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Old 07-28-2015, 10:23 PM   #1
CuriousBystander
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Broke and it aint no Joke

Being broke is something that we all want to avoid, unless we think money is the root of all evil and practice living in some sort of commune where it's possible to live off the land.

For the past two years I have been broke for the most part. I've had several four figure tournament scores in that time, from playing micro stakes online after making small deposits. Before that period I played poker full time, and for a few years was making a comfortable living from it.

I've not put a great deal of thought into this blog, as I'm happy to let it run its course as I make some sporadic entries detailing the ups and downs of my financial situation. If there's some interest, then I'll probably be more inclined to keep blogging. If it's of little interest and I'm the only one posting in a fail blog thread, then I'll probably shut it down. We shall see.

I am currently jobless, living in the UK, and receiving job seekers allowance which amounts to £315($492)/month. As of now I have no money, and don't get paid for another five days.

Since going busto and quitting full time poker two years ago: I've been living at my parents house; prior to that, I was house/flat sharing and living on my own for ~four years.

I've had four different jobs in the past two years, and have found it difficult to make the transition from poker grinder to real world grinder. I'm hoping that I can not only turn things around in the real world - by establishing a stable and satisfying career - but also make a rebound into poker with some results live and online with a bit of luck, given the chance.

I'll try to answer any questions, but might only log in to this forum every other day.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:32 PM   #2
shulenberger
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

There is no fail blog, unless you give up sir. This is true in life as well.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:24 AM   #3
CuriousBystander
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement shulenberger. I noticed you have a blog here too, and it immediately reminded of a song by the artist Chinese Man:

Racing with the Sun - Chinese Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD8QLNiolfk

It's true that failure and success are often choices in our lives. This philosophy is summed up in a quote by Henry Ford:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

We are the creators of our reality; the masters of our destiny. etc.

I say this as it's 3pm and I've not bothered to get out of bed and make breakfast yet. Motivation is something I have a history of struggling with, even when I used to play poker all of the time. In the past month I've had three different job interviews for part-time jobs that pay minimum wage (£6.50/hour), and didn't get any of them. Little knock-backs do tend to have an affect on ones confidence, which diminishes energy and overall motivation. I say knock-backs, and not failures, as a way to keep a positive mind-set. Thomas Edison succinctly put it, when asked by a reporter about his initial failures in attempting to invent the light bulb:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

So it's just a matter of keeping the chin up, and maintaining a strong focus. One last quote by Alexander Graham Bell that I often remind myself is:

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."

This is one of my favorite quotes, as it's simple yet profound. I think that's enough quotes for one day though; I need to go and invent some lightbulbs.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:51 PM   #4
redbuck
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

Ol' honest Abe had a good one (not exactly in line with your subject matter, but good, never the less:


A person is about as happy as he wants to be...
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

We all want to be happy, but some of us aren't as well equipped as others to achieve this consistent emotional state. There are so many different factors that have to be considered, and balanced, to get that 'happy' formula. Diet and exercise are key things to consider, because it's true that 'you are what you eat' - and what you drink. I eat my fair share of vegetables and macro nutrients; drink plenty of water during the week, but come the weekend I get the itch to hit the booze. So I binge drink once or twice a week, which leaves me feeling pretty downbeat afterwards, and have lost count the amount of times I've thought/said 'never again'.

Since the title of this blog is about me being broke: I may as well write about the kind of things that I do as a broke person. Over the past six months or so I've taken up chess as a hobby, almost like a substitute to poker, which costs little to no money. My online rating fluctuates around 1100-1200 for now, but my plan is to get over the 2000 mark within three years and become a titled player.

Today I have been very lazy, and decided to watch an old movie on my hard-drive that I'd never seen before called 'Colossus: The Forbin Project':



It was about some scientist who creates a super computer, which is meant to work as US government property and automate all actions related to international war. It turns out that the computer has a far more advanced AI than expected, and when Russia also make a similar computer in retaliation; the two AI communicate and merge together to create a computer force which sets out to control all of humanity.

