After 5 years playing professional poker, 4 years of blogs and 3 years of PokerStars: Team Online it’s time to retire. It was a very hard decision to make but I believe it’s the best choice going forward. This will be my last blog on this website, it’s time for a new chapter in my life.
Often you finish a blog with “thank yous”, I want to start with it. The biggest thanks by far goes out to RJ who has been my motivator throughout all these years. We started playing poker together, we went to Las Vegas many times together and combined we 48-tabled Low/Mid-Stakes LHE and crushed it back in the days. I’m not somebody who likes to do things solo, I need somebody around me with whom I can share the journey and RJ has been there from start to finish. We deposited our first money on PokerStars together and yesterday we were both grinding out the last hands of the year on the LHE tables. It’s been fun, exciting, adventurous & profitable for us both, something to never forget!
A shout goes out to the Yanks Zandvoort Poker Boys, especially Bram who always organised great Sit & Go’s from which I have learned a lot. Jeroen for telling me back in November 2009 I should go for SNE, he actually made me believe I could do it. The PokerNews.nl crew, Frank, Remko & Eric for writing articles about me, doing soundbites with me but even more for bringing poker to the people in the Netherlands. The live reporting, interviews, soundbites & articles are so vital to keeping the NL Poker Community alive and they have done an outstanding job in doing that over all these years.
I’ve also received great support from the poker community, especially during my SNE run but also when I joined Team Online and during my ups & downs as a poker player. It’s great to see how supportive most people in the poker community are, it’s a community in which it’s very easy to make friends and there will be plenty of people who I will continue to follow via social media.
PokerStars definitely deserves a big thank you! Not only for asking me to join Team Online which has been a great honor but also for creating the best poker website on the internet which has been the platform on which I have played all these years. It’s unbelievable what an impact PokerStars has had on the Poker Community and the great software and support has been a vital pillar in my poker career. Being able to represent PokerStars for 3 years has been a dream come true and an experience to cherish all my life. Chris, Steve & Dustin thank you!
When I started working part-time to play poker professionally the dream was to make it my full-time job. If that wouldn’t work-out I would go back working full-time, my idea was to give it a try for 3/4 years. After my initial year I knew financially I could do it full-time but the combination of both jobs worked perfect. After joining PokerStars: Team Online in 2011 I started thinking about a full-time poker career again but after “Black Friday” in April 2011 I was happy I never pulled the trigger. My favorite game, Full-Ring LHE, almost died out and I had to move over to 6-Max LHE games with way tougher tables then I was used to. My job title had already changed from what it was back in 2009 and throughout the years playing professional poker I climbed the ladder at the company I was working for. I’m currently working in the role of IT-Architect and unfortunately the combination with poker isn’t ideal anymore. Within my current role it’s very hard to only work 24 hours a week as the demands for my current role are a lot higher compared with my role back in 2009. Going back to my old role isn’t possible but also not something I desire so it became clear this year that I had to make a choice.
Besides that also my social life has changed in these years. In 2009 I loved having no rhythm, going to bed whenever I wanted and having all the freedom in the world. When your girlfriend and friends are all working regular jobs this suddenly becomes less appealing since having the same structure as them works out way better. Poker is truly a fantastic job but the lifestyle also has to suit you and although you can certainly start a family while playing poker, a 9-5 job probably makes it a bit easier. Another huge factor for me was the fact that the poker hype is already over for a couple of years in the Netherlands and most friends have quit playing for some time now. The whole buzz around poker has died a little and in anything else I have done in my life this always meant it was time to move on. I’ve always considered Poker as a hobby and always all of my hobbies have been things I’ve shared with my best friends. Playing Magic the Gathering, Counter Strike, Planetarion, World of Warcraft, Cycling, Tennis it doesn’t matter what it is as long as I do it with my friends. The last years playing poker was less of a hobby since my friends have moved on to other interests and RJ was the only one left which whom I was still sharing the love for poker.
As a young kid I didn’t dream about playing poker but I did dream about being the best in something. When poker came into my life I knew this would be the thing I could be good at. In the previous blogs about my 5 years as a professional poker player I already looked back at what I have achieved and I can say that I’m damn proud of what I’ve done. 5+ years making profit playing poker is not something a lot of people have achieved, sure we all know many other professional poker players who have done this but there are many many more people who have failed. As said I wanted to give poker a shot for 3/4 years and although these years have been profitable I haven’t made it to the absolute top. Unfortunately I’ve never won a big tournament and I also don’t include myself to the top of the world in LHE cashgames. If one of both were true I probably had more reasons to continue playing poker but I don’t believe I will ever make it to the absolute top. I have a lot of skills which you need to become a successful poker player but I miss the true talent and/or skill which you need to become the best.
In September it became clear that I had to make a choice. I had a chat with the PokerStars: Team Online manager and we concluded that I would think about it during the WCOOP, possibly give it another try but if things didn’t work out it would all end by the end of this year. To make it even harder in August I was asked again to fulfill another position within my company and this would mean even busier times at work. My poker volume had already suffered the months before and the only way to stop that would have been to start playing poker full-time. Since full-time poker was for sure not going to happen the choice was simple, but not easy! I couldn’t postpone the inevitable anymore, my poker days were over and so together with my Team Online manager we agreed I would complete this year within Team Online and wouldn’t renew my contract for 2014.
I hardly played poker since September but had the opportunity to take an extra week off work and I didn’t want to quit that easily. I wanted to feel like a grinder once more, prove to myself that I didn’t quit because I didn’t had it in me anymore and while this could have easily failed big time I’m really happy I’m concluding my poker career doing the 100hr/7days challenge.
Back to a normal life working 9-5 probably. It’s really weird that you dream about something, live the dream and give up the dream after a couple of years. I’m looking at moving places which probably will cost loads of time and want to continue to stay fit (which failed big time during December) which have been one of the reasons to start playing poker part-time and also one of the reasons why giving up poker was so hard. I have two more or less serious business plans I might invest time in and obviously want to enjoy life with friends and family. Within a couple of months I probably set-up a new blog, talking about anything but poker. I will transfer most of my money from my poker account to my savings account but will leave enough money to play mid-stakes LHE, although currently I don’t see myself playing a lot anytime soon.
So I believe that’s it. Thank you all, goodbye and good luck to all of you. It’s been a blast!