October 11, 2005

It Begins...

Author's note: I originally intended for this to be a very short post which would insinuate that the poker bug had bitten again. However, once I started typing I found that there were more things that had to be said (funny how that works). Anyway, don't be surprised if I re-open the annals of WEALTHY STREET POKER sometime soon for updates on my micro-limit adventure.

Less than a week ago I randomly discovered a residual $0.75 (that's seventy five cents) on my Paradise Poker account. The reason for this is that Paradise only allows cash-outs in full dollar increments. The last time I cashed out was over three months ago, similarly, the last time I played poker online was also that long ago. In the time since I haven't even touched my account, hence the discovery of the $0.75.

I've been playing it in my downtime at Calvin at $.02/.04 Seven Card Stud and Limit Hold'em tables. Not too long ago the lowest stakes that Paradise offered was $.50/$1, obviously there would be no way of playing $0.75 at those limits, but it's plenty to sit down with when the small blind is only a penny. Actually, I should clarify...I started at the 2c/4c limits and gradually progressed to slightly higher limits such as .05/.10 and .10/.20 as the roll increased slightly yet progressively. It's amazing that after all I've been through in poker a thirty-five cent pot at micro-micro limits can still give me a little charge. On that note, it's never really been about the money. I thought it was at some points, but it wasn't.

Regardless, that $0.75 is now over forty dollars ($43.33 to be exact). If the number one rule for professional gamblers is to play a game that can be beaten, I'd say that this exemplifies that rule. It may be silly for such little money, but hundreds and hundreds of hands later I was able to multiply a seemingly infinitesmally small bankroll into almost 6000% as much as its original state. That's a pretty decent profit margin, wouldn't you say? And the fact of the matter was that it was actually fairly easy. I just sat there patiently waiting for good spots and practicing a little finesse every once in a while. In fact, it was almost a given that I was going to keep increasing the stack due to the fact that the lowest limit games are super easy to beat. That model by which dollars are earned at poker is radically different from "gambling" such as blackjack. In order for anyone to ever even think about turning $0.75 into $43.33 at blackjack they would have to risk huge chunks of the bankroll constantly and in turn would need to be consistently lucky for that period of betting. For long periods of time it is impossible to continue to multiply a bankroll by playing roulette. You either go broke quickly or slowly, but you do go broke.

Now it's time to take a look at what is probably the second rule for pro "gamblers." That would be not losing all your winnings once you get 'em. This is the rule I don't much care for. Historically I have much preferred to win some money at beatable limits and blow it all by risking too much at higher stakes. After all, card smarts won't keep any one from going broke - money management is as important if not more. That being said, I'm sure that I'll blow that $40 in the next few days. What was I gonna do with that money anyway, buy stuff?

P.S. - Any reference made to the general concept of professional gambling above does not in any way imply that I wish to pursue that as my sole career. I am simply using that as an example from which to draw conclusions about gambling.

P.P.S. - I had it up to over $95 at one point, the operative word being had. Enough said.

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