To some it’s crass to write about winnings, but as I set out on this one-year (and possibly more) adventure away from the working world, I vowed to be honest about what it’s like to give it a try and that means complete honesty on my financial success or failure. So here is a month-by-month rundown of my totals so far, compared to where I might be (based on the past couple of years experiences) if I had continued to work at the paper and played poker on the side.
Poker /Job + poker
July $4,985 $4,000
August $9,518 $4,000
September -$145 $4,000
October $3,660 $4,000
November $1,845 $4,000
December $2,995 $4,000
Total $22,858 $24,000
I probably won’t play much poker the rest of this month so the December figure is pretty much set. If you look at the six-month period, four of the months are below what I could expect from continuing on my previous path and only two are above it. Fortunately for me, August was a rocking month or else things would be much worse.
Now let’s luck at a few categories of poker games:
Win/loss playing in town: +$4,409
Win/loss playing online: +$19,344
Now you can see how skewed the numbers are, and this figure doesn’t even include travel expenses, so overall I’m quite a loser traveling the tournament circuit. But that can’t be uncommon, not when you have hundreds or thousands of people traveling around and putting up $500 or $1,000 a tournament in which only 10 percent or less will cash. Most people will lose a little or a lot and a lucky few will win big. It’s the nature of the beast. So far, I’m in the lose a little category. We’ll see how Tunica goes next month.
I think, overall, this shows that it’s tough to get rich quick at this game unless you get lucky. I’ve felt I’ve played well and thought I was doing really well financially, but when I add up the numbers it’s not any more than I would have made otherwise (but I do get a lot more sleep.) And I’ve avoided that dreaded get-my-ass-kicked month as I’ve been able to stay pretty much even or better at all junctures.
But here’s the thing, I’ve had a ton of fun doing it. I have the freedom to go where I want when I want. I’ve traveled to Vegas (twice, once for almost a solid month), Atlantic City and Foxwoods and those sizeable expenses will result in good deductions when it comes tax time. In non-poker destinations, I’ve gone to Orlando, the Smoky Mountains, Philadelphia, Cooperstown and New York City. I got to work the Tennessee-Florida and Miami-Florida State football games, not to mention five games of my beloved Crimson Tide, and I got to go to Myrtle Beach to do a baseball game. I was able to do all these things in the last six months only because I can keep my head above water at poker. Now, if I can just get a book contract.