Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sports Basics Overlooked: The 2 point conversion

Often overlooked in sports are common trends that have been around for years...shooting free throws overhand, taking jump shots from anywhere on the court if you have a good shot, picking a corner and height for penalty kicks, why nba teams dribble to half court instead of rolling the ball, and what I will look at briefly today: the option to kick an extra point in college football or attempt 2 point conversions.

For simplicity, we will just look at the first half of games and success rates.  This is because the second half of the game brings in much more complexities that change the math due to the situational and point differences with less time on the clock.  An obvious one would be after tying the game with 10 seconds left, and being able to go for 2 or kick the extra point.  That is an extreme example, but drives the point home the easiest as to why I won't discuss it, and will leave it to a Yale stat major to look at in the future.

Almost always, a coach routinely just sends his kicking unit out after scoring a touchdown, but WHY?   I'm under the impression that sports will nearly always stick to the norm in situations until someone clearly shows that the original mold is flawed.  This has become evident after my years abroad and seeing how almost the whole World tries to fit in to this conventional way of thinking that you need to go to high school, college, then work for a steady company.  That is another topic for another day though.

This is where basic math comes in to play, the answer to why should be looked at with simple algebra.

an extra point counts as 1 point

and a 2 point conversion counts for 2 points

Now, earlier in the game when other factors are less significant, the only math needed to do is whether the 2 point conversion will yield more points than an extra point**.  This is very basic

average yield = success rate * points for success

avg yield (extra point) = success rate(ex pt) * 1

avg yield (2 point conv) = success rate (pt) * 2

If avg yield (2 point conv) > avg yield (extra point), then coaches all over should be rethinking their normal game plans for these situations.

Let's take a look at college football with statistics from 2008-2011 which is a good indicator of the present times and gives us a 4 year sample.1

2 point success rate
2008: 37.0%
2009: 40.6%
2010: 40.0%
2011: 43.5%

1 point success rate
2008: 96.4%
2009: 95.8%
2010: 96.4%
2011: 96.2%

You would need to actually take average weighted averages here, but again, for simplicity I will merely take the average of each of these (it's close enough for my blog).

2 point success rate  = (.37+.406+.40+.435) / 4 = 0.40275 = ~40.3%

1 point success rate = (0.964+0.958+0.964+0.962) / 4 = 0.962 = 96.2%

Subbing these numbers in to our basics equations will give us the yields on average over the past 4 years.

avg yield (1pt - extra point) = .962*1 = 0.962 points per attempt

avg yield (2pt conversion) = .403*2 = 0.806 points per attempt

Damnit! 0.962 points > 0.806 points, so we should always go for the extra point in college football when other factors are less signicant....or SHOULD WE?

While it is clear that the extra point does maximize points on average, we often are not dealing with the average.

These often come in to play in games earlier in the college football season when we see powerhouses playing weaker schools.  In general, their offenses and offensive lines are much more prolific than the average weight means taken above.  Couple this with the fact that the defenses they face in the early weeks are generally much weaker on defense along with much weaker defensive lines.  These variables will significantly push the success rate of the 2 point conversion higher for the powerhouse teams here.

Unfortnuately, it is extremely difficult to classify these games, let alone find any meaningful sample to classify these.  The main thing we can do is to find the breakeven success rate needed for coaches to know where it is neutral between kicking the extra point or going for the 2 point conversion.

x*2 = 0.962 will be our breakeven point, solving for x gives us 48.1% as the breakeven point for coaches.  Thus, earlier in games, when the other variables are much less significant, a coach could basically flip a coin on the sideline for fun in deciding when to go for 2 or kick the extra point.

This result shows that the coach should be 7.8% (0.481-0.403 = 0.078) more confident in his team's chance of success in the 2 point conversion than the norm in the situation or greater to realize it yields more points.  While this will be hard to classify, it is almost certainly true for teams with great offensive lines such as Michigan State and Alabama when they are playing very inferior teams early in the season.  Thus, the coaches should highly consider going for 2 points here instead of the extra points.  Just some food for thought.  For more late game scenarios and some models, refer to this site.


**please note that I ignored the odds of a team returning a point conversion for a score and games in which are likely to be really low scoring and more intensive math has to be done.  My apologies, but these are rare occurrences and not worth my time.


