This seems to have been my most confusing month to date. On the one hand I’ve been really enjoying my poker, my fitness regime and my overall lifestyle. I had another winning month, I kept up with my gym programme and I’m managing to find the right balance when it comes to business and pleasure. But I now have this deep intense desire to leave, to put it bluntly, all I can think about is getting the fuck out of here. My burning thirst to up sticks and head out on the open road is now coming towards breaking point.
My motivation and desire to play and improve at poker has switched to learning everything I possibly can about bicycle touring. I even woke up and watched 5 episodes of The Long Way Round this morning because I was transfixed with the idea of adventure. And this is where my ‘problems’ lie. I am finding it increasingly hard to stay focused on poker when all I can think about is saving up and buying a tent that only weighs 1.2kg or spending literally hours researching the best budget and lightweight sleeping mat. My whole world is now being consumed with that ever increasingly feeling that I haven’t felt in a pretty long time…
The need to travel.
But let me bring it back to poker before I bore you with my grand plans for the future. Just because I may have found it difficult to focus does not mean I have not grinded away over the last month. In fact I put in a decent, albeit smaller than I had planned (once again), 40,000 hands this month with a total profit of $152.62. Add on another 11,000-ish Pokerstars points that could, in theory, be transferred into $110 then I am edging ever closer to my goal of earning $400 a month over a large sample.
I will certainly be the first to admit that I really didn’t play overly well this month, especially in the second half of the month where my mind was truly switched to open roads, wild camping and living from a bike for months on end. But I still turned up and I still do have that burning passion to make all this work. In fact I am pretty gutted that I won’t be taking my laptop with me on the upcoming trip across Europe. Our time frame and my lack of funds will mean I won’t be able to hold up in any camp sites for long and in the end, I know it will just be a distraction.
However, I am planning on taking a good chunk of off table study to dig my heels into; coaching videos, The Grinder Manual, videos of my own play and a decent poker maths book will provide me with some solid time to put in some study so I don’t become too rusty while away. I may even get Pokerstars on my tablet just so I could play in some small tournaments or something silly just to get my fix. Overall I am more sure than I have been that I can make this all come together, it just seems that suddenly biking across the globe may actually be the way that I bring everything into sync. The World Bicycling Poker Player. It has a slightly sexy ring to it.
Now the sad truth is that this month may be my last month where I get to put in a full shift of playing poker for a very long time. At the beginning of June Joe and I head off to Italy for around 2-3 months and on our return, I am pretty certain that I am just going to jump straight in and get some shitty job. This obviously was a sort of ‘last resort’ type thing but the fact is that I can’t play poker, earn enough money, and be able to buy certain equipment and live comfortably for a year without doing so. I want to leave the UK, probably by bike, and just wing it to whatever I decide my destination will be. I want to save around £4000-£8000 and not have to worry about money, regardless of which country I am in. Cycling really seems to be a great way to see countries, meet people, challenge oneself and save money. Obviously, I have no real experience of long bike rides so I could end up hating this upcoming trip, but something inside of me really doesn’t think it will be like that. Only time will tell.
Meeting Your Idols
Any self-respecting poker lover will know who Jake Cody, Sam Trickett, Chris Moorman and Musastapha Kanit are. And I got to see them all, and more, on my trip to Lincoln during the month. It was a bit of a practice run for me as I cycled the entire 110 miles (in one day!) and hung out with my poker buddy and his girlfriend for the weekend. It was a really decent weekend spent mostly watching, playing and discussing a hell of a lot of poker. To see so many famous poker players in one place was pretty bewildering and I even managed to chat to a couple of them. It was a true fanboy moment and was made even cooler by the fact that my hosts were also poker players so we all got to mark out hard together. The following night we played a nice £20 re-buy deep stacked tournament and it became apparent pretty quickly that I really have no idea what I am doing if I am not 100 big blinds deep. And that’s why I love poker. It was very refreshing noticing all the ‘simple’ spots that suddenly weren’t so simple anymore because chips in poker tournaments are worth a lot more than they are in cash games. One wrong move and you’re out of the tournament. I didn’t play too badly, but I didn’t play that well either. I bubbled for my second straight tournament in a row but it was an interesting learning curve. I then went on to play a £20 cash game where I lasted 2 hands against the table maniac, where my top pair decent kicker lost to his 2 pair after he hit his 5 on the turn. It was a stark reminder how brutal the game of poker can be. But you have to take your loses graciously and learn from them.
And that’s it for me. One month to go until I set off across Europe. I hope to write a little blog about it during the month but as you may have noticed, I had no desire to post anything new this month so who knows!