jcarver : origins, the finale

April 5, 2011 | 10:15 pm | JCarver

Well, it’s obviously been more than a few weeks to finish this.  Sorry for the wait!  I’ve wanted to get this finally revised, updated, and published and just got around to it today.  If you’re just joining me, these origin posts are a slightly updated series of posts I wrote originally for SomethingAwful chronicling my first two years starting out in poker back in 2006 when I was 19.

Hope you guys enjoy…

Parts 1-3
Parts 4 and 5
Parts 6 and 7

Part VIII : In Sickness…

September 2005 through the middle of October was relatively boring and not very memorable. My tournament dry spell continued, losing a total of a few grand there.  I did manage to win nearly $8000 playing 3/6 NLHE during this period though, so it wasn’t all bad. My first WCOOP came and went with no success. Tournaments didn’t really go well for me for a decent amount of my early career [honestly, not until after I wrote this originally in 2006].  Also in September of ‘05 I started my first semester at a second college which distracted me from playing too much poker.

Chuck and I divorced our roll completely in the beginning of September when he moved to Cornell. There was absolutely no ill will towards eachother, but I remember feeling like we had sort of different priorities and he wasn’t really working as much as I was on his game [in the past years, I've stayed friendly with Chuck as he has pursued his academic career - but he never really returned to poker].  Between the split of the bankroll and the lack of winning in the summer my roll was under 10k for the first time since the spring.

When I got back from Turning Stone, I checked out Bodog’s games. The shorthanded games looked soft, but I had no idea how to play shorthanded at the time – and they were mostly $5/$10 games. I didn’t have the roll at that point to play $5/$10 [but I did apparently have some bankroll management, surprise surprise].  I decided to wait on Bodog for the time being.

My pokerhands from the period (and before, as I skipped it last time) are pretty much just large pots I won as ridiculous favorites or got sucked out on in dramatic fashion and don’t really contain much in the way of strategy.

Hand 1
http://www.pokerhand.org/?134207

This hand is pretty standard, looking back, but was probably the beginning of me consciously realizing that one of the biggest ways to make money in NL cash games was to crack big pairs when people couldn’t fold them [being that I never folded them either, I'm pretty sure reciprocality had the last laugh here]. Preflop hand strength just wouldn’t matter if you flopped two pair and took the guy on the busto trolley to frown town when he couldn’t lay it down.

Hand 2
http://www.pokerhand.org/?121865

Coolers are awesome. I remember this hand specifically [still do, but holy hell how bad is that hand played], and I especially recall how bothered I was by losing this hand at the time for some reason.  I remember there was a railbird asking me for five dollars who I was for some reason chatting with even though I surely had no intention of giving money to.  “Her” affections immediately swung to the KK guy after I lost the hand OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN INDEED.

The other oh so earthshattering event to happen between 9/1 and 10/30 is that I started writing the “legendary” Spicy System ( http://archives.somethingawful.com/…hreadid=1687006 ) which can now be found on http://spicebox.badbeatscrew.com/ although that only has the REDUX version from months later.  [I moved the link from thespicebox.net to the newer one, but I'm sure if the file is up it is probably only good for laughs at this point]

In the middle of October, I came down with a very bad illness which the doctor only referred to as a “highly contagious bacterial infection” in my throat.  Great. I couldn’t eat, drink, swallow, or breathe, without my throat hurting so bad it was similar to swallowing razor blades.   Cool, right?!  I came down with this on a Monday and with the doctor’s promise that I wouldn’t be contagious with quick antibiotics decided that it was still worth driving 6+ hours (in the pouring rain, even!) to go to Turning Stone for the East Coast Championships on a Wednesday.   I bet my parents wished back then I had that sort of dedication to anything “constructive”.  I went to TS, picking up my one and only live cash there to date (other than the 2k satellite win in the summer), putting me in the LIVE AWESOME INTERNET DATABASE OF HUGE WINNERS ! [I only have one live cash for $451 in a $200 event until Nov of 06.  this link is obviously more a brag than a beat at this point :) ]

While I was at Turning Stone, going through literally shot glasses of Tylenol, 20+ lozenges per 3 hours of tournament play, and only eating hot dogs, my throat slowly got better. The antibiotic I was on was extremely powerful and did a good job, maybe even too good of a job, and I was better within a few weeks.

