I’ve seen in a month.  The highlight of the night was running JJ into QQ on a  6 5 6 Q J board against a huge fish check calling 3 streets (who flatted my iso from the blinds pre), there’s $1600 I’ll never see again.  Obviously got it in on the river.  The night before against a tournament retard (sorry but I literally hated this idiot I wish him nothing but the worst, seriously fuck him) opening around 40% from MP I flat with AK, flop comes A 8 7… get in $500 effective, somehow lose to pocket aces.  There goes the month pretty much.  When I lost the JJ < QQ hand I didn’t even flinch, in the past it would have bothered me a lot more.  All I remember is someone next to me saying “you need blah blah.”  I don't remember the entire sentance just 'you need something'.  And I swiftly replied “I need to go get a gun so I can shoot myself”.  After that I just kept playing as normal.  The next 6 hours were spent just grinding back what I already lost on one horrific set up mind-fuck hand like usual.   Now I just expect to make the correct play and lose every day.  I pretty much live up to that expectation. 

I can sit in some of the softest games in the world and still find a way to lose, it’s becoming almost impressive…

I’m down -$1300 in 70 hours and it’s halfway through the month.  The good news is I’ve been through this a million times before and 90% of the player pool in my exact same spot would already be down 4k riding a career 2/5 downswing and planning to shoot themselves.  I’m more worried about not being able to put the time I want online.  I’m running so bad live that I have to pretty commit to playing all live until I start running somewhat normal. 

There’s a ton going on with poker right now and every day is a fight.  I’m not going to talk about where I’ve specifically been playing, but I’ve been traveling around to play.  I will say in my mind I’m 100% done with playing in Atlantic City.  I’m just trying to make the best out of a bad situation until my lease expires in October.   I'm hoping by the end of the lease I'm playing at least 50% online (as in making at least 1k per month average) and have things 100% planned out on where I'm going to move to.

The next weeks for me should be something like travel/play, online day, travel/play, online/day, break-down off day from exhaustion, live in hell AC day, travel/play, online day, repeat.  I actually can’t get set on a normal schedule, I haven’t figured out how to balance it all yet.

Cheers all, hoping to start updating weekly again.


Hating Live and Updates (3/3/2013)

Hello all.

I haven’t been updating much mainly because there is a lot of negativity surrounding me right now.  Most of the time I’d rather not write or even talk to anyone when I’m feeling negative or things are going badly.  But hell it’s a new month!  Why not update!  Here comes the rant!

Borgata has become hell on earth for me.  Last week I actually went on vacation for 4 nights.  I came back and it took a TWO full days before I returned to pretty much hating all that is living.  I’d pretty much give anything to never again have to see 99% of the fucking idiot 2/5 player pool at Borgata.  The faces are beyond stupid, the nitiness is at all time new levels, the collective lives being wasted is unimaginable, and the stupidity is beyond thinkable. 

I can’t decide what actually tilts me more, the younger grinders or the middle aged+ regulars.  I hate them all, but I’d have to say the younger grinders.  You can’t sit next to one under 30 grinder at Borgata, it’s pretty much impossible unless you want to be subjected to:

1)  Endless poker talk during their entire session.

Nothing is more stupid.  If there is at least 3 of them on the table forget it, the game is already ruined.  Why must they endlessly try as hard as possible to educate casual live players, the same players they are theoretically trying to take money from.  Not that the ‘educating live players’ matters much.  Having a conversation with a water cooler would improve your game more than talking to a 2/5 Borgata “poker talker grinder.”  This is the bottom 20% of the 2+2 population we are talking about here. 

More importantly, no one gives a shit.  Seriously, shut the fuck up!

And it’s not like you can just transfer to another table.  There are about 2-3 of these idiots at every table now.

2)  Listening to them whine like a little bitch after they lose a hand.

Grow up seriously….

3)  Constantly being talked to like they’re somehow your friend. 

Not only do I not want to talk to you, I actually want to shoot you in the face for having the nerve to attempt talking to me.  No I don’t want to be your friend.  I would never hang out or talk to you OFF the poker table, WHY the fuck would that suddenly change on the poker table?

4)  Watching in disbelief as they violently berate the ONE fish on the table.

OH RIGHT, that’s why Borgata has the worst 2/5 game in the country.  And keep in mind the “fish” is the only person on the table not retarded.  The only one not wasting his life, let’s be honest here.


Furthermore, the 2/5 game structure at Borgata is beyond stupid.  The buy-in is capped at $500.  Also, the floor is super strict on collecting time rake.  That’s right, at a capped 2/5 game Borgata takes $5 time every half hour.

You sit down now TEN MINUTES after time is collected on every half-hour and they STILL take the fucking  $5 time from you.  There is no escape from the rape.  Also the games on average run slower than average.  WAY SLOWER.  Brace yourself for fills to come up every hour, even if the table doesn’t need them.  Oh and don’t worry, they will change the deck at least once per hour, even if the decks are totally fine.  And the floor will take 5 minutes to swap out two decks.  So you’re now getting less than 20 hands per hour and paying $10 per hour to sit in one of the shittiest 2/5 games in the world.

From now on I’m never tipping a dealer their more than $1, seriously, fuck that.  I’m beyond sick of this shit. 

I feel like I’m getting gouged when I play there.  It’s the only time-rake 2/5 game I’ve heard of in the country, but you can’t blame them.  The herds of retarded cattle still line up and play there.  There is no other stable 2/5 game in the city, they have monopoly, they do what they want. 

Therefore, I’m completely done with this city.  As soon as my lease is up I’m out.  The only place I can make a real living playing poker here is Hellgota, the same place I despise, so that is obviously not going to work.  The only way I’d even consider staying is if I was playing online over 90% as the lease was ending.  Even then there is no reason to live around here.  It’s the most-tilting and least profitable 2/5 game on the east coast.  It’s also the least profitable 5/10 games in the country.  And the life outside of poker?  Not good enough, not even close.  Every girl I meet is pretty much visiting from NY.  The only time I get laid around AC is when I go out to clubs, which I’m sick of to the point where I rarely even go at this point.  When I want to get laid, hang out with interesting girls, or hang out with family/friends I now just travel to Manhattan a few nights.  No reason to even waste time in AC.  If I manage a few good months I should just sublet the remainder of my lease asap.

The only thing I’m looking forward to weekly is committing time to playing online.  I almost don't care if I'm breaking even or losing money net on a month at this point.  I mean I can't run normally playing live regardless.  I'm also not passionate enough to grind out live games that I hate playing in.  25 hours per week, and the rest online I don't really care.  Beats walking into Borgata daily.  Fuck money, it's not even worth it.  What is the point of torturing myself to make an extra $500 per week?  There will be no bankroll building in those games.  I'm either running not good enough, too tilted, or the games just aren't profitable enough at the earlier times I'm playing.  This week I’m going to be playing exclusively online Monday-Wednesday.  It’s going to take time to get things rolling, but it’s at least something fresh to work towards. 

I'll resume live play Thursday-Sunday.