Well, it's all over. My 8 year career as a Science teacher has come and go and I'm beginning my new life as a full-time degenerate gambler.
It's been a torrid last few weeks with so many loose ends to tie up and having to deal with the emotional part of leaving a job that I am so invested in. However, that's the decision I made months ago and I feel proud that I did not compromise or let my standards drop over the final term. The hardest part of leaving has definitely been some of my pupils getting upset and seeing my decision as a personal slight on them. Dealing with 'perceived rejection' is hard for anyone, but add in the hormonal rollercoaster these teenagers are going through and you get the following equation (#lovemaths):
Teacher leaving + teenagers + hormones = shitloads of tears.
I'm so grateful to the friends I have in the poker community who have been so supportive of me. A big thank you to Fistby, Doublebubble and Kav who offered me plenty of well wishes and support and occasionally NoShoes who managed to mix in his standard obnoxious insults with some well wishes. I repaid these guys by turning up after double figures in pints of Guinness Friday night at the local £25 donkament at the Blackpool Circus. I didn't last long - both pokerwise and liver wise. GG.
I fit in some poker over the weekend after shaking off the hangover at the Bolton GUKPT festival Saturday and Sunday. My recent tournament form has been ok and I've binked two live comps since my last blog. I bust the £50 turbo fairly early on the Saturday but went deep in the £75 bounty on the Sunday, making the final two tables before busting my big stack in unfortunate, but standard fashion. Felt I played well in spots but did miss value in others. My tournament game is rusty tbh, I'm feeling a bit unsure about people's shoving and calling ranges which I'm usually pretty good at when I'm playing my A game. Was nice to meet a few of the regs up there again, including Disco, Topping and Si Cawley and I'm sure I'll be seeing more of these guys over the upcoming months. Was also encouraging to see Paul 'Cinders' Worsely and Dave Wearing win big in the £250 and £500 ME respectively. Couldn't happen to two nicer guys (except me obv). I managed a couple of hours on the cash games where I felt far more at home and grinded out a couple of smallish wins without incident.
Looking forward to grinding the local cash games and I've started a thread on AWOP (http://www.aworldofpoker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=33106&p=336681#p336681 ) for people to speak up for their local games. I do want to travel a bit so I can try out the different casinos and the cash games they offer. I think we get a poor deal as cash game players as tournaments are (nearly)always well publicised and often have added value, but the cash games get nothing like that. The G have recently dropped their rewards points to 60p an hour and you only get these if you specifically ask for your card to be activated. We bring in far more money in rake to the casinos than the tournaments and it would be nice if they recognised this occassionally and offered us some added value. Please speak up on the thread for your local games and we can generate our own resources of the games in the NW that are running.
I'm going to be aiming to update this blog every Monday now and feel free to post or tweet me any questions and I'll do my best to answer them honestly. I received a question this week on twitter from @adam_mackay1 which was pretty tough to answer in 140 characters or less. His question was ,
'What rate do you figure you need to win at to beat the rake in a live 1/2 game?'.
This is obviously a question I've given a fair amount of thought to and is integral to my decision to give up my job. It's also a very difficult question to answer for a number of reasons. Online pros can consult the HEM databases and calculate all kinds of figures from their huge number of hands that can be used to work out hourly win rates or win rates per 100BB. It's very difficult to do that in a live scenario and its also difficult to get a sample size big enough for it to mean anything. I do keep stringent records of my play in live cash games and I tend to record per session rather than per hour. Other factors that make it difficult are tables are very varied in their hands per hour, their rake and the players playing. Three bits of advice I will offer are:
1. Keep records that allow you to compare different casinos/games (ie games, location and wins/losses).
2. Use these records to 'table select'. Pick the games which are best for you and avoid the ones you think are toughest.
3. To avoid being results orientated, record how you think you played as well. Give yourself a mark out of ten, or ABCDE or anything you're comfortable with. Its something Jared Tendler advocates in his Mental Game of Poker that has become my bible.
Without going into specific figures, the rake is definitely beatable but it is 100% better to push casinos for session fees rather than rake wherever possible.
Finally, a plea from me to all casino players. Over the weekend at Bolton, I saw 7 different people walking out the toilet without washing their hands. This is just unacceptable - you will be returning to the tables and handling the chips and cards that everyone else is! On our hands we have huge numbers of bacteria and other micro-organsims anway, but after urinating this number doubles according to the Food Standards Agency! I googled this stat when writing this blog :
'A case-control study of 6,080 school children showed that those who regularly washed their hands after using the toilet during the day,
in addition to normal hand cleaning habits, experienced 20% fewer absences due
An absolute no-brainer and something we should all be doing!
Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to ask any questions that I can try and answer in my blog next week.