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Old 06-20-2016, 02:56 AM   #1626
cushlash
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Good post, thanks for taking the time. I probably think about stuff like that more than any 25ish year old that I know, and probably more than is good for me. I definitely acknowledge that at some point what I'm making in poker isn't going to cut it for certain things, I'm just not at a point yet where I have to sacrifice freedom for security, but I realize that in all likelihood a time will come when I have to do just that. My goal is to figure something out before that time that allows me to keep the freedom and gain security, but admittedly I don't have any concrete leads currently. Luckily I'm pretty sure I have a good amount of time before I'd be forced to make unwanted concessions. I could certainly be wrong, especially if something unexpected gets thrown my way.

Who knows, maybe I'll ship the summer solstice donkament tomorrow and buy myself a bunch more time to figure it out

Play starts at 11, I'll update here on breaks.
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Old 06-20-2016, 11:55 AM   #1627
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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“I love getting up early to sit in front of a computer from 9-5 M-F” said no one ever

Very good post sir. Thank you for taking the time. While I’m not a parent, this is gonna certainly sound like I am one. I was in the same place you are 25 years ago. So I want to pass on something a close relative told me back then that you and several others might not have considered. I spent several years in the early 90s playing in AC. Internet was not an option – it didn’t exist. And it was awesome. However, I am now thankful every day for the advice I was given then. An uncle visited me and saw how I was living. Here’s the short version of what he said - You’re way young and still have several years to screw around before getting serious about a career. Don’t look at that as a negative bcz it’s not. Enjoy it. But right now, like most kids in their 20s you have no long-term goals. No plan for future stability when you want to retire and live out your days stress-free. He gave me the run-down on finding a job that can offer that stability – a 401k, a pension and most-importantly paying into Social Security. What resonated most tho was the discussion about health insurance. Not something many 20-somethings think about unless they have children of their own. And having good coverage has paid huge dividends. As someone with a financial background, I’m sure you understand these things

I however completely disregarded it at the time. I was living the dream of every kid out of college with no responsibilities. A few years later tho, it kinda hit me. It was obvious. What happens when I turn 60 if I keep going the way I am? So I gave it all up and started working a job that most would consider tedious, but I find it tolerable in that I’m able to help our customers with unforeseen incidents every day (intentionally vague). I’ve now been here 20 years and will be able to retire at 60 with a guaranteed monthly income for the rest of my life plus a healthy 6 figure savings account. Then SS kicks in at 62 giving me a nice raise. I, like you, have no debts and live well within my means. And most of all, I have enjoyed playing way more during these past two decades than I ever did back then. Probably bcz now I play when I want to and not bcz I have to. Much different mindset

Now this is in no way a suggestion that you or anyone else should follow this path. Some may consider it a prison sentence to spend 30 years behind a desk. But guess what? At some point in life, we all need financial security or have to work until we stop breathing. And much of the advice you’ve already been given is correct. The longer you spend out of the workforce, the harder it might be to find that job you might decide you want when the time is right. My suggestion would be tho to maybe focus more on the benefits being offered by the job vs what the job actually entails. It’s not anything most 24 year-olds worry about and at times it makes you question your existence. But take from me, it could certainly be something one might regret when they get to be where I am and realize they have failed to plan accordingly. GL
I went through a similar "eureka" moment (although not with poker), and, I too, am glad that I did make the life change (age 24). Now when I play poker I really enjoy the game and the challenge to get better, both of which carry over into the "real world". I don't, of course, know but I can't help but wonder if the absolute need to make $ to be able to make a living, would consciously or subconsciously affect my love for the game and perhaps even life in general.

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Old 06-20-2016, 03:35 PM   #1628
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

6k from 7500 on first break, got over set right before break but didn't lose much
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:57 PM   #1629
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Well that was quick, I'm out. Nothing went my way that level, ended up getting short and flipping AJ <77
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:00 PM   #1630
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Well that was quick, I'm out. Nothing went my way that level, ended up getting short and flipping AJ <77
Aw. Good seeing you even though it was very brief.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:53 AM   #1631
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Yea for sure, didn't recognize you at first haha
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:12 PM   #1632
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Although i agree with the long term philosophy about career benefits, one solution is to marry someone with a great career and health insurance.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:37 PM   #1633
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Get a job or figure it out with poker. Nothing wrong with working and playing on the side or as a serious hobby.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:55 PM   #1634
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Yea for sure, didn't recognize you at first haha
Same actually which is why I was all awkward. Definitely saw the results of the diet and exercise routine you mentioned earlier itt. Now only if I could get off my ass and do the same.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:08 PM   #1635
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Although i agree with the long term philosophy about career benefits, one solution is to marry someone with a great career and health insurance.
This has crossed my mind as a legitimate possibility.

