It's days like today that I feel like playing my last hand of professional poker. This blog may be a series of thinly veiled beats; if this isn't your thing than I won't be offended if you just look at the pictures. However, it's also intended to illustrate just how nasty this game can be and serve as a cautionary tail to those who aspire to do this for a living.
I hope this is my poker rock bottom. After losing a few buyins before my trip to LA a few weeks ago, I hoped things would turn around for me during my first trip to the Golden State. Turns out, the Commerce had other plans. Losing 40 big blinds after 40 big blinds in their ridiculous cash game structures, I was experiencing the rough side of variance in a much faster and brutal way than I ever would in the deeper stacked Vegas games. I'll spare you some of the beats (for about a paragraph or so) from LA, but let's just say it wasn't pretty.
I hate this place ^
After returning to Vegas and feeling like my 100bb stack was a 5000bb stack, my ability to maneuver a larger stack was neglected by the poker gods as I continued to run very poorly. Villains with naked flush draws and underpairs continued to get there in large pots and my bankroll continually decreased.
Fast forward to tonight at a session at Bellagio that I won't soon forget. After being stuck early, I had grinded my way back to even with a stack of $360. After 2 limpers I raised the action to $12 on the button with AsAd. Small blind, big blind, and first limper calls. The second player, a tilted middle aged asian with a mountain of chips in front of him, starts to dig for chips and limp-reraies to $60. I consider how big I want to make my 4 bet and go with $145 total. He calls pretty quickly. Knowing this is a total spew by him I can't wait to get my money in the middle on the flop.
The flop is Q 5 3r. And he instantly moves all in followed quickly by my remaining $215. "Let me win this one" I say to myself as the remaining cards fall a harmless 5 and an 8. My opponent flips over his cards in excitement. I still am not too concerned as I first see a Jc. As I turn my head around his stack to see his other card my heart drops. Its the 5 of clubs. It doesn't register that I lost the pot until the dealer pushes the 2 5's on the board forward signifying trips. "Did that really just happen?" I ask myself as I take one last look at my Aces before mucking. I didn't say a word.
I do my best involuntary Mike McDermott impression without the stupid look on his face. Or maybe I did have it on and I just didn't realize it.
I sit out 2 hands in an attempt to cope with what just happened. I realize that I am not tilted at all, just kinda depressed, and decide to reload because it's a great game. After 2 orbits I've won a few small pots and have chipped up my $200 rebuy into $250 when I raise AQcc to $15 after 3 bad players limp. Only 3 gentlemen call. The flop is A83ss. All check to me and I bet $45. The big mark at the table then check-raises me all in. This particular fellow had to be reminded a few times throughout the night which direction the action goes at a poker table because, well, he just didn't know. Knowing he's doing this with any Ace I quickly call. I have a feeling he has AJ or AT and hope for no J or T on the turn and river. Turn J. River 3. He tables AJ and the 2.5 buyin pot is shipped his way. Before I could muck, the J5 villain asks to see my hand. I flash a look at him. He responds: "Nevermind". Barely able to stand and collect my things, I eventually make my way of the Bellagio and head home.
I have lost nearly 1/2 of my bankroll in the past 4 weeks. And while I would like to think that it can't possibly get any worse and I'm due for some run good (or at least avoid soul crushing run bad) I know that it doesn't matter and can keep happening. It's truly sickening. The worst part of it all is knowing how detrimental these downswings are to my "short term" goal of moving up to 2/5.
There has been a lot of interest lately from people seeking coaching on this site who are considering quitting their jobs and doing this for their living. Let me tell you all this: It's not easy.
My expenses are very low, I have absolutely zero vices or life leaks in sin city, I put in decent volume and I've essentially dedicated my life to poker and improving as a player. Even with all of these good conditions I am still having trouble moving up the ranks. So please be aware of what you're walking into before packing up the bags and moving to Vegas.
I hope to look back on this post in a few months and laugh about how big of a drama queen I'm being I hope not to look back on this post in a few months and wonder what it was like to still have a bankroll.