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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).

I Can See Your Ennui-Nis.

On The Slowing

Yesterday was not such a good day. I was the grumpiest goose. So I saved you from a negative Nancy post. You should thank me.

But today I want to talk about boredom. #4 in my introductory "Arbitrary Disciplines" post talked about my lack of something to do. Right now - to put it simply - I'm bored as hell. At work, my job is to smile at people and say "Thank you. Please come back!" I clear tables and make sure the restaurant doesn't get overwhelmed. Other than that, I do a lot of standing at the hostess stand, staring blankly out the window, and thinking about various things to add to my to-do lists. I've even been chastised at work for hiding a novel I'm reading under the reservation book when we're having one of our tediously empty days. I feel like I am in fifth grade all over again: In my math class, I was called out not once, but twice for hiding a library book inside my math book. I was bored out of my mind as we went over the same lesson for the third time. This was about the point my mom started putting in applications for me to attend a private school in the area. (Go, Mama!) So, if we're going to take this parallel even further - what is the adult equivalent of applying to and attending a private school?

Some would say grad school, but for now I just see that option as prolonging the inevitable question: how in the world do we fill our lives with purpose and meaning? Also, I don't want to have a Ph.D. in hand and be having the exact same problems I'm having now! Graduate school no longer guarantees a job. Quite the contrary, it often makes you "overqualified" for the entry level positions I'm vying for now. Truth is we are in a shit economy. There are very few jobs and employers know they can have their pick of the litter. So, in the face of essentially no paying gigs, how do we manage? How do we create a fulfilling life with purpose, creativity, and community?

Answer is: I'm not quite sure.

If I knew, I'd be doing it. Promise. But I'll start by sharing what I'm doing right: My life outside of work is actually pretty full. I do yoga, take banjo lessons, play on an adult volleyball league, write this blog, and volunteer on a farm. The glaring problem seems to be that I can't find work that pays and also sustains me. I've been told over and over again that I should be basking in this directionlessness. This is the only time in my life I won't be tied down! "Oh, to have a slow life again," they all lament. While I do understand the sentiment, a deep boredom clouds one's life. Anyone who has ever felt undervalued or downright useless at their job understands.

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