October 24, 2012

Life Update

Hey guys,

Been a while, I basically have about 45 minutes to kill before my next class and thought I'd update my next blog. I've updated you pretty much all along on how life has changed since Black Friday, so I figured I'd do it again, but this time with ROUNDERS QUOTES!

"You don't hear much about guys who take their shot and miss, but I'll tell you what happens to 'em. They end up humping crappy jobs on graveyard shifts."

That's basically me right now, without the taking my shot and missing. Right now I'm a full time student, getting my MBA and also working 40 hours a week. There are some students taking a full load or working full time but not generally both. This has lead to basically no free time outside of class. 

For me at least it seems as grad school is much tougher than undergrad. For a lot of my classes I'm spending anywhere from 6-12 hours a week outside of class working on the assignments for these courses. In undergrad I did very little work, much different. 

The working full time also sucks. For anyone that is still a pro but not putting in the hours, for the love of god please play more. You really don't realize how good you have it until you have to work 8+ hours a day and make a fraction of your former hourly.

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Worm: You know what always cheers me up? 
Mike McDermott: No, what's that? 
Worm: Rolled up aces over kings. Check-raising stupid tourists and taking huge pots off of them. Playing all-night high-limit Hold'em at the Taj, "where the sand turns to gold." Stacks and towers of checks I can't even see over. 
Mike McDermott: Fuck it, let's go.

If any of my friends leads with this line (There are a few casinos about 90 minutes from my house) I'd immediately go. Even though I haven't played really since black Friday I do miss it. However, being a live pro isn't that appealing to me so I've decided to go with the schooling route.

With that being said, I miss poker a lot. It's a fun competitive game where money is the ultimate scorekeeper. I miss playing, coaching, discussing, everything. The worst part is I still don't completely understand why they took it away. I'm not trying to turn this into a political discussion so I'll be brief, the extreme right wing nuts are out of their mind, they hurt so many pros starting in 2006. (Please don't turn this into a political discussion in the comments section).

Mike McDermott: I've often seen these people, these squares at the table, short stack and long odds against them. All their outs gone. One last card in the deck that can help them. I used to wonder how they could let themselves get into such bad shape, and how the hell they thought they could turn it around.

This would be me if I came back to play right now. I'm completely broke, I work 40 hours a week to make about $1,000/month after taxes (family business) but have to work there since it allows me to do my schoolwork on the job. It's such a change having a ton of money, never budgeting, etc to having to count every cent, it's brutal.

I'm in debt and while my long term prospects look good, right now it's tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If poker as still around I could pay for it with that money. That's not even taking into consideration having to find a job post-college which right now I have no idea how I'm going to do it. However I do enjoy what I'm learning and having poker on my resume' will distinguish me from other candidates. Now it's just a matter of applying to the right company.

Jo: Mike, I learned it from you. You always told me this was the rule. Rule number one: Throw away your cards the moment you know they can't win. Fold the fucking hand.

This is basically what I did after realizing that I was never meant to be a personal financial planner. For those that don't keep up with the blog I tried to do this for a year (my undergrad degree) post black friday and it just wasn't fun. After doing it for about 8 months with a small firm I moved to a larger firm and quit my first day on the job. Better to fold then stick it out unhappy and make that decision a year(s) later.

Mike McDermott: In "Confessions of a Winning Poker Player," Jack King said, "Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career."

This is my last quote and I'm actually going to wrap it up, but this is very true. I can remember the toughest beats of my life with very vivid accuracy and can't remember my biggest pots at all. 

So that's where I'm at. I'm 95% sure I made the right choice going back to school, but as poker players you all know how often that 5% seems like it comes in. Hopefully I can fade those 2 outs.

For those playing, keep crushing.

Finally, my down on the farm pilot is almost 3 years old…God I'm getting old.

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Taki: What did you think he had? Does he look like a man beaten by jacks? 

Zizzo: Jacks are a monster compared to the crap you've played 

Taki: Fuuc you... fuck you... 

Zizzo: Fuck Me? Fuck You!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 09:31 PM

10 Comments

July 25, 2012

Is anyone a financial analyst?

If anyone is and is willing to ask me a couple questions feel free to PM me or comment on this post. 

Thanks in advance,

Mike

Posted By bosoxx34 at 04:17 PM

10 Comments

May 03, 2012

For Those Still Playing Poker

Although the title doesn't apply to me, I thought I'd blog about something that may help those still playing poker and will help even if you're not, yoga!. About 4 months ago my girlfriend asked if I'd try it out. She had done it a ton in the past a talked about all the physical and mental benefits you can gain from the practice. After a couple weeks of asking I finally agreed to go to a 3 class weekly beginners course. I figured my flexibility is awful and it'd be good to stretch a bit and improve that.

