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ChameleoN89

arrogance, reality check, or is it time?

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Looking for some advice on the topic of leaving my job and going fulltime poker. I've been on the fence about it for awhile now and I feel as if im ready to make the polar plunge or I may never do it. I'm hoping the discussion here will help further my reassurance on my decision or help provide some other angles or insight I may not have thought of or should put more weight into.

Just to give a little background info on me, im almost 28 and live in Virginia. I've played poker somewhere around 5 years now. The bulk of my playing time will be live at the new MGM, maryland live, and borgata with the majority at the closest one to me (MGM about 50 miles). I would be mainly playing 1/2 and mixing in some 2/5 shots here and there. I'm still going to play online some but want the main focus to be live. The job I would be leaving is a $16/h night shift job working in a 0 degree warehouse. I have a serious girlfriend I will end up marrying soon and a family to plan for not too far in the future, she is supportive if I decide to make the jump but cautious because of obvious reasons. I will need to earn about $1,200/month to cover my expenses. I think I can also bet sports and play blackjack profitably but want that to be on a very small scale and not factored into my main income.

The independence of being your own boss and having an open work schedule is very attractive to me. I apologize I probably didnt write this very well and maybe left out some information needed but any feed back will definitely be appreciated.

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I have read a few articles about this subject. That is the extent of my experience going pro, hahaha. There is some obvious things to consider you did not mention. Maybe you have already considered them. For starters you obviously need to be able to play winning poker. I would get a decent sample size of good record keeping so you know exactly what your win rate is. It is not uncommon for someone to think they crush it just to learn they only win 2 bb an hour. You need to have a realistic expectation of how much you can make. Im sure someone could dispute this but winning 10bb an hour seems like a great start. Expecting to win 20bb an hour I think would mean you are really crushing.

Bankroll is obvious. You cant expect to make a living if you dont have a decent roll. I dont even know where to start with that. I would think at least $5gs for $1/2.

If you can win 10bb per hour ,and need to win $1200 per month, you need to play at least 60hrs per month. If you find you can only expect 5bb an hour you need to play 120hrs.

Just a few simple questions to work out before making the jump. Im sure there is some more things to work out that im not mentioning. gl

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Yes having a bankroll is Definitly needed.. if dont hit that 1200 mark are you done??? Is you gf that supportive and will understand if dont hit some months and cover??? Do you have a plan for how many hours looking to play a month. Have you considered working part time at first and play more to test the water?? If your able to start part time I think that will be best bet. You have a better understanding what to expect!! Definitely keep a journal and study you stats as much as you can!! What does your current stats look like?? Hope to here more of your progress!! Hope your transition goes well...

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Appreciate the responses so far guys. To help give a little more information to the thread on concerns ive seen posted. I book a win in roughly 80% of sessions I play for wins anywhere between $200-900 and never book a loss for more than $400. To be more specific when I touched on playing blackjack and betting sports profitably I meant as I have the blackjack mathamatical chart memorized so I know what to do on every scenerio and might play it once a week. As far as sports go im talking about $20 a bet and maybe looking to make a few hundred a month from it.

As far as my job goes its a bonus that I just have a regular run of the mill job and not a career im leaving and if I take a slight pay cut or possibly make a little more to make my life more enjoyable im all for it. I grossed 32k at my job this year so I brought home maybe 23k so if I could make around 25k playing cards that would cover all my expenses and leave me some left over. I think the timing of this plays a big role also since I more or less just have me to look out for right now and in maybe two years ill have a wife/kid/etc to consider. My short term maybe long term goal would be to move up to playing 5/10 regularly and not live at the 1/2 forever.

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If you sportsbet and play blackjack you will go broke... start off taking records of your 1/2 cash games, get a sample size and reevaluate. Best of luck to ya. Just my 2 cents as someone who played for a living in the past

I was invested & on the fence on this topic until I read "play BJ & sportsbet profitably". Successful players will tell you they have stayed away from the pit. Gambling heroes will tell you they wish they would have. Playing $1/$2 live you can average a $10-$20 hourly pretty well but there are months in the year where you absolutely will not be able to come up with $1.2k if you do decide to put poker as the sole income. That is whether you play 1/2 or 2/5.

Bankroll is also key. You don't want to have to be playing like you are make or break with your cash/life situation in every hand you play.

IMO, grind a significant roll on the side & save what you can from your hourly job but don't mix the funds. See what roll is bigger in four months & evaluate. Once you jump into playing full time you will also be spending money (hopefully) on things to better your poker game which will be in expenses as well.