When I got back from Turning Stone, memories of my August trip resurfaced and I went back and checked out Bodog one more time. I threw a few thousand there on a whim and within 15 days of playing there, ran my balance up to over $10000 thanks to cash games. I didn’t play shorthanded, really – I stuck with the full games.  Eventually, though, as the full games broke into shorter games, I started staying.  I began to gain experience playing 2-4 handed, something I never got at Pacific or Party, and found myself enjoying the ability to be a little more creative and put more pressure on opponents.  I won nearly $10,000 in the last 15 days of October (compared to a the $4.5k from the 45 days before that) and had started pulling out of my summer stagnation. I began to settle into Bodog as the new home of most of my play.

Some graphs from the period (9/1-10/30):
Total Earnings
ETD thru 103005

Earnings By Location
earnings by location 090105-103005

Total Earnings to Date – August 04 – Oct 05

total earn 090105-103005

I had not, in fact, forgotten about my $100k goal by the end of the year.   At this point, quite honestly, I thought it was pretty unattainable, especially with the volume I’d been playing.  I thought there was a better chance of me reaching my goal by my birthday in April, which honestly probably was still fairly unreasonable.  But with Bodog quickly working out so well for me, maybe there would be a shot for the last 2 months…

Part IX : …and In More Sickness…

I continued playing primarily Bodog cash games in November.   I moved up to playing $5-$10 NL games as much as I could – even during my breaks at school, and eventually, in class. I earned all my profit for this segment of my career on Bodog. The first half of November was pretty good – I was winning money, enjoying life, and happy all around.

I went shopping with a friend of mine and his younger brother in early-mid November.  This is the first day I remember feeling gastrointestinal problems. I’m going to glaze over most of the details here. If you’re a close friend of mine, you probably know already, or had the opportunity to know, all the details.  If you’re not a close friend of mine, trust me, you don’t want to know anyway.   As November moved on, I rapidly developed moderate gastrointestinal issues, rendering me unable to eat normally, sleep, or do anything really but deal with awful digestive system problems.

After I first got sick and realized that it wasn’t simple food poisoning, I go back to see the general doctor. This doctor told me that my symptoms that had developed were simply a reaction to the strong antibiotics from my infection in October.   I took anti-antibiotics for a week or so which did me no good.  My condition worsened. Thanksgiving passed with me eating a bagel up in my bed – that’s just all I could digest without massive pain.  With all the scheduling issues because of the holiday, I was forced to wait a decent while to see the specialist doctor.  Not a fun time.

I finally end up seeing the second doctor, a coldhearted bastard with no sense of sympathy or passion about him (but an effective gastroenterologist).  He saw me for maybe ten minutes before telling me I’d have to get a colonoscopy.  Awesome. I began to prep for the colonoscopy that weekend (the worst part of the whole procedure, by far.   Imagine having to drink shots of the most foul saline solution ever on a stomach that can’t digest anything. I spent two days miserable) and eventually, the day of the colonoscopy came – the Monday after in early December.

I am leaving out most of the gory details, but I don’t want to understate just how sick I was in November and December.  It’s not like I was at death’s door or anything – maybe just the front lawn, if I was trying to be really dramatic.  Even so, I felt extremely awful, and really, truly appreciate everyone who showed me support during the time I was sick. It’s funny how your priorities change when you feel unsure when or if you’ll be able to live a normal life again. The smallest gestures of kindness, compassion, and concern were amplified a hundredfold in my eyes while I was sick.   It still means a lot to me, looking back.

Poker was the last thing on my mind. I played, very rarely (I couldn’t sit – or sleep – for more than an hour without having to go to the bathroom), but I played poker more than I went to school, that’s for sure. I had very understanding teachers who somehow helped me still get a ridiculously good grade for the semester (one of the teachers even had UC – talk about understanding).

