Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Best Day To Play

I remember when I was 21 and looking to take my first shot at the $15/$30 game at the Oaks Club. I asked one of the grizzled old veteran players who played a mix if $6/$12 and $15/$30 when the best time to take a shot was. "Holiday Weekends" were the first words out of his mouth.

I've confirmed that sentiment many, may times. In fact for my entire professional career, three day weekends were the exact opposite of time off. This weekend I had a half day on Friday, and with Monday being a holiday as well this was the most time I've taken off from working in I'm not sure how many years. It may stretch all the way back to my honeymoon in 2005.

Yesterday in the tradition of people who only play every now and then I took a trip to the Oaks to play for a few hours. It was the best game that I can remember. It seemed like every hand was 6 or 7 way action for one bet before the flop and anytime someone bet they had a hand and if they raised it meant a monster.

Most people think the best games are the ones with tons of ill advised raising and huge pots. Those games are good, but it's hard to extract maximum advantage when the clowns you are playing against could have anything and the fluctuations are off the charts. I'd greatly prefer everyone playing as straightforward and passive as possible. It's almost impossible to lose in those games over any significant length of time.

Family comes first these days and I wasn't playing for big money so I split a small winner after about 3 hours. But I did confirm one more time that hitting the tables over a three day weekend is never a bad idea.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing Poker

I've been missing poker lately. I've also missed writing in the blog. Hang tight poker fans, because eventually I'll get back to writing.

In the meantime, good luck to you all!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

E-mail from Pokerstars

I have yet to investigate, but this leads me to believe that FullTilt is totally screwed:

We would like to bring your attention to the following two press releases:

PokerStars Official Statement, June 29 2011

In light of today's news that Alderney Gambling Control Commission has suspended Full Tilt Poker's license, PokerStars wishes to assure our customers that their funds are completely safe and that our operations are completely unaffected. The Isle of Man Gaming Commission today re-affirmed that PokerStars' worldwide licensing is intact and that our operations are in full compliance with all of its requirements. PokerStars' online operations continue as normal and all funds in players' accounts are safe and available for withdrawal as usual with no delays.

PokerStars also remains in full compliance with our licenses in other jurisdictions where we are regulated, including France, Italy and Estonia.

As provided under our licensing, PokerStars has always maintained the integrity and security of our players' funds, by keeping all such funds in segregated bank accounts, always available for immediate withdrawal.

Since the actions of US Department of Justice in April, we have returned more than $120 million to US players and continue to act upon requests as they are received. Players outside the US have not been affected and all cash-outs have been processed without delays. Further, PokerStars entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice which expressly confirmed the company's ability to operate outside the US.

We will continue to operate as a responsible corporate citizen and are committed to serving the needs of our customers in complete compliance with our regulatory requirements.

IOM Gambling Supervision Commission Statement, June 29 2011

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission wishes to make it clear that the licensing status of PokerStars in the Isle of Man remains unchanged following today's statement from the Gambling Control Commission in Alderney. Alderney is a separate jurisdiction from the Isle of Man and the operation in question is separate from PokerStars.

PokerStars continues to demonstrate compliance with its licence conditions in the Isle of Man. PokerStars continues to offer withdrawals to any players who wish to withdraw their funds, including players in the USAto whom PokerStars does not currently offer real-money gaming.

The official statement from the IOM Gambling Supervision Commission can be found here.

We would like to thank you for your continued support.

Best Regards,
The PokerStarsPartners Team

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear WSOP: I Miss You!

I looked a twitter today and saw a post from Phil Helmuth that he'd finished 2nd to John Juanda in the $10,000 NL 2-7 event at the WSOP. My first thought was "Holy shit the WSOP is already underway? I guess it's the middle of June. I am really out of touch!"

I've played 3-10 events at the WSOP every year for the past 6 years cashing at least once every year except 2007. This year Vegas is not in my plans and it's really hitting me how over my poker career feels.

