Author Topic: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!  (Read 3821 times)

MrCleanShaven

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*CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« on: January 20, 2018, 01:24:45 AM »
Hello Mustachians!

I posted this first in "Ask a Mustachian" but was told it would be better received in this forum so here we go!

I recently found this site and am blown away by the content. Actually to be honest it is overwhelming. I really don't even know where to start to get my life on track in the most efficient manner. So what I decided to do was ask this wonderful forum for some help and/or guidance! I am going to give you guys some details of where I am in life right now and see what you guys all think would be my best direction for my first few steps. I realize many on this forum seem to be wealthy or financially independent already and I hope to move in that direction. So with the risk of some embarrassment and ridicule here we go.....

I am 44 years old and single. I recently got out of a business that cost me the bulk of my life savings and wasted many years of my life. My current income will be approximately 30k in 2018. I play poker player in small stakes games to earn my living. I played a bunch before I owned the business and a small bit during the years of running the business but am back at it full time now. I average about $15/hr over a large sample size and should play about 2000 hours in 2018. I am also dabbling in a bigger stakes game where I believe my earn should be in the $25-$35 range with the potential to be higher but for my purposes here I am counting on a solid 30k earn playing the small stakes. I am currently straddled with about 20k in credit card debt. (from the business) and a medical collection ($2000) so my credit is not good sitting in the 620 range.

Credit card balances are as follows:

Chase Freedom $3600 @ 27%
Chase Slate $1500 @ 0%
Capital One $4500 @ 19%
Barclay $5000 @ 0%
Discover $4000 @ 19%
BestBuy $400 @ 0%
Total Rewards Visa $1500 @ 24%
American Express Blue is at ZERO balance

I just sold off an asset and now have $40,000 liquid. I also started a ROTH IRA in 2017 and funded $1500 and have it set up to do $50 a week in 2018.
I have about $2500 worth of Crypto Currency in Coinbase.


So let's begin!

Do I pay off all the credit cards and medical collection and start fresh?
Do I pay off the credit cards that have an interest rate in full and just pay the 0% ones over time? (medical is also not charging any int or penalties)

Is there a better way to put my $40,000 to work for me to make money while I start paying down the debt more aggressively?

I'd also like to know what should I do as far as bank accounts? Right now I have a Chase Total Checking account and that's it. I closed my Chase Savings because it was charging a monthly fee since I didn't have enough of a balance. Should I look to online banking that offers some interest? Should I play the bonus game jumping around to different accounts? I'd also like advice on doing an optimal credit card strategy? Which should I use for rewards programs, etc. and I see some people talking about ways to make $1500 a year or so playing the credit card bonus game.

My expenses are pretty cheap as I have a cell phone for about $100/mo and pay Mom $350/mo rent. $100/mo in gas for the car. My car is paid off but might be near the end of the line! A lot of home cooked meals compliments of Mom and plenty of free food at the casino keeps my expenses down. (I'm a poker player not a gambling degenerate...don't worry. I am a profitable player.)

I know this is a lot all at once gals and guys but I'm hoping for some solid feedback. I understand that much of the information I'm asking for is probably available on the forums but there is just so much and some might be outdated, etc. So thanks in advance to anyone that takes the time to look over my situation and can offer some advice. Feel free to leave any questions you may have and again Thank you!

MrCleanShaven

Llewellyn2006

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 02:55:38 AM »
If it was me I'd get rid of all the credit card debt - that will still leave about $20k to invest. As a bare minimum clear the ones with the horrendous interest rates. Personally I always assume that anything that offers a 0% interest rate has a catch in there somewhere so I don't trust them.

I'll let others give more specific advice about what to do with what's left over.

Imma

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 04:01:55 AM »
You absolutely need to get rid of the cards that have these insane interest percentages ASAP. It's up to you what you do with the 0% interest loans. Personally, I think that once you've paid off the high-interest loans, you should set apart $10k or so as an emergency fund in a savings account. In your situation, being basically self-employed and without a good credit score, I think 10k is the minimum I'd want in savings if I were you.

That leaves you with about $15k. At the age of 44, it seems you have very little saved up for retirement. This is a priority. Max out any tax advantaged accounts (I'm not American, I can't give you any advice about the details).

What are your plans for the future? You think you need to replace your car at some point - figure out what kind of car you need, take care to find the cheapest option that works for you, then save up that money so you have it ready when your car dies. As I think you need to travel to earn money, you need to be able to replace a vehicle at short notice.

