Saturday, September 17, 2005

While I'm on the topic, I should update you on my online gaming exploits. Had an amazing run of good luck, followed by two bad days that wiped out about all my profit (I'd cashed out my original investment, plus a few bucks, before my luck turned, so I'm still a tad ahead). I'm annoyed, because I knew I should take a break, because I was steaming from a few bad beats, and last night I was upset because of my car accident and not in the best mindset to play. But I kept chasing my losses and getting in deeper. So while I wouldn't say it's "like crack cocaine," I do see why one must be disciplined. A few bad nights can really eat into one's profits. Of course, it may be self-serving to say my wins are all skill and my losses a matter of poor willpower, but I think I've logged enough hours that my win rate, while not guaranteed, seems statistically significant. On the games I play most, it ranges from $5-$11 an hour. The games where I've logged the most hours tend to be on the low end of the spectrum, so I would say I can reasonably expect to win $5-$6 an hour online. Note, however, that this figure does not include cash bonuses and other promotions (should I win the Paradise Poker Million Dollar Freeroll, for which I have qualified, that would skew my hourly rate a tad), which might add about a quarter an hour, if I'm being generous. And I earned enough points over the years from Poker Stars to cash in for a nice set of casino-quality poker chips, which were quite nice (and look to be about a $90 value, looking at comperable sets online).

What it comes down to is, playing online is a fairly profitable hobby. Despite fantasies to the contrary, I doubt I'll quit my job and drop out of school to play poker online. It's not that profitable, the long-term legal future is hazy, and it would be a pretty pathetic way to live one's life. The trick is how to stay disciplined when the games are avaialble at a moment's notice, 24/7. But I'm learning some psychological tricks to keep myself mostly disciplined, and the occasional painful losses when I play when I shouldn't hopefully will serve as a negative reinforcement. After I've taken a few days off, hopefully I can start winning some money again.

No comments: