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Win My Way To Vegas

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Readingfanman, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Hey everyone. This is probably going to not be a short post, just to prepare you before you start reading it.

    Let me introduce myself. I'm Alex. I'm 23, and work in the centre of London on around about £23.5k a year (roughly $35k). Living in the centre of London has left me with minimal disposable income for trips, nights out, holidays, stuff like that. It's been a tough 9 months!

    I've visited Vegas twice, and am totally in love with the place. My first trip was during my route 66 holiday back in the summer of 2012 with a non gambling flatmate. We had a great time, drank a fair bit and gambled quite a bit on machines on our limited student budgets. My last trip was in February for the superbowl, which happened to coincide with my brothers 21st birthday. This trip was also fantastic, we drank a lot, eat good food, and generally I had an amazing time.

    The problem of course for me comes with the fact that flying from London to Vegas costs me about half of my monthly salary after taxes. I don't have comps because I've only been twice on such a limited budget, and it takes a long time therefore between trips. This doesn't really make me particularly happy, and I decided that I in fact wanted a 2nd trip this year, sometime in the winter. Getting permission from my girlfriend for another Vegas trip wasn't a problem, but cost was, and still is a huge issue.

    I work with a guy who has been playing poker for around five years, a mix of holdem and OMAHA mainly. He claimed to be pretty good, and I thought I'd look him up online and check out his record, turns out he wasn't lying, and he's won a fair amount in the last five years. He has never been to Vegas, but knows he's always wanted to go.

    He suggested we go to Vegas together. Great, I thought. A new companion to head to my favourite place with. Of course, my issue of cost still arose and I said the trip wouldn't be this year unless I somehow won a huge bet over here (I regularly bet sports here in the uk). He then suggested I become a grind player at low limits poker.

    My poker background is sketchy to say the least, I'm certainly not profitable, and I usually end up tilting, or chasing down bad hands when I don't need to. His challenge to me was, if I win $8 a day between now and November, I'd have enough to cover a flight, a hotel for 5 days and some cash to spend. Sounds easy right?

    So I've decided to keep a record of how I'm doing, not really for anyone else, but for myself. By being able to view my progress, I'm hoping I'll be able to see improvement in my bankroll, and my game as I head towards my target.

    My goal is to have $1875 from poker, from a starting bankroll of just $70, having not ever been properly profitable long term at poker before. I'm going to use this thread to blog my updates and hopefully try get some helpful motivation, tips and any chat that comes with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  2. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Update One

    This challenge began on April 4th. A Thursday. I worked until half 5 this day, and got home around 6-30pm. I deposited my $70 and decided to play 5/10 no limit holdem. Ben (my Vegas challenge buddy) had said although my bankroll would be small, if I played tight, I should be ok. So that's what I did for day 1. However, time passed, and after around 200 hands I was up by $4. Profit is profit! Sadly, this wasn't going to be enough if I want to head to Vegas this year!

    Friday 5th I didn't manage to play at all, although Ben had mentioned that there is a bar near our work with free WiFi that he plays at over lunch some days, so I've decided I would start doing this on my iPad as of Monday 7th a couple of days a week. My brother was heading down for the weekend, with the possibility of us going to play some live play at one of the bigger casinos in London on the Saturday evening.

    Saturday, we ended up having a few drinks during the day and my brother had decided he didn't quite have the roll to play live poker, instead we headed down to the casino and had a mammoth 5 hour session rolling the bones at one of the only craps tables in the UK. Managed to walk away with a profit of around $125, which will be used just for general living and not added to my bankroll. Rolled into bed about 4am, thankfully not waking my girlfriend up as I did so!

    Sunday the 6th was my first real should on the tables at Stars and having had lunch, I sat down and played one table zoom poker, with volume of play being my aim to try and build a slow and steady profit. Bought 1buy in for $10 at 5/10 again and played for around 90 minutes building up a nice roll to $45, blew about $40 though in 2 hands when my AK lost out to AA having gone heavy in pre flop. 2 badly played hands followed this and I was staring at one lost buy in for the day and a total loss so far on my challenge to win to Vegas. Ended up busting out totally after around 2 hours and had dropped down to $64 bankroll.

