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playing poker and teaching science: Building the bankroll
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Building the bankroll

I’ve seen the statistics before and I just reread an article by ESPN’s Jay Lovinger about poker players who turn a profit, and he states that the “research” shows that fewer than 15% of American poker players make money. Granted the research has to be a little tainted given the fact that when dealing with American poker players, the bulk are involved in an illegal activity, but that is a number to start with.

*I’m guessing when I say “the bulk” because there is a lot of legal poker playing going on, but all the on line players are technically criminals. Right?

After rereading his article I’m thinking, “Okay, am I part of the 15 percent or part of the 85 percent?”

Wow…..85% is a lot! Even if you’re not a numbers person you know that 85 percent is a huge amount and that 15% is a tiny amount. So it’s time to evaluate and be brutally honest. Am I making money at this hobby, or losing money?

The count is in and last year I made approximately $500 profit playing poker. I’ve tried my best to account for all the home tourneys, brick & mortar play here in Indiana, and my trip to Vegas in addition to live play online. I think I have been brutally honest and even very conservative when recalling exactly how much I made at some home games.

I keep fairly close tabs on my online play and so I know that on the whole I have cashed out more money from my four accounts than I have put into them. The only one that carries a total deficit is PartyPoker, but the money I’ve cashed out from UltimateBet more than make up for that.

So I’ve very confident that I am in the 15 percent. Cool.

So I felt pretty good last night playing two tables at a time. This is a true brain exercise. For almost two hours I played a table of Omaha 8 on PokerStars while simultaneously playing a game of Crazy Pineapple (high only) on UltimateBet.

I had the seeding meeting for our wrestling sectional at 7 o’clock so I only had time to play from 4 to 6 after school.

Two different games, one with a hi/lo and one without really keeps you on your toes! In my PokerStars account, I am ONLY playing O8b to see what happens with my bankroll and whether or not I can climb limits, but I play a variety of games on other sites. But when playing these two different games, I played very ABC, great starting hands only.

The results were pretty good: up 8 big bets in O8b and up a whooping 14 big bets in CP!

Apparently solid play pays off…..go figure :-)

Crazy Pineapple never ceases to amaze me. The big bet was only $.50 and I took down a $10 pot!!!

Thanks for reading.


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