Do you play poker- for how much?

I was wondering if playing casual poker is common in finance, how much people play for, and what lessons can be learned from it..

I play poker with college friends, admittedly we are fairly affluent, and we typically do 0.50/1$ blinds. The largest pots tend to be around 100$ and the most people have lost in a night is 200$ (me, tonight, sad-why I'm writing this).. I was curious if people play, how it's viewed, and what buy-ins ppl play for at different levels in finance. (I have a very successful mentor in finance who said he played $2500 buy-ins when he was reallly into it)..

Anyway, I tried to justify it by saying to myself that it helps with analytical thinking, and helps you "desensitize" money. It can also help you feel the sting of defeat, so you learn how you react why your loosing..

If you are curious I lost 80$ (180$ pot) on Aces full of tens (I had bullets, 2 tens on the board). The other guy had pocket 10's- he had quads, brutal.

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Comments (17)

Jul 20, 2020 - 4:12am

I don't know much about Poker. But I'm curious why you describe yourself as affluent when the numbers you mention don't seem particularly high. How does that work in Poker?

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Jul 20, 2020 - 8:12am

There was a solid group of us from my analyst class that used to play regularly. Nothing too crazy, but we had a $100 initial buy-in with a one $50 buy back. We took it semi-serious and it was a lot of fun together. I think it's a generally good skill set to learn, but I never focused on applying anything I learned there to other parts of my life (it was just a game for me). There are tons of better hobbies to pick up if that's what your goal is.

Jul 21, 2020 - 2:53am

What other hobbies are those? I think I like poker because it's just another way to be able to use your brain to win and yeah it's just a game but playing with stakes is a big confidence boost in my opinion just like playing a sport in front of hundreds or thousands when it's 'game time' being able to be comfortable with pressure and making decisions. Maybe it practices certain things in a good way maybe it practices things negatively. But it's fun and if you're good a few extra hundred bucks isn't anything to make fun of there's a lot you can do with that.

Jul 21, 2020 - 11:16am

I'm not arguing against poker being a decent hobby, but you really don't think there are more productive hobbies or hobbies that have more applicable skills to life than playing poker? I can't really suggest specific ones because I don't know you but I can talk about mine.

First, it's important to note that I don't choose hobbies for their life application, I choose them because I enjoy them and they are generally good for me. Right now, I really only have time for working out (lifting, running and cycling), Brazilian jiu-jitsu and reading classic novels. While those have some degree of benefit to other parts of my life, I really just like them as hobbies. In particular, BJJ allows my to escape all other parts of life and focus on just that while I am doing it (can't really let your mind wander with the threat of being choked out). My main point is to just do things because you like them and if you just want to learn some skills, take an online class or something.

Oct 18, 2020 - 12:04am

I like poker because its challenging for me. Every tournament is like a puzzle that I can solve, hand by hand. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 4, 2021 - 1:50pm

Analyze the hands played regularly. For these purposes, be sure to install software that allows you to collect statistics on your opponents at the tables. One of the key tasks of this software, especially for beginners, is to save the history of your hands, which you can later analyze and identify mistakes. I always review my games when playing on W88. This process is extremely important and should not be ignored, otherwise you are doomed to stagnate in one place for a long period of time.

Apr 4, 2021 - 2:26pm

My game is $5/$10 PLO.  Too many "hero calls" in NL for my taste.

Quick story:  Playing at the Horseshoe in Hammond with clients from Chicago.  They decide to play 10/20 NL (which I hate, but the customer is always right!).  Robust table.  Action is loose.  I started with 2k (too short of a stack in my opinion, BTW), now up to 10k having taken all the other donkey's money (except the clients).  BSD sits down with 100k+, trying to bully a 10/20 table, rather than playing 25/50 or 50/100.  He is playing looser than a Thai hooker on X, just bullying the table.  An hour or so passes, I have a string of 72 dealt to me  Finally, I get something decent. So here is the hand:

He's UTG and raises to $100, roughly a standard three-bet.  Folds around to be in the big blind and I am holding 10d10s.  Make the call.  Flop comes Qc-Jc-10h.  I lead out 250, he snap calls.  Blank on the turn (6s).  I bet $1000, he snap calls.  Now, I've got sixth best hand right now and this BSD is trying to bully me.  Could he have QQ or JJ...maybe, but the read, and the lack of raising, tells me no.  Could he have K9,98 suited?  Maybe.  I put him on AKx.  He has me beat in my mind, but I've got 10 outs and my implied pot odds before the turn bet were in my favor.  River comes 10c.  I've got quads.  I push for an additional 7k and he snap calls.  He had AK alright...the AK of clubs.

Asshole stands up and starts screaming and taunting me from across the table for a good 3 minutes.  Calling his drunk buddies over and calling me a Donkey.  Dealer rings his bell and the pit boss comes over.  I turn to the boss and say "Can you please tell the MF across the table to shut up or I'll kick his ass for you...and please bring me my $20 grand.  Stunned, the BSD stares wildly as the boss brings me my casino bad beat bonus and his royal flush bonus.  Mine was $20k.  His was $400. 

Smiled, told the BSD thank you for making me an additional $4k, stood up, tipped the dealer a thousand and told the clients I would be at the bar and walked off.

Namaste.

D.O.U.G.

Apr 4, 2021 - 5:05pm

I've been playing poker since senior year of high school. Continued playing in college - mostly casual games among friends/roommates, but eventually I started getting more serious and started making solo trips to local casinos. I also dabbled a little online, but have exclusively played live (in-person) since the Black Friday debacle. I continued to make sporadic trips to the casino until as recently at Dec 2019. All of that disappeared with the pandemic and lockdowns. My game has probably deteriorated quite a bit from not playing for over a year, but I am confident I can crush the games I used to play if I get back into it.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 4, 2021 - 7:22pm

senior in college right now. Me and my friends love the game and senior year, we all have a lot more fun with it because we have our summer intern money from 2020 to fund it. Lot of critical thinking involved. We play what we jokingly call the paupers version of Molly's game. Aim to play weekly. Generally buy in for 100(50 cent, dollar blinds) with unlimited buy ins/adding on. Very loose and aggressive betting where people go all in all the time and bluff a lot. Very fun to play but can hit the wallet hard. On average, I would say amongst the 6-7 of us that play consistently (usually get 8-9 people in the game), a game generally ends with 1.5-2k in the pot at the end of the night (play like 4-5 hours) with a couple of wild nights hitting 3k+. At my worst, I think I bought in for 400 and came out with like 60 bucks on the night. At my best, I had my 100 buy in and left with 600. The worst that has ever happened is a friend buying in for 700 and leaving with nothing. Best is another guy buying in with 100 and leaving with 1.4k (out of 3k, won a 4 way all win toward the end with his quads trumping 2 full houses and a Ace high flush). Obviously much more money than the usual university stakes, but fun times.

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