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playing poker and teaching science: Movin’ on up
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Movin’ on up

I have come to the stark realization that I am not poor.

I have four brothers and sisters, my father worked in a factory and was also a full-time minister, and my mother was an aid in a nursing home. We ate potato soup because we didn’t have a lot of money. I liked it and thought we ate it because it was good!

My brother insists we were white trash, but we always had clean clothes and food on the table and only occasionally had a vehicle up on blocks in the back yard. The jury is still out.

My older brother dropped out of high school to join the army, but I decided to go to college, mainly because my buddies were going and I had no idea what else I should do. I paid for 99.9 percent of my college education myself and along the way worked in Yellowstone National Park and then sat out a year while working in an oil well drilling tool shop in Wyoming.

I graduated, went to grad school, worked at the Better Business Bureau as director of membership development, and then went back to school to become a teacher. Along the way I paid off all my debt and currently have none, with the exception of my house. I own my Jeep and my motorcycle and I have thousands set aside for my son’s education.

If I ever was white trash, I’m not any longer.

What does this have to do with poker?

It is directly related in that I’ve found that I can play pretty well. I know I’m not a world-class player, but I have sat at NLHE tables with a $200 buy in, limit tables up to $5/$10, and several live tournaments and walked away a winner. No, not every time, but with enough consistently to know it’s not a fluke. I know when to bet for value, when to bluff at a ragged flop, and when to get out of a losing hand.

I play well with real money, but only when the money is enough that I consider it to be real money.

I’ve nickeled and dimed my way to well over $200 on UltimateBet, playing solid cards and throwing away the losing hand, but at the lower limits, less than 50 cents, I chase bad draws and try to get lucky.

I have too much money to play at these low limits.

When I’ve experimentally moved up to blinds that are above $1 online, I make money. So it’s time to move up. I have the money, I know I can win, and the higher limits bring out my best game. And with the impending trip to Las Vegas, I need to practice my best game.

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.


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