Former Online Poker Pro, Considering Transitioning into Trading...Maybe?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Nutinsider, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone, I am new here. My name is Craig. I used to play online poker for a living. I went full time in 2007 and was forced to stop in 2011 for...obvious sad reasons. Some of my online friends have moved out of the country to continue playing online poker, but I have been reluctant because

    A) I own a house here that receives rents, and I really like it!

    B) Moving just sucks =(

    Live poker is an option, but it's sorta....meh.

    I have a degree in Economics however my real world "work" experience is limited to say the least. I have dabbled in a few consulting gigs but nothing major.

    I began getting into investing and stuff a few years back; I'd like to think I'm not completely ignorant regarding how money moves through various markets and such, that being said, I still have lots to learn.

    The natural progression, in my opinion, was trading. I began researching various trading techniques a year or so ago, and it seems the skill set is very similar to poker. Because of the similarities, I feel it has the potential to be a good fit for me.

    So that brings me here. I think a forum of traders would be the best place to learn things. I'm in a weird spot because I hear "you can't beat wall street, they have more information than you, don't compete with the resources and insider knowledge that is not at your disposal."

    I find those points valid, however I also used to hear "nothing ever good comes from gambling, only 2% of players are winners, etc"

    And I did poker successfully for a living over a statistically significant sample...As you can see, it seems those saying "most lose at poker" are the same ones saying "most lose at trading."

    While I believe this to be true, I strongly feel there is value there and since I have a track record of removing liquidity from markets, I think (or at least I'd like to) that it is at least possible.

    What does everyone here think?

    I do realize that in order to do it for a living you probably need minimum 100kish liquid. It takes money to make money. It seems most trading firms simply operate as a hub for under-capitalized traders? I could be wrong, shrug.

    Any information from anyone would be very helpful to me. As you can see, I really can't think of one specific thing to ask any of you, I suppose then I simply want some advice (where to start, reputable firms, optimal techniques :ie pairs trading, arbitrage, etc, things to know.....anything and everything) from people who are better than me at trading.

    Side note: DAVID EINHORN ROCKS! (he donates to a charity my sister works for and just banked 4m for them at the 1m buy in tournament at the WSOP)

    This post was longer then I meant it to be, I hope there is an ample amount of page breaks for your eyes.
  2. Trading for a living is not an easy life, but I assume some of the poker skills would translate to some degree into trading.
  3. gaj


    there's a couple other similar threads in here about poker players coming over to trade, you might want to check on those.

    don't know if you listen to the 2+2 pokercasts, but there's a bunch of them where i'll listen and say "yup, i can 100% relate that kind of feeling (tilt, forcing things, etc.) to mistakes i've made in trading".

    btw, there are a fair number of ppl here who aren't traders but marketers, or wanna-be armchair quarterbacks. lots of the areas remind me more of NVG than anything else.
  4. dom993


    There's a saying around about "you need 10,000 hours of screen-time" (watching then trading live markets), for this to happen your finances have to be large enough to cover your life expenses for that amount of time.

    Then, you'll need some risk-capital, enough of it to make a living after a few years on a reasonable yearly-return%.

    You'll have to find your trading style, both time horizon & volatility, corresponding instruments to trade, find "what works" for you (which might not be the same as what works for anyone else), get good at it.
    Some will say: "find a mentor", very good advice if the mentor is actually both a profitable trader (ask for trading statements) and a good coach (ask other students).

    This is a big commitment (time & money) if you really want to succeed.

    BTW, how did you learn & become a pro poker-player?
  5. lwlee


    In the beginning of the online poker boom, circa 2005, a lot of guys discovered multitabling online poker was profitable because a) lots of newbies and b) you could smooth out variances by playing premium hands over many tables. It got harder later on, when existing players adjusted and new players couldn't easily deposit money. One of the things that evened the playing field, existing online pros started selling their knowledge through online training sites. A real good resource is the 2+2 forums, where there is a ton of hand analysis.

  6. Another pro gambler here. I would also like to transition into the markets. The main thing is finding a viable edge. It's easier to find and to define an edge in gambling since it's a closed system, but much more difficult in the markets since they are always changing.

