[actually posted August 1st, 2011]
What’s the impetus for this guy starting a blog? Therapy, chronicling, court-ordered requirement? Two of three ain’t bad (What the eph does chronicling mean?!?) Just kidding. This is a blog done of my own volition, and while I’m not quite sure of the purpose of the blog is not entirely determined at the moment, I figure now is a great time to start. The year 2011 has brought plenty of change, and is not about to slow down anytime soon.
“Tim, get me up to speed. What have you been up to lately, and what’s on the horizon?”
What I’ve been up to: Since graduating college in May 2009 (and subsequently met with the atrocious job market), I’ve been a professional poker player, making a living online. The two sites of choice are Full Tilt and Pokerstars. On April 15th of 2011, the FBI shut down these poker sites, thus rendering all American online poker players temporarily unemployed. In order to continue playing on these sites, a player has to prove residence outside of the United States.
At the time of this monumental inflection point in the poker world, I was living in San Diego with my good friend and fellow poker player, Schmed Schmerg (my attempt at privacy). We had relocated from the Midwest in January and were living the dream out in Cali. We had a great rhythm of poker, beach, Taco Tuesdays, friends, and plenty of relaxation. We left our bachelor pad in Pacific Beach in early May. A couple weeks later, I find myself in Nassau, Bahamas with Schmed Schmerg and two other poker grinders (NBD and A-Ron), trying to acquire bank accounts and a sublease. In order to get our poker accounts unlocked, we needed to provide the sites with both of these. After a few days of toiling, we are inevitably met with the catch 22 as follows: we need a bank account in order to get a lease, but we need a lease (proof of residency) in order to get a bank account. Long story short (trust me, it’s not worth delving into), we were not able to make things work in The Bahamas.
So back to the drawing board, as we return to the United States. VANCOUVER it is! After seeing my family for a day (thanks mom, for doing my laundry), I’m off as quickly as I arrived. Border control was a little difficult to maneuver. We don’t have citizenship nor visas, so we have to say we are just visit for an indefinite amount of time. My friend and I went into this agreeing that we just tell the truth. We did, and after 30 minutes of grilling us (suspecting we’re holding drugs/arms —–> THUGG LYFE!!!), and trepidation, they have no choice but to let us into America’s Hat.
Rolling into Vancouver via Granville Bridge at night, I was sure that this was a place I needed to be. The lights of downtown’s main thoroughfare and the people in the streets made the city come alive. Everyone looked as though they were having a great time, and for the first time in a month or so, things started to look up again. After living in the trusty ole Howard Johnson downtown for a week, we finally stumble upon a furnished 5-bedroom house in Kerrisdale (a neighborhood on the West side of Vancouver). A sublease for the summer seemed ideal. After 3 months, we’d have a good idea of what the city was like and how we wanted to proceed at the end of August.
In the beginning of month 3 of 3 at this house is when I write this entry. Things took a lil while to get figured out, but after a few days we had a lease, bank accounts, internet, food in the fridge, and beds to sleep in; and more important to a grinder than all of these (shocking, I know), unlocked poker accounts on Full Tilt and Pokerstars!!!!!! This means that after a month of not being able to work, access the thousands of dollars temporarily frozen, and having a valid reason for being on the internet, we get to return to the grind and starting minting money. 😉
I’m happy to say that after the two months of playing, things are back on track, and going quite well. Things change all the time in poker, but the future looks positive. Without the millions of American players in the market anymore, the games have become much more profitable to play. This will likely curtail in due time, but at the moment, we are experiencing a feeding frenzy, and we’re a part of the first crop of Americans to relocate and return to work. As to be expected, not many people have the luxury of picking up everything and moving outside the country for an indefinite term. It requires people to do things like selling a house/car, relocating family, leaving family and friends, (in some cases) moving to a country where they don’t speak the language, and starting anew.
“Tim, thanks for your long-winded and highly verbose answer to what’s been going on with you! Now, perhaps in a more of a Cliff’s Notes style, ‘What’s on the horizon?'”
At the end of August, the house sublease will be done. At that time, Schmed, NBD and I will be moving into a furnished place for a two-month lease. When the lease is up, off to Europe we go. The plan is to meet our friend and begin traveling/working around the world. If there’s internet, and a place to stay, we’re going to try and go there. The plan is to live each city for a week or so, then move along. Europe in the Fall-early Winter, Asia in the Winter/Spring, and who knows what will follow. All that is certain is that we’re meeting in Lisbon, Portugal in early November and will start the Mediterranean portion of our travels.