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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Thursday, 9 November 2006
You must have thought I was bluffing, Mr Bond.
Topic: Poker

SPOILER WARNING! Casino Royale discussed below. 

click on 'clip three' to see a disgusting slow-roll. I hope the villain dies in a really nasty way.

_ DY at 3:44 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 9 November 2006 3:50 PM GMT
Post Comment | View Comments (6) | Permalink

Thursday, 9 November 2006 - 5:19 PM GMT

Name: "Richard123"

It is a shame that Bond has gone American. It will probably mean that it will get cheesy but I hope not.

David, I heard that you used to work at a Bank. What did you do there and why did you give it up?

Thursday, 9 November 2006 - 6:25 PM GMT

Name: "David Young"

"Richard123" wrote:

It is a shame that Bond has gone American. It will probably mean that it will get cheesy but I hope not.

David, I heard that you used to work at a Bank. What did you do there and why did you give it up?


What makes you say that Bond has gone American? He's being played by an English actor for a change, having previously been Scottish (Connery), Australian (Lazenby), Welsh (Dalton) and Irish (Brosnan)!

I was at HSBC for 4 and a half years and then went to a Japanese bank, where I was made redundant after 18 months. There really wasn't a role for me to do by the end. (I reported to two bosses, neither of whom liked to delegate anything, certainly not anything remotely interesting).

The problem I fell into basically stemmed from the Japanese rotation system of management. Managers can be suddenly moved from department to department with little notice. It has the advantage of giving everyone experience of the whole business and it means that it's less likely people will feel stuck. It also makes it less worthwhile to engage in inter-departmental rivalry. No point in plotting to destroy the marketing department if you could be running it in a fortnight's time.

But for me it was a problem. I was interviewed by the UK credit manager and it was really only he who wanted me. His vision was to pick someone with some experience of credit analysis, but he didn't want to pay a lot for someone with lots of experience and training. The others in credit wanted someone with a stronger background and were prepared to pay more. I got hired.

On the week before I started, this manager then got moved to marketing. I arrived to find that the new UK credit manager, just flown in from Japan at the weekend, was starting on the same day as me. As you can imagine, he would have asked around about who I was, and would have been told that I was the pick of the previous boss but not anyone else's first choice. I was in trouble before I began!

After a few months, I was told that I wasn't what they wanted, but that there was a vacancy in Syndications. The first six months or so of that was quite good, but then the same thing happened. The boss of syndications got moved to Aircraft leasing and a new (English) boss came over who didn't seem to think I was needed. I guess I could have tried harder to find something, but all I wanted to do was make it to 2 years and then look for something else. In retrospect it seems odd that I thought that it mattered to get the two year mark just for the sake of the CV.

After the redundancy, I looked at a few banking jobs and got close to getting a research post at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. But at this time, I realised that I only wanted to be at the fringes of banking. The core business just didn't interest me.

I started playing poker ( my dream anyway). My first year of that got derailed by something out of the blue (lending money to a homeless man and letting him stay in my flat to stop him committing suicide). The stress of this wrecked my poker play and I soon went broke. Then I started doing some awful sales jobs.

I didn't mean to write at length about this now. It feels weird to be asked personal questions by someone who won't even use his real name.

But this weekend is the 10th anniversary of the day I got made redundant (two days after returning from holiday at the Amsterdam Master Classics of 1996) and it's been on my mind.


Thursday, 9 November 2006 - 7:11 PM GMT

Name: "Richard123"

David, I do not know you as a person. So it is hard for me to like or dislike you. You actually sound like a decent bloke, it is just the political bullshit that you say with Israel that offends me, nothing else. All I want is for there to be peace and every single time I have got into detail with someone about the Israeli subject, it is like they know that they are wrong. Like I have said to you before, I am not against Israel. I am against much of what they do. I am also against the expansion of territory. This isn’t about being right or left wing, this isn’t even about being Jewish or not. I just see Israel for the crimes they commit and the Zionist lobby and media in America backing them and never reporting what really happens. Now if we are to be a realist we can say that wherever there is power there will always be corruption. We are meant to have evolved from animals though and should try to act in a more humane manner, most times. It kind of reminds me of Nazi Germany when nobody stuck up for the Jews. If I was alive at the time I would have.


Anyway, how do you know that my real name is not Richard, or that I am even a guy? Now, getting back to your (old) career. Which Japanese bank were you at? You sound like you had a decent job in credit analysis, ever tempted to try again? I get a sense that there is a side of you that wants to. Poker obviously has it’s upsides but it must be boring sometimes. If I had a huge bankroll and was travelling the world playing in all of the major events than maybe I could do it. I do think that being a plodder in kind of boring. I think the downsides outweigh the upsides. Sure you are your own boss and can play and do when and whatever you want. I just think we only live once and grinding out cash games lacks inspiration (for me anyway). It is also not very good for your health. I never get to exercise when I am playing a lot of poker as I do not have a set pattern or routine as I would in a normal job. In a job you also get the opportunity to work your way up and I think that the harder it is to do so, the more rewarding it is once you have done it.


Whatever you decide to do, good luck.


Friday, 10 November 2006 - 10:40 AM GMT

Name: "Andy Ward"


I can't help chipping in here because for me, I agree with a lot of what you're saying but I still feel that playing poker for a living has a lot going for it.  Life is too short for sure, but I now find myself playing poker 15-20 hours a week instead of sitting in an office 40 hours a week.  It's up to me in my extra free time to motivate myself to exercise, do inspiring things or whatever I want to do, and so far (I quit my job 4 months ago) I have been able to do that.  Frankly, being able to visit the gym whenever I want to, I'm fitter than I have been for years.  Poker is boring and frustrating sometimes (like the session I have just finished) but I found work boring and frustrating for longer and more often.  As for working my way up, in my previous job I could only have done that by moving into management and away from hands-on programming which I would have found intolerable.  Now I'm playing full time I am moving through the levels and I have a clear sense of progress and satisfaction with the improving bottom line of my earnings.  It's also satisfaction to know that all my earnings come to me and I'm not lining anyone else's pockets.

There's a lot to be said for poker or any other form of self-employment but you do have to take it on yourself to go out and find ways to balance your life and be satisfied all round.


Friday, 10 November 2006 - 12:11 PM GMT

Name: "David Young"

I certainly don't wish I were still at Sanwa Bank. I'm happy playing poker. I just wish I hadn't been derailed in my early years.

There is certainly more to life than poker. That's why I read about a lot of things and write my ideas on this site. I pity anyone whose whole life is just one thing.

As I mentioned before, I've registered at a university and am studying a subject that's interested me for a few years. It's only one day a week, but I really look forward to it. It's funny having a student ID card in my wallet again. Next week's the first test, so I must get back to my revision.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, 14 November 2006 - 4:18 PM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

So, what are you studying?

Islamic studies, women's studies or rhetoric?

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