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Poker Beats, Brags, and Variance Here's where you put your whines and wins.

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Old 10-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
Aesah
 
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my life

OK so I've been working on a big piece of writing but have had a lack of inspiration to finish it. My natural writing style is really perfectionistic (normally I would look up if that's even a word, but this time I’m gonna live on the edge), so that always slows me down when I'm trying to put the finishing touches on something- I'm like really close to done, but just can't seem to want to finish it.

I'm basically at the point where, in the movies, the writer would travel the world and have like an epiphany watching the sunset on the Great Wall of China or something and take the red-eye flight back to the studio. Unfortunately that's a bit outside of my desired effort + timeframe so instead I'm going to get drunk (check!) + give myself 30 minutes + no going back and editing to write my entire life story from scratch which will hopefully give me some inspiration.

Alright let's start from the beginning. Who knows how much your childhood affects who you end up being. Anyway in case it does, I grew up in a pretty small town in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was always really really shy in grade school. Sad to say, this includes elementary all the way up to high school. Froze up when girls talked to me, never made any initiative to make friends, but at least I was nice and at least somewhat fun to be around and people liked me so I had whatever friends sought me out. I was also really smart and spent a fair amount of time doing academic competitions and ended up being valedictorian of my class of 500 when I graduated (not so subtle brag). One thing I am thankful for though is my parents, despite being asian, never really pressured me to study all the time or not stay out late etc. I was pretty tame anyway, staying away from drugs/alcohol + only being with 1 girl for roughly 2 years (my first girlfriend in junior/senior year, broke up close to graduation). I played a lot of video games (and like, I mean A LOT), didn't really know proper social interactions and was your typical high school nerdy kid.

Yea that was embarrassing but whatever. My life is basically an open-book, I just don't really see the point of keeping secrets. I mean if you ask me what the weirdest thing I've ever jacked off to was, I will have to respectfully decline to answer but other than that I will basically answer any question that anyone asks me.

Oh right, I totally forgot. There is one really really big secret that I still keep, but only to 1 person. A friend (who was like the only other asian in my entire school) and his family took me to church in 5th grade, and I ended up being "Christian" up until my 2nd year of college when I basically realized it was total bull****. Who really knows what being Christan really means anyway, in retrospect I think it meant mostly spending 2 hours on Sunday talking about stuff we shouldn't do then doing them anyway for the rest of the week. Oh ya right my secret. I was really close to like a youth minister kind of guy who me and my closest 3 friends were in something we called a "coaching group" and we hung out all the time. Anyway I'm afraid to tell him I'm not Christian anymore. I think it would just break his heart and that would suck, so yea that's like the one thing I'm afraid to tell one specific person.

OK anyway moving on. I didn't know what college I wanted to go to, two of my best friends and I ended up kind of deciding together to go to WashU in St. Louis. Funnily enough we never hung out on our tiny college campus but continued to remain great friends when we were at home, and I think this is a great thing as it really speaks volumes to how well we were able to find other friends in college. I feel I got really lucky and hit it off with my freshman floor and ended up developing really close friendships with a group of about 5 guys and 5 girls. We had a ton of fun together and everyone ended up living together for all 4 years until they graduated, although I left a year early because I had a ton of Advanced Placement (AP) credits from high school- AP classes were basically a super-rigged system where you could take a somewhat trivial test in high school and get out of super-tough (well, relatively) college classes. I got lucky in my high school in that it highly encouraged taking these tests, I ended up having 47/120 credit hours before I even took my first class in college so basically I slacked off, took the minimum amount of classes every semester, and still graduated in 3 years. I lived 6 hours away and ended up visiting a bunch on the weekends during their senior year. I rarely still talk to some of them but am kind of sad most of those connections are gone.