    I took a break for a few hours after that before jumping back into it, bought in again on single table zoom 5/10 nlhe, had a nice 30 minutes where I won back my buy in quickly that I lost earlier, before carrying on that hot run and building the stack to around $32 having peaked at around $55 at one point and almost sou ling my roll, cashing out just before I had dinner after around 800 hands or so. This left me on $94.50 bankroll before the evening.

    I had one target for the rest of the day, and that was to ensure my average was on track for the $8 win, so I logged back in and after sitting in between $12 and $16 for what seemed an age, I managed to win the extra $7.50 needed to get that average on track. Once I got that target after around 150-200 hands I signed off and switched the iPad off.

    Starting Bankroll - $70.00
    Current Bankroll - $102.94
    Current Average - $8.23
    Days till planned go date - 229
     
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  3. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Hi Alex......Wow - tough way to make a living...or a LV trip but good luck to you! Hope all goes well so you can make a return trip....
     
  4. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Hi Sybgal, thanks for the support! It's not an easy way to make a living, but sadly that's the way the graduate market is out here now. Not a lot of pay, so trips to Vegas either involve a lot of saving, or doing something crazy. This is probably a bit of both :)
     
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  5. cyclonebell

    cyclonebell Guest

    Have you seen the movie Rounders lol?
     
  6. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    It sounds like you should be okay. There is a reason it's called grinding, I imagine at times a minimum wage job would pay better than low stakes poker grinder. Good luck.
     
  7. gigabyte056

    gigabyte056 Tourist

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    You should check Myvegas out, you can get a few nights comped and that should free up some grinding cash...
     
  8. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    I haven't seen Rounders, but have heard of it. I imagine I'll get round to watching it at some point!

    Thanks for the support Rural hipster.. I'm not sure, minimum wage over here is around $9 an hour. So I'd be looking at grinding roughly $70 a day to match that. I think the idea of being able to grind a wage is a nice oe for a lot of people. But it's sadly not realistic, with those small numbers, you'd need to be prepared for the eventual downswing in your game, and when you are grinding just $70 a day to live on, the likelihood of having that extra cash behind you for variance in your play is going to be low.
     
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  9. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Cheers for the tip Gigabyte, I've actually been playing it since last summer with the aim of trying to get an entire hotel stay comped. You are right, this should help with my finances slightly, as the original target was $2500. This reductions means hopefully the target is bit easier to get to. Sadly, my aim is to be staying at the Aria!
     
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  10. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    its possible. Friend of mine paid for his airfare with online poker - all small stake stuff.
     
  11. woodsie

    woodsie High-Roller

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    Back when Full Tilt was running in the US I grinded out $1000 over the course of a summer playing $6 sit and go games. The trick will be to stay focused and play consistent. Never let your emotions get the best of you.

    Fun experiment, good luck!

    It's easier to work for a living but playing poker is fun so why not.
     
  12. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    For what it's worth everyone, I do plan on working my full time job still as well. :thumbsup:This is just as a side venture.


    Played for an hour at lunchtime and dropped nearly all the winnings from yesterday, $25 down after a few horrid 50/50 flips.
     
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  13. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Dropped down to play 2/5NL yesterday at reg speed and stopped playing Zoom. Managed about 500 hands last night and was running about even but ended up losing on a 95% favourable turn for the profit I'd made plus some extra. Down another $6.

    It is beatable, I just need to keep practicing. I've downloaded PokerTracker for their free month trial to try see where i can improve. I think my VPP% is quite high currently, so Im probably throwing out a bit much on nothing cards.
     
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  14. Thickskinnedalive

    Thickskinnedalive Low-Roller

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    Great quest, best of luck getting the $$ needed to make it happen. Nice to see you have a goal and a plan. For flights make sure you keep checking frequently as prices can vary greatly day to day. Since that will be a big chunk of your budget any saving there will be most beneficial.

