Join Date: Feb 2005
LOLOL Stalkers(about Timex)
Edited to get more replies
Posted with Timex's permission.
Here is how I got to know a well known 2+2er(aka the story of Timex).
Congratulations on your great tournament finish, its nice to know here that someone from the area performed so well in such a large tournament(I live just a couple kilometres from UW). I was wondering what year and program you are in. Also, if you don't mind telling, what is your email address. Once again, I'd like to congratulate you, and wish you luck in your future poker endeavors.
After sending him my email address, he replied with this(super tl;dr).
Hi Steve, this is Mike McDonald (Timex from 2+2), I would once again like to congratulate you for your accomplishment. I am currently a 16 year old grade 12 from Waterloo who will (likely) be attending UW for math next year and I am constantly trying to improve my game. I started playing poker about 15 months ago after being taught by a friend of mine(he was a UW student, and is maybe 2 years older than you). He stopped playing a few months after I started and I have been looking for a teacher for quite some time. The only difficult part(s) are not many people would support teaching an underage gambler to play poker, and for any poker player they can likely make more playing poker than teaching poker, and also, it is so difficult to determine the skill of a poker teacher, that it is often not worthwhile to look for one in the first place. And after winning this tournament, your time is probably hard to value, but even say $300/hr may be a large waste of your time. I read through some of your old 2+2 posts, and saw that you ~8 table mid-high level games, and was wondering if there is any possibility I could occasionally come watch you play poker. I realize this is a fair bit to ask to have a 1) stranger 2)underage player 3) player nowhere near your ability, coming to your house to watch you play poker with no benefit to you. I am assuming that after your win there are dozens of players trying to get lessons/money/fame from you, who may be better candidates than me, I would like to point out that your large win is almost a deterrent because it seems like asking for free coaching from a professional athlete, whereas before, it would have seemed like one poker player just asking another for help. The difficult thing is it is hard to find people who you can be confident are good players, online poker-players get little fame, but after reading about you on 2+2, I am fairly confident that you are a good enough player that I could benefit greatly from instruction. For many players, this might be out of the question, as many players want absolutely no distraction, no noise etc. when they play. When I play I typically appreciate having another player to talk to/discuss with as long as they are interested in poker, another benefit is that with someone watching it is much easier to play your "A-game", I have never tilted with someone watching. Obviously, you are a more seasoned player than me, and a spectator could potentially hurt your game, perhaps not calling a minimally profitable draw because you don't want to feel "embarrassed" by increasing your standard deviation and increasing your chances of a losing session. I guess after so many TV viewers see your decisions in the pocket cam's, you are probably confident enough in your play that your game wouldn't be affected. I realize that my emailing you is sort of like pressuring you into allowing me to watch you play, and that is not what I intend to do, it is human nature to try to help people, but if you are uninterested, I am understanding. I realize that this doesn't benefit you, but for someone with only ~11000 roll, lessons would be a large portion of my roll, and if I do pay you for a more formal lesson, it likely put more pressure on you to succeed, and as no one is immune to "in the short-run" thinking, I would be a lot more likely to have one lesson, apply the concepts, if I win, continue with lessons, if I don't, assume that your information is the reason I am losing and stop taking lessons. I could pay you just to come watch, but to someone who has enough they could retire before entering the workforce and still live a reasonable life, it would likely be VERY insignificant. Once again, don't feel forced into this, if there is any reason you don't support this, I would like to know. If you don't want to read my long-winded story, you don't have to.
