Whilst chatting to a friend of mine the other day about The Challenge, he suggested that I try my hand at poker. Now I’ve played a bit of poker over the years and have developed a fairly good poker face. I guess it helps being an actor too! However I dismissed the idea as being a bit daft until I started speaking to someone online earlier today which made me think again….
I got an email out of the blue this morning from a guy I used to know quite well a few years back. The standard sort of “not seen you in a while what are you up to?” kind of email. I replied, as you do, and asked what he was doing. He told me that he was making a living from online poker. Needless to say this got my attention. Anyone who is making money online is someone I need to speak to. I gave him my Messenger address and we started chatting.
It turns out that he’s been playing online poker for a number of years. At first he did it for an hour or two after work as a leisure activity. He’d make $10 here, $20 there but nothing to write home about. Anyway he had some time off work because he broke his toe playing rugby and found himself playing poker on the internet for most of the week. He made more money playing poker online that week than he’d make in his regular job.
He went back to work the next week but found himself unable to concentrate on his job and found himself counting the hours until he could play Texas Holdem again. He’d go online as soon as he got home and played for 6-8 hours straight every night raking in up to $300 a night. He then took part in a poker tournament the website was running and won $5000. After a couple of weeks he jacked in his job and played poker online for up to 16 hours a day. He tended to sleep until mid afternoon and then start playing when the Americans came online and play through until 5am.
At his invitation I joined him in an online poker room this afternoon and watched him ‘work’. I lost my initial $10 stake in no time at all so sat and watched without betting much. He’d already told me a couple of his secrets which obviously I won’t reveal but I was in awe of the guy as he played the table and won just over $80 in the hour I was there. He dismissed it as a poor return and blamed the fact that none of the big players were on at that time of day. $80 an hour sounds like a decent wage to me!
In all honesty it doesn’t really fit with what I’m trying to achieve but I have to say that I can see the attraction in online poker if you’re any good at it. Sadly my poker face was of no use on the internet which would explain why my outrageous bluffing on a pair of 3’s was my undoing. I might, however, enter a poker tournament at some point as part of The Challenge. Of course, I’ll be sure to have my old friend sitting next to me as I play 😉