Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's now November, and I just spent the ritualistic few minutes closing out the "October" section of my poker spreadsheet and firing up "November," the entire time thinking, "Didn't I just do this?"

October was a blur. I was running good and settled into a pattern. I'd play most days, winning the vast majority of the time, and so I didn't spend much time smelling the roses, so to speak. I had my nose to the proverbial grindstone and next thing I noticed the month was over. One day I was preparing the "October" section of the spreadsheet and seemingly the next I was closing it out.

Time flies when you're running good.

Since the end of October also represented the end of my third full month out here in Vegas, baby, Vegas, I think I'll finally stop and smell the roses for a second. Yes, it's time for a quarterly update. Or something.

For those who haven't dug through the archives, I moved out here to Vegas from Austin, TX in July. And, yes, the move pretty much took the entire month. I was finally out here for good on July 28, with the plan of playing limit holdem, 15/30 online and 30/60 and 40/80 live, games I'd been playing regularly for three or four months already.

Those games went so well that in late September I moved up to 80/160 live, while also taking shots at 20/40 and 30/60 online (heck, even 40/80 one night). And that's pretty much where I currently stand. As usual, I have no real desire to move up again for the time being (although I'd play live 100/200 should the opportunity present itself), but I can imagine myself reaching the six month mark and pushing ahead once again. Time will tell. If I do move up, of course, that will have to be mostly online since limit holdem games above 80/160 are scarce here in Vegas. To play higher, I'd have to be willing to play mix games, and that's just not my cup of tea yet. But I'm working on it.

Quitting one's job and making a move away from all one's friends to play poker for a living is quite a life-changing event, to say the least, but so far I'm quite happy. I miss everyone, of course, but I'm enjoying life. I'm enjoying the freedom, the fact that I actually look forward to going to work every day, and yes, of course I'm enjoying the money (not that I really spend anything).

I had what's turning out to be my twice-annual bad run (about 40 days of break-even play, which has happened like clockwork every six months so far), but I survived and ended up having my best month ever in October.

The focus of my play has shifted dramatically since making the move. Through June, my online hours to live hours ratio was about 2.4:1. Since July, that ratio has flip-flopped almost completely, making it nearly 2.3:1 in favor of live play. That's not because live play is more profitable--indeed, online play this year has been 50% more profitable per hour than live play--but rather I simply prefer to play live. If I sit there and lose $3000 in a live session, I'll still have enjoyed myself more than if I sit there and lose, say, $800 in an online session; heck maybe more than if I win, say, $200 online. I really don't know why that's the case, it just is.

October also marked the 18th month I've spent playing poker seriously for profit. It's funny; I've spent nearly that entire time feeling like the new, inexperienced kid. But compared to lots of guys, I'm now a seasoned veteran!

All told, this year has gone completely unexpected. I'd like to forecast what might happen in the future, but if ten months ago you told me I'd be living in Vegas playing 80/160, I'd have called you nuts.

So the first three months have come and gone in a flash. I can only imagine what I'll be doing when I sit down to write my six-month recap. I can only hope it doesn't involve the phrases "4/8" or "looking for a job." My fingers are crossed.


Blogger BadBlood said...

Congratulations on what appears to be a very successful life change. Keep up the great work.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Even donkeys run good sometimes.

7:46 AM  
Blogger eric said...

hey now.

Just cuz it's true...

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Peter B said...

A great performance Eric. Interesting that you always feel yourself to be the "new kid on the block". One of the reasons that I have failed to move up in stakes as quickly as I think I should have is that I hate going outside my "comfort zone". I must push myself harder.

Of course, I am older than you, and I only learnt limit in 2000, when the online game started. For the 25 years before that I had played pot limit. And I wasn't a "serious" player. In that sense, the Internet (and visiting Vegas many times) has been the making of me.

But I would never have the courage to quit my job and "go for it". I'm naturally risk-averse. This has served me well when playing poker. I have never gone broke!

But the time has come to at least move up in stakes a bit. I've watched the 15-30 games in the Bellagio, and the only thing threatening me there is my own lack of comfort at the stakes. As you say, once you are sitting down, they are just chips.

I hadn't realized that 80-160 was as big as it got for limit. Man, does that mean, if I ever really make it up there, I'll have to polish up my triple-draw?

Should be fun. :-)


10:52 AM  
Blogger eric said...

They have 300/600 and above mix games, but there's no bigger regularly running all-limit-HE game in Vegas than the 80/160 (Cali I know has at least 100/200 regularly going). So yeah, perhaps read up on your 2-7, maybe play a few hands at the UB 1/2 and you'll be ready for the 300/600 game.

But definitely give the 15/30 Bellagio game a shot. You're probably costing yourself money by not playing in it.

1:29 PM  
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