To catch everyone up I have been in quarantine for nearly two weeks in my condominium as a few residents here have tested positive for covid-19. At the time of this posting I only have two more days to go in this two week quarantine and so I thought this would be an opportune moment to describe both the events that led up to this and how life has been trapped alone in my own home. For the better part of a year covid-19 has not hit Cambodia as hard as other countries in the world with cases hovering around 300. But with a recent outbreak that number now nears 1,000 and life has changed quite drastically. While the change in my own life during this period has largely been forced, I anticipate that I will voluntarily enact many changes moving forward, even after the quarantine is over.
Until recently most cases of covid-19 in Cambodia were of the imported variety. But it has not affected the local population as much as those testing positive upon entry have been effectively quarantined. While there have been intermittent periods in which certain businesses and schools have closed, life here has largely remained normal. Live poker has run nearly continuously through the past year with the casino Nagaworld continuing to operate. Restaurants and bars continued to operate, even though their revenue streams were immensely reduced by the lack of tourists in the country. This all changed a few weeks ago when four women who were in travel quarantine bribed a guard to escape the hotel in which they were placed. These four then visited several friends throughout multiple condominiums infecting their friends, who in turn infected others in their daily routine. Then when the city of Phnom Penh started to lock down a bit, a group of people went to the city of Sihanoukville and infected even more people in the beach city. The current number of infections has now grown to 953 individuals, with more than half of that number coming in the last few weeks alone. 95 of these cases are from Sihanoukville, all of which being discovered in just the last few days. In fact the government has ordered the entire town closed off to the outside and no one is not allowed in or out of the city.
At last count over 70 locations and businesses have been locked down in quarantine by the government here in Phnom Penh, many of these being condominiums. Unfortunately the condo that is my second residence is one such location and locked down two Wednesdays ago on February 24th. I went out drinking on Tuesday night with some friends, came home around 4:00 AM, went to sleep and when I awoke I was informed that I could not leave the premises. The police and military have stood guard outside of the condo every day and night, making sure everyone stays inside their residence. Not only are the residents trapped inside, but the entire staff have had to be quarantined as well sleeping in make shift beds and sleeping bags inside various offices throughout the building. The residents who initially tested positive to trigger the lockdown in the first place were of course removed immediately. They tested every remaining resident by the second day of quarantine and quickly informed residents of their result, my negative test coming back the very next day. Since then I have received several calls from the Ministry of Health keeping track of my progress. They have not limited us to food issued or purchased by the government, instead leaving every resident to order delivery from the outside from markets and restaurants of their own choosing.
I have tried to stay productive and busy during this quarantine period, playing poker online and getting work done for my agency. As such I have decided to reinstate the blog portion of my website, this being the very first new entry. As this is my second residence my family does not stay here and so fortunately they were nowhere near when the lockdown occurred. I miss them dearly and being alone has been the most difficult aspect of this time. But they have been great in trying to keep my spirits up by video calling me several times every day and sending me photos of the most mundane aspects of life that I now find so fascinating. It has been difficult to explain to my daughters why it is I have not been home as they are much too young to understand. Friends will often text me to catch me up on what is going on in the outside world. The first week was the most difficult and I admit that I had some difficulty coping. My trouble culminated in a live Twitch stream I aired a few days ago when I basically had a meltdown on screen. I was attempting to play a few tables of PLO5 when several players related to my agency started to text me. I grew a bit frustrated and completely overreacted by slamming my desk with my fists. It goes without saying that I decided not to keep that video up on Twitch nor did I upload it to YouTube. Fortunately there were not that many people watching and so the only memory of the event will probably solely lie in this recounting.
The first days of this second week have gone much better as my life has developed somewhat of a quarantine routine. My sleeping schedule has radically changed during this time as common distinctions during the day that we are all used to do not seem to matter as much when you are spending 100% of your time in one room. I wake up around 5:00 PM these days and will spend my first waking moments calling and speaking with my family. After that I will order some dinner, or breakfast I suppose, and once that is finished I will start playing poker online. I'll speak to my family one more time during my session, in time to say goodnight to everyone. I will end the session to eat one more time around midnight and then spend the remainder of the evening either playing more poker or doing work for the agency. There is not much to do during down time once I am done working and playing poker. My life in quarantine has become the definition of Netflix and chill. I will stay up to receive the call from the Ministry of Health, which comes daily around 10:00 AM. Around 11:00 AM I will finally get some sleep and check off one more day from the two week quarantine. None of this is very exciting I admit but it actually resembles my previous life in the States before I arrived in Phnom Penh quite a bit. I have saved a lot of money as I am not able to go out at night. Most of the money that I have used has gone to great restaurant delivery and whatever my wife needs on a daily basis.
