Homeless Poker Player On TwitchSeptember 7th, 2015 by Carlos Welch
Thanks to poker, so far this year I’ve made more money than I ever have in my life. Being the nit that I am, my first thought was ″How can I hold on to this money for as long as possible?″ This question led me to the bright idea of moving into a van. Not only has this kept me from blowing the money, it has given me one helluva story to share with the world on Twitch.
I started playing poker recreationally in 2004. Since those early years, I’ve always had regular jobs including being a programmer for the University of Georgia, a real estate agent, and a middle school math teacher.
After my 5th year of teaching in 2012, I decided to try my hand at playing poker for a living. At the time, I owned a 4 bedroom 3 bathroom house and was making roughly $40K a year. After my girlfriend left me, I realized that I was spending around $1000 a month for a house that I no longer wanted or needed.
When I wasn’t traveling to play poker, which I did frequently, I spent all day playing poker in just one of the rooms while the others sat empty. I decided I could save a lot of money if I moved into an extended stay hotel, so I did.
I moved into a one room studio efficiency that cost me $160 a week and included all the utilities. I was saving a ton! Not only that, I did not have to pay for the place whenever I traveled to play poker for weeks on end.
This was the perfect set up for me so I lived this way for three years. Earlier this year, I was in my room playing a tournament that I was fortunate enough to win for $27K. This was the crown jewel that topped off some amazing winter rungood that I’d been experiencing since January. I set about half of that money aside for my liferoll and took the rest to Vegas for the World Series of Poker.
In Vegas, I continued to play the smaller games just as I had in previous years. I had success in those, but began to grow tired of live poker. You can probably understand why I would prefer to play online after my big score.
I was over live tournaments until my friends talked me into selling action and playing the main event. I did and was lucky enough to survive the money bubble and cash for $15K. Thinking that I had a pretty compelling story, many of my friends suggested I stream my poker sessions on Twitch.
I thought, ″Why would anybody watch me when they could watch Jason Somerville?″ I’m not a professional poker player. Compared to that guy, I’m basically just a fish on a heater. If I was going to do it, I needed an angle.
After Vegas, I got off the plane in Atlanta and went back home to the hotel that I lived in. Over the past three years, the rates had crept up to $200 a week. Most of my time in this room was spent laying on the bed playing, studying, and writing about poker.
The thought crossed my mind, ″Hell, I can do this in the back of a van.″ At that moment, the Nitmobile was born. I spent $3000 and bought a minivan to live in and Twitch from. My new address is 2005 Chrysler Town & Country Dr.
This was one thing that even Jason Somerville couldn’t bring to the Twitch audience. I’d found my nit niche. Since that time, I have been Twitching some short poker sessions and talking about my new life in the van. I did not want to be distracted by Twitch or suspicious police officers during my longer poker sessions so I rented a small office, which I affectionately call the Nitcave, for $200 a month.
My plan is to stream three days a week from the parking lot of the Planet Fitness where I take my showers. Luckily for me, they have locations in lots of places because I also plan to drive the van to live poker series all around the country.
From September 17-28, you can find me Twitching from the beach during my trip to the WSOP Circuit stop in West Palm Beach, Florida.
From there, I will bounce around to wherever the wind blows, enjoying life and dumping all the money I used to give to mortgage lenders and hotel owners into my mutual fund accounts. How many other homeless guys, or poker players for that matter, can say that? If you want to see this train wreck, you can follow me at www.twitch.tv/carloswelch.