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Old 09-02-2015, 05:01 AM   #1526
cushlash
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

So clearly its been way too long. Post main event I didn't have much to say and didn't really have a clear direction to be honest so I didn't really feel like writing a post saying I have no ****ing clue what I want to do. I'll start here just by summarizing what I've been up to and branching off from there.

I went back home to Wisconsin for basically the first half of August. In the 3 weeks between the Main Event and that trip I played exactly 3 poker sessions, the longest of which being 4.25 hours. This was a combination of me being busy with fun non-poker activities, battling a strange illness I still don't have an explanation for, and mostly just not wanting to play. Looking back at my records for the purposes of writing this I remember completely hating life during those 3 sessions and just not wanting to play.

So I did other stuff, mostly hanging out with friends and staying active. Hence why I didn't really update here because there wasn't anything poker related to really say.

Then I went home for my annual cabin trip to the North Woods of Wisconsin and another 10ish days in my home town. My trip was a blast, especially being up north with my friends and my brother. We basically drank, went boating, rode jet skis and hung out all day. I got to see some family too and basically just relax. My brother has been grinding at a local casino while between gigs and I surprisingly wanted to play so I even went with him one day and played. I only played a few hours, but the game was good. Put that table in Vegas and it'd be the best game in the city at least 90% of the time.

As with my trip last year, listening to my friends talk about their lives and jobs makes me appreciate poker. Not that their lives are bad. They have good jobs, but naturally people like to complain so I hear about all the bull**** they have to deal with regarding bosses/hours/no money/etc. Being reminded that I don't have to deal with a lot of the nonsense most people with regular jobs have to definitely helps put things in perspective. I work way less than basically all of them and do whatever I want.

Last year the takeaway from those conversations was that having a 9-5 sucks and I'm better off with poker. While that is somewhat accurate, and there is a lot of various nonsense 9-5ers deal with that I don't, I see things slightly differently now. I think my money management skills would keep me out of most of the traps that 9-5ers often find themselves in.

I think I'm just really good at not having unnecessary expenses or spending money on things that don't add to my life. Since I play low volume my per-year income is pretty average, but I don't feel like I deprive myself of anything. I've been able to pay my expenses, save and do fun stuff along the way. I don't think I've ever said no to something I genuinely thought would be fun because it was too expensive. Sometimes I'm a nit about going out to bars and such but that's just because I've learned that I don't have fun doing things like that so there's no reason to burn money going there. It helps that I'm simple (read: boring) and don't have expensive tastes.

I still realize that there are disadvantages to the 9-5 route, but I think the trap I was afraid of falling in comes down to much more than just 9-5 vs. poker. This is further evidenced by the fact that I have several friends with traditional jobs that are good at managing money and using it to maximize happiness and don't seem to be in that trap. So it can definitely be done. I'm certainly not saying everyone with a 9-5 is trapped, just that many tend to be.

Therefore, given the fact that I haven't been super hot on poker lately, I decided it wouldn't be such a bad idea to give the traditional route a try. This is something I've been hesitantly toying with for a while now, though not jumping in full force out of fear of falling into some trap, a fear I now realize was unfounded.

To that end, I've been having more serious discussions with a company I interviewed for in January, mostly on a whim. I wasn't looking for a job at the time but the opportunity to interview was too much for me to pass up. I didn't get the job but was basically told there might be a spot for me later in the summer. The idea of working a regular job in a role I enjoyed began to appeal to me more and more the more I thought about it. I contacted them again after the WSOP and have had a few more meetings since.

My impression right now is they want to hire me but just don't have enough for me to do, and what they do have quite frankly didn't sound appealing to me and wasn't what I had in mind when I first applied. So for now that's somewhat on the back-burner. As things pops up they will contact me and if something fits I'll be on board. When talking with my potential boss, some variation of the phrase "40 hours a week" was mentioned a few times and I realized that I wasn't ready to give up the freedom of poker unless I was excited about what I was doing. I'm still very interested in getting involved but it needs to be the right fit.