Friday, May 2, 2014


The saying "slow and steady wins the race" always seems to be in the back of my mind.  However, I don't really abide or believe in it, I see it as a classic saying to try and keep those falling behind to stay motivated to not give up.  I believe more in my own thinking of "fast and consistent wins the race".  Through out my poker career, I was fortunate to get great at one game and just took off running with it.  I pushed the studying, I pushed the hours, I pushed all that I could with it.  Below is a graph of my lifetime results in this game, I have left out the monetary values on the y-axis as I don't think it's relevant for people to see how much I've earned.

Big bets represent units that we use to track our winnings, and the stakes I've played over my career range from $1/$2 to $500/$1,000 where the figures 2 and 1,000 here would equal 1 big bet for these games.
Anyhow, after a great career, I've began to venture in to other forms of poker to increase my overall earn and future.   Below is my graph for this game, the y-axis here corresponds to big blinds, 100 blinds is equivalent to a standard buy-in, so I am up 60 buy ins so far in this game at stakes ranging from buy ins of $200-$1,000.

I have carried over too large of an ego to this game though, and just assumed my poker prowess would take me on a nice ride to the top.  This is extremely far from the truth, the fact is I just have not put in the hours or thought about the game deep enough to deserve to be a big winner yet.  This is clear from my disappointing graph thus far.

I have been slow and steady instead of fast and consistent, and it's led to an extremely frustrating start to my career in this game.  I've stepped back this past week and cut my ego out of it, I will be studying more and analyzing my game much harder.  In addition, I'll be utilizing my best poker friends as resources to accelerate the learning curve.  I was not proactive over the last year in learning and it is very apparent from the above graph.  That is a mere roadblock in my career.  It is very common for people to study and put in countless hours to get good at a field, and then let complacency sit in when you think you've reached the pinnacle.  I lost some of the drive and desire.  It has been humbling thus far learning this game, but I have the drive again and the next graph I post of this game will be much more impressive.  

The morale of this post is to basically tell those who ease you in to believing that slow and steady wins the race are merely behind the curves themselves and trying to keep you there with them, or that their drive is not too strong to achieve greatness in their field.  Push the limits, push the boundaries, climb up the exponential ladder to success.  Feel free to leave any comments below and I'll respond to them.


Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Eve is a Con-Artist

If New Year's Eve was a person, I would certainly describe him as a tricky con-artist to deceive the brain and it's function.  This blog will be somewhat negative, but hopefully eye opening for some people.  If you do not feel like reading thoughts on how most people approach the New Year incorrectly, then just discontinue reading here :).

While people look to the New Year for an inspirational platform to a better future, and a chance to change their lives, most people just use it for temporary change.  I see this in all aspects of life, people will change for short periods of time, but usually it is not a long term effect.  If you want change in your life, go for it each day, there is no reason to use an arbitrary day such as New Year's to make that change.  Those who have pushed it off until the New Year are much less likely to succeed than the motivated person who tried to begin implementing change a few weeks back.

New Year's Eve is actually a con-artist to help you fall further in to the trap of being lazy.  Those who try to change themselves at the New Year usually do so in a way that is impractical and not sustainable long term.   Let us dive in to some examples, and I will try to give ones from my life that I can relate t

1) Studying More - the brain is conditioned to where you currently have it set at, I did not go from playing 3 hours of poker a day to 12-14 hours most days by simply making a massive jump in hours.  My brain would not be ready for this and would burn out extremely quick.  It needs to be conditioned to the longer hours by increasing it's tolerance on a daily/weekly basis over time.  The same can be said with attempting to focus on studying for longer or any task that needs focus.  After the New Year, people will generally mean well, but they will over compensate, thus driving themselves to exhaustion and a plateau.  At this point, you will see them throw in the towel often and head back to old habits.

2) Working out and hitting the gym - Inevitably, the people who want people to know they lift on facebook or social media, will post about how upset they are that the gym is super packed with people who just made a New Year's resolution to get in better shape.  They will also comment how the people will be gone in a month, and this is true for the majority of these new gym go-ers.  But WHY?  It is because they have yet again not gone about conditioning themselves at the right pace.  By going from almost no training or nutritional discipline to all of the sudden four days of lifting and a strict diet, they will inevitably fail.  You need to build it up, it's the same through out all of life.  You put in the time and practice to continually get better and it just does not happen instantly.

3) Being a better spouse - Again, usually people will rush this and do too much at once, wearing themselves out.

