Theo Jorgensen: The life of a Team Pro
It's not all glamour
Along with the life as a professional poker player also come worries. Last week was the trip to Barcelona for the European Poker Tour tournament in Barcelona. All I had to do is show up. PokerStars had taken care of the five-star hotel and the deposit. I've won--in tournaments alone--more than seven million (Danish kroner). From the outside, it must look as though there isn't much to complain about. There isn't, actually, but it's still not all fun and games.
That is why it's fantastic that I now can vent through the PokerStars Blog. Maybe I'll be able to make some people understand before they quit their day job. Maybe I can help people understand that despite what it looks like, there are some less glamorous sides of the life as a professional poker player.
Saving for the bad times
I envy those who have a steady income they receive every first of the month. It allows them to actually make a budget for the year. They can also estimate how much they will have the following year.
Because I have no steady monthly income, whenever I have a big win, I always put aside a lot of the money for the bad times. For example, when I score in London for £630.000, I celebrated by upgrading my girlfriend's car. The rest of money? I put it aside.
If you were an ordinary worker and had a certain income for the next 26 years, you could have taken the family on a round-the-world trip, bought the newest Porsche, or done just about anything you want.
Of course, I realize that if I were an ordinary working man, I wouldn't be able to decide my own working hours. As a poker player, I play when I want. I'm grateful for that and I'm still very happy about my choice.
I write all of the above to explain that it's one thing to win gigantic tournament when you actually need to support yourself and a family. It's another thing when you just play as a hobby and the money already is set aside.
Fortunately, since I began my career, I haven't approached the abyss (read: lost all my pennies), but that doesn't mean that I haven't experience trip after trip where I've done nothing but lose.
Indeed, there have been downturns. You just don't hear much about them. They affect me the same as they would someone with a traditional job. It's hard on my girlfriend, too. The hard times also affect the ome team's mood in the "team" at home. Dad changes from the dwarf Happy to Grumpy in less than twenty-four hours.
Of course, over the years you get more and more used to it, but I still haven't found myself extremely happy after losing a lot of money.As a professional poker player you are also in the peculiar situation that it can cost money to go to work.
Still fun to play after ten years
I must again emphasize that this is a work I have chosen for myself, and I'm still happy about it. I still love the game poker.
After ten years I still don't think of it as going to work when I play an EPT, even though I've done it approximately 100 times.I still love the countless challenges of the game, and recently I caught myself playing fifty hours online on PokerStars, which isn't required of me.
True, it doesn't happen every week, and there will be weeks I don't play at all. Still, it's pretty clear, I find the game endlessly entertaining.
Exposed to home robbery
A big negative which hit home last week is this: I assume a much greater risk of bumping into robbers. My chances of that are considerably bigger than my neighbor who works in Silvan. It as a fact driven home when that friend was robbed in his home for 2,000 Danish Kroner.
It's a very unpleasant thing to worry about, when you are gone a lot and the girlfriend is home alone with two children. There's not so much I can do about it, except what I've already done. I've installed lots of lights and alarms, but potential robbers aren't aware of that before they break in. There is nothing in the house worth stealing. I don't have any cash in the house. Why should I?
The last couple of years I haven't played live in Denmark for the simple reason that the games are much smaller than the ones I normally play. When I travel, it would be insane to travel with cash when I can transfer money to any casino I want.
The problem is that robbers don't know that unless they read this blog or some of the other forty-seven times I've had the chance to express it. All in all it's just one of the negatives that come along with being a pro. Still, I wouldn't trade it with anybody. It's great living, especially when it's going so good.
You will get my money
I sincerely hope that my family will be spared of a home robbery, and that the robbers only come when I'm home alone. Then they'll get the 800(Danish Kroner) I have in my pocket. My girlfriend has even less on her. So if you meet those boys, please pass it along...