I suppose you may like to learn a little bit about me. My record keeping is pretty awful, but here goes. In grade 10, our school had a casino night and it was possibly my favorite school event to date(I didn't win any prizes, but it was very fun). So for my 15th birthday my parents bought me a cheap set of poker chips for my birthday kind of as a joke (dollar store), and said they were looking at chips at "the game store"(then dufferin games), but they were sure they could find a better deal somewhere. So I went to the wizard of odds site to find out optimal strategy for blackjack, and my dad and I were going to play for fun, but on that site, there was a banner for pokersourceonline, which said they would offer me a free set of poker chips and $25 US if I played 250 raked hands. So I called my friend (the x-UW student) who I met through playing chess, and he told me that he had earned $600 in two months of the summer, and that it was becoming very popular, one of the top chess 3 players in Canada missed the Canadian Open just to play poker on the internet, because even 1st place wouldn't pay as well as a usual week for him in poker. So I was pretty confident he could do well with my money, and even if I lose, poker chips at the time were fairly pricy. So he came over(with my parents permission) and he showed me how to play reasonably in a 10 player ring-game and watched me play, we dropped to about $75, then in the last hour shot to $132 and got the $25 bonus, and I realized that there is some potential to make money at this. I then played for a couple weeks of play money, and gave my friend 1/2 my winnings and used the rest to buy SSHE and WLLHE, which I read several times, then decided it was time to play .01/.02 at UB. I then contacted my friend again, and he had now won about $2600($2000 in the last month), and told him I was interested in getting a poker table top now, and he came over, and watched me play, and he said I could easily beat .5/1 at pacific poker, so I played there, and they were the fishiest games on the internet(I am 95% sure I was averaging at least 5BB/table hour) but that's against players who play 60% of hands and average pots of 10-15BB, after a few months, the $100 I put in was over $600 from .5/1. The worst part of this time was that I took one shot at 1/2, sat down with $80 and lost it in maybe 30-40 minutes, and as a result have somewhat of a phobia about moving up levels, I realize that the games may be very beatable, but it is almost a mental block, and I would like to see someone play the higher limits to help build my confidence. I cashed-out of Pacific for the $600, and began bonus whoring, with good results, usually 1/2, but this also made it hard to track my progress because bonuses often accounted for up to 1/2 of my winnings and it is sometimes difficult to adapt play from pacific to absolute. I played through many bonuses, and built my bankroll to about $5000 by about April. I tried the Party 2/4 BBJ tables because they were ridiculously easy, and I hit a losing streak, and dropped 100BB quite quickly(~1000 hands), recovered to about 35BB down, and then lost another 45BB in a 150 hand session. Even though this was such a small portion of my bankroll, I just psychologically am afraid of being a losing player, and switched to 1/2 on other sites bonus-whoring again. I planned on playing a-lot over the holidays, but played virtually none until the last 2 weeks of the summer, and made maybe $800. I then discovered casino bonuses in a bit of a poker burnout, and played through maybe 40-45 of them, and that pushed my roll to over $10000. This takes me until about mid-December
Now I am realizing that although I made $10000 in a year, averaging much more per hour than any other kid I know, my time has largely gone to waste. I have a roll big enough to easily play 5/10 and likely even 10/20, and possibly the skill to play in bigger games than I do, but I lack the confidence. I decided that I will use poker tracker to view my interesting hands more, and get MTH so that I don't have to use our old monitor to play on my laptop. I have decided that I will try to work my way up to play the bigger games, and even if this may not be the most profitable in the short term, I am sure that for my long-term game, it is better than whoring bonuses. I just started playing 2/4 and am only 6-tabling to lessen swings and get used to the limit, and am running ridiculously hot, 8.15BB/100 over 1073 hands($349.98) There are many things I would like to understand better, I would like to learn how to play pretty much any poker, no-limit,pot-limit, sngs, MTT's, short-handed play,live poker, non-hold'em, but the main thing I would like to learn is how to improve my limit game. I read some posts of yours, and it sounds like you play most tournaments(I'm assuming MTT's when available, otherwise SNG's) or limit ring games, these posts may be outdated, but I would appreciate learning anything from an experienced poker player. I guess this has become a much longer than I intended, I am just very interested in talking about poker, I like discussing it a lot more than playing, I never hit burnout from talking about poker.
Also, I would appreciate it if you don't tell other 2+2ers that I am playing underage, I have read underage poker is fine as long as I have my parents consent (which I do, my dad is playing at Ultimate Bet as I write this), but I still don't know whether my mom would like the idea of many people knowing that I play underage.
Thanks for your time,
Now 1800 words and an hour and a half later, I pray that my time was worthwhile.
Unfortunately I read this and let him come over...you know the rest.
P.S. Words can't express how funny it was reading this aloud in front of his whole family plus others tonight.