I wanted to keep this short so I will sum it up and give tips.  NEW YEAR'S EVE is a CON-ARTIST, he gives the majority of people a false hope for the coming year, until to disappoint them and let them fall back in to poor habits.  There is hope though, you can alter your New Year by taking a better approach than you have in the past.

1) The first step is to realize that improving yourself is a process and not an instant fix.

2) From here, read some topics on the subject you are approaching to familiarize yourself.  For working out, you have countless forums and resources across the internet that will be a great step in learning the curve to take.  For a couch potato, this will most likely begin with some light cardio and a few weeks of light weight lifting just to get the body used to some physical activity without destroying the body in to complete shock.  Over the next month, the person may progress to slightly heavier lifting, while beginning to learn a little bit about nutrition and implementing it.

3) Set goals and track progress, by having a map of the progress you want to reach, you can hold yourself responsible by giving yourself penalties for falling short.  Do not make these too lofty that you will fail no matter what.  Rather, make them tangible.  For instance, set a goal to be doing what you can at the gym for four days a week, do not set a goal of a certain weight on a lift...that is more complex and should be left to people that have been lifting weights for a long time and have goals in that aspect.

4) BEFRIEND OTHERS who are more intelligent than you on fields.  This is the most under utilized resource that most people do not tap in to enough.  Your learning curve is accelerated exponentially when you have someone's brain to pick that is much more knowledgeable on a topic than yours is.  Do you want to get in to real estate, ask a friend who has been successful for it out for some drinks and pay for a night on the town while picking his brain.  Make sure that you are prepared and have done some research and learning on your own first though.  Those who are smart in their fields hate to waste their time.  They do not want to sit their discussing the absolute basics with you, and this information is available all over the internet.  Do your research, and then write down questions on the stuff you do not fully grasp along the way.  These are the questions that will be the best leveraged to increase your knowledge on the topic.

5) Compete with others - Perhaps find people who have similar aspirations to yourself, and set up friendly ways to compete with them so you have more drive to attain your goals.

That's all, be a better person in 2014, but don't fall in to the pitfalls that almost everyone else does.  Set attainable goals with time frames, and utilize the resources you have at your disposal more wisely than you had in the best.  Have a great New Year everyone.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paris, France July 3rd-5th, 2012

I still have a bunch of other places I need to write up on, but think I will get to them when I can and will try to update on a few of the places in Europe that I've been to while they are fresh in my mind.  I'm also changing the format of the blog and just writing in plain style from now on.

I was not too excited to get to Paris to be honest...I booked this location because it was the cheapest entry flight in to Europe and I knew I'd see it sooner or later.  Why was I not excited?  Everyone I've ever met that has been to France has basically said the same thing, people are rude and I would not enjoy that.  Well, I've met quite a few people from France, with the experience never being anything but good.  For this, I was skeptical on others reviews.  However, they were spot on, I found the people in Paris to not be very friendly.  I loved the sights though.  I am not even an art buff, but seeing Le Louvre was incredible.  It is massive, an art aficionado could spend a month in here and still be fine coming back the next day.  Seeing the Mona Lisa was a big highlight for me.  I would recommend doing more research before going so that you appreciate the art work more.  I did not do this, and while I found a lot of the paintings/sculptures very neat, I would have liked to know more about what I was looking at.

Tip: There is a huge waiting line in front at the pyramid.  If you walk across the street and left a little, there is another entrance with no line.  So...wait a few hours at times, or walk in right away by simply walking 3 more blocks?

having fun doing typical tourist photo outside of the main entrance to Le Louvre

Examining the fuck out of a painting I'm sure

O Mona, what you do to me

having fun

the bad guy from the 3 musketeers

Napolean's stuff

Napolean's bed

Before heading here I had been to Notre-Dame cathedral.  It is very nice, and I would recommend getting there early in the day.  I went at night and during the day, and during the day there were way, way less people and it made for much better photographs and viewing opportunities.  Nearby, was Sainte Chapelle which was considered one of the greatest achievements of Gothic architecture.  If you don't care much about that, then don't visit as it was 8 euros or so and you see all of it within a few minutes.  If you do appreciate history and architecture greatly, then why not stop in.  

That's all for now.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

You are a function f(x) of those you surround yourselves with

I am very thankful for all the birthday love on facebook as I'm in a new city with few friends and starting new as always.  I am glad to have made so many great friends around the World, and wanted to write up a quick blog on a few things to help people become more successful.

