Zankas poker-journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@disk_poet Yeah I try to do that too. It is kinda weird to not see tha sun much at all for long periods of time. This time, dating seems to be very smooth, not much fear or games, just a lot of fun. So nice to meet someone that has kids already and that knows what it is about to be a parent. It just makes things easier. Philosophy is interesting indeed, when I started reading some of the biggest philosophers I realized I was not crazy (at least not the only one that were crazy) to be thinking about life in a logical and deep way.

I live in a smallish town that has a history of relying on only big industries and I believe that has taken its toll on the mentality here. People are mostly turned of and does not want to explore the world that much (internaly or externaly). I usually feel like I am trapped in this world where many are lost and have given up on their own dreams. It scares me like nothing to think about getting old without having seen the world or gone after my dreams.

Anyways. Managed to crash the car (very mildly) but it will get expensive to fix it unfortunately. Like 600$. So stupid of me, 100% my fault, didnt pay attention. No one got hurt at least so there is that.

/ Z

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Halfway trough December.

I am keeping my 1k hands/ day average without any problem. 30k hands feels like a decent goal to have as an average right now. It takes a little to much energy to juggle work, poker, kids and dog but I believe I can keep going until summer when I stop working.

So I have played about 15k hands right now, have taken some shots at 100$ buyin games and it has been a lot of swings. Currently I am up about 400$ for the month and it probably will be a month with a little less winnings than the last couple of months. But I feel like I am getting more comfortable playing higher and I am in no need of short term results.

Other than that, work has been ok last weeks, dating is still going very well. It is nice to meet someone that is a lot different than me personality wise, but that at the same time want to live life in a similar way.

/Z

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Update for december and 2020.

December ended very well, Poker brought in 1.4k after rushing up 1k over 2-3h of play in the end of the month. I feel like I am hitting a cap on my earnings at somewhere between 1.5-2k/m as my life is set up now (I earn 1.5kish from my dayjob also) and that is a little bit frustrating. I think this is bc I am using a little to much energy month to month and I have to solve this somehow. The best thing to do is to start working out and trying to further iprove my sleep. And also to stop listening to as many podcasts as I do now. I have gone trough this kind of thing many times before and I know that once spring kicks in I will have a ton more energy, but the darker months are a lot harder.

Month has been great overall, I have been a bit sick (no covid) so had to cancel new years and part of christmas but it was fine anyway. Dating is moving along fine and I am happy with how things are right now.

During 2020 I have learned so much about myself. I have improved my life a lot, and looking back at the last 4-5 years I realize more and more how bad it actually was. I ended a relationship that was not good for me, I put my foot down to my parents, I improved my financial situation, I got back into poker. And I started to dream again.

From 2017-2019 I averaged probably around 4-500/month from poker and in 2020 I have improved that to 980/month. Since September it has been 1700. My hourly have gone up from 15/h to 28/h. Most importantly I have so much more confidence in my game now, and a very healthy poker-bankroll to play with (4k).

Savings have been a bit slow, one part has been that I have spent exactly zero on my home and kids during the last 3-4 years and I have finaly been able to give them some small things and experiences. Also things have been falling apart in my appartment, I had no bed, dishwasher broke (unfixable), crashed the car (recently). The other part is that I have been slipping. I belive that since I havent had any money for 3-4 years and now have a little space outside the kinda lean budget I set up for myself I have just enjoyed to buy a few things for myself. And I have been spending a lot more on food that necessary.


---------------------
For 2021 I will have some goals:

I will try to become a professional pokerplayer.
This goal leads to a few goals that goes along with it.
Many has a picture of pokerplayers as lazy, untrained- degenerates, but becoming a professional pokerplayer actually requires a lot more physicaly than most people first realize. I guess one can compare it to playing chess where you can see Magnus Carlsen taking his physical condition very seriously. So when I say I want to become a professional pokerplayer I mean Professional. I will eat healthy, I will work out, stretch, go to the sauna and sleep like a professional. This will be a challenge for me, but I will try to document it here.


I will try to love everyone and tell the truth.
This is one of Ram Dass most famous quotes that his guru told him.