Coming full circle, the combination of getting some perspective from my friends with regular jobs and doing my own exploring with what working a full time job might entail has me quite content to be playing poker again. During the last several days of my trip I honestly could not wait to get back to Vegas and into a routine with poker, exercise and extracurricular activities.

Truthfully, I've played the best poker of my life this year, the only issue has been volume. I've been disillusioned with poker and not wanting to play. There is a lot of negativity surrounding poker and gambling, and that atmosphere was really starting to get to me. I have noticed though, that there is a fair amount of negativity in most regular jobs as well. In addition, over the last month or so, I feel like I have gained a renewed perspective.

Life all around right now is amazing, better than its ever been. I'm just starting to reap the benefits of a lot of the self-improvement I've done, and I'm really excited to enjoy that and keep moving forward. Poker allows me to make the money I need in much less than 40 hours per week so I can devote the rest to the areas of my life that matter more to me and increase happiness more than additional money would. This new perspective, at least currently, makes the grind more or less neutral. Its not that fun, but its not soul crushing either like it was for a while.

I've been back playing again since my trip and it has not felt bothersome like those few sessions did right after the WSOP. When I remind myself of how great a life I've been able to build as a result of being able to play this game for a living I'm able to laugh away just about any stupidity or negativity at the table.

Because of this, I haven't been more excited to be a professional poker player in a long time. Not because I love poker, but because I love my life and the freedom I have. Though just because I don't love poker, doesn't mean I'm just going in and grinding it out until I can leave and live the rest of my life. I want to maximize my time at the table so I have as much time as possible to do other things. Therefore, I'm motivated and working to be better, now its just for different reasons. And I have to admit, the desire to maximize my time at the casino for off the felt purposes has nearly the same effect as purely loving the game. Its not the same as when I started out, but it feels similar. The passion is there, the source is simply not directly related to poker.

In summary, I'm back to being committed to poker for the foreseeable future. My results this year have been great from an hourly rate perspective, largely because I've focused on live NL cash and haven't messed around online or in other games as I did last year. Thus, as long as I can put a little effort in to improving my volume and continue to get better along the way, I'm very confident my life crushage will continue and increase.

I'm still not opposed to taking on something more traditional provided its the right fit, but right now I'm very happy to be playing poker and being the best goddamn cushlash I can be off the felt.

Last edited by cushlash; 09-02-2015 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:47 AM   #1527
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Good post! It seems like all pros go though this phase unless you love poker to your core (None of the pros I know are like that). I think I've been in Vegas a bit longer than you and this year it's been a struggle to put in the hours. Disillusioned is a good word for it. It's tough balancing poker burnout and getting in the volume to make enough money.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:06 PM   #1528
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Solid post cush, thanks for update
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:27 PM   #1529
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Good read
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:45 AM   #1530
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Always one of the top threads to read.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:25 PM   #1531
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I like your approach: If the right situation comes along you are open to taking a look at it. I always enjoy reading your posts.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:06 PM   #1532
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Things have been going more or less swimmingly since my last update. I've been playing on a fairly consistent schedule, getting my 20-25 hours/week. In the last week or so I've definitely gotten somewhat complacent at the table though, something I'm fighting not to do.

While reminding myself of the reasons I play poker and the life it allows me to live has made playing much more enjoyable as of late, I still often get quite bored. Then I end up distracting myself with my phone or whatever, miss things at the table, then end up in a spot in which I'm uncertain because I wasn't paying attention.

This is even more prevalent when I'm running good over multiple days as I was earlier this month because everything seems easy and I'm tricked into thinking I can just waltz in and go through the motions.

My focus my last few sessions has been to forget any previous session results and start each session at 0. That way I'm not bringing over any baggage that might cause my focus to drift, or possibly worse, cause me to hyper-focus and burn out too quickly.

Overall I've been very happy with how things are going. My self-reminders have made it easier to laugh off most of the negativity/nonsense surrounding the casino atmosphere. I'm playing exactly how much I need/want and playing whenever it fits in, using the flexibility of poker to prioritize life over maximizing money. I've also been taking poker just serious enough to continue improving, keep myself interested, and not become a mindless grinder while also not getting so absorbed that poker becomes my life.