While working hard and studying are big proponents of achieving success in fields, some times they are arduous and extremely time consuming.  For this reason, most people never have the drive and always look back with regrets of what if's.  This write up will simply be the easy ways to ensure you are progressing towards a successful future which you desire.

1) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH TALENTED PEOPLE.  Perhaps the most easy thing that people continually do wrong is to not surround themselves with people that have the same or more drive than they have.  When they do so, they don't really have an outside forcing factor on them at all times.  I will try to relate a lot of these to poker as that is what I do for a living.

Example 1: When I live or travel with very successful poker players, I am most likely to learn more from them as they may be sharper in certain aspects or forms of the game than I am.  However, I can travel with people that do not play poke or do not have drive to put in lots of hours to it.  When I chose the second option, I am limiting my learning curve which is always accelerated when I am around people of similar or greater abilities than myself.  This is one of the easiest things people can do...when people that you hang out with on a consistent basis have no drive to study or continually push to better stuff (which I have nothing wrong with), then you should try to hang out with others more often that will drive you more if you want to be more motivated and learn faster.

A picture of Elon Musk, an idol of mine.  I watch everything about him that I can get my hands on to see how someone as successful as him approaches the World, both for motivation and drive for myself.

2) UTILIZE THOSE WITH MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN YOU.  This point is similar to point 1, but also very important.  Sometimes focusing on multiple fields can be counterproductive and not net a huge result.  An example of this would be if I studied everything about stocks daily to know how to invest to the level of a trader.  I have a solid foundation and knowledge of the stock market and investing which is due to me reading on my own, and then consulting an expert (2 of my brothers in finance) on the topic when I have questions I am not sure on.  I have no need to be the most brilliant hedge fund manager, so instead of wasting time studying, I compile a base knowledge for myself, and then utilize more knowledegable resources at my fingertips to help with the process.  The same is true of my brother Kyle, I have a solid foundation on nutrition and exercise, however he is the wisest person I have ever talked to about the topic and he focuses on it for a living.  Thus, I use my base and then I reach out to him when I have further questions as my time is best spent studying other topics.

3) STOP WATCHING REALITY TV.  For those on no path, and not happy with their jobs.  This is the most counterproductive trait of most of American society.  Most people get stuck in a rut where they are unhappy with their jobs, come home and have 3-5 hours to themselves and just plop in front of the television to watch nonsense that is not benefiting them in any way other than "instant gratification" which seems to be what most of society is built around and why people cannot maintain proper diets.  Do not feel sorry for yourself, keep studying anything you can get your hands on and reading during this will be amazed how fast you can absorb knowledge and it will help immensely with your future and getting out of the feeling of being "stuck."  Build your knowledge, don't decrease it with silly television

4) GET IN GREAT SHAPE, INCREASE YOUR FOCUS LEVELS...this is one I am still working on.   This one is one of the most overlooked things as well.  Not only does being in great shape lead to a higher sex appeal and a greater sex life.  It also is the first impression people get when they see does not matter what jobs say, they are bias and first impressions are massive, thus being in better shape always helps.  Food is the fuel for our brains as is oxygen and blood flow.  This all increases with exercise and my studies and poker ability progressed greatly with it.  I have much much higher concentration and focus levels for extended periods of time.  It will help a bunch for those feeling tired all the time.

5) TAKE RISKS, society raises people to go to school, go to college, get a degree, sit behind a desk, and then work and have a 9-5.  This is completely fine for those who want to do it, I have nothing against it.  However, a lot of people talk to me about wanting to work for themselves and reap the extra benefits.  Habits are tough to break, and this is a habit that is jammed over and over repeatedly in to the brain as to how we are supposed to live our lives.  Again, it is fine if you want to work a 9-5 and live this way, but if you do not then you have to condition your brain otherwise.  A great step would be to keep talking to friends who do abnormal or different jobs they are passionate about and pick their brains for advice.

I had lots of people questioning me with poker after receiving my engineering degree and business minor.  They pretty much pointed to the above and said what are you doing, you need to get a corporate job.  I even countered my risk.  I ensured I was making atleast 3x my normal starting salary with poker.  I did this as I know poker is a zero sum game with diminishing returns as the market becomes more saturated over time.  I then bought part of a restaurant...this was as an investment, but also as a resume gap filler to show drive and initiative had poker gone south.  Poker not going well was virtually impossible by the way with the study hours I put in while growing up through the game.  I basically never looked back.

