Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

Beer, brewing and poker, with possibly some inane drivel on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Monday, October 18, 2004

"In communist poker, you don't earn money, the money earns you!"
-Me, doing my worst Yakov Smirnov

I don't know what it means, either, I was just using it as an excuse to display my exceptional impersonation skills. And really, can we ever have too much Yakov? I think not. I'll try to explain what I've been going through lately, though, and I apologize in advance if this is disjointed, and rambling.

At my 'career', I sit behind a computer 8 hours a day, making changes to a geographic insurance database that helps decide how much all of you crazy homeowners pay for home insurance premiums. Believe me, it sounds more interesting than it is. My job is neither particularly stressful, important, nor is it particularly hard. In fact, it's mind numbingly boring and easy. I'd be confident in saying that I could pick any random college graduate-even that's debatable- regardless of background, train them for a day or two on our software, and they'd be able to do my job. It would probably be tougher to learn all the ins-and-outs at McDonald's.

In the past weeks since my move, I've called in sick twice, text-messaged in once, came in later than normal a handful of times, and left early more times than I can count. It's not a huge deal, as I have the vacation time to back up my absences, and our work environment is really laid back, but still, if that doesn't scream out that there's a problem, I don't know what does. When I do muster the motivation to get out of bed, and into the office, I scour the internet for something, anything to waste time. Whether I process one state, or 15, I get paid the same, exact amount, every single day. Not a large sum of money, but much more than another, comparable, non-skilled job. And I'm complaining about this? Yes, I am. There's no reward for being competent, and doing a good job. I get paid the same, even if I trudge through my work in a half-assed fashion, and that's disappointing.

Bring on the poker.

On Wednesday, when I text-messaged in to my boss "My bed is too warm to come in today", I got up at about 11am, headed out to find a book, ate lunch and came back to the apartment. I played 11 hours of poker that day, and I can't say that I've been happier in the past year. I made a little money, and felt like I accomplished more in that half day, than I would if I worked for a month straight. It's sad, really. If you see where this is going, I'd contend that you're dead wrong. I'd love nothing more than to quit my job, and eek out a living playing poker, writing in my spare time, but I'm neither that stupid, nor that naive. I also don't have the skills, or the wherewithal to do that. I'll admit, though, that I'm a little bit jealous of people like Taylor,Iggy(though he hasn't spilled the beans yet, I'm sure I can take a guess as to what he's doing), and Pauly, not because they're making money playing poker, but because they're doing things their way. It's funny, in relationships, I'm the least jealous person you've ever met. If my significant other wants to cheat on me, that's her problem, and there's no use in me worrying about it. Why am I jealous in this instance, then?

Oh come on, it's not that tough. Anybody that's ever worked in an corporate, cube farm setting has the grandiose notion of quitting their job. I blame Office Space. A few years back, there was a great commercial for that fits well here. Basically, it's a series of kids talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Instead of saying "fireman", or "cop", the kids are replying with "I want to be a yes man", or "I want to have a brown nose". My favorite is "I want to claw my way to middle management."

Nobody wants that. Nobody. When I was a kid, hell, even as late as when I started college, I never imagined I'd be toiling away in a cube, and turning up my headphones in a failed attempt to drown out my coworker, who thinks it's his duty to over exaggerate every, nasty bodily function known to man, and a few that, judging by the ability of the odor to permeate my entire being, are probably alien. If I wanted to deal with another human's gas problem on a daily basis, I'd adopt a baby.

I take pride in living outside of the way that societal norms tells us we should. I'm not married, and don't plan on having kids. Shhh, let's keep that one a secret from dear, ol' Mom. I'd pity my own child for having me as it's father, that's how bad it would be. I rarely, if ever go to church, and get drunk way more than a 29 year old should. Hmmmm, I'm not quite sure why I put those last two in the same sentence, but they do fit together, I suppose. The one way that I conform is that I'm a walking, talking cliche, job-wise. I'm a "9-to-5er" working for "The Man", in order to "make ends meet". I hate it.

No, really, bring on the poker. For real this time.

In the last day, $135 million has been wagered in online ring games alone, that stat courtesy of Poker Pulse. Take a moment to fathom that number if taken on a yearly basis. I'm sure a lot of that is recycled money, of course, but you understand my point. At least, I hope you do.


If my math is correct-which it's possible that I'm way off-that's 49 billion dollars. Billion.