Once you have your emergency account + vehicle replacement money saved up and your retirement accounts maxed out, it's time to start investing. Are you planning on living with your mother for the forseeable future or do you want to move out at some point? If living with her his not problematic for either of you, I'd recommend you staying there for now. Your bills are low which allows you to have a high savings rate and get into a good financial shape.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 06:16:13 AM »
You absolutely need to get rid of the cards that have these insane interest percentages ASAP. It's up to you what you do with the 0% interest loans. Personally, I think that once you've paid off the high-interest loans, you should set apart $10k or so as an emergency fund in a savings account. In your situation, being basically self-employed and without a good credit score, I think 10k is the minimum I'd want in savings if I were you.

That leaves you with about $15k. At the age of 44, it seems you have very little saved up for retirement. This is a priority. Max out any tax advantaged accounts (I'm not American, I can't give you any advice about the details).

What are your plans for the future? You think you need to replace your car at some point - figure out what kind of car you need, take care to find the cheapest option that works for you, then save up that money so you have it ready when your car dies. As I think you need to travel to earn money, you need to be able to replace a vehicle at short notice.

Once you have your emergency account + vehicle replacement money saved up and your retirement accounts maxed out, it's time to start investing. Are you planning on living with your mother for the forseeable future or do you want to move out at some point? If living with her his not problematic for either of you, I'd recommend you staying there for now. Your bills are low which allows you to have a high savings rate and get into a good financial shape.

Seconded.  Pretty simple.  You want higher-than-usual emergency fund since self-employed, variable income, and other risks (e.g. outlawing your source of income).  Pay off debts, then save. 

There's a ton of material elsewhere on these threads re: investments once you get to that. 

Clean Shaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 07:36:27 AM »
Hey, get your own user name...

zeli2033

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 07:38:33 AM »
I'll drop this here since it hasn't been included yet and it was the best thing someone shared with me on my case study as a starting point: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/investment-order/msg1333153/#msg1333153

Echoing everyone else's sentiments: Pay off the high interest debt first. Then save.

Lastly, not sure what phone options you've looked into but with Ting you should be able to drop your monthly payment from $100/month to ~$30/month depending on your usage. Works with smartphones and operates on major networks.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2018, 09:09:51 AM »
Sell the bit coin, for one. You can't afford speculation with those sorts of interest rates over your head.

Follow the investment order that Zeli linked. I'll just +1 what everyone else has said: pay off those CCs, get an emergency fund, have a car replacement fund.

$100 is a LOT per month for a cell phone. You should be able to get that down.

Finally: what is your plan for the future? Do you really intend to play poker for $15/hr forever? You are literally gambling your livelihood. And yes, poker is skill based so it's *less* pure chance than other gambling. But it is still, by definition, a gamble. Consider how far behind you are on financial stability, I would heavily encourage you to look for more conventional means of employment.

What are you doing for health insurance? Conventional employment should give you health benefits and retirement benefits in many cases. I encourage you to seek out a job like that.

Because we here in the case studies tend to be pretty direct with truths here: take this all as the emergency it is https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/ Get yourself sorted out, and soon, so you aren't taking advantage of your mother's hospitality.

LifeHappens

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 10:10:08 AM »
OP, you say you lost all your savings in a business failure, so I'll give you a bit of leeway with the thought you are going through something of a grief process right now. However, you are way behind financially. It looks to me like you would effectively be homeless if you weren't living on considerable generosity from your parent. If I were you, I would be doing everything within my power to get stable employment, pay my debts, and adequately compensate my parent for room and board. Whether you want to work toward your own residence is up to the two of you.

Your list of expenses leaves out a lot. Are you going without any sort of health insurance? Paying anything for groceries? Any other purchases like clothes and personal care items? Keep track of ALL your expenses - even $1 for chewing gum - for at least 6 months. Assuming you track your poker wins/losses, this should be simple for you. You need to get a realistic picture of your income and expenses ASAP, and find a way to earn more income.

actonyourown

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2018, 10:12:51 AM »
Poker player here. Can you tell us what stakes and games you are playing to earn those rates? I will give a full write up with more info

Meesh

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 12:25:07 PM »
I'm seconding a lot of what everyone is already saying.

