Handling the Swings

I decided when I started writing this journal that I would only write in this section when I was losing, not having just lost, but on a skid. A skid as it’s used here is a run of losses that ends up seriously crippling your proceeds for the month or actually has you down, either […]

Managing the Grind with Household Services and Expenses

In a previous post, I talked about some of the bookkeeping tips for poker winnings and tax accounting. That got me thinking about another kind of bookkeeping resource for poker grinders. Admittedly, I was single and semi-slobbish when I was a pro player, but contrary to the stereotype, I knew quite a few pros who […]

Recognizing and Exploiting Others’ Confirmation Bias at the Poker Table

In a previous post, I discussed how to recognize and manage your own confirmation bias at the poker table. I wanted to follow up those thoughts with a different approach to confirmation bias, namely exploiting your opponents’ bias at the poker table. In many ways, I’ve found this to be an even more productive exercise […]

Recognizing and Reducing Your Own Confirmation Bias at the Poker Table

For those who don’t know, confirmation bias is the tendency to look for, interpret, remember, and give extra weight to data that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs and assumptions. It’s an idea that’s commonly applied to different spheres, from politics and religion to psychology and game theory including poker. Confirmation bias shows up at the poker […]

Bookkeeping Tips for Grinders: Document Your Losses to Offset Your Winnings

Come tax time, you’ll need to collect, organize, and report your various income and tax forms to the IRS and state government. But long before the filing forms start arriving in your mailbox, you need to keep reliable documentation of different aspects of your gambling and poker activities. For the time being, I’m going to side step the various […]

Who is the Poker Inspector?

Hi, my name is Drew, and I was a poker grinder in the truest sense of the word. I played poker for a living for the better part of five years during and just after grad school. I made enough to live on, but not especially comfortably, and while I did have a decent chunk […]

How to Use Data to Pick Your Spots

Many successful poker pros spent months, or more often years, being a grinder. The term can mean a few different things. In one sense, it refers to the mental grind and general stress of earning a living by playing poker. Indeed, it’s tough enough to consistently make the best decisions possible at the poker table […]

Projecting Weakness vs. Allowing Strength

Whether it’s pocket aces or flopping the nuts, one of the skills that’s important to develop as a poker player is what to do when you have a monster hand. The primary calculation here is how to extract the most chips. (Depending on the situation, you also need to be mindful of getting blind-sided. Just how stone-cold are your […]

What Poker Teaches Us about Luck

No doubt, there are dozens of different ways I could talk about the intersection between poker and luck. But one of the things that’s always resonated for me, and continues to resonate, is how often bad luck first appears to be good luck, and vice versa:     “When the gods wish to punish us, they answer […]

Picking Your Spots: At the Poker Table and in the Stock Market

Everybody runs hot and cold at different times, that’s just randomness and noise doing its thing. But the key is knowing that by consistently making good decisions, starting with picking your spots at the poker table, you can increase your advantage over your opponent so that, given a large enough sample size, you’re showing a […]