It’s friday…go out and have a drink. If you just went busto, try this prop bet on for size:
Check out this song from MIA – Paper Planes…it’s pretty damn funny. The chorus is the best:
Here are the final six:
Seat 1 – Trong Nguyen – 980,000
Seat 2 – Amit Makhija – 3,225,000
Seat 3 – Paul Smith – 1,130,000
Seat 4 – John Phan – 2,415,000
Seat 5 – Zachary Clark – 2,025,000
Seat 6 – Kyle Wilson – 1,425,000
Amit Makhija, qualified for the event in a super satellite – so he’s obv excited. John Phan, the POY points leader, is going to be the player to keep an eye on, as he has the most experience at the table and will be looking to push some people around. Zachary Clark is the nephew (or cousin??) of the late Chip Reese, so there is someone to root for.
Pretty gross hand – read the recap from cardplayer:
In perhaps the biggest suckout of the tournament, John Phan just eliminated Layne Flack in eighth place.
John Phan raised to 110,000 and Layne Flack reraised to 360,000, leaving just 300,000 behind. After the dealer pulled in the bets, Phan counted out 550,000 from his stack, seeing how much he’d be left with if he put Flack all in and lost.
After a few minutes of thought, Phan asked for the dealer’s “all in” button, as he has done all tournament long. Realizing that this could be an angle to see his opponent’s reaction, the tournament director informed Phan that the next time he asks for the button, he will be all in.
Phan, thinking he had accidently committed himself, said, “Oh, Layne, they had me scared. I thought I went all in.” Flack, realizing the situation, replied, “I know what you were doing. You were trying to scare me, so we’re even.” After another minute of deliberation, Phan tossed in the button and both players turned over their cards.
The flop came out 764 and the crowd gasped as Phan flopped a set. The turn took all hope away from Flack when the 7 peeled off the deck, giving Phan quads. The inconsequential river card was the Q and Flack was eliminated in eighth place, earning $105,620.
We get this question/statement a lot from aspiring online poker players. The most entertaining emails come from the player who just won $10k in a tourney and is now ready to go pro.
Here’s the deal: poker as a profession is TOUGH.
There is the chance that you play your first 10k event and win a couple mil – but that only happens to like .01% of the professional population. Not a tournament player? Well there is a reason it’s called grinding in cash games.
Traveling, staying in hotels, eating out, and having losing streaks can get incredibly expensive. I know several people with more than $500k in tournament wins who are flat broke. I’ve met people who have won $1 million and lost it all a month later. I know what your thinking….if I won that kind of money it wouldn’t happen to me.
There is a mental process you must go through to become a pro. It can be thought of more as a downward spiral toward being a degenerate. You need to become truly desensitized to the value of money so you can do things like be willing to take coin flips late in tournies with hundreds of thousands on the line. Unfortunately, if you have any personality ‘leaks’ like gambling in the pit, drinking, drugs, women, whatever – you can become reckless with your money.
Not only that, the variance, especially in tournament poker can be brutal. You could be the best player in the world, and start your ‘career’ bricking out the first 20 tournies you play. That is tough thing to deal with emotionally, and financially.
Certainly there are benefits to doing this full time – flexible schedule, traveling, meeting interesting people, etc. But it is by no means an easy way to make a buck. The saying “Poker is the hardest way to make an easy living.” is certainly accurate.
Should you drop out of college? No.
Even if you are making incredible money right now, stay in school – because it is very likely that if you drop out you will never return (regardless of if you say you are just going to take a break….you’ll find yourself struggling to ever go back). Having a college degree is a basic requirement in the professional world. There are lots of jobs that don’t ‘require’ it, but unless you want to be a salesman, it is going to be tough to find an interview for a good salaried job should you decide poker isn’t working out. Not to mention to social benefits of being surrounded by a bunch of people your own age, with unlimited amounts of free time.
Growing a bankroll online is considerably easier when:
a. you are living at home, or in a dorm room.
b. have very little expenses or ‘financial stress’.
c. are single, without a girlfriend, wife, and kids
Playing professionally requires you to grow your bankroll (or at the very least maintain a six figure roll) so that you can withdraw enough money to live your life. Sometimes the stress of the two can break you down, and you begin chasing money, playing worse, mostly because you are starting to see the value of the $$ again. You also need to maintain about 6 months of living expenses in your ‘life’ account – for when you start running bad and have no room to take money from your shrinking online roll.
It is certainly possible to live well off this game. But if playing poker for a living is a direction you choose, make sure to consider all the possible outcomes, not just the one that has you rollin down the street in a bentley as you drive up to your mansion.
Don’t forget there is always the option of playing poker to ‘supplement’ your income. This can be a much more enjoyable lifestyle, especially if you find another profession or career you are really interested in. To do that, you’re most likely going to need a degree.
In a recent blog confessional, Cardrunners pro Brian Townsend has admitted to playing under two different poker accounts on Stars and Tilt. He had been using the aba30 and sbrugby names, then with the fulltilt deal, he switched to a red pro under his name. His ‘illegal’ aliases were: Stellarnebula on FTP and makersmark66 on Stars.
He offers an open, honest, and sincere apology about his actions. Frankly, while it is against the rules, this is probably the most common example of ‘bending’ the online poker rules. I’ve had multiple accounts on different sites, just because I didn’t like my screen name.
For a recognizable pro, the advantage to playing annonymously is understandably tempting. Also, in Brian’s case he was moving down in limits, and was worried what people would think about that. So to protect his ego, and get action at the lower limits, he played under different names.
He stated that his FT red pro status is being suspended for 6 months (meaning no 100% rakeback) and that he is contributing $25k of his ‘cardrunners distributions’ to a charity tbd.
He is a class act. This shouldn’t be that big of a deal. It speaks to a larger problem, with how easy it is to create accounts – set up different bank accounts, different names, whatever. I don’t know how you can address it outside of using social security numbers or something crazy to identify people.
For the full blog entry go to Cardrunners.
Sometimes I get sick of writing about pokerroad. But the fact is, they produce some of the best content in the poker-sphere. If you don’t know by now, check em out.
Their newest show is ‘All Strategy’ with Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, and Scott Huff.
Start at the bottom – Scott Huf – he’s entertaining and keeps things moving along.
Bonomo – he is MUCH better than the ‘calling station’ show he produced on Cardplayer. That show made my ears hurt, and there was a video feed to make it more awkward and boring. I think he’s better on PR because he doesn’t have to carry the entertainment value, he can just get geeky on em. His personality is kind of bland, but he seems to get a little more lively with some other personalities to key in on.
Negreanu – obviously one of the best minds in poker, and also one of the few who can truly verbalize his thoughts.
The show – overall very informative. If you like poker strategy talk then the ‘All Strategy’ show is going to be entertaining for you.
This Episode – a great dialogue on short stacking tournament play. Bonomo said “…often players use being on the short stack as an excuse to play poorly.” They proceed to discuss the benefits of logically thinking about your stack size, along with the other players at your table stack sizes. Even when you are desperate, there can be good and bad opportunities to try and double up or pick up the blinds/antes. I also liked the ‘coin-flipping’ discussion – if you are better than the average player at the table, then you can think twice about getting in those ‘average’ spots, and look for better spots to accumulate chips (with made hands, safe boards, etc.)
NEGREANOMO! Nice Huff.