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Old 07-14-2008, 06:20 PM   #1
jesse8888
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Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

So you've all probably noticed I've been posting as jesse9999 for a week or so. The reason for that was that I wanted to delay this post until it was officially public knowledge: I am quitting my job and going to play poker full time for the 6 weeks starting on August 1st. Now, before you all tell me I'm nuts, I'll give a little background.

I've worked at Oracle since June 20th, 2005, and by all accounts I have been unhappy since March of 2006. I am on my third group during this time (which I just joined in mid-April) and it is not working out any better than my second one. Therefore, I've decided that I need to leave the company now, rather than continue on in a mediocre job in a mediocre position that does not really have a great future, at least for me. The date of August 1st is symbolic in that my "poker spreadsheet" tracking all my sessions dates back to exactly that date in 2007.

Given that I need to leave the company, and that I want to find out what life as a "full time live pro" would be like, logic pretty much demands I give the latter a shot right now. I (still) have no responsibilities and will able to paint an accurate picture of what the lifestyle will entail, and these things may not hold true much longer.

So, onto the logistics. I've been playing seriously part-time now for 1 year, and my results have been nothing but sunny in both games which I have taken seriously. I first logged about 350 hours at live 6/12, beating the game to the tune of 18 dollars an hour. Since then I have logged about 230 hours of live 20/40, and have been winning at a rate of 32 dollars per hour. My standard deviation in big bets per hour for the 20 game is about 9.75 based on 50+ sessions (in other words, it is rather low).

During my shot I will play between 40 and 50 hours a week, 5-6 days a week (I will enforce at least one day off per week, and if I can log enough hours in the other 5 will attempt to take 2). I recently had a stretch where I played live poker 21 days straight, while working full time, so I don't think playing everyday will pose much of a challenge for me. I plan to play more hours than most "live pros" put in in a possible naive attempt to weaken the effect of variance.

I will play almost exclusively 20/40 for the first 3 weeks (waiting in smaller games if necessary), and will consider a shot at 40/80 at the half way mark (if I have been running and playing well). I will post at least one (and preferably two) hands per session and will actually go to the lengths of bringing pencil and paper to the table to facilitate this process.

My personal finances are in fine shape, as I have somewhere between 12-18 months of living expenses in easily accessible funds that are separate from my poker bankroll (which currently stands at about 14K).

At the end of this 6 week trial period (on the weekend of September 13th) I will take a step back and reflect on everything I have experienced and learned. If I have played well and results (both monetary and of posts made here) indicate that I could continue to support myself, I will assess my quality of life during the trial. If it compares favorably to what I had as a software developer, I'll just keep playing. If it does not, or it turns out that I'm actually a terrible player, I'll stop playing until I find a job and resume casual play from the safety of a new cubicle somewhere in Silicon Valley.

During my trial period I will take time to answer any and all questions posed to me (either in this thread or otherwise), about either specifically poker or any aspect of life as a "professional" player. I am not arrogant enough to assume I'm qualified to enter "the well", but I hope that my experience and insights will help other players weigh the pros and cons of "kicking it up a notch" more accurately and in turn help them make better decisions. At the very least I hope to provide a great deal of entertainment, as playing 45 hours a week with these people is going to provide a huge quantity of "zomg, wtf, lol" moments.

Before that happens though, any advice that anyone can give to me would be most appreciated. I'm not going into this half-cocked, but I'm also pretty sure that I'm not completely prepared for what lies ahead. Of course, are we ever? And wouldn't it be boring if we were?
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Sweet!

Good Luck, dont tilt to much and dont play sick.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:51 PM   #3
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Wow!

Congratulations on your decision! It sounds like you've got a good plan in place, and you're about the best spot anyone could hope to be in taking a shot at something like this (Job situation, expenses, etc..), all things considered.

I think you've got what it takes to make it man. just watch out for deviation (of the human variety); and keep an eye on the burnout factor. Also, I'd have to say, poker players probably don't make the best co-workers (while you're 'working' with them) so stay in touch with friends and family too, if you can, outside the cardroom.

Stick to your convictions with this and you will be successful!
Can't wait to see some hands being posted under Jesse8888 again...

Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:54 PM   #4
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

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Originally Posted by Hamking View Post
Wow!

Congratulations on your decision! It sounds like you've got a good plan in place, and you're about the best spot anyone could hope to be in taking a shot at something like this (Job situation, expenses, etc..), all things considered.

I think you've got what it takes to make it man. just watch out for deviation (of the human variety); and keep an eye on the burnout factor. Also, I'd have to say, poker players probably don't make the best co-workers (while you're 'working' with them) so stay in touch with friends and family too, if you can, outside the cardroom.

Stick to your convictions with this and you will be successful!
Can't wait to see some hands being posted under Jesse8888 again...

Good luck!
this for sure... gl
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Play and run Goot mon.

IMO if someone decides to do this it should be earlier on when they are not married, no kids etc. I assume you dont have a mortgage right?