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Get a job or figure it out with poker. Nothing wrong with working and playing on the side or as a serious hobby.
Totally agree, most people I've talked to whom have quit full time poker enjoy both life and poker more.

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Same actually which is why I was all awkward. Definitely saw the results of the diet and exercise routine you mentioned earlier itt. Now only if I could get off my ass and do the same.
Haha yea I was quite awkward as well. Thanks man, definitely nice to hear that from people. Be like Nike and just do it. Its not super fun but I can promise you won't regret it.
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #1636
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Long time once again since my last update. I went to Wisconsin for a couple weeks for a boy's week trip to our cabin and then spent the 4th with my family. It was definitely a lot of fun and I ate all the food while I was there.

Been back at it a little bit since I've been back in Vegas. Even though I wasn't playing a ton of hours when I left I was still playing at about my max so its nice to be back to playing my normal volume. As far as I can remember this is the least excited I am to be back to poker after an extended break. Usually even if I hated poker before a vacation I'm at least marginally excited to be back. Right now I'm basically indifferent. I don't dislike it, but I'm not jumping for joy to be back either.

For a change of pace I've spent the last 3 days dabbling in some PLO games. For those that have been following along for the whole time, I used to play a bunch of PLO but mostly abandoned it when I realized NL was a more viable option in Vegas. I still think that, but I was just looking to switch it up, break up the monotony, etc. A friend of mine has been wanting to learn so one day we just went and played at the same table and then talked about the spots we got in afterwards. It was pretty fun to be doing something with a better learn:grind ratio than NL.

I'd like to keep playing once a week or so just to keep things fresh and so I feel comfortable jumping in if a great game pops up. My NL game has improved vastly since I was playing PLO before and it really shows when re-learning the game. I think my general poker IQ is just infinitely higher than 3-4 years ago so things make a lot more sense than even back when I was playing PLO every day. I don't see myself switching over for a significant chunk of my hours but I don't think it can hurt to play every so often as a way to keep things interesting.

Something curious I've been noticing is that I get in a lot more little tuffles at the table nowadays. I think a lot of the times I'm just bored and when people are being ridiculous my threshold for just letting it go is lower. I'm usually "right" but its also incredibly stupid of me to do anything except be quiet. Sometimes I just can't help pointing out someone's stupidity, its probably an ego problem. I should mention that its basically never about poker either. This isn't me berating a fish or anything. Its usually someone being generally bitchy/negative/douchey and me not being able to help myself. Or telling people they're insane when they say basically anything about politics. Anyways this isn't a huge thing, just something I've noticed.

My vacation provided me with a good opportunity to fine tune some of my "systems", which are basically my goals but broken down into things I do daily or weekly to help me get there. Right now they include things like "read a book every 3 weeks" and "exercise at least 3 times per week". I'm also dedicating 20 minutes per day to doing actionable things that expand my options outside poker. The last couple days that time has been spent on applying for a trading related opportunity I found interesting. I have some other ideas with what to do with that time, some of which will involve activities more along entrepreneurial lines.

Anyways that's me. Some poker, some other stuff, just trying to be better. Hope everyone's doing well!
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:07 AM   #1637
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Great read, don't think I have posted, but have been following for awhile. I took a similar path, I graduated with an accounting degree and have played full-time since, so about 3.5 years. I think you are at a point all players get to. After my most recent roller coaster, I am kind of at that point as well. I've had thoughts about re-entering myself into the real world. Poker is tough as ****, and I find most of my better months happen when I have other things going on.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:09 PM   #1638
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Great thread. It's fun to see the natural progression of your skills and interests over time, kinda like those timelapse videos on YouTube (A picture of myself every day for five years!) but less weird and more engaging.

If you were to get a full-time job how would your poker schedule change? What kind of hours would you expect to be putting in and when?
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:33 PM   #1639
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Great read, don't think I have posted, but have been following for awhile. I took a similar path, I graduated with an accounting degree and have played full-time since, so about 3.5 years. I think you are at a point all players get to. After my most recent roller coaster, I am kind of at that point as well. I've had thoughts about re-entering myself into the real world. Poker is tough as ****, and I find most of my better months happen when I have other things going on.
Yea basically a mirror image of my path. My best months also tend to come when I'm not solely focused on poker. I've heard this from many people so there's definitely more to it than just variance. Keep on keepin on my man, hope you find what you're lookin for, whether is be poker or elsewhere.