The day of the colonoscopy I was feverish, hallucinating, unable to stand on my own two feet for more than 10 seconds, famished (I was 130 pounds at the time of the procedure, down from 155, in under a month of sickness), and extremely worried that something would go wrong.  Fast forward a few hours and I was positively diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Ulcers had developed in my colon that were causing fairly major bleeding and irregular digestion. There’s no known cause for UC, unless it’s hereditary (mine isn’t).  I was prescribed Prednizone, 8 of them (40mg), a day. It’s some sort of anti-inflammatory steroid that I stopped taking as soon as the active symptoms stopped.  Eventually, by mid-December, I had mostly recovered.  The doctor added a second drug, Asacol, which is basically time-delayed aspirin, meant to preserve remission. They’re 500mg pills and I take 12 of them a day. I still do – and will for a long time, or so says the new doctor (who is a gambler!). [I end up getting sick again a year after this, but really not since then.  I'm only on a few pills a day now of a different drug and feel fine 99% of the year, thankfully.]

Having not played much poker, there’s not a ton to say about this period. I lost a nice $4,000 in two hours 3-tabling on Bodog before I got sick, one of my most ego-crushing defeats ever – and my biggest loss to date. After I got better, or at least during recovery, I had a session where I won $3,171.50 at $5-$10 on Bodog, one of my biggest non-tournament wins ever. That win was helpful in repairing my somewhat rusty confidence/ego.   I played very few tournaments during this period as I there was just no way I’d be capable of a lengthy, scheduled game at that point.  I did make my first small deposits into Fortune in the middle of December – and even though I ended up losing that money quickly, the games were amazing and I was definitely interested in playing there more often.

By December 17th I was pretty much recovered.  In my sick haze, I had been so overdramatically sure that I’d be sick the rest of my life, nevermind for Christmas, that being healthy felt like an amazing miracle.  I had been resigned to my fate that I wouldn’t make $100,000 by the end of the year. I didn’t even care. I had survived a pretty awful bout of sickness and felt a renewed sense of direction and purpose in the time after.  I was happy to just be able to live a normal life and to be able to choose exactly how I wanted to spend my days, a perspective that poker synergizes with very nicely.

Some graphs from the period of 11/1/05 through 12/17/05:


Earnings by Date. I don’t play for awhile at the height of my sickness.
EBD 110105-121705


Earnings by Location. Bodog is the only place I show a profit at during this period.
EBL 1105-1205


Total Earnings for this period.
TE 110105-121705


Career Earnings. My bankroll is probably around $20,000-$25,000 by the end of the period.
ETD thru 121705
Hmmm, you say? Why would JCarver end this segment on such a strange date as 12/17? Why not just go to the new year? THERE SURELY MUST BE A REASON!

A reason exists indeed!

Part X : …and in HEALTH! (finally!)

Being sick sucks. Being really sick really sucks. Thrilled to be done with school, healthy enough to consistently gamble, and slightly pissed I wasn’t closer to $100,000, I started gambling with a fury. Once I found out that I wasn’t going to die from the colitis, my mind began focusing a lot more on poker.

December 18th was my first big tournament that I’d played in awhile. I believe it was a $600 buyin $300k guarantee on Interpoker. I finished 7th for a $7,841 profit, my biggest win to date, and I was happy with the finish as I was shortstacked for a long time. Soon after, on the 22nd, I won a tournament on Bodog for a smooth $4500.

As this was all happening, I finally redeposited into Fortune. Fortune had lots of bad players, or so I had heard, but I had never really explored the site on my own.  Scotsman kept pushing me to deposit, teasing me with tales of crazy europeans, and eventually my deposit stuck – I finally started winning. I never looked back, and Fortune became a goldmine for me. I began the biggest heater I’d ever been on and started simultaneously crushing the games at Bodog and Fortune. By Christmas of 2005, in little over a week, I won $14,600.  I was thrilled.   I was healthy, winning, and felt like I was back in a big way, loving every second of it. My career earnings exploded to over $50,000 with 6 days left in the year.

