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playing poker and teaching science: July 2005

playing poker and teaching science

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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?

Friday, July 22, 2005

The adventure continues

Being a professional online poker player has got to be one of the most boring jobs ever. Poker is so much fun, but to grind out a living folding, folding, and folding some more would make me buy a high power rifle and venture in search of and unoccupied bell tower.

That said, grinding out an hour or less each day to make a little extra scratch is not too bad at all. Here are the stats after 22 days of two-tabling $2/$4 limit:

Total days played: 22
Total hours played: less than 20
Total number of hands: approximately 1150
Number of winning sessions: 18
Number of losing sessions: 4
Average losing session: -$64.25
Average winning session: +50.72

Total average: +$29.80 per hour for a total profit of $656 after 22 hours of play.

So basically I’m working a part-time job that pays almost $30 an hour, but I only work one hour (or less) each day.

My strategy is simple. Play good cards in good position and let the fishies call down second best hand. I open up two tables of limit $2/$4, fold everything except the best hands and try to keep reminding myself that I’m NOT playing for fun and that I DO NOT have to win very many hands.

Case in point: This morning I played four hands, won three, left the table up $48.

I also limit my self to +/- $45 to $50 and one hour of play. I’ve been pretty good about sticking with those limits and have only violated them three times. Two ended with losing sessions of $80 and one where I was down $25 after an hour so I played another 30 minutes to get up $20. So my discipline isn’t perfect, but it’s not too bad. I have laid down some big hands when I felt like there was a good chance I was beaten, but have also stayed in some hands when I felt I was being pushed out.

For example: I’m holding A8 suited on the button and it’s folded around to me. I raise and pick up the blinds, right? No such luck. The BB reraises and then bets at a flop of 448. What to do? My perfect strategy says to lay it down because I’m about to put $10 into a pot where I will only get 2-1 on my money, but I’m only beaten by 99 through AA and I’m way ahead if he’s holding AK, AQ, or AJ, which are all hand he may have raised with.

I put him on AK because you only put people on a hand you can beat, right? :-) He was holding AK.

I have also been good about quitting while ahead. I have a few sessions of less than 25 minutes with a ten minute session for +$51 and ending this morning up $48 in less than 15 minutes being dealt AA twice in the first five hands and getting called all the way down by second or third highest pair.

The Party Poker part-time job paid for a two-day trip to Ceasars in southern Indiana where I won another $120.

Thanks for reading.