It seems I've struck a pretty good balance and right now I'm just looking to keep it going.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:14 AM   #1533
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

You Can give a vague answer, but are you making close to 6 fiqures a year, or could be even with a lax schedule of about 20-25 hrs per week,
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:36 PM   #1534
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonkSlayar View Post
You Can give a vague answer, but are you making close to 6 fiqures a year, or could be even with a lax schedule of about 20-25 hrs per week,
I don't play nearly enough to make 6 figures playing 2/5 (or 5/10, at least in Vegas). Based on what I estimate my hourly EV to be I could get there if I played at or close to a full time schedule, though I don't think 25 hrs/week would cut it.

Also keep in mind that a year is not the long term in live poker, so even if my yearly EV is 100k+, doesn't mean I'm gonna win 100k+.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:24 AM   #1535
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Once again its been super long between updates. I don't have anything specific planned for this update and it might get sort of stream-of-consciousness as a result of not having a purpose for writing other than I want to.

I had been sticking with my plan of 20-25 hours a week of poker and focusing on other aspects of my life, largely health/exercise, social life/dating, reading and general self-improvement.

I've made a ton of progress in those other areas and continue to do so. All that stuff is great and I'm very happy with where I am in life overall. Poker however has fallen off as of late. A couple weeks ago I was out of commission for a couple days with a cold, and since then I've had a couple 1-3 day stretches where I just feel weird/lost in terms of not feeling like I have a direction. The exact same thing happened last year around this time, except it would last for like 2 weeks at a time instead of a couple days, so I suppose that's an improvement.

In recent posts I've talked about how I'm playing poker because it fits my life and allows me certain freedoms that I wouldn't have with other avenues. I still feel that way in theory, and when I think about it it seems to make perfect sense. Problem is when I'm playing poker I just don't want to be there a large percentage of the time. Unless I get in a good conversation, something I try to do as much as possible, I'm not usually happy to be there.

I don't focus because I'm bored/uninterested and then don't play my best as a result. The rare days I pay close attention to the game I play well, better than I've ever played. My A game is better than its ever been, I just usually play something like a B- game.

For a while this had me thinking very seriously about taking a job and seeing how I like it. I've never actually had a "career" job so its possible there's something out there I'd like. And I'm in a pretty fortunate position in which if I don't like it I can quit and go back to poker, which is oddly comforting. I don't see live low stakes becoming unprofitable any time soon so I don't really need to fear unemployment like many people who are stuck in jobs they hate.

I have been in talks since January with a well-known poker company about working for them. I was excited for that opportunity so with that potential on the horizon poker was tolerable as it felt temporary. Unfortunately that fell through a few weeks ago. While they were interested in hiring me the work they had just didn't fit with what I brought to the table or would be interested in doing. In an email with the CEO he told me that based on our conversations I was the type of person that needs to be working on something I'm passionate about and where I will reap the rewards of my effort. That's nearly the antithesis of typical employment. Companies can't pay you 100% of what you're worth, otherwise they wouldn't make money.

That email made me really re-think whether taking a job was a good route to take. It really goes against everything I want my life to be like. I realized that I was just feeling done with poker and for whatever reason afraid to take on something more risky, so I convinced myself that the best thing to do would be to try a "normal" job. **** that. When I moved to Vegas to try to play poker for a living, on paper I had no reason whatsoever to think I could do it. I read a bunch of books, had 500 hours of break-even 1/2 play and had messed around in the micros a little online. The money I came out with came from working summer and part time jobs and saving, not from poker. I came out to Vegas with no income, no employment prospects, no friends or family, and actual bills that needed to be paid doing something I really had no reason to believe I could generate income doing. What I did have was passion and confidence. I was determined to make a living playing poker and I was one million percent sure I'd be able to do it.

I already took a huge risk and trusted myself and my abilities to make it happen with poker. People thought I was crazy (I was) but to me there was no decision.

