Monday, August 1, 2011

3 Freaking Years

That's right, today is the three year anniversary of Jesse taking this shot. It's almost impossible for me to believe both how much and how little I've actually learned over the last 36 months. If I knew back then what I know now, there is no way I'd have ever started walking down this road. And to be honest, now that I'm here, I'm not so sure I still want to be. Every week I catch myself thinking about what it would be like to have a regular job and turn poker back into a lucrative hobby (OK realistically here in traffic land that wouldn't work out very well, but you get the idea). Still after all this time I am not committed (like you read about) to the task at hand. I told this to someone I trust today and was met with a response of "that's great, because otherwise I'd have to think you were insane". And the point is valid; if I was completely satisfied with what I was doing, well, just what would that say about me? All along I've been open, no, actually planning, to at some point return to society. But when will be the right moment? The history of my life has shown that I'm not particularly good at ending things, that I tend to have a lot of inertia. More and more I am wondering if it's just inertia keeping me going, inertia of living here, of driving to the casino every day, of not really knowing what I'd do next. Because let's be honest here, on the whole things have been going poorly about as much as they've been going well during the whole three years, and financially speaking I'm WAY behind where I would be if I'd just stayed in the software industry. Of course if I'd done that Danielle wouldn't have her dream house in Orange County and I wouldn't know all the wonderful people I've met and well it's silly to even try to comprehend how things would be different because it simply can't be known. And then there's the small matter of things actually going pretty well lately; despite the fact that I just booked my first 5 figure "at the tables" losing month, I have a realistic shot at making $100K this year when you add everything up (especially if I go full time at the Bike). So at least for now I'm going to keep right at it, at least until the situation at the Bike solidifies. Inertia or not, I don't really know what else to do.

Now that I'm done with my stream of consciousness rant, I'd like to say that I've been running poorly and I think it's started to affect my play. In my last 120 hours of limit hold 'em I've lost about 180 bets, which is just enough to get irritating, especially since I had just pulled myself out of a 250 bet downer that happened less than 6 weeks earlier. The whole thing is just getting so...old. I play a pot well, it's monstrous, there is over a rack of chips in in it and I....lose headsup to a two outter. I can't win that money back, it's gone forever. I have to play that spot over 20 more times, and win EVERY TIME, just to get back to expectation. I know I know, that's a horrible way to think about it, but it's just getting...old.

The situation at the bike is kind of silly at this point. We've hired a couple more props who basically come in whenever they want, which is when the game is good, during my shift, so they are effectively just stealing money from me, and I'm getting pretty sick of it. They aren't paying me enough to work the job, but I'm hanging on for a potential bump to 40 hours a week (which would also come with benefits, I hear, which are nice).

Anyway, no big ending, nothing special here. Just three years of grinding and still a lot of questions running through my head.


shark21 said...

I wrote an extremely long response, out of appreciation for all your blogging. But meh, it's probably inappropriately long and heartfelt. So let me just throw out some bullet points.

1. $100K is actually a-okay for your third year. You hear about the outlier success stories because they are outliers.

2. Now that you're a prop, you actually *are* back in society at a grind job. It just feels different. Why not be a programmer contractor, or some other flexible-type position?

3. Develop an exit strategy. You don't need to embark on it, but knowing you're not trapped helps immensely.

4. Given your employability, I hope you give it another couple years. However, if I read that you're programming again, and taking your newly acquired through-the-roof CE to play and improve part-time and make doubly fat bank, then I also would be happy. I played full-time online a few years back and did well, but still returned to the 9 to 5 grind a few years ago when the government shut out the U.S. banks. I'm constructing my empire-building plan (yes, that's how it feels. Stop mocking me :-| ), that takes into account my IT skills and my gambling skills, and the flexibility/wealth/stability I need. It's like developing my own small business plan, ensuring success, and all the while poker remains a lucrative side job. My next moves will be from a position of strength. Consider it.

I'm very sorry to hear about your agonizing swings. Really.

Anon Rob

bellatrix78 said...

Happy Anniversary, Jesse!

Nothing but awe from me, man.
I think you're doing quite well in your chosen profession. If you do want to get back into "the normal world", have you thought on freelancing or working on small projects? I mean, you did start poker as a thing on the side, too, so why not start other stuff, too.

At the end of the day, we all have doubts if what we're doing is really the right thing and we just stay in it because of inertia. But let me tell you from somebody that just had a 3 month "vacation" from science. I miss it like hell and I just want to go back to it. I don't think I could ever play for a living and so I'm happy with the small spoils I get.

You already do this, I know, but keep your friend circles as wide as possible. You know better than I do how flimsy at best and toxic at worst, the gambling community can be. :)

And thanks for this blog!

Anonymous said...

Always read your blog and enjoy your honesty. I always thought playing cards full time would only be worth it if one was traveling while doing so. Ever think of poker trips to Europe? Macau?