My first class we started off in downward facing dog which is a very basic pose. The teacher said "this pose is very relaxing." At this point my shoulders were barking and my legs felt like they were going to collapse. I got through that first session exhausted and asked my girlfriend after class what she thought of it. She said it was pretty easy and I was stunned as I was sore and drenched in sweat. After our second class the studio was running a promotion that discounted classes if you signed up after the third beginners course. I wanted to go to an open level class before signing up, so the next day I went to one.

The type of yoga I do is called power vinyasa, the studio is 90 degrees. Unfortunately I'm a sweater and at the end of 75 minutes I had endured one of the toughest workouts I've ever been through. You don't really think of yoga as kicking your ass, but I was gassed at the end. In a puddle of my own sweat I packed up, but did enjoy it. It's challenging, great for getting in shape and the mental benefits are outstanding too.

Over the past few months i've lost about 12 pounds and the mental benefits are probably the most noticeable. In class the instructors are always talking about your breath and how to breathe. It reminds me very much of Tommy's series. However when forced to do it for 75 minutes it's much easier to take into your everyday and if I was still playing, my poker life. It'd be a great tilting outlet, just to pack up and go to a yoga class and it does help you but by far the greatest benefit for a poker player would be the breathing. If/When I'm able to start playing again it'll be interesting to notice any differences regarding to play my A game, tilt, etc.

So anyone reading this blog, I'd encourage you to give it a shot. Worst case scenario you'll be in better shape, best case you'll achieve the former and it'll help your poker career.

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This calm steadiness of the senses is called yoga. Then one should become watchful, becomes yoga comes and go. (Katha Upanishad)


Posted By bosoxx34 at 07:15 PM

31 Comments

January 30, 2012

Need to blog

It's almost 1 AM, I can't sleep. The reason I used to blog so much when playing poker is it was a great stress outlet. Either way after a good or bad session it was a great way to unwind and relax. Now I'm back to that point where I need to just get lost in my words. Basically the days since black Friday have been humbling money wise. I had a plan for how 2011 was supposed to go and that was blindsided on April 15th. Deciding to put my degree to work in December of this year I started looking for financial planning jobs.

I immediately heard back from a number of companies and eventually accepted a job from Waddell and Reed. I was filled with all sorts of false optimism. I'm supposed to start today. Early Saturday morning I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. Something was bugging me, looking for answers I realized that being a personal financial planner isn't what I want to do. With a due respect to anyone reading in that profession, it seems as though it's much more of a sales job than anything else. While the money is very good if you can get people to invest, it's not something I want to do. The firms hiring seem to take anyone willing to come on that meet certain qualifications and see who sticks. I woke up my lovely girlfriend who was sound a sleep a said "I can't work at W&R". Some people enjoy that sort of thing, but it's just not for me. I emailed my boss tonight and said I have other opportunities I'm going to pursue.

So now, a week before my 26th birthday I have to come up with a new plan. Currently I'm coaching JV boys basketball for a small salary, although I do love it, it's not going to pay the bills. I have a B.S. in Management with a concentration in personal financial planning that's not going to get me too far in the business world, so what now? Well, I'm going to apply to a few local business schools. I had an unrealistic notion as to what my major was going to lead me to. I wanted to crunch numbers and figure out the best investment, I was captivated when I learned about stocks in high school and to a further extent options and futures in college. I want to be a financial analyst, forecaster, etc. I've spent all my life crunching numbers and coming to conclusions based on those calculations in baseball, I want to do the same with finance. I need to apply to business school.

So I have a list of 2 I'm going to apply to. Both are local and very expensive. My pipe dream is to become a graduate assistant at either school with the baseball team which would cut the cost. I'm going to E-mail both coaches tomorrow with a quick rundown of my baseball accomplishments just to try and plant a seed. I also need to start studying for my GMAT's tomorrow in order to get into business schools. However what I most desperately need right now is good advice. My parents and girlfriend have been incredibly supportive and helpful. I have a couple Emails out right now as to what the best course of action is to my finance contacts but for the first time in a long time I have no idea what the next year is going to bring.

I turned 25 with such optimism and now I'm filled with uncertainty. In the mean time I'm going to have to go back to my Dad's store, as well as looking to give baseball hitting and/or catching lessons. However while it's certainly a scary feeling, it comes with incredible optimism. For the first time since April 15, 2011 I'm going to be able to look forward to a future job. It may be blind excitement at this point but there's no reason in trying to make it in a job you don't enjoy especially when it's 100% commission like the one I was supposed to start today is.

So that's my dilema, a lot of uncertainty. Any advice would be appreciated and if poker wants to make its triumphant return, I'd gladly welcome that to help pay for tuition if the GA thing doesn't work out. I know the MBA won't automatically lead to a better job, but it's a step in the right direction.

