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  1. In a classic episode of Seinfeld, Jerry explains to Elaine about the time Superman discovered Bizarro World where everything is the opposite of our world. Down is up, right is wrong, you say goodbye when you come and hello when you leave. For me June felt like Bizarro World.

    If you read my posts each month, you know that my wife and I have been in the process of buying a new house and that there were some speed bumps along the way. In any case, finally June was our month to close on the sale of our old home and close on the purchase of our new one. The first week of June was kind of normal and I was able to play a fairly regular schedule. However, that’s when Bizarro World started…

    The second week of June I had a “vacation” week to close both houses and actually make the move. However, this vacation consisted of working 12-14 hour days, packing, moving, painting, cleaning, unpacking, etc.

    The third week of June I was back to work but the entire week was spent traveling to North and South Carolina. I was there first for a conference then for me to visit and encourage about ½ dozen of our denominations pastors/churches in the South. So even though I was “back to work”, this particular week included a lot of sitting around, nice dinners out and chances to sleep in or catch a movie.


    Late one night I also remembered that Mark “1DullGeek” Horn lived nearby where I was staying. I texted him and he jumped in his car to come meet up. We had previously met one year at the WSOP Circuit stop in Cherokee, but this was a nice chance to just sit and get to know each other a bit better. What I find interesting is that in many of these types of interactions I have with players, poker rarely comes up. For Mark and I in over 2 hours of conversation, poker may have been about 15 minutes of it. In any case, we had a great time. If you don’t already follow him, you can do so here. Twitter: https://twitter.com/1dullgeek Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/1dullgeek


    The last week of June then was “back on vacation”...yep you guessed it…more unpacking, cleaning, painting, etc. All that to say, June was not a month I had much time to play poker. In fact, about 1/3 of all my buy-ins for the month occurred on just 1 Sunday. Unfortunately, even though I ran pretty good that day, my run-bad was in really bad spots (bubbled 3 tourney’s) and so that 1 losing day wiped out what would have been a winning month. Now again granted volume was super low for the month so it didn’t really hurt.

    So exactly what did the month look like? Here it is…

    60..…Tournaments Played
    29…..Cashes (48.3%)
    7..…. Final Tables
    2.......Top 3 Finishes
    2……Wins
    $2221.61 in total cashes (-8.7% ROI)

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $490,517.82
    Career Lifetime Total: $556,129.07
    Career number of Cashes: 4417

    Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor
    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

  2. April and May were once again limited in the amount of time I had to play poker. We finally have a closing date for selling our old house and then buying the new one but there were still plenty of things that needed to be done in the meantime. My hope now is to get back to a normal schedule by July. However, so as to not keep belaboring my lack of time to grind month after month, let’s switch topics to something you guys asked about…

    The question was, “How do you have such a high “In The Money” percentage?” I think the answer to that is multi-faceted so let’s break it down. First, I would say, is the ability to gain a healthy stack in the early stage of a tourney which then helps propel me to being in the money and then further. On Merge I have a definite skill edge over 90+% of the field so if I’m playing well then just making it to the money is not too hard.

    Now obviously there are times I’m either not playing well or running well and this leads to my second point, which is I have a large bankroll for this site which allows me to fire multiple bullets. 2 years ago I was in Las Vegas playing a WSOP $1500 event when Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi got moved to my table. To me a $1500 buy-in is big…to him it was no big deal. His attitude was if I bust I bust and I’ll just re-buy back in during the next flight. It was then that I realized, that it’s the same way for me on Merge. The buy-ins I play range from $5.50-$162. With my bankroll, I can fire each of these tournaments multiple times. In fact, using Poker Dominator to track everything, I can tell you that personally I can fire 5 times in the $5.50 and still be profitable. 4 times in the $11, 3 times in the $33 and 2 times in both the $109 and $162. So the ability to fire multiple times and still not only be ITM but also be profitable is a huge advantage.

    Now when the question was originally asked, one of the people also made the comment that not only are you cashing but you’re also making deep runs so it’s not like you’re just holding on to get into the money. While that is true, I also sort of have this innate ability to know when I should play for the win and when it’s better to just hang on for the min cash. In other words, sometimes the EV play is to fold when short stacked because the value of a double up isn’t as great as the odds are of making it to the money if you just fold another orbit. This is of course a form of ICM. Even then though there are times when I’m totally playing exploitatively against others. If I think I can get a steal through I will, even if it means I bust as the bubble boy. Again, this one is tough to explain but it’s something I’ve just seemed to naturally have a good feel for even before push/fold charts and ICM calculators and such came into popularity.

