I’m sitting inside an independent coffee shop in DTLV called Bungalow, drinking a Honey Lavender Iced Latte with oat milk, and writing a blog on my laptop. Is this the ultimate peak of pretentiousness?
I’ve been struggling in poker lately. Especially in Las Vegas. Actually it’s not even “lately” when referencing my poker results here in the desert—it’s been pretty ugly in a couple of different ways. The main way is in regards to my interest level in attempting to grind it out in the usual locations in the usual games. That interest level is at an all time low, which I have a hard time admitting.
Bro what is your deal. Do you know how many people would snap trade places with you and every aspect of what your life entails? Not even talking about people around the world living in extreme poverty and shit… like, people who would trade their 9-to-5 and how they’d kill to have infinite time to just cruise up and down the strip, sitting games, ordering free watermelon juice. And then have a platform of 175k people to share it all with. Seriously what is your deal…
Poker is the ultimate in mental competition. Literally face to face with someone, trying to outmaneuver them in a strategy game where money is the mechanism and the score. If you aren’t coming into that competition both studied and mentally geared up, you can kiss those betting discs goodbye. And if you think you felt mediocre about the session before sitting down, wait until you’re mid four-figures in the red. That’s a real rough feeling.
Such a waste. I mean all you really need to do is just find a good game (of which there are many, you know), play solid, maybe make the occasional semi-bluff with good equity, and keep your emotions under control. It’s really not that hard. And yet somehow you’ve blasted off several thousand dollars SEVERAL SESSIONS IN A ROW. I mean, is this what an experienced professional does? Just gives it away?
Simply playing poker for the money is probably a bad idea. If your options are super limited for whatever reason then I guess it could make sense. But I’ve heard a lot of people say that if you can succeed in poker, you can probably succeed in a lot of things that pay even better. Sometimes I hear that and obviously nod along, but at other times I’m not so sure, because I think people who really succeed at poker love this shit in particular. They love game theory meets gambling meets travel meets cash. I love everything except for the first part. You know, the most important part of this poker success equation. The soft skills will take you to a degree of success, but I feel like the Jason Koons of the world love the theory study, too. I think Garrett Adelstein has done a shitload of solver work. Maybe.
Is it really that hard to run some sims? If reality television star Kevin Martin can do it, why can’t you? You just wanna show up and win? Come on. Who are you kidding. Keep wasting your time, dude. And your money.
I’ve been aware of these facts for a bunch of years. There’s little-to-no chance I’d have drifted into the creative pursuit of a YouTube vlog if I wasn’t aware of what was happening in (at least some aspects of) poker, its evolution and where exactly I thought I fit into that industry. And so, my ideas and interests in “story” lead me to capture, create and share them, and away from the nuts and bolts of GTO.
I’ve always tended to look for the fun parts of life but procrastinated on a lot of the necessary details… Except when it came to content. Although, even there, my limits of digging too deep into the weeds are present—I haven’t downloaded After Effects, I’ve never bought ND filters, I don’t know what f-stop is without looking it up. But I know what something should feel like when I make it. And if it’s not right then it’s extra hours in the edit until it’s there.
It’s just not gonna happen with you and PIO solver, is it?
Not when there is the fanciest PB&J you’ve ever seen that needs capturing and sharing. Did I mention it has orange zest on it? Just phenomenal.
Andrew, one of the attractive things about you is your transparency. This conversation you had with some apocryphal viewer/reader felt real in every respect.
FWIW, I have come to the same conclusion, that I'm not going to have a relationship with Pio. If that means I'm not going to be able to beat (i.e. play in) a subset of games, so be it.
You've clearly spread your wings beyond grinding the felt, so if you're not feeling it, cash in your betting discs and do whatever is next.
I do firmly believe that people who can succeed in poker can make more money elsewhere. In fact, I suspect there's an almost linear relationship – if you can make $50k/year playing poker, you can probably make $100k/year doing something else. If you're Jason Koon, you could probably make millions of dollars per year doing something else (I refer you to another Jason – Strasser).
You're serving the world better writing and producing content than you are grinding NLHE (or even that 4 card game). You'll find a way to pay the bills doing it, and we'll all be happier.
The PB&J looks damn good. The latte may be a bit much.
Solvers aren't for everyone. They're certainly not for me. Even if I put in the work, I'm drawing dead to put the information in play. My problem is recall. I can watch a true crime documentary and watch it again 3 months later because I forgot who did it. We just need to get it done other ways, Doyle Fucking Brunson (DFB)-style. Enjoy the 313! I wish I was joining you.