I will try to get to my 17k by april (I will probably not get there due to me buying a car 4k)

I will try to get to 35k by the end of 2021.

I want to learn sailing.

I want to leave the country at least one time.



--------------------

Lastly I want to thanks to everyone who is reading (and posting in) this journal, it gives me motivation and a little bit of much needed structure. I hope you all are well and that you will have a great 2021.

Lets go!

/Z

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

I have some thoughts abouthow I should approach the future. I have a very stable day-job that pays around 11$/h after tax when I work mostly weekends. The job is very safe, I basically cant get fired unless I screw up big time or if the world crashes completely. With the income I have I can take out a mortgage of almost nothing, like 70-100k.
Now, my plan has been to work untill summer, take out my parental leave during june-august and then study philosophy and at the same time focus on poker. This approach would have some pros and cons:
Pros:
- I can keep my employment and return if need be (if I wanted a mortgage for example).
- I can take out a very benefitial study-loan that would cover my basic needs.

Cons:
- I have found out I need to study full time so poker (or school) will be suffering.
- I would be working hard

The thing is that my main reason to take this approach is that it would enable me to focus on playing a ton poker for a period of 1-3 years with an (conservatively estimated) hourly of 30$, while at the same time studying something I find interesting. Finding out that I will have to study full time will make this a lot tougher and if I were to lie to my job and only study 50% it might cause some problems.

Now I am starting contemplate the option of just going for poker only. This has also some pros and cons:
Pros:
- I can focus only on poker.
- I will be free to schedule and make up my life however I like.
- I will make a fair bit more money.
- I will have a lot more time to take care of myself and my family.

Cons:
- I cant take out a mortgage.
- It is harder to rent without an income, (this could maybe be solved with brother stepping in).
- I cant just return to work if poker somehow doesnt work out (for new readers, I have lived of of poker for a long time before so I know what it takes).
- It looks worse to not have a "real" job on paper.
- It is not as safe.

If I were to just go for poker I still will be able to keep working the odd shift here and there at my day-job if I want to, and I would also save school for later. Poker might only be availiable for the next 1-5y while the opportunity to study will remain. I would like to make sure I could focus 100% on poker while playing poker and focusing 100% on school while i study. That sort of makes sense for me.

The third option is to stay at my current job for the forseable future and just slowly give up poker since it takes to much to keep both up at a reasonable level. Unfortunately this option is very safe, but it is also a great way of making sure I will be depressed.

On the financial side of it I feel more and more comfortable with my current situation, I will have 1y of fu money very soon and I will try and get my budget down a little bit more. My poker bankroll is super-safe with a very low risk of ruin.

Anyways, if anyone has any input I would gladly hear it.

Oh, and for the record, I really like playing poker, it is incredible hard and challenging, sometimes it makes you go a bit mad. But for me it is a very attractive job on the whole, I guess that should be taken into account in this.

/Z

ertyu
Posts: 1822
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

studying philosophy is more time-consuming than one thinks. it's usually a lot of reading and requires one to write long essays. STEM people often view humanities degrees as less rigorous, as joke degrees. They're not. Being in school isn't a bad plan but consider what you really want to be in school for. Here is what I don't mean with the above: I don't mean that philosophy is a useless degree. Personal enrichment is a perfectly good reason for undertaking a degree one wants to undertake. I also don't mean that you shouldn't do it. I'm only trying to caution you against underestimating the time and commitment it requires when you make your decision. In and of itself, time and commitments aren't reasons against: in your degree program, you are likely to meet many awesome people, have many interesting discussions, and open many venues for serendipity.

Reading what you wrote, it seems to me what you really want is to play full time. It's a valid choice. I hope you find a way to make it work.

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@ertyu Yeah pretty spot on. I am leaning more and more into just going for poker full time and potentially going to school in 1-3y.

