Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Just One More Day, Just One More Day...

One last day to kill at the day job before fleeing for the holidays. I'm taking off a week and a half to burn unused vacation days that I'll otherwise lose, which combined with company holiday days means I won't have to step foot in this place for about 15 days or so after today. To which I can only reply: sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

So I have to admit that I'm seriously considering giving the full-time poker gig a go, when I slip the surly bonds of the day job in a few months. I've tried to avoid that line of thinking in the past, for all sorts of reasons, but I'm reaching a certain point where I think it's equally foolish to rule it out. Especially as far as doing it as a three month trial run, after which I'll reassess everything and see where I'm at.

Reasons to Give Playing Poker Full-Time a Whirl for 3 Months When My Current Cube Monkery Existence Ends

1) I'm clocking in at 1.67 BB/100 at 15/30 and above, over 31,928 hands. I completely and utterly realize that's not the largest sample size in the world, and that I shouldn't draw any conclusions from it, for that reason. Completely understand that. That said, as much as it pains the modest side of me to say this, I know what I'm doing, and I just can't see that number dropping below .75 BB/100 (especially if you add in rakeback-propping), which is about what I currently make, on an hourly basis, playing 15/30 and above.

2) My eyes are pretty wide open. Grasp what a grind it'd be playing full-time? Check. Understand the realities of variance, taxes, etc.? Yep. Willing to simply grind online with no notions or desire of fame and taking shots at much larger games? Yep. Understand the horribly unfulfilling nature of clicking buttons all day? Yep. Have the ability to park my ass in front of the comupting box for ridiculous lengths of time? Yep.

3) I've saved enough money and have enough supplemental income streams from my freelancing/Web endeavors to simply not work for three months, at all. Aside from that, I'm adequately bankrolled to play 30/60, as far as what's currently in the online bankroll. There's absolutely no external pressure to make a single solitary dollar from the three months of full-time poker play, as far as paying bills and what-not.

4) Why the hell not? If there's any time in my life to do something like this, now is it. I can get health insurance via my wife's plan for pretty much the same price I'm currently paying. I don't sacrifice anything, as the only bright spot of my current job is the flexible scheduling and telecommuting two days a week. In the grand scheme of things, I really don't make that much money, nor do I have any career with this company or within this industry. If I were making $150,000/year or had an MBA or any other professional bankroll built up, then yeah, I'd have to ponder long and hard on turning my back on that. As is, there's really not much that I'm giving up.

5) I'd also have more time to devote to other personal business ventures, as I don't necessarily envision myself playing 8 full hours every day. The ability to generate some income from poker would make the potential transition to being self-employed that much easier and provide a bridge that would make the sudden cessation of a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks much less traumatic.

6) When I exit Cubelandia, my payout for our annual bonus + accrued vacation time will be close to three month's salary. So, in many ways, taking three months off to play poker is a freeroll, if you use a little imagination.

7) While not 100% gung ho, ScurvyWife has given the plan the official thumbs-up, if I choose to pursue it.

8) This sounds bad, but there's little danger in this resulting in poker becoming a grind for me, and not as much fun as it once was. That train left awhile ago, as far as the joy produced from simply playing poker. I like the competitive side of it, true, but there's not much simple pokery joy left to grind away.

Reasons Not to Give Playing Poker Full-Time a Whirl for 3 Months When My Current Cube Monkery Existence Ends

1) Stability. A guaranteed paycheck is very nice, especially when I supplement it with poker winnings and other income. It greatly accelerates the curve towards potential early retirement, especially since it's injecting principal more rapidly early on.

2) If even reasonably sucessful, the three month stint might ruin me as far as getting another similar day job, in the corporate world. This one I actually worry about, as a job like my current one is only barely tolerable because I've conditioned myself to accept it. Three months of not wearing pants and sleeping and waking up whenever I want would make it very, very hard to even grudgingly re-enter the workforce. This actually worries me more than anything, as the long-term goal is to one day get another job, at some point.

3) Stress. My life is really, really low stress right now. And pretty damn happy. Part of me wonders about the wisdom in rocking that boat, especially in relation to playing poker and exposing myself to potential stress-inducing events like dropping 150BB in a month, due to nothing more than plain ol' variance. I could get another day job, be much happier working for a sane, reasonable employer, and continue to motor on stress-free, as I've been doing.