I slacked off in my last year of college and basically failed to properly apply to any jobs, not understanding the magnitude of the situation. I remember that in one of my biggest leads, I was woken up by the phone interview at like 10 AM and was completely sleepy and basically was completely incoherent. Needless to say I did not hear back from them. My mom ended up bailing me out and hooked me up with a really, really good job with the US Food and Drug Administration through family connections. I started off doing programming, but within like less than 2 weeks switched to doing mostly technical writing/editing since I worked with a whole bunch of fobby asians who worked hard and published a bunch of stuff but sucked at actually writing the publications. I ended up getting co-authored on 10 science publications which I guess is cool for my resume if I ever go back into that field, but I doubt I ever will.

Oh yea, so I started off doing programming at the FDA because I had a Computer Science degree. This happened because when I first got to college, I had no clue what I wanted to major in and eventually settled on Computer Science. I've always enjoyed logic puzzles + video games so I figured CompSci would be a natural choice. Anyway I liked certain aspects of it, but the main focus by far is on programming and man, I did not like programming. Unfortunately by the time I realized this I was already halfway through the curriculum and figured I might as well finish it, which I did. If I could do go back in time and pick something else, I'd probably go with finance or something business-related (marketing or something).

Even though I didn't like Compsci, it wasn't really worse than the alternatives. To be honest I must say that throughout high school and college both, and also working at the FDA, I never did find a topic I liked. Didn't like history, biology, chemistry, calculus, english, any of that **** etc. Thank god for poker.

Yes, thank god for poker. I ended up working for the FDA for 3 years, would have quit much earlier if it wasn't for the fact that I was dating my bosses daughter who was also my best friend before we started dating, and also became my best friend again after I recovered about a year after our breakup- she broke up with me right before I quit my FDA job and discovered poker, so at least some good things came out of it. So yea like I said after a year, we ended up talking a lot again, I ended up falling for her again (totally sucks, but standard, apparently), and figured the best thing to do was to cut off all contact with her. So yea that was one of the toughest decisions I've ever made in my life, that was probably about 3 months ago and it still hurts.

Well that sucks but whatever. To be honest, I'm guessing it will work out for the best in the long run considering that while we were dating I spent 40 hours a week doing a job that, while I wouldn't go as far as to say I hated it, pretty much dreaded waking up and going to in the mornings. I justified it with the fact that most people don't like their jobs, but just like most people believe in 1 all-powerful benevolent God I think that's a huge mistake to stick to it. But yeah losing Lillian was, on the surface, the most painful thing that's ever happened to me, but on the bright side, if Lillian never broke up with me I might have ended up working that job for the rest of my life, which is pretty damn scary! I also met/dated/learned a lot from a couple of other really great girls since then too who I never would have met otherwise, so yeah I dunno sometimes blessings come in disguise.

So yea anyway I ended up trying out poker, which my entire experience has basically been documented in detail on my 2+2 blog (https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/17...poker-1182301/). I absolutely love poker in a way I've never loved any other job, I mean I literally like everything about it- well except the variance, as I've currently lost about $15,000 in the past 200 hours of playing which sucks but oh well, it's really not a big deal at all and basically doesn't affect anything in my life except it annoys me. I've had variance on my side as well, so I can't really complain- for example I took a vacation to Hong Kong, visited Macau while I was there and only played 20 hours and won $40,000. But even that is nothing compared to the variance of being born into a middle class family in a developed nation with a decent immune system, etc., etc., etc.

But yea I love the flexible hours, I mean I think I've woken up to an alarm clock like maybe twice in the past 365 days which is incredible for quality of life, seriously throughout like the first 24 years of my life I was literally tired almost 24/7, and just assumed what I was constantly feeling was just like, normal. Now that I actually get enough sleep I'm way happier. I love the flexible locations, being able to travel, I love being able to socialize while playing, I love the super-diverse crowds of people you meet, but most of all I love the game. It's just fun to study and learn about, fun to play, everything about it is great.

I mean I said the only thing I didn't like was the variance but to be honest the variance is the greatest part about poker, anyone can win and can delude themselves into thinking they play good and are only losing to bad luck and being able to win every once in awhile what keeps 90%+ of the losing players dumping their paychecks into the poker economy. Compared to any other game, like Chess for example, a bad player would basically never win a single game and quit after a couple hours.

