Here we go…

So I’m home. Back in Chicago for at least the next few weeks before I ship out to Vegas.

Playing poker for a living is great, but the traveling can get somewhat tiresome. I’m happy to be back here to get my life back in order. You don’t realize all the little things when you go away, but there is plenty of mail, emails and laundry to get through. Plus, the summers in Chicago are great. I often tell people when I travel that Chicago has the best summers (and the worst winters).

I had some mixed emotions regarding my trip. I met a lot of great people and saw some amazing things. As I stood at the Pokerstars party in Monte Carlo, the day before I was set to leave, I noticed myself questioning my future choices. Obviously change is difficult, and I often have a particularly tough time with it, but I started to wonder: am I taking this all for granted? I usually don’t like going to the Pokerstars party – its just a bunch of dudes standing around drinking. In reality, I don’t have much to talk about with these people other than poker, so our conversations usually land on a specific hand or play (and that’s ok). Many of my poker friends are now people I would consider friends outside of poker and people that I hope I keep in contact with even when I leave the poker world. But, at the beginning of our friendships, poker is what we discuss because that is what we have in common.

But, I found myself looking inward quite a bit on this trip. Reminiscing, if you will, about all the great places I’ve been and all the great people I’ve met along the way. With my backers confidence behind me, I could travel the world and play a great deal of live events that I wouldn’t even consider before. I noticed that there is a group of 20 or 30 American internet kids that travel to all the EPT’s. They all know each other from online play and most are huge winners online. The interesting thing is that 4 or 5 of them already have won an EPT for at least 1mill score. It’s almost a matter of time before the rest hit one. In other words, with 12 EPT stops and a number of other live events in Europe, these people are just biding their time before they hit a big one. And, I could see myself renting a house somewhere in Europe with a few of these guys, mainly to use as a hub, as we travel the EPT circuit and play in Europe – someplace warm maybe, like Ibiza.

Poker has afforded us such a great opportunity; to be perfectly honest, the game just hasn’t evolved live like it has online. When we sit at a table (and when I say we, I mean the handful of strong online talent that travels to an event and analyzes the minutia of every hand), we are playing a different game. The stuff that goes through our minds is just completely different than everyone else. And that’s typical of any live event. I can’t even begin to explain what is it like to sit at a table full of foreigners who are clearly recreational players and wonder how they see the game. It feels, often times, like we are just dancing around them as they stand still, clumsily trying to bop their head to the music. And the reason why its profitable is because they think they are dancing, and dancing well. Obviously, that’s a product of the immense amount of hands we play online, but live is just a different animal. A few of the hands where I made big folds could never be made online – you can sometimes just look at someone and know. I’m not talking about the well-documented ‘tells’ that most people (wrongly) associate with true poker playing. Instead, I’m talking about reading the whole picture – just knowing.

Anyway, that was quite a tangent. I am not quitting my future plans to attend UNC. I just had a moment of weakness where I questioned my true motives. I want a future in business and I think an MBA gives me my best bet to do that. I am very much looking forward to it. These are good ‘problems’ to have.

I posted a bunch of pics on my facebook account of our hotel in Nice. Feel free to check those out if you want to see how drug-induced one had to be in order to first design the room.

Additionally, see below for my WSOP schedule. Pretty intense but this is the best way for me to actually win something. Obviously, if I’ve made a day 2 of an event, I can’t play the next event on the list.

June 1 – July 15 WSOP
June 2 – Event #8 NL Holdem $1,500
June 3 – Event #9 PL Holdem $1,500
June 4 – Event #11 NL Holdem $1,500
June 5 – Event #13 NL Holdem $1,000
June 8 – Event #17 NL Holdem $5,000
June 12 – Event #24 NL Holdem $1,000
June 14 – Event #26 NL Holdem $2,500
June 16 – Event #30 NL Holdem $1,500
June 17 – Event #32 NL Holdem $5,000
June 18 – Event #35 HU NL Holdem $10,000
June 19 – Event #36 NL Holdem $1,000
June 20 – Event #38 PL Holdem $10,000
June 21 – Event #39 NL Holdem Shootout $1,500
June 23 – Event #42 NL Holdem $1,500
June 25 – Event #45 NL Holdem $1,500
June 26 – Event #47 NL Holdem $1,000
June 28 – Event #49 NL Holdem $1,500
July 1 – Event #54 NL Holdem $1,000
July 2 – Event # 56 NL Holdem $2,500
July 5th – Event #57 Main Event NL Holdem $10,000

Venetian Deep Stack Events
June 9 – VDSE $1,590
June 17 – VDSE $2,100
June 30 – VDSE $2,100

Alrighty then…

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2 comments so far

  1. David on

    The opportunity cost of playing professionally would be so high. You develop no skills, add nothing to your resume, and miss out on a ton of chances to do other great things. Poker can be lonely. Very few people understand what you are doing and you cosntantly have to blow people off when you get deep in a tournament or when a good cash game is running. If your other option were working at WalMart or something then playing professionally might be a good idea. But don’t be ridiculous. Just because you might make good money playing EPTs doesn’t mean you couldn’t be making good money doing something else without all the stress of traveling/makeup with backers/destroyed relationships/tilt etc etc. I have played poker more than almost anyone I know in the past 2-3 years and I can say with complete candor that very few of the full-time people I know live happy lives. Poker will always be there for you. You will never be broke, people will always stake you for cash games or tourneys. You always have a money-making machine. But to sacrifice everything to do it full-time is just not a smart idea. And this is coming from someone that knows the game well, not a relative or random dude you work with. I can’t even begin to tell you how much happier I am now that I’m working a real job and playing poker just for fun sometimes on the side or on sundays or whatever. The sacrifice would be too much for someone like you who could be doing so many other things.

    David
    PS- thanks for calling me when you were in NYC, hater.

  2. Jeff on

    This was a very interesting post. I loved the dancing analogy. I’m not even capable of figuratively (or literally) bobbing my head to the music.


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