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Old 04-08-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 36
Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

In my 2+ years of playing live poker, I’ve played with gambling degenerates, recreational players, and pro’s. I’ve played with gangsters and drug dealers; doctors, lawyers, and business owners. I’ve played with Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Zenon Konopka of the Ottawa Senators, and Eddie Jones, retired 3-time NBA All-Star. I’ve experienced the highs of winning $15,000 pots, and the lows of losing some peoples annual salary in the span of a week.

This is my story.

(If you are reading this, be forewarned, this will be extremely long)

A poker beginning
I graduated Queen’s University in Kingston in 2007, studying computer engineering, like a good Chinese boy. And, like a good Chinese boy, came out of University with a good job, as an engineer in the telecommunications industry in Ottawa, Canada. Throughout University, I had always been into poker, first getting into it in 1st year, playing for dimes and quarters in the rec room, until my 4th year, when I had graduated to playing online on Party Poker, or grinding $3-$6 Limit Hold ‘Em live at an underground game on campus.

Having never kept track of my wins and losses at the time, I told myself I was a winning player, or at worst, “break-even” (90% of poker players I’ve met today think this way… only 5-10% of them are actually winning players). When I won, it was because I was skilled, because I was smarter; when I lost, it was variance, card distribution, or bad luck.

But, with a good job on the horizon, a steady girlfriend, and my life ahead of me, poker took a backseat to other life priorities. At my job, I made new friends, people with common interests, including Qihu00 of J7 SNE fame. I did my work, met new people, and tried to advance my career as best I could. But, life has a way of sneaking up on you, and the world I had built for myself came crashing down on me, when my then-long-distance-girlfriend broke up with me in 2009. Alone and depressed, I now found myself with nothing to do on weekends, no more late night phone chats at night.

I started visiting the local casino, Casino Du Lac Leamy (LL Casino), and sitting the $2-$5 NL games. Sporadically at first, but more frequently as time passed. Enough to establish myself as a “regular” towards the ending of 2009. I don’t have any records from that time, nor did I practice good bankroll management, but I did OK (more likely due to run-good than anything else), enough to keep me going back for more at any rate. As 2009 became 2010, I resolved to keep records of all my sessions, and establish myself as a true grinder.

2010 – Starting out
The beginning of 2010 started like a dream, as I ran as good as I’ve ever run, shooting up to plus $15 000 in profits by mid-February, in roughly 150 hours of play of $2-$5. I was the ****. If not the best poker player in the world, then at least the best one in Ottawa (Yes, I had heard of Ottawa Pro Myst at the time, but pffft, the guy’s name is “Myst”). This **** was so easy! It took me 4 months to give that back, as I played break-even poker for the next 7 months. Funny how you don’t make money when your every flush draw doesn’t get there, and jamming with OESD’s and getting called by sets.

Still, I started piecing things together in my head. Finding out what works, what doesn’t work. When limping K2dd UTG failed to show a profit after several months, I tried raising K2 UTG. When that proved fruitless as well, I tried limp-raising. Finally, it dawned on me that perhaps playing K2 of any variety UTG was simply not profitable. Things started clicking for me, as I learned basic concepts like “polarization”, and “bluff catchers”. How A high could sometimes be good on some a K6734cc board.

Along with learning basic concepts, I was experimenting with different stakes as well. The action at the LL poker room was picking up, as more people came to play. They started sporadically opening up $5-$10 NL games on weekends, then slowly becoming more regular. The $5-$10 at LL plays with a $1500 max buy-in, so you’re pretty deep, and money flows like water. Still thinking I was the **** from my early year run-good, I sat these games whenever they ran. My $5-$10 results from that year were pretty mixed, but given some of the games, you can’t do too poorly.

The LL poker community was pretty small, and everyone pretty much knows who’s who. Who were the “good players”, the “bad players”… who was nitty and tight, and who gave action. I was quickly developing a reputation for fast cards, wild bluffs, and reckless play…and getting there on the river. A reputation I’ve worked hard to maintain ever since.

In June of 2010, I took my first poker road trip, travelling to Las Vegas with some casino friends for the WSOP. While I didn’t play any tournament events, I felt confident enough to sit the $5-$10 games at the Venetian, Bellagio, and the Rio. At least, I started out that way, until this particular hand came up, while sitting $5-$10 at the Venetian, a hand that will haunt me to this day.