Even though I was winning tons and feeling great, I was still pretty sure it was extremely unlikely that I’d win 50k by the end of the year. I was just happy I had been winning any money at all, and honestly being healthy was all that really mattered at the time.   At that point, I didn’t think I’d get close to my 100k mark by the end of the year and planned to fill early 2006 with as much poker as I could to try to reach my goal.  Lady Luckbox, though, had other plans in mind.  I started pillaging the $5-$10 games on Fortune, Party, and Bodog – in unison. I was playing awesome poker and getting lucky when I needed to on top of that. In the final 6 days of December 2005, I won slightly under $25,000 without any tournament play whatsoever.

By the end of the year, I didn’t hit $100k. I was pretty fucking close, though. My career earnings totaled $75,000 by the close of 2005. I moved up to $10-$20 NL on Party and Fortune. I ran good there too, and so my heater continued. I was going to post pokerhands from before the new year, but mostly its “JCarver flops a set vs an overpair, clicks ‘call all in’, and what a shocker, wins $5k.” I was determined to win $100k as close to 1/1/06 as possible, even after technically missing the goal by the New Year.

The night of New Year’s Day, I was playing some €10-€20 game on Fortune, heads-up.

I pick up A 9, 3-handed. I have €2500 and the villain has just slightly less than that. He raises to €60, and I call.

The flop comes A Q 2. He bets €120 and I call.

The turn is a 6. No help. He again bets €400. I see no reason to fold and call.

The river is a 7. No obvious help other than the backdoor flush draw just hit. He pushes all-in for €1,825.46. I think..and think… and think. I went through my whole history with the guy, his prior betting patterns, everything, in my mind.  I took a deep breath, went with my read, and called.

He flipped 8 5 over and I won a €4800 pot, the biggest of my life at the time (pokerhand is here).  Winning this pot felt like the culmination of so many things, that finally everything came together in one huge, high stakes moment – trusting my instincts, using the available math, the reads I had gathered, and focusing it all into making the right decision.  I began to trust my instincts more and more, working on sharpening my skills and trying to become a LAG force at the tables.

I was dominating the cash games everywhere I played, and getting lucky when I got my money in behind. My favorite example from the period :

$10-$20 game on Party. BB is extremely lag and aggressive.

Button ($2417)
Hero ($2796)
BB ($4480.55)

I limp the SB with Q Q behind the button’s fold. I expect the villain to raise, as he always does. He does raise to $66 here and I just call. [lol.  lol.]

Flop: ($132) 6, 9, 3 (2 players)

I check. The BB bets $126, and I think a second before I raise to $326. He quickly reraises to $800. I think for a long time and determine his range here is a lot greater than a set – very likely air, A9, JJ, etc. I’m beating a ton here vs this guy, I think. I push all in for $2404, and he instantly calls the $1930.  [this is unmodified.  lol.]

Turn: ($5592) 8 (2 players)

River: ($5592) Q (2 players)

Final Pot: $5592

I did actually give an uncharacteristic little fistpump when the Q hit, as I wasn’t too sure I was ahead after his instacall. He flips KK and I take down a pretty huge pot. I can defend plays like this as +EV (villain here is ridiculously over-aggro and tilting at the time), but I got lucky in spots like this consistently in January and December.

In January, I keep on playing nonstop, making the most of my first real high stakes heater.   School was out since late December and thus my focus was totally on poker. I take some of the money I’ve earned and upgrade my gamble factory, adding new monitors and a big TV for the wall [I cannot find this picture :( ].

My family planned a cruise to the Caribbean for mid-January.  I was excited about maybe getting a chance to play live poker in the casino on the ship, but it ends up not having poker tables.  I didn’t let that stop me – all I wanted to do was play.  I end up spending a large percentage of my time on the cruise ship on my laptop paying $.35/minute for me to play poker on the internet.  Cool.  Somewhere in the waters off Mexico, on January 20th, 2006, I break $100,000 in earnings, thanks to this hand pushing me from $99,000 to $100,000.