Hope all is Well,

Mike

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People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily. ~Zig Ziglar

Posted By bosoxx34 at 06:01 AM

15 Comments

November 15, 2011

Poker on Resume?

Been going around asking for advice on this. What are everyone's opinions of putting poker on a resume for financial analyst/financial adviser jobs. I'd obviously make it sound bette than just saying I played poker and made money.

PS Will be writing a longish update sometime after thanksgiving. My life is much less exciting without playing poker for a living.

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"The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and the exercise of ordinary qualities. These may for the most part be summed in these two: common-sense and perseverance."

Owen Feltham

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:42 AM

16 Comments

September 19, 2011

A letter to the Redsox

Dear Redsox,

Quit fucking around.

Thanks,

Mike

Posted By bosoxx34 at 09:39 PM

13 Comments

September 09, 2011

Hedge Fund Meeting

So I'm lucky enough that I coach a kid whos Dad runs a hedge fund. He has always been nice enough to leave an open invitation to invite me in and see how the business works. I finally took him up on that offer and am glad I did as the whole experience was very cool.

They share office space with a mutual fund and I met with him and the hedge fund's CFO as I was able to learn about both funds. This part was very cool to me, the mutual fund was very quantitative and being a math geek myself it was cool to see them take data and formulate it into a strategy. One funny part about this meeting was standard deviation of the fund was somehow brought up. He mentioned they were in the low teens, the hedge fund was in the high teens then I mentioned that my standard deviation when playing poker was in the 70s.

The look on their faces was actually pretty awesome. From there they asked how I handled it and I talked about trying to remain emotionless, BR management, etc. Then after a bit more about the mutual fund there was a break in the action. I couldn't help myself, with him being such a numbers guy I had to ask if he was familiar with Sabermetrics (baseball advanced stats). He wasn't so then I had to go off on a quick tangent about how batting average is overrated and the goal is to not make outs. I could've gone on on an hour talking about it but decided to close it by just recommending the book Moneyball to him.

From there I met Andy who was a trader at the hedge fund and I got to see his desk which was like a poker players dream setup. He had 4 monitors with a bunch of info on each one. One thing I found funny is that he used AIM and when I commented on that he goes yeah "I only use it for business". Which is the same for me as none of my "real life friends" use it anymore. All the information they have to use is incredible and very powerful. However again it goes back to not using too much emotion and making good calculated +EV decisions.

Clearly there are a lot of similarities between the financial field and poker. Now if it were only easy to get a job with a hedge fund or mutual fund I'd be all set. Either way though I was lucky enough to experience this as a lot of people won't have this opportunity, it was a blast.

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"The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" - Socrates

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:05 AM

9 Comments

September 01, 2011

Black Friday- 6 Months Later

A couple days ago I had to turn down US Open tickets. Not the first round like I saw last year, the US Open quarters at night. Something I watch every year and an event that would be incredible to see live I had to pass on. As Rick Pitino once said "It sucks...it stinks and it sucks". I've been slowly realizing the affects of not making > $100/hour over the lats 6 months but this is when it set in for good. In the immediate future, gone are the days of the random trips, and unnecessary spending while I'm making some money it's not nearly what it once way.

While I can't complain too much, this summer has been great this was the day I was scared of. It almost feels like whoever shut down poker in America has won. While there are many sad stories about people with gambling addictions playing poker I gotta imagine there are several with many successful poker players. Those who paid their taxes, worked hard to succeed, and turned a game into a living. There's always two sides to every story and it seems as though a few people in congress didn't care  when they were trying to shut it down over the years.

The fact of the matter is and I'm preaching to the choir here I'm sure is that it is a skill game. You look at long term results and the true skill of a player comes out 99% of the time. This isn't like going to the casino and playing craps, the good players have the edge and it'll come out over time, I guess that's the most frustrating part. Along with the fact that I still haven't heard a good reason the government shutting it down.

However I think the most deflating is just that I miss playing. I miss just firing up 2-4 tables and going against whoever came along. When black Friday hit I was having a blast learning PLO and seeing the progress I was making. I was also going to learn mixed games (actually thinking about doing that during my time off) just because those seemed new and interesting to me. I miss making videos and talking about interesting situations. I've often said that some of the most interesting people I've ever met was through coaching poker and guiding someone from 50-200nl was a great feeling and I no longer have the opportunity to do that.

So here we are 6 months later and it's humbling. I've now seen the full effects of April 15th, 2011 and there just no good that has come from it. Right now I feel like Mike McD in rounders when people who know my situation ask how I'm doing I generally respond with "I've been living a little light" like he tells worm. Hopefully there's a time in the the future where I'm able to make a triumphant return, but for now I'm humbled and it's completely frustrating since it's 100% out of my control.