6) I will write some more on finances in my next blog, but the last bit of advice is to REALIZE THAT YOUR LIFE IS 100% MATH!!! That is correct, even when you are deciding what to wear, you are deciding the how others will perceive you in it, your sex appeal in it, your comfort level, and so on.  Your brain is actually assigning values to these which you have become so sharp with that you don't even realize you are doing math.  The people you talk to, the unhealthy meals you eat, these are simply mathematical choices that your brain is weighing between risk and reward.  However, it is assigning values constantly to these.  By recognizing this, you can actually build math simulations or models to solve some stuff in your life.  My last blog dealt with the math of leaving a job if you want to take a peak back.  YOU CAN SOLVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE AND EVERY DECISION BY USING MATH, so do so.

Take care, and thanks for all the birthday wishes this week.

Leave any comments below.


Friday, October 4, 2013

When to leave your job and go for it on your own

I get a bunch of random messages on facebook sporadically with people asking me one of three things:

“What the fuck do you do for a living, I want to travel also”

“How do I get good at poker, I think I will do that for a living”

And “I want to leave my job but am too nervous to, any advice?”

Well the answer to the first question is that I play poker on the internet mainly and travel.  I am also pretty diligent and good with my investments on the side as one must learn to make their money work for them.
The answer the second question usually leads to me going on a rant about how very few people can get good at it.  In addition to the steep learning curve, it is even more seldom to ever make substantial money from it.  Lastly, you need to give up all your family and move out of the USA with whatever money you have praying that you will be the 1 in a long shot person.  Tis’ not intelligent at all.

The third question is the most intelligent question that I get, and one that I try to truly help people with if they have the right attitude and are willing to push themselves.  As with everything else in life…this too comes down 100% to mathematics.  I will be able to keep them fairly basic in this blog and hopefully it can help some people that are thinking of quitting their jobs and starting something on their own.

The first step with figuring out if you can go this route is to come up with everything possible you can think of that should be included in your decision.  It is okay if this takes some time, you can alter your equations as you go.  I will for sure leave quite a bunch of them out of this blog as I am writing this on the fly, but that is fine as I am just trying to give you the gist of how to approach this.  The factors off the top of my head that I would include:

1)      Current savings (debt included if applicable)
2)      Current Salary & estimated future salaries
3)      Initial self-employment income
4)      Future self-employment income
5)      Ease of returning to old work force in same position
6)      Chances of making it with your business
7)      Happiness at current job
8)      Company retirement perks
9)      Happiness if self-employed (guess work included here)
10)   Tax Implications

If you analyze the list, you will realize that only 2 of the points that are tangible figures, and that the rest will be decided by values that you give to them.  People may have trouble assigning values to these, but it is something to keep practicing with a lot of your life decisions until you hone the skill to more accurately assign values.  Generally, people thinking of making this decision factor in numbers 1, 3, and 9.  They also tend to over value number 3 by a long shot, while leave out the other factors that also bring down number 3.  Due to this, the majority of people are left with a lopsided equation that is very incorrect when approaching this problem.  I understand why this happens as it is how the human brain is hard wired.

The first issue with how the brain works is that it over values one’s ability more or less, always assuming that it will go well.  While this is a good positive mindset, it is not realistic and the person needs to properly assess all risks and assign more accurate projections.  The second issue is that people do not approach it as a math problem and simply go, “I want to work for myself, I think I will go for it”.  When they do this, they are thinking of a few of the bullet points, but not all of them, and more importantly, they are not weighing them in properly.  This leads to my attempting to give a solution for people thinking of going down this route.  Please note that I left out some bullet points that I did not think of off the top of my head, and your values could be completely different than the ones I use in my example.  THAT IS COMPLETELY FINE, THE BIGGEST STEP IS RECOGNIZING THE MATH, AND approximating the values to the best of your ability.

First we will try our best to set up an equation, ultimately it will be a greater than or equal to equation, which means we will have to determine which factors to place on each side.  Initially I did it with powers as that is how you find your future earn with future salaries, but I began to do way too much math and it became confusing and potentially incorrect, I’ll leave that at the bottom of the blog if anyone wants to view it.  For this though I just used initial salary to a power and did not factor in initial and future to keep it simpler

((Initial Salary ^ (1 + 0.1n)) * chances of making it) * tax implications + happiness + current savings > current salary^ (1+0.01n) + retirement perks ^ (1+0.03n)   + happiness + current savings

Now let’s assign some values to are tangible… current salary is $50,000…but you can make life simpler and just divide by 1,000 and work with smaller figures, so we’ll denote current salary at 50 and $8,000 for retirement perks or 8.  We will use $20,000 or 20 as our current savings.

