Tuesday, August 7, 2007

8/6/07 - 4 Hour Work Week and the Itch

Wow, it has been a long time since I blogged. The original idea for this blog was just to recount stories from my life, but I figured since they take so much work to write and it is not just stream of conscienceness so when I am too lazy to write those I will tell you a little about my normal life too.

It is confirmed... I am a gambling junky. I don't even wish it were not true, in the sense that if it weren't then maybe I would not know what I feel I have known through the experience of gambling. I wrote that specifically because there is a teacher that reads my blog and I wanted to put a little bit of Richard's particular brand of bad grammar in there. That was for you 'R'.

So if I had to be addicted to something I like the idea of being a gambling junky because it has the potential to pay you back. I have been playing a lot of poker and low stakes backgammon recently, after not playing for a while, and I realized that games do not mean anything if there is nothing at stake. And screw that "pride" crap... I can't turn around and buy a new laptop after I win your pride. I want cold hard cash.

So in poker I did great in Vegas two weeks ago (+1200), got hammered at the Morongo (-700), won my prop bets with Da Mic (+200), killed in props against Roobot (+30), and made Roobot cry at Backgammon (+54), did okay in the home game (+100), did good online (+250). So overall I am a winning player for the time being. I have a learned a lot of lessons since the last time I took a run at poker. The other betting and gambling serves to keep my mind occupied so I am not always thinking about the last one outer that came to give my opponent quads on the river.

So why am I writing about all of this? Well, The Bear (my wife) got a new book called the 4 Hour Work Week and has been bringing up some really crazy ideas. Basically we work, save up a bunch of money, go on a mini retirement for a couple of years, come back and work some more, then more mini retirement. The idea is that you do not spend the best years of your life slaving away at a desk. We had a similar idea like this on our own about a year ago. The idea was that we sell everything (not the 62" tv, or the laptop) take what we get and go to Europe for a year or two. We figured we would have close to 300k. We would still have retirement accounts and stuff, so our future is still growing in the market, but the rest of it would be used as such, I would get a chunk to use for my personal bankroll, The Bear would get a chunk to take language lessons, or ride horse or whatever, I don't really remember what she wanted to do. But then we would have a shared amount for living expenses and traveling.

Worst case scenario we spend 100k living our dreams and come back in a year or two with the experiences of a lifetime and still have 2/3 or our money. In a couple of years we would have the means to do it again. All of this while still building up our retirement accounts and savings. Since I am an accountant and can get work pretty much anywhere I want, and she will soon be a nurse and can do the same it is a solid plan. 100k to live a dream? Is it worth it? Now, best case scenario I turn out to be an okay gambler and we actually come back even, ahead, or filthy rich. I give it a 50/50 risk/reward ratio and how can we say no.

The idea is that most people never know what their dream is or they never really try them. Sara wants to travel the world, and I want to try my hand at being a pro poker player. We both deserve the chance to live our dreams. Can you imagine, living together somewhere in France, spending one week a month traveling to other countries, and the rest of the month playing in a 10/25 nl game in the French Riviera, or at the Aviators club. Soaking up the atmosphere, learning to communicate with the locals, raking huge pots, seeing beautiful art, drinking the best coffee in the world?

Most people dream small, or their dreams have to do with assets or security. I believe in both assets and security, but I do not think there is anything better than living a dream.

Now for the darker side of things. When we first brought this up about a year ago, I thought I was hot stuff in the low stakes poker world. Well I was a donk, and I still kinda am. Essentially I lost my bankroll playing poker online and blowing up, and tilting. Not so bad when the worst that could happen is just losing 1k of free money that I won early that year. However, it was very hard to face the fact that I was not a good poker player. When I had to look deep into my heart and realize that I sucked at poker, and that all of the money I had won to date was luck, and not good play and discipline, it crushed me. I could not go play in a high level game because I was not even good enough to play in a low level game. I was so distraught that I would never get to live that dream. I stopped playing poker for 4 months after that. When I came back to it I had a new perspective and was better than ever.

The practical side of living a dream like participating in a big competition or being an athlete or a skilled musician is that there is skill gap that must first be overcome. I realize this, and would not be willing to take 20k of our families hard earned profit and equity and gamble it irresponsibly. Don't get me wrong... I am a gambler at heart and love all sorts of risks, but for the most part I like risk where I can have an edge.

So what does this mean for the future? Well the gamblers life is risky, all of the pros have won and lost millions of dollars. They have all been so broke that they could not eat before. Doyle Brunson said in his book Poker Wisdom, "The day I put the last dollar in my poket on the table at risk, knowing I could not eat or pay my rent if I lost, I knew I was a gambler." Scary huh?!?! I am not willing to live that lifestyle, but I am willing to do something inbetween. I want to build up my bankroll slowly again and get to the higher level games before we decide to go "walk the earth". One way or the other I will get the chance to live my dream. I will not give it up, and I will not walk away, other than for a couple of months to take a break.

Dreams are worth fighting for. The only thing I cannot get over so far is that I just am not good enough to take a run at my dream yet. However, The Bear does not finish school for another 1.5 years so hopefully that will be enough time. I got the itch.... I want to play, to gamble, to put my bankroll on the line. So we will see what I can do with my remaining 700 of bankroll. Hopefully things will go well and I will become a better player.

1 comment:

Andrew Eckroth said...

such a beautiful post... i refuse to see you become a typical 9/5 american wage slave so if you don't do something crazy i will force u! in other words, i got your back... hopefully it's a lot better now because u r quite the bitch with it hurting....