I've had quite a bit of juggling around to do today as I needed to move locations for a few days as we have something of an overpopulation problem at the house with some extra people coming into town. I certainly wouldn't complain about it, I've a really good set up there, and the guy who owns the house is a great friend who always helps me out. Living off strip I always see as a bonus here rather than a minus. Despite the fact it often gets either very lonely there, or sometimes maddeningly frustrating and annoying depending on who else is around (close friends will smile to themselves at that one, but let's not get into that in print) it also affords me a good deal of alone time to think and just have my own space, which is a really good thing sometimes. A luxury that you can forget and take for granted until you don't have it any more, then you realise.
I've mainly been cleaning and chasing up last minute odds and ends today, but the plan is to hopefully play the WSOP main event on Monday, which would be day 1B at the Rio..
The bottom line of the trip so far, is I've played $17k in tournaments, and I've cashed for about $7500. Could have been better, could have been worse. I've had a lot of very deep runs and near the money finishes in tournaments, some brutal moments and times when things didn't go as planned, but I have very often been frustrated as I haven't amassed the big stack that I far prefer playing tournaments with (sure, who doesn't?), so I have been on the back foot and playing defensively at times. Maybe it's my game, maybe it was continually doing the updates whilst playing, maybe it was just what it was. I'm always aware that a mix of people read the updates, so I guess I try to make them colourful even for the non poker people so they are at least moderately interesting to read and not just a set of hand histories. I do know it's far better to hit the ground running and to be playing the package from a position of profit than to be feeling like its a struggle every time, and watching awful play get rewarded over and over. I remember one year winning over $40k in the first event that I played in, and yes, the series felt a whole lot better for the next few weeks! Awful players will win sometimes of course, that's why there is a poker world, so I'd certainly not ever gripe about it when they do. In fact it's a reason that I bother a lot less with the UK circuit these days. The fields are smaller and tougher in the UK than here, the prize pools not as appealing, and yes, you do get bad players of course, but far less of them who just spazz and make ridiculous mistakes over and over. That's my feeling anyway.
It also makes me wonder when I get various comments from people in different formats what life they actually imagine I'm living here when I come to play. Snippets I have been sent in the last few weeks include:
"The updates are informative, one day I'd like to do what you do and take these trips".
"What a life you lead, it must be great to not have a boss and just play whenever you like, or just sleep in".
"Las Vegas, I'm so jealous, it must be great partying all the time at night and playing poker in the days".
"Sucks seeing you turn into one of those poker guys writing about cute girls".
"I don't know how you can do what you do and play, and get sucked out on for weeks on end over and over. It'd drive me insane".
"How cool to just be able to just play poker every single day".
Though mostly well meaning, these comments are largely misguided, naive, or just flat out wrong, as anyone who has ever done this or anything like it here for an extended period would likely tell you.
Not to get things totally out of perspective. The weather is generally great, it's not nearly as tough as digging ditches every day, there is a degree of freedom and choice, and I do meet some great, fun sometimes cute (girls) and interesting people, and make new friends and connect with old ones. That's roughly where the dream ends though.
Just to clarify...
Winning a tournament, or getting a big cash is a great feeling. Yes. However 99% of the time, most poker players don't win or cash big. A lot of it is many wasted hours and disappointment. A lot a lot.
If you think about giving it all up and coming out here and doing this for a living, don't. If you're a dealer, a casino worker, someone with a regular job, someone who thinks one day you'll play full time and win a fortune, don't. Keep the job, play when you can and take shots, by all means, but keep the job. Seriously. It's better for both the soul and the sanity. It takes a special kind of person to do this over and over. That may not be a good thing.
There are no parties. Or very rarely, maybe once a year. Mostly it's 12 hours of focus, an outdraw, and then some very late food and troubled sleep before resetting and starting it all over the next day.
I write about food, cute girls and other non poker stuff in an attempt to make the writing mildly interesting to read if you're not a poker player. I'm not a sex maniac. Well I am, but only with the right person. The amount of times I've been laid in the last 2 months as a result of me making a cute girl smile is precisely zero. Maybe in all honesty I don't try too hard. Maybe I just like making pretty girls smile.
I don't know how I do it over and over either sometimes when awful things happen. Maybe I already am insane, however, there it is. I've been doing it far too long to be doing anything else. And I'm OK with that.
Playing poker every day isn't cool. Far from it. That's why I don't do it every day, I do it when I have to.
Might sound heavy going, but I guess I'm just trying to dispel a few myths. It can be a good life for sure now and then, but there are plenty of times when it's far from ideal. Don't envy the life, Or harbour misconceptions about it. Live your own fulfilling one instead, and maybe I will too.