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An interesting milestone

workinghardworkinghard Posts: 1,573Subscriber
edited November 2014 in Poker Goals and Challenges
After 860 hours of cash play my 2014 profits have surpassed my gross annual income income for my FT job. While this may in part be a good indicator of how miserably I'm paid for helping people from slowly poisoning themselves, its also an important achievement as it adds a level of confidence that I have a good shot at making it if I devout more time to poker and less time making slave wages. In fact i could argue that my job is costing me money due to opportunity costs. As a small example as i sit here in Florida on my vacation i see i have played 44 hours of poker. It would take me about 8 weeks of FT work to make what I have so far durimg my vacation. Really this is all food for thought as I ponder on the merits vs risks of making a chane to "pro player" in 2015.
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  • TDFTDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    edited November 2014
    Your sample size is very small.
    I would recommend you to put your winrate and standard deviation in calculator and see what is the chance that you are losing player.
  • BigLarryBigLarry Posts: 86Subscriber
    Sounds like you have had a great year! Congratulations!

  • MikeGMikeG Posts: 989Subscriber
    While I probably wouldn't phrase it like TDF, it's true that 860 hours is not a ton of hours (and 44 is nothing!) and even if it was, it probably isn't the only factor to consider before becoming a live pro.

    Do you help people with alcohol addictions or something (slowly poisoning themselves)?

    DGI has a good post at 2+2 about becoming a live pro. If you haven't read it, I strongly consider doing so. Even though they aren't really a direct competitor, I'm not sure how Bart feels about linking directly to the thread, but if you'd like, you can PM me here or just search for it on your own.

    Important considerations:
    1. Are you actually a winning player? You have good evidence so far, but it is not necessarily conclusive (as TDF pointed out).
    2. Do you have the poker bankroll to weather the coming variance? Live Poker is very soft, but you simply do not get that many hands in. Consequently, the variance is all over the place in the short term. There was a recent thread here where a player who plays 2-5 had some pretty rough sessions. If you read the comments, you probably noticed that some people came on and pointed out that actually that wasn't a particularly rough downswing, and that people have had 5-figure negative months. Granted, 20BI downswing months aren't particularly common (and there may have been some bad play that added to her runbad), but they can happen. Are you in a position where you could absorb a couple rough months in a row?
    3. Do you have a live roll that is sufficient? If you are paying your bills with your bankroll then you are going to run into several problems
    4. If it doesn't work, how good are your backup plans? If you are single and have a buddy who has promised to hire you whenever you need and you live with your parents, then there isn't a ton of risk to giving this a try. If you don't have a lot of marketable skills, live in a depressed economy, and are supporting a wife and kid, then you need a much more substantial safety net.
    5. Do you actually have the desire and the temperament to be a live pro? Playing recreationally and playing professionally can be very different. One way to test this out might be to ask for a leave of absence from your employer for 2-3 months, and then logging 40 hours in each of those weeks. You may come to find out that you can't stand being in a casino that often. You might find that your winrate is great on the weekend when you currently play, but they're brutal during the week, etc. You might find that you can't just lose 2 buyins and call it a day, and that playing when you're down is very challenging. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.
    6. Are there other factors that you aren't considering? You're going to be creating a resume gap for yourself. You're not going to have benefits. You're not going to have a 401k (you might not have any of these now, but most career paths ultimately offer both of these; poker does neither). You're basically going into business for yourself. Can you save your money to pay taxes when they are due? Etc.
    7. Is there some sort of path? It is short-sided to simply say "I make X now; I could make x+10 if I switch jobs. Ergo, I switch jobs." You have to look at potential. How is the game selection where you live? How many higher levels are there? What is the maximum you could eventually beat the game for? Now compare that to a career trajectory. Even in the shittiest jobs, there are usually career paths for people who are looking for them. A busboy can become a dishwasher can become a prep cook can become a line cook can become an assistant kitchen manager can become a kitchen manager can become a gm can become a district manager. A poker player can become a poker player or a poker coach. Most successful poker players use their poker as a conduit. Just on this site: look at the people. Limon is a host (gets paid by casino to run a game), has a business, has investments, and does some advantage play. Bart has this site, is a coach (currently in China coaching), etc. etc.

    So, all of those warnings and questions aside, if you do choose to go this route, I wish you the very best luck! My dad used to tell me to find something I love and figure out a way to get paid for it. As a naturally competitive person who doesn't particularly like to work, poker is great for me. I get paid to sit in a chair and think ever so slightly better than some other people. I'm in a A/Ced room with dozens of HD televisions, people who bring me food or drinks whenever I ask, and I play a game. Some people stand outside of a home depot, get picked up by total strangers, dig ditches for 10 hours, and make the equivalent of minimum wage. I'm thankful for what I have.

    Finally, one option that doesn't get talked about very often is the prop player route. A lot of players do not like this option for a variety of reasons (the worst part is the opportunity cost of not being able to play in the best game in the house, but other negatives include having to play bad hours, short-handed, small stake games). Those negatives aside, it can be a way to bridge the gap. You'll have something that still resembles a paycheck (which can provide some stability as well as help you build roll), you'll sort of still have a reference for your resume if you need to reenter the workforce, etc. In essence, you'll get a taste for being a live pro without being 100% dependent on your ability to beat the games.

    Hopefully this TL;DR post gives you some things to think about.

    Best wishes,
  • DonkieRonDonkieRon Posts: 577Subscriber
    Mike G Hit nail on head!!!!!! Perfect!!!!!! Wish I would of veered left 10 years ago. I'm still in the game but it has not been a bed of roses.
  • workinghardworkinghard Posts: 1,573Subscriber
    All valid thoughts. However, a couple things that I'm thinking about is first, my poker expectation would need to be 25% of what i earned this year to match my job. Plus i want to avoid living my life wondering "what if?"

    "It's better to regret the things you do than the things you didn't"

    Financially im in a gopd spot and my game is good enough i think to remain profitable. It still had holes but im working on plugging them.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    I am not sure if this is an option Jeff but can you move to part time in your job? say enough hours to keep medical and other insurance but only work say 20 hrs a week?

    Then spend say 40 hrs min playing poker .. make up a schedule that the days you are not working you go to the casino as your "other job" see how you like it.

    this way you still have some backup money coming in and can transition a bit more slowly but still putting in the hours to see if you really like it and can make it as a pro.

  • workinghardworkinghard Posts: 1,573Subscriber
    Thehammah wrote:
    I am not sure if this is an option Jeff but can you move to part time in your job? say enough hours to keep medical and other insurance but only work say 20 hrs a week? Only if I accept a "demotion" of sorts to a position I previously had. I'd be Ok paying for my own insurance. I just need a simple plan incase something really bad happens.

    Then spend say 40 hrs min playing poker .. make up a schedule that the days you are not working you go to the casino as your "other job" see how you like it. My last few vacations I've spent heavily playing poker in addition to averaging 20+hrs/week for the year. I have some hobbies to break up my poker routine if I need a break. One of the great things about doing just poker is I can take those breaks as I wish to enjoy my other hobbies without checking in with someone else.

    this way you still have some backup money coming in and can transition a bit more slowly but still putting in the hours to see if you really like it and can make it as a pro. I've worked at my current job for 4 years and don't enjoy it. I think it makes sense to say I've given that a chance. If I decide that poker full time is not for me, what's stopping me from being a part time worker at a simple job or going back to school and keeping poker?


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