I'm sure I'm missing a few, but that's basically the pros and cons rolling around in my head. Any thoughts or comments would be highly appreciated, as I'm sure I'm overlooking more than a few things. Any decision is still a few months off, so I'm still very much in the roll-things-around-in-my-head-stage.

Edit: helixx does raise the very good point about the potential con of a gap in my resume, if/when I do re-enter the workforce. I hadn't considered that, honestly, but it's sort of a weird simultaneous pro/con. I touched on this briefly in another post, but one potential plan that my wife and I have been discussing is living in Curacao/Belize/Costa Rica for a year or two, and the possibility (probably a small one, but there) that I could land a gig with an online operator based there, doing affiliate manager/SEO/content creation/player retention work. So while resume gaps could be a real concern, it also could potentially be a resume booster (or at least something that wouldn't hurt me to list), as far as taking time off to play poker full-time, given the nature of potential jobs I might be pursuing.

I also have the MFA gathering dust, and one potential way of filling a resume gap is through the trusty saved-up-money-and-took-time-off-to-write-the-great-American-novel river bluff that many people seem to respect, whether or not it's actually, you know, true.


Chris Halverson said...

Sounds like you've thought things through. Good luck!

Chad said...

Do it. Dooooooo iiiiiit.

That's all I've got.

helixx said...

there's another "con". re-entering the workforce will be hard for you to go back to enduring eventually (i am assuming you aren't going to be grinding poker until retirement age) so another big factor will be what that gap on your resume will look like to future employers. its the other side of your con.

One con is you hating to return to work, the other con is work saying "wtf? this guy has a 3 month/6 month/3 year gap on his resume. was he selling crack? working as a geisha? we really don't know. next!" or, should you choose to include such a stint on the old CV, maybe you'll get the even more dubious, "hey this guy played poker for a living for a year. he may be insane."

truthfully, i hadn't thought about these downsides until i seriously started thinking about getting a new job and dealing with the resume questions that invariably come up.

April said...

I second the C's and say go for it. No reason for you to continue doing something you truly dread. If playing poker will make you happier, more relaxed, etc. it's a good thing.

cc said...

The resume gap shouldn't be an issue unless it is of significance. One thought would be to do some legwork around what your time would look like if you did this full time (how many hours/week would you play online, would live play enter in) as well as what other objectives would you have. If you could map out what a normal month would look like three months into it, it may help you as your working to figure it out.

That said, I wouldn't underestimate the advantages of employment as an enabler to doing other things that you love (poker). You may also want to utilize your income to augment your other activities; e.g., more tourneys, more travel to play, etc.

Ignatious said...


nuff said.

Drizztdj said...

The American Dream my friend.

Having a job that you WANT, rather then need.

Live it out.

Falstaff said...

What is your MFA in? And does it lend itself to the almost-always acceptable response of "freelance" when asked about the resume gap?

My degree is in theatre, and most of my experience is in design, so a period of "freelancing" is almost required in my world, and most normal employers understand that those crazy artist-types need to get that crap out of their system eventually. So that may help explain your gapitis in the resume.

Good luck. Go for it.

BSN said...

Don't worry about the gap. As you've said, you have a lot of side ventures going. Your resume will just read something like, "President/Owner/Grand Poo-Bah, ScurvyCorp", and you can describe your business and duties same as if it were a job working for McBigAssCo.

"Responsible for business development, operations, etc..."

You're right, this is the time in your life to do it. And, having a wife that isn't quite 100% behind you is a good thing, in that she'll hold you accountable.

Good Luck!


Beck said...

Go for it.

Madroxxx said...

So let me see if I have this summerized correctly.

8 Damn good reasons to do it.
1 Reason(I'm scared) not to do it?

Remember the immortal words of eminem

"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?.....He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him"

Never-Limp said...

Lots of us are going to be envious of you....good luck!

Donkeypuncher said...

as long as you keep writing, go for it! (yes, i'm being completely selfish)

littleacornman said...

Good luck and all the best.
Hope it works out well.
Oh and Merry Xmas!

Toby Leah Bochan said...

I'm late to the comment game on this, but as someone who has had a similar background and so on...

Do it! I took 3 months off to write and work on pokery stuff and got another job without much of a hitch. It wasn't too hard to get back into the groove and while I miss the freedom of freelancing, it's not too bad.

Also, the MFA/writing the book excuse goes far for the gap, and as long as you can BS your way through an interview about the projects you were working on... and I know you can.

For me, personally, the biggest drawback of leaving work was that I'm a very social creature and I missed people. And structure. And putting on pants before 4. But that's me.