Sunday, August 31, 2008

This journey is so similar ...
... you can read Parts 1 thru 6 as the first 3 years for me before starting my blog.

Kurt sounds like a really cool guy. By the time you stumble upon this, I expect that it will have been updated with a happy ending (if there ever is an ending - maybe that's the attraction of poker).

I'm not sure that I would have stumbled upon this story if I wasn't writing my own blog. It's like buying a new Mazda 3 and suddenly seeing them everywhere on the roads where you hadn't before. It's early days, but I'm getting to enjoy this blogging and I haven't even had one comment yet. Just shouting into space. BTW, if a man shouts in space, is he still wrong?

Running good, feels good!

Well a quick update after 3 hours of multitabling. I've been running good and feel like a champ. I have concentrated a bit more because of the blog, so it has paid itself off already. I've made a couple of lay downs that I would otherwise have gambled on (and lost). Mainly because the grind of gaining back that ground having set my first ever poker goal didn't look like fun. I've realised that there are probably better spots to get the money in the middle.

I know why so many people want to go professional. It seems like I have a gift for the game today. Luckily, after 3 years, I know that it is just called variance and you can look forward to a post in the not too distant future when online poker seems such a lonely spot.

Bankroll. For the record, I have never reloaded from my original deposit of $25. I have moved sites but always within what I have withdrawn. I have a few residual accounts where I play low limit Omaha etc.

With this exercise, before moving up to the next level, I ran a calculation and gave myself until Nov to reach a certain limit. Well, I made those gains overnight so I need to decide whether I need to check if my head is still above water in Nov, or otherwise. Instead, I have revised the goal to be Nov or $2000, whichever comes first as the final goal is still rather ambitious and risks sooner may teach me more. Wish me luck, I am sitting on $990!

Running good, I don't feel like studying just now which was meant to be my next post. I'm logging off now and will get back to that next time ...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Volume - Hours or Multi-tabling

Bugga ... just done some simple maths and it won't be as easy as I thought unless I move up the stakes. As long as I am winning at a level, I can confidently move up when my bankroll supports it.

With proper bankroll management, I'd like at least 300 BB in LH and 20 BIs in NLH to start a new level. Even then, if I fall back below, I'll need to step down again. For my current level of NL50, I should have $1000. At $750 today, I think I'll be fine. Before moving to NL100 though, I'll need $2000, another $1250 = 2500BB. At 2BB/100 hands, I'll be here 4ever, 125K hands.

Even 4 tabling, I'm looking at 200 hands per hour, thats 625hrs. With work commitments I don't come close to full-time, but if I did this would be 16 weeks worth. To prove the concept then, I need to post let's say 10000 hands at a level and win at a certain rate and assume I would have kept that rate and then invest from other funds to expedite the moves up the levels while I'm working. Seems reasonable as long as I'm wary of attributing both downswings and upswings to variance.

10000 hands is 50 x 4-tabling hours. At 5 quality hours per week, I should complete this in 10 weeks and be able to take stock from there. OK - that's a plan! By Nov, I expect to have my bankroll up to $950 being $4/hr * 50 Hrs. I'll also have time to study my game along the way. With only 50 hours, I don't think that I need my A-game, but I can't afford to go on tilt.

Ground Rules: Be honest with all stats, only play NL50 full ring games (8-players or more), where possible always be multi-tabling.

This should be a reasonable simulation. Will keep you posted. Next time, I'll set out a plan for improving my game!


SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound.

If I am to make a career out of poker, I need to have a plan to get there. The first step is probably working out where "there" is. Assuming that I can live comfortably with an income of $120K, this seems like a reasonable starting point and is conveniently $10K per month.

It seems like a long way off, but if I could achieve this by 2011, both kids would have finished school and I could be heading toward retirement. I'd still need to be enjoying poker to make it worthwhile. That would mean that making that sort of income needs to be consistent and relatively easy. That way I can enjoy the company of the better characters that I will undoubtedly meet along the way.

3 years should be more than enough time assuming that I am diligent, reasonably suited to the game and disciplined. So it seems to me very achievable. Possibly too easy, but we can reset goals along the way if we appear to be over-achieving.

Assuming that I can rise a level every 6 months, it seems logical that I might need to make $2.5K per month in 2010 and $1K per month in 2009. All of a sudden, it's starting to look like I'd better get serious fairly soon to achieve my goal.

$1K per month ... that's much more than I am doing currently. I need to:
- improve my win rate per 100 hands;
- put in more volume; or
- increase the levels that I'm playing at.

The last one is the least desirable as my skill level may not be there yet. The first one is obvioulsy the healthiest.

First cab off the rank though ... next time I will consider my options around volume - more time or multitabling?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Poker as a Profession?

I've admired Bloggers who take the time to share their journey and endure the associated criticisms. The inspiration for this blog was one particular blog "The Law School Dropout's Poker Blog" ( I'd highly recommend it to anyone serious about realising a life well lived - and re-evaluating what that actually means.

I will never be able to emulate the LSD's style of writing, or success at the felt. Hopefully, I can find the courage to be as open and honest, though. That remains to be seen.

As for objectives, I am as yet unsure and would welcome your advice. I think that I would like to become a professional poker player, but reading the LSD blog, I suspect that I'll give up before getting there. It remains to be seen why. Perhaps that will be the purpose of this blog - to work out what is more fulfilling for me than realising a childhood dream by practicing "the hardest way to make easy money".

My first brush with serious gambling was reading Norman Leigh's experience at Roulette in "13 Against the Bank". With the TwoPlusTwo community, I have found others similarly interested in the financial risk/reward of investing in the pursuit of gambling. IMHO, it's a much safer bet than striving for Olympic Gold. Falling way short is still +EV.

If you should stumble upon this and have experience or thoughts, please feel free to comment. I'm sure that it will help me structure my journey and perhaps I too can leave a legacy like the LSD's blog for those who might want to foolishly or otherwise pursue their own unrealistic, and potentially selfish, dreams.