Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hell Just Froze Over.

It must've.

I'm going to take a five month unpaid leave from work to play poker and spend time with my family. Me, the guy who has repeatedly said again and again that playing poker full time was not for him, has now decided to give it a shot anyway. Why?

The trigger for this is that the company I work for is going through a really rough stretch, much like every other company in the world. The difference is that since we're relatively small (only 25 people) we didn't have the necessary cash reserves to deal with having customers who can't pay, and as time goes by it gets harder and harder to meet the payments. So now we're at the junction where we have to lay more people off, and drop further in salaries (we've already taken a 10% hit). The reason to lay people off isn't that we can't find work for everyone, it's that we simply don't have the money to pay them. We have about $500,000 in outstanding bills - that are owed us - and if we could get that money in, we'd be home free. But alas.

So instead of having to let anyone go, I've volounteered to take a leave of absence. Temporarily. In practise it means that the company will have to work a little harder to do my job as well, but they'll save my wages and associated fees while I'm off, maybe $6,000/month. Not huge money in the grand scheme of things, but every little bit helps. I hope.

So that's the triggering reason, the most important reason. There are three other reasons for why this may be a good idea:
  1. I get to spend all day at home, with my wife and my newborn baby. That's pretty awesome.
  2. I get to be "off work" (yeah, poker is work, but it's not comparable) all throughout the summer.
  3. After years of hemming and hawing over whether or not I'd make good money off of playing professionally, I finally get to find out.
So this is a little nerve-wrecking, but also exciting. I'm excited about spending so much time with my family, and I'm worried about not being able to actually make up for the loss in wages by playing poker. But after discussing it with Lori, it's clear that the worst case scenario is still one we can survive: Even if I can't make any cashouts whatsoever during this period because I run like shit for five months, we still have enough in our savings account to make all the bills.

In order to "make it" without it costing us anything, I'd need to cash out about $3,000 a month (yeah, the Swedish currency has dropped quite a lot vs the dollar, so that's a plus, too), which is less than I've averaged in the last five months while playing only recreationally. Or what you'd call it.

I'm a long ways off from being totally baller. But I think I have a decent shot at winning at least enough so that this won't be a drain on our economy. And hopefully I'll be able to make a lot more.

So, cross your fingers and toes and whatever else you can think of crossing, and here's to hoping this will be a great summer.


Custo said...

Best of luck my friend I'll be watching for sure, and picking your brain if you make it work :)A consistent 3K/mth sounds very attractive

Not sure if I said it before but many congrats on the newest addition, hope all is well.


Tildy said...

What a thing to post on April 1. :D

-The Wife

Jurn8 said...

GL FP, Hope things work out for you buddy and you run goot.
Its pretty cool that you get to spend time with your family.
Also this is random but I thought in Sweden the father of the baby gets the same amount of maternity leave as the mother. At least thats what we were taught in psychology last year.

Fredrik Paulsson: said...

Thanks, Custo and Jurn8.

Yes, we do get the same amount of leave. But there's two kinds of leave: Paid and unpaid. Unpaid, we both have the right to stay home for the first 18 months. Paid leave, we have 400 days that we get to share mostly how we like between us.

I'm taking the unpaid kind now, Lori is getting paid leave, and I'll be taking paid leave after new year's.

WVHillbilly said...

Congrats, FP. I think you'll learn a lot over the next 5 months. You'll get to spend time with the family and see how your game is with a little more (but not too much) pressure to perform.

I think this is a great opportunity and you should definitely look at it in that way.

Good luck with the baby and as far as poker goes you're too good to need luck.

The Spore said...

Okay.. so assuming this isn't an April Fool's joke.

Very cool news. I too work for a small company, we were dead last year and shutting down at some point this year was definitely in the backs of our minds. But, somehow this year has started off with a bang.. we're all still kinda scratching our heads over it (we sell dental lasers).

So anyway, if this isn't a joke.. i'll definitely be watching your progress. I need guys like you, Chuck, etc.. to keep me motivated :)

Good luck to you!

ChuckTs said...

pshh you're so transparent

Tildy said...

Yup, Fredrik has the right to both as much leave from work and as much government parental benefit $$ as me, it's just that we're not both allowed to collect money at the same time (but we are allowed to be on leave at the same time). When I end my paid leave in January he's going to start his paid leave, and if things don't go so well I'll then be collecting unemployment (Fredrik's company isn't the only one that's in the mud; I got a pink slip last week).

-The Wife

Irexes said...


Good luck Swedish Bear and I hope you Lori and baby Paulsson look back on this as an incredibly happy time (baby P doing this via photos and video obv).

Kevin said...

I'm super late, but this post is especially inspiring to me now because my situation is almost identical (albeit smaller amounts of money involved), and I'm not married with a kid. Good luck to you in the coming months, sir! Also, check your pm on cardschat!