You have 40k, but 20.5k in debts. Just pay them all off. Cancel all cards that you have to pay a fee to keep. Freeze the rest until you are better with your finances. No new cards this year. The bonus points are only worth it when you know to pay down your cards every month, and since you have 40k and haven't known to pay them off yet, I'm guessing you haven't learned that lesson yet. Also, new cards will lower your credit score at first. Wait for it to go back up after a few months of 0% debt ratio.

Sell your bitcoin. You now have 19.5k+ (since you are paying everything off). Figure out your monthly expenses. Times it by 6 months. That's your emergency fund. How much is left? Try to find a decent $5-7k used car get it checked by a mechanic and pay cash.

Anything cash left?

Have an HSA? Max that out. No? Look into one at the end of this year, and put any extra money in an IRA instead right now.

Next is IRA. You are using a Roth but in most cases a traditional is better. You loose the ability to grab the money but that's what an E fund is for. If you pay any kind of federal taxes than get a traditional IRA. Max this out. A 3 etf vanguard portfolio will beat 80% of active fund managers.

Also talk to your mother about the housing/ utils/ food situation. Check to see if she is ok with this it seems very low, but it's between the 2 of you to find a situation that you are both ok with.

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 02:21:30 PM »
Poker player here. Can you tell us what stakes and games you are playing to earn those rates? I will give a full write up with more info

Bulk of my play is at the 1/2 level where I have over 3000 hours of live play logged coming in at $15/hr. I have started mixing in 2/5 on Fri/Sat where so far over a small sample size I have earned about $40/hr. I will probably start adding in some tournaments this year. Really haven't played any tournaments in the past couple of years but have had success in the past.


Hey, get your own user name...

Sorry my friend! Great minds think alike!




Thanks for all the feedback so far! I got an offer from my bank (CHASE) to open a savings account with 15k and keep that balance for 90 days and I will get $200 so I set that up yesterday. My plan is to pay off all the CC with an interest rate immediately which will be about $13,600. From there I am going to set up monthly auto payments to clear the rest before they start to incur an APR. I am keeping a "poker bankroll" of $10,000 which I need to handle any potential downswings. I plan on maxing out contribution for 2017 into my Roth IRA in April which will take $4000. I will wait till April so I don't dip under the 15k balance requirement for the $200 bonus from CHASE. So this leaves me with 12k which 5k will be set aside for emergency fund while the other 7k will be used to pay down the 0% CC's and medical on a monthly basis.

I will look into the cell phone cost. I am currently with AT&T and using an IPHONE 7plus

As far as the car I think I will just drive it until it dies. It is an Acura which is a division of Honda and known to last. It does have 230,000 miles but despite a transmission vibration from time to time it runs fine. If the transmission goes I can always replace that for like 2k rather than take on another car debt. We shall see.

msheldon

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 03:28:39 PM »
Check out "cell phone service" at http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/mmm-recommends/ -- Republic Wireless may be a cheaper option for you than Google Fi. Both will require you to ditch the iPhone, but after an initial adjustment for the different user interface you'll find that these offer equivalent functionality to your current phone. The last time I checked, buying a refurbished phone that Google Fi supported gave me a 10-month payback compared to my previous phone plan.

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2018, 05:44:04 PM »
Check out "cell phone service" at http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/mmm-recommends/ -- Republic Wireless may be a cheaper option for you than Google Fi. Both will require you to ditch the iPhone, but after an initial adjustment for the different user interface you'll find that these offer equivalent functionality to your current phone. The last time I checked, buying a refurbished phone that Google Fi supported gave me a 10-month payback compared to my previous phone plan.

msheldon thanks for the feedback. I am currently on a finance deal for the IPHONE in my monthly payment so not sure how that all works. I'll take a look though.

actonyourown

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2018, 06:38:14 PM »
Poker player here. Can you tell us what stakes and games you are playing to earn those rates? I will give a full write up with more info

Bulk of my play is at the 1/2 level where I have over 3000 hours of live play logged coming in at $15/hr. I have started mixing in 2/5 on Fri/Sat where so far over a small sample size I have earned about $40/hr. I will probably start adding in some tournaments this year. Really haven't played any tournaments in the past couple of years but have had success in the past.


Hey, get your own user name...

Sorry my friend! Great minds think alike!




Thanks for all the feedback so far! I got an offer from my bank (CHASE) to open a savings account with 15k and keep that balance for 90 days and I will get $200 so I set that up yesterday. My plan is to pay off all the CC with an interest rate immediately which will be about $13,600. From there I am going to set up monthly auto payments to clear the rest before they start to incur an APR. I am keeping a "poker bankroll" of $10,000 which I need to handle any potential downswings. I plan on maxing out contribution for 2017 into my Roth IRA in April which will take $4000. I will wait till April so I don't dip under the 15k balance requirement for the $200 bonus from CHASE. So this leaves me with 12k which 5k will be set aside for emergency fund while the other 7k will be used to pay down the 0% CC's and medical on a monthly basis.

I will look into the cell phone cost. I am currently with AT&T and using an IPHONE 7plus

As far as the car I think I will just drive it until it dies. It is an Acura which is a division of Honda and known to last. It does have 230,000 miles but despite a transmission vibration from time to time it runs fine. If the transmission goes I can always replace that for like 2k rather than take on another car debt. We shall see.

You need to pay off all debts to keep your expenses as low as possible.  Your car is also an issue that you need to be prepared to handle. 

Bouncing your balances around is easy money, however, $200/$15,000 = 1.3% return for the 3 months and then you have to jump again to another account to make a couple hundred dollars more and the return only goes down unless you start doing multiples of these at any one time to make this worth it imo.

I have never made a living off of poker, but I understand a lot of the basics that must be mastered to make it successful.  You make $15/hour at $1/2 and $40/hour at $2/5.  This sounds really good for live games (well done).  The issue is that your bankroll is currently going to be a static number, so you need a solid margin when moving from the 1/2 to the 2/5 to handle the variation.  If you are going to continue this as your source of income (I really don't recommend it in your situation) then your bankroll needs to be self-sufficient and not to be used for emergencies or expenses.  I am thinking that you would want a minimum of 30 buy-ins to handle the variance.  So if you are at 1/2 - $6000 is manageable.  If you are playing 2/5 - $15,000 is above what you listed as your current bankroll of $10,000.  This means at 20 buy-ins you are possibly at risk of losing it all.  This is a brutal way to make a living, and swings like this are not uncommon. 
To me, the issue of looking at your hourly rate is that a lot of companies have recently come out stating that they will pay their employees a minimum of $15/hour, plus you would get benefits.  Many of these jobs require no special skills and would be monotonous, but ask yourself if winning and losing money just to get $15/hour is actually worth it when you can get the same amount week to week plus benefits (i.e. access to a 401K, HSA, etc)?  If you are going to play the 2/5 game (I only recommend this with a larger bankroll) then you could make the case that you make more per hour than what you would at a basic job.  I think you could get plenty of experience and extra money if you were to play poker on the side (couple evenings a week and weekends) plus a full-time job to get you in a better place and use poker as a side-hustle.  You could keep your skills relevant and not be dependent on winning constantly.
There are also other things to consider about the overall environment you are in.  Back in 2012-2013, I was winning a lot on weekends and evenings; best run I have ever had.  In the last few years, the bad players learned their lesson and left, and now everyone has knowledge of the best plays and it is more difficult to win.  Are you winning due to there being a lot of weak players at your casino or are you beating the better players?  If the player pool dries up, you might have to travel to other places in order to make money which increases your cost for the same returns.  Your player pool is the single largest variable outside of your control that you need to pay attention to.  If it is all solid players you are playing after the weak ones leave, then your bankroll size needs to increase to keep playing the same game!  We play 1/3 where I'm at which puts more money on the table than a 1/2 table and so we are less effected by the rake.
I'm not a tournament player myself, but this would follow a similar method of determining how often you win vs. how much you have put in to determine your pay off and therefore what size bankroll you might need.  You might find that the tournaments just don't cut it month-to-month during the grind.

Your current setup seems very short term.  You need to assess a few things especially at your age.  I don't expect responses to these, but they are just things to think about and consider.
1) How old is your mother and how is her health?  Is she financially stable to support you if you can't pay the $350/month?  Will you be willing or able to care for her if needed in the next year?  5 years?  10 years?
2) What are you current goals?  Are you avoiding business ventures or office work for now?  Do you have any skills to leverage that an employer is looking for and willing to pay a lot for?  These can be more lucrative than $15/hour, especially if you have any type of basic office work experience.
3) What is your health like?  Do you have health insurance available or will you need it in the next couple years?
4) Though you can eat cheaply at the casino, it is not health food.  There will be consequences for 12-15 hour sessions eating restaurant food 5 days a week.  Make sure you take care of your body as this is something that money cannot replace.

I feel like this all comes across as critical, which I am not being, just some friendly advice from someone in the cutoff :)

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2018, 01:48:06 AM »


You need to pay off all debts to keep your expenses as low as possible.  Your car is also an issue that you need to be prepared to handle. 

Bouncing your balances around is easy money, however, $200/$15,000 = 1.3% return for the 3 months and then you have to jump again to another account to make a couple hundred dollars more and the return only goes down unless you start doing multiples of these at any one time to make this worth it imo.

I have never made a living off of poker, but I understand a lot of the basics that must be mastered to make it successful.  You make $15/hour at $1/2 and $40/hour at $2/5.  This sounds really good for live games (well done).  The issue is that your bankroll is currently going to be a static number, so you need a solid margin when moving from the 1/2 to the 2/5 to handle the variation.  If you are going to continue this as your source of income (I really don't recommend it in your situation) then your bankroll needs to be self-sufficient and not to be used for emergencies or expenses.  I am thinking that you would want a minimum of 30 buy-ins to handle the variance.  So if you are at 1/2 - $6000 is manageable.  If you are playing 2/5 - $15,000 is above what you listed as your current bankroll of $10,000.  This means at 20 buy-ins you are possibly at risk of losing it all.  This is a brutal way to make a living, and swings like this are not uncommon. 
To me, the issue of looking at your hourly rate is that a lot of companies have recently come out stating that they will pay their employees a minimum of $15/hour, plus you would get benefits.  Many of these jobs require no special skills and would be monotonous, but ask yourself if winning and losing money just to get $15/hour is actually worth it when you can get the same amount week to week plus benefits (i.e. access to a 401K, HSA, etc)?  If you are going to play the 2/5 game (I only recommend this with a larger bankroll) then you could make the case that you make more per hour than what you would at a basic job.  I think you could get plenty of experience and extra money if you were to play poker on the side (couple evenings a week and weekends) plus a full-time job to get you in a better place and use poker as a side-hustle.  You could keep your skills relevant and not be dependent on winning constantly.
There are also other things to consider about the overall environment you are in.  Back in 2012-2013, I was winning a lot on weekends and evenings; best run I have ever had.  In the last few years, the bad players learned their lesson and left, and now everyone has knowledge of the best plays and it is more difficult to win.  Are you winning due to there being a lot of weak players at your casino or are you beating the better players?  If the player pool dries up, you might have to travel to other places in order to make money which increases your cost for the same returns.  Your player pool is the single largest variable outside of your control that you need to pay attention to.  If it is all solid players you are playing after the weak ones leave, then your bankroll size needs to increase to keep playing the same game!  We play 1/3 where I'm at which puts more money on the table than a 1/2 table and so we are less effected by the rake.
I'm not a tournament player myself, but this would follow a similar method of determining how often you win vs. how much you have put in to determine your pay off and therefore what size bankroll you might need.  You might find that the tournaments just don't cut it month-to-month during the grind.

Your current setup seems very short term.  You need to assess a few things especially at your age.  I don't expect responses to these, but they are just things to think about and consider.
1) How old is your mother and how is her health?  Is she financially stable to support you if you can't pay the $350/month?  Will you be willing or able to care for her if needed in the next year?  5 years?  10 years?
2) What are you current goals?  Are you avoiding business ventures or office work for now?  Do you have any skills to leverage that an employer is looking for and willing to pay a lot for?  These can be more lucrative than $15/hour, especially if you have any type of basic office work experience.
3) What is your health like?  Do you have health insurance available or will you need it in the next couple years?
4) Though you can eat cheaply at the casino, it is not health food.  There will be consequences for 12-15 hour sessions eating restaurant food 5 days a week.  Make sure you take care of your body as this is something that money cannot replace.

I feel like this all comes across as critical, which I am not being, just some friendly advice from someone in the cutoff :)

Thanks man and I am very welcome to "critical" advice as that's why I am here.

I agree with many of your points. As far as proper bankroll for the different stakes game I agree wholeheartedly as that is why at this point I am only adding in the 2/5 games on the weekends when the games on average are softer. During the week when you will see more regulars I still play the 1/2 games which I have beaten over a large sample size. Last year I only had 1 losing month and it was a loss of less than $300 but I do understand the swings that can occur.

In regards to Mom she is awesome and I had to force the $350 a month on her which covers the cost of the COMCAST bundle which I am sure the mustachian nation will help me with as well! She would let me live here free but of course I won't do that to her. I moved back in when my father passed a few years ago.