After a decent stream of cards had come my way, allowing me to build my stack up to $4500 (450 bb), and the only other guy that had me covered is a young kid, with a mountain of chips. In this hand, he opens from UTG+2 to $40, and it’s folded around to me on the button. I look down at KK and 3-bet to $180, a sizeable raise, but not bad considering how deep we are. He thinks for a bit, then hits it again to $480. Not really having a plan for this hand because I’m a fish, I 5-bet to $1500. Action is back over to the kid, who tanks, then 6-bet jams for the rest of my $3000, and I am in a quandary. At this point, $3000 is a lot of money, and he’s repping AA… but getting 2-1, pretty sure I should snap call……. Anyways, long story short, I tanked, then elected to fold, like a gd pu**y. Why? I’ll never know, except probably, I didn’t want to lose $3000. The kid rolls over 5h7h, jamming in 450 bigs with 7-high, and a hand I’m an 80% favorite over. Who knows what would have happened if I’d called? But we rabbit-hunted anyways, and the flop would have come down 4d5d6d. Not sure if I had the Kd or not, but god I hope not.

Anyways, that debacle aside, run-good still allowed me to rack up winnings of $4180 over 33.5 hours, giving me an hourly of $125/hr. (Although I could have doubled that had I just hit the call button on the KK hand).

Also, another notable thing happened in September 2010… while sitting $5-$10 on a dull Friday night, I was stuck something along the lines of $4000, and in for my last bullet. I had played for far too long, and was way too tired, and was just hoping against hope to get unstuck for the night. The table was still juicy though, and the $5-$10 still sporadically run at the time that I relished the chance to play these stakes, so I usually closed the tables.

The time was close to 4 AM when my bleary eyes peeked down at a wonderful sight – AA, and sitting on $1800 that I was desperately hoping to double. I opened the action to $50 UTG, getting a decently good player to call in MP (Now playing pro hockey in Europe, FYI), when the button decides to get cute, and 3-bets me to $200-ish (both MP and button have me covered). Action comes back around to me, and in retrospect, this may have been a good spot to flat, hoping to get a good flop to CR and balance my flop CR range. At any rate, given our stack sizes, a 4-bet doesn’t need to be huge, something along the lines of $600 is enough to leverage his stack, and give him the appearance of fold equity should he decide to jam. So I made it $1100 to go, just hoping to get stacks in and not play a pot post-flop OOP, like the fish that I was. Button actually happened to be a good friend of mine I had met at the Casino (we went to Vegas together earlier that year), and now was faced with a decision.

He hemmed and hawed for a bit, muttering, “Damnit Alex. Are you steaming? You could be steaming. I don't know, it’s close.” Blah blah blah. “Ok, I guess I have to call.”
“Sorry Shane, I’ve got Aces.”
“Damnit, I knew it! I’ve got Queen’s,” as he flips his cards revealing two red queen’s.

I table my hand, two red aces, dominating his suits as well as his pair, and hoping that I wouldn’t get bad beat one more time. Little did I know.
The dealer, Tony, burns and opens the flop, revealing the door card, Qc. FML I think, another bad beat. Will this night never end? The rest of the flop hits the felt – 3sQsQc. My inner monologue takes over.

“Oh great, now I’m drawing dead.”
“No you’re not… running Aces!”
“Shut up, this night is horrible already. That’s never going to happen.”
“Hey, hang on, wait a sec…”
“I could hit the bad beat jackpot! I only need ONE Ace!”
“Nah, what are the odds?”
“2 outs twice… 8%-ish.”
“Hey, that’s not bad.”

Apparently the same thought had crossed the rest of the tables mind as well, as everyone starts shouting, “Ace, ace, ace!” A slow burn, then turn… and the beautiful A of clubs rolls off. Pandemonium ensues, Shane and I are hugging each other, and the whole table starts cheering, as I win the second biggest bad beat jackpot in the Casino Du Lac Leamy’s history, to the tune of $118 187.

We take the whole table out the next night to Stirling Steakhouse (I highly recommend it if you’ve never gone), and wine and dine our friends with our new found fortune, running up a dinner tab in the area of $1200 for 7 people. Money well spent. I wish I could say that I’ve done something interesting with the BBJ money. That I used it to bolster my fledgling bankroll, started an innovative new company, or blew it on hookers and blow. The truth is I’ve invested it in the stock market, where it has, to this day, returned a paltry 4.8% over a 1.5 year period. C’est la vie.

