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Old 01-29-2007, 10:18 PM
James282 James282 is offline
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Default How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

Tons of us on this forum have made a decent living at a relatively young(or old!) age. As I read through various posts, I see many people hint at various awesome things they do that seem to be made possible due to the money and freedom that this lifestyle provides. On the other hand, it seems like a lot of people are content to just grind it out, only leaving the house if it's for a poker tournament. Hopefully people will post in this thread and inspire the latter group to take advantage of their youth and money while they can!

I'll start with my story, not going to knock your socks off, but I've had a blast since graduating college and figure it's worth a share.


Right after college: Graduating in 2004, I had about 10k to my name after paying down debt, and figured that was enough to postpone looking for a 'real job' just yet. I was making okay money playing poker, but didn't see it as a very long term goal at this point. For the summer, I volunteered at a Camp I had worked at for the previous 5 summers(www.campjburg.org), and had a blast working with kids and generally not worrying about the outside world. In the fall, I took a road trip with my best friend from college, spending 2 months travelling the United States, seeing about 40 National Parks and many cities that I had never seen before. We left with almost no plan besides a list of places we wanted to see, and an atlas, and we had the time of our lives. Since he was in a more typical just-graduated situation, we each spent about 1.5k only, sleeping in the car a lot and camping when we didn't. Did I mention it was the best time ever?

I took the next 6 months being a nomad, from spending some time with my family in NJ, to living with my girlfriend who was finishing up school in VA, to visiting my college, it was a fun but relatively sleepy time. The following summer, I returned to volunteer at the aforementioned summer camp from early june to late August where I was promoted to being a director of one of our four area groups. It was a great experience in people management and continued to keep me balanced in what can be an otherwise very money driven life. When the summer was over, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Hawaii, which was amazing.

Now that my girlfriend was finally done with school, we decided on a relative whim to move to South Lake Tahoe - a ski town that also has casinos in it on the CA/NV border. I had only been skiing a few times before this, but I knew I wanted to stay physically active for the winter and figured what the hell. So we moved out there, bought ourselves some skis and boots and got to work skiing. I probably skied 4 days a week, while playing poker during the nights, and realized that this was an amazing lifestyle for me. When the summer rolled around, we spent time on our friends' boat learning to wakeboard and generally enjoying the Sacremento Delta area. It was around this time that we started getting very interested in wine as well, and we went to visit our man El D in SF and he gave us some very excellent winery recommendations in the Napa Valley. Since then we've been relative wineaholics.

Another summer came, so it was back to NJ for what will likely be our last summer volunteering at camp. Last summer, I was made program director, which was essentially the director of all the other directors(and counselors). While it was very stressful and extremely time consuming(first meeting at 7:00 AM, 1 hour break between breakfast and lucnh, one hour break between lunch and dinner, one hour break between dinner and midnight, working nonstop during meals), it was the most satisfying work experience I've ever had. Once again it helped me stay balanced, and feeling like you are making a real contribution(besides just a charitable donation) is something that you don't realize you miss til it's not there. For heaven's sake, if you are a poker player, sit down and volunteer sometime. No chance you'll regret it.

So, fast forward to this fall, when my GF and I take a trip down to Aruba w/ J_V and his gf for the ultimate bet tournament. The gambling was a disaster, including a late night rigged blackjack game which landed both J_V and myself in the doghouse with our gfs, but the trip was an overwhelming success. We had a great time and are looking forward to going again. When we got back, we left for a 1 month driving tour of the SW USA, camping most of the way but staying in hotels from time to time as well, including an amazing place in a town called Truth or Consequences, NM, which featured natural hot springs, a reflexologist, a kickass restaurant, and some natural jewelry for the lady. When we were done, we landed in Steamboat Springs, CO, for another ski season - which is going even better than the last. The nightlife isn't near what Tahoe's was, but it's a much different experience and for that I'm excited. Skiing a lot more this year, at least 5 times a week, and getting to a level where I feel comfortable skiing virtually anything. When we leave here, I will be taking my first crack at the WSOP, and she'll be travelling Thailand for a month with her girlfriends. Then next January it's Mt. Kilimanjaro with fsuplayer! From there, who knows, but thanks to poker for making it possible!