Like I said my entire poker journey has been documented in my 2+2 blog, but it's super long so here's the summary. Quit my job in April 2012 with absolutely no evidence I could beat poker other than the fact that I've always been really good at board games/video games, started out at low stakes and did well. Played mainly in St. Louis, Cleveland, Los Angeles, in that order, and am currently playing in Tampa. After playing and thinking about poker, I feel like I have developed a very solid grasp on the game and the theory but hey I still enjoy studying/sharpening my skills on a daily basis and learning new things. Anyway every poker player basically considers themselves to be great, otherwise they wouldn't play the way they do, right?

OK so I ended up moving up in stakes at a steady pace. When I first started, I assumed that a great poker player could start out grinding the low stakes $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em game for like $30/hour, then move up to $2/$5 and grind that for like $60 an hour, then move up to $5/$10 and grind that for like $100 an hour, then $10/$20 for $150 an hour, etc., etc., etc. until eventually making thousands per hour playing high stakes games against football players and movie stars who don't know what to do with all their money.

Well I did pretty well up to around the $5/$10 step, then I realized oops, bigger games than that don't really run regularly. In fact even the $5/$10 level probably only regularly runs in casinos at like maybe 15 different cities in the US. When I realized this I panicked for awhile. I'm 25 years old, and was faced with the prospect of basically being at the end of my career. Yes, I could improve my game and winrate, but there's diminishing returns and I basically am currently making as much money RIGHT NOW as I will ever make in poker. Being 25 with basically nowhere left to go? Was this really happening?

OK so I was scared of this for a while, but I'm not anymore even though I do think the answer is "yes", I *am* close to at the end of my career. But what's there to be afraid of? I'm doing something I love, is relaxing (you just hang out with guys trying to unwind and play a game all day, so good), has flexible hours/location, basically everything is great about it and I didn't really realize this until recently, but I'm making doctor-like money. Now I don't care too much about the money, but I definitely don't think I can complain about that especially considering I didn't need to go deep into debt and spend 10 years in school to do so.

In fact poker has a super-low barrier of entry. Honestly you just need to be a good learner, have a good work ethic, and have good emotional control. If you satisfy these 3 qualities, I guarantee you can make at least policeman-like money and support a family on poker with minimal training. Not to advertise too much but for example I charge $100/hour with a money-back if unsatisfied guarantee (this has never been used yet) and am quite confident that I can teach just about anyone to beat live poker games for $15+/hour in less than 10 hours. Now if you also are good at understanding/reading different kinds of people as well as logic/math/probability/game theory in addition to the stuff I said above, then that hourly number goes up way more. Compare that to spending 10 years in med school, or even 4 years as an undergrad, or to be honest, even if you do something like lifeguard training straight out of high school it will take you more time and cost almost as much.

So yeah that's basically where I'm at now. Poker is extremely reliable and will basically always be around, so I have a skillset that will ensure that I'll always be able to live an upper-middle class life no matter what. Some people who don't really understand it consider poker to be risky (for example I wouldn't tell those people this, but if they knew I was down $15,000 in the past 200 hours, damn they would flip out), but it's really not. The only reason my downswing is so large is because I'm playing fairly high stakes games, in which my winrate is ridiculously high- like I said, doctor-like money. But yea poker is extremely not risky, if I wanted to hang out in the low stakes games it would be incredibly unlikely for me to lose more than $2000 in a row. So basically with a reasonable few thousand dollar bankroll to start with, it's possible one of the safest professions to pursue as your risk of ruin is like 0.00001%. I mean if you take a normal job, hell even the chance of like a freak accident burning down your office is basically that high, not even to mention normal things that can go wrong like getting laid off/downsized/etc. And do not even get me started on the risk of spending tens of thousands of dollars and 4+ years studying for my CompSci degree and then NEVER USING IT, how come no one told me how risky going to college was, huh!?

