APT Daegu 2016
First and foremost, how are you?
At the moment I feel like absolute poop. Currently recovering from some sort of weird flu. My hearing has gotten distorted and I can’t really talk. Thankfully a doctor's visit on Monday has sped up the recovery, feeling better than before and expect a full recovery shortly.
So you moved to Korea In October. How do you feel about the change in scenery? And how does a big move like that affect your mentality (moving from Canada all the way across the world). What's the biggest changes you had to make with your everyday living?
It honestly still feels surreal. When you walk around and don’t understand anything you see or try to read, it’s humbling. It really has been a great experience so far. Nothing really wakes you up to the world then moving out of your comfort zone and trekking halfway across the globe. You gain a sense of perspective you won’t get staying at home. I’d have to say the move made me mature a little more and focus on what matters more. Back in Canada I was a fresh university graduate. I had held no ‘real’ job (outside of McDonald’s) and was essentially a bum in my parents basement.
Being a teacher is a lot of responsibility. I owe it to my students to give them 100% each class. It’s also been very trialing. It’s very tough to adjust to teaching when you’re just dropped into it. I’ve been at it for five months now. I definitely feel comfortable with the job now. Things are getting a little more natural and simplier.
The biggest change to my everyday life is things are far more structured. I’m having to find that building a system and sticking with it is the best way at the moment. I’m also trying to reduce time wasted. I’ve drastically reduced amount of time spent on netflix or video games. Either work, poker, relaxation, or sleep.
Do you have any funny stories you would like to share about your time in Korea?
Alright, so let’s start with the first “oh sh--” moment of my teaching career. Let’s paint the picture first. I’m two weeks in, still struggling to adapt to the job and the country. My diet consists of whatever the convenience store sells and I’m not doing too well teaching. The basic rundown of how teaching works is I teach anywhere between 10 to 14 different classes. Classes are 50 minutes a piece and I’ll have 3-6 classes a day. I’ll teach one specific class either once or twice a week. It’s a Monday night and I’m teaching my last class, 3 14-15 year olds. Small, simple class. They are incredibly quiet but relatively easy to teach. One of my students told me they didn’t do their homework, and I may have slipped an f-bomb out when scolding him for not doing it. Think nothing of it, as it was under my breath and I really didn’t think it was too loud. Tuesday rolls around. It’s the end of the day and I’m wrapping things up and decompressing after another tough day of teaching. My Korean co-teacher in said class wants to ask me a question. Being the friendly lad I am, I respond, “Yeah of course. What’s up?” “Did you say ----” I cut her off. “Yeah I told them I’d buy them one hour at the PC Room if they’d do their homework. Silly but I figure they’ll finally do it.” I whole heartedly tried to finish her sentence thinking that’s what she was talking about. However, she continues, “No-no. Did you say FUCK in the classroom?” I got thrown into red alert at this moment. I questioned everything about my life. Did I say it? Oh god I’m sure I did. But when did it slip? I was blindsided. I manage to utter out a response. “Oh uhhh really? No. I don’t think I did? Really? Wow no I don’t think I did. Why do you ask?” “Oh ok. Well one of my students said that you did.” She answered. Now I’m pissed. What the hell, did one of my students ratted me out? So Wednesday rolls around. I’m determined to find the rat. I trusted these guys. I felt we were friendly. How could they betray me? The moment class starts I open with, “Ok. So who narced on me?” This was responded by blank stares due to them not knowing what narced means. I divulged deeper. “Who ratted me out? Who told the Korean teacher I said the f word?” They begin to understand and then panic. Two students then evil eyed the innocent boy in the front. Once he turned around and saw them pointing the finger at him, he immediately denied. They all proceeded to deny, so I was left unsure who was the mole. Class went on as usual. Now it’s Thursday. We have a monthly meeting with all the teachers. We talk with our fellow teachers how class is going and what we feel we need to do to improve, etc. Eventually it’s just a few teachers left in the room. One is the head Korean teacher, there’s the Korean teacher I share the class with, and me. Everyone else had spoken and finished up. She goes, “Hey so did you tell them that I told you that you said the f word?” I’m godsmacked. Did they rat on me again? What the hell is this? It’s gone full circle. Anyways we talk about it a little bit, I’m flustered but not too shook up. Nothing came of it anyways. The class disbanded within a few weeks anyways. The three students quit (for other reasons then the story).
I gotta ask as I find this extremely funny and for those that haven’t caught this on your early morning streams (for those on the Western part of the world), could you tell us about your bedroom intruders?
Loaded question I see. Well I had an ‘interesting experience’ to say the least. So I’m playing $15 spin n go’s on stream, a standard day. It’s maybe 2 or 3 pm my time. I have my earbuds in. I then start to hear someone try to open my door, and get the pin pad wrong. Oh ok just picked the wrong door, they’ll move along. They try again, but this time get it right. Massive “Oh Sh---” moment. There is no one who would just come in unannounced that I know.
So the door creeks open a little, and in peaks this middle aged Korean lady, seeing a white Canadian boy sitting in front of his computer in a sweater in sweatpants. I just stare at her in disbelief. She realizes the mistake she’s made and what I assume was her apologizing in Korean. Fun fact, I still can’t speak Korean. For the next 30-40 minutes I keep hearing arguing and yelling in the hallway while I continue to stream. The entire time I have the same look of disbelief on my face.
This weekend you got three events (450,000won+150,000won bounty, 500,000won plo and 400,000won nlhe), how are you feeling going into this weekend and what are some things you do to mentally prepare for these weekend long poker events?
I’m feeling super excited. I’ve been looking forward to this event since early January. This has been marked on my calendar for a while. I’m incredibly confident going into this. I know I’ll have a huge edge on the field. I’ve seen what the Korean poker scene has to offer skill wise, and it’s not very impressive. There is a lot of recreational player’s money thrown around. I’ve seen no one I’d consider strong or could beat online micro stakes in my sample size. Don’t mistake my confidence for arrogance. I’m just stating how I see the situation. Thinking I’ll be the best player in the tournament probably isn’t that far from the truth.
Do you have any recommendations for those that are trying to take poker seriously and make an income playing poker?
Honestly, the poker climate has changed so much since even I first entered it. The viability of being a professional poker player has dwindled to a very small margin now-a-days. For those just beginning, I would strongly recommend to keep it as just a hobby. Treat it like a hobby. Most importantly, have fun. If you’re not having fun, why even play? When you’re having fun and learning, the results will come. The great thing about poker is the challenges it provides. Every hand you play is a new problem to solve.