June 14, 2012
Disclaimer: This text is hardly even about poker. Go read something else.
Do anything you wanna do
When I was about eight or nine years old my teacher asked all the little boys and girls to write down what they would like to do for a living when they grew older. Well, as it turned out all the little girls wanted to be nurses or flight-attendants and the boys were about evenly divided in pilots, fire- and policemen. Except for one dude. Not saying I am special (more like special special), but one of the papers read like this:
“When I grow old, I want to work in a computer store so I can play Death Wish 3”
Pretty awesome job if you ask me. But as I was a pretty smart kid, I realized maybe things wouldn’t pan out just the way I wanted them. So it continues (and I kid you not):
“…and if I can’t do that, I want to work at McDonalds, making burgers”
Yep, there it is! If you could somehow combine playing computer games and eating cheese burgers (I guess that’s what I really wanted), I would be all over it like white on rice. (There are of course many people like this, but it is not an occupation.)
Anyway, my point is I might be a mediocre player in today’s games, but at least I really like poker. The problem is that you can’t just go doing whatever the hell you want without having a plan for it. It is like this geezer I knew who said: ‘Hey man, you know I like eating and drinking, right? And you know I enjoy poker. And another thing I just happen to love is pussy. So listen, right, listen to this- I’ma open up a Tex-Mex restaurant combined hooker bar and we’ll have a poker game in the back room!’
Well, the restaurant failed within six months (no previous experience owning a restaurant in one of the highest fail rate businesses there is? Shocker!) and the poker game was shut down by the cops a couple of months later, but I do believe the hookers stayed along because he was lucky enough to find someone (with a shared very keen interest in vag) to hawk the lease to.
Sad story though, the guy died during a poker game about a year later. I know this because I was present. He had a heart attack. It was one of the sickest things I have ever witnessed in my life. So the board read Ts Js As x Tc and it was a huge game with deep stacks. Well, the guy had tens in the hole, so he made four of a kind on the river and two people went all-in before he could even act. Well, the first guy turns over AA for top full house. So the guy says ‘Good hand. I only have two pair, TENS AND TENS!’ and starts laughing and scooping the pot when the third guy who has been silent up to now goes ‘That’s all good, but I don’t believe it beats…’
Yeah, I’m shitting you. This is how it really transpired: It was a 25cent/50cent game. He was in the big blind and I raised to a buck fifty. He folded, and then folded a couple of more hands. Then he said he didn’t feel well and had to go lay down in the other room. About fifteen minutes later he stopped breathing and when the ambulance arrived he was already long gone, despite one of the players trying cpr. I had never seen a dead body before, and for days after I couldn’t stop thinking of the sight of them rolling his pale white, hairy, bare breasted dead body on a stretcher through the room. It was morbid.
…but what about the future?
Anyway, as I was saying- you need to have some kind of plan. I used to plan back when I played mid-stakes to build up some capital and try one of those things. Not a tex-mex hooker bar, but something. It never happened due to laziness and soon enough the games got tougher, we lost Italy and France, and the site died. At that point I figured I would do a real dog-year or two at Pokerstars, trying for volume, but found out quickly that there were scores of guys that were as good as I who seemed to have the same idea. And then started the grind just to get by. But I didn’t really consider quitting at that time, because even though I wasn’t making that much money I was still doing what I liked (and it also enabled me to stay in a place I liked.) Not many people can say that.
I remember in ninth grade we had an outing to prepare us for working life. We were shuttled to this factory, and as we walked in a guy in blue overalls greeted us and said ‘Well boys and girls, in here we make machines…. (okay) that make machines…. (umm, alright)….. that make cardboard boxes.’ Five minutes later, a buddy and I quietly snuck away from the tour, went to the nearest shop, nicked a pack of smokes and sat out in the sun behind the factory. ‘Machines that make machines that make cardboard boxes’ he said to me, ‘imagine that for your fucking future.’
Now that I am almost busto and starting to come to terms with it, I keep thinking of things that I like that I could do and actually have a plan for. I have yet to come up with anything much. Three of my former school friends work in the factory above and strangely enough, I almost envy them.
But in a way, for the last six months it feels like I am doing just what I set out to do in this world- making burger-flipping money and playing Death Wish 3, or as it is called on Pokerstars – micro stakes Limit Hold’em.
I guess I have finally arrived.
Update: After three months of shit internet I finally got a second line. You gotta spend money to make money, am I right?! I also revised mission statement to write something every six days instead of three, because as you can tell if you made it through this I’m already reaching with the “worthwhile” part. Childhood stories, how precious! Besides, I really have to start making some pennies.
“I have six hundred and seventy eight big bets left for $0.25/$0.50, which I will hereby refer to as three hundred and thirty nine bets for $0.50/$1.00. Only weakness – hungry, sleepy! GoGoGoGo!”
To play as many hands as it takes to either get back on my feet, or go completely broke, whine about it, and move on.
Write something worthwhile every six days during the process.