OK HERE'S THE SITUATION
I have been busting my ass at my job for the past year or so, as the GM of a restaurant, one that i really enjoy working at. However, I am very unsatisfied with my pay and bonus plan, although there is a bright future. Well, I like to live for the NOW !! The future is good and all...........but you all know how that goes. Anyways, I have been playing online poker, and poker for that matter period for about a year and a half now. Now, I am not that guy who is gonna come on here and say how sweet I am yada yada yada, but my last couple of months have really gave me alot of confidence. I am not some LEGGGGGGGGY who is gonna take down a large prize each and every night I play, or OZZY who flat out dominates the rebuys, I am just some normal guy who loves to play and is confident he can make a better living than he is at his current employer.
SO.......I guess my question is this : When you decided to "take the plunge" as I once saw it put, how, or for what reasons did some of you pros decide to make this lifestyle change. I am really curious to hear some of your stories.
TYVM ALL AND GL
GG real job ?!?!?!??!
I guess this won't be of much help per se, for your case in particular Rolly... but when I was working at Denny's (yeah I did) I was making like $18/h which isn't horrible, but isn't great obviously.
When I found myself constantly thinking about poker and that I could make the same $18/h 4 tabling the $10+1s whenever I wanted... I decided I had to shut the mill.
I think that if you really are serious about taking the plunge, you should probably equip yourself with an adequate BR and understand that you just simply CANNOT tilt ANY kind of money away because you were feeling bad about yourself, or just didn't care.
When you play to pay the bills, there is also that added stress that you might not live up to your own expectations and the expectations you've promised for the people around you. It is a grind, no question. And it's not something you need to do unless you really, really have/want to.
It really does take a person with a strong character to understand the dynamics and nuances of the swings that poker enevitably brings to the table, so to speak. If you find yourself unable to handle them, than theres no shame in going back to your old job, presuming you still can.
Good luck to you in whatever you choose to do, Rolly.
We'll be back playing the TiltTide soon, my man :)
Interesting post. I have a decent paying job but I just hate it. I would much rather make less money and enjoy what I am doing. As soon as I have 6 months living expenses and a decent enough bankroll to play the higher SnGs and MTTs I will quit my job. GL to you.
I quit b/c work was starting to get stressful and I could tell a major difference in my game on days that I didn't work. I was coming home from work and not playing as well as I could. I didn't have an adequate bankroll to do it at that time but decided to give it a whirl while I was young. Luckily I donked my way into some good paydays in the month after I put in my 2 weeks notice and haven't had to worry about it since. If you believe you can do it and you have decent money management skills, I say go for it. I am sure you have the skills, it is the rest of it you have to think about.
Great post. I graduated last spring from college and made a promise to myself to take 1grand and see where I could go with that playing poker. Ive built a nice bankroll, dont work, do whatever I want whenever I want, and just enjoying life. The thing with poker is you dont know when your next nice pay check will be. And quite frankly that can get scary. Also what health benefits do have with poker. Let me check, none unless you have some type of contract. I took the plunge and by no means am I a big time pro which I hate using the word pro but in all honesty, who knows how long this will last. We all want to win the big one to set us for life but 99% of us will never reach this goal. I say give it a whirl and see what happens.
First of all, you definitely shouldn't go pro until you can lay down AJ (sooted or not) at all times. Throw it away even if it's free in the big blind.
Of course, I'm no pro but here are a few thoughts anyway.
I don't know how much you're working right now (you say you're busting your ass), but you'll still be putting in 40 hour weeks playing poker, if not more. Would you rather be spending all this time in the restaurant or in front of a computer?
You might not always be satisfied with your 'pay plan' from poker. And there won't be too much in the way of bonuses either. You can't just take a big mtt win and spend it all on hookers and dubs.
I think the biggest thing, however, is the future you see yourself getting from playing poker. Are you planning on grinding out money every month and every year? How long are you planning on having poker as a career? Think about where you will be 5 years from now if you keep your GM job. You said the future there looks promising. Now think about yourself as a poker pro 5 years from now. I know you said you want to live in the now, but you still need to think about what's down the road.
I know everything i said seems to be against taking the plunge, but that's what you're asking for. I definitely think you have the skills to do it. It's just whether you want to give up so much to try.
GL in whatever you choose.
A wise post gambowler.
Why not keep your job and use poker to supplement your savings? Then after a few years start buying real estate. You can retire off the rental income after 10 years. Then play poker, collect your rental income, and travel. Try that out.
Will you have a good support system if you turn pro? Will your family support you? Girlfriend or wife support you 100%? What will you do for health insurance? Long term, you need to consider how will you live if online gambling becomes illegal in US? Certainly a consideration in a country where a woman showing her breast at halftime of the Super bowl causes a HUGE uproar.
