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Old 03-28-2018, 07:54 AM   #1
linlybest

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Jan 2018
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Default Chargers, Hayward agree to 3-year, $36M deal
For exactly one year of my life, I was a professional poker player. That is, poker was my sole source of income (not to mention my main source of annoyance and frustration, with a heaping side of anxiety). During that year, I realized that the way the profession is portrayed in all the poker shows on TV is a steaming crock pot of bullshit. Even the James Bond movies steered me wrong. Where are the tuxedos?

Although I have friends who've played professionally for years now and love it that life is nothing like you probably think. For instance .

It's a long, grinding cheap world cup jerseys game of patience and attrition. And that's because it's all about tediously waiting for the percentages to line up in your favor successful poker players cheap football jerseys only play about 20 percent of the hands they're dealt. That's right 80 percent of the time, they're spectators. And, they know exactly what percentage of hands they're playing, because this is the type of minutiae they keep track of. People think that poker is all about reading facial expressions, but it's actually all about math. In fact, many poker pros especially the online players cheap discount jerseys are outright stats junkies, entering the details of every single session into analysis programs to calculate their overall win rate and help them fix any holes in their games. If your eyes glaze over whenever you hear a baseball fanatic talk about a player's on base percentage against left handed pitchers in home games on even numbered months when the barometric pressure drops below 650 mm Hg, then don't ever ask a poker pro about his playing stats. It's much, much worse."When the moon is waxing I three bet predraw, then knock everyone out with a baseball bat."

If you're fascinated by high stakes poker players, odds are it's from watching them on TV in those huge multimillion dollar tournaments (or, you know, Casino Royale). That's what everyone daydreams himself doing, but the first thing to understand is that those guys on TV are the Kobe Bryants and Tom Bradys of the poker world.

It's easy to forget that aspect of poker, because the whole point of gambling is that supposedly anybody can hit a lucky streak at any time and win big. That's what draws crowds of tourists to Vegas every year. Hell, maybe you're secretly a genius at it, like Rain Man at the blackjack table.

Except you're the horse. And you get shot if you finish in last place. That's pretty much what being a poker pro feels like.

My friend Matt has played poker professionally for eight years now. For most of this period, he earned his living playing online (and would still be doing so if the government hadn't recently indicted the owners of three of the largest online poker sites). As part of his daily routine, Matt scours online poker forums, discussing strategy with other serious players, pros and amateurs alike. These people are deadly serious.

So if you want to make money, you simply have to seek out players you know you can consistently beat. Otherwise, the Peter Principle will destroy you. That's the theory that everyone in a field gets promoted to his own level of incompetence. So in poker, let's say you're able to win at a certain betting limit. So, you move up to the next higher limit, where the players will be that much better. And you keep doing this until you get to a limit where you're now the sucker at the table. And then you go broke."Hey everyone! This guy's playing Clue!"

Matt, my aforementioned friend, has a brother, Jake, who decided to go pro a few years after he did. In his first eight months, Jake made nearly $20,000 playing low stakes games. He was then confident enough that he jumped up to five times the limits he'd been playing at before, a move somewhat akin to a miniature golfer deciding to take on the PGA.

You see, in poker, there's something called variance. Variance is the stats nerd's way of saying that, in order to generate an average profit of, say, $100 an hour, you have to tolerate swings of thousands and sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars. Let's say you start a session with $10,000 and end up with $11,000 five hours later. Hey, you just had a great day, averaging $200 per hour in profit over five hours. But, during those five hours, you may at some point have been down to $1,000 and at another point been up to $20,000.

My buddy Matt once got into a 50 hour long heads up (one on one) match with another pro. Well, the other guy took Matt for over $70,000, at which point Matt decided to take a break from poker for a few months. When I commiserated and pointed out that taking a break was probably a good idea after such a big loss, Matt replied that it wasn't about the money. He didn't give a shit that he lost $70K. What he cared about was that he got outplayed for 50 hours straight. And that's why he was taking a break.
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