The time I spent in Vegas every summer taking my shot at the big time was always the most hopeful time of year for me. Every tournament buy in was the chance to win hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars and especially in the last few years I knew I was good enough to get the job done if I got a few breaks. I didn't need a Moneymaker miracle, just a few key hands to go my way and I could take care of the rest.

I'm missing that feeling of walking into the Rio with a roll of $100 bills so fat that I can't fit it into one pocket. I miss the feeling of making it to Day 2 after playing for 15 hours and sealing my chips in a tamper proof plastic bag. I miss the feeling of total calm that settles over you when you make the money and it's all gravy from that point on. I miss calling my backers to tell them the good news. A little piece of me even misses the soul crushing oh so long deep breath filled walk from the Amazon room back to my room at the Rio after getting busted.

I have no idea what the future holds for my WSOP career. Right now my bankroll is essentially zero. I burned off all buy a few thousand bucks paying bills during the 6 month transition between full time poker pro and full time Business Development Manager at HitFix. The rest has been absorbed into a standard bank account waiting to be spent on an unexpected car repair or some future vacation.

At this point I feel like there's a good chance that I won't play more than 1 or 2 events in the next 10 years and when I do play I'm probably going to be absolutely terrified.

Then again, maybe I'm not washed up just yet. As they say, there's always next year.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Poker Lessons and Poker Coaching with Dr. M

Over the years I've tried to help friends and family get the most out of their time spent playing poker. It's not always easy. Learning how to play poker is like learning anything else that has deep complexity. It takes time, it takes effort and it takes practice. Most beginners are looking for the secret code that's going to let them win like I do so they can dive into the deep end and try to swim.

At least a dozen times I've been faced with a situation where someone who has almost no poker knowledge beyond what beats what, wanting to know how to play because we are at a casino or they've decided to play online after watching me play. I could talk for days about just starting hands and now I have to condense 10 years of knowledge into 10 minutes?

On the other end of the spectrum is my only current student (I'll call him Dr. M). Dr. M is actually a doctor which is great because he can afford to pay me $50 an hour to help him and because it means he's spent a huge chunk of his life learning. Dr. M has read just about every poker book out there so if I tell him that with an M of 10 the implied odds are not there to limp in the hijack he knows what I mean without having to think about it.

I've found it interesting that what Dr. M needs is not lessons, but rather coaching. What's the different between lessons and coaching? You get golf lessons when you're shooting 110, take 3 shots to get out of a sand trap and couldn't read a putt if it was in neon block letters. You get coaching when you're shooting 75 and want to get it down to 72. With Dr. M all the pieces are there, the just need to be put in the right place.

At this point I've been coaching Dr. M for almost a year and a half, talking to him about every 3 weeks on average. In the past two months he's had 3 or 4 solid tournament scores so we've been talking more often (he's got the fever). Since I don't get to the tables much these days, I'm hoping to start sharing pieces of my conversations with Dr. M on this blog in the coming weeks and months.

Or I might totally forget and never share a single hand! That's sort of how I work. We'll see...

If you're interested in lessons, coaching or poker consulting please send me an e-mail at wdhuff@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Which U.S. Friendly Poker Site Will Be the New #1?

Rakebacknation.com is where I've always gotten my rakeback (I'll have to talk to them about ads since I'm always giving them free press) and also where I've gone to discover new reliable poker sites. Your money isn't 100% safe on any site since you never know when they'll go under, but at least if you choose one of the sites listed on RBN you know they've been thoroughly checked out.

Right now they have 7 U.S. friendly poker sites listed, all of which were barely an afterthought two weeks ago. Interestingly enough those 7 sites are under only two umbrellas: Merge and Cake.

It's fairly common for sites to join forces and start a network. In those situations both sites feature the same cash games, but if you log in from site A, site A gets any rake you pay even if you're playing against some players from site B. Usually sites in these networks run their own tournaments and sit-n-gos, but lumping cash game players together makes it easier to create the critical mass required to have games running regularly.