And now here I am, having already gone my own way, taken a risk with no guarantee, succeeded (at least by my definition), and I'm somehow afraid to try something new because its scary and risky. When I discovered this it didn't make any sense to me. I've done this already and I showed that I could succeed. Why am I afraid to do it with something else? Why am I considering taking the seemingly safer route (more on that later) by taking a job even though its not really what I want?

It comes down to passion. When I was trying to figure out why this didn't make sense, I realized that when I came out here to play poker, I didn't even consider that it was risky. I was passionate about poker and determined to make it happen for myself, so it didn't feel like there was any risk. It just felt like what I had to do. Of course there was a chance I'd fail, but I was ok with that. Not trying and living the rest of my life working a 9-5 wondering what might have happened if I did try, that's what really scared the crap out of me. So while there was risk, there was no fear. I was just doing what I knew in my heart I had to do, and that made it feel like there was no risk at all.

So I know I can do my own thing and succeed. I've done it with poker and I can do it with something else. Doesn't mean I'm going to succeed 100% of the time, but I know I can do it. I just need to be passionate about whatever it is. I know myself, and if I don't want to do something, I either don't, or do a ****ty job. It looks a lot like laziness to the untrained eye. But I know I'm not lazy, I just need to be working on something I'm passionate about.

Unfortunately this is where my thought experiment unravels, because I don't have something I'm passionate about like I did with poker. Yet. Sometimes people ask me what I do with my time since I really don't play that much poker. I spend my time of self-improvement; physically, mentally and socially, trying to learn about myself and find that next passion. That was also big part of the motivation for the trip I took this summer.

So while I still don't have that thing I'm passionate about, I feel better knowing that when I find it I'll have the confidence to take the necessary risk without fear. I have a few leads but nothing material right now. The main thing I need to do is be out there doing stuff and exploring so I can find it because just waiting for it to fall in my lap isn't gonna happen.

As a quick aside, a small part of me considering a normal job is this weird cognitive bias/limiting belief I have with money. I'm very careful with how I spend money and sometimes its a detriment because I don't spend money in areas that would improve my life more than having the money I'd be spending. So I don't spend the money and I tell myself that if I had a normal job I'd feel more comfortable spending that money because jobs are supposedly safer. Then it seems logical that I should get a job because my life would improve in those areas. This is pretty much total bull**** and has nothing to do with money. 99.9% of the time the money I'm contemplating spending I can absolutely afford. I'm over-rolled and budget well. These purchases aren't bank shattering. The money I'd spend on them would not affect a thing financially, but they would make my life better. Still I don't make them due to my cognitive bias. I think it may have to do with my income being fluctuating. While this is valid on some level, the amount of money in question would not affect my bankroll in a material way, so my earning power is not in jeopardy. It gets worse when I'm not playing much because I feel like if I'm not earning I can't spend, which is the only part that actually makes sense. Anyways this is a minor thing, and its gotten way better but its still something I need to work on.

To expand on my "seemingly safer" comment above, I have some thoughts on "normal" jobs. I never did interviews or applied for jobs like most of my classmates in college. I knew I was taking the poker route so I didn't see a point. I had a professional looking resume for the purposes of applying for business school but that was it. When I was toying around with typical employment and what it would entail, with the help of a book I was reading (Antifragile), it dawned on me that its really not all that safe to be at the mercy of an employer. Your income can go to 0 with no warning due to layoffs or just getting fired, but because its viewed as safe, people typically spend nearly 100% (or more) of their income. Then you get fired for whatever reason and you're ****ed until you find another job. Then you have to jump through a million hoops in the interview process to find a company that will allow you to work for them for some percentage of what you're worth that is certainly not 100, and probably not close. Looking at job postings made me feel like I'd be basically begging to spend 40 hours a week to only reap some of the benefits, all in the name of safety and security, which as it turns out, is at least partially a facade. Obviously not everyone spends all their income, and there are plenty of intelligent people that save money to account for possible unemployment. And then others choose to be employed for one reason or another and have fallbacks that don't depend on an employer. The point I'm making is that traditional employment isn't as safe as we are led to believe. So for me to take a job even though that's not really what I want because it is "safe" is pretty illogical.

