Saturday, January 31, 2009

February Time!

Well, what can I say. I did end up running really hot for the rest of January, and I took my first... Well, second shot at 400NL today, playing just over 1k hands. It's technically my second time playing 400NL, but given that the first time was really just 6 hands where I accidentally sat in on the wrong table and didn't notice until I posted the big blind (ending up winning half a stack on my first hand, no less), I think today still really counts as my first time. It didn't go that well, but I can recognize coolers when I see them and I definitely found my fair share of soft tables to play. I'm setting aside 5 buy-ins, and playing 200NL for awhile if I lose that investment is no biggie.

I'd post graphs, but I made the sort of principal decision not to, anymore. I feel pretty confident about winning nowadays, and I don't really feel the need to post a graph to prove anything to anyone anymore. Not to say that I think that's why people do it, just that I can't really think of any other reason for myself to do it. If someone's curious as to how I'm doing, just feel free to ask. I'll most likely answer.

On a side note, after my first session of 2/4 today, I started thinking about how I've progressed. I'm now playing at what most people classify as mid stakes, which means... Well, it means that I'm playing for quite serious money. Swings at 1/2 were still such that even on a really bad day (or a really good day) I'd still not lose or win more than I make after taxes in a month at my actual job. But the swings at 400NL can surpass that, for better and worse. Mostly for better, given that I expect to win more than I lose. But it gives me some pause.

One of the things that I stop and think about is where I'm actually going with poker. I'm still adamant that I don't want to do it full time. I think I'd be bored, and I'd feel like even more of a couch potato than I do now. Right now, I'm perfectly content having it as a major - but side - source of income. But will that change? If I do really well this year, will I feel that it's defensible still going to work in the morning if it's in effect costing me money - lots of money?

The Fredrik of January 2009 says "hopefully, yes."

I wonder what Fredrik of January 2010 will say.

The second thing that I stopped to think about today was how poker isn't really a game to me anymore. It's not a pastime, it's not a hobby, it's not... For the lack of a better words, "fun." It's work. I sit down to grind in money. Money is what matters to me in regards to poker now, and money is how I measure my success. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike playing poker. It's fun in the sense that I like it and it gives me a sense of achievment. But what triggered this line of thinking today was that I pondered taking up some of the more unusual forms of poker - razz comes to mind - because it might be fun to learn something new. But I stopped myself, because I'm not sure I want to waste a lot of time learning a new variant because of the implicit cost of not playing no-limit hold 'em. That's when I realized that I'm not doing this for fun anymore.

For better or worse.

If things go well this year - or rather, go as I somewhat reasonably expect them to go - then I'll be cashing out a substantial amount in about a year and treating my family to a vacation and probably a new car. And hopefully, I'll still feel excited about going to work in the morning (well, as excited as I can be about anything shortly after waking up). Worst case scenario, I go bust sometime this year (near-impossible scenario since I have no qualms about moving down), but I think the second-worst case scenario is me giving up my real job and spend my days at home grinding the midstakes. So I'm not entirely sure what I'm hoping for. My plan right now is mostly just to see what happens.

And that's not really a plan at all, is it?


Kevin said...

I think your plan of not having a plan is a totally legitimate plan, to be honest. I know just how you feel though, albeit my situation is about 10x scaled down from yours. Regardless, I wish you luck at 400NL, I think you're going to do quite well. Keep us updated!

Tildy said...

In response to your observation about it costing you money to go to work: it costs you money to go to the movies or to eat at a restaurant instead of at home. So why do you do it?

And in January 2010, I think you'll be saying "I'm on parental leave, woohoo!"