Apparently the Merge Network is currently the most trafficked in the US with Carbon Poker as it's flagship room and RPM coming in second. The Cake Network, made up of Cake Poker, Doyle's Room and a few smaller sites is the other major player in U.S. online poker today.

If you ask me it won't take long for Cake and Doyle to overtake Merge and get out to a large lead. In a business with choices brand recognition is huge. Doyle's Room and Cake have been blasting me in the face with images of Doyle's road worn mug and massive cakes for years now. Every time I turn my head Doyle Brunson is spitting out some stolen quote about champions and Cake is telling me to eat more cake or scarf more chips.

Their competition is not nearly as entrenched and while I've played on Carbon Poker it was only to target a specific promotion and while doing so I often asked myself "What they hell are you doing playing on this bullshit site!?"

Sometime next weekend I'm going to poke around on the remaining U.S. options and evaluate the possibilities. Be sure to check back for that report and if you don't want to forget, sign up for e-mail alerts on the right side of this page.

Who do you think will win in the end?

I've Updated My Blog Design!

After a few months in the website business I realized that my blog was an outdated eyesore! I've made a few adjustments, to give my blog a more modern feel and I'm going to try to start posting regularly again about all things poker.

In the right sidebar I've added a place to get notified every time I post and I'd encourage you all to enter your e-mail there so you don't miss any of my sometimes informative, slightly entertaining and occasionally obscene poker posts.

If you have any negative feed back please go stuff yourself and I hope you start losing all of your pocket aces to one outers. Actually I take that back. I hope you get hit in the face with an errant golf ball which is actually much more pleasant (I don't want to wish one outters on anyone).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Party Poker Making a Push?

I got an e-mail from someone at an ad network yesterday asking about advertising on my blog. In 5 years of posting this is the first time I've been contacted by an advertiser (not surprising given my very lite traffic).

I've had those silly banner ads for Pokerstars and FullTilt in my sidebar for years and never made a dime so when someone told me me they'd give me $250 to take those down and put up an ad for their client it took me all of 7 seconds to write them back and say yes.

I was guessing that I'd find myself with an ad for some small site I'd never heard of, but much to my shock it was Party Poker! Party left the US market within weeks of the UIGEA passing in 2006 and I'm sure they've been waiting eagerly for these past 4+ years to be rewarded for following the rules.

I see this as a good sign for the future of U.S. online poker. If Party thinks they'll be making a comeback and they're willing to bet on it by paying to get their name out there, then I tend to think they know what they're doing.

Right now I've got the over under for above board U.S. based pokersites launching at 24 months.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Were the Feds Bribed Into Shutting Down Major Online Companies?

When I originally heard the news that Pokerstars, Absolute Poker and FullTilt had been shutdown by the feds I assumed this meant curtains for the entire U.S. online poker industry. But so far that's not the case.

The big three had maybe 90% of the market share, but there are a half dozen other sites that have had small, but significant player bases. Is it possible that one of these sites will become the new leader in the U.S. market or will the rest of these sites get picked off as well?

I'm not one to put forth conspiracy theories and I don't spend much time thinking about what goes on behind the scenes in government, but something just doesn't add up here.

About a year ago the state of Kentucky tried to seize the domain names of a bunch of online casinos, poker sites, and sports betting sites just like the federal government did on Friday. They weren't able to do it because the state government just didn't have enough muscle behind it. But many of the sites took action and blocked users who lived in Kentucky so they wouldn't get sued.

Did Kentucky go after Pokerstars, FullTilt and Absolute? Of course they did. But here's where it gets interesting. They went after over 140 other sites as well. Online poker rooms and casinos are not trying to hide so I'm sure all it took was an afternoon pounding the keys on Google to generate that list.