I assume you have spoken to others who have or are currently playing for a living?

Plenty of living expenses right?

Other outside interests to keep your mind off the game?

Are you planning on just strictly playing LHE or some NL or any other games?

Make sure you eat well and get excercise. Sitting for hours at a time in a cardroom is not the healthiest environment for eating healthy and staying fit.

Take plenty of breaks during each and every session.

Don't burn any bridges from your old job. You never know where you might find yourself in the future.


Go get em Tiger.

Tom
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Gl man.... I'm sure you've seen it before but I was messing around looking at some old archives and I re-read this great post from Dynasty when he pretty much did the same thing... if you haven't read it look for it it is a great read....

GL again man... hope you get what you want out of it... (which is fat stacks of green and the life of riley.... )
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #8
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Congrats and best of luck. Have you considered mixing in more online play? With rakeback and bonuses I feel you would have a comparable hourly rate multi-tabling 2-4 and 3-6 as opposed to live 20.

Also, this might be a good thread to read regarding lifestyle changes in the transition to becoming a pro.

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...d.php?t=139399
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #9
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Good luck!!

Quote:
I will enforce at least one day off per week, and if I can log enough hours in the other 5 will attempt to take 2
This is absolutely critical. I quit my day job in IT to play live full-time going back a few months and kept it up for about 4 months (quite successfully I might add - made more playing than I did in my well-paid day job). The real killer was that I pushed too hard - fatigue caught up with me playing close to 80 hours / week and my game - and private life - really suffered as a result. Make sure you enforce this rule!!

All power to you - great to see people following their dreams!
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:15 PM   #10
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

dude, i don't think you have any clue what you're getting yourself into. if you are going to do it, i guess the time to do so will be when you have no responsibilities outside of yourself to worry about.

i like the idea that you are doing a 6 week "trial", but when you are making life decisions based on a 6 week sample you can easily be basing a major decision on too little or misleading information. i played pro in a couple capacities and it IS NOT ALL IT IS CRACKED UP TO BE. i wish you well, and hope for the best. if you need any thoughts/input feel free to pm me or ask via forum.

good luck, bro. and most likely you can say goodbye to your love of poker. it's funny but i only know a couple people that still *enjoyed* poker after taking the path of a pro career. you may still, but you will be in what is a relative minority based on my experiences. fwiw, i think you will be a good guinea pig for the rest of the forum. so i hope some people take note of you and your experiences when making a similar decision for themselves.

also, i think that the way you have prepared to begin is important. you have a year's worth of living expenses which is good, but i think you need a larger bankroll than 350 big bets. if i were you my first order of business would be to reinvest the roll until you have about 600 big bets. downswings DO happen and you don't want to be a casualty of variance. out of money means out of action which means out of a job for a pro player. i also believe your standard deviation will certainly rise as you become more comfortable in the games, and i also think that along with that your risk of ruin will increase as well. so grow your bankroll when/if at all possible. i expect occasional trip reports; you can use this forum for them if you would like. again, good luck.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:27 AM   #11
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Thanks for the thoughts so far guys. To make a long story short, no, I have no idea what I'm getting into which is why I'm going to try it for 6 weeks. I'm in a good situation because I should be able to get a job after 6 weeks, 6 months, or even a year or more without much trouble I think. I'm also single and have no mortgage, so this really is the best time to give it a go. James, I hope I'm in the small minority that still love it, but that's one of the things I'm worried about most; the game might not be fun anymore if I have to play.

As for the "roll" vs "saved living expenses", the left pocket right pocket accounting is basically going to go out the window here. I'm going to start off playing just the 20 to get a feel for playing every day and will probably take a shot at the 40 (or perhaps a different 30 game). At a certain level, I have what I have and just have to hope it's enough. I could arbitrarily declare another 10K of my savings part of my bankroll, but I don't really think that's necessary.

Oh, and playing online at the moment tilts me pretty hard. I plan to do it as a tool to get in more hands and post more situations on here, but don't think it's goign to be a major part of my earn any time soon.

Thanks again for all the thoughts guys.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:46 AM   #12
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Jesse, what about playing some other games instead of just LHE so you dont get too burned out? That and you never know what the best game in a place is going to on a given night at times. Might not hurt to be prepared for that.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:51 AM   #13
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

If the trial run sticks (that is after 6 weeks I decide to pursue this further) I'll plan to spend 5-10 hours per week learning/playing another game. I'd probably start with no limit...I have substantial experience with sit and goes and baby NL games (I actually was part of a 4 way chop in a 43 person tourney this weekend...won 610 in a 70 dollar buy in event).

For right now, though, going to stick to ye old limit hold em.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:53 AM   #14
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

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Originally Posted by jesse9999 View Post
that's one of the things I'm worried about most; the game might not be fun anymore if I have to play.
Played for a living, the game is not going to be the same as it was. You should really be clear about this.

