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August 19, 2005

Chasing the Dream - An Introduction

Posted at August 19, 2005 09:46 PM in General Discussions , by Wiggie.

Like so many others in the post-Moneymaker poker boom, I'm fairly new to poker. I got the bug while watching the 2004 World Series of Poker. Although I didn't know anything about hold 'em or much about poker at all, I was intrigued and began learning as much as I could about the game. I started playing low limit hold 'em online and read a couple of books. I watched poker every time it was on, from the WSOP and WPT broadcasts to Celebrity Poker Showdown. I even went so far as to replace my dining room table with a poker table my friend and I built. Basically, I've had poker on the brain pretty much non-stop for a little over a year.

In that time I've become a decent player. I've read most of the well-known hold 'em books out there, and I keep up with a few different poker forums and blogs. I've made a meager profit by playing online over the last year. I started off by playing .25/.50 limit hold 'em on Party Poker. After awhile I switched over to Pacific Poker and worked my way up to 3/6 over the course of a few months. I lost a lot of my bankroll by taking shots at limits I had no business playing, which set me back quite a bit. Over the last few months I've been trying to get serious about my game. I started using Poker Tracker, (a must for serious players, and a good investment even if you aren't that serious) which has helped me tremendously. I've been playing $100 max. buy-in no limit games on Pacific for a few months and have made a steady profit. I play the occasional sit-n-go and multi-table tournament, but for the most part I concentrate on the cash games. I have no delusions of being a great player by any means. However, I've learned that you don't necessarily have to be a math wizard or a great psychological thinker to win at poker. Once you know the fundamentals and have a little experience under your belt, and you can play the game with discipline and patience, anyone can win.

That being said, here comes the ridiculous part. I've recently made the decision to quit my job and try playing online poker full-time. I've had a job working in the same office for about four years, since the Summer after I graduated high school. It's an easy, decently-paying job, but to be honest it feels like it's sucking the life out of me. It's incredibly monotonous and mind-numbing. Thankfully, I won't have to worry about that anymore. Today was my last day. Based on my results over the last few months, I think I can survive on poker. I realize that I may just be running exceptionally well, and the walls could come crashing down at any time, but I've got some money saved up so I can keep from starving for a few months, and my poker bankroll is at a level I'm comfortable with. The worst thing that can happen is that I fail and have to find another job. I don't plan on making a career out of poker (although that would be undoubtedly sweet). My main goal is to simply make enough to live and pay the rest of my way through college. I was out of school last semester and I won't be going this Fall, but I plan on going back in January. I'm not the kind of person who can go to school full-time and work a full-time job, so I'm hoping the flexibility of poker will allow me to finish school in a couple of years.

I'm not one to take many risks, so this is a pretty outrageous thing for me to do. I realize that failure is a very real possibility. However, I feel that this is something I need to do, whether or not the outcome is positive. I'm at a time in my life where I don't have many bills, I'm young, I don't have a family depending on me. If I'm going to take a chance this is probably my best shot before all the big-time responsibilities start rolling in. If I flop, I flop, but at least I'll know I had it in me to sack up and go for it.

Why am I telling you all this? Honestly, I'm a little scared. The ups and downs of poker can be brutal. There are days when I feel like the greatest player in the world. My bluffs are working every time and I get paid off on my monsters because I set a perfect trap. Then there are the days where it feels like I'm playing with my cards face up. Every decision I make turns out wrong and I wonder why I ever thought I could play this game. I question everything I've read and feel like I might as well be playing craps. I'm not looking forward to those days, but I know they will come.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me, which is one reason I'm doing this. I'm going to have plenty of free time so it will be nice to have something constructive to occupy my time when I'm not playing. I believe having the obligation to write on a regular basis will keep me from going insane. Hopefully, I can provide a little entertainment and insight to you, the reader, through my experiment. I know there are lots of people in the same boat as me who hate their jobs and dream of throwing caution to the wind in their pursuit of fortune on the cyber-felt. Maybe I'll become an inspiration to you. Or perhaps I'll become an example of why you should keep your day job. We'll see.

I'll try to keep you up to date on my progress every few days and hopefully I'll be able to pass on a few helpful tips every now and then. I'm happy to be part of the team here at and a big thanks to Gecko for the opportunity.