No tournaments today

Things are quiet today. There aren’t any good live tournaments, so today will consist of grinding and possibly a round of golf.

Let’s take a second to discuss something – I know my blog reads like all fun and games, but the truth is playing poker for a living is very taxing. When people ask me what playing is like, I usually compare my job to that of a day trader’s. Of course, my hours are way different than most day traders, but I can assume that the highs and lows are similar.

Most of you are unaware, but I’ve gone on what has been a very tough run in the past couple of months. At the beginning of the year, I was crushing online cash; essentially vacuuming money off the site. Variance struck back with a vengeance and I was left wondering why I play this stupid game. When you are running well, its hard to get up from the tables – the opposite is true when you are getting crushed. Add that to my online horses taking a beating, and I was seriously at a loss.

Living in Vegas, so far, has been quite a mix of emotions for me. First, I live with a bunch of high stakes ballers – these guys crush cash games for 300k + a year. While it’s great to see them destroy every day, I am struggling with my downswings, which makes money a touchy subject for me right now. I was never one to be frugal, but lately, I find myself worrying more so about about every dollar. Living with them sometimes helps me forget my troubles, but it also makes situations sticky because they can buy into whatever tournaments they want out here. Meanwhile, as evidence by me selling action in every WSOP event (which I have never done up until now), things are quite different for me. I’m trying to learn to stay calm like my roommates do on a daily basis. They are relatively chill no matter what happens (+-20k).

Second, since I’ve run so shitty, I’ve been forced to rethink every decision I make on the felt. This may be a good thing in the long run, but right now, its extremely disheartening. Discussing hands with my roommates is great and there are times when I learn a lot. But, I do feel like playing on Bodog (my home site for cash games) has stunted my growth. They don’t have limits bigger than 10/20 nl (so I can’t take shots higher) and they only run two six max games at my stakes (which means I am forced to play full ring). They also don’t have heads-up tables, so I’ve never improved that part of my game. Finally, the play on the site is relatively softer, so I’m not challenged as much. Sure, the money is why I play, but I can’t improve to make more money in the long run if my competition is below par. I just feel like I’m playing from behind on every other site – its not a good feeling to start any match.

Third, I’m very frustrated because I feel like my tournament game is extremely strong right now. In fact, I feel like my tournament game is better than my cash game, something that is not usually the case. Whenever I play live and go deep in something, I run into another online pro who comments on how well I’m playing. I’m not saying any of this to brag, rather to explain my frustrations regarding tournament poker as a whole. There is just so much variance in the game that big breaks are sometimes impossible to come by. I’ve been playing this game for a long time – the fact that I’ve never hit a live score over 20k or an online score over 30k means either ‘A’ I run bad or ‘B’ I play bad. The longer I play, the more I tend to think that it’s ‘A’ and hope it’s not ‘B.’

Now I know most of the people who read this aren’t going to be particularly sure what to do with what I’m saying. I’m not looking for sympathy. Instead, I’m using this blog as a journal of sorts. I suppose it’s somewhat cathartic to put my thoughts down on paper – even though the internet is a scary place to do it.

In the end, I’m out here to make money – that is my job. Feeling sorry for myself is not a good way to go through life. I need to keep telling myself that I am a professional and that tilting is for losing players.

In any case, I’m glad I shared this with everyone. It may change the tone of the blog, but that’s OK – it’s at least more realistic now. I’m still having a great time out here. The house is still sick and the roommates have gotten along great. I just hope that my emotions regarding poker mellow and that I am able to hit that big one.

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5 comments so far

  1. berg on

    good luck man, keep it positive and you will prevail

    btw…blog has been a nice distraction from work lately…keep the posts coming

  2. hirsch on

    hang in there champ. everyone has downswings – just keep playing your A game and the money will come.

  3. Jordan S on

    Josh, I love this blog. Keep your head up and keep the positive attitude. I’m sure things will start to turn around..

    On another note when are you in Vegas till? We are coming out the weekend of July 24th for Dave’s Bachelor party… will you still be there?

  4. ryan on

    chin up josh. everyone feels this way or some similar way at some point of their career. try to think about the positives more than the negatives.

  5. Pammy on

    Sounds like you need to go get a drink!!!! Charge it to me 🙂 I have a good feeling that some luck is going to match that smart brain of yours VERY soon!!! Miss apartment shopping, well kinda! 🙂 Miss hanging with you; that’s better!!! Enjoy yourself!


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