By the end of January, I’ve earned over $120,000 from my initial $5. My bankroll is just slightly under $100,000 at this point as I haven’t spent much of it on anything but school, insurance, and the plasma + surround setup. I was just 20 days shy of making my goal.  I felt incredible, invincible, and so excited about what the future could bring.

All told, I won over $80,000 in that 45 day period from 12/17 to 1/31. I put in nearly 550 table hours during that time. And yes, I know, I was on a pretty awesome heater.  Party, Interpoker, Bodog and Fortune were the major contributors of money earned during this period.  I even won money at Pokerstars, a sure sign of the rapture.   While on the cruise in January, I wrote what would become the very first Spicebox file, my Heads-up Report vs Bubbles at [long gone :( ] and launch the original Spicebox with Addict, my own free-for-SomethingAwful poker training site.

Once I hit $100k, feeling like I could do anything [heaters are pretty good for that] my next goal was to hit $250k by the end of this year. Fairly easy considering the proportional difficulty of the $10k and $100k goals, right???

Some graphs from the period of 12/17/05 – 1/31/06:


Life Earnings til January 31
ETD thru 13106


Period Earnings

TE 121705-013106

Part XI :  Coolers and Heaters

In February, I finally slowed down the amount of play I had been putting in.  I diversified my interests a little, focusing on school and spending time with my friends more than I had in prior months.   I also started training in martial arts more seriously than I had been, even occasionally working out at the gym.  I pretty much broke even for February – it was a dull, boring, unmemorable month pokerwise.

Except for one night.

I start playing a guy at $10-$20 NL on fortune. We joust back and forth for a bit before he says “come to ₤10-₤20.” The guy seemed like a donkey, so away I went, playing higher than I ever had before.

The guy had a very interesting strategy for a heads up game. He raised every hand, preflop, without exception [I don't know if I meant this to be notable or not, but funny to read anyway]. He’d also call any reraise under a quarter of his stack.

The game was playing VERY big.  I quickly got stuck $6,000.  I gritted my teeth, determined to beat this guy, when the following hand came up.

I worked my stack back up to ₤3000. He has me covered.

I pick up J J. He raises, like he always does, to ₤60. I make it ₤200, and he calls.

Flop is 7 6 4. He checks, I bet ₤300, and he calls. His range here is huge. A-5, 7-K, a flush draw, a four, anything.

Turn is a T. He checks, I perhaps stupidly bet ₤600 here, and he pushes. I compound this stupidity by putting in the remaining ~₤2000.

The river is a 5 and he tables 7-7.  I had just lost a pot worth $10,700. The first $10k pot I had ever lost.  I remember thinking about how much money that was.  As far as the hand itself goes, I don’t know what I was doing in that hand.   I just wanted to beat this guy so bad I talked myself into ignoring logic and decided to go with the hand even though I was likely beaten.

Fortune had an insanely dumb $10k loss-nanny, so after that hand I was forcibly done with Fortune for the night. Being stuck a smooth $10k and not realizing that I was probably tilted and maybe trying to get unstuck was a bad idea, I headed over to party and fired up two NL2000 tables.

In typical JCarver fashion, I ran AWESOME. I had two stacks of $4000 very quickly. I repeatedly flopped top set vs overpairs and ended up busting people left and right.  In about an hour of play, I had $12,000 at two tables. I had rebought once or twice on each, but still, it was amazing. This hand showcases my night best :

I have $10,000 and the villain has $2,500.

Villain minraises to $40, and I call with A 4.

The flop is 2 3 5.  He bets $40 and I “debate” before making it $140. He calls.

The turn is a 5. He checks, I bet $250, and he calls.

The river is a 9. The action speaks for itself:

BET Lovedayr, $800
ALL-IN JCarver1 [ $9562.50 ]

Lovedayr: dude go fuc k yourself
FOLD Lovedayr
JCarver1 does not show cards.
JCarver1 wins $11221.50
Lovedayr has left the table.

All told that night I won $16,000 on party, making me actually up $6,000 or so for the 6 hour session.  Not a bad way to recover.

