Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The UK is one of the best places to go pro - you are not taxed on your winnings at all :) In the US you have to pay tax, but can write off losses, whereas in Brazil you have to pay tax on every win you have, but can't offset your losses against it - no wonder there aren't many online players from Brazil!

I was worried that this might change in the future for the UK, but it would also mean the Inland Revenue would have to accept gambling losses as tax-deductable so I don't expect it will change as they'd have a mountain of paperwork for probably no gain and potentially be opening up an exploitable loophole.

As a poker player, I'll be classed as "non-employed". This means I'll also be able to stop paying tax on any interest on my savings which is an added bonus. One thing I'll need to keep an eye on is National Insurance contributions - it looks like I can let it lapse for a while but will need to do something before the price goes up 2 years later : http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/nic/ca5603.pdf

2 days left at work now!

Monday, 12 October 2009

I quit my job today!

My job and company I work for have been going through a lot of changes over the last 14 months. I've waited patiently for a change that would see me happier, but I've reached the stage where I just don't feel I can continue to keep my head down and grind through each day. If I'm committing a serious amount of time each day to something I need to feel some kind of passion for what I'm doing and its just not been there for at least 10 months. A few small changes recently have been the final straw..

Its a scary time to be quitting without a new job to go to, and perhaps a little foolish, but with some savings behind me I can survive for a few months.

I haven't quit the job to play poker full-time, but now that I have quit it would seem silly not to give it a try :) I'd hoped to be able to attain a winrate to make the decision of quitting less risky, but I think with the extra time I'll have to play and study poker I have a chance of making it work.

I'm quite prepared for an outcome where I find that poker isn't a suitable career for me and that I may have to jobhunt again. At least I'd know if playing poker is worth the hours I put in! With a few months away from a 9-5 I hope I'll be able to re-kindle some passion for IT and find a job I can live with if it works out that way. I'm going to keep my eye on the job market and perhaps look for some contract/freelance work if anything suitable appears, especially if I can make my own hours and work from home.

I had been thinking about making a very solid plan/schedule if I was to play poker full-time, but I'm just going to have to work that out as I go. I'll need to try and fit in some exercise and time for all the other things that will help me sustain longer periods of A-game play. I hope I'll be able to put in at least 2k hands per day, so should manage around 50k for a month, breaking sessions into 1-1.5hr chunks. If I can improve my multi-tabling skills I should be able to achieve even more.

I'll be working out my notice for the rest of this month so I'll have more time to refine my plan and fit in plenty of time for studying/sweat sessions etc..

As poker is going to become my primary income I'll be removing the bankroll and monthly breakdowns from my blog soon.

Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Coaching etc..

I had some really good sessions with my new coach (2* 1.5hr sweats and 1hr hand review) who suggested some adjustments to make that seem to be paying off. It helps to run well too as I had quads 4 times in 3000 hands and had a 12BI upswing in and around the coaching sessions.

I've also been a lot more focused in my sessions, paying attention to everything that is going on at the tables, making notes and trying to make a plan for each hand given the villain(s) involved. Stopping myself watching TV / instant messaging / forum browsing / checking results while playing is something I've struggled with in the past but I've managed it so far this month and plan to continue.

After the coaching sessions finished my boomswitch ended, was replaced with a doomswitch, and I had a bad day on Sunday dropping 4BI. Normally I think I'd start to tilt a little at this point and let it affect my play without really analyzing why. Instead, I reviewed hands and realised the cards just didn't run my way apart from mistakes I made in 2 hands. Yesterday I played again and made sure I played the same game as I had been during the coaching and picked up 3BI. I was in two very similar spots to the mistakes I had made the day before but was happy to not repeat them.

A combination of coaching, a nice heater and a renewed dedication to improve have helped a few concepts that I've been struggling with over the last few months click into place and I think given me the confidence that I was looking for when I dropped to 50NL.

Plan for the rest of the month (All FR and no 6max) :

Week 2 (this) : Continue 4-tabling 50NL
Week 3 : 6-table 50NL
Week 4 : Drop back to 4 tables but 2*100NL & 2*50NL
Week 5 : 6-table (4*50NL & 2*100NL)