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"It is always the secure who are humble." ` Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:39 PM

46 Comments

August 30, 2011

Jimmy Fund Telethon

I'm copying this post from last year as it's very important to me and the WEEI Jimmy Fund Telethon is going on the next couple days. I realize many poker players don't have excess cash at this time, but figured I'd float it out there in case anyone felt like donating. Plus the stories of these kids are awesome:



I've been incredibly blessed finding poker as a profession. It has allowed me to travel, create my own hours, and has set me up well for the future. Not to mention is a lot of fun, I'm basically playing a game for a living. I give a percentage of my winnings every year to the Jimmy Fund and honestly it's my favorite expense of the year. I first got into it because I wanted to donate to a charity and the Redsox message board I read has an annual fundraiser as well. However the point of the post is to highlight what happened on August 17 2007 and why it was so easy to donate after that day.

Typically I go to Boston every summer for a game at Fenway park, the summer of 2007 was no different. I was riding up there on August 17 to see a 3 game set against the Angels. There was actually a doubleheader that day which was Clay Buchholz major league debut but I only had tickets to game 2. Coincidentally that was the day of the Jimmy Fund/NESN radio-Telethon in which NESN raises money for the Jimmy Fund.

Jordan Leandre was a patient at the Jimmy Fund clinic. He was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma at an early age and has battled it for most of his life. He loves baseball and watching the Redsox. In 2006 he sang the national anthem at Fenway from a wheelchair. In 2007 he was out of the wheelchair and singing the national anthem again, ironically at the game I was attending. I can't imagine the mental and physical strain he has had to endure in his time on earth, but he along with every other Jimmy Fund patient I've ever seen interviewed has a great outlook on life.

After he was done singing the national anthem he was supposed to run to first base. Most of the crowd knew this and it got extremely loud as he was approaching first. When he touched it there was a cheer and then a bit of a lull. Sort of like awesome he did it and the noise lowered. Then, he decided he was going to run to second, that's when Fenway became incredibly loud.

Now I've been in Fenway for a lot of memorable games. I've seen adults crying after a walkoff win against the A's, standing ovations numerous times, Yankees/Redsox games, but I never saw the pure emotional energy that was coming from the crowd that night as Jordan ran around the bases. Not only did he run to second, he decided to run to third and then home. Furthermore when the crowd recognized what he was doing after he touched first, we became louder and louder as well.

It seems as though Jordan was just having fun. Being around baseball my whole life I can tell you the first thing that kids do after games when they get on the field is run the bases and they always have a blast. It's sort of like a natural reaction and they never stop at first or second, they always run to the plate. Jordan was no different, It's impossible for a kid younger than 10 to stop at first base, they just can't do it and he like everyone else before him was having a ball. It just so happened he was doing it in front of 35,000 fans in one of the most famous baseball parks of all time.

With both Angels and Redsox players looking on and applauding he raced for third, then home. Here is a video of it. I am convinced it would have been even louder if half the crowd was not crying as he was sprinting around the bases. It is really something I will never forget and why it is very easy for me to donate to the Jimmy Fund each year.

Cancer is really a vicious disease and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has not had family or friends that have had it. I'm not trying to pressure anyone into donating but here's a link in case anyone is interested as the telethon is today and tomorrow. Or you can text KCancer to 20222 to donate $10.

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"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
- John Wooden

 


 


 

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:20 PM

7 Comments

August 29, 2011

Running a 5k in a month, my plan

One of my good friend's wife is a cancer survivor. He mentioned that there's a race on the last Sunday in September and asked if I wanted to run it. Since I was getting lazy I decided to join. So having 4 weeks to train I'm going to start eating much better and running long distances 5 or 6 days a week the next 2 weeks. As I get closer I'll start training specifically for the race doing interval training and such but wanted to get a solid base as of now.

My goal for the 5k is 21:00. It's certainly doable with this much time to train. I'd love to be able run it sub 20. That's really the ultimate goal but not sure how realistic it is right now. I really struggle with hills and this course is very uneven. Either way it's for a good cause and gives me an excuse to get in shape.

Other than that not much has been going on. Just recorded an episode of Heyball and had to turn down US Open Quarters tickets. It's a bit of a reality check for me but the tickets, the hotel, and the flight is just too expensive for me with how many trips I've taken this summer. I'd have to liquidate more investments and that's something I really wouldn't want to do at this point. It's tough to complain considering that I've been able to go pretty much everywhere I've wanted this summer (except Vegas), but still hurts. 

Just goes to show how much I miss poker as any time in the last 3 years I was able to take small trips like these anytime I wanted. You really do appreciate things like this after it's gone. To add to the pain it'd be very likely that they're going to be very good matches as it's in the second week of the tournament. Thanks again American government.

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"Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it" -Eliza Tabor

Posted By bosoxx34 at 06:40 AM

11 Comments


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