Author Topic: Supplementing Income with Poker?  (Read 29543 times)

RyanHesson

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Supplementing Income with Poker?
« on: July 29, 2014, 09:45:39 AM »
Has anyone played some poker to supplement income? I don't play much, but decided to play this weekend at a gambling hole not too far away. It's too far away to go too often, but every once in a while it's possible. The game there is pretty weak, much easier than online play, made $1900 playing $1/$2 NL. I went there in May also and won about $750. Very few there are pros, they're mostly dudes with day jobs and no families to spend money on, they play some poker because they ain't got nothing else to do, and don't play very seriously. I'm thinking maybe I could go every Friday after work, sleep in the car out there (at least during the summer months), and come back Saturday night. I'll at least give it a few more times to make sure my wins weren't just a fluke (I don't think I'm that good), but I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with this. Has anyone looked at getting good at poker and playing for some extra cash? How's it worked out for you?

Fishingmn

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 09:51:23 AM »
I would probably do more online research at poker sites instead of here.

My impression is that even the best players in the world go through hot and cold streaks. If you lose $750 a few weeks in a row how is that going to impact you financially and psychologically?

Psychstache

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 09:56:08 AM »
The general rule of thumb when playing as a career no limit is to have 100 buy ins as a reserve to handle streaks. In the case of $1$/2 NL, that would mean having a $20,000 bank roll strictly for poker. If you are doing this as a 'side job' You could probably knock that in half and set that aside as your funding.

I would caution you to make sure you are familiar with the game and are confident that you are playing efficient and mathematically sound. Don't drink when you are playing. Leave the table for a few minutes when you get frustrated. Don't play tired, don't feel sorry for other players. It is a serious job, so you need to treat it that way.

Psychstache

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 09:59:14 AM »
I have played for years, sporadically, online and in real life after spending significant time and energy studying and reading about the game. I typically drive out to the casino near by and play there. Since I started to play seriously and keep track, I have average roughly $70/hr playing 1/2 NL. Nothing major, but it's always nice when your hobby makes you money.

frugalnacho

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 10:06:03 AM »
I used to play all the time.  It was easy with friends, slightly less easy online, and even less easy in the casino.  I think I might have been good enough to grind it out in the casino, but that would require a huge amount of time and effort, and has already been pointed out a huge bank roll.  Plus there is the possibility of me losing that whole bank roll. 

Online was very worthwhile until they make it illegal in the usa.  They brought it back, but then made it illegal again.  It's still illegal, although there are a few sites you can still get on and play, but you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get money in and out.  Too much of a pain in my ass, so I haven't played online in like 8-10 years.

RyanHesson

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 10:07:09 AM »
Quote
My impression is that even the best players in the world go through hot and cold streaks. If you lose $750 a few weeks in a row how is that going to impact you financially and psychologically?

In terms of financial security, it won't do much. Psychologically, I'll be pissed. But it won't affect me too much. Never lost quite $750 but I have lost a little over $500 in a night once. I like to think I've gotten better since then though. And that was online. I think online play is just harder. Fish/Pro ratio is worse than in real life.

Quote
I would caution you to make sure you are familiar with the game and are confident that you are playing efficient and mathematically sound. Don't drink when you are playing. Leave the table for a few minutes when you get frustrated. Don't play tired, don't feel sorry for other players. It is a serious job, so you need to treat it that way.

Oh yeah, I play serious. I've made some bad moves, I'm not a great player or anything, but I'm not reckless. And I'm no where near professional level. Maybe someday but not now. Goal is some side income. Only real bad beat (lost when the guy had to catch runner-runner cards) I had I just quit for the night. I play calm.

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 10:17:50 AM »
Yes. Started off with $25 online. Slowly built that to $25k, then stopped keeping track as my poker finances blended with the business finances of running my poker training site, since losses and wins became business expenses and profit (respectively).

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 10:26:01 AM »
The general rule of thumb when playing as a career no limit is to have 100 buy ins as a reserve to handle streaks. In the case of $1$/2 NL, that would mean having a $20,000 bank roll strictly for poker. If you are doing this as a 'side job' You could probably knock that in half and set that aside as your funding.

I would caution you to make sure you are familiar with the game and are confident that you are playing efficient and mathematically sound. Don't drink when you are playing. Leave the table for a few minutes when you get frustrated. Don't play tired, don't feel sorry for other players. It is a serious job, so you need to treat it that way.

This is in the right vein, but I'd argue that these numbers are a little too conservative, especially in live poker (where the competition is comparably quite poor). $7500 is easily enough to fully fund $1/$2 live games (assuming your skills are there). Doubly true if you also play some lower stakes games online. Then again, personal risk tolerance may trump the other factors here, if the amount in play would influence a decision.

Everything else in your post is very valid.

frugalnacho

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 10:29:50 AM »
Quote
My impression is that even the best players in the world go through hot and cold streaks. If you lose $750 a few weeks in a row how is that going to impact you financially and psychologically?

In terms of financial security, it won't do much. Psychologically, I'll be pissed. But it won't affect me too much. Never lost quite $750 but I have lost a little over $500 in a night once. I like to think I've gotten better since then though. And that was online. I think online play is just harder. Fish/Pro ratio is worse than in real life.

Quote
I would caution you to make sure you are familiar with the game and are confident that you are playing efficient and mathematically sound. Don't drink when you are playing. Leave the table for a few minutes when you get frustrated. Don't play tired, don't feel sorry for other players. It is a serious job, so you need to treat it that way.