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Great thread. It's fun to see the natural progression of your skills and interests over time, kinda like those timelapse videos on YouTube (A picture of myself every day for five years!) but less weird and more engaging.

If you were to get a full-time job how would your poker schedule change? What kind of hours would you expect to be putting in and when?
Thanks, glad you're enjoying it.

That's a really good question, I was actually asked that at an interview for a poker-related company a while back. I told them I'd probably play less and branch out to non-holdem games more often since I'm not dependent on the income.

I still think that's a reasonable possibility if I were to take a full time job. However, I kinda like the idea of playing a few hours a week for some extra cash. It would depend on the hours of my job but I'd prob play once or twice a week at night or on weekends for a few extra bucks as long as I didn't have anything else going on. I definitely wouldn't make it a priority though. If I didn't want to play or basically anything else came up I wouldn't go.

In practice I'd probably end up somewhere in between, sometimes playing holdem for extra cash and sometimes dabbling in PLO/mix/etc.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:00 PM   #1640
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I've been back on the holdem grind after dipping my feet back in the PLO pool for a while. It was nice to have my brain working again and I had some fun re-learning that game but I also need to "stack some paper" as the iceman would say. The PLO games were also getting more hit or miss, sometimes not running at all and then sometimes it'd be 4 or 5 short stackers and be kinda pointless for my purposes.

Trying my best to play my requisite number of hours. I'm on the low end but in the range of where I want to be. I've been trying to be more focused at the table as well. I find I get bored pretty easily and end up on my phone or whatever and then miss important things and make mistakes due to being distracted. I've been experimenting with a version of the pomodoro technique in which I try to focus on the game for 25 minutes at a time. I keep my phone face down and on silent and whenever a new dealer pushes in I'm allowed to check my phone and take a mental break for 5 minutes, then back to the action and repeat. Seems to increase my focus, though hasn't helped with increasing my session length. Has helped enough that I'll keep experimenting.

I was discussing poker in general with a friend recently. He's in a similar spot as myself, wanting to do something else for a living but reluctant to give up the positives of poker. He said something basically along the lines of, "if you told someone there was a job, but didn't say it was poker, in which they could make $40-50/hr, make their own schedule, have no boss, and work as much overtime as they wanted, they'd say sign me up". His point was that in the grand scheme of things we shouldn't complain about the negatives of poker. I agree with his sentiment, but pointed out that despite those things being true, nearly everyone that tries full-time poker ends up hating the grind. Later on while thinking about it, I thought, well that's only half the story. If you said to the same person that there is a job in which you make $40-50 an hour but you're basically never getting a raise in the current climate, and actually will get a pay cut if you don't improve, they'd be less excited. Add in that there's no health insurance, no 401k, no paid time off, no sick days, and comparatively few people would be interested.

I say this not to make the case one way or the other, just as an observation. The positives are there, that's undeniable. But the negatives are just as undeniable. For me the positives outweighed the negatives when I started my poker career over 4 years ago. However, every year the equation gets closer and closer and one day it will cross over. It has perhaps already crossed over and I'm just slow on the uptake.

While talking with another poker friend I said that when I'm 50 or whatever, and hopefully long out of full-time poker, I'm not sure if I'll be saying "damn I shoulda played more hours" or "damn I shoulda quit sooner". I think both are equally likely. Playing 20 hours a week and not doing anything else is almost certainly a mistake though.

I'm doing my best to avoid the "sky is falling" mentality and enjoy the phase I'm in. Yea I'm not sure what I want to do long term but for a 25 year old in the U.S. I'm doing pretty damn good. I need to learn to embrace the uncertainty and just figure it out the best I can. Heck, life would be pretty boring if everything was certain. As much as we sometimes wish we could win 100% of the time, take the variance out of poker and it wouldn't be any fun.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:25 AM   #1641
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Poker should be a means to an end. I've been playing for ten years and it's tough. I'm 27 btw.
Poker provided me with a great source of income but you need an end game.
Humans, especially smart humans are adaptive in the sense that they are used to what they have then try to figure out how to get more. That seems to be the stage you're in.
I used poker to save up 50k then start a business and buy my first investment property. I still play for my main income until other investments start paying off but I'm mixing it up so its not that tedious. Also I play online for like 3 hours a day or so.
Look into small investment properties to mix things up. If you don't have at least 40k lying aside not being used and you play 2/5+ everyday then you're doing it wrong.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:08 PM   #1642
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I played with you a couple of times at Encore during the WSOP. I was sitting to your right in seat 8 (Asian guy with glasses) when I tipped the dealer a buck when I lost a decent size pot when the flush draw didn't hit. I tipped trying to tilt the villain because he had a bigger flush draw. I ended up stacking villain about a hour later.

