Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week # 15: Poker

Sorry... Way behind. April, being Earth Month, is traditionally busy for anyone in an environmental field. But no excuses... I do intend to get to 52 weeks, so I'll post a little more frequently for a while (I hope).

Apologies to anyone following this who received incomplete messages that I had preset to certain posting dates and then failed to write up the text. I have abandoned that strategy and will just post as I write from this point.

Today's subject was not one of my choosing. As you may have heard last month, the US Dept. of Justice shut down the three largest online poker operations in the US, among them PokerStars, where I had an account with $302.42 that I was using to play in tournaments ranging from $1 to $5 buy ins.

That account was started with money from my Ridesharing earnings. It hasn't changed too much since it began a few years ago, and would have sat there for several more years. However, the federal government in all it's wisdom has decreed that I must cash out that account and henceforth play online poker only for pride and Zynga gotchkas, rather than for anything with any actual value. Not to get too soap boxy, but for a nation that bills itself as the land of the free, it seems odd that we now have one of the most restrictive poker policies of any nation on Earth. Even more odd, considering the roots of the game are firmly planted in American history.

I am not going to give up poker entirely - I'll get my fix in a local casinos here and there - but from the amount being refunded to me, I will set aside $100 that I will put back in my general bank account to pay regular everyday bills. There's my $100 savings for this posting.

The remaining $202.42 will be my poker bankroll for playing local tourneys, and the occasional trip to Vegas. If that bankroll goes away by the end of the year, I'll quit playing until 2012 and at least I'll have the $100 in savings locked in. (I actually made a trip to the Commerce Casino a couple of weeks ago and came out ahead, so the bankroll has started out in a positive direction.)

Savings from US Government Mandates: $100

Total savings to date: $2,201.22

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