Oh yeah, I play serious. I've made some bad moves, I'm not a great player or anything, but I'm not reckless. And I'm no where near professional level. Maybe someday but not now. Goal is some side income. Only real bad beat (lost when the guy had to catch runner-runner cards) I had I just quit for the night. I play calm.

Sometimes it's not a matter of how good you are.  If you play enough poker you will get drawn out on, and you will have bad beats.  You need that bank roll because you are going to lose your ass some nights, because that's just what happens some times.  You make the move with a positive EV and you lose anyway.   It should all balance out in the long run if you are making moves with +EV, but there are going to be swings up and down along the way.

I lost several hands when I was the favorite and made the right moves.   I remember one time early in my online career that I flopped the nut flush, and had some guy betting into me with top pair.  He ended up hitting runner-runner to get a full house and win the pot.  That was several hundred dollars.  I was so pissed! But I ended up making it up in the long run when other suckers were betting into my nuts.

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 10:31:33 AM »
Online was very worthwhile until they make it illegal in the usa.  They brought it back, but then made it illegal again.  It's still illegal, although there are a few sites you can still get on and play, but you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get money in and out.  Too much of a pain in my ass, so I haven't played online in like 8-10 years.

With the exception of states like Washington, online poker is not illegal in the US. Many of the big sites were/are banned, but that has to do with violating other laws unrelated to poker.

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 10:35:46 AM »
I think online play is just harder. Fish/Pro ratio is worse than in real life.

In general, this is true. If you are comparing $1/$2 in a casino to $1/$2 online, it is much more true. In terms of skill, $1/$2 in a casino is like $0.05/$0.10 online.

frugalnacho

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 10:38:12 AM »
Online was very worthwhile until they make it illegal in the usa.  They brought it back, but then made it illegal again.  It's still illegal, although there are a few sites you can still get on and play, but you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get money in and out.  Too much of a pain in my ass, so I haven't played online in like 8-10 years.

With the exception of states like Washington, online poker is not illegal in the US. Many of the big sites were/are banned, but that has to do with violating other laws unrelated to poker.

This is what I was referring to:

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On October 13, 2006, President Bush officially signed into law the SAFE Port Act, a bill aimed at enhancing security at U.S. ports.[13] Attached to the Safe Port Act was a provision known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). According to the UIGEA, "unlawful internet gambling" means to place, receive, or otherwise knowingly transmit a bet or wager by means of the internet where such bet is unlawful under any law in the State in which the bet is initiated, received, or otherwise made. Thus, the UIGEA prohibits online gambling sites from performing transactions with American financial institutions. As a result of the bill, several large publicly traded poker gaming sites such as PartyPoker.com, PacificPoker.com and bwin closed down their US facing operations. The UIGEA has had a devastating effect on the stock value of these companies.[14] Some poker sites, such as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, continued to operate and remained open to US players.[15]

From my experience the ones that remained open to the US had crazy restrictive rules on putting money in and out.  Crazy enough that they effectively made it not worth the hassle.  I spoke with a coworker that claims to have an account online a couple years ago, and I got the name of the site he was at so I could set my own account up, but they were also crazy restrictive.  I lost interest and stopped researching the issue after that.

What sites are fully legal and available in the US, and actually allow me to easily transfer funds to and from without huge fees and a huge hassle?

RyanHesson

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 11:18:09 AM »
Quote
In general, this is true. If you are comparing $1/$2 in a casino to $1/$2 online, it is much more true. In terms of skill, $1/$2 in a casino is like $0.05/$0.10 online.

Probably more like $1/$2 in real life is equivalent in play to $.10/$.25 online, $.05/$.10 online is a complete joke, but the point still holds. I got my ass handed to me when I tried to play $2/$4 online. That's when I lost that $500, in the span of about 100 hands or so. But I have played and been profitable (I think positive expected value, not just lucky) on up to $.25/$.50 online.

Quote
What sites are fully legal and available in the US, and actually allow me to easily transfer funds to and from without huge fees and a huge hassle?

I use Bovada but they charge a fee to get money in and out except for the initial deposit.

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2014, 11:22:47 AM »
The terms of the UIGEA (the portion of the bill you're referencing that applies to gambling)  specifically prohibit financial institutions from processing illegal online gambling transactions and let other laws define what is illegal. Washington state criminalized online poker. Utah and Hawaii each had pushes to do so, but I do not know if they were successful and/or are still in place. I do not know of any other states that have criminalized it on any level.

Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware each have specific sites that are licensed to operate in their states, with laws prohibiting playing on unlicensed sites. That led to a very easy deposit/withdrawal process in those states.

In other states, you are at the whim of your bank or credit card company as to what they will allow. Some companies are overly cautious to avoid any chance of violating the UIGEA but their policies do not make it illegal to play. Most sites also accept Western Union.

Specifically, sites on the Merge Network (Black Chip Poker and Carbon Poker are two of the better ones) and America's Cardroom are generally regarded as the best choice in today's market. Avoid Lock Poker as they are on shaky grounds financially (which is impacting their withdrawal processes significantly).

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2014, 11:28:48 AM »
Probably more like $1/$2 in real life is equivalent in play to $.10/$.25 online, $.05/$.10 online is a complete joke, but the point still holds.

I use Bovada...

Bovada is definitely the softest site available to most US players. The downside is the anonymous tables. But play at Bovada is definitely at least one level below play on other sites (so $0.10/$0.25 on Bovada will play like $0.05/$0.10 on must sites).

