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How You Can Become a Professional Gambler

I get an annoying amount of email from people asking me how to gamble like I used to. The truth is that what I used to do isn't profitable anymore. It was a right time, right place sort of scenario. Although I'm not a professional gambler anymore, I have been spending time studying and improving at poker (I'm a break-even or slightly profitable player), and I have friends who are pros. There are surely several different paths you can take to make a living gambling; this is the one that I'm aware of and is feasible for someone of above average intelligence.

Despite offering a rough guide to making money gambling, I don't necessarily recommend that you do so. I gambled professionally for seven years. During that time I made a lot of money and enjoyed my life. One morning I woke up and all of my money was gone. The story behind that is complicated, but the gist is that "they caught on". The strongest emotion I felt was a sense of relief. Gambling is fun, but it's not "big". It doesn't contribute in a meaningful way or leave you with a body of work.

Most casino games have a house advantage ranging from 2-5%, assuming "perfect play". That means that if you play perfectly, you can expect to lose, on average, about 2-5% of the action you put through a machine. Perfect play for slot machines is simply to bet the maximum amount of coins (the jackpot is skewed heavily in favor of maximum coins). For blackjack you need to memorize what to do for every combination of player hands vs. dealer hands, specific to each set of rules (hit on soft 17, resplitting aces, etc).

The Importance of Dates & Commitments

On DROdio

Being a business owner, I have a bit of a different perspective on life than most people.  For one thing, to me work is more of a passion than a job.  Owning a business is like having a child.  Even though I don't have any children (yet), I think I can imagine what it's like based on the parallels:  You have to tend to the business at all hours, things are never as easy as they seem they should be, you have to put the business before yourself, etc.

One of the perspectives I've gained is the importance of keeping everyone in the company on the same page & prioritizing the company's needs correctly.  And I've learned that there are two really, really important aspects to this:  One is setting commitments and the second is always attaching a date to those commitments.

Sounds obvious right?  It's not.  Here's the difference in interaction I'm referring to:

Bob:  Hey I have a great idea - let's create a widget! Jane: I don't know, Bob, we already have 10 different widget types. Bob: Well I'll look into it some more, but I think it's a great idea. Jane: OK let me know.

Versus:

Being a business owner, I have a bit of a different perspective on life than most people.  For one thing, to me work is more of a passion than a job.  Owning a business is like having a child.  Even though I don't have any children (yet), I think I can imagine what it's like based on the parallels:  You have to tend to the business at all hours, things are never as easy as they seem they should be, you have to put the business before yourself, etc. One of the perspectives I've gained is the importance of keeping everyone in the company on the same page & prioritizing the company's needs correctly.  And I've learned that there are two really, really important aspects to this:  One is setting commitments and the second is always attaching a date to those commitments. Sounds obvious right?  It's not.  Here's the difference in interaction I'm referring to: Bob:  Hey I have a great idea - let's create a widget! Jane: I don't know, Bob, we already have 10 different widget types. Bob: Well I'll look into it some more, but I think it's a great idea. Jane: OK let me know. Versus: Bob:  Hey I have a great idea - let's create a widget! Jane: I don't know, Bob, we already have 10 different widget types. Bob: Well I'll look into it some more, but I think it's a great idea. Jane: OK when can you let me know? Bob: I'm not sure yet, but how about this - I'll let you know by Friday when I'll know for sure if it's a good idea. Do you see the HUGE difference here?  Jane is asking Bob to give her a date by which he will give her a date.  He is telling her that on Friday, he will tell her when he will know on what date he'll be able to determine if it's a good idea.  So when Friday comes around, Bob might say, "Hey Jane, I'll know by March 31st if this is a good idea."  But the important thing here is that he is committing to a date NOW instead of leaving things hanging, even though the date he is committing to is just to give Jane another date. This is an incredibly hard habit to get into.  You have to really force yourself to always give dates by which you'll do things - even if the date is just a date by which you'll give a date, as in the example above.  I learned this when I worked at GE.  In fact, GE takes this one step further, requiring anyone who comes up with an idea to either take ownership of the idea - with a date attached, of course - or immediately relegate the idea to the "good idea, but no action" bin. In order to accurately track tasks with employees, I use a hosted task service called TasksPro.  It's an inexpensive way to track the tasks employees commit to doing, and I have a weekly review meeting to go over progress. You'll be astounded at the difference insisting on dates makes.  Just try catching yourself and those around you when an idea or action item comes up and force yourselves to commit to dates, and then track the dates.  I'd love to hear about your experiences.

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