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Old 03-22-2005, 11:34 PM   #126
stankybank
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Great post and very inspirational!
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:27 AM   #127
kamelion44
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

I took a little taste test in Vegas and Reno this past month with my fledgling bankroll, and the only real challenges for me were 1) staying away from pit games and 2) staying away from strippers.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:18 PM   #128
frank_iii
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

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You sound like a real whack job. Freaking out and leaving a job over a trivial agreement that means nothing.
Even if it could be explained, you probably wouldn't understand.
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:16 AM   #129
Dynasty
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Four Years in Las Vegas

Four Years in Las Vegas


The response to my Three Years in Las Vegas post has been a bit surprising over the past year. In addition to the nearly 15,000 views and 100+ replies (as I write this update), I have also received dozens of PMs and e-mails commenting on all parts of the story and often inquiring about more. Not all of the messages have been from 2+2ers. Iíve received several e-mails from people who were either linked the post or received it via e-mail from a friend. Iíve been contacted by people in Europe and Japan asking advice on potentially playing poker for a living and Iíve received e-mails from old friends who were stunned to see the career path Iíve traveled.

I can usually count on at least one person per month requesting an update. So, I thought Iíd provide what the market is demanding.

The most interesting part about posting Three Years in Las Vegas is something Iíve never told anybody. When I started writing it, I was happy reflecting back on the effort and success I achieved in my poker career. But, when I was finished and rereading it, I recognized I had fallen into a typical malaise that I often allow myself to.

Three Years in Las Vegas is sort of mistitled. If you reread it, youíll notice all the paragraphs but the final two are basically about my first year in Las Vegas. Thatís when all the interesting stuff happened. The second and third years are described like this:

Quote:
For the past two years, I've been content in the 20-40 game. I've pretty much stayed there except when I thought the game was regularly bad for a stretch. I would move up to 30-60 if the Bellagio waiting lists weren't such a mess.
Thatís it. I was just being content in the 20-40 game. For a year, I worked extremely hard to get to a point where I could make a reasonably comfortable living playing 20-40. And, then I just stopped.

So, after writing Three Years in Las Vegas, I spent most of May of 2004, rethinking my career. I just wasnít satisfied with where I was. 20-40 is hardly the pinnacle of poker. There are far greater challenges out there and certainly more money to be made. I wasnít looking to go out and conquer to poker world. But, I did intend to take better advantage of my skills which were already far more than I needed to beat 20-40. I wasnít sure what the end goal was. But, I decided to start exploring options.

Obviously, moving up in limits was a quick option. 30-60 was available at the Bellagio and the 40-80 game was starting to run regularly at the Mirage. Higher limits could be played after that. I considered mixing in tournament play as well. However, there was one obvious avenue which need to be traveled first- the online one.

By the end of May, I had invested about $3,000 in a new computer and two of those ever popular Dell 2001FP monitors. I intended to jump into 8-tabling. First, I would do it at low-limits to get used to the mechanics of it. Then, I would move up when I thought I had the mechanics down pat.

In June and July of 2004, I played exclusively online except for a road trip I made to the Commerce with Clarkmeister and Ed Miller. It was just 3-6 on Party Poker (and skins). But, by 8-tabling, I was making more than $60/hour. Considering it was just 3-6, I had to be happy with the win rate. It was already more than I could reasonably expect to make in a live 20-40 game and it had considerably less variance.

Parts of online play were fun. Getting 10-12 times as many hands per hour ensured there werenít any dead periods. If I wasnít dealt a good hand at the moment, I only had to wait a few minutes before one would show up. On the other hand, there wasnít the social atmosphere of the live game. Online play was definitely going to be a part of my career repertoire. But, it was only going to be a part. I intended to mix in live games as well after sorting out what I wanted to do online.

However, something else was building up slowly. I think I first recognized it during that road trip at the Commerce at the end of June. Clarkmeister, Ed, and I were there for three days. I managed to play a total of 8 hours of poker. I canít even remember what it is that I was doing during the day while they were playing. What I do remember is that I didnít want to play. And, that was a feeling which was going to stick with me for quite a while.

