Friday, December 28, 2007

Weekly recap

So my mother-in-law came and visited for the weekend before Christmas and it was nice to have her. But it meant I didn't play until Christmas day (when my wife had to work the whole day). So I've played just 3 nights this week. The only notable night was Christmas when I got very deep in two tourneys and then just took 2 brutal beats in each one which kept me from the final table and really nice 4-5 figure scores.

Oh well - it happens.

Tomorrow my folks come to visit until New Years and then my classes start the day after New Years so from here on out it is going to be study first, and then only if there is some time left over, will I play poker. Otherwise I'll be back at it starting in March.

Wish me luck - I need to pass the stupid exam this time!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

Just a quick message wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.

My wife's gift is a 36 hour work day, but we had a great time with her mom the last couple of days and she then gets 4 days this next weekend as well when my dad and family come visit us as well. Given everything that has gone well for us this year we can't complain too much (but I still think we can complain a little).

Oh, I also finally received my bar review books, so I can start studying as well. I am not looking forward to it, but I know I need to get it done. My Christmas wish is twofold: I want to pass the Bar and do well enough this year playing poker that I just keep those bar privileges in my back pocket and can continue to play fulltime.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Finally made a final table again tonight, and I even took it down. It was the $10 rebuy on FullTilt for just under $4k.

Feels good to have somewhat of a roll again, which means that I won't be totally decimated when I come back after 2 months of studying.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Break Time

So I put in a pretty good amount of hours this last week, playing pretty much every night. I haven't made any final tables in a while but I am confident my game is still fine - just losing lots of important hands.

My wife finally gets a weekend off, so I am going to take that time off too.

I keep wanting to get started on studying but I neither have the ganas (the desire) nor the books to do so. My classes start Jan. 2, so no matter what, if I haven't started studying by then, I will be putting in major hours in Jan and Feb. I am a very good procrastinator, so it's good that I signed up for the bar review course because that will force me out of the house and make me study... And when I put in the hours I tend to do pretty well on tests, so hopefully it will turn out this time.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Frustrating Week

I put in a pretty full schedule this week - 50 tourneys, made the money 9 times which is fine. But no final tables which is frustrating. I also really need to start studying next week, so from now until March I should be playing a much lighter schedule.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mental Fortitude

I don't think there's a question that for me, the hardest part of playing poker is getting through the long dry spells. I had to return my Bar Review books from the summer (or forfeit my deposit) and am now waiting for the new materials to arrive (I am expecting they will be the very same books) so I have had time the last three nights to play a pretty full schedule which for me usually ends up being about 8 tourneys a night. I have been playing well but have not had any real good results. Of course I realize that this is expected - as a top player I am only going to make the money in a tourney between 15-25% of the time and am only going to make the final table somewhere around 3% of the time and the top 3 of the tourney (where the real big payouts happen) maybe 1-2% of the time. So a streak of 25 tourneys and no big cashes is going to happen repeatedly....

But that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I don't know what it is about my mental make-up but I expect to win every hand I am in and when I don't, I get upset. When I lose over and over and over again, I get frustrated. And for me, making sure that that frustration does not make me play bad in other tourneys that I am still in and making sure that I don't try and chase my losses by playing in cash games (which I have proven I am a loser at) is the most important part of protecting my roll.

So here's to staying on top of my emotions and waiting for that next big score...

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm an Uncle again

My sister just delivered her second child, a boy named Jack, this morning. He came out best end first just like me (butt-first) and no c-section needed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back Home

We had somewhat of a hellish time getting home. Our flight from Dallas to Santa Barbara was delayed for hours because of mechanical problems, then we faced traffic driving home the next day making what is normally a 6-7 hour drive into a 9-10 hour one. And to top it all off, I have caught my yearly cold, which makes the idea of studying even less appealing than it already was.


Monday, November 19, 2007

vacation bummer

Well I looked on-line and found out what I already knew was coming but still sucks anyways - I failed the Bar exam that I took in July. I was like 98% sure I had failed because I just didn't give myself enough time to study and CA's exam is one of the if not the toughest exam in the states (only about 50% pass), but that 2% hope still makes the fact that I failed a little gutwrenching.

The good thing is that poker has given me the opportunity to take the next three months to really crack down and put in enough hours to study seriously this time and hopefully pass it when I take it again in February.

My goal is to make 6 figures again next year playing poker so that I don't even need to look for a "real job" again, but, in case poker doesn't pan out I want to have my bar privileges in my back pocket so I'm probably going to continue to play sporadically from now until February when I take the exam to make sure that I actually put in the number of hours I need to study effectively so that I pass it this time...