I have been going over my budget and doing some rough estimates of what my poker income would be. I have to take into concideration that I need to pay for sickdays and vacations by myself and looking over how much I would play on average. My current numbers are as following:

Hours/month: 65
Hands/hour: 420
BB/100hands: 18
$/hour: 27
$/month: 1750

I have mostly been playing a range of stakes with buyins from 20$ up to 100$ and both my winrate and my hourly today is probably marginally better than the 27$/h I have since September. If I keep working on my game and putting in the hours on top of my day-job I hope I can at least stay at these numbers during this spring. When I go fulltime (June) I will probably not go bananas during the summer but at least play the same amount that I do today (ie making 1750/m or so). Then from the second half of August I would start focusing on getting my Hours/month up to at least 130. The thing is this; If I put in twice as many hours I will improve a lot faster than now since I will be much more focused on just one task. Also I can schedule most of my life around poker rather than the opposite.
When I calculate I try to be conservative in my estimations but if I am able to keep my current hourly I will in all likelyhood end up increasing it by 10-25% pretty fast from when I up my efforts + can play at peak times. My thoughts is that will probably be able to make 4k/m more or less from the start and hopefully I can keep my average monthly income above that even after taking vacations and sickdays into account.

/ Z

frihet
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Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by frihet »

Hi Zanka, as a former minor online poker player, during the boom in the 2000s,I enjoy to read your journal. Amazing that it’s still possible to make money. I was mostly bonus-whoring myself not really that good.

And speaking of being good I think that’s one consideration to take into account regarding studying. How easy would it be for you? Only you know? I have a friend who uses studies of all kind of obscure courses as a way to take time of from work now and again. She is a true academic though who loves reading and writing papers and it comes easy for her. When I’ve been thinking about using the “free” study grant/loan I have so far ruled it out. I know it would be a lot more effort for me and not as enjoyable/easy as for my friend.

I do keep it as a plan B though to join some kind of trade school in the future. As a back door into a new occupation if needed/wanted. I have done this before in my life when I got into the oil rigs and actually found this type of education enjoyable and a very good way to get into a new field.

Just a few thoughts. Keep crushing those games!

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@frihet Thanks for the reply! :) Thats great, then you know a little bit of what I do then, not many can relate:) Yeah it was a different game 10+years ago. It is as it is in most sports I guess, with more statistics available it is much easier to study parts of the game to improve a lot. Those who came up back in the days (I was sort of in between "then" and "now") has to adapt or they will be losing players. To be successful now one need to be a lot more proffessional and dedication a lot more time to study, being healthy etc.
Ever since I started playing I hear a lot of players saying that the games are becoming too tough and that it is impossible to win. But the truth is the same as it always is, those who adapt and work the hardest will always find ways to be successfull (as long as the games are available and it is resonable rules etc of course).

Yeah I can study pretty easily if I am interested in the subject, if I am not, I cant be bothered at all. It has to be fun (on some level) or I just feel like I am wasting my time. My plan is getting more and more clear that I will play poker for 1-3 years and then go into school and focus 100% on that instead of splitting my attention between different things. Having kids and a dog is more than enough of a challenge to fit with one thing at a time i think.

Today we had a meeting at work and I just wanted to leave on the spot, the job is not so bad but I just cant take it anymore. Dysfunctional relationships between a bunch of different coworkers and when I am in the position I am (on the bottom of the hierarchy) I just cant say anything to sort things out. Well I could say something I guess, but it would not come anything good out of it. So I am starting my countdown for real now, and I am going to talk to my boss tomorrow.

I am going to stay untill the end of May and by then I will have earned+ saved some paid vacation that will make up for one month of work more or less. Also I will have the entire summer in front of me, that will be great.

And dating goes great, yey.

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Ok time for an update. Leaving work in 3months for pursuing poker for a while. This feels a bit surreal and I am very excited to get going. I have been working a bit to hard since September to make this happen so I am a little bit burned out right now tbh, but my hourly keeps climbing now sitting on 32$/h over the last 5 months. This should mean that my current hourly is a little more, as I know I have been improving a fare bit lately. My aim now is to just stash as much money as I can untill May 1st so that I have as much security as possible going into this new stage of my life.

This month I have only played around 15k hands and am up 750$ but it feels alright, I can not work as much as I have done while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Overall I feel more confident in myself and am very happy to soon be on my own again.

