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My "best of both worlds theory"...change in thinking about poker as a business

I'm sure there are many business owners who are serious poker players on this site. I'm curious to see if anyone has experienced the same thought process.

Quick background I am self employed/independent contractor in financial services (insurance and investment sales) for about 5.5 yrs...My income is highly variable but I has residual revenue that has grown each year. I've played NL since I was 18 now 28 but I've played considerably more over the past 1.5 yrs (about 750 hrs over past year)...Prior to CLP I was small winner/break even player without going into too much extra detail that all changed since my discovery of CLP.

All of us know variance sucks and makes poker for a living so difficult but I've come to develop an appreciation for for a certain "stability/control" etc. that doesn't seem to exist in other careers. Which is the simple fact that it've very simple to control sitting down at the table vs not.


I've always felt there are two types of people in the working world; 1.those who work for someone and 2.those who work for themselves. Your typical "9-5" corporate position is great in a stability sense but it's never appealed to me because I feel like you lose control to an extent income and when and where you work...I don't mean to insult anyone but I've always felt there are 9-5 jobs where those put in 75% vs. 100% effort far too often end up not seeing the same or even ass backwards results from an income standpoint. Furthermore when you put in more vs less hours in any give there may be very little to no change. On the flip side business owners very often have the freedom to work harder/smarter earn more income, be their own boss, make their own hours. The challenge I've found with being self-employed is keeping a clear consistent focus...In other words I feel like overall I enjoy my work but it is difficult to be doing "all the right things at the right time" (focusing on sales, marketing, managing staff, travel etc., etc. etc). Far too often I feel like I am overwhelmed with what is important vs urgent and what this leads to is in reality I'm not doing actual productive work 100% of the time (I'm sure anyone can relate to this). Obviously there are ways to improve this but let's face it I'm human I'll always deal with this to some extent and it deteriorates my "hourly rate", which finally turns me to how it relates to poker..

Poker is very complicated with many variables but IT'S VERY SIMPLE to control sitting down at the table vs not sitting at the table...sounds silly but true. Now of course your win rate is going to be affected by your emotions/tilt/zoned in but assuming you are a big winning player. I feel like me at 75% "zoned in" (we're not always going to be at our best even though we strive to) is still a winner in a low stakes NL game. The simple fact that I am dealt a hand when sitting creates stability in a sense in my mind. Of course this assumes I don't go on mega-tilt from time to time (I haven't yet...). I've never heard people talk about this curious if anyone feels the same...

Comments

  • beauregard Posts: 1,592Subscriber
    sitting down at desk in cubicle at corporate world = $$
    sitting down at desk of independent job/freelance = production, which may or may not turn into $$
    sitting down at poker table = +$ or -$$

    while you can control sitting down, you can't control the cards you're dealt, you can't control what your opponents will or won't do... nor can you control the flop, turn or river

    if you can't control your efforts being self-employed, what makes you think being a professional poker player is any different?

    I think it was Dan Harrington that said some of the most successful poker players are guys who would do extremely well in business, but for one reason or another have chosen not to. It takes extreme discipline to be a consistent winning pro.

    unlike other "jobs" - just showing up at the table doesn't guarantee a paycheck
    just sitting down at the table doesn't = $$
    by 1kom
  • RecreationalRogerRecreationalRoger Posts: 789Subscriber
    I agree with beau.

    I'm a 9-5er. Today for example I'm working from home. My wife is sick, I'm looking forward to yet another freakin' snowstorm, and my mind is already looking forward to playing cards all stinkin' day tomorrow since my wife is sick. Work is definitely getting my B game today.

    Yesterday I busted my hump at the office for 10+ hours, definitely A+ game.

    I get paid the same either way.

    I bring my B game to the table tomorrow, I'm lighting money on fire. Add to that even your A game doesn't guarentee you good cards.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    For my job I work out of my house so I dont think I am the best example. Because I have a lot of flexibility with my job. That said I wouldnt want to do poker full time. for me its fun knowing I still have that paycheck coming in. but thats just me.

    ww
  • nted22 Posts: 61Subscriber
    beauregard said:
    sitting down at desk in cubicle at corporate world = $$
    sitting down at desk of independent job/freelance = production, which may or may not turn into $$
    sitting down at poker table = +$ or -$$

    while you can control sitting down, you can't control the cards you're dealt, you can't control what your opponents will or won't do... nor can you control the flop, turn or river

    if you can't control your efforts being self-employed, what makes you think being a professional poker player is any different?