So this ended up taking about 90 minutes to write, not 30 minutes, oops. I would change the thread title but I’m not sure if that breaks the rules. Also this was the first time I've ever done a drunken rant but I’m pretty satisfied with the results, hoping I now have the necessary impetus to finish my actual essay that I’ve been working on. HOPED YOU GUYS LIKED IT, any questions/comments appreciated as usual

tldr: yes, definitely
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
iLikeCaliDonks
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Re: my life

Sick post. Glad you are happy and like the flexibility of poker. You can just pick up and go grind one of the top 15 poker cities in the us.

I love poker, I think its very interesting. Especially coming from competitive gaming. I find my gaming skills transferred over well.

Pretty good for your first drunk rant haha.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:14 PM   #3
AcePlayerDeluxe
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Re: my life

Cliffs:

Asians are smart.

I always enjoy reading people's life stories. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Re: my life

Jesus h Christ. You have a nice undertitle so I'm gonna give this a 4/5 before I read.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:25 PM   #5
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Re: my life

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Old 10-26-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
AMSTERDAM_FTW
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Re: my life

can we throw this thread in the garbage please
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:21 AM   #7
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Re: my life

nice Aesah. (what prompted the post?)

re being at the end of your career...surely you just have to move to Vegas for access to bigger games? or is this ill informed/not something you want to do?
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:56 AM   #8
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Re: my life

good post
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:05 AM   #9
pure_aggression
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So what's the weirdest **** you ever jacked off to? Haha jk.

Excellent read, poker is an amazing game. Poker players can't take it for granted that winning money is so easy compared to countless other crappy jobs working for "the man". The freedom and independence we have is extremely uncommon compared to the majority of occupations.

The accessability to new amateurs who want give it a shot and have a chance to win unlike in chess indeed is one of the main aspects that keeps the poker economy thriving. All the those broadcasts of the wsop and other tv shows are free advertising for us.

I've been following your pg&c thread from the start and I wish you continued success!
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:07 AM   #10
fidstar-poker
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Re: my life

man that's a lot of text. worth the read?
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:51 AM   #11
Aesah
 
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^ Unlikely
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
wall de Ripper
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Re: my life

Were you the asian i chased in the bathroom?
Fu OP!
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:24 AM   #13
JKingoff
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Re: my life

Cool story bro!
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:29 PM   #14
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Re: my life

it disgusts me that so many of you read the op. what is this forum becoming—the read forum?

too lengthy; didn't even browse
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #15
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Re: my life

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:14 PM   #16
ECTAE
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Re: my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by bungjobo View Post
it disgusts me that so many of you read the op. what is this forum becoming—the read forum?

too lengthy; didn't even browse
Agreed, this post is way to long to read. Rated 1 star, OP learn you summarize things up rather then telling your life story.. some people don't have time to read so much. OR AT LEAST INCLUDE CLIFFS!!!
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #17
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Re: my life

I thought it was a good read OP. Thanks for sharing and being open.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:19 PM   #18
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Nice brag op!

Not sure about the 10 hrs comment, especially someone that has never played any card game before or gambled.

And since this is BBV: pics of ex or GTFO.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:21 AM   #19
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Re: my life

decent story, where do you stand on online poker?
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:50 AM   #20
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Cool post, Aesah. Always nice to get a look into the past and mind of a poker player

Come back to LA already!!
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:38 AM   #21
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Re: my life

Honey he wrote an essay on bbv

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Old 10-27-2013, 06:51 PM   #22
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Re: my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by fidstar-poker View Post
man that's a lot of text. worth the read?
dunno too long dnr
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:07 PM   #23
Avaritia
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Re: my life

You have a beautiful poker mind that I wish I could just cuddle with for hours.

Also I've had the same thoughts on variance (even with the same correlation to chess)

Variance is the single biggest thing a pro poker player should appreciate, because in the end it's why he (or she) has income in the first place.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avaritia View Post
You have a beautiful poker mind that I wish I could just cuddle with for hours.


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Old 10-27-2013, 11:19 PM   #25
Colin_Piddle
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Re: my life

(x) Op had sex in the toilets with christian ministers
( ) Op has a good grasp of reality of poker and variance
( ) Op understands the concept of normal paragraph lengths
(x) This is pretty much complete rubbish
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