On top of this I am more active in a poker community and I am getting more insights into players that play higher levels, and there are some very good players there, but also a lot that probably already are a bit worse than me so I will try very hard to get up a couple of limits fairly soon after going fulltime to improve my hourly even more. Also it is a lot more fun to be challenged to think about the game in more depth rather than autopiloting only.

I probably wont make my 17k by April but I will be around 10-13k so I am okay with that since the future looks great.

/ Z

Jiimmy
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Jiimmy »

Best of luck to you on the upcoming change. That's exciting!

Poker was my only source of income for a few years (2013/14/15 ish), mostly online SNGs and MTTs. My hourly peaked in the low 30s, and it sounds like you're right there as well. It also sounds like you're putting in significant efforts to improve, which is something I neglected. I'll be rooting for you from the sidelines!

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@Jiimmy Thanks! Yeah Ive been working pretty hard over the last year or so to get up to a level where I can live of poker again. I hope to improve further :) Seem like you were a decent player you too! :) Thanks again!

Dave
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:42 pm

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Dave »

I've really enjoyed following your journal, Zankas.

That's really exciting that you're choosing to focus exclusively on poker over your job! Good luck, although it sounds like you've been building up to this for a while and are ready, and so won't really need luck :D.

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

@Dave Thanks! I really appreciate you chiming in!

Since there are some former players and others that are a bit interested in poker, Ill try to share a little bit more about the life of a pokerplayer. Poker is a game of some luck and som skill, but it is hard to really grasp what that means in terms of actual variance. Since a lot of people here a used to variance in terms of investing, maybe you can relate a little bit more than the average person.

In poker we measure winnings in two ways; hourly, and bb/100. bb/100 is translated to how many bg blinds you win (on average) per 100 hands you play.

When it comes to variance we look at the bb/100 and add our standard deviation and then we can simulate different scenarios and understand how likely we are to be winning/losing after x amount of hands. Here is an example.

Lets say we play a game where the Big Blind is 1$ (that usually means we buy in for 100$) and we have a winrate of 10bb/100 with a standard deviation of 115. After 100 000 hands (this takes me about 220 hours to play) it looks like this:
Image

So the average outcome will be to win 10 000bb (that is obv since we win 10bb/100hands) but the player with the most luck will win 25 000bb and the one with the worst luck will actually be losing a small amount. If we dig in a little further we see some more interesting things:

Image

This picture translates to this, left picture is the amount of big blinds we will be down from all time high and the % is the likelyhood of that happening. So 59% of scenarios will experience a -downswing- of 300 big blinds at some point in the 100 000 hands we simulated. As you look further on that picture you start to realize what kinds of swings can happen. There are a 15% chance of experiencing a 2000bb (2000$ in this case) downswing and remember that if your buyin to the game is 100$ and you expect to win 10$/100 hands, that can feel like a pretty big hill to climb to get back to even.

On the right side we have the amount of hands (in a row) that you will be below your all time high and then the % of that happening. So first we have a 50% chance of experiencing a stretch of 5000 hands in which we will be below our all time high. And We have a 14% chance of experiencing 30 000hands below all time high (this would be something around 65 hours of play for me).

Most of the time, variance is reasonable and you fall into one of the most likely outcomes of short term luck, but when (yes, When) these stretches of really bad luck happen it is very important to have an even keel.

Hope some of you found it interesting, and if you wonder something, pls ask.

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

I havent updated in a while since I have been very busy with life and preparing for some changes. The decision to quit my job (in May) and pursue poker is a bit scary but it is very clear that this was a good move on my part. It will challenge me in a lot of ways but it will improve my quality of life a ton instantly. I have started to work out (running and some weights) and what do you know, I am sleeping a lot better, I have more energy, and my inner life is so much better.
I am working on my self-talk right know. It is very very negative and it has been that for a long time. I have a hard time trusting other people and I am working my ass of to be calm in the relationship I am developing with this woman I have been dating for a couple of months. I am def messed up in so many ways. Being open with someone really exposes any trauma that is stored up and it is so easy to revert to anger/resentment/judgment or just simple walking away when things get scary instead of staying with it and facing the real problem.
In some ways it would be best for me to be alone and work on myself but I do not think I am ready to let her go since we both have been very good at communicating and talking trough things that come up. I have never been able to have arguments about very sensitive things and at the same time have both parties being calm and focusing on the present topic in the way that we can do.