Just wanted to say I read the whole thread and it's one of the best on 2plus2. Good luck and thank you for sharing your journey as a poker pro in Las Vegas.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:08 AM   #1643
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Hey, I have been lurking your thread for awhile but have yet to post. Great thread and I like following your story, and really like your general thoughts and how you approach life in general. While I'm about 10 years older than you now, I see some similarities between what I went through with the online poker boom (although the money was easier then) and what you are going through now. Just thought I would throw in a couple insights I have had, some of which I have learned by going back to work for approximately the last 10 years after having a couple of great years solely playing online. I'm sure you already know most of this or have had similar discussions, but hopefully you can find some use of it. Also as a side note you like to vacation in one of my favorite spots as well: Northern Wisconsin.

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He said something basically along the lines of, "if you told someone there was a job, but didn't say it was poker, in which they could make $40-50/hr, make their own schedule, have no boss, and work as much overtime as they wanted, they'd say sign me up". His point was that in the grand scheme of things we shouldn't complain about the negatives of poker. I agree with his sentiment, but pointed out that despite those things being true, nearly everyone that tries full-time poker ends up hating the grind. Later on while thinking about it, I thought, well that's only half the story. If you said to the same person that there is a job in which you make $40-50 an hour but you're basically never getting a raise in the current climate, and actually will get a pay cut if you don't improve, they'd be less excited. Add in that there's no health insurance, no 401k, no paid time off, no sick days, and comparatively few people would be interested.
There is a lot of truth to what you are saying here, but as long as you can keep consistently making ~$40-50/hour, don't overreact to not having benefits. Health insurance, 401k, time off, are all priced into lower hourly wages if you take a job. Generally benefits make up anywhere from 25-50% of your overall compensation package in a full time job (plus or minus some depending on your salary and type of work), so if you are making $50/hour right now instead of treating that all as cash I would encourage you to consider $10-$20/hour of what you earn to go towards your "benefits" -- you can provide your own health insurance, 401(k) or anything another company would provide for you by offering a lower hourly wage. Any company your work for sees your benefits as a cost to them, if you are making enough on your own you can make your own benefit package tailored to suit your individual needs.

At $40-50/hour, even if your set money aside for benefits, you are still making an above average wage, and a wage that is still higher than many people top out at late in their careers, yes, there are other jobs that pay more but that rate is nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about either. So while you may get frustrated that you are not getting a raise every year, there are still many that never even reach that level of compensation either. If the games are getting tougher or you start feeling they are not worth your time anymore, then yes, you should probably start exploring other options. This could be anything you want and you still have the freedom to explore pretty much unlimited possibilities.

Also, it is always easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. If you start working full-time you are going to dream about playing poker again. While you are playing poker you are going to think about how much easier it would be to have a job. I find it hard to keep that in balance. While I have a comfy job right now, I don't have nearly as much freedom.

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Originally Posted by cushlash View Post
While talking with another poker friend I said that when I'm 50 or whatever, and hopefully long out of full-time poker, I'm not sure if I'll be saying "damn I shoulda played more hours" or "damn I shoulda quit sooner". I think both are equally likely. Playing 20 hours a week and not doing anything else is almost certainly a mistake though.

I'm doing my best to avoid the "sky is falling" mentality and enjoy the phase I'm in. Yea I'm not sure what I want to do long term but for a 25 year old in the U.S. I'm doing pretty damn good.
I agree with what you are saying here, my only advice is back when I was playing "full-time" which was pretty much around 20-25 hours per week, I was more focused on just having enough money to enjoy my current life and did not care about putting in some extra time to help me in the future. Now, I don't regret playing for a living, I don't regret the fun I had, I don't regret returning to work (but still would love to return to how things used to be), but I do regret not taking more advantage of the opportunity I had. I easily could have put in both a few more hours per week not only playing but improving my game, and who knows where that could have led if I had applied myself more. One thing to consider is just putting in extra time and solely saving/investing that money. That is what I'm working on now, being able to retire early with and having the financial freedom to do whatever I want. It doesn't matter if you earn the money through poker or a job, once you have enough in the stock market you are free to live however you want based on conservative return estimates.

