Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Soon?

I leave Las Vegas in just about 48 hours.

When I write it like that, it seems as if it can't possibly be right. How can this be? I'm only beginning to settle in, feel the rhythm, establish a way of life.

My god, I've only just discovered the gold that is the uncapped 2/5 cash game at the Rio! How can I leave now?

And I haven't won a tournament yet. I was supposed to win a tournament, dammit!

The Main Event starts in a few days. THE MAIN EVENT. How am I not playing in the Main Event?!? (You mean, I'm going to go home and then sit around waiting to see it on cable months from now? That is just wrong.)

The fact is, I don't wanna go home.

I've grown attached to the WSOP pad, which ~ despite a few plumbing quirks ~ is incredibly comfortable and quite luxurious. I love going for a swim under the blazing sun in the morning. The place has a dishwasher and a washer-dryer in the unit. Sigh.

I've grown accustomed to playing in comfortable casinos, with non-usurious rake, that are RIGHT THERE ALL THE TIME. Let me repeat: RIGHT THERE ALL THE TIME.


I've been living the dream, and it's time to wake up. I haven't made money on this trip. I am not living a sustainable lifestyle. I miss my friends and my city. I have a book to finish. And some big fat honking life decisions to make in just over a month's time.

It's going to suck big-time to get on the plane. Try as I might, though, I can't come up with a viable rationalization for putting it off.

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Blogger Forrest Gump said...

I reckon life is a bit like Nascar racing CG. If you never crash, you're not pushing your car anywhere near its potential. And if you don't win the race, you don't throw your arms up and retire - you put the car on the hoist and make improvements for next time.

Shake N' Bake! ;)


6/30/09 3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Card Girl, I wish you the best of luck and look foreward to anything you get published. I have really enjoyed your blog and check it every day. I believe you are better than the grinders that try to make an easy living playing poker. Thanks for the effort.

6/30/09 8:53 AM  
Blogger diverjoules said...

Stay for the Poker Grump. Sounds like he needs a good friend. Which I believe he has found in you. And if you can afford to stay and at least be there for the Main Event, then do so. Your life right now may end up being the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and do it. GL either way.

6/30/09 10:29 AM  
Blogger Mike G said...

I would not stay. Your greatest asset is your honesty about the viability of poker as a professional endeavor. It's not. Now you know. Go back to your real life, get or continue with a more practical and mundane job, and come back next year for your poker fix, if you like. While it does not sound as fabulous, the advantage of this approach is you maintain a certain degree of financial security and emotional sanity;)

6/30/09 1:36 PM  
Blogger LasVegasMichael said...

You only live once. Though the safe play is to move back home and only make Vegas a place for occasional jaunts and semi-extended pipe-dream persuits, you know you have what it takes. Vegas isn't a wasteland. It is certainly not the greenest place around, but a few miles outside of the morality carwash known as the Las Vegas Strip, there are normal cities and towns with parks, schools, and libraries, with normal people (for the most part). Vegas is what you make of it, and though many come out here with only a pipe dream of success, others truly have what it takes. I firmly believe you are one of those people. Take the life changing shot for at least a full year (or two). Perhaps it will be the place you spend the rest of your life. Perhaps you will curse the decision and take a greyhound back to DC in 2012. You never know until you try. Have a safe trip home. It was a pleasure to meet you and to see you around town. Take care, and good luck!

6/30/09 11:06 PM  
Blogger BWoP said...

I am terribly sorry not to have gotten to spend as much time with you as I would have liked. I hope to see you back here some time soon :-)

7/1/09 9:20 AM  
Anonymous joxum said...

Aw, come on - one more week can't hurt. Think of the 2/5...



7/1/09 2:55 PM  
Blogger LasVegasMichael said...

I must admit I am a little surprised you are not staying at least through the Main Event. I can only assume that you had some obligations back home and/or a fixzed term lease agreement on your flat. After re-reading your comments concerning your results from the last month, I want to reiterate that though it is true you did not have a winning month overall, the biggest contributer to your losses were the tournaments. As you know, the touenament variance requires a much higher bankroll than that of cash games. This is at least partly why I have chosen to dedicate my study and time toward cash games instead of tournaments. This is not to say that the tournament specialists out there are making poor choices, but as you know, one needs a significantly larger bankroll to specialize in tournaments versus cash games, and the skill set is most certainly different. By choosing to specialize in cash games, you could manage your bankroll in such a way to build a seperate fund specifically for tournaments, while keeping your cash game roll and living expenses roll in check. Perhaps my pontificating here is much too elementary, but it just seems like you have the discipline to succeed in cash games, which in turn can help you to build a proper tournament roll. Obviously, scoring first place in one tournament makes up for several losers, but to handle those swings, it is nice to have a backbone cash game to build said roll. When the WSOP is over, there are still plenty of profitable 2/5 games around, with the 2/5 at MGM being a wondferful guilty pleasure. Sorry if my pontificating is bordering on ad nauseum line. Once again, have a safe trip home, and don't be a stranger! ;)

7/1/09 5:08 PM  
Blogger Mike G said...

Are the 2/5 games that profitable? There's no variance there? How many thousands did you net at the 2/5 games this past month LV Michael - five thousand? Ten thousand?

Or more like five hundred - which is not enough to live on.

I've lived in Vegas for years, and I've met maybe 5 guys who could actually play poker professionally. Out of hundreds. The rest are delusional.

7/2/09 2:37 AM  
Anonymous (Ms.) Old Pro said...

Mike G: Indeed. I've lived in Vegas off and on since 1974, and your assessment jibes with my observations. That's not to say Cardgrrl can't make a living playing poker professionally, but perhaps just not in Vegas.

In my many years of experience, the most successful professional gamblers have been diligently anonymous nomads (of either gender) who shun Vegas, avoid well-known (if not all) tournaments, unequivocally love the game (poker, craps, blackjack), and remain indifferent to the winnings. A carry-on suitcase, an unrecognizable identity, no fixed abode, and an ATM card are the earmarks of pretty much every true gambler I've ever admired.


7/2/09 11:22 AM  
Blogger LasVegasMichael said...

If you've lived here for years, and only met five true professionals, you are either playing small or need to meet more people.

Of course there is variance, as there is in any poker game. The question is whether or not you have the skill and bankroll to ride it out.

I happen to think she does. Whether she does or doesn't cannot be decided by a one month jaunt. A proper sample size is necessary. Only she can make that decision. Until the shot is taken, you will never know.

As far as your question concerning my personal win rate, I will say that it falls somewhere in the middle. With a wife, kids (in private school), house, and cars, I most certainly can't afford to be delusional. ;)

7/2/09 4:26 PM  

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