Thursday, April 28, 2011

Playing Live

For the last 4 years I have made my living almost exclusively from playing in online MTTs. After Black Friday, that is just no longer an option for me. But much like I was in limbo 4 years ago when I was waiting for my bar exam results, I am again currently in limbo since we are leaving Sacramento at the end of June and have planned quite a bit of family/vacation stuff for July and August. So since I have an abundance of free-time on my hands, I have decided to finally look a little more deeply into the live card room scene here in Sacramento.

So far I've only been to two establisments: the Thunder Valley casino which is just outside of Roseville about half an hour from my house; and the Limelight cardroom which is on the corner of Alhambra and J which is less than 2 miles from my house (actually close enough to walk to if I really wanted).

The benefits of the Limelight is that it is so damn close, players get dinner for free, and the play so far has been pretty weak. The detriment is that they only offer 1/2 NL and most players only buy-in for $40-60 so it would be hard to pull in the $200-400 a day that I would need to average to make not getting a real job a viable option.

The benefit of Thunder Valley is that they offer $1/3 up to $5/10 NL and although I haven't played in anything higher than 1/3 yet, the games do not seem like they are incredibly tough so averaging a little less than half a buy-in a day at 5/10 might be possible. The detriment of Thunder Valley is that it is a ways away, and it is an Indian casino which means they don't follow California's statewide ban on smoking on the casino floor so you end up coming home smelling like an ashtray.

The detriment at all live rooms is that they rake $3-4 as soon as you see a flop and then you are expected to tip dealers on any pot you win so you really do need to play at higher limits so that the rake doesn't take away so much of your profit. Of course the higher you play, the better (in general) your opponents are...

Anyhoo, there are two more rooms in town the Capitol Casino and Casino Royale which according to their websites and from what I have heard may or may not have higher games. At this point I will probably just keep heading to the Limelight since it is so close and I am making a profit. If/when the game seems to be drying up on me I will probably try and take a look at the other rooms in town.

On the house front, the inspector came yesterday and I assume we will hear relatively soon if there was anything horrible that he found. The whole telephone game when realtors are involved gets really tiresome (inspector will give report to their realtor, their realtor gives report to buyers who will then probably have questions/concerns which they relay to their realtor who then talks to our realtor who then will finally talk to us) but I guess you just have to play that game. Hopefully all went well and then our next and last hurdle will be the appraisal of the house by the buyers/mortgage company.

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Escrow

We are now officially in escrow. At this point we need the house to get appraised at the agreed upon price so the loan goes through and then we need to have little to no problems when the house gets inspected. If all goes well we are closing June 30th, which is Charmian's last day of work.

On the poker front, I am going to try and play some live poker this week at the various card rooms around town.

On the job front, I still need to get my resume in order and then start shipping it off to firms and state agencies in Fresno.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Moving On...

Here is a really good overall look into what happened last Friday in the online poker world.

On the housing front - we are really close to getting a deal done. The prospective buyers and ourselves are $5k apart right now. Unfortunately we don't have anymore wiggle room. The last deal we offered will mean that we have to take every last cent we have in our savings to closing. So it is now up to the buyers and/or realtors. Either they come up with that last $5k or the deal just won't happen. With my online funds in neverneverland just paying our monthly expenses is now going to be super tight so hopefully we can finalize a deal and at least get this house monkey off our back.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Sky is Falling/Black Friday

For most people in the U.S., April 15th is known because it is the last day in which you can file your taxes without a penalty. For U.S. online poker players, April 15th will be known because that was the day that the online poker sky finally fell. For the past couple of years, every 6 months or so there would arise some new tidbit which would make the online world get their panties in a bit of bunch amid rampant speculation that all of the poker sites were about to be closed. Well yesterday that actually happened. The fouders/CEOs of the 3 biggest online poker sites which allow US players to play were indicted yesterday on charges of bank fraud, illegal gambling, and money laundering. In response, PokerStars and FullTilt (the two biggest sites) no longer allow U.S. players to play on their servers. UB/Absolute poker is no longer allowing players to deposit or withdraw but they can still play there.

So what's that mean for me, a professional poker player who plays a majority of his poker online? Well it means for right now I am out of a job. I attempted to withdraw the vast majority of my bankroll yesterday, but I have no idea if the transaction will go through or not.

If I am able to access my funds then for the next couple of months at least I will focus on playing at the live casinos and card rooms around here. If not, well then there's not a lot I can do but sit and wait.

No matter what, I have decided that now is as good as a time as any to get back into the "real workforce." Poker has been super tough for me this last year as it is, so keeping poker as a nice hobby that can bring us some extra income but not something that we are depending on to pay the bills may very well actually reduce the stress in my life.

So I am going to start working on my resume and my first plan of attack will be to apply for positions in the D.A.'s office and the Public Defender's office in Fresno. I really enjoyed my criminal law experience when I was in law school so I am hoping that I can get back into that field in Fresno. From my experience, criminal law is much more flying by the seat of your pants, there is lots of time in courtrooms and in front of judges and not as much time writing briefs sitting in an office and I really enjoyed that.

On the housing front; we are in the midst of offers and counter-offers and I am hopeful but not 100% confident that we can get a deal done. The next couple of days should be interesting...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Not a lot to update

There hasn't been a ton of stuff going on here. The house continues to get quite a bit of traffic but we still haven't got any bites yet. Pokerwise I am continuing to get my feet wet playing cash where I believe I will finally be profitable once I learn how to let go of top pair/overpair hands.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Back from Jamaica

We put the house on the market right before we left for vacation so that our house would be empty, Chula (our dog) would be out of the house and not shedding her hair everywhere, and to try and get as much traffic through our house as possible while we were gone.

Between my work on the house and Charmian's consistently brutally long hours we decided to treat ourselves and went to an all-inclusive resort. We went to Sandals in Negril Jamaica and had a really relaxing time. We pretty much were just super lazy and enjoyed spending 8+ hours everyday at the beach. We did partake of pretty much everything they had to offer at least once tho - we went snorkeling, waterskied, went kayaking, used the gym, played tennis, and Charmian got a massage. But the rest of the time we just read books, played scrabble, drank lots of drinks and ate lots of food. And it felt good to just be lazy.

I spent today starting to paint our back deck and will finish that tomorrow and once I complete that our house is done. So far we have had quite a bit of traffic but no real bites as of yet. We are going to have another open house this weekend and then it's just wait and see. At this point we have done everything we can so now everything is out of our hands and we just have to hope for the best. I am not super confident that we are going to be able to sell the house because the market is so depressed in this area - but at least we will know that we did everything we could.

If it doesn't sell, then we will either look into a short sale (which from what I understand depends more on our lender than anything else) or we will just rent it out.

Pokerwise my plan is to pretty much just focus on cash games this month since I need to be able to leave the house on short notice if anyone decides that they want to take a look at it.