Still, I built up my confidence, and this translated into results, as I upswinged at the end of 2010 to the tune of $20 000. By the time 2010 ended, I had played my way to a $43 045 win over 1091 hours, giving me an hourly of $39.45/hr, and spending almost 100 hours per month at the tables, spread over $2-$5, $5-$5 and $5-$10 NL. Compared to some other regs at the time, this was not exactly an astronomical figure, but it was a sum I was proud of. Considering it was tax-free, and combined with my salary I was taking home from my day job, I had an annual income well over 6 figures and financial freedom to do a number of things that never would have been afforded to me if not for poker.

2011 – LL Deepstack, Miami, and Private Jets
2011 started horribly for me, as I was quickly stuck $10 000 in January. While I still hadn’t cracked “the code” yet, I felt like a breakthrough was just around the corner. Over the course of the previous year, I had spent a ton of time analyzing hands with friends and other poker regs, reading strategy articles, and watching videos. I learned to up my 3-bet frequency, how vitally important position was, and that K2 was just not a hand to play UTG. And pretty soon, my patient play would be rewarded.

On February 25, the Casino Du Lac Leamy hosted its first “DEEPSTACK VIP” game. Billed as a VIP game with deep stacks, it was intended to run as a regular $5-$10 NL game that would start every Friday at 7:30 PM. Minimum buy-ins were $1500, the max was $5000. For the privilege of playing in this game, the casino offered you the free selection of their fine (bar) dinner menu… a lovely selection including, but not limited to: club sandwich, chicken fingers, or the oh-so-appetizing fish-and-chips. Along with this tantalizing selection, they also comped ANY (with exceptions) alcoholic beverage you desired (to be drank at the bar… in the next room). For all this, they upped the standard $5-$10 rake by 50%, now running at 5% capped at an outrageous $15 (by comparison, $5-$10 games in the States run as a rake game of 5% capped at $4, or a half-hour $6 time-charge).

Still, I keep my complaining to a minimum, as this game has been good to me. The first night it ran, I made $3730. The next $4130. And the next was my biggest win to date managing to hit my first 5 figure profit as I took in $11 315. The wins became bigger, as did my bankroll. By the time it had run for a couple weeks, it had evolved from a $5-$10 NL game to one that was played with a mandatory straddle - $5-$10-$20. While there was no way of actually “enforcing” the straddle, most players that sat down were OK with it, and those who weren’t I teased, cajoled and bullied until they finally relented, or just packed up and left. These days, it bounces between playing $5-$10-$20 or straight $10-$20 on the days we have some real nits in the house that won’t put up the straddle.

I played this game 34 times in 2011, and in these sessions, I finished up a total of $75 465 over some 213 hours, averaging an hourly of $350/hr. The game continues to run to this day, although whether it continues to do so or not is a matter of debate. As I write this it has been on hiatus for the last two weeks, as not enough interest has shown up to start it. They tried a similar idea in Montreal in 2010, and it didn’t last anywhere near as long as ours has, but who knows, maybe the pond really is drying up.

Deepstack Results
Date Hours Total
2/25/2011 6 $3,730.00
3/4/2011 6 $4,130.00
3/11/2011 11 $11,315.00
3/18/2011 5.5 $5,600.00
3/25/2011 6 $2,470.00
4/1/2011 8 $6,985.00
4/8/2011 6.5 ($965.00)
4/29/2011 5 ($3,870.00)
5/6/2011 6 $2,805.00
5/13/2011 8 $3,820.00
5/20/2011 7 $1,980.00
6/3/2011 6 $1,640.00
6/10/2011 6.5 $2,900.00
6/17/2011 7 ($7,500.00)
6/24/2011 8 $5,035.00
7/8/2011 7 ($560.00)
7/22/2011 5 $3,255.00
7/29/2011 1.5 ($245.00)
8/5/2011 9 $4,950.00
8/12/2011 3.5 $4,830.00
8/26/2011 6 $105.00
9/9/2011 7.5 $5,785.00
9/23/2011 7 ($4,965.00)
9/30/2011 7 $10,575.00
10/7/2011 7 ($4,670.00)
10/14/2011 4.5 ($7,025.00)
10/21/2011 8.5 $1,550.00
10/28/2011 6 $13,885.00
11/4/2011 8.5 $35.00
11/11/2011 4 ($1,435.00)
11/18/2011 4 $5,615.00
11/25/2011 4 ($4,265.00)
12/2/2011 6.5 ($1,740.00)
12/16/2011 4 $9,710.00

