Author Topic: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?  (Read 3440 times)

FIREin2018?

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Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:37:30 AM »
i'm in my mid 40's, single, no kids. House paid off.
401/ira/Roth = $500k
after tax $ = $150k

i dont particularly enjoy my easy $100k/yr job. ( i only work like 4hrs a day.)

i like playing poker at the casino.
i've kept  a log of my play.
in the past 2 years (1000 hrs total), i averaged $10/yr playing poker.

my expenses are $2k/month aka $24k/yr.

$10/hr = $20k/yr.
with my savings, i can last till age 59 1/2 to access my retirement funds w/o penalty.

Convince me to pull the trigger.
or convince me to stay a whore for the 6 figures. :o

Side note: whats the emoticon for Shocked?

edit:
$1/$2 no limit poker
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 10:56:40 AM by FIREin2018? »

Eric

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 09:56:08 AM »
You're going to play poker for 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year?  Don't you think that will get old pretty quickly?  Also, that's a lot of sitting.  Is your body going to hate you for being so sedentary after a while?

des999

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 10:24:55 AM »
I played online poker for about 4 years as a side hustle, and many times thought about doing it for a living (before kids).  I have a few thoughts that may help.

Live poker takes forever, not sure where you live, but have you ever thought about mixing in some online poker?

Playing for a side gig/fun vs playing when you need the money is a lot different.  It can lead to more tilt, and more stress when you hit a down swing (which will happen no matter how good you are).  2 years is not very long considering live poker.  I logged almost 750k hands online, so I saw lots of swings.  They are not easy to handle, and 'needing' the money vs enjoying the extra money is much different.

That being said, your expenses are low, you have a lot of money saved up, I would be tempted.  I would probably want to move to Vegas to do it.  It is hard to make money online with the amount of rake most of these casinos charge. 

I agree with other poster, playing 40 hrs a week, every week is not fun, and may take the enjoyment out of it.

I guess that is why we all strive to be FI, so we can try new things and have that freedom, more power to you.  If you are making 100k I'd assume you can get another job that can more than cover your expenses if things don't go well.

Gondolin

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 10:26:02 AM »
1000 hrs? How many hands does that translate to? Most advice I see on poker forums is that you can't even analyze your profitability until 50,000 or 100,000 hands. What's your BB/100? Are you planning to play online or live? What formats and tourney structures have you had success in?

FIREin2018?

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 10:58:01 AM »
$1/$2 no limit

just sit there and fold till i get premium hands or flop a set.
food comps = $1.25/hr

Nick_Miller

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 11:42:04 AM »
So you have $650K and a paid off house? What's the house worth?

Even with just your Stache, with a 3.5% withdraw, you're at $22,750, which is pretty much your expenses. Is your house expensive enough to where you would be downsizing and having some equity to add to your Stache?

I mean, you're pretty close to FIRE, aren't you?

I might be tempted to work for another year to 18 months and try to add another $75K or more to your Stache, and just FIRE so that you can play poker for fun and not have to use it as a full-time job.

I do think grinding it out playing super conservatively would sap every bit of joy from it, but maybe you'd still love it.

nereo

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 12:39:11 PM »
So you have $650K and a paid off house? What's the house worth?
...
I mean, you're pretty close to FIRE, aren't you?

Pretty close to my analysis.  $650k in investments, 4% WR = $26k.
Your expenses are listed at $24k/year (or 3.7% WR).

Congratulations, you can FIRE today, regardless of future poker playing or any other income.

Specifically regarding poker, I'll echo Eric's worries that sitting for that long is really bad for you physically, and feeling like you need to do something (e.g. a necessary income stream) is much different from doing it because you enjoy it.  Keep playing if that's what floats your boat but put a firm cap on how much you play and how much you can spend each month (budget!).
And of course be mindful that poker playing doesn't become an addiction.