As mentioned previously, by the time this blog is posted I will have only two more days left in quarantine. The fact that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel has helped immensely. The very first thing I will do once out will of course be to see my family. But after that the temptation to go out and get a bit crazy will be great. If I am going to speak truthfully that will probably happen but I am hoping I can reign it in a bit after that. Even if I chose to not have such resolve I may not end up having a choice in the matter. The city that awaits me on the outside has changed quite a bit in these last few weeks and no one's life seems like business as usual. Many establishments have been forced to close, other have done so by choice and of the ones that remain open fewer customers seem willing to go outside. Even the casino has decided to shutter its doors as they too had a positive test within their walls. They say that those of us in the third world are always behind other nations. The sentiment seems appropriate here as just as other parts of the world are opening back up, we are just starting to shut down.
It is often said that every poker player will go broke at some point. This sentiment is taken for granted to such an extent that it is often said as a given without further discussion. I find the statement to be a stereotype based on a general truth for not every single player has gone broke in their playing careers. I also find it interesting that this is often said by those who do not play for a living and have never gone broke playing, often to console those who do and have. As someone who has gone broke during my career, I can emphatically state that this is not something to be taken for granted and something that definitely requires further discussion. While I appreciate my past friends who expressed this idea to me in an attempt to make me feel better, I doubt that the impact of such an experience is something they can truly grasp. That having been said, the purpose of this blog post is to give a sort of non-playbook, a list of things not to do in one's poker playing life.
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
I lived and played poker in the city of Las Vegas for five years. This was the culmination of a dream, one that most players in the States have. I spent a total of five years there and while the first three years were great, things would come to a crashing halt during the final two years. My success during the initial stage of my play in Sin City can be attributed to one simple concept, volume. I was a new player in town and did not really know anyone nor have any friends. I spent most of my free time either in a casino playing live or sat in front of my computer multi-tabling cash games online. It was not uncommon for me to put in a sixty hour week across both live and online. I played $2-$5 NLH live and while there were not many promotions to take advantage of at that blind level, the rake was low enough that such was not necessary. Most that play at this level and above will tell you that for the most part they prefer low rake with no promotions rather than having promotions with an extra rake that they cannot beat. Online was a different story of course as there are promotions in the form of rakeback, without an extra drop. I was able to grind lower at $100 NLH as I played up to twelve tables and made enough in rakeback to compliment my winnings. Although unconventional, my days and nights would have a set routine. I would wake up nightly around 8:30 PM at which point I would watch TV for a couple of hours to give myself time to wake up. I would then shower and head out to the casino to eat; nothing fancy as I usually just grabbed something from the food court. I would probably enter the poker room of whatever casino I was playing in that night around midnight. I would then play until about 6:00 AM at which point I would head to the local Mimi's Cafe for breakfast before going home to play online. I would play online until about 1:00 PM, go to sleep and then repeat the whole process all over again. My life was certainly not exciting and nothing like the Sin City ads one would see on television. But if nothing else it was effective in bringing routine and structure to my life, one that was optimal for playing poker and winning.
THE DREADED "F" WORD
As much as I played live in various casinos throughout the strip, I eventually became familiar with various staff members such as dealers and floor managers. While I also did meet other players on the table, players at $2-$5 and above are not exactly the friendliest people on earth. As I was a good tipper I became friendly with many dealers and managers and by my third year in the city they comprised the majority of my friend's network. Having a burgeoning social life certainly did cut into my poker time, but truthfully I was glad to make what I thought at the time were a few sacrifices after basically being a loner for three years. The first aspect of my life to suffer was of course my time playing poker online. It certainly was not going to be live poker as that was where I got to see my new friends after all. This meant that I now had to make the entirety of my livelihood from playing $2-$5 NLH live, which proved to be a very difficult task. In the end the math just did not add up as I was faced with a situation in which I had to increase my win rate in the same amount of time to compensate for what I was not winning from playing online. And the situation only got worse as many of my new friends often wanted to play poker when we socialized but could not afford to play $2-$5 on a daily basis. While at times we were able to play in a room that had both $1-$2 and $2-$5 and I would simply just sit at another table, the truth is very few rooms in Vegas had both games at that time. In fact I can recount only five rooms at the time having both games:
• MGM Grand
Caesar's had a $2-$5 game when I initially came to town, but it was a game they could not sustain as they changed the business model for their room and their customers would go elsewhere. There were two other casinos off strip that catered to locals that offered $2-$5 NLH, namely Red Rock and Green Valley Ranch. But as they were locals' casinos the quality of the games could not match those on the strip. So if my friends and I ended up playing in any other room besides those listed above, which was most of the time, it meant that I had to play $1-$2 and now faced a situation where I had to win more money playing a smaller game.