    The nice thing about the markets is that they scale up to larger amounts of capital, which isn't the case in gambling.
  7. Sometime soon Don Bright will show up in this thread (or you can search him out) and you should have a serious conversation with him. Him and his brother were card counters turned traders and they now run a large and well regarded prop firm.

    You two will speak exactly the same language and it will be a great conversation to start with. I will throw in my two cents as long as I am here. This is a much, much better game than poker, there is lots of smart money around but also tons of dead stupid and crazy money to. Imaging a game where there is no cash ante beyond your time, a very small drop (by comparison) and, at least for the first few years, almost any bet you make will be faded. Play as tight as you want and no one at the table will know you are only playing the top six hands pre-flop. What I have described is reality and you get to take those elements and fashion your plan as you get some hard earned skill at reading these cards.

    Good fortune!

  8. Hi, thanks for the response. You make a lot of sense. Can you elaborate on what you mean by style? I mean, do you mean what market to trade? Options, stocks, forex, etc? Or do you mean like the type of trading? ie: arb, pairs, swing, etc.

    To answer your question:

    I never intended to be "pro" I delivered pizza in school, some guys would play poker after work...I was clueless, in fact, I tried to argue with a guy that my a7 was a spli pot against my friends a9 on a board of A 5 10 J 6. As embarrassing as it sounds, I really couldnt grasp the whole "best five card hand" thing...Anyways, that was one night, and after that I was just kinda looking for something to do you know? I decided to learn more by playing really small stakes online.

    Many sites at the time had promotions. "play x amount of hands and get free poker chips, poker books, and a table!" This is the only reason I started get free shit!

    Out of pure boredom, during fall break senior year in college (2006-2007) I decided to create a spread sheet that would track my profit...I thought to my self "ok, if i suck and lose, I'll drop this hobby, as I don't want a hobby that lights money on fire"

    Turns out I was doing well. Now was I playing well or just getting lucky? Likely a little of both, but mostly luck, as I didn't know nearly as much as I thought I did.

    So then I thought "ok, if I continue to play well, and win money, I will quit my job delivering pizza as long as the hourly is more than I can expect to make delivering pies." It was. Then I quit and thought "well in May, when I graduate, I will simply get a real job....unless my hourly is higher...not only higher, but significantly more after factoring career mobility and promotions and stuff."

    So thats how it began....I hit a rut in 2009 where I realized I wasnt playing well. In order to improve, I would watch videos of players that were better than me. When I went to casinos, I would watch what the good players did. I recorded every episode of the high stakes cash game, "high stakes poker"

    I put everything together and was doing super awesome. 2011 came and was looking like it was going to be my best year by far and doomsday occurred.

    So here I am. Now, one fundamental difference is that I don't think learning "trading" is as accessible as learning no limit hold em. I mean, there isn't a "Trading" channel that shows a bunch of traders at work. Basically, it seems the information is more hush hush, and rightfully so, as traders seem to really move markets, and thats a big deal I think?

    Again, this post was much longer than I intended!
  9. dom993


    All of the above, and more:

    - usual holding time (weeks / days / hours / minutes / seconds)
    - avg win-rate vs avg win/loss (generally speaking, the higher the win-rate, the lower the avg win/loss ... it boils down to whether you can trade systems w/ low win-rate but high avg win/loss, or you need a high win-rate - which you'll get at the expense of the size of these wins)
    - directional vs non-directional (in directional trading, you bet on the direction price is gonna take ... in non-directional trading, you bet on a price range price is gonna stay in)
    - instruments ... it seems impossible to do any kind of stocks trading these days (dark pools/sub-pennying, HFT), stock options are likely same to worse, your best bet would be futures (even if your underlying is forex)
    - discretionary vs automated (do you have sharp programming skills? pun intended)

    I would recommend reading "Enhancing traders performance" from Brett N. Steenbarger - it does a good job at giving you an overview of what's ahead if you embark on the journey.
  10. arai123


    i also played online poker for a living until the beginning of this year. since then, i've decided to start learning how to trade at a prop firm. grinded my way up from cheeseburger stakes in 2008 to 400NL to 600NL

    the skill set required to become a successful poker player, especially online, is the same for trading.

    i would also say trading is even easier.

    it's like the skill level is the same at the micros and at high stakes.

    if you can find a winning strategy at the micros, it will work at the high stakes games.

    and it's a lot less variance than poker
    #10     Jul 20, 2012