It was interesting viewing, and definitely worth watching - considering the limitations in special effects, since it was made in 1970.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:13 PM   #6
shulenberger
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

The movie sounds like a precursor to the Internet. A lot of technologies affecting us to this day came out of the sci-fi scenarios of that era... interesting.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:30 AM   #7
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

VIEW: Luck Games are More Enjoyable than Skill games

Yesterday my uncle came round the house, and we decided to have a look in the attic for some board games. We found a game called Shut the Box, which looked interesting, so we decided to play several games w/drinking forfeits.

At first it looked complicated, but it's actually quite a simple and fun game:



"Shut the Box can be played by any number of players although it is most enjoyable with two, three or four. Some people even play the game solo as a pastime akin to patience. As played traditionally in English pubs, Shut the Box is a gambling pastime with each of the players paying an agreed amount into the "pool" at the beginning and the winner collecting the pool at the end of each round. However, it isn't necessary to gamble in order to play the game.

A round of the game consists of each player taking one turn. A player's takes a turn by repeatedly throwing the dice until the player cannot continue. Each throw of the dice is taken as follows:

The player throws the die or dice into the box and adds up the pips. The player must then cover up a set of unique uncovered numbers that add up to the sum thrown. So for instance, if the total pips is 8, the player may choose one of the following sets of numbers as long as all of the numbers in the set are available to be covered:

8
7 & 1
6 & 2
5 & 3
5 & 2 & 1
4 & 3 & 1

The player then does exactly the same thing with a second throw and so on.

Once a number is covered up, it stays covered so, eventually, the player will throw a total for which it is not possible to find a set of uncovered numbers. When this happens, the player scores the sum of the numbers that are still uncovered. So if the numbers 1, 5 and 9 are uncovered and the player throws a 4, with options 4 or 3 & 1, the turn finishes and the player's score is 15.

If anyone succeeds in shutting the box i.e. closing all the numbers, that player wins outright immediately and receives double the stake from all players. Otherwise, after each player has taken one turn, the winner of the round is the player with the lowest score.


Variants

A popular variant for two players is called the 'long game'. The player who goes first attempts to shut the box exactly as above. When the turn ends, the other player takes over the board as it is and attempts to uncover all the covered numbers using exactly the same rules. When a double is thrown, the player gets an extra turn. The player who shuts the box or uncovers the box first, wins.

Another way of playing is to add the number of points each round to a player's score. A player has to drop out when that player's score reaches 45 and the last player remaining wins the game."

We played the variant where the first player to 45 loses. It was a good laugh overall, and required minimal skill as it seems to be a solved game.

Games such as poker, and chess, are very complex. Once you go deep into the strategy - and become fully immersed/consumed - it tends to suck much of the fun out of it.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:56 AM   #8
18000rpm
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

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Old 08-12-2015, 07:50 PM   #9
wsophock24
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

I know the feeling.. I just moved out of my parents house to Quebec, (originally from Ontario). I did it originally as a bit of an adventure to learn a new language and start the whole "spreading my wings" thing. Let's just say I'm struggling pretty badly too but looking to make the poker thing work!

Keep your head up buddy! Just figure out what you want, what goals you want to create, figure out a way to keep yourself accountable, start with the easiest goal and completely crush it. It'll give you some motivation and be proud for doing something and stepping in the direction you want to go.

Just my two cents.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:38 PM   #10
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

I did the whole 'spread the wings thing' between 2009-2013, and at times it was great - more so when I was comfortable financially, and had friends to hang out with. When I moved into a one bedroom apartment in 2013, and poker started to get worse; friends weren't hanging about as much, and I too struggled. It got to the point where I was desperately grinding all day in isolation, while smoking (away my depleted life roll) weed, and my only human interaction for weeks at a time was when I'd drive to the 24h supermarket after a miserable mtt session, and say hi and thanks to the person serving me.

I went to some factory today, as I was sent by an agency guy for an interview. It wasn't much of an interview; mainly filling in paperwork, then a brief chat about my work history. So it looks like I will be starting there soon; working on an assembly line where they produce bedding materials and pillows. The shifts will be 6am-2pm one week, then 2pm- 10pm the next week. It's not amazing, but it's work (money). I always thought that I would end up doing something great with my life, like an influental person on an international level, or a .com business serial entrepreneur. Maybe I will still do something like that, as I have several ideas in the pipe-line, but for now it looks like I will be grinding minimum wage on a full time basis until I can find something better.