In regards to future plans I am just not 100% sure what I want to do at this point. I enjoy the freedom that poker gives me. I am able to spend a lot of time with family and attend all my nephews sporting events. I travel to Las Vegas 3-4 times a year for poker trips, etc. That being said I will keep my eyes and ears open and if an employment opportunity arises that makes sense I will strongly consider it.

Your right in that poker tournaments the variance is HUGE and there is no way I would be a tournament player full time. In cash games I walk away a winner in approximately 65% of the sessions I play whereas the best tournament players in the world only cash in about 20% of the tournaments they enter. That would not be good psychologically or for the bankroll. I will take a shot at some local events and I usually sell off some of the action to friends to lower the variance.

Agree the game of poker is harder to beat than it was even just 5 years ago. I enjoy the social aspect of playing and the game theory behind winning strategies. I know guys making upwards of $25/hr at 1/2 and $50/hr at 2/5. So I will continue to study to improve my skill level and hope to increase my winrate.

Anyways I'm starting to ramble.....thanks for taking the time to take a look at my situation and I will put thought to all the comments and advice given. I hope to learn as much as possible and be able to give back to this community!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2018, 09:41:28 AM »
You shouldn't "keep your eyes open" for employment. You need to seek it out. You're letting life "happen" to you. Complacency like that is how you end up miserable and trapped. Think about your goals, make a plan, and work towards them.

Nick_Miller

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2018, 09:49:25 AM »
Same age here! I don't know much about poker, although I have a Phil Hellmuth book in my library somewhere.

All I will say is, being single, why can't you land at least a PT job and then continue your FT poker playing on top of it? I know you like the free time you have now, but an extra $1,000 per month from a PT job (20-25 hours per week) would really change your entire situation. You need more savings, and at our ages, there's no time to wait. And being single, with no kids, damn you have more free time than do most of us.

What times do you usually play? Nights, when the looser players show up? (I'd guess it would be really hard to make decent money grinding against tight retirees on afternoons, but I could be wrong)

Regardless, I'd suggest that you find some time when you rarely play, and try to find a PT job that would work with your schedule.

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2018, 03:17:06 PM »
Same age here! I don't know much about poker, although I have a Phil Hellmuth book in my library somewhere.

All I will say is, being single, why can't you land at least a PT job and then continue your FT poker playing on top of it? I know you like the free time you have now, but an extra $1,000 per month from a PT job (20-25 hours per week) would really change your entire situation. You need more savings, and at our ages, there's no time to wait. And being single, with no kids, damn you have more free time than do most of us.

What times do you usually play? Nights, when the looser players show up? (I'd guess it would be really hard to make decent money grinding against tight retirees on afternoons, but I could be wrong)

Regardless, I'd suggest that you find some time when you rarely play, and try to find a PT job that would work with your schedule.

Yes I generally play from 4pm-midnight when the games are a bit softer. If the game is really good I will keep playing as long as I can. I will put some thought into the suggestion I just wonder if it will be worth it. I feel by adding in part time higher stakes poker my hourly should move to over $20/hr this year and I'm not so sure I could match that in a job. Maybe I just completely underrate my earning potential in the workforce. Perhaps I should just plan on adding an extra 2 hours a day to my poker play. I could easily play 50 hours a week instead of 40.

**A Phil Hellmuth book should be used for entertainment purposes only (LOL)**




harvestbook

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2018, 05:20:02 PM »
It seems like your entire "plan" is built on gambling, from credit card rates to poker to crypto (which has probably lost a couple hundred bucks since you posted.) I'm not sure how or if you pay taxes, but self-employment tax of 15.3 percent puts your hourly wage at $12.70 even before income taxes. I assume you're reporting something since you have to earn income to put money in a Roth. Even with low income, you might be better off getting more cash in hand with a traditional IRA while you build up savings.

I'm not sure how "gambling more" moves you closer to financial independence. Is this where you want to be in 20 years?

middleclasswhitetrash

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2018, 02:54:06 PM »
I have been playing poker as a side hustle(if you can call it that) for 8-10 years now. I am very, very, very familiar with all the variance, burn-out, stress, etc. that comes along with the game. I strongly agree with getting a part-time job. If you live in an area with enough casinos I would look into being a part-time dealer. You already know the ins-and-outs of the game, are used to sitting at a poker table for extended periods, etc. Plus, this job will help contribute to keeping you sharp for your full time job as you will constantly be around the game and will learn many new things from other players (good and bad). I know several players who started with this same approach until their BR was big enough to move up stakes to make playing 30-40 hours a week worthwhile enough to dump dealing. I used to watch Trooper97's vlog on youtube quite a bit to get an idea of this approach as he basically moved to LV to do this same thing and has done so for a while now. I haven't watched in a while though so I am not completely up to date on the present.

marty998

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 06:58:36 PM »
What did you learn from your experience as a business owner and if you were to take that path again, what would you do differently?

