Welcome.

Take a tour. Enjoy some free sample content.

How it works

Free Video: CLP Video No. 287: Home Game Bart Reviews His Splashy At $1-$3 Deep Part 2

Free Podcast: CLP Podcast No. 54: Time Warp And Turn Value
New to Crush Live Poker?

Bankroll Management Question

SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
I'm striving to play poker professionally someday.

My goal is to be debt free and have 100k in savings before making the transition. Is this enough?

Currently, I have 25k left in school loans (started with 100k+!) and have a 15k poker bankroll.

So, I'm a CPA and will make around 6k in over time this busy season (next 2.5 months).

Should I dump it all in the loans or pad my bankroll?

Obv answer is loans but wondering if anyone thinks bankroll as it gets me closer to shot taking 5/10 which long term will net me more $ the faster I get established there.

Thanks!
«1

Comments

  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    I at one point thought I wanted to play poker professionally .. I dont anymore and I always try to discourage people from doing so because it is so much harder than it looks. That said I would suggest the following:

    1) You MUST have at least 1 years worth of expenses saved up. 1 yr! You should always have around 6 mos even with a job just for emergencies and this is even more since the swings in poker you need to be able to ride through this.

    2) Your expenses will go up as a pro as some things that are being subsidized by your company you will now have to pay for. Mainly health insurance but life insurance should also be included in this. You will also have to pay taxes and sometime these might be higher for self employed individuals then if you work for someone else...

    3) Playing at say 2-5 I would think that you would need a bankroll in excess of 50k.. there is ALOT more pressure on making money when you are a pro as apposed to having fun when you are not. You need to make sure that any swings dont put you at risk of ruin or tilt. Make the downswings so small in relationship to your bankroll that they wont bother you.

    4) You could consider working part-time .. Have 1 part-time job and poker as a part-time job as a transition. As a CPA I would imagine you could do this .

    5) Dont buy anything expensive that requires you to pay monthly on it. Thats no car, no house, no furniture, etc.. You will need to be very frugal and keep your expenses as low as possible. This is to limit the pressure on yourself as you transition.

    As you can see. when you add all of this up you will need more than 100k in CASH before you can even consider going pro.. Thats why so many pros go bust.. Think of it as an investment in a new business you are opening and many start ups run out of cash and fold. same thing but you are investing in your poker business.

    ww
  • Fish Fryer Posts: 161Member
    Skinnybrown said

    I'm striving to play poker professionally someday.

    My goal is to be debt free and have 100k in savings before making the transition. Is this enough?

    Currently, I have 25k left in school loans (started with 100k+!) and have a 15k poker bankroll.

    So, I'm a CPA and will make around 6k in over time this busy season (next 2.5 months).

    Should I dump it all in the loans or pad my bankroll?

    Obv answer is loans but wondering if anyone thinks bankroll as it gets me closer to shot taking 5/10 which long term will net me more $ the faster I get established there.

    Thanks!
    AS a CPA, you have to be aware of the interest rate you are paying and how that money compares to what it could be earning on the market. Add that to the fact that most poker players keep their bankroll sitting idle instead of having a portion doing something positive for you and I think this is a no-brainer. Work all the OT that you can and payoff the debt ASAP.

    BTW - congrats on paying down the debt. So many people let it hover over them forever....well done! You aren't far from getting it paid off.
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    i agree with wendy. poker as a job sucks balls. I did it for a bit and hated it and now i work full time and play when i can. It sounds like you have a really high paying job ATM and why would you give that up? i know a couple guys who have quit their well paying jobs (80k+/year) and i dont really get why anyone would wanna give up that kinda income for something like poker. Your yearly isnt going to go up all that much unless you are playing online and grind like shit and strive to play the nosebleeds one day. Sure something can be said for wanting to set your own hours and whatnot but with most high paying jobs if you are good at what you do you pretty much do that anyways.

    Some things to consider

    1) how would you handle going to work and losing money? Personally this was the hardest thing for me to overcome. I absolutely hated going to work and losing money.

    2) With poker will you be able to make more money in every future year? If you start at say 5/10 and make 100k a year will you be able to make ~4% more each additional year? If not you are going to be making less money each year as inflation rises and you are making the same money.

    3) This could be really far down the road but could you keep playing poker and making a good living when you get a wife/have kids? Unless you find someone who also plays poker for a living its going to be tough to do. They are going to be working a job with normal 9-5 hours (most likely) and with poker i find the most profitable time to play is night time unless you play online. haveing an opposite work schedual as your partner means you dont spend a lot of time with each other and it will put a strain on future relationships.

    If you really want to do this and have a true passion for it go ahead and give it a shot. Just make sure you can stick it out for the forseeable future before you dump your job.