MoneyCat

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2014, 11:34:48 AM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do.  That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

frugalnacho

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2014, 11:40:58 AM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do. That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

Why?  If you gamble when you have the edge wouldn't that be very mustachian? With poker you are playing against other people, not the house.  As long as you make more from the other players than it cost you in rakes then you make money.   

I think poker belongs in a separate category from other casino games for that reason, and it can be very smart to gamble if you can make money at it.

MoneyCat

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2014, 11:46:23 AM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do. That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

Why?  If you gamble when you have the edge wouldn't that be very mustachian? With poker you are playing against other people, not the house.  As long as you make more from the other players than it cost you in rakes then you make money.   

I think poker belongs in a separate category from other casino games for that reason, and it can be very smart to gamble if you can make money at it.

It's anti-Mustachian, because no matter what people say about strategy and the human element of poker, it is still a game of chance.  It's still a game where you may have a hot streak one day and then have a cold streak the next day that wipes out your bankroll.  It is also highly addictive and has destroyed a lot of people's lives.  Mustachians should be focused on "winning" all the time and that means not throwing your money away on games of chance.

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2014, 11:47:31 AM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do.

Who's talking about gambling? I thought he asked about poker.

Poker is very much a skill-based game. Yes, on any given hand, luck can play a factor, but in the long run the player that knows the math and psychology behind the game will come out way ahead.

For the well initiated, poker is less like gambling than the stock market is like gambling. Just because you can lose in a given hand (or series of hands) doesn't make it gambling. Is investing in the market gambling because a stock (or even the market as a whole) can go down over a period of days/weeks/months?

JCfire

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2014, 11:49:46 AM »
Has anyone played some poker to supplement income? I don't play much, but decided to play this weekend at a gambling hole not too far away. It's too far away to go too often, but every once in a while it's possible. The game there is pretty weak, much easier than online play, made $1900 playing $1/$2 NL. I went there in May also and won about $750. Very few there are pros, they're mostly dudes with day jobs and no families to spend money on, they play some poker because they ain't got nothing else to do, and don't play very seriously. I'm thinking maybe I could go every Friday after work, sleep in the car out there (at least during the summer months), and come back Saturday night. I'll at least give it a few more times to make sure my wins weren't just a fluke (I don't think I'm that good), but I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with this. Has anyone looked at getting good at poker and playing for some extra cash? How's it worked out for you?

What you experienced was absolutely, positively, 100% a fluke.  You can win money at poker, but you don't have to guess what's possible, there are hundreds of pros who are better than you at poker who play $1/2 NL full time and have theorized a great deal about maximum win rates.  Read the small-stakes NL forum on twoplustwo poker.  The consensus you'll find is that the maximum possible win rate at $1/2, for an elite poker pro, would likely be about $30 an hour.  The average "win" rate in the game is about -$15, based on the rake and typical dealer tips.

You admit freely you are not an experienced pro.  You are probably a winning player from the sounds of things, but realistically you cannot expect to make more than $10 or $15 an hour on average.  To do that, you are not just giving up time, you are also accepting financial risk.  You can read more on twoplustwo about how big your dedicated poker "bankroll" needs to be to finance this poker investment/job.  For complete confidence, figure it is about 30x what you bring to the table when you buy in -- so maybe about $6000 for your game.  Less if you were an established experienced player who knew for a fact he had a large expected win rate over time, but you're not.

The good news is that if you're a winning player, and you enjoy playing, it's great to have a hobby that earns you even $0.01/hr.  Most people spend money on their hobbies.

Just don't go in with an unrealistic idea of your win rate, especially if your sample size so far only includes one bad beat.

You asked for personal experience.  My experience was that poker was a great money-making hobby between 2002-2006, playing online.  I had spare time and needed spare money.  I played low stakes poker, with a bankroll of 20x what I brought to a table at any given time, and made steady profits.  I didn't get rich or anything, but was making a good hourly wage (say $25-$30/hr) doing something fun.  Why so much more than I said was possible above?  For one thing, games were super-soft back then, so the max possible average win rate per hand was higher.  The bigger factor though was that with online poker, you could easily play 300+ hands per hour, while in a live game you're more likely to play about 30.  In $0.50/1 NLHE, playing 4 tables at a time, I was making about $3 per 30 hands, which would equate to $6/hr at the live game you're considering.  My best night, I played for about 4 hours and made $1200.  My worst night, I lost several hundred.  The difference was not how I played.  It's a volatile game.

You've been warned, but if you decide this route is for you, do it more for the fun than the money, and read the small stakes live NL forum at twoplustwo poker before you take this road further.

Cwadda

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 11:53:44 AM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do. That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

Why?  If you gamble when you have the edge wouldn't that be very mustachian? With poker you are playing against other people, not the house.  As long as you make more from the other players than it cost you in rakes then you make money.   

I think poker belongs in a separate category from other casino games for that reason, and it can be very smart to gamble if you can make money at it.

This is true. Poker against other players is the #1 best probability pay-back game out there. This is followed by the house games:
-Video poker
-Blackjack [card counting + basic strategy]
-Blackjack [basic strategy]
-Craps

I've always found casino games somewhat intriguing but I don't have the time/money to put into them. I do know Blackjack basic strategy and rudimentary card counting, but that's about it (Blackjack's my favorite casino game).

I don't see the problem with supplementing your income with poker winnings. Just be really careful.

JGB

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2014, 11:57:50 AM »
It's still a game where you may have a hot streak one day and then have a cold streak the next day that wipes out your bankroll.  It is also highly addictive and has destroyed a lot of people's lives.
If you are doing it right, no cold streak could wipe out your bankroll, especially in a matter of days. Playing in a way that let's that happen is like throwing your entire stash into a random small company based on reading one article in favor of their business.