James

EDIT: Will answer any questions about this stuff, obv, but please add your story of what poker has made possible or what you plan on doing because of it.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2007, 10:35 PM
El Diablo El Diablo is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

James,

The thing I envy most about young poker pros from the last few years are the ones who have taken advantage of the ability to travel, and by that I mean travel other than poker tournaments and cardrooms.

Being able to have some of those types of experiences at such an early age is such a privilege. I really hope Bruiser chimes in here, he is one of the first people that pops to mind reading your topic.
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:38 PM
PartyGirlUK PartyGirlUK is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

What if you got a to die for job as the result of being a poker pro?
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:40 PM
James282 James282 is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

[ QUOTE ]
What if you got a to die for job as the result of being a poker pro?

[/ QUOTE ]

If there is a personal story behind this, by all means, share!

James
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2007, 10:44 PM
mntbikr15 mntbikr15 is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

Ive taken advantge of it in the following ways

-Money towards owning my first home at 21
-Some kick ass vacations(away from poker)

Ways I havent taken advantage
-Havent saved enough

I dont believe that my days as a poker player are up just yet...hopefully in a year or so. Just hope the games dont change to much that I cant show a profit as Im one of the ones who has left myself no other option at the moment.

Granted...I can see myself doing nothing that college is needed for. Some for of entrepenural venture is most certainly the route meant for me.

-Evan

PS- If you want more company climbing Id love to come along.
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:44 PM
PartyGirlUK PartyGirlUK is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

For various reasons I dont want to go into details for a few months sorry (but lots of people know and Im happy to tell people in private), but I'm doing work that lots of people would die to do and I got it because I have a poker background (and was ambitious enough to actively seek out the work). It's likely to benefit me for the rest of my career, I love it, I've made amazing contacts and consider myself amazingly lucky.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2007, 10:44 PM
iron81 iron81 is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

I was never a poker pro, but I made decent money playing poker over the last 4 years. I never took exotic vacations that didn't include poker, but even my poker trips were awesome. I got to visit Copenhagen during an EPT tournament and I just spent a day after I busted out walking around town. It might have been the most memorable day of my life. I had a blast on my Vegas trips as well.

I never made baller money and I'm currently winding down my poker career to once a week B&M + occasional micro stakes online play. But I made good money and the most important thing about that is that I wasn't poor. I didn't have to work very hard in grad school, I never had to eat ramen, or move back in with my parents when I was unsuccessful in a year long job search. A lot of people don't appreciate how stressful the first few years can be after you get out of college.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2007, 10:45 PM
nation nation is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

I would say the best part of all this so far is making my own hours. Whenever friends want to go do something, I don't have to tell anyone that i need time off or anything. On a whim two months ago, my two good friends and I took off to stay at a friends place in Lake Tahoe. We ended up staying for 3 weeks and it easily was the best vacation of my life, and I've been to some nice places (with my family) like Atlantis, India many times, Hawaii, among others.

While I haven't yet made enough money where I can just do whatever I want, just having the freedom to do whatever I want is huge to me.

-nation
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2007, 10:57 PM
DeezNuts DeezNuts is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

When I was a full-time player, I would valet my car wherever I went. That was sweet.

DN
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2007, 11:01 PM
ErnestGoesToWSOP ErnestGoesToWSOP is offline
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Default Re: How have you taken advantage of being a poker pro?

It has given me the chance to own a home at a young age as well given me the time to take on more profitable projects I couldn't have with a normal full time job.

I've used my poker money to buy land and a build a home to sell and I am about to start on a 2nd home.

I feel I can take more business risks since I have some financial stability.
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