Anyways.

Won like 700 last month but ran very bad, true winrate would prob have been the double so I am happy with that. This month have started great, played a few hours and am upp a little. I have kept working on my game and I am more confident in my ability to make this a semi-longterm thing.

Ok Im out.
/Z

disk_poet
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by disk_poet »

Glad to hear you're doing well! Good luck with the dating. I am in a similar situation and am rooting for you!

ertyu
Posts: 1822
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

Zanka wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:06 am
I have a hard time trusting other people and I am working my ass of to be calm in the relationship I am developing with this woman I have been dating for a couple of months. I am def messed up in so many ways. Being open with someone really exposes any trauma that is stored up and it is so easy to revert to anger/resentment/judgment or just simple walking away when things get scary instead of staying with it and facing the real problem.
In some ways it would be best for me to be alone and work on myself but I do not think I am ready to let her go since we both have been very good at communicating and talking trough things that come up. I have never been able to have arguments about very sensitive things and at the same time have both parties being calm and focusing on the present topic in the way that we can do.
Therapy time, friend. You're in a developed country, so have much higher possibility of good therapy being accessible to you; if it is at all I'd take advantage of that -- and then use it to work on mistrust and communication issues in particular. You can probably also do it alone - you seem very self-aware of where the issues are, and you seem determined to make them a conscious priority, so it's not like without therapy you'll fail or something. But if you can, take advantage of it - will be easier.

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Thank you both for the support.

Yeah, therapy time it is. I am starting to look around for someone to talk to.

ertyu
Posts: 1822
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

//

Zanka
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by Zanka »

Ok so I found someone to start working with, it is a little unconventional but my instincts are telling me this guy can help me out a lot. I understand the value of "real" therapy and will def go to that if I do not get deep enough with this first option. So wish me luck, and thank you @ertyu for the push.

I feel like most aspects of my life has huge potential to get better and that it will take some work to make it happen. First, as I have shared, I am changing my career to pursue poker fulltime. Then I have started to work out and take care of my body by getting a massage now and then. Then I realized I have very little fun in my life, this Saturday I had a few drinks with some friends and I havent laughed that much in years. Along with this I am working on my emotional and mental health that has been in some very dark places since 2015.

I feel like all these things tie together and if I improve in one area it will probably help in all aspects of my life. Usually what we see are just sympthoms. For example, me not taking care of my body is not bc I am not taking care of my body, but probably something else in my life is bad (for example working 200h/month) and I am letting my body carry part of the weight of that. Think about that for a moment :)

Ramblings of that thought:

When I have trust issues or get scared in a relationship it probably isnt the relationship that needs fixing. Sure it is probably necessary that my partner understands and are willing to hold space for me while I am going trough my emotions. It is so easy to try and make others "fix" things by changing their life or their behaviour instead of taking responsibility yourself.

Sleep, if I have poor sleep, it is probably not bc I have poor sleep. Kinda funny actually. If I have a bad bed, i can change it, if the room is not dark enough I can fix that to have the environment that -could- provide me with good sleep. But the reason for not sleeping is probably bc of other factors in life; maybe I am not working out enough, maybe I do not relax and laugh enough, maybe I sit with my phone to much, maybe I have trust issues. But it is not sleep that needs fixing.

I find this very sooting. I need balance, and I need to work on a lot of different areas in life to improve my overall wellbeing. And most improtantly, I even tho a lot of things is a mess I can manage life ok right now and since there are so much that can improve it gives me a lot of hope.

/ z

ertyu
Posts: 1822
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Zankas poker-journal

Post by ertyu »

Insightful. Ties in nicely with ere's focus on systems design vs. on tactics for achieving a particular goal. All nodes in the system impact all other nodes; sleep isn't just about how dark one's room is. Narrowly focused solutions are by nature limited. Glad to see you emerge from the fog and into a place where you're focused on working towards your happiness holistically.

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