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Daily 3-Bet: A Pro's Life
The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a balloon-powered Ozoplane ride behind the great and powerful afternoon poker media curtain.
Any suggestions for a future 3-Bet, feel free to drop a note in the comments.
Today in the 3-Bet we spin through the ups and downs (and occasionally rarified air) of being a professional poker player.
1) Working 9-5 > Full-Time Poker Pro
We'll start our tour through the pro ranks with the inverse of the usual rags-to-poker pro story.
Josh Arieh may be the more prominent pro to drop out of the pro ranks lately, but 28-year-old Jon Urban has also recently pulled the plug on a professional poker career.
As John Kelly writes in the Washington Post, Urban quit his job as an engineer with Black and Decker to become a poker pro in Vegas a couple of years ago.
Eighteen months later, he was back working a 9-5 job again.
While Urban calls his pro experiment a success, he definitely found maintaining his level of play on a full-time basis was harder than he thought:
“I was extremely unlucky,” he told Kelly. “Also, I noticed that I started getting a little arrogant and started losing my discipline.”
“I was trying different types of moves and plays that I really had no business doing.”
Missing his girlfriend and in a profit rut as a pro, Urban went back to working the 9-5 as an engineer in Dallas. The adjustment wasn’t easy that way either, but it hasn't been the end of the world:
“It was tough at first. It’s still tough. But I’ve adjusted. I’ve done it before. Everybody else in the world does it.”
2) It's Not Easy Being a Hot Female Poker Star
You don't have to go far in a poker room to hear guys talk about how good attractive young female pros have it compared to their skill level.
Most aren't talking about Xuan Liu though.
One of the most sought after young pros in recent years with the skill to back it up, Liu explains in a new blog post how the exposure brings its own special set of problems with it.
"The WSOP was a stressful time and there are definitely things I would do differently next year.
"It was my second real World Series and I earnestly tried to focus only on poker but there was no escape from the noise and pressure to mold my own identity in this world ...
"I put a lot of strain on my interpersonal relationships when I questioned people's motives out of my own insecurities this past summer."
Despite making a Stud final table, Liu's WSOP results were lackluster by her standards and left her a bit jealous of her fellow female pros who crushed at the WSOP:
“It was a great WSOP for women and although I feel the glory from being a girl and am very happy for every one of these ladies, I think it's also alright to admit I'm jealous.
“It's not malicious, it just comes from my competitive drive since it makes me feel like I need to work harder and set the bar higher for myself.”
3) Raising Two Kids and Being a Poker Pro = Golfer’s Elbow
Strange equation, but that’s part of the current situation for British poker pro James Atkin.
No play, no pay.
It’s especially tricky for Atkin as he’s not just a young kid making beer and flip-flop money. He's raising a family with two kids.
In Atkin’s case he’s developed a case of Golfer’s Elbow (no, really) from the repetitive stress of playing online.
He bought a new mouse, is working on a more ergonomical work setup and played a bit live to compensate, but the pressure's still on to play through the pain and make his monthly nut.
Thankfully Atkin binked a Sunday semi-major a while back so it should keep him in the black (and baby food) at least for awhile.
(And James if you ever want to write a guest post on poker and parenting, let us know).
Bonus 4-Bet: Life at the Top With Daniel Negreanu
There's being a poker pro, and then there's being Daniel Negreanu.
Quite possibly the most famous pro in the world, Negreanu has taken poker stardom to the next level.
Sponsorships, blanket media coverage, movie cameos and guest spots around the globe, among other perks, also help him drive likely as much income off the felt as on it.
And he does pretty well on the felt.
It's a life a lot of aspiring pros dream of, and exactly the way Negreanu likes it as it keeps him rich, busy and involved in new projects all the time -- including most recently an appearance on the Canadian sitcom (note: we're aware of the oxymoron there) Mr. D.
Quite the schedule I have this week. In my hotel by 1am with a 7:45am call time after a full day flying. Just the way I like it actually.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) August 8, 2012
Having fun on set of @gerrydee show called Mr.D on CBC new season starts in January. This is def my most fun and unique cameo I've ever done— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) August 8, 2012
It also gives him a platform for his much-adored rants. In case you missed the last one: