The Grind

Stephen's Poker Blog

  1. 2007-12-28 12:58:02

    My Lazy Year

    Being the relatively lazy bum that I am, I've found it difficult to consistently put in a number of hours weekly that will satisfy my need for accomplishment. It bothers me to look back at the year and see that I've averaged only slightly more than 20 hours a week. Some of this was due in part to last year's legislation (UIGEA) passed in October '06 that scared a number of the poker sites into leaving the US market. But mostly it's just my laziness.

    For several months I was playing exclusively on one small site where I received 100%+ rakeback. I lost the other, slightly more populated site I had a similar deal on when they decided in January to bow to the impending US regulations in an attempt to remain as legitimate as possible. I could have made an effort to get some money elsewhere, but the hassle of moving money around post UIGEA kept me from making that effort. Besides, I was crushing the game on the one small site and making plenty of money. Who cares if there were only enough tables to play during peak hours? And, according to people posting on the twoplustwo poker forums, most online "grinders" don't average more than 20 something hours a week. These are the things I told myself, anyway. It didn't stop the nagging feeling that I could and SHOULD be climbing the ladder more quickly.

    Now, to my credit, this average does not include B&M play, but that would probably only add about 4 hours a week. I'm sure many of you guys working your asses off out there think I'm just a ridiculous wuss. "You make HOW MUCH per hour?! I would be working 80 hours a week!" Well, there is the very important issue of playing my A game. There's no way I can play that many hours in a week and be playing my A-B game the whole time. So, my hourly rate would drop considerably. I'd also hate life if I was working that much.

    I make more than enough to pay my bills with my current lifestyle playing only 20 hours a week; so the only thing gained by working more is (more quickly) increasing my bankroll and being able to invest money in other things. This would of course lead to a higher hourly rate. Since I have a fairly lofty bankroll goal (100-200k), investment savings will probably not happen until I reach that point in a year or more. So right now it's just the bankroll I'm looking at to drive me. Aside from mad skills, a lot of patience, and emotional control, a bankroll is the most defining feature of a professional poker player. Assuming I'm skilled enough, it dictates how high of stakes I can play. And I never play beyond my roll. I've seen plenty of high stakes games (10-20 No Limit and up/$2000 buy-in+) in Vegas that are well within my ability to beat, but are currently beyond my bankroll requirements of 40 buy-ins (100 big blind buy-ins). These B&M games are MUCH softer on average than the high stakes games online...I should get myself in a position where I can sit them whenever they look good ASAP.

    So, now that I've whined about not controlling my own lazy self, what can I do about it? And what number of working hours per week will keep the nagging guilt away? I decided at the beginning of November that 30 hours a week was reasonable. Go ahead and laugh. I'm not embarrassed. It became clear, after some experimenting, that 30 hours was the most I could consistently work in a week and still be playing my best or near my best. Efficiency is important to me. So in November I got on the ball and averaged 30 hours a week. It was great. I felt better about myself and also had my best money making month to date. To motivate myself I set an end of year bankroll goal. Alas, I'm not going to reach it due to the fact that I've hardly played in December what with flying home for the holidays and all, but if it had been any other time of year I'm almost certain I would have reached it.

    When is a better time to set new goals than the new year? Goals are important when you are self employed. No one is looking over your shoulder making sure you do a good job. It's all up to you. Setting bankroll goals and weekly hourly minimums keeps me going. I'm also working towards eating better and exercising more. I think that can have a HUGE impact on anyones game. We need healthy bodies and brains for this game. It requires a ton of mental focus to succeed at higher stakes. The players just get better and better as you move up. And I'm itching to beat them.

    Posted by uzjedi at 2007-12-28 12:58:02

Comments on “My Lazy Year”

    • avatar for Jason M
    • Hey man, here's a comment. What do you think? Keep these good posts coming :)