There is a pretty big difference between 3 and 140. I get spam e-mail from 3 online casinos a day and you'll find ads for at least 7 or 8 in every issue of every poker magazine.

So why did the feds stop at the big 3 instead of going after everyone? Because someone at one of the other half dozen sites that has a chance to inherit the U.S. online poker kingdom bribed someone high up to make sure the shutdown only affected the big 3.

It's like in the movie Heat when Tone Loc trys to trade information about Robert De Niro's crew to Al Pacino in exchange for Pacino shutting down the chop shop across town so that Tone's chop shop can prosper. It was a minor sub plot at most, but you get the idea.

Pokerstars was making billions of dollars off the U.S. market. Not millions, not tens of millions, not hundreds of millions - BILLIONS! All that demand is still there and all you have to do is look at what happened in 2006 to see the effect of the industry leader stepping aside.

Party Poker was King in 2006, Pokerstars was a Duke and Fulltilt was more like the manager of the local brothel. But when the Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act passed Party Poker left the U.S. market and in a matter of a few short months pokerstars had swallowed up most of their customer base with Fulltilt scooping in some sizable crumbs.

If things stand as they do today, one of these smaller sites like Cake Poker, Carbon Poker, Bodog or Doyle's Room is going to blow up and a handful of people are going to get very, very rich. Actually there's no chance of it being Bodog because their software is a steaming pile of shit.

Maybe these other dominos are going to fall...but maybe not.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Should Online Gambling Be Illegal - A Mashable Poll

As part of my new job I read a half dozen daily e-mail news letters to stay up to speed on what's going on in the worlds of technology, the web, advertising and online media. One of the newsletters I skim a few times a week is Mashable.

On Sunday Mashable had an article about the shutdown of Pokerstars, Fulltilt, and Absolute Poker part of which was a poll. More interesting than the poll results was the question - "Should online gambling be illegal."

This is a much different question that should online *poker* be illegal. Even though this is an online poker story and series of events, Mashable has done what so many other news outlets have done in the past and lump poker together with other forms of wagering.

So should online gambling be illegal? Probably. Games of chance that have totally fixed odds (meaning they're always the same not 'The Fix is in!' - actually the fix is in and everyone knows it) and little or no chance for the player to affect the outcome do not belong on the Internet. Those are my personal feelings, but frankly I can't back them up with logic.

If you want to be a total fuck head and play online craps it really shouldn't be up to the federal government to make that decision for you. They're not trying to save you from buying a TV that costs as much as a months pay or buying some sweet rims for that 86' Buick Skylark.

You can go spend $5,000 on Superbowl tickets for a game that lasts 3 hours and most people would think that it's fine if you want to spend your money that way. But most of those same people would think you were totally nuts if you went to a casino and lost $5,000 even if it took you a week. To them it doesn't matter if you had a great time. All that matters is that they know that gambling is bad and wrong and you shouldn't do it because that's been beaten into their brain from the time they were 5 years old.

Should wagering on games of skill online be illegal? Absolutely not! (If you'd like to argue that poker is a game of chance and not a game of skill, just don't - you're wrong). Don't tell me what I can and can't spend my money on. If I want to piss it all away, that's up to me.

I'm in favor of any game with any element of skill being played for money online. I'm talking everything from Chess to Hearts to board games. I'd love to play a winner take all game of Monopoly for $5 every now and then.

Now some of you might say Monopoly is a game of chance. I would disagree there, but would say there's room for debate. I tend to think that anything that involves decisions and certainly negotiation of trades means it's a skill game with an element of short term luck. Think about it this way, do you think you could beat an average 10 year old more times than not?

So what was the exact poll at Mashable and what were the results?