It may become more fun, because you feel a greater intellectual attachment and curiosity towards it. It may also become less fun, because bad days and individual bad beats will impact your ability to pay your bills or sleep comfortably at night. The people you'll spend the most time with aren't coworkers or friends, but poker players, good, bad and terrible. And dealers. And brushes.

I really wish you the best of luck, but the poker world operates perpendicular to the normal world, and moving back and forth can be dificult unless your circle of friends is flexible on time and you're able to deal with the companionship of poker players.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:59 AM   #15
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Well I mean right now I don't really like the people I work with and I'm still playing 10+ hours a week. I think the average 20/40 player/dealer/brush is more fun to interact with than the average apps developer at Oracle. I'm also pretty concerned about giving up a lot of my friday and saturday nights....
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:24 AM   #16
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Hey Jesse,
I wanna wish you good luck. You are the only 2+2er that I've every knowingly played against, so I will follow your progress via the forum closely and will enjoy it vicariously. One piece of unsolicited advice is to absolutely absolutely make sure that you purchase health insurance, whether by COBRA or buying a low priced Kaiser policy. One ER visit with a hospitalization could easily consume your entire poker bankroll.
Best wishes, Mr. C
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:45 AM   #17
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

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Hey Jesse,
I wanna wish you good luck. You are the only 2+2er that I've every knowingly played against, so I will follow your progress via the forum closely and will enjoy it vicariously. One piece of unsolicited advice is to absolutely absolutely make sure that you purchase health insurance, whether by COBRA or buying a low priced Kaiser policy. One ER visit with a hospitalization could easily consume your entire poker bankroll.
Best wishes, Mr. C
Valid insurance is going to run me a wee bit more than my cell phone each month (5K max Out of Pocket Expenses for the year). Thanks for the advice though. I've only been to the doctor 3 times in the last 3 years, and two of those were because my ex made me go
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:51 AM   #18
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Best of luck Jesse. Keep your focus on the game and don't let the hands become mundane, autoplayed actions. The game will take it's toll on you for certain, be prepared and always, always, make time for those close to you. The action is enticing but there will be times when the game is a grind. Keep in shape and eat right, your mind will appreciate what you do for the good of your body. Make sure you go to work each day prepared to play your best, not just get by. As others have mentioned and also appeared in print from top pros, heath insurance is a must. FWIW, Harrington recommends paying taxes and SS as a means of setting yourself up for later years. I leave that to you but solid financial planning is a must as well.
Tear it up and keep us up to date.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:42 AM   #19
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Good luck Jesse. I hope you run good,

Frond's advice to not burn any bridges is good advice. The valley is really a pretty small world and who knows where you will end up or where other people you know will end up. A junior programmer that I knew many years ago was a founder and chairman of the board of a company that was just acquired for more than $200 million.
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:25 AM   #20
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Wow! The next transition in life for you. Best of luck to you Jesse! I kinda had a feeling you would experiment in a more serious approach to poker. If you ever need a break from socializing with the nitwits at Garden or whatever bay area casino you go to you just hit me up for lunch or what not. Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:45 AM   #21
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

This is an excellent idea, Jesse. I know that almost every person that tries to go pro says that they don't enjoy poker anymore and that the quality of life for a poker pro is lower, but I think this is one of those things that you need to try for yourself. Until you actually go out and give it a run you will always wonder what it might have been like. Three cheers for leaving the confines of the cubicle world at least temprorarily.

If things don't work out maybe you could pull an 'Office Space' manuever and join a roadside maintenance crew? At least in the poker room you are almost guaranteed to never hear, "Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays."
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:44 AM   #22
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

gl

i personally think its a bad a idea, but thats only because if i play more than three days in a row i hate playing even if i'm running hot.

but you know better than any of us whats best
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:27 PM   #23
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Good luck Jesse. Looks like you're in the right time of your life to attempt something like this (I'm assuming no dependents, mortgage, etc. plus have a lotta saving built up to coast on for a year or two). Hope you find the results your are looking for in your 6 weeks (mostly experience / lifestyle wise). I like the previous advice about not burning any bridges to do with the career; if you burn out, you know you can always rejoin the rest of us cubicles-for-life'rs and simply return to poker for fun/outlet (hopefully you have another fun outlet to get away from poker?). All the best and looking forward to your posts about your experience.

Ggirlfriendfriendsfamilyhockeycampingmusicpokerall helpmedealwiththedailyworkgrindG
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #24
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

Good Luck!

For what its worth, and you probably know this, scheduling when to play is as important how long you play.

Try:

Thursday 7 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Friday 9 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Saturday 6 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Work out, study, do other **** during the week -- but daytime, weekday 20/40 limit hold'em at a live casino is not where you are going to make your money.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:44 PM   #25
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Re: Pooh-Bah Post: Quitting Job, Taking Shot

You should keep a daily journal and write down a bunch of stuff.
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