As I mentioned earlier I was a very good tipper during my time in Vegas. America of course has a tipping culture at large and when I was growing up in Los Angeles it was very typical to tip 15%-20% when dining out. As this mentality looms much larger in a city like Vegas, 20%-25% was more typical for meals out in Sin City. But restaurants were not the only establishments in which many players felt compelled to tip. To valet one's car was anywhere from $1 to $5 and of course this mentality applied to the poker tables as well. First of all I tipped at least $1 on every pot that I won. But it was common for me to tip more should the pot be bigger. Dealers were not unfamiliar with getting $10 to $15 tokes from me whenever they pushed a pot to me larger than $1K. While this may seem egregious there are even worse examples. I would often tip on a chopped pot and in the most extreme cases would throw the dealer my small blind should I chop with the big. On a losing night I might be down $1K but still have tipped out the dealers $65-$75 throughout my session. My thinking on the practice of tipping has changed over the years and it is one of the reasons I do not play live anymore. It could be argued that I can still play live and just simply not tip. But the following paragraph will illustrate why that was so difficult to do.
When I first arrived in Cambodia back in 2014 and played in the casino, tipping was a not a common practice. So when I returned to Vegas after a year and sat at a table at the Mirage, my mind was still in that mode and I had forgotten completely about the tipping culture. The first three pots that I won I did not throw any of the dealers a single chip. By the fourth pot the same dealer that was in the box when I first sat down returned and he gave me such a glaring look that I felt compelled to tip him something. I felt his hatred so much that I threw him a redbird (a $5 chip) and actually told him that I had just arrived from Southeast Asia and had forgotten about the whole tipping practice. As many of my friends were dealers I often had the opportunity to hear them voice their opinions about players who did not tip. Simply put, such players were absolutely hated and this was not something that was hidden all that well on the table as they dealt. I had one friend who was a dealer at the South Point Poker Room and whenever he got a tip he would take the chip, bang it as hard as he could on the top of the card shuffler then say "Thank you!" in the most sarcastic voice possible while looking at another player on the table who was not tipping him. And if anyone reading this has ever belonged to a poker Facebook group inhabited by dealers, this issue comes up quite often and they are usually not shy about voicing their opinions.
None of this is to disparage my friends who were dealers at the time as I still keep in contact with many of them and still consider them good friends. But this can be a contentious topic, even among friends. I once posted about this issue many years back on a blog I use to write for a local Vegas poker site and it received many heated reactions. One friend even posted that the reason I went broke was not because I tipped too much, insinuating that it was a result of my poor play. There is a lot of truth to that statement of course and I will address that later in this blog. But it still did not take anything away from the point I was trying to make, namely that a player cannot be giving away 15 big blinds a night, on every night and hope to win anything significant enough to provide a living. I certainly understand their point as we are talking about their livelihood and they are merely trying to protect it. In the end this is a battle of competing interests as someone playing for a living has their own expenses to consider and cannot worry themselves with whether or not the dealer is being tipped enough. Of course the casino could solve this issue by simply paying their dealers more. But in truth with what some of these dealers are used to making, if the casino had to cover that themselves poker rooms would be rendered unprofitable to the point that most would have to close down. The few times that I do play live in a casino these days I will not tip. But I tell myself that there are still enough recreational players and tourists who do tip the dealers. But then again tipping, or the lack thereof, is a contagious thing and if someone new on the table sees others not sending tokes the dealer's way they will often follow suit. Personally speaking, this issue for me represents for me a big enough conundrum that it contributes to why I simply do not play live anymore.