Where n = number of years at job, starting with year 1 and increasing by 1 with each passing year
*anything to the 0 power is equal to 1, thus future income will not be a large number off the bat.

I have left out he ease of returning to your work force as it’s something that can easily be factored in whenever the situation is close to neutral, it can be the deciding figure in that case.

Let’s plug in the tangible figures for year 1 (n=1)….
((Initial Salary ^ (1 + 0.1n)) * chances of making it) * tax implications + happiness + 20 > 50^ (1.01) + 8 ^ (1.03)   + happiness + 20

Giving us a simpler
((Initial Salary ^ (1 + 0.1n)) * chances of making it) * tax implications + happiness + 20 > 52 + 8.5 + happiness + 20

Now for the non-tangible figures which is the tough part.  Let’s take our initial salary at a base of $30,000 (30).  The chances of making it are where most people over estimate their own ability and that is bad.  You should map it with stuff you have a strong grasp on.  If you work at 150% higher capacity than colleagues, or outperform people at that rate with most tasks, then let’s take the average chance of making it and multiple that by 2.5 (100%+50%).  Let us say that people in our field of choice succeed at a 20% success rate.  This means we are succeeding at a rate of 0.2*1.5 = 50% or 0.5.
Tax implications, this is so dependent on how you file your corporation, but self-employed people get hit with higher taxes so let’s put this at 90% or 0.9.

Now Year 1 looks like this:

((30 ^ 1.1) * 0.5) * 0.9 +20 + happiness > 80.5 + happiness
39 + happiness > 80.5 + happiness

Ok, in this scenario our happiness of working for ourselves will have to be massive to overcome the large different…but let’s take a look at down the line.  You can solve for equilibrium points by solving the equations for the variables, but I will not delve in to that here.

Year 4
(((30 ^ (1.4)) * 0.5) * 0.9) + happiness + 20 > 50^ (1.03) + 8 ^ (1.12)   + happiness

We get

73 + happiness of self-employment > 89 + happiness with our company

From this, we can see that probably at this point, with our self generated figures for happiness that we will probably be at this point to the breakeven point.  Thus from all this, I’d gather that if you wanted to do it for 4 or more years then to go for it.  Now, be careful, I formulated a random formula from what I considered important.  Your figures can vary drastically from these, as well as your occasion.  The main points are to factor in what are the most important things to you, as well as being able to put realistic numbers to figures that are not tangible.  I hope you enjoyed, I rushed this one a little on my own with no proof reading.  I’ll re-read and edit some tomorrow.  Leave any comments below.  GL BEING SELF EMPLOYED.

I went more in depth below and got off on a tangent doing a little more complex math and confused myself a little so I knocked it out to keep it simpler, read on if you’d like to see what I was working on originally. Enjoy the weekend!


Let’s explain the equation in detail, we are adding in how much we will make now and in the future at our job, with the factor “n” just denoting time in years.  We put in our discipline and drive, our current savings, as well as our happiness in to the positives for self-employment.  Tax implications are deducted as self-employed persons from the USA (myself), have to pay an extra 15% on their income which is ludicrous.  This will vary depending on the corporation or company you set up as, so do your own research on this.
On the other side, we have our current salary plus our future salary, as well as our happiness and retirement perks.

The hardest part is assigning values, if we take our income now and give it a value of $50,000…this will make the other numbers very tough to factor in and make it a mess.  This is why you should learn to simplify and reduce equations in to simpler forms to work with.  Thus, if we assign our income a value of 50, this will make the whole process easier.  For this problem, I will use random values I am assigning to each.

Current Salary = 50 ($50,000)
Current Savings = 15 ($15,000)
Initial Self Employment Income = 10 ($10,000)
The rest we are going to have to come up with on our own.  For future incomes, we can use our current values of salary and projected salaries, as they will increase at a factor that was denoted above.  Note that for self-employment, the rate of growth is higher for future income at 1.n-1 as opposed to the slower pace of income increase at the job where we just used our initial salary in the equation and let it grow at a smaller growth factor.

