Thursday, January 21, 2010

Poker Strategy

I'll be the first to admit that poker probably isn't a good place to try to make money for most people. I gave it a shot but so have millions of others around the world. So, why would I be talking about poker in a personal financial blog??

I have two reasons. The first, is because I'm pretty happy with myself for the system that I came up with. The second is, it leads up to an interesting budgeting problem that I wanted to talk about. I thought about getting it all done in one posting, but then I thought "what's the hurry?".

Before you get all concerned about me here, poker isn't part of any long term financial plan of mine. It's just a hobby that I enjoy to do and I budget $60/month to play. So it's not like I can't pay the mortgage if I lose a lot in a month. For some people that could happen because they have an addiction. Clearly I'd advise them not to play.

I consider my poker money a sunk cost. That's a big economic word for money that can't be recovered once spent. So as I put the money on the poker table I count it gone. Any winnings then are free money. In the past that generally meant that I went out for lunch or bought a video game or something.

Probably not the most practical money management, but it's the way the human mind works. At least mine! It would certainly take at least some of the joy out of winning, if the money went towards groceries or Visa payments. We had those bills covered beforehand anyways. Otherwise the gambling would be irresponsible win or lose.

At the end of last year I won two fairly large tournaments. Large for me anyway. I spent the winnings from the first on a bunch of video games for my PS3. Then a month later I won another tournament. This time I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. So I hung onto it.

That's when I came up with the idea to save up my winnings. The winnings can then accumulate and I can draw them out to play more, play at a higher stakes, or better yet fly to Vegas! Wish I'd thought of this sooner.

One issue did come up through all of this though. How do you keep track of this money? Next posting I'll explain how I lost the winnings and then found them again through the magic of numbers.

Anyone else with a hobby that pays? What do you do with the money? How do you keep track of it?


  1. I like your thinking:) BTW I linked to your Blog through FB. Thanks for figuring it out, I'm right behind!
    No your limit Play within it

  2. Hmmmm, a topic near and dear to me. I would love to comment more right now but if I get started Ill be late for work. But I shall later. :):)

  3. @Aaron

    Thanks for the link, I've just now done the same for yours. Always look forward to your wacky points of view :)


    Look forward to your thoughts. You'll have to keep us informed on your Journey to going poker pro.

  4. I'm very curious as to how your found your lost money! (something I hope to apply soon to my life. I like finding lost money!)

  5. Hey Andy I noticed that you haven't "Monetized" your blog. What are your thoughts on it. Can people actually make any money from having those ads on their sites?

  6. @Aaron

    I'm all for passive income, but at this point I don't think it's worth it. I know of blogs that make money this way, so I know it's possible. However, it took them years and a huge following before they made any kind of real money.

    I'm writing this because I want to inspire people to take an interest in their own finances, to help my own understanding grow, and to maybe share a little knowledge I've gleemed. It's not worth the $0.35/year that I'd earn at this point (too optomistic?). Although, if by chance the site grows, I'm not apposed to turning it on ;)

    I also don't have the time or interest in trying to run it as a business. Like any business you'd need to draw in customers (readers) and work on links, ads, etc.

    If it works for you though, let me know! Hopefully you'd post a guest posting here and tell us how you did it.