As a disclaimer, I'm not saying normal jobs are bad. Traditional employment is the best way to go for a lot of people depending on their personality and desired field. However, it needs to be approached intelligently and not as the "safe route". There are no guarantees, and that includes these jobs.

So where I'm at right now is trying to find something I'm passionate about to pursue. That may include taking a more traditional employment role, even if its only temporary, but the reason for taking it will not be because its "safe". I'm still playing poker to pay the bills but once I reach that income level I feel my time is better spent in other domains. While its true that my passion with poker may re-ignite, I don't think its all that likely so I don't want to spend any more time in the poker room than I need to. Life outside poker is fantastic so I really have no complaints, just had a bunch of thoughts and wanted to get them down. Hopefully this wasn't too jumbled, since as I mentioned I really had no plan for it. Thanks for reading, I know this was a long one.

Last edited by cushlash; 11-17-2015 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:02 PM   #1536
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

As a fellow Wisconsinite, you're still living my dream! Unfortunately, I have worked for various employers and felt the same, as layoffs do happen. I was always working towards nothing really. As you put it, just to spend money. I'm almost done with my degree but have since done nothing but play poker.

Based on your thoughts, it seems you're still trying to find yourself or what you can bring to this world it seems. I can't remember how old you are (I'm 31 and finally figuring out my place/what I want to be doing), but trying new things can lead to the answer. I guarantee if you get yourself a "normal" 9-5 job you'll quit within a week. Just doesn't seem to be your thing. And that's good though!

Also, not sure if you've met or know of ecgrinder, but your posts remind me of one another in some ways. Always a pleasure and motivating to read!
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:48 PM   #1537
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Cush if I may I'd like to give you a suggestion.

You should know by now that poker is a great hobby, poor profession. Same goes for most things. Instead of trying to jump right in to a normal 40+ hr/wk job, why not look for something you can do part-time and change your poker playing to part time as well (which it sounds like what you're doing anyway?)

For example, you seem to like writing and are good at it. Why not try to start picking up some more freelance writing gigs?

I have pretty similar interests to you and I've started blogging part time for SB Nation and some other basketball websites. It's pretty fun, extremely flexible, and I can easily do that stuff and play poker at the same time. The pay is awful, but it is giving me some skills and stuff to put on my resume in case I want to change the ratio of writing/poker more heavily in favor of writing.

You could easily write stuff for twoplustwo magazine if you want to write about poker and get it published too. I did an embarassingly poor article for them years back, they're always open to submissions and the fact that you have a popular thread on here will help you a lot too.

Anyway, good luck finding your passions. Glad to see you're maintaining good balance in life.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:14 AM   #1538
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Great post!!
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Old 11-18-2015, 11:08 AM   #1539
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

If you don't like poker, you should just quit ASAP and move on. Life is too short for you to keep doing something that bores you...especially since you have mediocre results/volume at poker nowadays.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:01 PM   #1540
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I agree with ATsai. Read the thread "On changing your life" for some inspiration and embark on another path. Hopefully you have some money saved up to float you for a while, but even if you don't you should be fine. tmckendry can help you with making the most out of savings, he's a professional at life nit strategies.
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #1541
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by nit3.runn3r View Post
Based on your thoughts, it seems you're still trying to find yourself or what you can bring to this world it seems. I can't remember how old you are (I'm 31 and finally figuring out my place/what I want to be doing), but trying new things can lead to the answer. I guarantee if you get yourself a "normal" 9-5 job you'll quit within a week. Just doesn't seem to be your thing. And that's good though!
Yea the bolded is definitely accurate. I'm 24 fwiw.

I've met ecgrinder a couple times but since I don't really read or post on here much except this and a couple other threads I'm not familiar with his posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorldsBiggestNit View Post
Cush if I may I'd like to give you a suggestion.

You should know by now that poker is a great hobby, poor profession. Same goes for most things. Instead of trying to jump right in to a normal 40+ hr/wk job, why not look for something you can do part-time and change your poker playing to part time as well (which it sounds like what you're doing anyway?)

