CheckRaise Trav

Poker and scotch on the rocks. Below are my reflections on life and poker. My journey from $4-8 as a past time to $15-30 for serious money and life in between.

Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Who am I?


Welcome to my thoughts regarding Texas Hold ‘em Poker. Since this is my first entry I should give you a little background as to who I am. I’ve been playing poker for most of my 26 year old life but only seriously for the last 2 years. It all started one day when my friend wanted to go play poker at a casino. I suggested my Dad’s casino (my Dad is a part owner in a mini casino here in Seattle) and off we went. To my surprise my Dad was actually sitting in the $4-8 hold em game and we sat down and played. I played like a pigeon (bad player), got lucky and won money. I was hooked.

My Father played poker for a living for 20 years while my Mom was a P.H.D. professor. In truth, Dad is smart enough to pretty much do whatever he wants in life and be successful. He chose poker. He also chose to keep me away from the game. This was my Mom’s influence. My parent’s wanted me to go to college, get a degree and a good job. In 2002 I graduated from the business school at the University of Washington and went to work for Microsoft as an Associate Financial Analyst. As an adult, my Dad recognized that since in my life I’ve pretty much done whatever I wanted to do that this was going to be no exception. He said, “Well if you’re going to play, you should learn how to play the right way.”

Since then I’ve spent the last 2 years of my life crunching numbers, partying with my friends, meeting girls, and losing money while learning the game of poker from my Dad and his friends at the Casino.

Losing money is awful. There was a point in my life where I had read 5 books, played for over a year and still could not beat the game. I’ve tracked every single session I’ve played and know exactly how much I’ve won/lost in aggregate. I almost gave the game up entirely until I had a serious talk with my Dad. He said, “you know you can beat this game, you’re still learning”. I’ve never been much for losing or quitting and I continued to play. As time went on I finally began winning!

I started playing $4-8 for the first year or so with my Dad and his friends. My Dad and his friends have essentially stopped playing the game for serious money (Dad has been retired for years now) and they now play this small limit for relaxation and to enjoy each other’s company. This period in my life was a lot of fun. Although I lost money overall I had my winning moments and I learned a ton.

I then got my small bankroll together and tried to play $8-16, $10-20, and $12-24 in North Seattle, which are the higher limits in the greater Seattle area. I lost immediately and badly. It was amazing, these players played the game so much more aggressively than in South Seattle. It was a completely different game. It took me a few months and then I was breaking even in the higher limit games but still at an overall loss in my short poker lifetime.

Then I became a winner.

On November 11th, 2004 I caught a cold and couldn’t be around the smokey poker room atmosphere and hope to ever get better. I decided to check out online poker and immediately fell in love with the game. Compared to Seattle casinos, the online players are so much weaker. Additionaly, I found that the travel time back and forth to casinos after working would wear on me. It’s tough to dedicate 15 hours a week to poker when you’re also working 50+ and trying to have a social life. With online poker I could eat dinner at home, log on and play. It was beautiful, I won all the time and it was more convenient.

That’s a quick introduction about my poker life in 8 paragraphs. As I continue I’ll write more about my history and the new playing sessions I encounter. I went from a losing $4-8 player to a consistent winner in $15-30. My current plan is to quit my job, play full time and push the winnings toward investments in real estate.

I write here in hopes that you can be entertained and laugh at my writings, learn from my agony, and hopefully enjoy my success.

Good luck to you and I hope you like the posts.