On my way back from this job thing, as I was waiting at the bus-stop, I noticed an odd picture campaigning against hate speech on public transport:



I wasn't even aware that there is a word known as alterophobia, and I'm guessing the masses of plebs in the area that I live in won't know the meaning either.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:08 PM   #11
CuriousBystander
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

I wrote a poem. Eminem would be proud!

Right now, I'm broke and it aint no joke,
because my money went up in smoke,
not just the weed, but also the coke,
man, I'm just an ordinary bloke.

What can I say, when I'm gonna choke,
calling to float when you bet post-oak,
I'm putting on weight, too much egg yolk,
man, I'm just an ordinary bloke.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:38 PM   #12
BlazinAces
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

Just letting you know I'm subbed and hope you keep posting

Although you may not be doing what you thought you would be doing to make your life great, there is still plenty of time to change that and do something great that you've never thought you'd be doing. I hope things turn around for you.

Also, do you write poetry often?
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:07 PM   #13
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

TY for the support BlazinAces.

I write some poetry/lyrics every once in a while. On my Windows 7 desktop I have the sticky notes app, and sometimes write a few bars on them. I must have enough material to do a full rap album, but I've never been much of a musician or singer.

When I was in high school we had an English lesson where the teacher told us all to write a poem. The best poems in our school were selected to be published in a poetry book that covered students in our county. I wrote a poem about a boy in our class who we nicknamed 'Rocky' (because he loved geology and studying rocks). Rocky was a small, skinny, and awkward character, as he had glasses and what looked to be a third eyebrow. He was a loner, and picked on by the more popular kids.

I remember one day when he went mad and lashed out: someone was antagonizing him by poking his shoulder, and he just flipped out; picked up the table -- struggling with his scrawny arms while letting out a desperate growl -- and tried to launch it at a group of us stood nearby. We all just laughed as he stood there afterward looking completely deflated.

I still have the book where my poem was published:







The irony is that I've been on the dole (benefits) for a while, and Rocky probably has some baller science job with tons of friends now.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:16 PM   #14
BlazinAces
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriousBystander View Post
TY for the support BlazinAces.

I write some poetry/lyrics every once in a while. On my Windows 7 desktop I have the sticky notes app, and sometimes write a few bars on them. I must have enough material to do a full rap album, but I've never been much of a musician or singer.

When I was in high school we had an English lesson where the teacher told us all to write a poem. The best poems in our school were selected to be published in a poetry book that covered students in our county. I wrote a poem about a boy in our class who we nicknamed 'Rocky' (because he loved geology and studying rocks). Rocky was a small, skinny, and awkward character, as he had glasses and what looked to be a third eyebrow. He was a loner, and picked on by the more popular kids.

I remember one day when he went mad and lashed out: someone was antagonizing him by poking his shoulder, and he just flipped out; picked up the table -- struggling with his scrawny arms while letting out a desperate growl -- and tried to launch it at a group of us stood nearby. We all just laughed as he stood there afterward looking completely deflated.

I still have the book where my poem was published:







The irony is that I've been on the dole (benefits) for a while, and Rocky probably has some baller science job with tons of friends now.
That's a dope poem, maybe you could make a career out of writing
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:31 PM   #15
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

I'm still broke since I last updated, but am now working part time in a high end clothes shop. For the past three weeks I've been turning up around 15-20 mins early for my shifts, because the bus only runs every half an hour. Today I had no cash in the morn, and missed the 7.42 am bus because I had to wait until the supermarket opened at 8 so I could get cashback. I rang my manager on the next bus to inform him, and when I arrived 15 mins late he said that I was allowed one strike, but if it happened again I'd be sacked. lol.

