Now that I'm a regular commuter between Michigan and Canada, I realized that I should have made this move a long time ago. First of all, it's not even a bad drive--it only takes about 45 minutes to get from my house to the border, and once I come out of the tunnel I'm less than a minute away from my new place. So far I've gone up there every Sunday (even Super Bowl Sunday) and usually pick another two or three days out of the week to grind some of the bigger tournaments like the $1k Super Tuesday. So far my results have been pretty good. I won two $100 rebuys during my first five days back and at the end of February I came really close to the final table of the Sunday Million, finishing in 13th place.
I do think the break I took from playing online had some positive effects. I got to open my bar and had a taste of what life was like without sitting in front of a computer all day. For so long, it was really all I did. I played every single day, 70 to 80 hours a week. Just me and a screen clogged with a dozen tables. I had become so comfortable with this routine and it stopped cold on Black Friday. But it feels really good to be back. Now I remember how great it is to be able to play 50 tournaments in a single day rather than one tournament in an entire week--usually bookended by a trans-Atlantic flight.
When I got back on PokerStars I feared the games wouldn't be as good and the tournaments wouldn't be as juicy as they used to be. But I've been surprised by what I've already seen in the short time I've been back. I thought that by now everyone knew no-limit hold'em really well since it's been popular for so long. And since there are no more U.S. customers playing, I thought the action wouldn't be as great. Instead, I've been pleasantly surprised. I've seen some really crazy plays in tournaments and I've been saving a lot of hands for later review--different situations that were just shocking to me. Players might know the game better overall, but the action is still really good.
Now that I'm a part-time Canadian, I plan on playing a lot online this year. I've never been big on traveling and unless you're on the road with a good friend you really like spending time with, it can be a lonely experience. At the end of the day, I'd rather be home than in a hotel room. And now I'm lucky enough to have two of them.
Joe Cada is a member of Team PokerStars Pro