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Supposed pro player... can this be possible?

StopHammertimeStopHammertime Posts: 81Member
My roommate made a new friend, and this new friend's husband is supposedly a professional poker player. The story, as told to my roommate by this guy's wife, is pretty fantastical, and my BS detector is going off, so I was hoping you guys could help me figure out how plausible this is. Here's what I've been told:

- He quit his full-time job around two years ago to play professionally...
- He drives 70 miles to a regional airport and then flies to Las Vegas once a week, and plays for a few days, then comes back...
- He has a wife and two kids...
- He has a home that costs $300K+, alongside a golf course...
- "He's been on TV" (which could just mean he happened to be at a TV table during the Main Event)...

This sounds pretty insane to me. I can't imagine a poker player willing to incur all these costs (airport parking, $200 plane tickets, the cost of the hotel, the driving, the living out of a suitcase) and being able to recoup them and make enough money on top of all that in order to finance this sort of lifestyle. Let's say each trip costs him $500, which I think is pretty conservative. That's $26,000 a year just to "get to work". The cost of living where we are is lower than Las Vegas, but it's not so much drastically lower that it would justify this.

Plus, two years ago - come on, could you have hand-picked a worse time to decide to be a professional player? And why not move to Vegas, where the real estate market was extremely depressed at the time? Is this the sort of lifestyle you subject your two kids to?

What stakes would this guy have to play and be a consistently winning player at to fund this sort of arrangement? At least $10/20, right? I figure this guy needs to average profits of AT LEAST $80K/year, and probably more like $120K/year, because poker doesn't have health and dental insurance for those kids. How many millions of dollars would he have to have in liquid assets in order to sweat the risk-of-ruin?

I live near the border, so my half-baked pet theory is that this guy is actually a drug mule who flies drugs into Las Vegas for the dealers to the tourists, and he has to have a story for when he comes back to his wife with $25,000 in cash.

I have no doubt that there are players in the world that COULD do this, but I don't think a player of that caliber WOULD do this. They'd just live in Vegas or California.

Comments

  • StopHammertime said

    My roommate made a new friend, and this new friend's husband is supposedly a professional poker player. The story, as told to my roommate by this guy's wife, is pretty fantastical, and my BS detector is going off, so I was hoping you guys could help me figure out how plausible this is. Here's what I've been told:

    - He quit his full-time job around two years ago to play professionally...
    - He drives 70 miles to a regional airport and then flies to Las Vegas once a week, and plays for a few days, then comes back...
    - He has a wife and two kids...
    - He has a home that costs $300K+, alongside a golf course...
    - "He's been on TV" (which could just mean he happened to be at a TV table during the Main Event)...

    This sounds pretty insane to me. I can't imagine a poker player willing to incur all these costs (airport parking, $200 plane tickets, the cost of the hotel, the driving, the living out of a suitcase) and being able to recoup them and make enough money on top of all that in order to finance this sort of lifestyle. Let's say each trip costs him $500, which I think is pretty conservative. That's $26,000 a year just to "get to work". The cost of living where we are is lower than Las Vegas, but it's not so much drastically lower that it would justify this.

    Plus, two years ago - come on, could you have hand-picked a worse time to decide to be a professional player? And why not move to Vegas, where the real estate market was extremely depressed at the time? Is this the sort of lifestyle you subject your two kids to?

    What stakes would this guy have to play and be a consistently winning player at to fund this sort of arrangement? At least $10/20, right? I figure this guy needs to average profits of AT LEAST $80K/year, and probably more like $120K/year, because poker doesn't have health and dental insurance for those kids. How many millions of dollars would he have to have in liquid assets in order to sweat the risk-of-ruin?

    I live near the border, so my half-baked pet theory is that this guy is actually a drug mule who flies drugs into Las Vegas for the dealers to the tourists, and he has to have a story for when he comes back to his wife with $25,000 in cash.

    I have no doubt that there are players in the world that COULD do this, but I don't think a player of that caliber WOULD do this. They'd just live in Vegas or California.
    I think you are pretty right on here, Stop.

    Even if this guy played 20 hours per week he would probably have to be in the top 1% of pros in order to make the money necessary for his expenses. At $100 per hour he would be making just over $100k a year. If he is an older guy, unless it happens to be Lee Markholt, I just dont buy it.

    And if he could make that type of money how could he possibly pass up on playing for longer hours per week?

    Bart
  • StopHammertimeStopHammertime Posts: 81Member
    I want to sit in a game with this guy just to see what the deal is, but I'm not sure what scenario is more ideal: that this guy is a world-class player that I'll be completely outmatched against? Or that this guy is a middle-man in an international drug ring and that any time you're gambling with him is a "heads I win, tails you lose" scenario? If you beat a guy like that, you're likely to have an "accident" on the way home...
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    He might have acquired wealth before he chose to live the livestyle he currently does. Maybe he inherited lots of money, had a very successful job previously, married a very wealthy woman, won the lottery... who knows. Each of these possible explanations is unlikely by itself, but the reasoning he's a drug dealer sounds just as unlikely.

    Playing poker most of your time does not equal earning your living through it. Maybe he just doesn't need to make money, and plays for fun!?
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