JCfire

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2014, 11:58:30 AM »
It's anti-Mustachian, because no matter what people say about strategy and the human element of poker, it is still a game of chance.  It's still a game where you may have a hot streak one day and then have a cold streak the next day that wipes out your bankroll.  It is also highly addictive and has destroyed a lot of people's lives.  Mustachians should be focused on "winning" all the time and that means not throwing your money away on games of chance.

I hope you don't have money in the stock market.  Isn't that also a "game" where you could be up one day, down another day?  How many people's lives have been destroyed by frittering their savings away in the stock market?  By daytrading, or having all their money in one stock?  Should mustachians be focused on "winning" all the time, even though that clearly rules out participating in volatile financial markets?

And riding your bike on the road.  That's a great hobby that can make your financial life easier if done safely, but no matter how skilled a cyclist you are, your life can be ruined by one bad driver.  Anti-mustachian because luck can turn an expected positive outcome into a catastrophic negative?

Winning poker is like investing in a way.  You don't put all your chips in one basket -- you "diversify" by having a bankroll that is very large relative to the amount that you bring to the table at any one time.

There are three big differences between poker and investing.  First, the average win rate is negative, and that is why 90% of people who play poker are making a financial mistake.  Second, the amount by which a skilled player is able to "beat the market" is huge, while in investing it's arguably zero, which is why the remaining 10% of players are not being anti-mustachian.  Third, investing gets easier with higher scale (lower fees as % of assets), while poker gets harder (tougher competition), so your investments grow exponentially while poker AT BEST earns you a linear income.

There are serious drawbacks to trying to earn money at poker, which I detailed in an earlier post, but it is silly to caricature it as anti-mustachian because of the fact that somebody who does it poorly and brings his whole life savings to the table will go broke.

Ohio Teacher

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2014, 12:02:23 PM »
I second JCFire.  I am also a member of the TwoPlusTwo poker forum, and win rates for various levels has been discussed extensively.  In your short time, you may have played a couple thousand hands.  To get a true idea of your win rate, you will need to play a couple HUNDRED THOUSAND hands.  You are definitely running hot as far as variance is concerned.

The good news is that you posted this thread here and not on TwoPlusTwo or any other poker forum, where you would've been flamed endlessly for thinking that a few sessions are anywhere near indicative of what you can expect for the long term.

frugalnacho

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2014, 12:03:05 PM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do. That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

Why?  If you gamble when you have the edge wouldn't that be very mustachian? With poker you are playing against other people, not the house.  As long as you make more from the other players than it cost you in rakes then you make money.   

I think poker belongs in a separate category from other casino games for that reason, and it can be very smart to gamble if you can make money at it.

It's anti-Mustachian, because no matter what people say about strategy and the human element of poker, it is still a game of chance.  It's still a game where you may have a hot streak one day and then have a cold streak the next day that wipes out your bankroll.  It is also highly addictive and has destroyed a lot of people's lives.  Mustachians should be focused on "winning" all the time and that means not throwing your money away on games of chance.

I disagree.  By that logic you should not put your money in the stock market.  Sure you have a positive expected return in the long run, but what if it goes on a bad streak and you lose 50% of your money? 

Poker is a game of math not chance.  Yes it is "chance" what cards will come up on any given hand, but that's why you only put yourself in situations where you have the advantage and the math on your side.  Mustachians should be using that math to their advantage, and if a certain situation offers them a +EV the mustachian thing to do would be to take that risk.   

frugalnacho

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2014, 12:06:02 PM »
Also you have a large enough bank roll to ride out the bad "streaks".  If you lose your entire bank roll on a bad "streak" you either

a.) did not have a large enough bank roll, or
b.) are not as good at poker as you think

It is very similar to the 4% SWR rule (and inherently having 25X+ your annual budget).  You have a large enough bank that even during an unlucky streak you don't lose it all, and have enough to recover.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2014, 12:21:59 PM »
Also you have a large enough bank roll to ride out the bad "streaks".  If you lose your entire bank roll on a bad "streak" you either

a.) did not have a large enough bank roll, or
b.) are not as good at poker as you think

It is very similar to the 4% SWR rule (and inherently having 25X+ your annual budget).  You have a large enough bank that even during an unlucky streak you don't lose it all, and have enough to recover.

Nice comparison. I agree.

defenestrate

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2014, 12:45:56 PM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do. That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

Even if you are great, there are real transaction costs--patience, you have to wait a very long time for good odd bashing hands, the rake, which is going to be pricey over time. My gut tells me that you will not find many people who consider their skill at poker a supplemental income. To do this right, it is a real profession, not a side gig. And if it goes pear shaped (and it will) well...your screwed. A side job for income should not be so risky.

Why?  If you gamble when you have the edge wouldn't that be very mustachian? With poker you are playing against other people, not the house.  As long as you make more from the other players than it cost you in rakes then you make money.   

I think poker belongs in a separate category from other casino games for that reason, and it can be very smart to gamble if you can make money at it.

It's anti-Mustachian, because no matter what people say about strategy and the human element of poker, it is still a game of chance.  It's still a game where you may have a hot streak one day and then have a cold streak the next day that wipes out your bankroll.  It is also highly addictive and has destroyed a lot of people's lives.  Mustachians should be focused on "winning" all the time and that means not throwing your money away on games of chance.

I disagree.  By that logic you should not put your money in the stock market.  Sure you have a positive expected return in the long run, but what if it goes on a bad streak and you lose 50% of your money? 

Poker is a game of math not chance.  Yes it is "chance" what cards will come up on any given hand, but that's why you only put yourself in situations where you have the advantage and the math on your side.  Mustachians should be using that math to their advantage, and if a certain situation offers them a +EV the mustachian thing to do would be to take that risk.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2014, 02:41:25 PM »
I've been playing regularly for a little over four years.  Started playing when I gave up drinking to have something to do.  I'm a winning player overall, but my winrate sucks.  Too often I spew chips or do not get full value.  I need to work on getting better.

This year, I was ready to give up poker.  I started off the year on a big losing streak.  Then that caused me, without knowing it, to start playing a littel looser and more passive. 

I had also made the decision to quit taking Adderall back in December.  I think that played a part in my losing too.  Anyway, by mid June I was actually down $3700 on the year.  I had never had a losing year before. 

I had some problems at my job and realized that the last six months things in my professional life and personal life had started becoming unstructured and disorganized.  So, I made the decision to get back on Adderall.

The last 6 weeks, I have started thinking more about poker, reading books, working on hands, overall studying.  I am also able to focus more at the table.  I'm playing with confidence now and am playing tighter and with a lot more aggression.  I've cut about 40% off of my losses so far in that short time, and that's even with two of my biggest all-time losing sessions mixed in. 

I need to keep working on my game.  My local market is shrinking in size and I don't think the games are as easy as they once were, but there is money to be made still.  I just need to keep getting better playing the players.  I've definitely become a lot better at switching strategies between sitting back in a loose, wild game.  Or ramping up my bluffing in tight games with old people.

I'm becoming better about leaving games that are bad for me and moving to games where my favorite targets are sitting.  I need to get better at leaving the casino if none of the games are good and identifying when my play and thinking start to slip.  I often stay too long and give up profit because I will start playing looser or more passively.  I will start trying to hit a big hand and will lose track of situations where I can easily steal a pot.

But it is a great game.  I enjoy sitting down and talking with people of different backgrounds throughout an evening.  This Sunday I was playing with an old guy who is a successful restauranteur and owned businesses in the college town where I went to school.  We ended up talking a lot.  I was able to tell that he is a big time gambler and loves the action, so I know I want to play with him again as he admits he normally loses most of the time at poker.  The only bad thing was he hit a 3-outer against me in a $900 pot.  LOL.  Beats no longer phase me.  My bankroll is big enough for my play so I was able to smile and congratulate him on his win.  I'm sure I'll get it back from him over time.

Crabricorn

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2014, 04:28:42 PM »
A more realistic win-rate over the long haul is 10bb per hour for a good winning player- this is pretty well established and understood within the poker community. This is over a very large sample of hands (hundreds of thousands). Yes, it is possible to turn $200 into $1300 in 30 minutes at 1/2 - I've done it - but it's not a realistic win rate over the long term. Neither is the $70 per hour mentioned earlier. $20 per hour would be a very nice win rate at 1/2 and you'd likely make more like 10-15 per hour - and you could certainly lose money.

You have to consider many factors - especially the rake and how that impacts your win rate. The goal should be to improve your skills as much as possible so that you can move up stakes where rake has less of an impact (but the players are much better so there is that). Get out of 1/2 asap and get to 2/5 with a goal of 5/10.

Poker can be a fabulous income supplement provided you have proper bankroll management, realistic expectations, work on your game constantly and avoid all pit games.

Should you do it? Maybe. If you have the will and enjoy the game (and have the time, finances, support of SO, etc), then sure.

I wouldn't count on online for any significant winnings as payouts are slow and uncertain. Live poker is the best option in most parts of the US (right now anyway).

Marko34

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2015, 09:22:00 PM »
I am a grad student, who plays poker as a PRIMARY source of income.  I don't mention it often on this Forum, though you are all great people and all, just like in the real world, many people make judgements at first and fully grasp that poker is a skill and edge based game. Though if you are into money management and investing, its very similar.

I've steadily won money for years, I have backed data that shows I am a winner.  It very much resembles a long term Stock Market graph, many ups and downs but the more volume you put in, the more steadily it climbs. 

I play almost entirely Live, a mix of 1-3 2-5 and 5-10 NLHE.  2-5 is my preferred level to limit variance.

This has been the first year I have stopped working to play poker solely for income and it has worked out well.  I have put in almost 650 hours so far this calendar year, with an overall winrate of around $59 per hour.  It honestly should be higher, but the casino I live closest to doesn't have 2-5 running every day of the week so my winrate drops playing 1-3.  I have made just under 35k so far in 2015.

If anyone ever wants to chat poker on MMM and make it feel like less of a taboo, I'm always down.

GL to anyone else who plays recreationally or more seriously!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 09:24:51 PM by Marko34 »

KittyFooFoo

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2015, 01:06:38 PM »
Poker occasionally comes up on these forums.  The inevitable "BUT POKER IS RANDUM" discussions are nauseating, and embarrassing for a board that supposedly understands that investing outcomes are unpredictable short-term but predictable long-term.

OP, it is possible to make money playing poker, but it is very hard and takes a tremendous amount of study, practice and play (including ~100k hands, or ~3000 hrs of live play to even construct a reasonable CI to determine IF you are a winning player, and a MILLION hands to for a CI on your winrate with a reasonable margin of error of like ~2bb/100).   Your results from 5 sessions are absolutely meaningless. 


dividendman

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2015, 01:33:53 PM »
I would just like to add, on top of results with < 100k hands are meaningless, that make sure you keep track of how you are doing.