    So there you have it…skill, firing multiple bullets and being a short stack ninja, in my mind are the 3 biggest reasons I consistently cash 40-45% of all the tourneys I play. Of course it always helps to run good as well in key spots but like you guys I have both heaters and downswings to contend with. So what do you guys think…any other reasons you can think of for why either myself or others that cash a large percentage of the time do so? Leave your comments here on the blog or Tweet a comment on my post.

    Ok as for April and May let’s take a look at the once again limited grind… was fortunate enough to have a couple of nice wins to somewhat make up for the limited amount of action…

    143…Tournaments Played
    68…..Cashes (47.6%)
    16.…. Final Tables
    6.......Top 3 Finishes
    4……Wins
    $7401.78 in total cashes (77.85% ROI)

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $488,309.21
    Career Lifetime Total: $553,907.46
    Career number of Cashes: 4388

    Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

  3. It's good to be back on US soil after two months in Europe. I absolutely love everything about Europe, but nearing the end of my journey I started to get exhausted from the travel. It's always good to get back home and take a short break to regroup and get the mind and body feeling good again.


    For the past week of being home, I have been considering my exit from poker. Each day I come up with something new. But today I am questioning why I am questioning my future. I've determined that there is something about being in my hometown that makes me feel like I have to do what everyone is doing (get a "real" job, buy a house, find a wife, have kids, ect...).


    However, the past couple of days I have the fire lit under me again. I'm ready to compete, and put all my hard work to the test. Poker has been the one thing over the past 15 years that I haven't given up. I have spent thousands of hours studying this game and thousands of hours playing this game. Constantly, I am learning and thinking about how I can play hands/spots better and exploit my opponents.


    The passion is still there. I absolutely love poker. I still strive to be the best. I still love the competition.


    People laughed behind my back when they found out that I was playing poker for a living. They will never understand. I hope they continue to doubt me, because it's one of the main reasons I am able to succeeded. I find it sad that people waste their energy rooting against me and waiting for me to fail instead of finding ways to change their life for the better, but to each their own. Most people have given up on their dream, I have not.


    If I come off a bit arrogant sometimes, it's because I worked really hard for this. I typically put in 80 hours a week in some form, just to make sure I have enough money for the month to pay the bills. I didn't have natural talent like so many of the successful poker players. I had to work really hard for this. I am proud of my success and will continue to strive for more.


    My goals haven't change even though my surroundings are trying to talk me into change. I will be a champion. I will win World Series of Poker Rings. I will win a major tournament. I will continue to travel to the world while fulfilling my dream. But even if I don't get those things, I will never give up on this dream!


    You can not stop me!


    If you are unhappy with your current situation, here are a few things I hope will help.


    Don't let the people closet to you scare you away from what you are doing. They don't understand what you are trying to accomplish and so often they try to talk you out of something because they themselves were never able to take a risk and even attempt to accomplish their goals.


    Stay focused. This is what you want. There are going to be moments of pain. It will not be easy. You will not get to the end goal if you're distracted. You have to work on your goal everyday. If you truly want it, there is no reason to take a day off. Don't take baby steps, take leaps. But understand that even with taking leaps, this goal will take time. be prepared for the long haul


    If the main fear for accomplishing your goal is the financial burden, find ways to simplify your life. Don't buy the $7 Starbucks everyday. Get rid of subscription services like Netflix (it's going to distract you from your goal anyways). Sell your vehicle. Live in a cheaper apartment/house or live free and travel around from different cheap AirBnb's. Move to a cheaper country. If you work digitally, you can live in places like Thailand for under $500 a month.


    People will judge you. As soon as you start reaching for something that seems unobtainable to others, they will judge you. They will wait for you to fail. Use this as motivation and tell yourself, "I must succeed".


    But Chris, It's easy for you to say...

    Just stop. There is a way. It's easy to come up with excuses why you can't do something. That's what 99% of people do and that's why they get stuck working some job they hate with no life fulfillment. You are different. You're the 1% that will find a way.


    Lastly...


    Don't make it all about money. I hate the cliche, but it's true, money will not make you happy. You need to find something that you truly enjoy. If you make $20,000 a year from it or $200,000 a year from it, it shouldn't matter. Remember, this is what you want. The financial aspect is just the payoff for your passion.


    Chris 'Professional Homeless Poker Player' Perkins

 
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