If you don't think that's a lot of money, there's something wrong with you. 1% of that is a lot money. I can't even speculate on how much has been wagered in all B&M's. I can say that no matter what amount of money I wrote down, I'd be lowballing the real figure. So, yeah, that's a shit-ton of money, is it not?

As I was sitting at home on Wednesday, it hit me-yes, I'm a little slow- that there is so much money out there-not just in poker,but many other areas- just waiting to be made. So much dead money. And here I am, wasting my time in a job that pays $30,000 when I'm entirely unhappy and I now understand how some people turn into alcoholics; it's because they become bored with life.

I could get a new job, but with the job market in my field being a little thin, that means I need to shift into new, life changing area. What are my options? I've wasted the last 5 years of my life doing something that I absolutely hate, so what would I like to do? What am I good at? Good question.


While the idea of being a professional drinker sounds great, the talent in this area is deep. I can't even count the number of times I've been at the bar, blotto, and have somebody even more drunk get thrown out by a bouncer. There's always somebody better, more attractive. I suspect the booze has something to do with the latter, though. I'd have to start out on a PDL farm team, and if I don't make the Big Time, all I'm left with is a liver that functions at less than optimal levels. Ah, if only I could be a dreamer.

And then there's soccer. Even though I'm almost 30, I still have all of my speed, even more than I had in high school, due to Osgood-Schlatters. I'm just not good enough to turn soccer into a career, enough said. And I grew up on the wrong continent.

Poker is a veritable money tree right now, if there ever was one. All you have to do is read 2+2, where there are so many "x dollar amount in x days" quests, that it's ridiculous. Look back 5 years and take a guess at how many 20 year olds were making $1000 a day. Well, unless they were selling drugs, my guess would be "not many". I'll admit that I've romaticized the idea of quitting my day job and making poker my full time gig, but there's that whole bankroll issue. As in, I don't have one. Damn, it's always the most important things that are holding me back.

And then, there's writing. I love writing, but I have no idea where to even begin on the path to calling myself a 'writer'. I'm not a writer, I just blab. Outside of an English class or two in college, I have no writing background. None. Hell, I don't even use punctuation correctly most of the time. The only reason I started is because a friend gave me a LiveJournal code a few years back, and liked when people replied to something I wrote. Who doesn't? I'm not optimistic enough to think that I'd be able to make enough money off of writing to be anything more than equivalent to those guys that drink Aqua Net(extra super hold) in Loring Park every day of their lives. To prove that point, scan the list of poker bloggers that you read regularly, and it's not hard to realize that, even in this small of a demographic, amazing writers abound. And I'm easily in the bottom 50% in terms of writing experience, and skill. How many of these gifted people are making a living at writing? Not many, if any, are there? They do it because they love it. I do know, however, that writing makes me happy. It makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something.

There really is no poker content, is there?

So, yeah, I'm a crossroads where I need to figure out what I want to do. Shit, or get off the pot, and I've been sitting here for so long, that I'm pretty sure my legs have fallen asleep. If I have to quit my day job, find a temporary bartending job, and supplement my income grinding away on the virtual felt, that's what I'll do. That seems to be the most feasible, and appealing option right now. Anything would be better than being the mindless drone I've become.

Look at me; I've spent the last 3 hours pounding this out, and it's bound to be most productive thing I do all day. That's not right, that's just stupid.

And now back to your regularly scheduled bad beat


At 9:33 PM, Blogger JD said...

Hi Chad,

This post really struck a chord for me. I've wrestled with a lot of the same issues: Should I quote my job? What else could I do? Can I make a living off the poker boom?

I don't really have any answers, but a couple thoughts.

First, you seem mildly depressed. For me it's a seasonal thing, and I am always much less happy with my job in the fall/winter than in the spring/summer.

Second, at least you've got something you really enjoy in the form of poker. Without quitting your day job, you can still build the bankroll, and the supplementary income will help if you do make a career change. (Or at least, that's the middle road I'm taking.)

Keep up the good blogging, but please, no more Yakov!

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Chad said...

I openly admit that I'm pretty sure I have a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, that goes back probably about 5 years. Coincidentally, that's how long I've been at my job. The weather here just started getting colder, so I'm sure it's kicked in a bit.

It's heightened by feelings of complacency, a feeling that I don't particularly like all that much. I know I don't belong at this job, I just need to find where I am happy. And you're right, at least I do have some outlets. =)

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Blu said...

I've got one question for you - what would you do if you had a million dollars? (Besides two chicks at the same time)

Btw - I love that freakin commercial and I too am a slave to the cube nation. but not forever...


At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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