1) Keep a spreadsheet of, at a minimum, session hours, and the amount you won/lost.
2) Keep your bankroll separate from your other funds.
3) Deduct any expenses you have in order to play in the amount won/lost (travel, food, etc)

Doing the above will make sure you don't trick yourself into thinking you're winning when you're not. A lot of people say they are great at poker or some other game, and when I ask for their records they have none. I have a spreadsheet. If you don't have at least this then you are a losing player - I guarantee it.

zurich78

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2015, 02:49:01 PM »
Any money used for poker should be considered throw away money.  As long as you approach it that way, you're fine.

SugarMountain

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2015, 04:38:13 PM »
Any money used for poker should be considered throw away money.  As long as you approach it that way, you're fine.

Why?  As has been pointed out, poker is a game of skill.  If someone truly is a winning player, they just need to be properly bankrolled for the limits they play.  The challenge is being good enough to beat limits that are high enough to not be destroyed by the rake.  I suspect I'll use poker as a side gig at some point. 

As others have also pointed out, online is tougher than live, at least for ring games.  Even towards the end of the golden years for online before the UIGEA, aka "Black Friday", it was getting a lot tougher.  There are several reasons for that:
- Tools like Poker Tracker and heads up display (basically shows you exactly how many hands your opponents play, allows data mining, etc)
- Collusion/cheating.  Sites try to keep this from happening, with mixed success.
- Good players at low limits doing massive multi-tabling, i.e. 4, 8, even 16+ tables at once. 
- Said players basically playing pretty close to mathematically optimally, i.e. they are not very exploitable. 
- Pain of depositing.  This got harder and harder as the years went on.  First, normal credit cards stopped working for most sites, then Netteller went away, then it all fell apart on black Friday.  Compare that to Vegas where you get tourists who go to Vegas with an expectation of losing $x over the course of a weekend so as long as they're having fun, they don't care.

That said, online was a great place to learn because you could play so many freaking hands.  I'm in a league where we play what is essentially a two table SNG once a month.  I used to play the equivalent of 5 years of league play in a few hours.  Plus, you could observe guys playing at ridiculous limits.  Nothing like watching Gus Hanson and Phil Ivey go at it with $100k+ pots playing Pot Limit Omaha. 

zurich78

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2015, 04:49:49 PM »
Any money used for poker should be considered throw away money.  As long as you approach it that way, you're fine.

Why?  As has been pointed out, poker is a game of skill.  If someone truly is a winning player, they just need to be properly bankrolled for the limits they play.  The challenge is being good enough to beat limits that are high enough to not be destroyed by the rake.  I suspect I'll use poker as a side gig at some point. 

As others have also pointed out, online is tougher than live, at least for ring games.  Even towards the end of the golden years for online before the UIGEA, aka "Black Friday", it was getting a lot tougher.  There are several reasons for that:
- Tools like Poker Tracker and heads up display (basically shows you exactly how many hands your opponents play, allows data mining, etc)
- Collusion/cheating.  Sites try to keep this from happening, with mixed success.
- Good players at low limits doing massive multi-tabling, i.e. 4, 8, even 16+ tables at once. 
- Said players basically playing pretty close to mathematically optimally, i.e. they are not very exploitable. 
- Pain of depositing.  This got harder and harder as the years went on.  First, normal credit cards stopped working for most sites, then Netteller went away, then it all fell apart on black Friday.  Compare that to Vegas where you get tourists who go to Vegas with an expectation of losing $x over the course of a weekend so as long as they're having fun, they don't care.

That said, online was a great place to learn because you could play so many freaking hands.  I'm in a league where we play what is essentially a two table SNG once a month.  I used to play the equivalent of 5 years of league play in a few hours.  Plus, you could observe guys playing at ridiculous limits.  Nothing like watching Gus Hanson and Phil Ivey go at it with $100k+ pots playing Pot Limit Omaha. 

Because the vast, vast, vast majority of people aren't good enough to play with money that puts their livelihood on the line.

Which opposes the reality that the vast, vast, vast majority of people think they're good enough to play with that kind of money on the line.

Even Gus Hanson and Phil Ivey don't play with money they aren't willing to lose.

hodedofome

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2015, 08:47:18 PM »

The general rule of thumb when playing as a career no limit is to have 100 buy ins as a reserve to handle streaks. In the case of $1$/2 NL, that would mean having a $20,000 bank roll strictly for poker. If you are doing this as a 'side job' You could probably knock that in half and set that aside as your funding.

I would caution you to make sure you are familiar with the game and are confident that you are playing efficient and mathematically sound. Don't drink when you are playing. Leave the table for a few minutes when you get frustrated. Don't play tired, don't feel sorry for other players. It is a serious job, so you need to treat it that way.

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JamesAt15

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2015, 04:51:54 AM »
Because the vast, vast, vast majority of people aren't good enough to play with money that puts their livelihood on the line.

Which opposes the reality that the vast, vast, vast majority of people think they're good enough to play with that kind of money on the line.

I think you just made the argument in favor of playing poker in a serious fashion as a money-making opportunity.

zurich78

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2015, 08:32:06 AM »
Because the vast, vast, vast majority of people aren't good enough to play with money that puts their livelihood on the line.

Which opposes the reality that the vast, vast, vast majority of people think they're good enough to play with that kind of money on the line.

I think you just made the argument in favor of playing poker in a serious fashion as a money-making opportunity.

How so?  The most likely scenario for most people is that they'll lose money or win a much smaller sum than if those hours were spent on a side gig.