The online hours I put in during June and July were forced hours. I bought the $3,000 computer so I told myself to go sit in front of it pay for it (as well as the monthly bills). But, when August rolled around, that wasnít working any more. In August, I played just short of 15 hours. In September, I played 2 hours. In October, I played 1.5 hours. In November, I didnít play at all until the 10th of the month.

For three and a half months, my poker career basically stopped. I played just 18.33 hours in total. On the few occasions I did play, I left the table quickly. The desire to play just wasnít there.

So, while the bankroll was paying the bills, I immersed myself in non-poker stuff. It was 2004 so there was a big Presidential election on the horizon. Iíve always enjoyed politics so following the polls and trends of the Bush-Kerry race occupied a lot of my time. For those who donít venture into the Politics forum, you may enjoy look back on my bulls eye prediction of election.

Baseball also took up a lot of my time. During September and October, I enjoyed following every detail of the Red Sox as they won their first World Series in 86 years in one of the most improbable ways imaginable.

During those months, I would occasionally tell myself ďyou gotta start playing againĒ. But, I didnít force anything. I knew I wasnít quitting poker. But, I also didnít want it to be a chore to play.

So, several months had gone by when I hosted a home game during Game 1 of the World Series. Clarkmeister, Ed Miller, Tommy Angelo, Gabe, and mike l. were all there. By that time, the desire to play was starting to come back and I planed to get back on a regular schedule after the election. The subject of my non-playing actually came up and Tommy Angelo actually seemed concerned about it. But, I had learned something about myself. Or, at least, something I knew had been reinforced.

Besides loving the game, thereís also another reason I intend to make a living in poker for the indefinite future. I simply donít want to actually work for a living. Iíve made poker my ďjobĒ because I donít want a job. The flexibility and freedom which comes from playing poker for a living is many times more important to me than the money I make in the game or money I could make in any other profession. Understanding that about myself is part of how I manage my career. I know Iíve got to occasionally give myself a break from the game, even an extremely long break if necessary.

By the time mid-November came, I was decided to get back into the game. I was also a bit annoyed at seeing steady red ink in my monthly income/expense statements. So, I restarted the path I set for myself five months earlier which meant 8-tabling 3-6 games online and begin moving up later.

There have been a couple bumps in the road since then- one planned and the other unplanned.

The unplanned one was a 300+ big bet losing streak. No matter how good a player you are and no matter how much you understand the theory and mathematics of the game, I donít think you can be prepared for your first mega-losing streak. Prior to this, the worst run I had was about -120 big bets in the Mirage 20-40 game. That was bad. This new streak was 2.5 times larger but felt many more times worse.

The good and bad news about the 300+ big bet losing streak is that it happened while multi-tabling 3-6 online. The good news was that it only cost me a couple thousand dollars. That was easy to absorb. If it had happened in the Mirage 20-40 game and cost me more than $12,000, I would have felt it a lot more.

The bad news was that I was getting my clock cleaned by players who simply played terribly. The competition at this level is abysmal. Getting beat over and over and over by such weak competition is a bit tough to deal with psychologically. One bad beat or bad situation is nothing. A night of bad beats and bad situations is annoying. But, the endless parade I endured during this stretch was more frustrating than anything I can remember. It was a helpless feeling. Of course, it ended eventually and my winning ways returned to normal.

The planned bump in the road was a three weak vacation in Massachusetts where I was visiting my parents. Other than a four day trip to Foxwoods, I wasnít able to play during this time. The vacation, the losing streak, and the 3+ months of not playing have sort of slowed down what were somewhat ambitious plans back in May of 2004. Before moving forward, I intended to ďrecover my lost moneyĒ during that time.

Right now, Iíd say Iím about in the same spot I was a year ago except now Iím motivated to move forward rather than looking to take a break from the game.

I think my fourth year in poker was essentially a long rest. I expect my fifth year to be my most productive yet.
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:28 AM   #130
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

nice to have ya back. gonna post at all in strategy forums?
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:29 AM   #131
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Very nice update, Dynasty. Continued good luck in the future.
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Old 05-30-2005, 04:56 AM   #132
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Yknow, I've pondered at times, especially lately, sending you or clarky or ed inquiring whether you guys ever found yourself in this spot and how you worked through it:

I haven't run into slavic lately to get his opinion on it. He always has a cool way of looking at it.