Sorry I rambled a bit longer and more incoherently than I was expecting to there. Good luck figuring out what is right for you.

Last edited by Shoe; 08-16-2016 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:27 PM   #1644
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxcheck View Post
Poker should be a means to an end. I've been playing for ten years and it's tough. I'm 27 btw.
Poker provided me with a great source of income but you need an end game.
Humans, especially smart humans are adaptive in the sense that they are used to what they have then try to figure out how to get more. That seems to be the stage you're in.
I used poker to save up 50k then start a business and buy my first investment property. I still play for my main income until other investments start paying off but I'm mixing it up so its not that tedious. Also I play online for like 3 hours a day or so.
Look into small investment properties to mix things up. If you don't have at least 40k lying aside not being used and you play 2/5+ everyday then you're doing it wrong.
Yea I hear what you're saying. I put money in the market every month and occasionally make lump sum investments. For that reason I don't have 40k lying around because whenever I have too much extra lying around it goes into the market or towards my mortgage. Based on my limited experience with real estate being a landlord doesn't seem like my cup of tea, which is unfortunate since it seems like the most obvious way to get significant semi-passive income.

I definitely have an endgame, I think I'm just impatient. Thanks for your thoughts.

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I played with you a couple of times at Encore during the WSOP. I was sitting to your right in seat 8 (Asian guy with glasses) when I tipped the dealer a buck when I lost a decent size pot when the flush draw didn't hit. I tipped trying to tilt the villain because he had a bigger flush draw. I ended up stacking villain about a hour later.

Just wanted to say I read the whole thread and it's one of the best on 2plus2. Good luck and thank you for sharing your journey as a poker pro in Las Vegas.
Thanks, I appreciate you saying that. I don't specifically remember that day but I vaguely remember someone tipping after losing a pot so it musta been you haha. Glad you got revenge!

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Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
Hey, I have been lurking your thread for awhile but have yet to post. Great thread and I like following your story, and really like your general thoughts and how you approach life in general. While I'm about 10 years older than you now, I see some similarities between what I went through with the online poker boom (although the money was easier then) and what you are going through now. Just thought I would throw in a couple insights I have had, some of which I have learned by going back to work for approximately the last 10 years after having a couple of great years solely playing online. I'm sure you already know most of this or have had similar discussions, but hopefully you can find some use of it. Also as a side note you like to vacation in one of my favorite spots as well: Northern Wisconsin.
Nice, Northern Wisconsin is the nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
There is a lot of truth to what you are saying here, but as long as you can keep consistently making ~$40-50/hour, don't overreact to not having benefits. Health insurance, 401k, time off, are all priced into lower hourly wages if you take a job. Generally benefits make up anywhere from 25-50% of your overall compensation package in a full time job (plus or minus some depending on your salary and type of work), so if you are making $50/hour right now instead of treating that all as cash I would encourage you to consider $10-$20/hour of what you earn to go towards your "benefits" -- you can provide your own health insurance, 401(k) or anything another company would provide for you by offering a lower hourly wage. Any company your work for sees your benefits as a cost to them, if you are making enough on your own you can make your own benefit package tailored to suit your individual needs.
This is a great point, and a good way to think about it. I do have a retirement account and individual health insurance and I suppose its just psychological that it feels like it costs me a lot since I'm paying for it after the fact. I'd still be paying for it if I had a job, I'd just never see the actual money in the first place.

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Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
At $40-50/hour, even if your set money aside for benefits, you are still making an above average wage, and a wage that is still higher than many people top out at late in their careers, yes, there are other jobs that pay more but that rate is nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about either. So while you may get frustrated that you are not getting a raise every year, there are still many that never even reach that level of compensation either. If the games are getting tougher or you start feeling they are not worth your time anymore, then yes, you should probably start exploring other options. This could be anything you want and you still have the freedom to explore pretty much unlimited possibilities.
Also a good point and something I don't remind myself of enough. My yearly income isn't all that impressive, but hourly its certainly pretty damn good.