Is it possible for you to cut back your hours at your job? It is so much better to know where your next check is coming from. Also, how will you fund your retirement years? Do you have a 401K? Do you have a Roth IRA? Do you have a pension plan or match at your work now?
I am lucky in that I love my job so it is easy for me to just play part time for fun. I have been on a 12 week losing streak in MTT's but it is no big deal for me, I am not playing for rent money and after going through a cold deck stretch it is starting to turn for me. It is a great relief for me that I am not playing full time.
However, I am just playing devil's advocate, if you can do it and handle it, then go for it!
I have to disagree with most posters so far who have championed the GO PRO NOW idea. Firstly, poker as we know it know has been this big in terms of online play for only a couple of years. Is there any gurantee this will continue in terms of volume and interest... probably, but its certainly variable. Also, if the US govt decides to start intervening, could become another story.
In terms of making money playing..... how many guys have been playing for years .... and making money. Most people take a shot and play, I dont know if most people plan on playing or can take the life of grinding it out for many years. If you plan on playing full time.. I would put some serious thought into how long you envision yourself in that mode... 1 Year, 5 Years, 10? I would consider if anything else in your life now or in the future would influence this..
You already know about variance I am sure and the bad runs even very good players can have.... Can you absorb a long bad streak? Both mentally and financially? lets say.. 6 montsh of loses for example..
One thing to note is freedom.... I know a lot of people who hated working for someone, hated having a boss... so they left jobs to work on their own or daytrade or something else. After couple years, if things didnt work according to plan.. they werent ready to committ to another job as an employee... Basically, they grew accustomed to freedom, waking up whenever, not answering to anyone. A humble person became someone who didnt think they should answer to anyone. They were more content to explain away potential jobs as not good enough. Not saying this is you, but think about whether some aspect of this may apply to you.
Finally.. after all of the obvious risks you are taking by playing full time... here is one no on has mentioned yet..
while at current job....
Current Full Salary: 70K
Salary in 2 Years: 100K
Salary in 5 years: 150k
If you hang in your current career you will be making 150k in 5 years ...
Also, the experience gained adds to your resume for any future move you may make, gives you more options down the line
as a FT poker player....
Current salary: 90k
Salary in 2 Years: 100k
Salary in 5 Years: 110k
This is a very POSITIVE assumption that you will improve your earn rate tangibly.. which is by no means guranteed..
The point of the example is where you are in 5 years playing poker has more drawbacks possible than first realized.. You actually are in a worse financial situation in 5 years...if you stop playing in 2-3 years.. those years are wasted in terms of getting back in to a career, and never able to get them back. You MUST count the experience and potential earnings 5 years from now in your decision.
Leaving a career and taking a shot are always a gamble... just realize that poker as that gamble puts much more at risk than most think.
Not knowing you and your complete situation... my opinion would be.. stay at work and keep the career on track. Play poker some nights and weekends.... There is plenty of time for you to enjoy it and make money outside of normal day job.. unless you are constrained..
Hope this help see the whole picture...
This is experience talking so consider it carefully.
If you are fully prepared to play for 2 months and lose money the entire 2 months and feel good about it, then you are ready to dive in.
If not then you should reconsider and wait until you are mentally and financially prepared for that to happen.
It could even be longer than 2 months if you were to have a really really horrible run. But I can tell you from experience that 2 months of losing is not only possible, but can be a harsh reality.
This is why I think it is important to have 6 months of living expenses set aside. If you do this a downswing will not effect you as much. I mainly play SnGs and would like to have 100 buy ins if I was playing as a pro. I don't see you going broke if you do this.
Great post. I quit my job last May to go full time. I had about 6months savings in the bank, was sick of my job and career and was making more playing part time than I was working full time.
In reality I just took the plunge and was fortunate to have alot of success (for me) right off. My experience has overall been great. I'm a single dad half time and have had more time and financial resources available for my daughter and girlfriend. I have a lotmore freedom which is something i've always prized more highly then security and I earned more in my first 8months than I ever have in a year of work.
Its not all upside tho. I had a losing month in November which was a first and very stressful. seemed like nothing could go right. Now that I know more I also know my bankroll was inadequate at the time I left my job. I love playing poker for a living right now but also imagine I might not want to do this forever.
It was the right decision for me but definitely is not the right decision for many people.