Yes, it's now a victimless crime and people will do it anyway - 2,888 votes (53%)

No, it makes it too easy for people to become addicted to gambling - 793 votes (15%)

Maybe, if it's tightly regulated to prevent cheating and fraud - 1,727 votes (32%)


I have to say that this poll is garbage because they didn't ask the right question and they put to many qualifiers in the answers. Can't I think no without the reason being my concern for gambling addicts? Can't I think maybe without my only concern being cheating and fraud?

What's interesting is that despite what the average American might think online poker on the sites that were just shut down was EXTREMELY regulated to prevent cheating and fraud. Now players will be shifting to other less reputable sites which are less regulated and more dangerous.

Even with my complaints I'd like to note that only 15% of people said flat out no.

What do you think? Leave me some comments if you have an opinion.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More on the Fate of Online Poker

24 hours after the Federal Government shut down online poker in the U.S. you now get a message from the FBI if you try to log on to Pokerstars, Fulltilt or Absolute Poker from the web. If you open the software you get a message telling you that U.S. players can no longer play for real money, but your money is safe and they've had to rework the guaranteed prize pools for their tournaments.

My prediction is this will be the effective end for many of the medium sized sites. Pokerstars and Fulltilt are so big that even though they've lost 50% of their customers overnight they'll be able to survive.

I don't think others will be so lucky. I expect familiar names like Cake Poker, Doyle's Room and maybe even Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker (who were all in trouble anyway) will become total ghost towns and may close up shop.

Like I said in my last post, in the long term this is good news. Pokerstars and Fulltilt are losing tens of millions of dollars *every day* that poker is shut down in the U.S. They and all the people who have been playing poker online in the U.S. finally have some real motivation to get pissed and give a real push for change.

When the day comes that Average Joe U.S.A. can deposit with a credit card and be sure that his money is safe the influx of players who have no clue what they're doing is going to be overwhelming.

I'm not just talking about people who have never played poker before. I'm talking about people who play in Vegas and people who have played in home games or local casinos too. People who feel like they know what they're doing, but are playing at a pretty basic level will be everywhere. They will certainly have no chance against me or other online pros (and former pros), and will probably get crushed by even the players who are skilled enough to be small to medium losers in the current online poker world. A pit bull might be pretty tough, but not in a fight against a lion or a grizzly bear...or a T-Rex! CHOMP!

In related news I've read that "online poker" is being legalized in Washington D.C. As far as I can tell sometime around September if you're within the boarders of D.C. you'll be able to play against other people who are within the boarders. Also there will be terminals in bars and hotel lobbies and other hot spots where you can play even if you don't have a computer.

The big red flag here is that it's going to be run by the D.C. Lottery. The worst thing for players is to have one entity as the only game in town and to make it worse it's a government agency. The software they're going to roll out is going to be a steaming pile of shit. Paradise poker circa 2000 will look like Pokerstars software circa 2015 compared to what the people at the lottery are going to put out.

More importantly - IT'S THE LOTTERY! The Lottery is the one wagering entity that is more used to squeezing every drop of blood out of it's customers than any other. Typically 40% to 50% of the money wagered on lotteries goes to the government that is running it. That is roughly 3 times worse than the *worst* bets in a Vegas Casino 10 times worse than the bad games like roulette and 30 times worse than blackjack and some of the bets on the craps table.

My guess is the D.C. "Online Poker" will have the highest rake ever seen at a poker table with the shittiest software.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Online Poker Goes KA-BOOM!

It only took 4.5 years for the federal government to act on the bullshit, confusing legislation they passed in late 2006. Legislation that was 40 pages long and didn't define anything. Honestly a better bill could have been written by most college freshman.

In a speedy 4.5 years the fuckheads in Washington finally decided to do something to shut down online poker in the U.S. They froze all of the payment processor accounts and more importantly seized the domain names of Fulltilt, AP, Pokerstars and others.

You can read the whole indictment here: INDICTMENT!

The software still works and you can still go to the website, but you can't sit in a real money game and I hear that you can't cashout from some sites.