Quote:
However, something else was building up slowly. I think I first recognized it during that road trip at the Commerce at the end of June. Clarkmeister, Ed, and I were there for three days. I managed to play a total of 8 hours of poker. I canít even remember what it is that I was doing during the day while they were playing. What I do remember is that I didnít want to play. And, that was a feeling which was going to stick with me for quite a while.
I'm working through this right now. I'm slowly coming out of it, I think, but I just couldn't stand to look at cards a month ago. I was even running fine when it happened. I've never experienced this type of burnout before. The other day I played for 6 hours live. It was the longest session I've played in about a month+. It sucks to feel this way. However, I have noticed on those sparse attempts, I'm much more relaxed. I'm also watching closely to see how far my game slips.

I think this is one of the things that many 'aspiring' players haven't really considered. When this time comes, how they'll handle it. I never really thought about it until I was in it. I'm doing kind of the same thing you are. Just hanging and playing sparsely. You get a whole new set of questions from the floorstaff/dealers when you take a break like this after them seeing you in the room regularly for 100+ hours a month.

Quote:
Prior to this, the worst run I had was about -120 big bets in the Mirage 20-40 game.
I am suprised at this a little. I figured you'd have endured a bigger swing by now. One thing about online, it puts these streaks into perspective when converting it to live hands per hour. This is one reason I'm not worried since it took me 'til late may to be in the black on my normal live limit.

Your story helps me with alot of what I'm going through right now. It's nice to see that this type of crap happens to someone you consider a great player giving it a little bit of normalcy. (not sure if that's a word, but you get my drift) It doesn't feel as isolating reading this. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen this issue(burnout) addressed much if at all on this forum. I find it encouraging, actually.

I'm thinking this may also be much more common with players who've intensely worked on their games. Not just played, but really dig in and work on it.

Thanks for a great post. I found it inspiring in many ways.

b
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:24 AM   #133
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
The bad news was that I was getting my clock cleaned by players who simply played terribly. The competition at this level is abysmal. Getting beat over and over and over by such weak competition is a bit tough to deal with psychologically. One bad beat or bad situation is nothing. A night of bad beats and bad situations is annoying. But, the endless parade I endured during this stretch was more frustrating than anything I can remember. It was a helpless feeling. Of course, it ended eventually and my winning ways returned to normal.

I (we all) feel for you when this happens Dynasty. I am experiencing my first extended online dry spell, its been absolutely brutal on my psyche. I know it has affected my play at times (playing weak at times, over playing hands occasionally due to steaming) where these haven't been problems for me in the past.

What I am finding very odd is that I am not experiencing the same problem in my live game. I am up considerably in my live play, however I have lost almost my entire online bankroll in the past 3 months (I was playing 3/6 until 2 weeks ago, I am now forced to take steps down to rebuild).

Like you, I have noticed the online opponents are considerably worse than the opponents I normally play with live (until the recent NYC poker busts I play in two weekly games filled with good players yet they have almost always been profitable), I have wondered if that is a factor that I am not compensating for enough.

Anyway... enough about me. Here is what I really want to know...during your downswing, did you find yourself questioning your playing ability? Did you find yourself re-visiting reading materials? Did the downswing fix itself naturally, or did you do something to make the change occur? I ask because I am a true believer that swings this bad are not just caused by variance, it is often the fault of the player himself as well.

TT
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:42 AM   #134
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Is it a jjj job?

One of the things I noticed about your post is a pattern that's plagued me throughout my working career.

1) Take on a new very challenging job, usually a big stretch as I'm good at convincing people I can do a job I've never done before.

2) Give everything I've got during the first six months, so I get up to speed.

3) Start doing rather signficant things during the next six months.

4) I then realize I can do the job and enjoy the fruits of my labour over the next six months.

5) Start looking for a new challenge.

