Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Decisions

One thing that took me a while to understand about poker is that it's about making the right decisions. Just because you lose doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong play; conversely, winning doesn't always go hand in hand with making the right play. But more often than not, if you're making the right decisions, you'll become a profitable poker player.

Whether or not I've made the right decisions thus far, I've seen my bankroll grow tremendously since the beginning of the year. I set a goal to build my bankroll up to $2k, and I accomplished that goal by May. Since then, I've spent my time playing poker at higher stakes, with an arguable amount of success. I hit a rough spot recently that forced me to reevaluate some of the decisions I was making, and one decision was to jump down in stakes for a bit while I managed the emotions I dealing with.

Admittedly, the downswing I went through recently was one of the roughest times I've ever had as a poker player. As my bankroll dipped further, so did my confidence in my game. Furthermore, the idea that I had (for me) a large some of money in my account that I was losing at a rapid pace was very troublesome. Despite having a bankroll that was capable of handling bigger swings, I myself was not able to handle that because I kept thinking about just how much money I was losing.

I've alluded to the fact that I've had some financial problems in the past. I've worked hard over the past couple of years to resolve these problems yet still find a way to play poker as often as I'd like. I was lucky enough to balance this conflict by playing all of last year on a $50 deposit I made back in April. Since then, my financial situation started improving; I started making significant dents into my personal debt, including finally paying off my car. But I still have room to do, and having spent the past two & a half months living off unemployment checks, I can't wait until the day that I finally find a new job & start making those dents even bigger.

So the other day, Full Tilt announced a new way to withdraw money - cash pickup. I tried requesting a check for a small amount, which Full Tilt canceled due to processing error. So I tried this new method. I requested a withdrawal late Wednesday night (technically early Thursday morning), and by the afternoon I had the cash in my hand. So that got me thinking....

As it stands today, my bankroll is just a shade under four digits. I've put in two requests for withdrawals, and (if) once they get approved, I will have withdrawn 75% of my bankroll within a week.

And it's probably the best poker decision I've made this year.

When I'm in a better place financially, I can probably deal with the swings that come with higher stakes. I know I'll get back there this year because I have that confidence in my game again. But I also know that, given this opportunity to cash out my bankroll so efficiently, and for such a significant amount, this was the right decision for a debt-laden, unemployed HR professional.


At July 21, 2008 at 7:48 AM, Blogger Instant Tragedy said...

Amen Matt,

What you need to do is find that comfort zone and grind it out.

Keep me in touch!


At July 21, 2008 at 4:42 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Decisions decisions...

Well props on your decision to NOT drive inebriated on Friday! While it was a good time, and you were missed, it was not worth you doin' something stupid! And I can't blame your excuse for not making it, as "too drunk" was probably the best excuse our group could've been given!

And probably a good decision to make the recent FTP withdrawal! I pulled out a small chunk of my recent winnings myself, (just to keep me from donkin' it off.)

Glad to hear you're considerin' the December Vegas trip! Lookin' forward to it myself.

Oh, and Michelle told me she's perusing her & the Doc's calendar to schedule another home game soon!

At July 22, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have an e-mail address where I can correspond with you regarding your HR search?


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