Personally, I did however manage to cash out the last $500 bucks I still had sitting on AP (luckily I cashed out everything but that last week and the money hit my bank account today), but that doesn't mean I'll get it anytime soon or ever.

I have about $100 on Bodog and just to test the waters I put down a $10 bet that Derek Rose would average less than 25 points per game in the 1st round of the NBA playoffs. Surprisingly everything seems normal there.

The dream is that online poker will be 100% destroyed in the U.S. and will then come back with U.S. based poker rooms. If the day comes when average Joe USA can deposit with a credit card and feel sure that his money is safe, the cash is going to start pouring down from the heavens for people like me.

If I could go back to early 2004 with the skills I have now I could make $200 an hour. Full blown U.S. based online poker could bring games as good as those of that era.

My condolences go out to everyone playing online poker for a living. It's a sad day for all of you and best of luck in the transition to the next chapter of your professional lives. And a BIG fuck you to the handful of people that tacked the UIGEA onto the Safe Port Act of 2006. You're all a bunch of cowards.

Now that I've taken some time off I'm actually excited to play some poker every now and then. I imagine I'll join the ranks of the weekend warriors at the Oaks club and other bay area card rooms. I think the 2.5 million hands I've played online might give me a small advantage. :)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Beating the Shit Out of Low Stakes Players

While writing my last post I jumped into two $10 multitables, and one $20. I cashed in all three for a net of about $75, and then took $150 off the $1/$2 tables on bodog and AP in about 200 hands. $150 isn't exactly a ton of money, but it is 75 big bets which is a beatdown no matter how you spin it.

$1,000 bankroll increased by more than 20% and up to $1,225. Suck it low stakes jerks!

Rebuilding

My bankroll is at it's lowest point in 10 years. I was a skinny, wide eyed 21 year old (OK not that skinny and maybe more squinty and shifty than wide eyed) playing $3/$6 limit hold'em 10 handed at the Oaks club about 10 hours a week the last time I had this little to work with.

But I don't really need a bankroll anymore. The crushing vise of monthly expenses is now being held open by a paycheck. A paycheck that comes in good times and bad and reads exactly the same, down to the cent, every month.

I've seen a few of the top pros start with very small bankrolls (orders of magnitude less than I have) and turn them into something significant as a personal challenge. The point is to prove to others and themselves that they could start from scratch and make it all over again.

I've forgotten his name, but one of the top SNG players set a goal to take $5 and turn it into $10,000 in one month. One thing he had going for him was that he was a mental freak of nature and had an ideal set up in terms of many huge monitors allowing him to play up to 300 SNGs in a day.

Also he cheated. He lost his $5 bankroll many times and simply started again with another $5. I could make $5 Keno bets until one hit big and then say "Look! I turned $5 into $1,000 playing Keno! In the end, if you ignore the cheating aspect, he did it.

More impressive was Chris Ferguson turning *zero* dollars into $10,000. He started with freerolls only until he could scrape together a couple dollars and then shifted to playing at the micro stakes. Once he had $50 or $100 it didn't take him long to go the rest of the way.

I had about $3,000 when I started my career as a prop player in July of 2003. In April of 2004 when I went off totally on my own and starting playing 90% online I had about $10,000. In the good times from 2005-mid 2008 I kept at least $30,000 to work with and made a great living working about 30 hours a week. From the end of the flush years until the fall of 2010 I typically had a $10,000 bankroll and was still able to support my family of three entirely from poker winnings.

Now I have a job and a $1,000 bankroll. The job pays for the 3 bedroom house in Northern California, keeps the lights on and puts food on the table, but not much else. Playing poker is going to be the difference between bud lite and burgers or pinot noir and filets for a while.

For some people it might be hard to drop so far down in stakes. After all, I've played 6 tournaments with buy ins of $5,000+, 75-100 with buy ins of $1,000+, I have no idea how many $200-$500 buy in tournaments, and now I'll be locking horns with the $10 and $20 players. For me, I don't really care. It's not about the thrill of victory or getting in Carplayer magazine any more. It's mostly about dollars, partially about about fun, and a little bit about delivering soul crushing beats to egomaniacal college kids (You know who you are! I'm coming to crush you!).