For example, you seem to like writing and are good at it. Why not try to start picking up some more freelance writing gigs?

I have pretty similar interests to you and I've started blogging part time for SB Nation and some other basketball websites. It's pretty fun, extremely flexible, and I can easily do that stuff and play poker at the same time. The pay is awful, but it is giving me some skills and stuff to put on my resume in case I want to change the ratio of writing/poker more heavily in favor of writing.

You could easily write stuff for twoplustwo magazine if you want to write about poker and get it published too. I did an embarassingly poor article for them years back, they're always open to submissions and the fact that you have a popular thread on here will help you a lot too.

Anyway, good luck finding your passions. Glad to see you're maintaining good balance in life.
Definitely man, always open to suggestions on here. I like the idea of transitioning rather than quitting outright and trying to jump into something else cold full time. Though its not what I did, that's what I recommend people do when wanting to get into poker and its likely the best route for most people wanting to make a change.

I just need to pick something and do it, as I've said though, I need to want to do it otherwise I won't do it or I'll do a half-ass job. I've toyed around with writing but flat out haven't made the effort. I was freelancing about a year ago and while it was a decent change of pace, I found I didn't enjoy it when I was being told when and what to write. A week or so ago I turned down a writing job for these exact reasons.

I started a non-poker blog last year but found I just didn't have enough to say to keep it going regularly. That was better because I can write whatever I want but to monetize a blog I'd need to be more consistent with posting. I enjoy writing but I only do it when I have something to say and want to write, as evidenced by my inconsistency itt. I really don't want writing to become like poker where I take something I like doing and make it a job and then it becomes not fun anymore. So while I've considered that as an option, I made the decision to keep writing a fun and useful, though non-money making hobby.

That being said, I could definitely re-work a lot of my past posts on here into articles and/or an ebook potentially. This again is just me not putting in the effort to do it.

Thanks for your comments, hope all is well with you.

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Originally Posted by thenorcaljew View Post
Great post!!
ty sir

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATsai View Post
If you don't like poker, you should just quit ASAP and move on. Life is too short for you to keep doing something that bores you...especially since you have mediocre results/volume at poker nowadays.
I never post results so I'm not sure where you're getting that I've had mediocre results. My hourly this year is the best its ever been. My volume has been low, though whether or not its mediocre is a matter of perspective. If my goal was to play 2k hours and grind my face off then yea my volume is mediocre. However, my goal is to make the amount of money that I need to live the life I want to live and by that measuring stick my volume is only a bit below where it should be.

You either didn't read the whole post or you're completely missing the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECGrinder View Post
I agree with ATsai. Read the thread "On changing your life" for some inspiration and embark on another path. Hopefully you have some money saved up to float you for a while, but even if you don't you should be fine. tmckendry can help you with making the most out of savings, he's a professional at life nit strategies.
That might be the first time anyone has ever suggested I need tips on managing money, they don't call me nittums for nothing
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:00 AM   #1542
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Your Badgers got totally screwed on that TD. Officiating in the Big Ten has been horrible this year.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:36 AM   #1543
cushlash
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Your Badgers got totally screwed on that TD. Officiating in the Big Ten has been horrible this year.
Yea that and the punt return getting called back were tough to take.

I'm not one to blame the refs though, when you turn the ball over 5 times you aren't gonna win many games.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:36 PM   #1544
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

To job or not to job? That is the question. Unfortunately there is no easy answer. I will point out that the longer the time gap between college graduation and the first "real" job, the harder it is to get a a good job. Perhaps a job that allows you to use your poker skills [ decision making, risk analysis, comparison analysis between competing options (i.e. game selection), probability mathematics ].
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:50 PM   #1545
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

It is fine to avoid regular jobs, but if you actually want one, don't poison yourself against it because you've heard bad things and expect you will hate it and it will slowly drain your soul. It might, but if you give it a chance, it might not. You never know.

