So, for me at least, WSOP 2009 has come to an end. Perhaps more than that has come to an end. It is the end of my brief career as a full time poker professional. It was a wonderful run, and a fantastic experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I took a little bit of a different path that most, but I think it worked out all right in the end.
In less than 6 weeks I start school. Wow. I don't really know what to say about this other than that I am excited/nervous. I really have no idea what to expect, but I think it is going to be a great experience, no matter what happens. What I do know is that I am going to give it a full year before deciding what to do. No matter what happens, no matter how much I love/hate it, I am going to finish the first year. In all likelihood I will love it and continue on, but you never really know for sure.
This summer I played 7 wsop events. I cashed in a 5k for 14th place, and bubbled a couple others. I busted out of the main event with AK to A2 all in on an AAT flop, 2 rolled off on the turn. It was cool though, I really didn't even mind. It didn't bother me in the least. I smiled, packed up my stuff, and headed home, with my mind on returning to school and entering a new lifestyle, something different.
I have been playing online a bit more over the last few weeks with pretty strong success, up around 250 or so. I haven't really played anything big, most of it has been at 25-50 HUNL and 25-50 PLO on the ante tables. I have been getting quite a bit of 25-50 NL action, which is pretty cool, most people seem to think I'm a fish or something (which may be true). It has gone pretty well for the most part though, so maybe I'm not as bad as these guys think. Guess I still got it a little bit.
Yesterday coragyps lost like 100k at 25-50 PLO HU and was tilt sitting at 300-600, so I sat with him for 30k. First hand he raises I reraise AKQJ he calls. Flop A63r, I bet he pots I get it in, and he tables J652 and bangs it off then instaquits. The best part of this though, was I didn't care at ALL. Like, a year ago, even 6 months ago, this would have tilted me to no end. I just sat there, smiled, said nice hand, and waited for him to come back or leave. This is something I have never really been able to do before. I didn't get mad, I didn't get upset, I didn't complain to the world about my terrible luck. I just sat there without anger, without emotion.
Now, I find it funny that for the last 5 years, I have searched for this ability to not feel pain while playing poker. This was the first time I truly experienced painlessness at the tables, and it felt really good. The funny part is that I am no longer going to be playing poker, at least for the first year I am in school. I searched so long, worked so hard to acquire this ability, and now that I seem to have it, I am moving on to something else. Perhaps this is the point where I grow bored with most things, when I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do. I may not have won a big tourney, or beat Phil Ivey over 100k hands, but I conquered the most fearsome opponent of all, myself.
So what now for me? Well, I am not going to quit poker QUITE yet. I don't start school for 6 weeks, so will probably be playing a bit until then, so don't count me out of the game completely. Once school starts though I am going to not play a single hand until Christmas break, and then re-evaluate. If things have been going well, I will continue it for the rest of the year. Next summer I will come out to Vegas and play some series events, maybe grind a bit online, etc, but it won't be the most important part of my life anymore.
I am leaving Las Vegas to head back to Texas on Sunday. I am staying to go to UFC100, then headed home. I will likely hang out in Fort Worth for a week or so, then I am renting a place in Austin for a month. My gf is doing summer school, and I have a bunch of friends in that area that I want to hang out with. I also have really enjoyed my previous trips to Austin, and want to spend some time getting a feel for the city. I also want to start reading a couple hours a day to work that into a routine so it won't be a huge change once I start school.
I don't know what the future of poker looks like. There is a lot of legislation stuff going on that could potentially be really great for all of us. If online poker becomes regulated in the US, it will open the floodgates for people to start playing, and new life will be given to the games. I don't know what the future holds for me either. What I do know is that poker gave me something truly wonderful, the luxury of choice, and I fully intend to take advantage of it.