Taking a year off uni to play poker
I'm seriously contemplating taking a year off uni to play poker. Let me tell you a bit about myself:
I'm a 21 year old guy, living in Melbourne, Australia
. I currently study full-time doing a Bachelor of Commerce and I work roughly 20 hours per week at a fast-food job which pays almost $20/hour. I live in a share apartment in a cheap suburb, which makes rent a lot more manageable for me. My living expenses are roughly $1500/month and that includes everything: rent, bills, food, random expenses, going out to bars/clubs with friends, etc. So basically: my workplace alone can cover all my living expenses, and that's excluding the money I get from my parents, the Centrelink benefits (welfare) I get from the government and the income I would make from poker.
I've always been strong at maths (I was the top maths student at my high school) and managed to transfer to the top ranked university in my country, due to having successful grades (high distinction average) in all my maths/statistics subjects at my previous uni. I'm currently studying Actuarial Science, which is similar to Finance but involves a lot more maths and statistics and can lead to jobs at insurance firms, at superannuation firms and at investment banks, all of which pay well.
I've also always loved strategy games and I used to be a hugely competitive chess player in high school, sometimes playing several hours a day on various sites like Chess.com, ChessCube, FlyOrDie, FunOrb, etc. I also used to go to a chess club weekly and play in tournaments whenever I had the time. I would read books on chess, watch chess videos on YouTube, analyse my chess games and post regularly in chess forums. Essentially, everything I did with chess I'm now doing with poker.
But to make a living off chess is much more difficult than poker. Firstly, there's less money floating around. Unless you're an elite grandmaster (ie. famous worldwide) or an author/coach, you're not going to make much income from playing chess. And secondly, to be great at chess requires you to be a child prodigy. Most top chess players had already shown talent at a young age (before the age of 10) and reached the peak of their career in their early 20's. I believe that poker is less exclusive than chess in terms of who is capable of becoming great at the game if they put in the time and effort.
In terms of poker: I learnt the rules of poker 12 months ago and used to play live $1/$2 at a casino and get crushed by the "sharks" (as I used to call them). I started reading strategy guides and learnt about playing TAG. After playing casually for 4 months and playing a bit of Zynga Poker, I signed up to PokerStars
(8 months ago). I started off experimenting with various stakes and losing a bit, before I got semi-serious with micro stakes SnG's, Spin&Gos and MTT's, particularly hyper-turbo formats. I used to use a push/fold chart and was somewhat decent at the shove/fold game, but never built up a proper bankroll. Then after 4 months (so 4 months ago), I started playing 2NL 6-max zoom. For the first month, I was breaking even, then the next month I won $66 (33 BI), which was a 6.5bb/100 win rate over 50k hands, and I was ready to move up. So 2 months ago, I started playing 5NL and was losing at first, but now I'm a winning player at both 5NL and 10NL over 20k+ hands in each format. I feel that after another 50-70k hands grinding 10NL (which I could easily do in a month), I'll be ready (both in terms of bankroll and skill edge) to move up to 16NL.
I'm very ambitious and my goal is to become a winning 100NL player by the end of the year (currently a winning 10NL player). All the income that I earn from poker can be reinvested back into poker, which would make building up a bankroll and moving up in stakes much easier and less stressful. I would plan to play poker roughly 40 hours per week (along with 20 hours per week at my fast food job). I feel that I'm a hard-working guy and this is a realistic goal for me.
My plan would be to take a year off uni to play poker and see how things go. I would focus mainly on online poker (PokerStars), but I'd be willing to play live $1/$3 every once in a while, for a bit of variety. Ideally, I would return to uni in 2017 with a large bankroll and no financial stress. I'd be able to study full-time and play poker only on weekends. Perhaps after a year of full-time poker, I'd get somewhat bored of poker and would be more motivated for uni anyway. But for now, I want to play poker 7 days a week and become the best I can possibly be.
What are your thoughts on this?