The thought of being your own boss is appealing, but not as deterring as not having a guaranteed paycheck.

Everyone should take some time away though & see if they can hack it, but I did read the phrase "take some shots" which doesn't always scream BR management in past experiences reading that statement in threads. Maybe take a WSOP trip & spend a week or two grinding the $235 daily deepstacks or whatever is in your bankroll (cash games, sattys, sngs's etc)...$235 deepstacks have opportunities to build a serious roll daily though.

GL on whichever path you take!

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In my opinion, if you think you can play blackjack profitably, I would say quitting your job is a bad idea until you study and understand how casino games work.

Keep the job, and play part time on the side IMO. I don't think becoming a professional poker player is something people should just dive into...It's a slow progression which takes a great deal of time and is almost never without a large number of hurdles.

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Ye this is something you should spend some time on, Shit can get rocky real fast when you "have" to win to pay the bills, in past experience playing and needing to win is a complete disadvantage straight away, keep the job, work on EVERY! and I mean every aspect and outcome, save money, play when youve free time, study like you want it and get some coaching/talk to somebody with experience and has gone true what your thinking of doing, personally when im playing and know I dont need to win to pay bills or have to worry about money I play much better and have more fun doing so aswel, just my 2cents anyways, goodluck what ever you decide.

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I was forced out of my job last Nov and used that as an opportunity to play poker full-time. I have to tell you man its really tough. I play 80% online and about 20% live. I have had 2 significant downswings already in that time and it puts a real strain on the relationship, no i didnt go broke just lost about 1/2 the BR in the process and therefore had no income.

I am still going with it and trying my hardest to make it work because

1. I love playing

2. I have had enough of brainless morons running my life (working for others)

3. I have invested a lot of time and money in the game over the years, now i need to put it to the test.

All i am really saying is dont go nlindly into this. Variance can and will be a total bitch, mostly when you really need it to not be if you are trying to make a living from poker.

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Being a poker pro is tough, speaking from experience. Although if you have the determination you can do it. Make sure you have savings and save some money each month from your winnings. I primarily play online though and sometimes live. So I don't really know how feasible it is to have a sustainable income from live games considering that your volume will be pretty shit comparing to online. If you live in the US I would recommend grinding out ACR instead as they have decent 27% RB that will help you during the time when you have break even months. If you rake in $5,000 and break even you can still make $1,350.

The key thing about being a pro is currency leveraging. I am not really familiar with the cost of living in the US but I was quite surprised to see that $1,200 would be enough for you for a month. I live in the UK for the moment and need about $2,000 for living expenses etc. Have you perhaps considered moving out of US to play poker? If you have enough savings you could consider that with your gf. You could save some more money on it. It is a hard thing to do, but for most, it is worth it.

Don't jump into it unless you are confident enough to make money consistently. You may feel like you are maybe of some recent heater that is boosting your confidence. But be warned - poker is not all sunshine and rainbows.

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My thoughts:

1. You should be beating 2/5 for 40/hour+ before you consider quitting your job. Grinding 1/2 live for a living would be an existence I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. There is nothing wrong with playing 1/2 at all, you just don't want to do it for a living.

2. The small edge that you may be able to obtain if you counted at blackjack ("knowing the book" doesn't give you an edge) wouldn't be worth the variance + threat of getting banned from casinos. If you want to play poker full time, it is time to quit blackjack 100%. More importantly, you want to concentrate all of your mental energy on improving your hourly rate and moving up stakes. Blackjack is a distraction (and typically a costly one). Stay out of the pit entirely. No shots whatsoever.

3. Betting sports is also a distraction. If you are in the very small percentage of people who may be able to obtain an edge given the right data and experience, you wouldn't be playing 1/2nl (genuinely no offense meant by that - it is just reality).

You should also dedicate a large portion of your time towards studying and improving. If your plan is to dive in and play 80 hours of 1/2 a week with no path to improvement, I think you are taking the wrong approach. I know that studying doesn't pay the bills in the short term, but you want to think long term as a player. Finally, you need to spend time considering your sleeping, eating, meditating, and workout habits. All of those aspects of your life become much more important as you play longer hours. Mental health is a huge part of playing your A game.

Regardless of what you choose, good luck to you. I respect people that are willing to chase a passion, but make sure you take a measured approach and don't just dive into the deep end.

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