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Setting regular hours
Posted at 02/06/2006 04:54:42 PM in Beginner Topics by Toxteth Jack.
Some people can't handle self employment, they need the structure of set hours and a boss that makes sure they keep them. I seem to be one of those people but for most of my working life I was self employed. I now know how I should have handled my hours, gotta love perfect hindsight.

In 1987 my business, house and marriage had gone and my only asset was a clean driving licence. So began my love hate relationship with the best and worst job in the world, driving a private hire taxi. For once, I'd caught a boom as it happened, the two main private hire firms in North Liverpool could not get enough drivers on the road to handle the demand. I was in my element, each week I'd pay my settle (rent for the car + 2 way radio) and all the fares plus tips were mine for as many hours as I wanted to work. I'd batter it for 12 days then pick up my 3 kids and spend huge taking them out over alternate weekends. Happy days.

The relevance to poker is that the private hire boom didn't last and I have to acknowledge the possibility (inevitabilty?) of online poker becoming a TOUGH way of making a buck. The only drivers that always did well in bad times were those working set hours. They started work around 5.30 am, had a lunch break and then stopped at 5.30 pm, maybe a few hours extra on the weekends. No matter how busy it was, they stopped when they'd planned to stop and they never went home early no matter how quiet the job was. One and a half days off a week, a foreign holiday for the family every year and a brand new car every 4 years. I cherry picked my hours but I struggled during the slumps, as did most of the others without regular hours. By the time I realised what I should be doing it was too late. Previous motorcycle injuries were becoming more painful and increasingly limited the hours I could drive. I did manage to hang on until my kids were old enough to make the 70 mile journey to my place by train so it worked out OK.

It slowly dawned on me that working regular hours also means having regular time off so my first decision was no Sundays. That's a day I won't even think about poker. Saturdays are optional. Next came the actual hours. 3am here is about 8pm to 10pm in the US and previous results indicate that is a good time for me to start playing. The problem is that getting up at 2am means a bed time of ~ 4pm and the purpose of a job is to make ones life better, not worse. I'm not giving up my evenings. The other option is to go to bed after playing and although tiredness will be a factor everything else fits. All those years of driving nights and going to bed in the morning were good practice. Another bonus with a 3am start is no interuptions. Next came the breaks, 20 minutes after each hour of play. I'm only single tabling but once I get into multis I'll need those breaks. As my break starts, no harm in noting the results of that hour, looks good so far, just a matter of doing it.

For my first day, I turned chicken as I felt a bit tired and just played the penny NL tables on Stars. No real skill needed here, just patience but it started me on the path:

Week starting Mon Feb 6th '06

3-4am Stars NL 1c/2c br = $16.68 = +$0.85

4.20-5.20 " $17.45 = +$0.77

5.40-6.40 " $19.31 = +$1.86

At the end of the 3rd hour, I knew I'd had enough.

As the man said as he fell past the 10th floor of a 20 storey skyscraper:

So far so good.

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