I've always had the "I can just quit if I don't like it" attitude about every job I've ever had, and I think it makes life easier. So you've got that going for you already, if you decide to give work a try.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:58 PM   #1546
cushlash
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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To job or not to job? That is the question. Unfortunately there is no easy answer. I will point out that the longer the time gap between college graduation and the first "real" job, the harder it is to get a a good job. Perhaps a job that allows you to use your poker skills [ decision making, risk analysis, comparison analysis between competing options (i.e. game selection), probability mathematics ].
Yea the gap thing is part of why I've been feeling this way lately.

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Originally Posted by mrmr View Post
It is fine to avoid regular jobs, but if you actually want one, don't poison yourself against it because you've heard bad things and expect you will hate it and it will slowly drain your soul. It might, but if you give it a chance, it might not. You never know.

I've always had the "I can just quit if I don't like it" attitude about every job I've ever had, and I think it makes life easier. So you've got that going for you already, if you decide to give work a try.
I totally agree. I think in the past I've grouped all jobs into the "soul sucking 9-5" category. That's too simplistic, there are tons of different jobs out there and they all have unique advantages and disadvantages. Like you said, you never know until you give it a try, which is a thought that has been pushing me in that direction lately.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:12 PM   #1547
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

The work gap is not a big deal at all if you go to grad school fwiw. It probably depends what type of school you go to, but for me I was way more attractive of a candidate in law jobs because I was older and had cool work experience as opposed to fresh from undergrad classmates who I was competing with.

Cush you ever think of working at epic? They are always looking for people like you. That's always a backup option too in case you ever really get sick of playing.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:18 AM   #1548
cushlash
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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The work gap is not a big deal at all if you go to grad school fwiw. It probably depends what type of school you go to, but for me I was way more attractive of a candidate in law jobs because I was older and had cool work experience as opposed to fresh from undergrad classmates who I was competing with.

Cush you ever think of working at epic? They are always looking for people like you. That's always a backup option too in case you ever really get sick of playing.
Yea that's true. I've considered grad school as an option to mitigate the problems with having a gap but for a few reasons that path is pretty low on my list. Namely that I really despise school and think in most cases grad school isn't worth the money. However, the longer my gap gets, the less true that becomes so grad school may be a more attractive option than I thought. Through no ones fault but my own I never really got the typical college experience since I was set on poker and wanted to gtfo as soon as possible so that route would give me a chance to experience some of the stuff I missed out on I'm sure.

I actually have a really good friend that works at epic. I'm only vaguely aware of what they do, he's in video production type stuff iirc. Never thought it'd be a place for me based on not really being into the stuff he does but it wouldn't hurt for me to look into them more.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:46 PM   #1549
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I played what will most likely be my last poker session of the year yesterday so I figured this would be a good time for an update. The last few months of the year were pretty much a flat-line results-wise. I was not playing my best so this was as much a result of play bad as it was run bad. It also wasn't a lot of hours so it doesn't mean nearly as much as if I had put in full months and flat-lined.

This year I played even less than last year, which I didn't see happening at the start of the year unless I got a job or something. A part of me wants to be mad or say that its pathetic how low my volume is, but the reality is I'm not disappointed at all. I made pretty incredible strides in my physical fitness and social/dating life, along with reading approximately 20 books, mostly non-fiction, which have helped expand my mind and view of the world. Financially I didn't deprive myself of anything that actually increases my happiness. I covered all my expenses, including a 6-week trip to Europe and maxing out my IRA. It helps that I'm great at managing my personal finances, probably one of the most underrated life skills there is.

By the definition of the average American worker, yea I didn't work much. But I decided a long time ago that I don't play by those rules. As Americans we are socialized to feel guilty when we're not working. We don't know how to play or to enjoy unproductive free time. We've been taught from a young age that its important to make as much money as possible to buy stuff that we mostly don't need or doesn't make us happy. Hence the invention of the 40-hour work week.

This work-guilt effect is even stronger for self-employed people that can work whenever they want. As a poker player, there's always a game somewhere, so it can sometimes be hard to have fun doing something non-productive if you're always thinking about the $X/hr you're giving up by not playing poker. This isn't as tough for a lot of the people that punch a clock from 9-5 because once they're done, they're done.

