Hi there! My name is Eddie Woo, and I’m a 26 year old ex-poker pro, business owner, credit card points enthusiast, and college dropout. I’m currently retired as my business can run without me being there.
In my spare time, I like to travel, play video games (mostly League of Legends), and think about random business ideas. Mostly I just bum around the house all day.
Growing up, I’ve always been a very lazy and unmotivated kid. I nearly failed 7th grade because I would never do my homework, and had to take summer school in order to pass. In high school, I was going down a similar path, but I was able to retake some of my D’s and C’s at a community college. Couple that with good extra curricular activities to my name (math team, chess team, and 3 years of varsity volleyball), I was able to get into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for Math and Computer Science.
As much as I’d like to say I took this opportunity to work hard and get my degree, it was quite the opposite. In college, you don’t get 2nd, 3rd, 4th… 20th chances like you do in middle school or high school. You also can’t just skip class, not study, and expect to do okay. So I was pretty much put into academic probation right off the bat. Fortunately, this was around this time that I started getting into online poker.
Playing Poker Professionally
My friends and I from high school and college would sometimes play poker for a few bucks here and there. I remember we would go our buddy Alan’s basement, and since we were all broke, we’d only play for a few bucks per person. Winning big meant you could treat yourself to a McDonald’s value meal.
Eventually, my friends and I would play with play money chips on the previously most popular poker sites, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. We would mostly just go all-in every hand and see if we could double up, and if we lost everything, we’d just start up again from the 1,000 play chips you get for free.
One day, I got an email from PokerStars, which was the start of everything:
At the time, depositing real money onto these poker sites was not easy due since banks want nothing to do with online poker rooms. Naturally, getting $5 for free to play with made me incredibly excited, but my mentality was completely different from the casual games
I’d play with my friends. I didn’t want to lose the free $5, so I decided to take it seriously and do some research on poker strategy.
One of the PC games I used to play a lot was Starcraft: Brood War. There is a popular forum called Team Liquid that I would frequent, and they happened to have a sister site for poker called Liquid Poker. I believe forums are one of the best resources you can use to improve on any subject (as long as you can pick out the smart guys), and I knew that some players from Liquid Poker were making a living off the game.
I read all the beginner articles and pretty much followed the guides as closely as I could, and I was able to eventually turn that $5 into $100 playing $.01/$.02 Texas Hold’em (penny stakes). In hindsight, I’m very lucky that I didn’t go broke, because a $5 bankroll is not nearly enough to withstand variance of poker, even at the penny stakes. It’s possible that I could’ve just lost it all from getting unlucky and then never have played again.
I continued to do poorly in school, and eventually dropped out around the beginning of my Sophomore year of college (technically still a Freshman in credits; I took a semester off), but I got to the point where I was playing stakes high enough to make a pretty good living. I contributed over 5,000 posts to the Liquid Poker community, and kept a blog there from 2008-2012.
Transitioning Out of Poker
Poker taught me many things, but one thing I eventually learned is that I was getting burnt out from the poker grind. An odd thing I noticed about myself is that when I finally hit the appropriate stakes in poker that would allow me to make a living, I pretty much lost my desire to play. What drove me was not actually the money, but to prove to myself that I could actually get to the point where I could say, “yes, I can make a real living off of poker.” So what would happen is I would grind about $1,000 in a month, and I knew that would cover my rent on campus and all the Chinese food delivery I could ask for. Then I would just hang out with friends or browse the web in my spare time.
Eventually, I realized poker wasn’t something I could do forever. For one, I knew the games would get harder, since the player base was improving. I didn’t have a degree, and simply having online poker on your resume probably wouldn’t cut it at most places. And honestly, the community for poker is really shady and full of not so good people. It’s pretty commonplace to hear people getting scammed by other poker players, and the scene also tends to glorify the Vegas lifestyle of strippers and booze. I’m just a nerd that plays video games, so realistically I knew this wasn’t the path I wanted to go down in the long run, nor could I see myself grinding the tables for a living at age 40.
Knowing myself, I knew there was no way I could do a normal 9-5 job, so I had to do something with a similar concept as online poker. Click buttons and make money. So about 1 year after I dropped out to play poker, I started doing research on how to run an online business. Specifically, I started looking into buying physical goods and reselling them on eBay. I’ve had a lot of experience selling stuff on eBay since high school, since one hobby my friends and I would do is camp out on Black Friday and get cheap stuff to resell. I learned the entire process of finding a good niche, working with wholesalers, and obtaining a state tax ID. My old friend that I’ve known since middle school, Jason, partnered up with me. We were going to sell outdoor sporting merchandise.
Jason also played poker, so we knew there was only one way to go about this business. Bootstrap it. We both understood that in poker, you do NOT move up in stakes until you have the proper bankroll from playing lower stakes. If you deserve to be at the higher stakes, you will eventually get there. I’ve known a lot of people who decided to play beyond their limits, and went broke as a result.
Likewise, Jason and I pooled $2,000 each to get this business started. It was money we could both afford to completely lose and not think twice. It would’ve been nice to buy more than $4,000 in product, but we knew it was enough to figure out if our business would work, and we could reinvest the profits for more product. Long story short, our business exploded. We went from a 2br college apartment, to a 3br college apartment with more living room space, to a 2600 sq ft house with a big garage, to finally our 15,000 sq ft warehouse.
What To Expect from my Blog?
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still a co-owner of my business, but I’ve worked out a deal with Jason so I don’t have to go into work anymore. I really like teaching people about things I’ve done, so I’m going to focus on these three topics.
I’ve started going to the local casino to get back into poker for fun, so I’m a bit motivated to learn and teach the game. There is a lack of free organized content online on Texas Hold’em strategy, and honestly, there’s also just a ton of garbage information that beginners might think is good. I intend on writing a beginner’s guide, as well as a guide for advanced fundamentals. Aside from that, I’ll probably blog about various sessions I have at the casino, or do reviews on interesting hands I might have played.
Credit Cards and Points
I never mentioned it in this post, but this is a subject that I’ve gotten very knowledgeable at. Since I’ve accumulated over 7 figures of Chase points, I’ve done a lot of research that I think the average person could take advantage of.
Specifically online businesses and internet marketing. I would consider myself an expert in eBay and Amazon sales, although I probably won’t divulge everything, since that’s what gives me an edge in those channels. I am also pretty knowledgeable about search engine optimization and affiliate marketing.
I’ll probably blog about some random stuff here and there as well. You can keep in touch with me using:
Thanks for reading!