A Week in the Life of Katie Dozier
After Black Friday cracked everyone over the head with a very thick stick, Katie Dozier became one of the many who had to flee the U.S in order to continue doing what she does best. The 27-year old professional grinder has been playing for around eight years after picking up the game in Florida State University. But like many talented poker players, Dozier has many arrows in her quiver. She is a co-author of two poker books: “The Superuser” and “Pro Poker Strategy: The Top Skills”, which she wrote with her husband Collin Moshman. Dozier is also a poker coach, writer and mother of a dog called Wilbur.
We caught up with Dozier as she was settling into her new full-time life in Mexico.
Could you describe your online schedule last week?
I just completed my full-time move to Mexico (before I was traveling back and forth between Vegas and Rosarito to play online). I played quite a bit online, but my Mom came to visit me from Florida, so of course I took time off while she was here so we could spend some time together.
How many hands / tournaments did you play?
I played about 650 tournaments last week, and though I don’t log my hours, I usually play somewhere around 70 hours a week.
Discuss the levels you play and your bankroll management rules?
From my involvement with Team Moshman, Collin’s poker staking and coaching business, I’ve seen some nasty downswings, and am a bankroll nit! Personally, my worst downswing was back when I was grinding super turbo SNGs, and I dropped a shocking amount of buy-ins just as I moved up to playing the $75 games.
These days online, I’m playing MTTs and MTTSNGs, up to about the $60 level. I like keeping a larger bankroll than I actually need because; in the event of a downswing it removes a bit of the potential stress.
So on the wages front, how did you do last week?
Last week I was up around $2.2k.
How do you define success as an online grinder?
It can be hard not to be results oriented when defining one’s own success level in poker, because ultimately it is a game all about winning money. As I was fulfilling my yearly tradition of coming up with my goals for 2013, I wanted to come up with ones that weren’t super results oriented– because something like “I want to win a WSOP event” is certainly a goal, but I have little control over how I do in a single tournament.
So, I came up with the goal of playing 15,000 tournaments this year. At this point, I’ve played a bit under 4,000, so I should be able to surpass my goal and play at least 20,000. Any time I have a losing day, I refer back to how many games I’ve played so far and that helps keep me focused on the long run.
For me, success in poker is all about looking at the long run and continually striving to be a better player. If I have a bad week online, I can still feel like it was a success because I’ll spend a lot more time studying, and I’ll be closer to hitting the number of games I plan on playing this year.
What is your grinding set up like?
I overlap/tile my tables on a 30” monitor, though I’m glad you brought this up– I have another monitor in my closet that I forgot to hook-up to my setup after the move! My office is in one of our guest bedrooms, and despite living in an ocean front condo I actually chose not to have the ocean view because the glare from the sun can make it really tough to see all my tables.
How many tables do you play?
The number of tables I play varies tremendously; at the beginning or end of the session I’ll only have a few games, but mid-session I’ll usually have over 25 games going at once. I built back up to that number since getting back online, and now it feels comfortable for me.
How long do you play for?
As a tournament player, Sundays are my biggest day, and usually I’ll play for around 12 hours. The other days vary a lot, but it is rare for me to play a session that is under about 7 hours.
What does a typical working week look like for you?
Most weeks, I only take one day off from playing. I used to only take a day off only rarely, but I’ve realised that I play better if I have some small amount of time every week that doesn’t involve poker. Usually I wake up around 10 am, and work on whatever writing project I have. Then, around 11:30, Collin and I take Wilbur for a walk on the beach. This is one of the best parts of my day, and we have a blast finding sea radishes to throw for Wilbur to fetch! We would then come home and I would make breakfast – usually scrambled eggs with chillies for Mexican flair. Then it’s time to hit the tables. When I finish, usually sometime around 10:30, we go for another walk, then I make dinner– the most common being steak with guacamole and cactus, and we watch a movie.
Talk about your HUD set-up?
I always play with a HUD, and right now use Hold ‘em Manager. The most important stats to me are the really common ones– VPIP/PFR, but I use the “fold to steal” and “fold to 3-bet” a lot too.
Do you incorporate training and revision into your week?
On my day off from playing, I review my own games, and then bring up any interesting hands where I’m unsure of my line with friends and Collin.
Do you use online training sites?
I make videos for DragTheBar and PokerStrategy, both of which have a great collection of videos.
What about poker books? Do you have a particular favourite?
With complete bias, I’d have to say my husband’s book “Sit ‘n Go Strategy” because it changed our lives. When Collin got the acceptance from 2+2 that it was going to be published, we were in Monaco for an EPT Final. I was only a casual player then, but I knew at that moment that poker would be a big part of our lives forever. Luckily, I’ve been right about that so far!
What was the most annoying thing that happened to you last week?
In the middle of the night, I reached over to my nightstand for my bottle of water. I missed and knocked the open bottle into the open drawer of the nightstand, which violently fell over. My new Kindle Touch and cell phone were both in the drawer and got water damage. My phone survived, my Kindle did not. Clearly I had a pretty great week if that’s the worst thing that happened to me!
What has been your happiest moment this week?
Celebrating Collin’s birthday with my Mom! I know a lot of people claim this, but I really think I have the best Mom in the whole world! She’s so creative, fun and supportive of my career even though she doesn’t know how to play poker.
My Mom and I threw a bee themed birthday party for Collin (because he randomly asked for that theme, probably without realizing how seriously my mom and I take party planning). We dressed Wilbur up as a bee and even made a bee cake.
When did you laugh the hardest and why?
I laughed the hardest when I paraded Wilbur out in his bee costume! Second to that was laughing at myself for accidentally speaking French instead of Spanish to a Mexican security guard!
Any tears last week?
I didn’t cry, but the morning that my Mom left I really missed her, and if I hadn’t had poker to focus on, I might have cried.
What do you do when you are not playing poker?
I really enjoy cooking, as I went to culinary school after college. I also have a love of post-modern art, and painting. I like reading, writing, traveling, watching movies, playing board games, learning about wine, and singing in the shower. My guilty pleasure is reading British tabloids that my Mom sends me after her trips to London.