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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's a Hobby

Gambling is a hobby for me. I don't imagine that I will ever generate steady income from gambling; at least, it's never likely to come close to replacing the steady income I get from my job. Further, I don't get caught up in maximizing my return from gambling. I'm not going to multi-table on Party and pick up extra nickels all day long. I play poker because it's fun for me. Same goes for sports betting, horse racing and craps.

Even playing for fun, I hate to lose at anything, and I really hate the feeling of being played for a sucker. I hardly ever play blackjack any more because the casinos have added decks and reduced payouts on the naturals at every turn, and make it harder and harder to play a winning game. On the other hand, I really enjoy playing craps. I have a set pattern that I adhere to, and never play the sucker bets in the middle. With an adequate buy-in, I can generally ride out the cold shooters and walk away with more than I bought in with.

Poker, horse racing and sports betting are the areas where you can theoretically gain an edge, mostly because you're going against the general public, and the casino is skimming off the top. Usually. Sometimes, casinos are known to take sides with the lines they put out, but generally they try to balance the action, and the winners are taking money from the losers, minus some vig. These are the areas in which I do a lot of research and read a lot of instructional books, especially poker. If I can give myself an edge over the Average Joe, well, that beats *being* the Average Joe, doesn't it?

I don't have an actual bankroll. Whenever I go to Vegas, I take out a certain amount of money that I earmark for gambling, and if any of it remains when I get home, I deposit it back into the bank. This has always worked pretty well for me, and it will probably continue to at least partially make up my Vegas bankroll. This time, I thought it might be fun to consciously try to build a bankroll before my trip next month, and see how long I can play it.

I have poker and sports book accounts, and I can place racing bets through the sports book. So where is the greatest amount of bankroll cash coming from?

Prop bets and fantasy football.

Seriously.

I won my division and scored the most points in the regular season in one of my fantasy leagues, which guarantees me a couple hundred bucks, and if I win out through the playoffs, that's a few hundred more. I just destroyed the competition in the first round, so things look promising there.

I managed to get involved in a weight-loss pool at work. Everyone throws in $100, and has to lose 10% of their weight by December 30. Winners split the pool. I'm 5' 10" and weighed in at 183 on October 3rd, so while I wasn't being knocked over by strong winds, I clearly didn't have a lot of excess weight. As of today, I'm 4 pounds away from the 165 I have to hit, and so cashing in this pool looks promising. It's hard to get an accurate read on the other people, but at least 3 people aren't even close, and so that would be $30 on top of the $100 I get back if I hit (there are 13 total people).

As my last poker post indicates, the tourneys have been killing me lately, and I'm probably down 120 bucks in poker. I had a decent night at the NL ring games on Friday, so I'm creeping back to even. I went 3-3 with last weekend's games, and so I lost a little vig and the ill-advised parlay bet, but I'm still up for the season. I even blew some money on horse racing last week, but just some minimum bets. All told, I'm probably currently even on the poker, sports and horses front.

So much for gaining an edge. I wonder if Caesar's sports book is taking prop bets on what I weigh.

2 Comments:

Blogger Socksy Mama said...

Good idea. Build your bankroll. Maybe you could be a high roller if you play your cards right.

What's the odds on the Bears/Packers game anyways?

12:55 PM  
Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Great post.

I hope you cash in your weight prop bet. Celebrate by Supersizing your next 10 meals.

1:24 AM  

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