Should you work a bit longer?  Well right now you'll need to use pipeline and 72 strategies to access those tax-advantaged accounts tax-free... which is doable but requires a bit more work.  With ~6x expenses in your taxable accounts you can set up a 5 year pipeline the year after you quit your job and be golden, assuming there isn't a big market pull-back.  For that reason alone (a possible market pull-back) I'd consider saving up an additional year's spending and hold it in cash to start your pipeline.  With your salary that's probably just 3-4 months away.

honeybbq

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 01:05:28 PM »
I had a friend contemplate quitting his 6 figure job to do this.

However, he was making 250k+/yr playing poker before they shut down the offshore accounts.

I'd get better at poker or find a different plan.


slowplod

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 01:22:52 PM »
I played online poker for about 4 years as a side hustle, and many times thought about doing it for a living (before kids).  I have a few thoughts that may help.

Live poker takes forever, not sure where you live, but have you ever thought about mixing in some online poker?

Playing for a side gig/fun vs playing when you need the money is a lot different.  It can lead to more tilt, and more stress when you hit a down swing (which will happen no matter how good you are).  2 years is not very long considering live poker.  I logged almost 750k hands online, so I saw lots of swings.  They are not easy to handle, and 'needing' the money vs enjoying the extra money is much different.

That being said, your expenses are low, you have a lot of money saved up, I would be tempted.  I would probably want to move to Vegas to do it.  It is hard to make money online with the amount of rake most of these casinos charge. 

I agree with other poster, playing 40 hrs a week, every week is not fun, and may take the enjoyment out of it.

I guess that is why we all strive to be FI, so we can try new things and have that freedom, more power to you.  If you are making 100k I'd assume you can get another job that can more than cover your expenses if things don't go well.

Agree with everything here.  I also played online semi-professionally before Bush banned it in the US.  It gets stressful and old when you rely on the money, and as Des pointed out, you haven't played enough hands to really see a big swing in variance.  Play enough poker and you'll lose all your money in a set-over-set situation, then lose your all in preflop AA to KK next buy in, then lose your all in with AA to AKo on your next preflop push, etc. etc.

It's fun to play, but going pro is a trial in patience and bankroll management. 

Finallyunderstand

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 01:53:15 PM »
similar to some above, I used to play online and was right at $20/hr profit rate.

Never once did I think of doing it full time.  For those rare days of rainy weather and slow periods at work I would play 4-6 hours and almost every time at the end of it I would think to myself, "how can people do this for a living" regardless if I was up hundreds or down hundreds of $.  Such a sedentary lifestyle staring at people you don't know in a smoky casino serving greasy food cannot end well.

Plus you work so little to make $100k.  Why not keep doing that and play poker on the side more often. 

Scortius

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 04:24:56 PM »
I did this a decade ago. The job I quit paid less and I was able to bring in a bit more though.  I also played online. It worked and it didn't. Poker stopped being 'fun' in a sense, but I did get a lot better and enjoyed the growth. I never made a huge amount, but I was able to pull in about what I expected to. One thing to think about, it's not a simple change to go from a single session per week to playing every day. Similarly, it's not the same playing for fun money as it is playing for salary. What worked in the end was setting very specific goals. 4 hours of study on 2+2 per day, 2,000 hands played minimum per day. In-depth review of 3 of my most interesting hands every day. Those goals helped me focus on playing well while keeping me from over analyzing my short-term results. Once I quit full-time play to go back to grad school poker became a lot more fun again (until I became too busy to play seriously anymore).

sokoloff

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 05:02:36 PM »
If you want to pursue this, if you play a variety of games well, and you play well short-handed, look into being a prop player.

Alternatively (or in addition), you can pick up some shifts dealing without much training.

For me, I'm a small advantage player (I can beat the rake plus a little bit at the typical Vegas 1/2, 2/4, 2/5 NLHE game). I wouldn't want to have it to do it to make a living; it's too much of a grind, and trying to make a living at it makes it too much like preying on the terrible players who flock to the games for my taste.

Road2Freedom

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2018, 05:04:22 PM »
Can you go back to your job, or something similar, if you took 6 months to a year off to try it out?  Agree that it would be a grind, but would also hope you're good enough to move up to at least 2/5 or higher so your win rate equals a higher hourly.  That way you're playing maybe 20-30 hours a week, at most.

