I recently dabbled with online poker on Betfair. I started by getting sucked in, I have to be honest and fess up to that one! I was football trading and got a bit bored while waiting for goals. Because I was involved in quite a few trades that evening, I didn’t want to leave my office so I found another temptation instead – Betfair Poker!
I saw an ad for a decent bonus when signing up so I snatched that up and dived in. Free money to play with is not something I am likely to turn a blind eye to, especially when sat twiddling my thumbs! I had played online poker a bit before (many years ago) and believe it or not, after years of trading football on Betfair I had never noticed that Betfair poker bonuses were even available! I banked my deposit bonus and treated it like a computer game to pass the time to begin with.
I played for a few hours and did ok. I did very well to begin with but then lady luck came along and saw lots of drunk idiots fishing out a nasty winner card on the river (5th community card) which dwindled my pot a bit. But I was up, and this was the first time I ever wondered if you could actually make a full time living from playing Betfair poker (while trading, even better!)
So, after a few days I had another go, and again I doubled my bank or more in the first hour, just following some basic rules I read about online (search ‘tight aggressive poker’), and then came a big hit. Some guy called my ALL IN bet and the river card killed me, giving him a ridiculously lucky win. I saw his card, as is always the case when players go all in on a poker table, and there is no way anyone sensible would have called my All In bet with the hand he had. I assumed he was drunk as a skunk and had a small dig at him in the chat window! (And they say no emotion should be involved, ha ha, I was a newbie, I had a license to be emotional!) Anyway, the bloke replied really nicely and surprised me, he said:
“I am very sorry. I hit call by accident, that was sick, I am really sorry”.
I was pretty taken aback, most of the people in these poker rooms come across as total idiots, and they rarely have the humility to apologise for a crazy bit of luck like that. This seemed like a decent person, and obviously a regular player going by his tight play, folding almost every hand except that one he accidentally called against me. So I chatted with him for a few minutes and he explained that he was drinking a cup of coffee and spilled some on his mouse, which he quickly wiped over causing him to accidentally call my All In bet. He wiped me out, not just his mouse!
Anyway, his next comment was even more interesting:
“Drop me your email and I will give you a few free lessons to show I mean my apology”
I was a bit confused at first, after all, what the hell are poker lessons? This poker thing isn’t a skill game, this is a game of luck, its pure gambling, right? Wrong, as I was soon to learn.
After a few days I heard from him by email, and he introduced himself very professionally. This was no young chump. This man was a well-qualified engineer based in London and he told me quite humbly how his salary in his last job was around £80,000 per year. So why was he out of work? Because he gave it all up to “work” full time at Betfair Poker! Yes, he was earning MORE than his previous salary, playing poker full time seven days a week.
To say I was shocked is quite an understatement. I gratefully accepted his kind offer to give me a few lessons. Within a few weeks, I was banking money regularly playing online poker at Betfair. Not big money of course, it was just a bit of fun still really, but I was amazed at how you can actually make regular profits by following some pretty simple but disciplined rules. That’s a familiar concept to me!
I learned how late nights are the best times to catch all the drunks after they come home from the pub and throw their money all over a poker table in excitement over seeing an Ace in their hand. I learned about poker odds, the maths behind it all, the meaning of “pot odds” (a very clever and important concept), and loads more to do with how to play tight aggressive, profitable texas hold’em poker.
Better still, I learned of a great way to increase your progress at an alarming rate, which is to play “multi-table”. This is where online poker beats the hell out of offline poker, where you obviously can’t do this. At all online Poker rooms you can play 2, 4, even 12 tables ALL AT ONCE! It is scary, believe me! But It does do one very important thing, it enables you to fold ALL but the very very best hands, whilst still getting regular hands you can play and win with. I dabbled with it, but it seemed a bit too “full on” for me, after all I was only trying to pass the time waiting for goals in my footie trades! But I did (and do still) do some multi table sessions when it takes my fancy. The guy who gave me some pointers was doing it 40,50,60 hours a week, sometimes even 70-80 hours. He did also confess that he was starting to find it a bit of a chore, and I couldn’t understand that at first but after multi-tabling for a few hours it did become easy to see why he would feel that way. It’s not exactly exciting. Its just grinding and laborious, but interesting all the same, and nice that you can do it from home.
I can definitely see the appeal for youngsters still living with parents! They play the odds, they learn the chances of cards coming up, and they fold, call or raise based on those odds, not based on anything else and certainly not based on emotion.
Poker obviously would never replace Betfair trading. It’s more a release from it or at least it was to begin with, but then I learned how the very same levels of discipline are needed in poker as on Betfair markets. This isn’t trading, obviously, but I thought I would type a post about it in case anyone else fancies having a go. It’s a nice way to get paid £5-10 an hour (very easily) while you’re tied to the desk but not needing to do much while you wait for LTD footie goals!