The next morning, I wake up to see an email from James, manager of Fortune poker:

quote:

Hi Jason,

Hope that you are well. I know that you suffered at the tables on the weekend
and I really feel bad cause you are my player so I have a special connection
with you versus others in the network.
You are a very solid player and it can sometimes happen even to the best.
But do not let that shake your confidence in case it might have which is a
natural reaction.
Play as you were playing, if there is some lesson that you picked up, remember
it but I think your game play is solid.

Let me know if you need anything.

“PLZ DONT KILL YOURSELF SONNY, SCOTSMAN FEEDS HIS CHILDREN WITH YOUR RAKE!” It was our first correspondance (only a welcoming letter was before this), so its not like I had any contact from him consistently.  Ahhh, James.  What an amazingly nice guy back in the day :)

The only other exciting poker thing that happened in February was that I won a Bodog tournament for a few thousand dollars. Nothing too dramatic. I lost a few thousand overall for the month, reasonable considering I didn’t play that many hours.

March was a rough month, but not in poker.  The short story is my girlfriend and I broke up and then she immediately hooked up with my best friend. Awesome, right?  Poker was pretty much the last thing on my mind for a few weeks while I immersed myself in drama.

To make myself feel better [read: engaging the spite machine], I decided to go buy a new car. Previously, I was driving my sweet sweet 2000 Sable LUXURY SEDAN, and decided the time had come to upgrade. I planned on only spending a total of $20,000 on the car but ended up blowing about double that on a [fairly obnoxious] 2005 350z convertible. Yes, it’s a manual, and yes, I learned how to drive stick on this car.

car2

I lost $1000 or so in March over even less hours than what I put in in February. However, the most awesome achievement of my life occured when I met Unamuno in Turning Stone. I still haven’t bathed since.


Feb and March ‘06

ETD 020106-040106

Barely playing poker is cool and all, just so long you’re not hemorrhaging money when you do put in the few hours you play.

That was not the case in April.

In the first fifteen days of April, I lost $22,000, playing NL2k and 1k sporadically. I barely put any time in at the tables, but when I did, hoo boy, the money spewed out. Including the prior two months, I lost $30,000 or so at poker, $20,000 for the down payment for the car, and some tens of thousands on taxes. That’s a pretty nasty downswing for what was a ~$95,000 bankroll at its peak.

My confidence crashed. Between my two broken relationships, losing every time I touched a poker table, and the sheer amount of money that I had lost (I’m pretty much immune to “OH GOD -$XX,XXX!” but for some reason everything piled together amplified it so that it may as well have been a million that I lost), I was mentally very beaten down. My mother was thrilled. “THIS IS WHY YOU CANT DEPEND ON POKER, DONT YOU SEE! YOU NEED A SOLID JOB AND TO GO TO COLLEGE (which I do, if you haven’t read every update [ha gotem])”

This whole downswing thing hurt because not only was I not thinking rationally from the other drama, but because I had started thinking that I could really depend on poker for an income for the rest of my life. Those dreams were [temporarily] shattered in March-April.   I really didn’t know what I was going to do.

The other lesson I learned in this time is to not play poker when you’re already emotionally unstable. I was playing my B or C game, probably, AND when I lost, I wasn’t ready to deal with the natural swings of the game.  Bad mix.

I had no plans to play poker on my birthday. I had had enough of poker and made other plans far from a computer.  That morning, I woke up to the pleasant sound of my phone ringing.  It was a friend from karate wishing me a happy birthday. “Hah,” my drama-soaked depressed mind thought afterwards, “at least one person likes you. Lucky you.” My best friend was the next person to call me, and as the day went on, I heard from a surprising amount of people. It sounds silly to point to this as a reason for getting back on the horse, but all the birthday wishes were something of a shock to my system which ended up helping me feel like I was ready to start climbing up out of the hole that I had dug. That stubbornness to accept losses won out again and, like so many times before it, I was mentally pushing myself to play again – and hopefully, this time, win.