    I think it was Dan Harrington that said some of the most successful poker players are guys who would do extremely well in business, but for one reason or another have chosen not to. It takes extreme discipline to be a consistent winning pro.

    unlike other "jobs" - just showing up at the table doesn't guarantee a paycheck
    just sitting down at the table doesn't = $$
    I agree with with almost every thing your saying few things maybe I failed to articulate well...

    "sitting down at desk in cubicle at corporate world = $$"...yes but you have limited control over what your hourly $$ is and you are restricted to how MANY OR LITTLE hours you actually get paid (i.e. vacation/overtime)

    "sitting down at desk of independent job/freelance = production, which may or may not turn into $$
    sitting down at poker table = +$ or -$$"... I somewhat agree but ultimately aren't they the same thing assuming you have a cost or overhead to doing business...I do agree that swings of -$ is bigger in poker but beyond that its psychological

    "while you can control sitting down, you can't control the cards you're dealt, you can't control what your opponents will or won't do... nor can you control the flop, turn or river"...again I feel like this is in some ways analogous to lack of controls in customer behavior and various other setbacks in business

    "if you can't control your efforts being self-employed, what makes you think being a professional poker player is any different?"...I agree 100% they both require discipline in focus it just feels unique. My point is it's my belief that we can't be on our A game 100% of the time, 75% to 90% is still a stretch depending on your definition... (and maybe this is unique to me/my business) but I feel like me at my B game in poker (playing against average weak 2-5 competition) is still much better than then rest of the table and I'm still expect to win over time whereas me at my B game in my business is much more drastically affected...plus if I'm aware that I'm not at my best with poker I can step away and come back whereas I don't always have this luxury with certain business meetings. Secondly, for the sake of comparison let's say the amount/degree of information that needs to be processed in poker vs. other businesses is equal; my point was I find it easier to process at the poker table to simpler to take in at once. For example, in business I have to balance e-mails/phone calls/client meetings staff management and prioritize them while fighting procrastination on certain things to be difficult. At the poker table yes we have tons of info to process that affects our game but I find it to be easier to prioritize internally. There's a saying in business don't let the important get in way of the urgent, this dilemma doesn't really come up at the poker table (for me at least).

    "unlike other "jobs" - just showing up at the table doesn't guarantee a paycheck
    just sitting down at the table doesn't"...I agree. Speaking in vague terms, my point was (compared to a 9-5) is that if you make huge improvements to your poker this should increase your "pay" in the long run but making huge improvements in work at a 9-5 may or may not from my perception is that often is doesn't because of political/budgetary reasons etc.

    I wasn't necessarily trying to say one is "better" than the other I think it depends on the person and their situation. I was simply commenting on something I don't think is talked about much.

  • nted22 Posts: 61Subscriber
    RecreationalRoger said:
    I agree with beau.

    I'm a 9-5er. Today for example I'm working from home. My wife is sick, I'm looking forward to yet another freakin' snowstorm, and my mind is already looking forward to playing cards all stinkin' day tomorrow since my wife is sick. Work is definitely getting my B game today.

    Yesterday I busted my hump at the office for 10+ hours, definitely A+ game.

    I get paid the same either way.

    .
    That's my point I'm looking at the flip side of this... I'm not saying that one is right or wrong I'm simply commenting to the fact that in poker through self discipline and hard work they should be able to play their A game more often, raise their "A game" & their "B game", and control how many total hours they are paid in a more direct fashion (over a large sample size)
  • nted22 Posts: 61Subscriber
    Thehammah said:
    For my job I work out of my house so I dont think I am the best example. Because I have a lot of flexibility with my job. That said I wouldnt want to do poker full time. for me its fun knowing I still have that paycheck coming in. but thats just me.

    ww
    I agree although the idea intrigues me...what is hard to predict for me is which would make me a happier person? How much would negative variance impact this? Would playing full-time deteriorate the enjoyment I get from playing the game and if so how much?
  • GoldenEagle Posts: 59SubscriberProfessional
    I don't think there is any doubt that you pretty much come to the table with a C-game mindset after you have been sitting in a cube all day. That is a challenge that rec players have to overcome.
  • nted22 Posts: 61Subscriber
    GoldenEagle said:
    I don't think there is any doubt that you pretty much come to the table with a C-game mindset after you have been sitting in a cube all day. That is a challenge that rec players have to overcome.
    That's why God created weekends!

    :lol:
  • RecreationalRogerRecreationalRoger Posts: 789Subscriber
    Well its not sitting in a cube all day that tilts me its getting stuck in traffic on the way to the casino. : :wink:

    Coming back to the thread a bit, I would think one of the considerations about part time vs full-time would be hourly rate at both jobs. I think the discussion is very different if your day job pays 50/hr and poker poker pays you 25/hour vs. the other way around. ..
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