That's why I said before, if you pursue this with money you can afford to lose, go for it.  But I wouldn't recommend putting your livelihood on the line playing poker.  Even the best pros in the world have gone bankrupt doing that.  Some have recovered and some haven't.

Ever heard of Gus Hansen?  Formerly one of the top pros.  He lost $5M in 2013, another $8M in 2014 and on Full Tilt alone he has lost $20M.  I believe there are reports he is now flat broke.

As long as you have the discipline to cap your losses (again, throwaway money), it can be a fun way to have a good time and maybe even make money while you're doing it.  But if you play it to make money, well, then you're not even playing the game right.

JamesAt15

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2015, 04:51:49 AM »
My apologies - I was interpreting that bit of your post to mean that the vast, vast majority of players who are playing for that kind of money on the line are not nearly good enough players to be playing for that level of money.

In other words, the games are good (i.e. there are plenty of opportunities for a skilled player with proper bankroll to expect to make money in these type of games).

Reading more closely, I see that wasn't your point at all and I mostly agree with your other points, so no further comment from me.

libertarian4321

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2015, 05:32:10 AM »
I clicked on this thread assuming it was a (bad) joke.

Then I realized some of you really think gambling is a good plan to supplement your income.

Hoo boy.

Have fun with that, kids.  Just don't blow the rent money, and don't be surprised when your lofty income projections fail to materialize...

zurich78

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2015, 08:56:44 AM »
My apologies - I was interpreting that bit of your post to mean that the vast, vast majority of players who are playing for that kind of money on the line are not nearly good enough players to be playing for that level of money.

In other words, the games are good (i.e. there are plenty of opportunities for a skilled player with proper bankroll to expect to make money in these type of games).

Reading more closely, I see that wasn't your point at all and I mostly agree with your other points, so no further comment from me.

No worries.  I think the key word there is bankroll and then having the discipline to stick to it.

From an investment analogy perspective, I'd say it is a lot like day trading stocks.  It can be done, though not consistently well by many people, but any "investment" that offers up sizable upside typically also has a significant floor.

arebelspy

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2015, 04:15:34 PM »
I clicked on this thread assuming it was a (bad) joke.

Then I realized some of you really think gambling is a good plan to supplement your income.

Hoo boy.

Have fun with that, kids.  Just don't blow the rent money, and don't be surprised when your lofty income projections fail to materialize...

Poker is the stock market investing of gambling.  There's certainly negative EV ways to do it, but there's also positive EV ways if you have discipline and strategy.

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Marko34

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2015, 04:43:53 PM »
I clicked on this thread assuming it was a (bad) joke.

Then I realized some of you really think gambling is a good plan to supplement your income.

Hoo boy.

Have fun with that, kids.  Just don't blow the rent money, and don't be surprised when your lofty income projections fail to materialize...

Poker is the stock market investing of gambling.  There's certainly negative EV ways to do it, but there's also positive EV ways if you have discipline and strategy.

This makes me laugh seeing how similar folks think about money on this blog but how something like poker shows who really understands it, and who is making snap judgements. I play for a living currently and would probably say only about 10% of random players are long term winners in the game. One of the reasons I got so into it was because of how fascinating it is and how many correlations you can draw from poker to other aspects of life. It takes TONS of hard work and practice. Leaks just like in life are your downfall in poker, plugging leaks just like we discuss when it comes to finances. Also there is tremendous mental strain. How many people can go to work and do everything correctly and actually leave having lost money for the day, because it happens to me quite often.  Long term though winning players win, that's the bottom line. The game has way less to do with luck and the cards you are dealt over a long term sample. I would also say there are many many solid life lessons you can learn from poker.

dsmexpat

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2015, 04:58:16 PM »
Gambling is just about the most anti-Mustachian thing a person can do. That said, I do game the hell out of CET and MGM's rewards programs to get free meals and nearly free vacations without doing any gambling.  If you get the Total Rewards credit card and join Social Rewards, you can easily rack up a ton of reward credits that can be used for free meals or hotel rooms at CET resorts.  Also, if you play MGM's My Vegas game on Facebook (which can easily be played for free), you can save up loyalty points good for free meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, and more.

If you need to feel the rush of gambling, but you want to save money risk-free for ER, I recommend trying that stuff out.

Why?  If you gamble when you have the edge wouldn't that be very mustachian? With poker you are playing against other people, not the house.  As long as you make more from the other players than it cost you in rakes then you make money.   

I think poker belongs in a separate category from other casino games for that reason, and it can be very smart to gamble if you can make money at it.

It's anti-Mustachian, because no matter what people say about strategy and the human element of poker, it is still a game of chance.  It's still a game where you may have a hot streak one day and then have a cold streak the next day that wipes out your bankroll.  It is also highly addictive and has destroyed a lot of people's lives.  Mustachians should be focused on "winning" all the time and that means not throwing your money away on games of chance.
This is not even slightly true. I don't call investing gambling just because some idiot may put all their retirement money in Radioshack stocks. There are indexing equivalents of poker if you are familiar with the maths behind it and practice strict emotional control and bankroll management. I played poker professionally for many years and never gambled once. That said, I ended up hating it because it's a fucking rough job. Do not recommend. The fun is in the gambling. Playing poker properly is just doing statistics while someone kicks you in the gut over and over.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2015, 05:53:20 PM »
I'm not a professional poker player and don't have a whole lot to add to this conversation.... But wanted to let any interested folks know that there is a really cool podcast by the mad fientist where he interviews someone who originally made money by playing professional poker, then used the money as a startup fund and started a business which was a poker training website, and now makes a living from other investments dealing with online businesses. It was a good podcast that mainly focused on Positive Estimated Value, or +EV, it seems a someone that was commenting on this post last year, JGB, may be the person who was interviewed by him? Anyways just thought I'd add this, sorry for the offish topic post.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2015, 06:36:57 PM »
I clicked on this thread assuming it was a (bad) joke.