    I think 1 year living expenses and 40 buy ins of whatever game you are playing should be enough. And as Wendy said keep your monthly nut small. You always wanna be able to grow your bankroll rather than just making enough to cover what you spend each month/year.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    I know of a few ppl who have gone pro after working full time and most are basically making less than they did before.. that said a couple prefer poker because of the freedom they have and I would say that that alone can be worth it if you can make somewhat close to what you were before. I work at home and I would never consider another job where I would have to go into an office everyday.

    I know of a few more players where if they did work they probably could only make at most 50k. They dont have a degree and dont have a professional job. They could benefit by playing poker and could actually make more money then with a job.

    With all of this I am only aware of one person who is a pro, paying his house payments, is married, has a kid , paying all of his expenses (and not cheating by not having health insurance) and made the transition.

    The rest either went back to work or are basically broke..

    Another option is to take the money you are making from poker pay off the rest of your student loans and start investing. Invest in stocks, property, a business, etc.. make enough doing that for say 10 years and maybe you could retire and play poker for fun as a hobby.

    Wendy
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    Great advice!

    You guys are right, paying off school debt first is the smart play here.

    Luckily, my Asian girlfriend is going to be a nurse and I'll be on her healthcare once we are married.

    I'm 28 years old right now and hope to make the move before I am 35 so I should be able to save close to 200k by then if I keep working hard.

    As far as the downsides of playing poker for a living I have heard every negative argument against it and am 100% positive this is what I want to do. Cool

    Skinnybrown can not work for the man forever. As Red says "some birds aren't meant to be caged".
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    Careful about estimating how much you can save over the next decade. Young DINKs think they have it all figured, but unless you have a unique g-friend, things like kids and a nice place to live are going to become higher and higher priorities. Not that men don't want those things too, but disposable / savable income becomes less and less plentiful as you get older. (Unless you're going to live in an apartment in pleasanton for the rest of your life with no kids!)
    :)
    I remember the days of having a huge roll with no strings. Then I spent a good portion of it on : wedding , Fiji , down payment. All worthwhile expenditures, but u get the idea.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    chilidog said

    Careful about estimating how much you can save over the next decade. Young DINKs think they have it all figured, but unless you have a unique g-friend, things like kids and a nice place to live are going to become higher and higher priorities. Not that men don't want those things too, but disposable / savable income becomes less and less plentiful as you get older. (Unless you're going to live in an apartment in pleasanton for the rest of your life with no kids!)
    :)
    I remember the days of having a huge roll with no strings. Then I spent a good portion of it on : wedding , Fiji , down payment. All worthwhile expenditures, but u get the idea.
    Very relevant and true.

    Luckily, she is dope nasty and ready for the Skinnybrown poker adventure. #asiandreamgirl
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    Skinnybrown said

    Great advice!

    You guys are right, paying off school debt first is the smart play here.

    Luckily, my Asian girlfriend is going to be a nurse and I'll be on her healthcare once we are married.

    I'm 28 years old right now and hope to make the move before I am 35 so I should be able to save close to 200k by then if I keep working hard.

    As far as the downsides of playing poker for a living I have heard every negative argument against it and am 100% positive this is what I want to do. Cool

    Skinnybrown can not work for the man forever. As Red says "some birds aren't meant to be caged".

    Yes we do rejoice that they are free.. but our lives are the worse for it now that they are gone!.... Laugh great movie and good life lesson... save the money then retire to zihuatanejo he he

    ww
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    wendy weissman said
    Skinnybrown said

    Great advice!

    You guys are right, paying off school debt first is the smart play here.

    Luckily, my Asian girlfriend is going to be a nurse and I'll be on her healthcare once we are married.

    I'm 28 years old right now and hope to make the move before I am 35 so I should be able to save close to 200k by then if I keep working hard.

    As far as the downsides of playing poker for a living I have heard every negative argument against it and am 100% positive this is what I want to do. Cool

    Skinnybrown can not work for the man forever. As Red says "some birds aren't meant to be caged".

    Yes we do rejoice that they are free.. but our lives are the worse for it now that they are gone!.... Laugh great movie and good life lesson... save the money then retire to zihuatanejo he he

    ww
    haha, seriously. when I get out of corporate jail go to the the big oak tree and find a volcanic rock that has no business being there...
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    You won't be able to retire on $20k or whatever it was he buried in 1925.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    chilidog said

    You won't be able to retire on $20k or whatever it was he buried in 1925.
    Andy gave Red enough money to get to mexico.. andy took over 250k of wardens money.. 1960s money I think.. that wouldnt be too bad..