IN THE END, I SIMPLY SUCKED
In the previous list of my daily routine there is something glaringly missing that many readers may have already noticed it's absence. One thing that I rarely did back in those days was study the game. I did not come to the game after having read many books and analyzed the intricacies of poker. Instead like many others, I came to the game off of the high of Chris Moneymaker winning the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event and thinking that I could also easily become a millionaire through this game. And for a while that seemed very possible as poker was incredibly easy in the immediate aftermath of the "boom." If anywhere, I cut my poker teeth playing in the $3-$5 and $5-$5 NLH games at Hollywood Park and at the Bike in the Los Angeles area. And in those games it was common to call down big river bets with ace high and win and to face a plethora of opponents who often got their entire stacks in the middle with close to nothing. The situation did not change much when I first arrived in Las Vegas as the games there were also incredibly soft. It felt as if there was no compelling reason to study and the big mistake that I and many other players made was to become complacent and fall behind. I like to tell a story that illustrates this point perfectly. One evening I was playing $1-$3 NLH at the Treasure Island Casino when I found myself heads up in a pot with my friend Dave. He checked the river at which point I made a sizable bet with absolute air. He tanked for a bit then called me down with middle and bottom two pair to win the pot. As the dealer was pushing the chips to my friend, another player on the table remarked, "Wow, you really polarized your range with the sizing of your bet." At this point my friend immediately asked for a table change and when I asked him why, he simply remarked that he did not want to play in any $1-$3 game in which players were talking about concepts such as polarizing ranges.
The game was changing and I did not change with it. The story directly above occurred in 2009 and I was not even using a HUD then when playing online. I took it for granted that the game would always be easy to play and that others would not get any better. Of course what ended up happening was the exact opposite and I would go from printing, to not winning enough to simply losing. From there I lost my condo, had to sell my car and everything else just about unraveled from there. But before everything had come to an end, I did find myself at a bit of a crossroad that could have saved me had I made the correct choice. Even as things were beginning to fall apart, I still had a roll online. But as I mentioned I was not playing all that much there and I was running out of money to play live. I had a choice between taking what was left of my live roll and to use it to bolster my balance online or to completely clear out my online accounts and continue to play live. I remember agonizing over this decision one night in the parking lot of an Olive Garden after having dinner with friends. But hindsight is 20/20 and looking back on it now I clearly made the wrong choice in deciding to play live. Playing online would have allowed me to play smaller, make rakeback and I could have used the time not playing live to study. I cannot be sure that this would have reversed everything, but regardless of what the result might have been it was clearly the more correct choice.
TOO MANY EXPENSES
I mentioned that I lost my condo when I went broke. I should clarify that it was a three bedroom baller pad at a place called Country Club Towers, on the 11th floor right behind the Wynn Resort. Fully furnished, the place cost me $2,400 per month and I had no business living there, even when I was winning let alone when I started to win less and eventually lose. There is much that I could have done to mitigate for the fact that my financial situation was not the same. But I stubbornly tried to hang on to my lifestyle in an attempt to save face with others and to not admit to myself that I was heading for catastrophe. By the time I lost the condo I could no longer afford to get even a cheaper place as I did not have enough to pay a month’s rent and a deposit to secure a place. And as my credit rating was quite bad I probably would have had to pay more than that. Instead I had to rent hotel rooms by the night which ended up costing me much more per month than a regular apartment would have been. On weeknights I was usually able to get a room on the strip for $25 a night at the Imperial Palace. But on weekends those rooms were either booked or cost much more so I had to rent a room at those monthly places off the strip for around $75 per night. Had I faced up to my situation sooner, I still would have had enough money to ditch the condo unit and get a cheap studio place for around $400 per month. As I previously stated there were many factors that contributed towards going broke. But in the day to day moment, my living situation exacerbated matters more than anything else. Whatever I could win on a given day I had to take a significant portion out of it to pay for these rooms. And if I did not win, I had to take from the previous day’s winnings, or perhaps the day before and so on and so on. It placed an excruciating amount of pressure on me as I played and created a situation in which it was virtually impossible to win. I began this blog post by placing some of the blame on circumstances outside of myself. But as time passed it became evident that I made literally every wrong decision possible.
My life now is far different than what it used to be. I am fortunate to be in a place where I no longer have to play for my entire living, although I still do enjoy playing. And while I do so more now, I probably do not study as much as I should. But I do not bemoan the fact that time for such things now get rerouted to my family and business. Still I do very much miss playing poker for a living as it was just about the coolest thing I ever did in my life. In the back of my mind, I probably still wish I could return to that life. And even though I do not play for a living anymore, I still surround myself in my social circle with other poker players. Two of the biggest winners in the country are probably in my inner circle, those that understand what it is like to play and do so for their livelihood. And while I do have a fairly active social life here, my friends are the epitome of discipline and understand that all of that comes after we play. And on nights they need to put in more volume, we simply do not go out as there is always the next night.
I had written previously that it seemed as if everyone you speak to these days in a poker room is a pro. But seeing as how that is statistically impossible, I thought it may be cogent to discuss what it actually takes to be a professional in this game. The obvious disclaimer is that I myself am not a pro. But I still put in a significant amount of volume each year, have a positive win rate and have discussed this issue with a myriad of others who do play for a living. And I fully admit that I do not do everything that I am about to list off here in this article. But the best advice often comes from those who do not follow it themselves and perhaps this is one of those situations. I have played this game for 17 years, many of them for a living, and I have seen just about everything one can see in this game. Becoming a professional is not something I advise anyone to try normally, but let us forge ahead since this topic seems to be the obsession of even the most recreational of poker players.
ABSOLUTELY NO BOOKING WINS!
If it is one thing I hate hearing is when players tell me they only played a short session in order to "book a win." I would go on to define what this phrase means but I am still not exactly sure myself. You often hear this term from live players and this is the one area in which they are completely different from online players. In the mind of the online player there is no such thing as today, tomorrow, this week, month or year. This is just one long game that goes on seemingly forever until the day we die or go broke. For live players it seems to be all about this day, this session or this hand. The thought of losing even one big hand repulses them to the core, even if the truth is that they played it correctly. Just ask a live player to tell you a story about any time his aces got cracked and you will know exactly what I mean. Any online player who multi-tables has aces cracked multiple times in a session and for us it is no big deal because it is simply supposed to happen. There is no such thing as a hand that has 100% equity preflop and that includes aces. If you are a losing player and book a win, all that means is that you are delaying your losing by one day. If you are a winning player and heaven forbid you book a win, all you are doing is missing out on a chance to win more that day and delaying such winnings for one day. If you win you play and if you lose you play. The whole point of beginning an endeavor to play poker for a living is to find out if you can actually do it, to know whether or not if you are truly a winning player. And if you are one of the lucky few who knows that you are a winning player you should take every possible opportunity to play and continue on in games where you have an edge.
BUM HUNT UNTIL EVERYONE HATES YOU
There is so much hatred centered around this word and I have never understood it. If you are reading this article and are considering becoming a poker pro but do not know this term, perhaps you should reconsider. Bum hunting is the practice of following terrible players and only playing in tables they are on for the purposes of winning their money. It mostly applies to heads up matches online in which those who practice this refuse to play anyone not weaker than then they are but I think it could easily apply to those who play in regular 6-max games as well. The entire purpose of this game for those who endeavor to play it professionally is to win money and to win as much of it as possible in the shortest amount of time. The notion that one should play stronger opponents as a regular practice sounds rather ridiculous when said aloud, but there remains an immense amount of vitriol surrounding this practice. Much of it has to do with some sense of machismo I suppose, a belief in the idea that you are only the best if you beat the best. I could care less about being the best player in poker and while there is a certain amount of arrogance and confidence needed to play this game, the end goal simply remains to win as much money as easily as one can. Poker is a predatory game and concepts that include the word "hunt" or "hunting" should be entirely appropriate towards how one approaches this game. If we consider the world of actual predators in the wild, a pack of lions after killing their prey will not then turn on one another. They will simply wait for the next opportunity to hunt another weaker prey. In much the same way the notion that good players on a table should battle it out against one another after a mark has left seems ill advised at best.
This is a word often used when discussing this game, but one that is hardly practiced. People underestimate just how much discipline is needed to play this game, especially for a living. If you are reading this article and are the type of person who already has their life in order and practices a great amount of discipline in areas of life, health and love then playing poker for a living is probably the furthest thing from your mind. The truth is one has to be at least a little "off" in order to consider doing this for a living. Those attracted to this notion are usually those that are more attracted to the lifestyle more than anything else; the late nights, the money, baller lifestyle, hookers and blow and all that. And in truth those elements do and should exist in the poker lifestyle to a certain extent. After all, what is the point of doing this for a living if you cannot enjoy it like a true baller. But all of that should come after your session and only up to a point that it does not bleed into your session the following day. However f'ed up your life is for the majority of the time, everything better come together in the right way for those 6-8 hours that you are seated in front of your computer to play because if it doesn't there are plenty that will gladly be on the other side of the table waiting to relieve you of your funds.