My new job has exposed me to google analytics and I've discovered that I have about 500 people visit my blog each month which is more than I thought and makes me feel like I should get back to writing at least weekly.

I'm not sure what I can do with $1,000 playing 10 hours a week, but I'll try to keep you posted. Hopefully it will all be good news.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On to the Next Chapter

After about 3 months of part time consulting, I started working full time at www.hitfix.com last week. If you haven't heard of HitFix it's an entertainment news website with about 1.3 million unique users a month that covers music, movies and TV without the gossip.

HitFix has about 20 employees and I've been hired to be the Business Development Manager. Essentially I'll be finding and negotiating with new partners, offering input on how HitFix does everything from the smallest details to the long term strategy, and doing everything the CEO needs to get done, but doesn't have time for.

So far it's been great. I'm still working from home and I've really been enjoying using my brain in new ways. Of course getting paid every day - even on the bad days - feels like a special treat after 7 years of ups and downs.

Looking back I can't believe the amounts of money I had on the line day in and day out. I lost enough to pay my mortgage for 3 months in an hour once. Of course there were a handful of times that I won enough in a day to pay my mortgage for a year or more.

I'm going to miss those days walking around with a stack of hundreds in my front pocket so thick that it looked like I had two decks of cards in there. But I can't remember ever being so relaxed.

Amazingly I think I am gambled out. It took 10 years, of poker 6 days a week and 25 days a year in Vegas, but I've finally had enough.

I'm sure I'll eventually get back to playing somewhat regularly. When that happens I'll try to get back to posting about my experiences at what will be comparatively low stakes.

The best part is if I do play and win, I can spend that money without having to worry about saving it for my next big loss.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Semi-retired

I started playing poker for a living in July 2003 and after more than 7 years of working for myself I got a job.

September was the worst month I ever had as a poker player. I got totally crushed and flushed the vase majority of my bankroll. I tried to recover in October, but my confidence was at an all time low and no matter how far I dropped in stakes I couldn't seem to make it work. I didn't play for any significant stakes in November or December and my action was limited to a few dozen $20-$50 multitalbes, 2 or 3 $200 tournaments in person and a half dozen sessions at the Oaks Club.

Sometime in October my wife and I decided that one of use needed to get a job. Since she has a mechanical engineering degree from Berkeley she was the prime candidate, but as we all know this is a terrible time to be looking for work.

I applied to a few jobs as well. The most interesting by far has been ring games manager at pokerstars. If you look at the list of qualifications and skills required I am a slam dunk candidate, but the guy in charge of hiring is in no hurry to hire anyone so that is still pending. Even if I get offered the job I'm not likely to take it since it would require moving to the Isle of Mann (really!). I've spent the time since I applied trying to decide the dollar about it would take to get me and my family to move 6,000 miles. It's a lot, but not so much that I think there's zero chance that I'll be offered that much.

But as I said above I actually have a job right now. I'm working in a two tiered capacity at entertainment website www.HitFix.com. The first part is developing a game that is the bastard cousin of fantasy sports but for reality TV. Our first show is going to be American Idol and the game should be up and running for the top 20 show on February 24th.

On top of that I've been working in a business development capacity generating leads for partnerships as well as doing some general quality control for the website as a whole. Some of you might be thinking "What the hell do you know about working for an entertainment website? You're full of shit!" All I can say is so far I know a lot more than I thought. We'll see how it goes.

As far as poker goes, this year I've made about $700 in 10 hours playing $13 Ultra Turbo tournaments on Absolute, but we all know that that's just running crazy hot at those stakes.

For now poker is on the backburner as I dive headfirst into the world of entertainment news!