That's the golden question isn't it? A lot depends on your situation...I have a buddy (who doesn't) that is a pro now after he paid all debts, put away a year worth of living expenses and now clears on average 3-5K per month playing. But he had a low paying job and is actually moving forward by quitting and playing full-time. There's no way I'd go pro, even if I was lucky enough to donk like moneymaker (I'm married and have a 100K job), unless I'd already developed a residual income that already pays all bills. I like the idea earlier in the post that someone put about putting poker profits into real estate to get a residual to live on (Rich Dad, Poor Dad books outline this).
Best on luck with whatever you decide, hopefully gg real job, but for most of us if it were one or the other it'd be gg poker! Lucky that we can still play part time.
I gave up poker all day for my crappy job cause i HATE poker. was way ahead from May to October in low level tournaments(was playing ALL DAY EVERYDAY all year) but instead of stepping up level of play, i yanked money out and paid bills. I had enough to play a few WCOOPs but didnt cash and it killed poker account which lead to needing money again and job. basically i'm stuck. need money to win money and just never save up enough on poker to go for serious cash.
You work?!? j/k seem u spend most of your day at my table. Anyways bro if u decide to go pro best of luck to you. You def have the talent even if RP.com gives us-u no respect lol. I only play part time and shuffle in school and work, but i will give u this ive made more money part time online in 2 yrs than i have in 4 years at my 8$ an hr job. If your family and friends support the idea go for it while you are still young- all of what was said about the perils is probably true, but f wondering what if.
Just my 2 cents c u @ the tables
I think there are "pro poker players" and "people who don't like to work" .... I think distinguishing the difference can be tricky sometimes.
1. What to do about health insurance? ( does the 18-25 year old kid know how much having a baby would cost without insurance?)
2. What about a retirement fund? (401k ect...) can you build enough of a bankroll to retire on or are you gonna have to be wheeled into the casino on your death bed to try to pay for your diapers?
I think you have to take this seriously. Plan. When I was thinking about starting my business (I only wish it were poker!) I busted my ass working both, until it got to the point where I was FINALLY making more at the business than I did at my *regular* job. Only then did I feel confident enough to lose the 401k, health insurance, vacation, and various perks. Yet, there are still rough times. No matter what you do, when you're self employed, and playing poker is self employment, you sweat each time you hear the word recession.. and when you hear the word TAXES.
omg all of you who said to turn pro is basically telling him are giving him bad advice. You want to see this man turn pro because it is not possible for yourself to turn pro. Some concerns I have with the posters. Do you know this person? Do you know what kind of exact situation he is in? Unless you are close to him, then don't make advice that can change this man's life drastically. Poker is a sick game. A short term run of bad beats can hurt him and his family considerably. Does this guy have money to back him up when he gets into bad shape? Most of you are pretty young. Still in college or high school. You guys don't know what it's like to be a true adult with responsibilities. Sometimes the best thing to do is to be sure. Aight. bye
If you have a full time job that you enjoy, and where you can move up to make some real money in, don't ever quit. The best thing to do is to play poker as a serious part-time job until you have results over 6-8 months that show that you can make more money from poker then you can in 5 years at your job. And even THEN I would consider not quitting and just doing both.
Anyway, I "took the plunge" when I won $141k and was able to pay off all of my debts, fully fund a bankroll for the highest tournaments online, and move to Vegas.
I agree with this. Don't quit your job. Have something to fall back on if need be. I'm an undergrad at Michigan, and plan on starting law school next year with the goal of becoming a corporate lawyer. That being said, I plan on playing poker at least 4-5 hours a day throughout school and to a lesser extent when I get a job. It would, in my opinion, be foolish to play poker online exclusively. There's simply too much risk involved, not enough interaction with real people, and it's not rewarding enough IMHO. It is a LOT of work, and it can result in lots stress on yourself, your friends, and family. I consider myself semi-pro, as I make enough to pay out of state tuition at the most expensive public school in the country.
This was the original thread when I quit the middle of last year. I think there are many many quality posts here regarding this subject. I said this when Truesyalose took the plunge "it the single most stressful yet self-gratifying thing you will do" I quit with a little under 10k in the bank and online sites, and focused on winning at the bare minimum 100-200 a day to pay the bills, I wouldnt "let" myself play in a $50 or $100 or whatever buy-in mtt, until I had atleast made (SnG's, cash game, Hds up) my quota for the day plus whatever the buy in was.. Be smart, I probably quit a little early considering that first month I took the losses and bad beats hard, and didnt let them slide off...But that first score after you quit (I got 2nd and first in the nightly UB $30 on consecutive days) will be better than anything previous...
Sorry for rambling, I guess I'm considered the poster boy for this type of "risk", as I made it public early and for the time being succeeded. Read the old thread if you havent already, particularly NSXT's post about optimism
oh yeah and F bowties
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