Have you analysed the situation? Critically and dispassionately? (understand if it is still a traumatic experience).

If faced with similar circumstances if you had a business in future, what in your business plan would you change?

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2018, 03:44:05 AM »
I have been playing poker as a side hustle(if you can call it that) for 8-10 years now. I am very, very, very familiar with all the variance, burn-out, stress, etc. that comes along with the game. I strongly agree with getting a part-time job. If you live in an area with enough casinos I would look into being a part-time dealer. You already know the ins-and-outs of the game, are used to sitting at a poker table for extended periods, etc. Plus, this job will help contribute to keeping you sharp for your full time job as you will constantly be around the game and will learn many new things from other players (good and bad). I know several players who started with this same approach until their BR was big enough to move up stakes to make playing 30-40 hours a week worthwhile enough to dump dealing. I used to watch Trooper97's vlog on youtube quite a bit to get an idea of this approach as he basically moved to LV to do this same thing and has done so for a while now. I haven't watched in a while though so I am not completely up to date on the present.

Thanks for the response. I actually played with Tropper97 before I had ever heard of him. After he left the game someone else told me about him and then I started watching his VLOG. It's entertaining but I'm not sure if he's a winning player. If you want to watch some other vlogs I recommend checking out Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme both of whom live in Vegas and play for a living. They add an element of entertainment to their vlogs but also more strategy content and they are definitely winning players. I'm heading to Vegas next week maybe I'll run into him again!

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2018, 03:52:49 AM »
What did you learn from your experience as a business owner and if you were to take that path again, what would you do differently?

Have you analysed the situation? Critically and dispassionately? (understand if it is still a traumatic experience).

If faced with similar circumstances if you had a business in future, what in your business plan would you change?

If I were to take that path again I wouldn't involve partners.

Laura33

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2018, 08:51:11 AM »
So, I know nothing whatsoever about playing poker for a living, and others have already addressed your specific question very well.  So I will go big-picture:  do you see your current situation as a temporary one, or is this what you want for the next @30 years?  Because what I see from your numbers is that you are setting yourself up to live like this for the rest of your life.  Is that what you want?  (This is a real question, not a snarky one)

My favorite place to start is this:  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/.  If you want financial independence, the time it will take you to get there is directly related to your savings rate.  The problem is that you don't have a good handle on what your "real" expenses are, because your mother is subsidizing so many of them.  It sounds like you are planning to live with her long-term, as company and assistance since your dad has passed.  But at some point, she is going to be gone as well, so what is the plan then?  Stay in the house?  You need to know what that will cost.  Sell and rent?  You need to plan to add rent and utilities and insurance and food and all of that to your budget.  Right now, you have a really cheap deal, but that isn't permanent.  So work up an estimate of what you will really need as a budget long-term -- see if your mom will include you in the household budgeting, so you can see what maintaining the house really costs; track your own expenses religiously. 

Once you do that for a few months, you will have the real story of what it will actually cost to maintain your current lifestyle in perpetuity.  Then plug your numbers into the shockingly simple math (pretend that what you are really saving is only the delta between those "real" expenses and your actual income from playing poker) -- it's not exact, because you are actually saving more than that each year, but that will at least approximate how long you will really have to continue doing what you're doing to reach FI.  Or another way to look at it is to multiply your annual "real" lifestyle costs by 25:  that is the amount you would need to have in your 'stache to no longer need to earn money.  You can use a savings calculator to figure out how long it will take to hit that number (in current dollars) at your current savings rate.

This will likely tell you that you will need to work into your 70s to reach FI, given your age, assets, and income.  So, again, is that what you want?  This is where your current path will take you.  So if that is what you want, then good for you -- sell the bitcoin, get the debt paid off, keep your EF and bankroll flush, and plug away.  But if not, then this is the time to do something different -- get a day job,* find a way to raise your income so you can sock more away and reach FI earlier.  Because the longer you stay in a temporary situation, the more you turn it into a permanent one.

