I’ve thought about this subject a decent amount and feel like I can add to it since I’m in a completely different place than I was 6 months ago.
I lived in Vegas for a few years playing poker and loved it. Black Friday was absolutely the worst thing that could have happened to me at the absolute worst time. I was on my largest downswing ever being backed and had lost enough of my personal roll to where I didn’t have the ability to travel anywhere besides Vegas and LA. The WSOP was kind of my last shot at trying to get something going and needless to say, I didn’t get it going. I kind of floated around for a few months after that trying to grind up a roll playing cash and staying consistent, but it wasn’t working. Eventually I decided something had to change. I didn’t want to wake up 5 years down the road (I was 24 at the time) and still be playing poker live in the casinos in Las Vegas. I just didn’t see myself getting to any level of personal success doing that. For the record, I definitely thought that online poker gave me the extra chance to succeed and make a large amount of money player poker. Without online poker, I didn’t see the ability to progress as a poker player the way I wanted to and build a career out of it. I didn’t want to have a wife and/or kids and be grinding 2/5 at Bellagio lol.
I moved back to my hometown and gave up poker and focused on getting my shit back together and getting a career going. Luckily, I have a degree and had something else to fall back on. I’ve since got a job that I love and gives me a lot of freedom and have started to play poker again a little bit on the weekends. I’ve got to say, taking several months off from poker was the best thing I could have done. Playing is fun again. I still don’t really have a concept of the money but it’s nice to be able to not worry about losing and just having fun with it. I don’t wear headphones while playing anymore. Talking and interacting with people at the table is fun. I don’t tilt when people play bad vs me and get there. Time off really has changed my entire outlook on poker. I live in KY though which doesn’t even allow Merge/Cake so that sucks. I’d like to be able to play on the weekends online.
One thing I can say is that I wish I had defined goals better as a professional player and done more to get that shit done. I messed around too much when I was playing full time. I didn’t take advantage of my opportunities and I really don’t think I played in the most optimal way. I think I just wanted to play the highest stakes with (who I thought was) the best and it didn’t matter what my ROI was. It really bothers me now looking back how I thought I deserved to be playing high stakes online when I don’t think I had the results to be playing HS on a regular basis. I feel like had I actually treated it like a job I wouldn’t have had to make the decisions that I did. I still have a desire to play high stakes again and hope I’ll get the chance to. I honestly think I’m a much better poker player now simply from having an entirely new mindset and just being happy when I play for fun and play for the competition. I know that I’m in a mindset where I could crush poker again and wish that I could play but I don’t think I even would commit to it full time again without online poker or a life changing score. I’m confident that online poker will come back relatively soon but not in any form that we used to see.
I’m not sure I was fit to play professionally when I was a year ago. Maybe it was the fact that it all got taken away from me or maybe I’ve matured a bit with the extra responsibilities I’ve taken on. Looking back on it, I really do miss it and wish I could be doing the professional thing again. Actually, I probably shouldn’t refer to myself as a former professional, but a former full time player.
Anyways, I could probably continue to ramble on, but I do miss online poker and poker in general and still think it would be awesome to play full time again. GL to all those still grinding it out.