Now simplifying the equation as we go…
(Initial self-employment income  +  ((future self-employment income ) ^ (1.n-1)) + discipline and drive + happiness of being self-employed  + current savings – tax implications) * chances of making it   > current salary)^ (1+0.0n))  + happiness at current job + retirement perks
(10 + ((future self-employment income) ^ (1+0.n)) +) * chances of making it)  + D&D + happiness + CS –TI > 50^(1+0.0n) + happiness + retirement perks
As we continue, we just assign more values…I know it Is hard to equate values to “happiness” or “discipline and drive”, as well as being realistic and putting a value for chances of making it.
Let’s say our potential future income is $100,000, let’s add this and retirement perks in which I would value at maybe $50,000 or 50 but by years so it will be denoted as such.  I would typically look at how successful you are compared to others in most fields and use that to sway the chances of making it in either direction from what is normal in your field.  Let’s say I do countless things at about a 50% rate better than others, and the success rate in my self-employment field is 30%...I would go ahead and do (0.3*1.5) = 45% or 0.45 as percentages are written as decimals.  I multiplied by 1.5 as that means I am doing it as 150% of my competitions level.  With this factored in, we can drop discipline and drive from our equation as it was factored in to this.  For tax implications, I am taking our full value and multiplying by 90%, giving an estimate of losing an extra 10% to the government each year with being self employed.  Note that this is not nearly always the case, and can vary drastically, so do your research on how you can set up your corporation for tax filings. 
Our updated equation becomes
(((10 + ((100) ^ (1.2n -1))) * 0.45) + 15) * 0.9 + happiness > 50 ^ (1+0.n) + 50 ^ (0.n) + happiness at current job
We can look at this by year to see where the equilibrium point with money and happiness is achieved
You can solve the equation by being a math nerd, or you can plug in numbers for trial and error as it would be the easiest method for most people.

Year 1: 
(((10 + ((100) ^ (0.2))) * 0.45) + 15) * 0.9) + happiness being self-employed > 50 ^ 1.1 + 50 ^ (0.1) + happiness at current job

And analyze from there on out to find at what year you breakeven and how comfortable you are with that.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September in Review

I want to make sure that my blog is not too redundant with the same topic of travel.  Thus, I wanted to post some other stuff in addition.  I have never done a month review of my life, so I figured I'd do one.

I played poker for roughly 18-20 days this month which is a low volume month for me and took a trip to the Greek Islands.  All in all it was a very solid month for me with poker, especially given the drying state of the games these days. Very few have remained in the top echelon of poker players in the World for more than a year, so to still be here 5 years after I began is an incredible feat that I am really proud of in my poker career.  It took a bunch of hard work and discipline to do so...hell, I even had to become an ex-patriot at one point to continue down the poker path.

Besides poker, I took a 7 day vacation to the Greek Islands.  While they were just out of high season, I was still able to relax on the beach and block out the numbers of poker that constantly over indulge my brain on a consistent basis.  I normally have an extremely tough time blanking my mind from poker.  Just last night, it took me 3 hours to fall asleep while I was exhausted because my brain wanted to keep trying to solve this one poker scenario that I have been having trouble approaching and solving.  As for Greece, I will certainly go back next year when the islands are thumping in high season with crazy parties.  Hopefully I will spend a month in Ios or Mykonos.  To start, I began in Rhodes and followed that up with Santorini, Ios, and Athens.  For those wondering, Ios and Mykonos are huge party destinations to go wild in.  Greece was certainly one of my favorite countries to date our of the forty or so that I have visited.  It has so much history, from the greek mythology to the Acropolis.  Mix in pristine islands with amazing nightlife, and you have yourself an incredible country.  Here are some pictures from said trip.

 Castle outside of Rhodes

 Acropolis of Athens

 The Temple of Zeus in Athens

The beach in Ios

The lesser viewed side of Santorini

The more frequented and pictured side of Santorini

Sunset Bliss

Everything else is going rather well, I am continuing to get in better shape which helps in every single aspect of life, especially with daily focus levels to retain more information as I study to further my knowledge on new topics.  I try to not stay stagnant as that is no way to be successful, and I think nutrition and working out are the most overlooked aspects of what it takes to become smarter/focus for longer periods/feel healthier.  

I am sitting here in my apartment in Belgrade writing this as it drizzles outside and I continue to grind out small edges in poker while hearing Jay-Z playing from the cafe just across the street.  The city of Belgrade has been fun and the I have been having a great time with the friends I have made here.  The weather has turned pretty crappy, with rain every day almost seeming to be a daily given.  That's all for now, one of my shorter posts for ya.