Personally I prefer to not have to punch a clock, so the work-guilt effect is just something I have to be more cognizant of. When I find myself having a hard time relaxing because I feel like I "should" be playing poker, I ask myself why it is that I feel that way. If its because I'm not playing enough to reach my life goals then that's one thing. But if its because I'm comparing my volume at poker to the standard American work week, then I need to remind myself that I play by a different set of rules and that that comparison is simply invalid. My life isn't about maximizing career productivity and acquiring possessions. My life is about being the best human I can possibly be, and that means taking out lots of time for non-income producing activities; time for fun, time with family and friends, time working on personal goals, time just relaxing and doing nothing.

In short, I work to live, I don't live to work.

That more or less sums up my year poker-wise. As those who have followed along in this thread know, I have gone back and forth on poker for a while now. I'm still doing that to some extent, though right now I'm quite happy with where I'm at for reasons touched upon in the paragraphs above. When it comes right down to it, I don't actually want a job. I've gotten pretty close a few times this year and when the silhouette of what my life would look like began to actually take form, I've largely seen it as a reminder of why poker fits so well for me rather than a life change that I'm excited about. I didn't truly want a job, the standard American work part of my brain convinced me that I "should" get one.

Still, I've realized there need to be pursuits in my life besides grinding poker. This year I've focused a lot on physical fitness and social/dating improvement. Those will remain, but both have become ingrained in my routine, so I feel I can turn my attention elsewhere while keeping those particular plates spinning. I honestly don't know exactly what I'll be doing this year. Because things have such a high probability of shifting I don't see myself making any year-long goals. I have a few ideas, and I plan to do some thinking about them while I'm home for the holidays.

Basically poker will remain the main thing, I just want to do more things around it besides just grinding. Lately poker has fallen by the wayside to make room for other things. Improving my physical fitness has been a huge one, but I quickly forgot that a large part of that motivation was because a few years ago I wasn't focused and alert at the table. Reminding myself that part of why I eat healthy and exercise is so I can put in quality time at the tables should help my motivation.

I'd also like to write more. This thread has become less and less active in the last year or two. Part of that is that I don't play poker as much so I don't write. However, its possible that if I commit to writing more that I'll play more and probably enjoy it more because I'll have a reason to play besides money, which is obviously not an effective motivator for me on its own. I have some non-poker things I want to write about as well. I've made a personal WordPress for this purpose and written a few things. I haven't posted anything yet, and I may not post them at all, but simply writing them is helpful in its own right. If I do in fact start writing more in this thread, the most likely result is that I incorporate them here.

Podcasting has also crossed my mind. I find myself in interesting conversations somewhat frequently, and I often think that it might be valuable for other people to hear. Something with poker at the core but branching out on life stuff would be the direction I'd go if I take this route.

So far all those ideas are poker related, and they all have the underlying goal of keeping me motivated to play and improve. Though poker has served its purpose for me the last few years, I definitely have not lived up to my potential and I'd like to change that. Though that would seem to contradict my "work to live not live to work" mantra, I feel like taking an achievement-based view of my time at the poker table would be more healthy than a grinding-based view even if I still play the same number of hours.

As far as non-poker pursuits, I will continue my physical fitness and social/dating improvement as already mentioned. I'll also continue to read as I enjoy it and feel it helps me in a variety of ways. There isn't really anything new on the non-poker front, mostly just staying/getting more involved in the things I'm already doing. I've considered becoming an instructor for the types of exercise classes I've been taking. I've had a few people mention that they think I'd be good at it and I think it could be fun. Not sure where that may go but its an avenue I'm interested in exploring.

As I said, I don't have a concrete plan, but these are my feelings and ideas right now. I don't see any drastic changes occurring, I'll just continue making incremental changes as I see fit, hopefully all in positive directions as they pertain to my overall goals.

Thanks to everyone still following along.

Happy Holidays!

Last edited by cushlash; 12-23-2015 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:34 PM   #1550
pure_aggression
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I think we have a lot in common and a lot of the same feelings about poker.

Good to hear you made strides on your personal goals. I bet you had an amazing experience in Europe.

I wish you continued success in 2016!
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