27 January 2009

Play it again Sam

"It's hard work. Gambling. Playing poker. Don't let anyone tell you different. Think about what it's like sitting at a poker table with people whose only goal is to cut your throat, take your money, and leave you out back talking to yourself about what went wrong inside."
- Stu Unger, Three-time WSOP Champion

"Guys around here'll tell ya... you play for a living. It's like any other job. You don't gamble. You grind it out. Get your money in when you have the best of it, and protect it when you don't. Don't give anything away. That's how I've paid my way through half of law school. A true grinder."
- Matt Damon's character in Rounders, 1998

Poker has in many ways made Mooli's possible. I couldn't have made all this progress with Mooli's if I had continued working for BCG or any such organization. This month Mooli's is really picking up some momentum (I have some really exciting news but that will have to wait a few days) so the poker has stopped. I won't need the money anymore and there is so much to do.

It is easy to look back on 2008 because I meticulously maintained an excel spreadsheet recording every single game I played. The 2008 P&L ended at £16,120. That's an OK number considering I quit BCG in April but it isn't by any means remarkable (I know guys who make much much more playing poker). But what is remarkable is that every single month ended positive and that I remained a true grinder playing lots of Heads Up and playing well within my skill/stake level. I didn't ever lose my nerve when luck/variance went against me. Sure, occasionally I went on tilt (I wouldn't be a poker player if that didn't happen) but I always bounced back with some more discipline. Sometimes, you have perfect nights, like tonight when you are clinical and probability works the way it is supposed to (for example, I win when I'm 82% ahead). But other nights, everything goes against you. There is a poker saying: "In the long run there's no luck in poker, but the short run is longer than most people know." Suddenly after few such nights, you're down for the month. You have bills to pay and you can't touch your Mooli money because well that belongs to Mooli's. A few months, I thought maybe I need to stop for a bit. But Kartik would say, "you've got to get back on the horse, play lower stakes if you have to but it's obvious you're way better than your average player, it's just variance".

There were some exciting times too in 2008. I reached three final table qualifiers and came within one card to going to Vegas to play the World Series of Poker. Ouch. I had to eat nine spicy chicken wings at KFC to overcome that heads up loss in the Bet365 Last Man Standing final. One day, I will play in the WSOP and we'll find out if it has my name on it.

But for now, its all about Mooli's baby.


Tariq said...

Even more exciting. But the poker can never really be considered a bad thing because wihtout it the process would have been difficult, if not impossible. It was also I guess a good form of enteratinment and structure. Anyway what is this news you mention? Readers await.

Tariq said...

ps: like witnessing Fernando torres scoring a goal, the more I view it the more I love the logo and get up of Mooli's.

Sameer Singh said...

tariq, i am speechless. watching torres score a goal and our logo, that's quite a compliment. i should add that mathew is a man u fan. oops.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to playing heads up with you sameer - let me know ANYTIME you want to fly down to Vegas for a marathon session of poker - I'm down. I've been down your path. The difference- I didn't work for BCG so I don't have that big a bankroll:)

- Some who knew you quite well from RV :)

And yes - Rounders is my all time fav. the Stu Unger story is disturbing yet awesome as well .