The reality is starting to settle in. In a blink of an eye I will soon be on that plane to India and I will proudly be able to state that I am a professional poker player. I may only be able to make enough to survive in one of the cheapest countries on the planet, but survive is what I will be able to do.
But I am not there yet. In fact I am relatively far from it. This month saw my poker income half, my number of hands drop and a wee bit of that almighty tilt settle in. But I know that deep down this month is just another stage in my progress towards the goals I set myself all those years ago. There is no time to waste in thinking of the what-could-have-beens this month. I may not have achieved all my poker monthly goals and I may have sacrificed some of my poker time for the more lucrative side-job of professional match-bettor. But my overall progression is onwards and upwards. A work in progress tour-de-force. The emerging professional.
1 Million Hands
Most people don’t get the opportunity to do anything a million times, steps and breathing aside. However this month saw me cross that gargantuan milestone.
1 million hands of poker played, and still counting.
The big question that everyone will automatically want to ask is ‘How much have you made?’ but that is sadly not the be all and end all, not for anyone’s career choice, let alone an aspiring poker professional. The most important thing is that I have stuck to this game through thick and thin. I have continued on when I thought there was no hope for me and I never gave up, even when I really bloody wanted to. I’ve had to ignore the jokes, put up with the contemptment and deal with my own tears, self-doubt and confidence. But I quietly moved forward knowing that what I am doing is best for me, my mind and my ambition.
To most people, I play a silly little card game based mainly on luck, to me I play a fascinating logic based game where only the smartest, most hard-working and mentally adept will survive. The most important question from anyone should never be ‘How much have you made?’ but the far more important and longer lasting question, ‘What have you learnt?’
Those answers, and the ‘all important’ question of how much money I actually made will be answered in a new, non-monthly roundup, blog post coming in the middle of this month. But for the time being i’ll keep those answers nice and simple. Not a lot and a huge amount.
So What Next?
I have around 2 more months left in my mind to gather as much money as I possible can, enjoy the last little bit of time with my friends and invest in some much needed equipment (new laptop being number one on the list).
In terms of poker my goal hasn’t changed much. Keep working hard and I will slowly but surely work my way up to the higher stakes. My overall goal is to become a regular at $100nl so that may be a little way away. Especially when it’s around the $50nl mark where the more competent and professionals players start to emerge. Currently I stand at around the middle of the $10nl branch, so once I earn my next $500 or so then I should have the bankroll to take shots at $25nl again. This has all stemmed from being down to my last $5 in my poker account so I am obviously pretty proud that I clawed my way back from the depths of poker hell.
As the vast amount of my money is coming from match-betting at the moment, I am looking into using a VPN so I can work on that as well as my poker from India. Whilst match betting hasn’t really got an end goal, the financial benefits and freedom it has given can’t be underestimated. If poker is paying me peanuts at my current levels then match betting is clearly the golden egg laying goose. It doesn’t need a whole lot of skill and I don’t see it as a long term full time job, but it has given me the opportunity to continue working on my poker whilst letting me save and actually enjoy what I do (what sports loving person wouldn’t love earning £275 from the Belgium vs Japan match whilst risking a paltry £2).
If a VPN works abroad then the sky’s the limit of how long I could, in theory, be away for, even if I don’t end up making as much money as I predict with poker. But the amount of time I am away for isn’t overly important. If I have guaranteed income (albeit possibly relatively small) whilst working abroad and I reach my goal of saving around £8,000 before I leave (currently at £6000ish) then I shouldn’t need to dive too much into much of my savings whilst away. It then becomes a matter of not when the money runs out, but when I actually want to come home.
I have already done the whole 3 years away thing and I don’t think I would ever want to leave for as long as that again. That was a challenge I needed to do and it worked out perfectly. But this is a new challenge. Can I openly survive in this world whilst having the title of professional gambler under my name?
That’s the new challenge. And one that I am highly excited to take on.
Until next time
Keep it +EV!