MAKE TOUGH CHOICES
This leads to my next point which is that sacrifices need to be made if one is to pursue poker as a profession. The truth of the matter is that poker takes up a lot of time, both in the amount of time actually seated on a table and also the devotion towards studying the game in order to constantly improve. I have already discussed limiting one's baller lifestyle and practicing a certain modicum of moderation in one's social life. But apart from having fun and enjoying one's "poker life", sometimes other realities and responsibilities of life may intrude upon one's ability to focus on poker. I would like nothing more than to spend every waking moment of my daughter's life playing with her and enjoying her company. But I also realize that in two years I will have to put her in a private school and that she requires food, milk and a suitable place to live. I try to confine my playing hours to ones in which both my wife and daughter are asleep. And if I have to play during hours they are awake I will tell my wife that I absolutely cannot be disturbed and will lock the door. If she cannot follow these guidelines, I will simply leave and play somewhere else on my tablet. In the end the actual responsible thing to do is to sacrifice time with loved ones in order to devote yourself to a game that can potentially pay for all the things that they need. Or perhaps the toughest choice of all is the decision to leave the game altogether if it cannot provide for those that are in your care. I cannot think of anything more irresponsible than continuing to play a game in which one constantly loses when they have mouths to feed at home.
THAT DREADED WORD "BANKROLL"
During my time in Las Vegas I had a bankroll of about $70,000 during my peak. I divided this in several ways:
• $3,000 per month living expenses * 6 months = $18,000
• $12,000 in online poker accounts
• $40,000 to play live $2-$5
Regarding the last point I usually bought in for $500 for the $2-$5 game at the Venetian, meaning that I had 80 buy-ins for that level. I will readily admit though that is the last time I practiced such bankroll management and in truth most players I know are exactly the same. But this sort of strict management is exactly what is required and perhaps this is the primary reason that I do not play for a living anymore. To play your best game, one needs absolute freedom from the worries of life in order to make every right decision during a session. If you cannot stick in that 4-bet because you have to pay rent the next week or cannot shove all-in with air against a player that you have proper fold equity against, then you should not be pursuing this game as a profession. This sort of idea also applies in-game as well as one should be mindful of what stakes they play against the amount of money they actually have. I realize it is more impressive to tell others that you play $2-$5 live or $2-$4 online, but to play above one's means is a recipe for disaster. Poker is a game of mistakes and I can guarantee that your game will be riddled with them if you play above your means. There are those that actually play for a living who will be waiting on the other side to capitalize on every single mistake you make. If you cannot make the correct decisions in a game due to money concerns, then the proper thing would be to step down in stakes or have another revenue stream until playing higher is more comfortable.
KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Studying the game of poker does not have to be confined to strategies. One should also be aware of where they are playing and the conditions of their environment; how much rake does the room charge, how much are they dropping for the bad beat jackpot, how much do I spend tipping dealers, etc. It is the popular thing to say that only nits care about such things or as I like to call them, winning players. To be mindful of all these things means that one needs choice and options on where to play. If you are playing live then you should be living in a city where there are a multitude of rooms and tables at every stake level. And if you are playing online then you should belong to a high traffic site or belong to several sites and/or clubs in order for you to table select. I have players in my online agency that have an account and money in each and every one of the 29 clubs I offer. Every day they simply open up each app, look for the softest games and then commence printing. There is no point to pursuing this if you are going to play the same 10-15 people every single day as even the most terrible of players get better over time. And if you are to play online be sure to get a good rakeback deal, but do not sacrifice the quality of the games just to get a slightly higher percentage. I cannot overstate the importance of rakeback when going through a bad down swing.
I am sure there is much more that can be said regarding this topic, especially concerning the actual play of the game. But for this article I only wanted to cover overarching principles and issues of mindset rather than strategy. I realize that I am knee deep in a sea of hypocrisy in discussing this topic as there are many points that I just wrote about that I do not follow myself. But then again that is why I made the choice to no longer to play for a living and gain other modes of making money. A better way to state it may be to say that the game made the choice for me. I am still in the field of the poker industry, but I no longer rely on having to win in order to survive. Having said all this, I will admit that I do miss solely playing poker for a living as there is no other better feeling in the world. I may sound as if I am overstating it a bit, but there is something to knowing that you can successfully do something that so few can. For those that come across this article, I wish you good fortune whichever road you may choose.