April 1-15
TE 040106-041506


Part XII : The Future

At my low point, I had no more than $20,000 or so online, and had even moved down to NL600. Once school started winding down, though, I started really focusing on poker again. After my birthday, things just started to click. When I was playing good and running good, money started pouring from the sky.

I started destroying the 5-10 NL game, mostly on Fortune. I won tens of thousands of dollars from that game alone in May and June. As my bankroll steadily climbed from the $20k low point to $30k, $40k, $60k, I resumed taking shots at NL2000. My experiences in the downswing made me stronger, and I started killing the higher games. Fortune Poker becomes my, well, bitch/ATM, and I earn what is scientifically referred to as a “fuckton” of money between the end of April and July.

I start taking shots at NL5000 by early July. Within a week or so, I’m playing the game pretty regularly and doing well.

The villain from the $10k JJ/777 hand sits down in my $5K game one night. He’s actually a good player, and not the donkey I believed back in February. He’s definitely a maniac, though.

I pick up 8 8. The game is four handed and is very aggressive. The villain makes it $200 and I call.

The flop is 6 8 Q. The villain c-bets for $350. I fake debate for a moment before making it $850 straight.  Villain waits just a moment before pushing all-in for $3,500 more or so. I instacall.

The turn is a 2 and the river is a 2. He tables Q-J and I take down a pot worth $10,070.  Ah, sweet vengeance.  That was my first $10,000 hand that I won (I actually had lost another 10k pot at nl2k right around the first one, so I was 0-2 for $10k pots til this hand).

Over a 10-week period (4/15-7/01), I won almost $100,000. I didn’t have any big tournament wins, didn’t hit a lucky jackpot – I earned every dollar, ‘grinding’ it out at short handed NLHE cash games.

It’s amazing how far I’ve come since the days of playing $.05-$.10 on pacific.  At this point, [June-July of 06] I’ve been lucky enough to turn that $5 into $200,000+ in earnings.   I shrug off five figure downswings like they’re nothing now.  What’d I earn today? $26,000. What’d I earn two weeks ago? I lost $35,000.  Shrug. That’s poker.   I love the game, though, just like I always have. Every day is something different and poker has opened doors to me that no job ever could offer a 19 year old. I plan on traveling for the European Poker Tour this fall, buying my own house, and who knows what else beyond that.

I plan on keeping my future trials and successes recorded on my blog at http://jcarver.thespicebox.net [I think I moved here about a year or two after that now-gone blog].  Writing this thread was a ridiculously awesome trip down memory lane for me. It would have been impossible (and far less believable) without pokercharts and pokerhand.org.  While I’m thanking people/groups, without PITR, I wouldn’t be where I am, either. You guys supported me when I was losing and pushed me to be better and work harder when I was winning.  I like to think the Spicebox is my small way of giving back to such a great community.

I hope you guys enjoyed my story and took something from it, even if it’s only that I could be a writer for :twentyfour: . Will I make $250,000 this year? Will my online success translate into live cashes? Will I buy a golden rocket ship that says “THE ADJUTOR EXPRESS” [havent heard that name in forever!] on the side that only runs 30 seconds at a time before petering out?   You’ll have to stay tuned to the blog to find out.

[it was pretty fun to reread this.  Eventually, after a lot of swings, I did end up making my goal for life-to-date earnings by the end of 2006.  It's crazy to think this was written almost 5 years ago, and crazier to think the subject is the 2 years before that. I tried not to change a lot but man I shook my head at so much that my 19-year old writing voice thought was acceptable and just couldn't leave some things if it was going to be enshrined forever in this blog.  Sorry again it took so long to get done, thanks for reading!]

2 Responses to “jcarver : origins, the finale”

  • April 7, 2011 at 6:14 am

    not a problem » Blog Archive » dallas trip report and some news said:


    [...] 2010 and this blog was a neglected victim of that break.  I’m happy I finally finished the origins post and I’m glad it seems to have turned out pretty well as a whole [...]

  • July 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Cole said:


    great blog jason, you’ve had a hell of a journey! love the QQ limp/call against an aggro player 3 handed heh.

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