Then I realized some of you really think gambling is a good plan to supplement your income.

Hoo boy.

Have fun with that, kids.  Just don't blow the rent money, and don't be surprised when your lofty income projections fail to materialize...

Pretty sure the people in here discussing poker as a good source for a secondary or primary income can easily whip out spreadsheets / databases containing years worth of data that shows they are, indeed, winning players.

I know I have 5 years worth of data that shows I am a winning player.  It's a side income for me and gives me something to do in my spare time (no wife or kids).  Though I should put in my work away from the tables to get my winrate up as my market isn't super soft.

I also need to give myself more time off from playing to keep from getting burnout.  I've been on a 6-week $3K downswing right now that's wiped out about 40% or so of my profit for the year.  I need to start taking notes on key hands to replay them and run simulations at home the next day.  I know during this run there have been so many sick beats it's been unbelievable (how many times can you flop a set and lose?  LOL).  But I know there has also been bad play, or spots where I could have made money had I run a bluff that I might not have run due to lack of confidence.

One thing I know about myself is, I will not quit my real job to play professionally.  But once I hit my minimum number for FI, I probably will retire and play 1200 hours a year or so at the 1-3 or 2-5 levels to pad my stash / allow for a slow increase in travel budget.  Poker will definitely be one of my streams of revenue.

dividendman

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2015, 09:34:35 PM »
I clicked on this thread assuming it was a (bad) joke.

Then I realized some of you really think gambling is a good plan to supplement your income.

Hoo boy.

Have fun with that, kids.  Just don't blow the rent money, and don't be surprised when your lofty income projections fail to materialize...

Pretty sure the people in here discussing poker as a good source for a secondary or primary income can easily whip out spreadsheets / databases containing years worth of data that shows they are, indeed, winning players.

I know I have 5 years worth of data that shows I am a winning player.  It's a side income for me and gives me something to do in my spare time (no wife or kids).  Though I should put in my work away from the tables to get my winrate up as my market isn't super soft.

I also need to give myself more time off from playing to keep from getting burnout.  I've been on a 6-week $3K downswing right now that's wiped out about 40% or so of my profit for the year.  I need to start taking notes on key hands to replay them and run simulations at home the next day.  I know during this run there have been so many sick beats it's been unbelievable (how many times can you flop a set and lose?  LOL).  But I know there has also been bad play, or spots where I could have made money had I run a bluff that I might not have run due to lack of confidence.

One thing I know about myself is, I will not quit my real job to play professionally.  But once I hit my minimum number for FI, I probably will retire and play 1200 hours a year or so at the 1-3 or 2-5 levels to pad my stash / allow for a slow increase in travel budget.  Poker will definitely be one of my streams of revenue.

3k downswing on a 2/5 NL table isn't much at all... on 1/2 it's a lot.

MikeBear

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2015, 12:10:11 AM »
Charlie Ergen, who started EchoStar and  Dish Network and has a present net worth of over $19 BILLION dollars started out by being a professional poker player! He used that gambling money in the early 1980's to buy a couple dishes, threw them into the back of a pickup truck, and drove around Colorado selling systems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Ergen

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/ceos/charles-ergen-net-worth/



Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Supplementing Income with Poker?
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2015, 07:56:41 AM »
I clicked on this thread assuming it was a (bad) joke.

Then I realized some of you really think gambling is a good plan to supplement your income.

Hoo boy.

Have fun with that, kids.  Just don't blow the rent money, and don't be surprised when your lofty income projections fail to materialize...

Pretty sure the people in here discussing poker as a good source for a secondary or primary income can easily whip out spreadsheets / databases containing years worth of data that shows they are, indeed, winning players.

I know I have 5 years worth of data that shows I am a winning player.  It's a side income for me and gives me something to do in my spare time (no wife or kids).  Though I should put in my work away from the tables to get my winrate up as my market isn't super soft.

I also need to give myself more time off from playing to keep from getting burnout.  I've been on a 6-week $3K downswing right now that's wiped out about 40% or so of my profit for the year.  I need to start taking notes on key hands to replay them and run simulations at home the next day.  I know during this run there have been so many sick beats it's been unbelievable (how many times can you flop a set and lose?  LOL).  But I know there has also been bad play, or spots where I could have made money had I run a bluff that I might not have run due to lack of confidence.

One thing I know about myself is, I will not quit my real job to play professionally.  But once I hit my minimum number for FI, I probably will retire and play 1200 hours a year or so at the 1-3 or 2-5 levels to pad my stash / allow for a slow increase in travel budget.  Poker will definitely be one of my streams of revenue.

3k downswing on a 2/5 NL table isn't much at all... on 1/2 it's a lot.

1/3.  Taking a couple of weeks off to recharge my batteries and just get this out of my head.  I can't do anything about the hands where I had AA vs 88 and we both flopped a set, but I lost to runner-runner flush or when I had AA vs QQ and my opponent rivered a Q. 

But during this time, I'm going to go back and read a few texts I like.  And then focus on playing in position, having good bet/raise sizes, not paying off, not bluffing in bad spots, floating in good spots, etc.

I think its been a combination of two things:  1)  run bad, and 2)  I had a 2.5 month stretch where I was killing it, so I probably got cocky and let some leaks into my game.