Over the last few years, I have been asked several times by poker
players, whether or not they should turn pro. Or more plainly put, they
ask if they should make their living playing poker. Generally, I discourage
the notion, having started on that path quite young and then discovering
there was a better way to go through life.
Ironically, after retiring from the construction business about 10 years
ago, I once again found myself playing poker for a living. I know of
several of the writers have written columns on the subject, gibing some
of the pitfalls and the benefits of such an occupation. I recently thought I
would simplify the question by devising the following quiz. If you have a
few minutes to spare, give it a try.
1. You get in a fight with a guy 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier
than you, who has a black belt in the martial arts. He knocks you
down 3 times, you get up each time and go after him, then he knocks
you down the fourth time. Which of the following is your course of
A. Play dead.
B. Get up and go after him again.
C. Fake a heart attack.
D. Ask him if he would like to discuss the matter.
2. Your rent is due and you have just enough to pay for it, but you will be
stone cold broke if you pay it. Which of the following do you do?
A. Pay your rent.
B. Go to the nearest card room, find a good game, and try to win
C. Buy lottery tickets.
D. Take your wife and girlfriend out to an expensive dinner,
dancing, and the whole works.
3. You go to one of the clubs or casinos and win $1,000 playing poker.
On the way to your car, you see a friend of yours who is running bad.
Which of the following do you do?
A. Play like you do not see him and go the other way.
B. Stop and ask him if things have gotten any better, casually
telling him you just won $1,000.
C. Say hello to him but lie, and say you just lost your case
D. Fake a heart attack.
4. You have a dinner date for 7 p.m. but you're stuck, and the game is
good. Which of the following do you do?
A. Call your date and explain the situation, and ask her what
she thinks you should do.
B. Call and tell her your car is broken down and you're waiting
for the tow truck, and it looks like it might be hours before
you could get there.
C. Tell her you've had diarrhea all day and then ask her if she
still wants to go out.
D. Look for a new girlfriend or wife.
5. You go to your taxman and he informs you that you owe $5,000 in
taxes, due tomorrow. You look in your pocket and you have exactly
$5,000. Which of the following do you do?
A. Go to the bank and get a cashier's check for $5,000 and send
it to the IRS.
B. Go to the nearest place where there is a poker game and
play, hoping you win and promising yourself if you do, you will
send the IRS their money.
C. Denounce your American citizenship and move to someplace
where they have poker and you don't have to pay taxes on
D. Go to a different taxman and get a second opinion.
6. You're one away from the last table when you lose a huge pot, when
your Aces get cracked by Ace-King off suit. On the way out of the club
or casino, you see a guy in a $100 and a $200 game. He's owed you
$1,000 for a year, always claiming he doesn't have any money. He
has $10,000 in chips in front of him. Which of the following do you do?
A. Keep walking out of the club, waiting for a better time to
B. Walk around the block once or twice, aware that you are in
the mood to kill. After the walk, you go back and firmly ask for
C. Ask him if he's playing his own money or someone else's.
D. Wait until he cashes out, not wanting to inconvenience him at
such an inappropriate time.
Conclusion: If you answered all six questions correctly, think about your
decision for a few weeks. Then, if you still want to be a poker pro, seek
For what it's worth ...
Quiz: Should I Become a Poker Pro?
By Vince Burgio