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Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
Also, it is always easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. If you start working full-time you are going to dream about playing poker again. While you are playing poker you are going to think about how much easier it would be to have a job. I find it hard to keep that in balance. While I have a comfy job right now, I don't have nearly as much freedom.
Yea I feel like this is a huge part of it for me. I believe I talked about my friend who went the job route earlier this year and now is back playing poker. I was really curious to see how he liked working a normal job and it seems the greener grass effect works the other way as well.

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Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
I agree with what you are saying here, my only advice is back when I was playing "full-time" which was pretty much around 20-25 hours per week, I was more focused on just having enough money to enjoy my current life and did not care about putting in some extra time to help me in the future. Now, I don't regret playing for a living, I don't regret the fun I had, I don't regret returning to work (but still would love to return to how things used to be), but I do regret not taking more advantage of the opportunity I had. I easily could have put in both a few more hours per week not only playing but improving my game, and who knows where that could have led if I had applied myself more. One thing to consider is just putting in extra time and solely saving/investing that money. That is what I'm working on now, being able to retire early with and having the financial freedom to do whatever I want. It doesn't matter if you earn the money through poker or a job, once you have enough in the stock market you are free to live however you want based on conservative return estimates.
It seems we definitely looked at poker very similarly from a volume/attitude standpoint. I feel the same way about playing more while I'm playing full-time. I've been feeling pretty good lately and have played 5 days in a row, which is fairly rare for me. No super long sessions but they've all been good chunks.

My end game is essentially what you're describing: having enough in the market to pay my expenses without touching the principal and then doing whatever the f I want. I can definitely do more to reach that end sooner. Down the line that money may come from somewhere else if I find something better but for now it comes from poker so I need to just get in there.

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Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
Sorry I rambled a bit longer and more incoherently than I was expecting to there. Good luck figuring out what is right for you.
No sweat man, I resonate with a lot of what you said and greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Last edited by cushlash; 08-16-2016 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:54 PM   #1645
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

It feels a lot like 2013 right now. I've been playing a ton of poker (for me). The games over the past week have resembled the ones I played in 3 years ago, highlighting some of the ways things have changed during that time. Perhaps most importantly, my desire to play and learn is higher than its been for quite some time.

I hit my August hours goal and have played nearly as many hours this year as all of last year combined. Its still not a lot, but a step in the right direction. Its pretty funny how an increase in game quality can motivate me to play more. I don't think its just that I've found some better games, but that the way in which they are good make them fun and interesting to play.

I ran fairly average this month based on my final results, but it was anything but steady. I had one monster session and a bunch of boring grindy sessions, with a few pretty silly losses along the way. I've been finding myself to be fairly results oriented in my table and seat-changes lately, which is such a fish move that I'm embarrassed to admit it. I'm generally always trying to be at the best table and occasionally seat changing if there's a very good reason. This is all within reason though, as if I seat changed for every minor increase in EV I'd be hopping all over the place and giving off an overly predatory vibe which I feel is bad for the game. Plus dynamics shift so often that constant seat changing is often a fools errand anyways.

A few times this month I've been punished fairly hard for seat and table changes. It seems like every time I move I get immediately crushed at my next table. A couple times I seat changed at the same table, or passed on a seat change I was contemplating, I either lost a bunch or the other seat won a bunch in short order. As I'm writing this I realize how dumb and amateur it sounds, which was actually the point. I needed to see how illogical all those thoughts were, mission accomplished I guess. Even if I made a mistake in table/seat selection, its worth a max of $10/hr in all but the most extreme cases. The fact that this time it cost me $500 or whatever is completely irrelevant. My mental energy needs to be focused on the things I control.

The most absurd example of this happened yesterday. I table changed to a much better game. A seat opens up that is slightly better than the one I am in, but since I know I'm going to leave in about 20 minutes I just stay put. I stack one of the two spots for about 600. Then I'm in the big blind and the utg player is racking up and tells the dealer to not deal him in. Dealer hears him but forgets and gives him cards anyways. The guy decides to just play his last hand. We end up 4 ways to the flop of JT6 with me holding 66. I end up all in against a different player's TT and lose a 2.5k pot. An orbit later the other action player goes broke and I leave as planned.

I ran exceptionally good in some other spots recently so in no way am I complaining or looking for sympathy. I just found this to be a perfect example of how crazy variance can be sometimes. Decide not to seat change, dealer deals in a players he's not supposed to, get set over set for a 500bb pot. This has definitely happened in my favor before, so it all evens out. The point is that I have been wasting energy thinking about crap that doesn't matter and I need to just focus on the relevant things that I control. I did the best I could in this spot, played my hand appropriately, got coolered, now move on.