Since Thursday it's been a long and messy weekend; visiting a friend at University while it's been fresher's week. We were out in the pub on Saturday with his housemate, and her two friends that were also visiting. I had already drank eight cans of Guinness during the day, and drank another four pints in the pub, along with several shots of sambuca and various other nasty sh*t they threw my way. One of the girls was all over me when we got back to his place, but I was quite wasted by that point, and all I remember was her d*ck teasing me for a while and then complaining because she'd been giving me signals and that I wasn't responding or something. I then remember her smooching up to my friend, and kissing him as they lay on the couch, then he came over to me and quietly said something about me cock blocking him, at which point I basically called him a d*ckhead, told him to f off, then went to bed and left first thing in the morn. I was so unbelievably tilted and hanging outta my arse yesterday, that I deactivated my facebook, and have been feeling like noosing myself since.

Overdraft charges kick in for me at the start of October, which is £1 a day. It doesn't sound like much, but when I'm working 16-20 hours a week for £6.50/hr on a 0/hr contract - it doesn't bode too well.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:34 PM   #16
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

Thanks for the advice MLH. I'm 27 btw, and that guy bumming around Europe sounds kinda appealing. I would probably be in a steady job like yourself if it weren't for my poker endeavors since I was like 18. I don't like poker anymore, because it messed me up (or I messed myself up via poker), but I don't regret my decision to give it a shot. I have some sort of work aversion disorder (you might call it lazy sod syndrome), and I wish that there was an easier way for me to make a living. I have some ideas for .com business', but still need the start up capital to make it happen.

Last night I went out and got paralytic drunk on strong ale, and way over did it, which resulted in me throwing up all day due to the alcohol poisoning. I feel better now since I had some food, tea, and coconut water. I thought that I lost my phone and wallet too, so I cancelled my bank cards, but then my friend rang my mum's phone to inform me that I left them at his. It turns out we went to the pub and ended up brawling outside, which has left me with several bruises and scratches. Funnily enough he gave me £10 afterward to get a cab home, but it would normally cost at least £20, so idk how I managed to get home in the end; all I know is that I woke my sister up at 1am banging on the door, and she said I frightened the life out of her as she opened the door and I stumbled and fell thru the entrance.

It's 1.32am here, and I'm due in work at 11am; I'm thinking of just quitting, because I have an interview at some home store called Dunelm on Wednesday, and if successful there I'll get at least 20/hrs/wk.

Last edited by CuriousBystander; 10-03-2015 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:42 AM   #17
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Re: Broke and it aint no Joke

My employers told me when I got the job that I need to get in 10 minutes early for each shift; I took that with a pinch of salt, as I thought they were just saying that so as to make their staff ready for the actual start time. It turns out they were being very serious, and actually want us to start work (unpaid) early for those 10 minutes. I found out when I went into work the other day, as I got in at 10.55am, when I was due in at 11am, and was given a stern warning about being late. I'd understand if it took 10 minutes to get ready, like changing into a uniform etc. but that's not the case, as I'm ready as soon as I walk into the shop. My plan from now is to turn up to my shifts nine minutes before start time( a minute late in their eyes lol), and keep a record on my phone in case they terminate my contract - then I can take legal action, as they are in breach of wage and hour laws (not to mention that I'm on minimum wage, which effectively makes me earn less than the min). I might get another job in the mean time tho, which will result in me leaving before they sack me.

On a non-work related note: I was round my uncles last night having a few drinks, and we played a game (w/drinking forfeits) called 'day at the races'. The aces are removed, set beside each other as a start line, and each one represents a horse. There's no skill involved, as each player picks a suit (horse), and first to the finish line wins. The rest of the deck is used to determine which suit moves, so if a diamond is peeled off the top, then the ace of diamonds moves forward one stage. Five cards are face down in a forward line, and each card represents a stage of the course.

Unbelievably, after a few games, I managed to win with the ace of diamonds, and no other suit moved from the start post. For this to happen a diamond was turned off the top of the deck SIX times in a row, and we had been shuffling the deck properly too. I took a picture as a record of this ridiculously improbable anomaly:



We worked out the odds of this happening, and it was over three million to one. I basically won the lottery, and won nothing other than my uncle having to drink his forfeit. This is probably the one time run good that I've been accumulating since I got doom-switched on poker over a year ago.

Last edited by CuriousBystander; 10-09-2015 at 09:47 AM.
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