    Wendy
  • Arenzano Posts: 1,464Subscriber
    At 28 you are old enough to begin to seriously think about your future. That future means saving to buy the things that will be important for you over the next 10 years. A nice or comfortable house, a decent car or transportation. Savings for your children's education - assuming you want or will have them. Paying off your debt. Most importantly your retirement when you are 65+.

    It is nice to have a dream, mine is similar - after I retire though. You have a steady job with essentially guaranteed money assuming you don't something stupid. In poker, nothing is guaranteed. A lot of guys think they can play football. Some do for about 3 years and then what...? They are out of the game. Being a poker pro sounds romantic but the reality is that it is a GRIND. SK you can accomplish the same thing playing part time with the parachute of a job.

    Oh, and saving 200k is not as easy as it sounds, unless your asiandreamgirl is a cash cow, if you know what I am saying. No offense.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    Brudre21 said

    At 28 you are old enough to begin to seriously think about your future. That future means saving to buy the things that will be important for you over the next 10 years. A nice or comfortable house, a decent car or transportation. Savings for your children's education - assuming you want or will have them. Paying off your debt. Most importantly your retirement when you are 65+.

    It is nice to have a dream, mine is similar - after I retire though. You have a steady job with essentially guaranteed money assuming you don't something stupid. In poker, nothing is guaranteed. A lot of guys think they can play football. Some do for about 3 years and then what...? They are out of the game. Being a poker pro sounds romantic but the reality is that it is a GRIND. SK you can accomplish the same thing playing part time with the parachute of a job.

    Oh, and saving 200k is not as easy as it sounds, unless your asiandreamgirl is a cash cow, if you know what I am saying. No offense.
    This is all very good advice, much thanks!

    I'm definitely not naive when it comes to understanding what playing poker professionally means. I have a bachelors degree in business administration and a masters degree in taxation and am well aware of the importance of financial planning and investing. I also understand that playing poker professionally is extremely hard work. Luckily, I have an incredible work eithic and positive attitude which is an edge for me both in business and poker.

    Bottom line is that I have to follow my heart. Poker brings me a happiness I can not put into words and nothing anyone says will deter me from playing professionally someday.

    Saving 150-200k is very hard work but I've been able to save over 25k a year the last three years. As long as I keep working hard I think it's possible.

    I think the biggest problem people make is rushing this decision without thinking of all the consequences. We are impulsive by nature, we are poker players.

    That's the reason made this thread. To try and get an idea of all the pitfalls and hardships.

    A lot of the points you guys brought up I was already well aware of and a lot I hadn't even thought about which is great.

    Just gotta keep grinding, thinking positive and make sure to keep my eyes on the prize =)

    Thank you guys for all the great advice and keep it coming!

    Also, I only need 60k a year to be happy which is more than doable playing full time 5/10 Laugh
  • It sounds like you have a lot going for you and are smart about your life decisions, Skinnybrown. If Poker is really what you want to do then by all means, go for it. I think it's obviously much easier to play Poker for a living if you are single and don't have a lot of debt or commitments, however, if your life permits it then that's great. Poker isn't for everyone but for the people that do love it, it's great. I, like you, love the competition and the ability to work my own hours and not have to listen to anyone. Good luck, and I really enjoy your posts on here. Keep it up.
  • Arenzano Posts: 1,464Subscriber
    SK. Follow your dreams. Sounds as if you've thought about this alot. Just beware of the pitfuls. When I was your age, I could have been happy on 60k too, but I found that changed the older I got!
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Mike said

    3) This could be really far down the road but could you keep playing poker and making a good living when you get a wife/have kids? Unless you find someone who also plays poker for a living its going to be tough to do. They are going to be working a job with normal 9-5 hours (most likely) and with poker i find the most profitable time to play is night time unless you play online. haveing an opposite work schedual as your partner means you dont spend a lot of time with each other and it will put a strain on future relationships.
    This is a great point, which can't be stressed enough. And it's probably the one aspect which is the most difficult to anticipate, because one's life changes so much once you have a kid. Myself, I really was not able to imagine what that means beforehand, no matter how many people told me how it's going to be. Now that I experienced it myself, I can only confirm what Mike said. Increasing financial expectations are the first consequence that comes to mind. Not only your wife and baby will have growing expectations and demands, but you will want to provide them with a decent lifestyle yourself.
    Opposite work schedules are another important aspect. But there are many more! The stress and sleep deprivation that comes with a baby will put a strain on your relationship. Plus, you probably will have to choose between getting not enough sleep (which will effect your poker performance), playing less poker (which impairs your financial expectations), or not spending enough time at home / supporting your wife enough (which will put additional pressure on your relationship). And on top of that, just imagine what a downswing during that time will feel like.