It was in this deepstack game that I ended up playing with NHL Star Phil Kessel, as he wandered in at around 11 PM on the weekend the NHL All-Star game. Our table was 9-handed at the time, so Phil sat down, buying in with 3 purples, and a couple blacks for around $1700-ish… what a nit (this for a guy that makes $7 million per year). His nitty foreshadowing turned out to be true, as he played almost no hands, and folded to any sign of aggression. I tried to start up some conversation about NHL, the Sens/Leafs, or anything else he cared to talk about, but he appeared to be pretty introverted, giving off one-word answers for the most part. While I had fun raising his limps, or 3-betting the few times he chose to raise, and watching him fold every time, it was the work of another nit at our table that ended up being his undoing.

As I raise in MP with some random hand, I get a couple callers, including a nit on the button, and Phil Kessel comes along for the ride in the BB. We see the flop 5 handed as it comes down 349cc. Not the greatest board to c-bet into 4 people, I check to the button, who bets out half pot, and am surprised as Kessel hits the raise button, folding out the field to the button who smooths. The turn brings an off-suit 4, and Kessel jams his remaining stack, and the button snap calls with 99, the over-full, coolering Kessel’s 34hh for the under-full. The river is a blank as Kessel’s stack is shipped to the nit. He reloads for another $1500, but his girlfriend walks in a little bit later (I’m going to call her an 8.5/10) declaring that she was bored, and dragging away the LL Deepstack’s very own NHL super-star.

In May of 2011, I decided it was time for another poker trip. So it was decided that I would be flying out to Miami with two other casino regs and poker friends, Jean and Paul. We would be flying out the 21st, and returning the 29th. After hearing stories of how soft the Florida games were since they uncapped their buy-in limits, we had to see for ourselves. Little did I know what was in store for me. Florida was amazing as soon as we first landed, shedding Ottawa’s 10 degree weather in exchange for the balmy 30+ degrees in Miami. We were staying in Fort Lauderdale, north of Miami, and planned on spending most of our time at the Hollywood Hardrock Casino, located in Hollywood, halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The weather was great, the casino was nice, and the women were amazing. Even though we spent the majority of our time at the tables, everywhere we went, there were 9’s and 10’s. Girls with long legs, great bodies and pretty faces. The casino on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights filled up as the attached bars and clubs were hopping with young people ready for a night out on the town. Besides this though, everything about Miami was an unmitigated disaster.

During the course of this week in Miami, I have never run as bad in my life, before or since. Variance, as they say, is a *****, and I was about to pay for my overwhelming run-good the previous few months. Over the course of the week, I dropped over $25 000 in about 50 hours of play, coming out a net loser at a rate of $500/hr. Everything big pot I played, I lost, every big hand was cracked. A few examples: playing $5-$10 NL, we get in 3k stacks AIPF with my AA v AKs, he gets there. I get it in at $10-$25 for 3.5k stacks AIPF with my AK v AJ, and after deciding to run it twice, I lose both boards. My KK was cracked by QQ for 3.5k AIPF, and the piece de resistance, I get it in with 99 on the turn on a 9xxx v AA for some $5000, and a $10 000 pot. The two-outer was like a dagger through the heart. I ran KQ on a KQ5 board into 55, and 99 into KK on a K9x board. Every form of run-bad that I could imagine I got. By the time I left Miami, it was with my tail tucked firmly between my legs. I couldn’t wait to get back to the warm, friendly comfort of Ottawa and Lac Leamy.

Fairly dejected from my week in Miami, I rebuilt my roll in Ottawa at an alarming pace. My Ottawa run-good continued as it was constantly raining sets. Backdoor flushdraws turned into backdoor flushes and 3 streets of value as I ramped up my aggression over the following weeks and months. I returned to Vegas in September with some non-poker friends for labour day weekend. While the trip was more about hanging out and doing fun stuff, I got in a couple hands of poker, and sat in the Bellagio $10-$20 NL game. I was hoping to get a glimpse of Matt Moore, author of the “Another kid Another dream tl;dr” thread on the 2+2 LVL forums, but it looked like he wasn’t sitting the one time I played. I didn’t manage to make any money, coming out at minus $250 over 11 hours of play, but like I said, the trip was more about friends than poker.

