Bankroll, going pro, and 8 weeks of poker
(Warning: this is a long post and I take it very seriously. However, I do want honesty and as much input as possible. Thank you.)
I basically have the next 8 weeks free and I really, really want to do the best I can to better my poker game
(as well as my mindset, poker and otherwise). I'm in college taking a summer course, but it meets only once a week and is laughably easy. I have 6 more weeks of the class and 2 weeks between summer and fall semesters, no job, so I want to get as far ahead in this time as possible.
I deposited $50 on PokerStars
back in March and got it up to $90 in a HORSE tournament by taking 3rd, but through poor BR management (due to an eagerness to clear the deposit bonus) and playing in games I shouldn't have played (at least not as high), it's now sadly down to a mere $8. I also have $4 on Full Tilt and expect to have more by June 27 when I'll have played in 4 more WSOP
I have no regrets, though, about playing above my BR. If I were to try to take $40 (the full BR of $0.02/$0.04 LHE games on PS) to $100 (the full BR of $0.05/$0.10 LHE games on PS), playing the $0.02/$0.04 on PS and expecting 2BB/hour then it would take 750 hours to make up the $60 difference. Do I wish I hadn't gone from $90 to $8? Absolutely. But I make no apologies for playing outside my BR. That doesn't mean I don't believe in the fundamental necessity of having a full BR. (The games I lost the most money in were $0.10/$0.25 NL & PL Omaha-8, probably around $30). (Apparently I lost $18 over 4000 hands in $0.01/$0.02 NLHE somehow as well. Looking over the stats from my Hold'em PokerTracker trial, that is the only game where the loss can be almost entirely representative of the number of hands played. I won $9.59 from $0.02/$0.04 LHE over 4300 hands, won $6 from 800 hands of $0.05/$0.10 NLHE, and lost $0.80 at $0.25/$0.50 over 800 hands. All other hold'em games are only 100 hands or less and the money changed is irrelevant to the discussion and other games I can't recall.)
I'll be quite frank here, something I haven't been in the past: I intend to become a professional poker player. Why? Because every time I applied for a part time job in the past, and every time I think about graduating college and doing some mediocre paying, rote laboratory work for the rest of my life (my double major is "Medical Lab Sciences" and "Microbiology & Molecular Biology") I start to get sick to my stomach. To borrow a phrase from "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson in season 10 episode 1, "I'd rather blowtorch my nipples off." There are some family history issues, confidence problems, and psychological discussions I could go into but I'm sure you don't want to hear about it as much as I don't want to talk about it. The short version, as I said above, is that playing professional poker is about all I can think about. Is it the glory? Probably not. Is it the money? Partially yes. Is it the freedom? Yes. More than anything, this is probably the reason. But you can't live off $0.02/$0.04 or really anything below $1/$2 online, and that still requires multi-tabling.
Now, don't lecture me on BR management or the things it takes to go pro. I've read most (I think all) the archived Pocket5's articles on BR and going pro, I've looked over "Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living" by Mark Blade, and there is probably nothing you can tell me I don't consciously know. But if you think you've got something new, go ahead and share. I've listened to an interview conducted by Jennifer Harman-Traniello and other pros that I doubt many (if anyone) at this site has ever heard and am going to share it for the first time. This American Life
To listen, click the "full episode" button below the picture of the chips and table. The poker part of the episode begins at 20:50mm (20 minutes and 50 seconds) and lasts about 27 minutes, but the show is great and while the poker part is the only part of this episode I've listened to before, the show as a whole is funny, smart, and moving and you would probably do well to listen to this whole episode and many, many more.
Back to the crux of this post. I have 8 weeks where I need to set the goals and start to make the "dream" a reality. I don't expect to start making a living by the end of these 8 weeks. I figure it'll take another year or two. But this is what I want. If I have nothing else at this point it's my determination, will, and spirit. Nobody can change my mind. This is what I want but I need help laying the groundwork. I've read many books (Super System 2, Math of Poker, Theory of Poker, Gordon's Little Green Book, Small Stakes Hold'em, and some others) but obviously I'm still struggling. I don't know what you the reader/responder can contribute, but I hope it's something.
Lastly, I have about $250. I was thinking of maybe taking some of it down to the super soft $2/$2 and $2/$4 LHE games at my local card room a couple times a week and working up that way. Yes, this is again not a full BR. But I've gone in with only $40 5 or 6 times before and come ahead ~$20-$40 in all. It would also earn more than trying to take it online. Be honest. Call me stupid and tell me why (although be constructive). Tell me what you
think I need to do because, if it's not apparent, I already know what I
think I need to do.
(P.S.: If you want me to post more data or a graph from my PokerTracker trial then just ask.)