    MyVegas is great for rooms and if playing until November you should be able to get 3 nights easily. Another program you should look into is Social Rewards through Total Rewards CET. First get yourself a Total Rewards number and then sign up for Social Rewards. You earn Rewards Credits which you can redeem for food on Caesar's properties. Between now and fall you can easily make $50-70 worth credit for spamming friends and family on Facebook and Twitter
     
  15. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Cheers, I'll take a look at joining CET as well. Is it worth setting up a secondary twitter for it, dont really want to spam it using my current twitter handle!
     
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  16. kps

    kps High-Roller

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    Talk about a grind...wow. It's all about money management/discipline especially at small stakes and the goal that you have.

    Play well and stay tight on the hands.
     
  17. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the support KPS, I know it's a grind to improve my bankroll by 20x to be able to afford Vegas. I'll get there, I'm sure of it. My poker skills might not be that good, but I'll improve with every hand.

    200 hands played tonight at 2/5 with a nice profit of 150bb for $7.50 to bring me out of overall loss. I'm way down on the average, but it's a sprint and not a marathon thankfully! Felt I played some solid poker tonight, exposed the one on ones well and only over bet my value hands a couple of times where I could have had more when holding the nuts.
     
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  18. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Little update on this.

    My friend has increased his bankroll up to $1200, and hit a tournament cash yesterday in live play for around $3000 which was massive for him. I on the other hand, still trying to learn to play cash poker went backwards.

    My starting bank of 70 has slowly been pushed down by small losses on each session, and was sitting at $43 yesterday before I started. I began by playing 2/5 deep stack with antes and managed to increase my roll after about an hour to $48. I went out for a meal in the evening before continuing. Sadly my play went downhill and I played some stupid hands and got hit for a donk call on a straight against a set of aces, costing me $13.

    For the first time ever playing poker, I properly tilted and began throwing money at anything and everything. I thankfully stopped only losing a little more, but my bankroll now read $13. Fuck.

    Still tilted, I entered a tournament (the worst idea ever if you are a) tilted and b) short on bankroll) for 8.80 with a 5k gtd and a 4.40 $2k gtd. I played these through starting at about 1am, messaging my buddy who was playing his live tournament at the time. I played quite well in both, and dropped out of the 4.40 tournament in 114 after 360 entries, and missed the cash. Felt quite frustrated, however the 8.80 fared better and I popped the bubble finishing 14th out of 231, this rewarded me with $32 and a lifeline miracle for my challenge!

    Feeling pleased with myself, I got some sleep and woke up this morning and wondered why I had been trying to learn cash, when previously all I had played when I used to play was tournaments. I figured I may as well give some sng a try. This turned out to be a good idea, and I had one of my most enjoyable days of poker I've ever had. Ended up playing 22 sng at 1.50/3.50, all one table with the majority being the 50/50 variety. I cashed in 18 of these, and made my bankroll burst at the seams at 72! (that's right, I'm finally in profit!). I do have an awful long way to go, but I think given my performances in cash games over the last 10 days or so, it's clear I don't have the patience for it and my mindset is much better with a tournament. So I'm abandoning the cash in search of multiple sng.


    Other notes from the challenge over the past week - I signed up to titan poker in the hope I could start to get rake back, however I don't enjoy the skin anywhere near as much as pokerstars, and will probably withdraw my cash from there. I also managed to unlock my very first VIP stellar reward on stars for $10 which was nice. Final note is, I've also made silverstar this month for the first time ever, and am slowly racking up the fpp, that Porsche will be mine one day! :)
     
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  19. La$Vega$

    La$Vega$ Low-Roller

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    Welcome!
    woodsie & kps said it pretty good

    Discipline is the key.
    How you deal with defeat will determine your future.
    You have to learn from those losses.
    Treat the chips like a craftsman treats his tools.

    Keep us posted and
    Good Cards!
     
  20. sporty8705

    sporty8705 VIP Whale

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    what about you now?
     
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