Always wanted to try it myself but not in a situation to do so.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 05:07:34 PM »
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/*case-study-clean-shaven-but-hoping-to-grow-some-whiskers!/msg1868059/#new

nereo

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2018, 05:27:01 PM »
Respectfully, i think were getting sidetracked with the poker aspect.

To me the first part of the subject seems pretty straightfowrard:  [Can I] quit 6 figure job?
Yes - given OPs expenses and investments.

Everything after that is just lifestyle choices.  Good points made... but lets not lose sight of the fact that OPs FI (or very, very close) but almost any measure typically used here.

slowplod

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 11:41:03 AM »
Respectfully, i think were getting sidetracked with the poker aspect.

To me the first part of the subject seems pretty straightfowrard:  [Can I] quit 6 figure job?
Yes - given OPs expenses and investments.


The question was very explicitly asking if it was a good idea to pursue poker full time to live off of $20k per year in poker earnings.  Others pointed out that OP could already be FIRE'd, but that wasn't the question being asked.  Myself and others who have played a lot of poker pointed out the flaws with trying to execute this strategy. 

iris lily

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2018, 02:11:24 PM »
...
 Such a sedentary lifestyle staring at people you don't know in a smoky casino serving greasy food cannot end well...


But arent there hookers and blow? Or are those just stories of high rollers.

MrMoogle

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2018, 11:36:14 AM »
Respectfully, i think were getting sidetracked with the poker aspect.

To me the first part of the subject seems pretty straightfowrard:  [Can I] quit 6 figure job?
Yes - given OPs expenses and investments.


The question was very explicitly asking if it was a good idea to pursue poker full time to live off of $20k per year in poker earnings.  Others pointed out that OP could already be FIRE'd, but that wasn't the question being asked.  Myself and others who have played a lot of poker pointed out the flaws with trying to execute this strategy.

Well, it is definitely worth pointing out he has more options.  One such option is FIRE, and play 10 hours/week = $5k/year in extra cash, which really isn't needed.  Another option is to FIRE and play 80 hours/week until you learn you don't enjoy it, then do something else.  Another option is to FIRE and play 80 hours/week until you learn you really enjoy it, then keep doing it. 

Figuring out you don't enjoy putting in 40 hours/week at poker after a year is not a failure.  You're already a success because you don't really need the money, even if you're like me and would like a bigger safety margin. 

If this is your dream, do it.  For me, this would be more of a fantasy, but I don't have the time/experience to have the idea I might be able to make money.  Know the difference.

nereo

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Re: Quit 6 figure job to be a professional poker player @ $10/hr?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2018, 11:53:48 AM »
Respectfully, i think were getting sidetracked with the poker aspect.

To me the first part of the subject seems pretty straightfowrard:  [Can I] quit 6 figure job?
Yes - given OPs expenses and investments.


The question was very explicitly asking if it was a good idea to pursue poker full time to live off of $20k per year in poker earnings.  Others pointed out that OP could already be FIRE'd, but that wasn't the question being asked.  Myself and others who have played a lot of poker pointed out the flaws with trying to execute this strategy.

Well, it is definitely worth pointing out he has more options.  One such option is FIRE, and play 10 hours/week = $5k/year in extra cash, which really isn't needed.  Another option is to FIRE and play 80 hours/week until you learn you don't enjoy it, then do something else.  Another option is to FIRE and play 80 hours/week until you learn you really enjoy it, then keep doing it. 

Figuring out you don't enjoy putting in 40 hours/week at poker after a year is not a failure.  You're already a success because you don't really need the money, even if you're like me and would like a bigger safety margin. 

If this is your dream, do it.  For me, this would be more of a fantasy, but I don't have the time/experience to have the idea I might be able to make money.  Know the difference.
Of course... and that was my whole point.  Parsing out the OP's question, it's really a two-part question.  Part I is  "can I quit my job" while part II is about being a pro-poker player at ~$10/hr.  I'm not quibbling with any of the good advice about the poker part - I'm just pointing out that the OP is already FI so whatever the OP does after quitting his/her job is fine... even if s/he doesn't earn any money at all.