    Playing poker professionally is a great job for a single person. But I wonder why almost all well known poker players don't have kids!?
  • Fish Fryer Posts: 161Member

    Also, I only need 60k a year to be happy which is more than doable playing full time 5/10 Laugh
    Just remember that you will need to increase your winrate by the same % as inflation to maintain the 60k "salary" annually. I think a lot of people fail to realize that...
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    If you insist on giving it a shot do it sooner rather than later. You are still youngish. Going busto now and having a smaller gap in your resume will be much better than blasting through 200k in savings and having a gap on your resume when you are 35.

    If i saved up 200k over 7 years and lost it playing poker id kill myself. Or wife would kill me. Or leave me.
  • coolfish7 Posts: 29SubscriberProfessional
    Skinnybrown,

    Just wanted to share a little about my story since, "I've been where you're going":

    I quit my job last March to play for a living (I have a Mechanical Engineering degree and was working for a NASA subcontractor). My plan was to play 5/5 in underground games in Houston and make weekend trips to neighboring states with casinos, and have the occasional travel to Vegas, WSOP circuit stops, etc. I did so with the belief that I was losing money by having a "real" job as opposed to playing, and yearned for the freedom of working for myself in this industry (no boss to ask for time off to go to an out of town tournament circuit, etc). Here are a few things to keep in mind (with props to the above posters who covered some of these things as well):

    -Your variable income makes it difficult to plan for the future. Yes, you might be happy on a 60k/year (+inflation!) average. But with live sample size being what it is, it's not unreasonable to think you could be break-even for an entire year. That really sucks if you were planning on taking any trips, making large purchases, starting a business, (or in my case, my wife considering full-time grad school and thus the subsequent loss of her zero-variance income).

    -Even with an understanding life-partner, poker hours are really not conducive to most relationships (as mentioned above). I am extremely lucky to be married to someone who worked with me so that I could pursue my hobby and passion for a living. But it's a trade off, as sometimes I know I need to cut my session short to spend time with her, or not take that weekend trip to get extra hours in, or chase the circuit, or whatever. These sacrifices cut into the hourly/yearly rate. Additionally since she works a standard 8-5 job and most of the games in town don't start or get good until late, we're on 8+ hr shifted schedules, so seeing each other during the week is a challenge - and we live in the same house AND don't have kids yet! When that happens, it's going to be really tough. You will have these same issues.

    -How good is your emotional control? When you have a bad session, can you leave it at the door before encountering your significant other? From experience I've found it difficult to shrug off bad sessions (especially if I know I misplayed something) and then be happy to be back home., when all I want to do is go back out there and atone for my mistakes. Additionally, I found that since I'm playing for the combined financial future of my wife and I, I began to feel like a down session was akin to me "not supporting my family". You may or may not have the same reaction, but something to consider.

    -How stable are the games in the area you want to play? Is there continual new money coming in to keep you (and the other regs) afloat? The big problem I found was that yes, the underground (and casino) games in this area are often incredibly juicy, but they don't last too long in this state because the big whales go broke, or were on tab and now the house won't honor their credit anymore.

    -What kind of support network (besides your sig other) do you have? Do you have close, skilled poker friends with whom you can not only discuss hands, but also lean on for occasional emotional support during downswings? These kinds of people are critical because they understand both the game and the emotional toll it can take.

    -Do you have any way to make passive income while playing? Rental properties, investments, etc? These things help to increase your bankroll but also reduce your life-variance. There's a reason most successful poker pros try to create a brand for themselves. As excellent a player as Bart is, he's obviously done quite well outside of the felt by creating passive/semi-passive income with DPP/SO/CLP and in doing coaching, etc. Limon touched on this point too in one of the DPP where he talked about the futility of playing WSOP tourneys since even if you bink one, you need a way to further monitize your success to have made the score worth while.

    The list goes on and on, but you see the points, raised by me and everyone else. It's an exciting and unique opportunity, but there are many many pitfalls associated with playing for a living, well beyond your own skill edge and variance. But if you decide to do it - GOOD LUCK!
  • zmoney11 Posts: 28Member
    Coolfish7: I was wondering what kind of money issues you had or didn't know about. I know I will have to get my own insurance. How much was taken out of your winnings? Did you have a second job at all to balance that at all? I feel i am in the same boat as skinny.

    I have a job and I make ok money and I semi enjoy it. But I want to try poker and see where it goes. The 2/5 game goes most days, but a lot of the time it will only last 5 hours. But there will be days between games as well. So, I have been debating about moving to Vegas with a friend. We both want to wait till we have a decent bankroll, but we feel if we have someone else it might help. We both play 2/5. For bankroll I wanted to get 40k and after hearing what people say I am not sure if that is enough.

    thanks
Sign In or Register to comment.