*I note from your postings that you seem to get the best results on nights and weekends, when the competition is softer.  So why not use your unprofitable daytime hours to do another job and bring in a bunch more cash?  Yes, it's great having time to go to all of your nephew's events, so again, if that's your priority, keep doing what you're doing.  Just do it with the full knowledge of what that choice means for your finances in 10 or 20 years.

middleclasswhitetrash

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2018, 09:36:31 AM »
I have been playing poker as a side hustle(if you can call it that) for 8-10 years now. I am very, very, very familiar with all the variance, burn-out, stress, etc. that comes along with the game. I strongly agree with getting a part-time job. If you live in an area with enough casinos I would look into being a part-time dealer. You already know the ins-and-outs of the game, are used to sitting at a poker table for extended periods, etc. Plus, this job will help contribute to keeping you sharp for your full time job as you will constantly be around the game and will learn many new things from other players (good and bad). I know several players who started with this same approach until their BR was big enough to move up stakes to make playing 30-40 hours a week worthwhile enough to dump dealing. I used to watch Trooper97's vlog on youtube quite a bit to get an idea of this approach as he basically moved to LV to do this same thing and has done so for a while now. I haven't watched in a while though so I am not completely up to date on the present.

Thanks for the response. I actually played with Tropper97 before I had ever heard of him. After he left the game someone else told me about him and then I started watching his VLOG. It's entertaining but I'm not sure if he's a winning player. If you want to watch some other vlogs I recommend checking out Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme both of whom live in Vegas and play for a living. They add an element of entertainment to their vlogs but also more strategy content and they are definitely winning players. I'm heading to Vegas next week maybe I'll run into him again!


I only mentioned Trooper because of the dealing/playing standpoint. I watched his videos only for pure entertainment. I remember when Andrew first started his vlog and had only two videos up. I love Andrew's videos. Brad is OK but much, much more boring and slow in my opinion.

MrCleanShaven

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Re: *CASE STUDY Clean shaven but hoping to grow some whiskers!
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2018, 02:24:18 PM »
So, I know nothing whatsoever about playing poker for a living, and others have already addressed your specific question very well.  So I will go big-picture:  do you see your current situation as a temporary one, or is this what you want for the next @30 years?  Because what I see from your numbers is that you are setting yourself up to live like this for the rest of your life.  Is that what you want?  (This is a real question, not a snarky one)

My favorite place to start is this:  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/.  If you want financial independence, the time it will take you to get there is directly related to your savings rate.  The problem is that you don't have a good handle on what your "real" expenses are, because your mother is subsidizing so many of them.  It sounds like you are planning to live with her long-term, as company and assistance since your dad has passed.  But at some point, she is going to be gone as well, so what is the plan then?  Stay in the house?  You need to know what that will cost.  Sell and rent?  You need to plan to add rent and utilities and insurance and food and all of that to your budget.  Right now, you have a really cheap deal, but that isn't permanent.  So work up an estimate of what you will really need as a budget long-term -- see if your mom will include you in the household budgeting, so you can see what maintaining the house really costs; track your own expenses religiously. 

Once you do that for a few months, you will have the real story of what it will actually cost to maintain your current lifestyle in perpetuity.  Then plug your numbers into the shockingly simple math (pretend that what you are really saving is only the delta between those "real" expenses and your actual income from playing poker) -- it's not exact, because you are actually saving more than that each year, but that will at least approximate how long you will really have to continue doing what you're doing to reach FI.  Or another way to look at it is to multiply your annual "real" lifestyle costs by 25:  that is the amount you would need to have in your 'stache to no longer need to earn money.  You can use a savings calculator to figure out how long it will take to hit that number (in current dollars) at your current savings rate.

This will likely tell you that you will need to work into your 70s to reach FI, given your age, assets, and income.  So, again, is that what you want?  This is where your current path will take you.  So if that is what you want, then good for you -- sell the bitcoin, get the debt paid off, keep your EF and bankroll flush, and plug away.  But if not, then this is the time to do something different -- get a day job,* find a way to raise your income so you can sock more away and reach FI earlier.  Because the longer you stay in a temporary situation, the more you turn it into a permanent one.

*I note from your postings that you seem to get the best results on nights and weekends, when the competition is softer.  So why not use your unprofitable daytime hours to do another job and bring in a bunch more cash?  Yes, it's great having time to go to all of your nephew's events, so again, if that's your priority, keep doing what you're doing.  Just do it with the full knowledge of what that choice means for your finances in 10 or 20 years.

Thanks Laura...some good stuff in there!