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If you are a young person with a desire to make real money from hours spent with computers then you should forget IT (which is poorly paid by any standards) and head for PokerStars or Full Tilt.
All the people below play both online and live.
Last year, the world champion was Joe Cada, 21. The year before it was Peter Eastgate, 22.
This year it is Jonathan Duhamel, 23, who has won the World Series of Poker and its $8.9m prize.
Runner-up this year was John Racener, 24, third was Joseph Cheong, 24, and fourth was Filippo Candio, 25.
Notice these are all young people -- AND all are multi-millionaires now.
Jonathan Duhamel, the new champion, dropped out of University, where he was studying for a degree in finance, to become a professional player.
His parents argued against it. no doubt they told him to finish his finance degree. Finance is solid. "Nothing can possibly go wrong in the world of banking. Why turn your back on that to gamble?"
Jake Cody,22, from Lancashire, quit a psychology degree to play poker full-time. In January, he won the French leg of the European Poker Tour for €847,000.
Six months later, he won the London leg of the World Poker Tour for £273,783. His winnings are now invested in property around Manchester.
These young chaps are clever, educated, turning their mathematical skills to the game of probabilities and judgment. They are shrewd and sensible; they exercise "bankroll management" to make sure they can't go skint in a single disaster. (It would have been nice if our expert financiers had done the same.)
Security? Where are you going to find that - IT? No. Industry? Don't be ridiculous. Publishing? That's on its last legs. Media, television? No safety there. A job for a lifetime? No such thing any more. Banking? Hoho. If you are bright and sensible, don't worry. Poker is not about drunken gambling. It's about who is the best maths genius.
Poker is a job to these young pros who play online for 50 hours a week like traditional desk jockeys.
But they remember also to go out and meet people, travel the world and not just stare at a screen until they die – just like you could do if you work in IT.
And, best of all, poker winnings are non-taxable. You'll never have to pay back a crippling loan.
What happier revenge on a regime that gave our education money to the real gamblers?
Be careful though - You do need the right sort of personality. You need the discipline and restraint not to play for sums you can't afford, nor to stake more than 5% of your "available bankroll" in any one game. You need the self-awareness to stop if you're losing, temporarily or permanently, and do something else.
I'm retired and even I show a small yearly profit from PokerStars and Full Tilt. And I'm happy to admit that my brain is not as quick as it once was. For the young there are fortunes to be made!
The only people who gain from gambling are those that own the casinos - or in this case the sites.
The other thing that comes to mind is that a fool and his money are soon parted.
Very few can make any sort of a living gambling. Those that do - as wee eddie says - do so at the expense of others. It is necessary for there to be many 'others' for them to do so.
It is fine to put the odd £1 into a game of chance (Lottery included) for entertainment, but that money needs to be earned which takes far longer than it to be spent.
Always assuming you earn your original cash in a legal way.
Crockfords, The Clairmont and Le Circle, I can tell you that the Debtors Register of these Clubs in the 60's was a list of the Great and the Good as well as the Impecunious.
Many a Family Estate lost farms to clear the result of a couple of evenings Testosterone Fuelled Competitive Gaming.
Some even lost the lot, although I cannot remember any of those Clubs pursuing anyone to Bankruptcy. I do remember flying a well known Yacht Broker to Nice to accept a young Middle Eastern Gentleman's Floating Palace, in part payment, when his Father refused to foot the bill any longer.
is a form of gambling, and as with all forms of gambling most people lose money at it. Of course there are stories of people winning large amounts, and of people making a good living from online poker playing, but let's not kid ourselves that it's a serious consideration as a career choice for anyone but a select few.
Of course there are fortunes to be made, but remember that in card playing every fortune won by someone means a fortune lost by others - only a fool believes otherwise.
A lot of the professional players around are from professional work backgrounds. Poker is not a simple game - well, the rules are, but the strategy and execution isn't. Professional workers also tend to have a little more money to lose while they work out how to play properly. But I don't doubt that there's many a professional who has bankrupted themselves trying.
I tend to reckon that poker follows a pareto. 80% of people over time will lose more than they win, 20% will win more than they lose. Of that 20%, 80% will win very little, and 20% will take the lions share. That means that only 4% of players would stand a chance of making a sustainable living, and a lot of them will opt not to.
I played in the 2005 WSOP in Vegas, courtesy of William Hill who paid for everything. The only things I really gained from it was a knowledge that I'm really only good at online poker, and I that don't like Las Vegas!
One Saturday afternoon in 1973 while based at RAF Lossiemouth, I was enticed by my drinking buddies into a bookmakers emporium.
I placed a £1 bet on some horse purely because it's rider was Irish. I do not know his name, the horse's name or what the race was.
I walked out with about £30 and feeling as rich as a king.
I have never placed a bet since, not even on the Grand National works draw.
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