As 2011 was ending, I caught wind of another poker trip. It appeared that a bunch LL casino regs were organizing another trip to Miami. While these guys were a couple years older than me, and more recreational players, it was a great bunch of people, and when they invited me along, I jumped at the chance, both to hang out with these guys (a retired lawyer, real-estate agent, or business owners), and get my shot again at the tables in Miami. I had planned on only taking a couple days off from work, but my plans soon changed.

We headed out on Friday, December 12th. The plan was for mainly poker, although a couple guys had some other ideas in mind for things we could do. We had also secured club seats to the Miami Dolphins game that weekend, as they hosted Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, all free, courtesy of another Ottawa player, owner of a local real estate business, who was flying in on his jet (sorry, turbo prop) on Sunday. Along with the poker, we wined and dined ourselves, eating at fine restaurants around the city, and sparing no expenses.

For some reason, I just couldn’t beat the city, as over the course of the trip, I dropped another $9000 over some 45 hours of play, a slightly better rate of minus $200/hr. While poker didn’t go my way this trip, I can’t say that I was too unhappy. As promised, the week turned into a lesson in ballerness and extravagance. Sunday morning, a limo was arranged to pick us up from our resort in Fort Lauderdale. Five of us piled in, as we headed to the executive airport where the last member of our group was flying in on his private plane. The weather was slightly drizzly, but that didn’t do anything to dampen our mood. We rolled right onto the runway in our limo, and the plane landed on time, as our final member hopped off the plane, and bounded into the limo. “Hey boys!”, he exclaims, “Are we ready to party?”

And party we did, as we rolled up to Sunlife stadium, and parked in the VIP limo lot. As we got out, we noticed the other baller limo’s around us, some custom-built for tail-gating, as I saw a Humvee limo with a BBQ built into its back trunk. The game was entertaining, and our seats were awesome, as we were 200-level, near mid-field.

After the game, we headed back to our hotel to change for dinner. Between the 6 of us, we ran up another tab of close to 1k, helped along with $120 bottles of wine. Afterwards, was another session of poker, but this time, at around 2 AM, it was decided that an extra-curricular excursion was due.

We piled into yet another limo, and had the driver take us to another fine establishment, known as “Tootsies” (Google it if you want to know what kind of establishment I’m talking about). As we’re seated in a booth in the VIP area, lovely ladies were all around us, willing to get to know each and every one of us better, for a small “fee”. We ordered a few bottles, and were ready to just relax after a long, grueling day of watching football, eating, and playing poker.

Suddenly, we noticed the people in the booth next to ours, a group of African-Americans, who had what appeared to be bricks of cash on the table. As groups of strippers flocked to them, they’d unwrap one every once in a while, and, looking as cool as only black people with bricks of cash can, they started making it rain. Damn, who were these guys? I’d find out the answer a couple minutes later, as our VIP host came by to ask us how we were doing.

“Do you gentlemen have anything you need? Would you like some more ladies to entertain you?”
“Nah, I think we’re good, but I was wondering, who are those guys over there?”
“Those guys? They’re big-time rappers.”
“Oh yeah, which one?”

And that’s how it came to be, that I was in Miami, after getting driven around in a limo all day, sitting in a strip club, and partying it up. With T-Pain.

My flight out of Miami was supposed to leave the next day, as I had only booked Friday and Monday off of work, but the group was having none of it.

“Sorry guys, I really gotta leave tomorrow, I’m supposed to be back at work on Tuesday!”
“Alex, I just got here! We’re all having a great time, just stay until Thursday.”
“Really, I can’t, I’ve already booked my flight and everything.”
“Tell you what, call your boss, tell him you’re staying until Thursday, and I’ll give you a lift back to Ottawa. In my plane. My private plane.”

Hmmmm… well it’s true, I’ve never ridden in a private jet before. AND I’ve always wanted to. Ah, what the hell. I e-mailed my boss that night when we got back to our hotel (sometime around 5 AM), asking if I could extend my vacation for another 3 days. I got the green light from him the next morning, and just like that, I was staying in Miami until Thursday.

The next couple of days was filled with more of the same. Losing on the tables, having great meals, and the company of a couple of fun guys. The only thing of note was sitting down at the $5-$10-$25 table (we had put on a mandatory straddle… the straddle on the $5-$10 game in Miami is to $25), and sitting next to Eddie Jones, a retired basketball player, who played for, among other teams, the Lakers, the Heat, and closing out his career with the Dallas Mavericks. Not being a huge NBA fan, I didn’t really know who he was, but he seemed like a cool guy, way more talkative than Phil Kessel, and up for answering a couple of questions on playing pro ball.

Thursday comes far too soon, and we leave early in the morning so we can be back in Ottawa by noon ish. We get driven to the airport, and roll right up to our waiting plane, without having to wait for security or anything. The pilots help us with our luggage, and we are wheels up and in the air in about 15 minutes. Apparently, private planes of this size don’t come with their own hot stewardesses as my fantasies of joining the mile-high club with some hot, blonde 20-something comes crashing down around me.

“You mean… there’s no stewardess? We have to… serve ourselves?” I ask, mildly annoyed, as I reach for some first class meals and drinks. (That was sarcasm, the flight was great. Next time though, my private plane better have a freaking stewardess). We land in Ottawa 3 hours later, and instead of waiting in the customs line, the customs officers drive to you, and peek into the plane.

“You boys were in Miami? Did you guys buy anything down there?”
“Nope, not really.”
“OK guys! Have a great day.”

That was it. They didn’t come on the plane, check our luggage, or look at our passports. We were literally out of the plane and in our car in five minutes. This is the life. The next time you fly, fly private. It’s worth it, trust me.

The rest of 2011 ended with a whimper after that trip. I scraped by with a profit of $1365 over 105 hours of play in December, but was pretty happy with it, given that I had dropped $9000 at the tables in Miami.

Still, 2011 was a huge success. I plugged a large number of leaks, mostly stemming from positional play, and expanded my mind in terms of poker thinking. I finished 2011 with a total of $69 830, over 775 hours of play, earning an hourly of $90/hr, spread over $2-5, $5-5, $5-$10, $10-$20, and $10-$25. Setting aside my Miami results, I took in nearly $105 000 from the Ottawa poker room. I had nearly doubled my total from the previous year, and nearly tripled my hourly. And, I had fun doing it along the way, making memories that I hope would last me a lifetime.

2012 – The Journey Continues
So far, 2012 has been fairly uneventful for me poker-wise. I have been on another break-even stretch since December of last year. I’m not worried though, that’s just how it goes sometimes. But other parts of my life are going well, as I performed the marriage ceremony for two close friends in January (I’m an official minister, getting ordained online through the Universal Life Church). The ceremony was beautiful, happening on the beach in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.

Since my poker journey has started, I have moved into a new 2-bedroom condo downtown. I’ve also bought myself a new Audi A4 with some of the money. Here’s a couple graphs showing cumulative totals and overlays from the previous two years. (Edit: Can't post graphs, don't have a hosting site).

I write this, partly as a subtle brag of my successes as a poker player, but also to share my story and experiences. Along with learning the tools and skills needed to become a profitable player, I’ve also learned along the way how to handle myself, and deal with people.

In life, as well as the poker table, you meet all sorts of people. There are the whiners and complainers, there are those that are just seeking the thrill of the gamble, more apt than most to see a flop “just because.” There are competitive people, and relaxed people. Drunk people, high people, nice people, and mean people. There are social players, people that are there because they are seeking some kind of validation, or social companionship. They are looking just to pass the time, have a good laugh, and enjoy the social aspect that poker brings. There are poker professionals, true grinders that are sitting in the seat because they need to eat and pay rent. The good ones are like me – they are talkative and social, willing to make beginners feel comfortable, and laughing and joking with other regs; the bad ones (aside from sucking in poker) have their headphones on, or worse, berate people on bad play or strategy every time they open their mouths.

As my story draws to a close, I hope that it has inspired you, to become better, maybe not in poker, but in some other aspect of your life; or, at the very least, mildly entertained you for a solid ten minutes. I’ve learned a lot of things in the last 2+ years as a semi-pro, everything from things like, “You can’t win if you fold,” to “When in doubt, bet.” I’ve learned how to interact and deal with people of all walks of life. I’ve learned the confidence that comes from becoming a winning player, and someone who is fearless on the felt. Finally, I’ve learned this: life is what you make it. If you consistently just sit there, waiting for the pots to come you, how will you improve? If you are not constantly pushing yourself, to learn, to get better; if you just complain about bad luck, or run-bad, then life will pass you by.