Its nice to be back in a groove with poker. A funny side effect is once I just got down to business and stopped worrying so much about what I should do in terms of sticking with poker or getting a job or starting something else, etc., things seem to be starting to happen. All in the same day I had 2 potential opportunities pop up that I'm currently looking into. One of which entails a phone interview sometime in the next week and another which involves a local business in LV with whom I talked to earlier today and may end up working with. I'll update with more details if either of them turn into anything substantial but for now its a good feeling to have some other stuff floating around. It gives me confidence that as long as I'm patient and take advantage of opportunities I find that there's really no reason to have so much existential anxiety. I'm just doing what makes sense and pivoting as I see fit.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:55 AM   #1646
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Hi cush,

Very glad to hear you are in a positive space and seeing things more from the perspective of the good side of the job. I have enjoyed this thread over the years, since the beginning.

Is there a chance of you taking on a part-time job? This would provide something different - us poker types seem to desire novelty - and also helps make poker fun. For perspective, I played about 600 hrs a year for 10 years at strong win rates, but always with a high-paying day job. Never lost the desire, but also never put effort into studying the game. To be fair, my opponents were some of the most entertaining people on the planet. That makes a big difference.

Do you have a Roth IRA? You can self-direct those into almost any passive investment, including loans. The limits are low. You may, however, be able to incorporate your business and offer a 401(k) then convert to a Roth 401(k) and pay the taxes. I don;t know how that works for poker.

I would avoid investment real estate. I have a great deal of experience in that and make my primary living from it, though I am a practicing physician. Rentals in general suck. The way to make money in those is buy something that will appreciate. The internet consensus is wrong: the repairs and vacancy rates will be higher than the 1.5 months' rent they recommend allocating to those. If you can find something unlikely to need a lot of repairs which earns 1% of what you pay for it a month in an area likely to appreciate, that's a good investment, assuming you can buy it with a sizable mortgage. You're smart to avoid it for now.

Love that you're paying down your mortgage. Usually poker players assume they can make 10% elsewhere (good luck with that, especially after taxes) and figure paying down the mortgage is foolish. But peace of mind is worth a ton, and owning your home outright is peaceful indeed.

If you are in a receptive mood advice-wise, mine is don't invest in anything that is an idea without a strong sense of how it will be protected, marketed, implemented, monetized, and sold. From personal experience, poker players are prone to thinking ideas are the valuable part, when in truth execution is far, far more important.

Best of luck to you cush.
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:06 AM   #1647
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Originally Posted by riverdog View Post
Hi cush,

Very glad to hear you are in a positive space and seeing things more from the perspective of the good side of the job. I have enjoyed this thread over the years, since the beginning.

Is there a chance of you taking on a part-time job? This would provide something different - us poker types seem to desire novelty - and also helps make poker fun. For perspective, I played about 600 hrs a year for 10 years at strong win rates, but always with a high-paying day job. Never lost the desire, but also never put effort into studying the game. To be fair, my opponents were some of the most entertaining people on the planet. That makes a big difference.

Do you have a Roth IRA? You can self-direct those into almost any passive investment, including loans. The limits are low. You may, however, be able to incorporate your business and offer a 401(k) then convert to a Roth 401(k) and pay the taxes. I don;t know how that works for poker.

I would avoid investment real estate. I have a great deal of experience in that and make my primary living from it, though I am a practicing physician. Rentals in general suck. The way to make money in those is buy something that will appreciate. The internet consensus is wrong: the repairs and vacancy rates will be higher than the 1.5 months' rent they recommend allocating to those. If you can find something unlikely to need a lot of repairs which earns 1% of what you pay for it a month in an area likely to appreciate, that's a good investment, assuming you can buy it with a sizable mortgage. You're smart to avoid it for now.

Love that you're paying down your mortgage. Usually poker players assume they can make 10% elsewhere (good luck with that, especially after taxes) and figure paying down the mortgage is foolish. But peace of mind is worth a ton, and owning your home outright is peaceful indeed.

If you are in a receptive mood advice-wise, mine is don't invest in anything that is an idea without a strong sense of how it will be protected, marketed, implemented, monetized, and sold. From personal experience, poker players are prone to thinking ideas are the valuable part, when in truth execution is far, far more important.

