April 30, 2009
I failed. There I admitted it, that wasnâ€™t too difficult.
Now I didnâ€™t fail in the traditional sense. I didnâ€™t go busto. I didnâ€™t party like a rock star and blow all my money on strippers and booze (although that actually sounds like a lot of fun). I just sat at home most of the time watching TV and playing World of Warcraft, but the end result was the same. I came to Vegas to play poker and I failedâ€¦because I didnâ€™t actually play much poker.
Iâ€™ll go into the whole story of how I got to this point some other time, but here is the cliff notes version:
I had spent the previous 13 years in the hotel industry, and while I had a successful career it just wasnâ€™t my passion anymore and I was pretty much burnt out. I had been playing poker on the side since 2000 and I had always posted solid results. I had been considering making the move to playing full time for a couple of years, but I finally took the plunge in September of 2007.
Unfortunately, my first month of playing poker for a living was also my first loosing month. To make matters worse, my second month of playing poker for a living was my second loosing month. Not the kind of start I was looking for, but thatâ€™s how it goes sometimes. I ran into some coolers on some of the big pots I played and I was pretty much just on the wrong end of variance, but I could also tell the reality of playing as my sole source of income also had itâ€™s affects on me mentally. I will get into that more later as I think that will be interesting to people in a similar situation.
The following month things turned around and I was able to get back into the black, but then some personal issues started to crop up. First my motherâ€™s husband passed away out of no where from an aneurysm and then later she ended up going thru several major health problems of her own, so I ended up making multiple extended trips to Texas to be with her. A few months later my father also started to have some major health issues. For some reason that was even harder on me emotionally. With my mom being sick it was natural to step up and be protective of her. With my Dad, he was always so strong and in control that having him be so vulnerable and weak was very difficult.
Anyway, between being out of town repeatedly and being in a bit of a funk emotionally I got off track and I stopped playing regularly. I went along this way for a pretty good while. I would play sporadically, but I wasnâ€™t motivated or focused and more often than not I would just stay home and fuck off. I decided I needed some structure in my life, so I started dealing cards. I worked a few tournaments and then in November of 2008 I was officially hired at Binionâ€™s. It wasnâ€™t strictly about the money (although it is nice to have a steady source of income), it was more about getting my life back in balance. I had just gotten into a rut where I wasnâ€™t doing anything and as a result I wasnâ€™t enjoying life. Having an actually job has given me some structure, gotten me out of my hole and back to being active again. For the last couple months I have been playing a little here and there, but mostly I have just been making up for lost time and having some fun again (golfing, seeing shows, exploring the city, spending some money on things instead of rationing it like a miser etc).
Now that I have a well rounded life again (really for the first time since I moved to Vegas), I am ready to start playing poker again full time. My plan is to start from square one and rebuild my game from the ground up. Unlike the first time, I am not going to focus on a number that I need to hit each month and instead I will just focus on playing good poker. For starters while I get back in the groove, I am going to play mostly $1/2 NL and maybe some $4/8 limit (the Bellagio has a great game and I actually miss playing limit poker) plus I will playing some online poker.
More details to comeâ€¦