These days, you can still find me in the Lac Leamy poker room, grinding it out, trading jokes and check-raises with anybody willing to battle it out. I’m still working my 9-5, and still trying to make it as a semi-pro. I’ve made some great friends over my journey, and it is not over yet. This is my on-going story, and hopefully, 2012 will bring as many new surprises, and colourful memories as the previous two years.

Until next time, see you on the felt.

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Old 04-08-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

can someone read this and tell me if this is worth reading
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
I ARE just biebwr
but not a mod
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by FishyMcFish0 View Post
averaging an hourly of $350/hr.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by bubonicplay View Post
can someone read this and tell me if this is worth reading
Its feels like he wants to brag about hanging out with celebs, but the celebrities he mentions either I have never heard of (hockey players / retired NBA player) or give a **** about (rapper T-Pain). Actually he says he was "partying it up with T-Pain" just because he happened to be in the same strip club as him. Using his logic you could say your friends with any celebrity just because you saw their movie.

Last edited by Coprolagnia; 04-08-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by Drewski View Post
Cool Story Bro
Someone hasn't read any of the recent stickies
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Do yourselves a favor and read this, its actually pretty good.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:24 PM   #7
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by mojojo16 View Post
Do yourselves a favor and read this, its actually pretty good.
I'll wait for the movie
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

not poorly written, but not really worth the read at that length.

tl;dr = he's done pretty well playing $3-$6 and $5-$10 in Ottawa over the last couple years, and he saw T-Pain at a Miami strip club
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

read it, above average poker player makes ok money at the game, and wins 1/10th million dollars by hitting a BBJ.

no pics, no graphs, no savers.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Nice story & continued success to you, sir! How can you play with that insane rake, verrrry soft game, huh?
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #11
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

As a Leafs fan I must say you have witnessed something that no other Leafs has: Phil Kessel checking.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

even if its the best post ever im not reading that wtf longass wall of text
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #13
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by goingsomewhere View Post
As a Leafs fan I must say you have witnessed something that no other Leafs has: Phil Kessel checking.
This needs more love
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:10 PM   #14
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

eh, worth the read.

More graphs, recounts of hands will help future posts.
Pics of said trips would be nice.

Posts about recent events could turn this thread really good. Everyone likes MM thread because few people get to look into the mind of higher thinking higher stakes could get close if not join that club.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:33 PM   #15
too late axe in car
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by goingsomewhere View Post
As a Leafs fan I must say you have witnessed something that no other Leafs has: Phil Kessel checking.
Or Jonas Gustavsson making a save
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:57 PM   #16
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Good read Fishy. I like the writing, keep us updated from time to time.

Also, start snapping pics with your iphone imo.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Awesome rest of year...keep updating!
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:16 AM   #18
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Because, apparently, 2+2 needs visual aids...

Earnings from 2010 and 2011:

Cumulative winnings over 2010 and 2011:

Bankroll (circa 2010, before the introduction of the new Canadian hundreds):

Labour Day Weekend in Vegas:

Private Jet:

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Old 04-09-2012, 12:31 AM   #19
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

No saves you say... sounds like a mission for tomorrow...

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Old 04-09-2012, 12:34 AM   #20
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

i really enjoyed the read. great story op
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:53 AM   #21
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

I will message you tomorrow OP on how to post pics cuz i'm too drunk and too tired tonight to do so
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:27 AM   #22
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Is that howard lederer sleeping in a jet on that last picture?
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:43 AM   #23
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr


The diffrence between the Habs and the Ottawa Senators? They will play golf this spring and the Habs are still gonnna play teh hockey.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:35 AM   #24
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

Originally Posted by Tryst_ View Post

The diffrence between the Habs and the Ottawa Senators? They will play golf this spring and the Habs are still gonnna play teh hockey.
Ummm... maybe you should check the standings again...? Last I checked, Ottawa made the playoffs, and the Montreal Canadiens didn't...
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #25
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Re: Once a kid, one more dream. Two years as a poker semi-pro… tl;dr

One of the best written stories here!
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