Best of luck to you cush.
Hey riverdog, first, thanks for the kind words and thanks for reading.

I've considered a part-time job for sure, just haven't pulled the trigger for a myriad of reasons, some of which I've talked about before. I'd need to figure out something that I genuinely enjoy because undoubtedly whatever I did would be lower ev than poker and I'd need to actually give a **** about what it is in order to justify doing it.

I do have a Roth IRA which I max out every year. I have a personal taxable account also. From my understanding I could contribute to a SEP plan and get additional tax benefit but according to my accountant (hi Dad!) it isn't necessary given my current level of income, so I'm pretty satisfied with maxing the roth and putting any extra towards my mortgage.

Glad to hear I'm not completely off base in my instinct regarding real estate investing. Seems like everyone and their mother thinks its the way to go but I don't see it. Don't think its bad necessarily, but also don't think its for me and its not such an amazing investment that I can't pass and find something with similar returns that I like.

I'm always in a receptive mood for advice haha, and that's definitely good investment advice. I also find poker players and people in general get carried away with ideas and don't think about the other things you mention. I'm not sure where I first heard of the idea, but I've long been a proponent of the notion that its not about the idea, but the execution, as you say. When I hear people say stuff like "man I just don't have a good idea" I'm always like nah that's not the problem, you just need to do something. Good ideas executed poorly will likely flop while a mediocre idea with flawless execution will probably do at least ok. Obviously good idea and good execution would be better.

Maybe one day I'll take my own damn advice and do something. Because if the idea isn't the important part then it doesn't matter so much WHAT I do as it matters HOW I do it, right?

Your setup seems great btw, good work finding a balance that works for you. Good luck to you!

Last edited by cushlash; 09-08-2016 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:06 AM   #1648
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

This quote by Haralabob was very insightful/helpful for me to take the plunge into projects that I wasn't 100% sure on, maybe it might help you too:

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"I learned that in life you have to be willing to take risks because quite often the biggest gamble of all is just sitting around waiting for the perfect opportunity that may not ever come.”
part time jobs are the nuts for poker players btw.

I'd also keep in mind that while you will very likely make a lower hourly in your part time job, it may raise your poker hourly. It will probably help your mental game a lot and you have the option of game-selecting more i.e. only playing weekends instead of forcing yourself to grind ****ty games to get to X hrs/wk.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:58 PM   #1649
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Originally Posted by WorldsBiggestNit View Post
This quote by Haralabob was very insightful/helpful for me to take the plunge into projects that I wasn't 100% sure on, maybe it might help you too:



part time jobs are the nuts for poker players btw.

I'd also keep in mind that while you will very likely make a lower hourly in your part time job, it may raise your poker hourly. It will probably help your mental game a lot and you have the option of game-selecting more i.e. only playing weekends instead of forcing yourself to grind ****ty games to get to X hrs/wk.
That's a great quote, I like it. I certainly fall into that trap often so that's something to keep in mind.

You definitely make some good points regarding part time jobs. I remember Limon recommending keeping a job for similar reasons. Even if it didn't raise my poker hourly, I could see the mental aspect of having a part time gig making up for it from a quality of life standpoint as long as it fit well.

Hope all is well with you!
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:37 AM   #1650
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Originally Posted by cushlash View Post
That's a great quote, I like it. I certainly fall into that trap often so that's something to keep in mind.

You definitely make some good points regarding part time jobs. I remember Limon recommending keeping a job for similar reasons. Even if it didn't raise my poker hourly, I could see the mental aspect of having a part time gig making up for it from a quality of life standpoint as long as it fit well.

Hope all is well with you!
I've never played poker full time professionally but I have a pal who has who is about 10-13 years older than Cush and I. He has taken a part time job in retail because he says where in his college years and 20s that type of job felt draining and constantly annoying it now provides him with the social stimulation of forced interaction with customers that he actually enjoys because of how anti-social and introverted a career in gambling (especially he who did it for years online) can be.

I've been thinking about a job in corporate sales as I'm once again in between jobs in the entertainment industry. The idea of the forced social interaction and selling people stuff feels like a fun adventure, at least for a couple of years before I get bored or burned out. You may find some fun in waiting tables 2-3 nights a week or managing a fashion shop or hell maybe even being a barista, the tips are solid at Starbucks! Plus it is good to have some years of paying taxes/social security on the books just in case.
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