Without fail, I repeated this pattern over five times. Personally, I would look to other things in life to fulfill the "I need a challenge" gap -- start up a small business (ala tommy), marriage, kids. When other things fill up, it puts the poker into perspective and becomes easier to play.

Cheers
Magi
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Old 05-30-2005, 12:41 PM   #135
RicktheRuler
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

DING DING! Just go to law school that is what ive decided to do---STUPID liberal arts degree.
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Old 05-30-2005, 12:54 PM   #136
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Great Addendum. I hope you excel in higher live games and maybe take the plunge into 5/10 online in the next year.
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:12 PM   #137
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
nice to have ya back. gonna post at all in strategy forums?
Yes, I wish Dynasty would start posting in the strategy forums as well. His strategy posts a few years were back were some of the best.

But I can understand why he's stopped posting on the mid/high stakes section. Perhaps it just co-incided with this sabbatical he's been on this past year.

Lawrence
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:10 PM   #138
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

BC,

Awesome post, very inspirational.

Out of curiousity, why not move up from $3-6 online? Surely you could beat 5-10 or 10-20 for aggregate rates higher than in the $3-6 game.

--Greg
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:04 PM   #139
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

This is the first post this long I have ever read. great story.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:56 PM   #140
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
I simply donít want to actually work for a living. Iíve made poker my ďjobĒ because I donít want a job.
Thanks for the update.

You should get a job to remind you of why you don't want a job, that will get you playing poker again...lol.
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:09 AM   #141
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Fantasitic insight.

Heres hoping to seeing you post again in the Small Stakes fourm. I certainly miss those posts!

Sarge
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:30 PM   #142
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

your on line story nearly mimicks mine. i jumped in head first 4 tabling pl omaha and made 30k in 4 months BUT i simply lost all interest in poker, i dont even play anymore, its weird. i think on line triggers that part of my brain which doesnt want ot work...the idea of being at a computer starts to associate poker with work and then you dont want to play poker anymore. im launcing a new career as a golf hustler.
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Old 06-01-2005, 04:28 PM   #143
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Hey Dynasty you never thought of a part time job?

Since you probably didn't make anything for 4 months you never thought of getting a job at a book store or drive limo/cab just to refresh yourself for cards? Just not spending with nothing coming in can eat away at you..........
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Old 06-01-2005, 04:34 PM   #144
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Re: Hey Dynasty you never thought of a part time job?

Quote:
Since you probably didn't make anything for 4 months you never thought of getting a job at a book store or drive limo/cab just to refresh yourself for cards? Just not spending with nothing coming in can eat away at you..........
This is one reason you need a big enough seperate 'roll' so you don't have to worry about 'nothing coming in' while you go through these types of times.

b
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Old 06-01-2005, 08:59 PM   #145
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Re: Three Years in Las Vegas

Great reading. I like the fact you have lots of balls. Life is more interesting that way.
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:03 PM   #146
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Another great post, but the thing I really want to know is how did you get a green name?
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:46 PM   #147
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

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Another great post, but the thing I really want to know is how did you get a green name?
I'm really into Harry Potter.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:29 AM   #148
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It\'s Not Easy Being Green

The only Green Dynasty I knew before this were relatives of mine in Brooklyn.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:55 AM   #149
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

you should take some notes & jot some of your thoughts down along the way; just some of the stories around the rooms, the characters, the life...

you're an articulate writer & have an interesting story i think most of us "avg joe's" can relate to (unlike El Diablo who shares drinks & silly jokes w/ Petra Nemcova...)
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:57 AM   #150
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Re: Four Years in Las Vegas

Quote:
Yknow, I've pondered at times, especially lately, sending you or clarky or ed inquiring whether you guys ever found yourself in this spot and how you worked through it:

I haven't run into slavic lately to get his opinion on it. He always has a cool way of looking at it.
snip

Don't drag me into this, that's all I need is to be blamed for Dynasty becoming bored with poker. Lord knows I have my own troubles.

BTW I haven't played much at all over the last 4 or 5 months, as I'm sure David Ross can confirm. I'm amazed at David's stamina to log large numbers of hands, and sure I have an excuse not to but that doesn't mean it's right.

If anyone bottles motivation they'll make a fortune.
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