Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stick A Fork In It: Month 1 is So Done

I have yet to really establish a rock-solid schedule. But I've made progress on every front, and I'm feeling optimistic about the whole undertaking.

I'll be traveling to AC this coming Friday through Monday, and I haven't yet figured out if I want to take my laptop or not. I think I probably won't, so updates are likely to be sparse during that period.

I've decided to change the format of my bankroll reporting, and to only do it at the end of every week and month. Daily reporting puts too much emphasis on short term swings. I'm also going to combine the live and online portions of the bankroll into a single percentage number (rounded to the nearest whole number), while using color to indicate the status of each category. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the number will include poker-related travel expenses.

For the duration of this project, I have allocated a fixed sum per month to play poker with. I will not wager or lose more than that month's allocation. Any unused portion or profit from the previous month is rolled over into the next month's available lump sum. This allows me, if I'm breaking even or profiting, to play larger stakes as the year progresses. And it also ensures an absolute, well-defined stop loss limit for the entire experiment.

Just for some perspective: If all I were to make was 1% return on my bankroll (as I am at the moment) ~ and I needed to survive on my poker proceeds ~ I'd have to have a bankroll of at least $3M (yeah, that's "million") to lead a very modest life. Bump the return to 10% and I still need a bankroll of $300K.*

Brother can you spare a dime?

Bootstrapping oneself into a real bankroll is astonishingly difficult. As I said at the beginning of this adventure, I'll be very happy indeed if, when the year is done, I have managed to cover my expenses and break even. Earning a living playing poker is no walk in the park. Doyle Brunson is fond of saying, "It's a tough way to make an easy living."

Amen, Brother Brunson, amen!

Currently: Live + online = 101%

*I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with these numbers. But as a math-impaired poker-player (I know, I know) I'm not seeing exactly what it is at the moment. Somebody help?

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Blogger PAPro_SandMan said...

RE the numbers, it depends on what you're going for... How much of the bankroll are you actually wagering in a given month? The return has to be factored on the wagered capital with the overall bankroll being irrelevant except as it defines the stakes you can play.

Let's use a bankroll of $100,000 as an example...

If you're figuring you're wagering 1% of your bankroll ($1,000) and you're doing this five times in a given week, you're wagering $5,000 per week. Roughly $22,500, close to a quarter of your total bankroll, over the course of the month.

If we factor the profit as a flat 1% on everything wagered in the month (it's dirty, but it works as a baseline), then you can expect to make $225 for the month.

Using the same math and simply scaling it, a $1M bankroll translates to a $2,250 profit on the month. The $3M you mentioned translates to $6,750.

Hopefully that helps.

9/18/08 6:46 PM  
Blogger Cardgrrl said...

That's helpful, Sandman, and a different way of looking at it than the one I was using.

I come up with a net profit of about 15% on money actually wagered in live games. The online stats are harder to come by (at least until I get Pokertracker up and running), but they represent a meaningful loss.

9/19/08 2:42 AM  

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