Other than this minor setback, this year has actually been very very fortuitous so I am actually quite thankful during this Thanksgiving season. My wife graduated med school and got into the residency program she wanted, I have won enough money playing poker that we were able to buy our first home that we are still loving, our dog (who we treat like a baby) should have died when she ran away from a relative's home in a busy area of a L.A. suburb but somehow got scooped up by an animal control person, my sister is about to have another baby, and even after 8 years of marriage I still think my wife is my best-friend and enjoy spending every free minute I have with her (even if those minutes are harder to come by). So, in the big scheme of things, I am willing to take the rejection of being a failure considering everything else that I have going for me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Last full night for a while

So I played a pretty full schedule last night and played well but the cards didn't hold up. Oh well. My wife's last day of work before starting her vacation is today, so I probably won't be playing or posting much, if at all, the next two weeks.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First full night for a while

So tonight I played my first "full" session for quite some time. I only made the money in one tourney out of 8 but I got about 6 hours of play in, which for me is about as much as I generally play unless I make a final table. I wasn't real happy with my play tonight as I let myself get tilted a bit, which I really haven't done lately. But now that the night is over I am just mulling over how ludicrous my life really is right now. And it really is rediculous. Poker has made me lose some of my "common sense" when it comes to money and "real life" but when I take the time to really think about what I am doing and how I am surviving it makes me laugh.

When I started this little foray into becoming a professional I agreed with my wife that I would play no more than 40 hours a week since that is how much I worked as an attorney, and I really thought I would be playing that much each week. But so far stuff has kept coming up. I took a break after I made all that money in the FTOPs tourney, and then family has come to visit, and we have gone down to Santa Barbara to visit family, and then there was a lot of work dealing with buying the house and moving in, and now next week my wife goes on vacation so I won't be playing for those two weeks either.

So what it comes down to is that since August 23 I have only "worked" a total of just over 150 hours or about a whopping 15 hours a week. And that work is doing something I love to do, which is play poker. And here's the kicker... so far this little foray into playing professionally is actually working!! Even with only an average of 15 hours a week my bankroll is actually increasing. It's not drastically increasing, but it is not decreasing (which is all I really care about) and that includes the monthly withdrawals I am making (i.e. I am netting more than I am withdrawing). And when you really think about it, that's CRAZY!! I sit in front of a computer, get dealt two cards over and over and because I make better decisions about what to do with those 2 cards then the average person does, I win money.... and I like it so far.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Easing back in to playing

Well I took the MPRE this morning (a professional responisbilities test that you have to take to get bar privileges) and I have no idea how I did.

I also broke down and ordered cable internet last night because I don't want to have to deal with my dsl cutting out anymore. But of course as soon as I did that my dsl seems to work fine... so I played for the first time in a long time tonight.

Nothing huge, I only played 5 tourneys. Bubbled 2 and lost races in the other 3 but it felt good to be playing again even if I didn't get any good results. I am hoping that I play a pretty normal schedule this next week, because after that my wife goes on vacation and I will (once again) be playing very infrequently for the following 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

7-UP Tree

I always thought that 7-UPs lemon/lime slogan was funny, but I guess that was because I had never seen a lemon/lime tree before. Well, our new house has one, and the lemon/lime-ade it provides is pretty tasty. Even tastier when you add some vodka.
I am not sure if the phone guys came yesterday when I was cleaning the carpets at our rental (we want our security deposit back!!) because although I now have a constant strong green dsl light on my modem, the internet is still slowwwwwwww here. I am a little worried it might be because we have it hooked up in our converted garage through 50 feet of standard phone cable rather than through the grey dsl cable that came with the modem. But I don't know anything about computers, so I don't know if that would slow things down or not.
I am hoping that it at least works for playing poker, because I plan on playing tonight and don't want to be getting disconnected.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Funky internet

Apparently there is something causing interference with the phone line at our new house which makes my dsl disconnect a lot. Hopefully, someone is coming out tomorrow to fix it, because without internet, it is hard for me to play poker, which means I can't work.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Still Moving

After one long day and lots of help from my family who drove up from L.A., we are finally all moved in. Internet is now on, and tomorrow we get cable... All that is left to do now is clean the place we were renting, and buy a sofa and maybe a buffet for our new house. But it already feels like home, and it's a nice feeling.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today we got a house. My wife's and my biggest purchase prior to this had been a dining room table and chairs. We have never bought a car, never bought a huge tv or stereo system, never boguth much of anything. And today we have a house. We might be the only ones in America buying a house right now, but it's ours. Let the tax write offs begin!!

I've never downloaded a picture onto this thing before so it kinda got screwed up, but the top picture is the backyard/deck and the bottom one is the front of the house. I would have taken photos of the inside except that it's just a bunch of boxes right now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm back

So it's been two years and a lot has changed.

I no longer work as an Assistant Attorney General in Wisconsin. In fact, I am no longer living in Wisconsin or working as an attorney at all.

My wife finished her medical school education at UW in May and we moved to Sacramento, CA in June for her to start her residency program in OB/Gyn here at UC-Davis. I took the bar exam here in June, but don't get the results back until November and I don't think that I passed because I did not give myself enough time to study (if I do fail I will retake the exam in February and should pass with 3 months of study time). In the meantime we decided that I would take this time as an opportunity to play poker fulltime which has been a dream of mine for the past couple of years. The agreement that my wife and I made is that I must withdraw a certain amount each month from my poker bankroll and if I ever lose all of my poker bankroll than I have to quit and find a "real job."

Luckily, I have been able to keep my end of the agreement and more. A couple of months ago I came in 3rd place in a very large tournament and won more than I would have made in 3 years as an Assistant AG. We have used that money as a down payment on a house and we close tomorrow and are hoping to be all moved in by Saturday.

So that's the background... now let's let the blogging begin (again).

p.s. I am not planning on using this blog to go over hand histories and whatnot because I do enough of that already on