Pro Poker Player + Pro Trader?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by DegenFarang, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Greetings,

    Sorry if this post takes place nine times a week...I'm new here and couldn't find anything similar in a search.


    I am looking into being a professional trader and wanted to see if anybody could provide input on how I should proceed. A bit of background on me.

    I graduated from the University of California in 2004 with a liberal arts degree. I did corporate sales for a year then started a marketing company. I have been a professional poker player for the past year.

    I have been interested in the stock market since high school and have traded my Ameritrade account successfully for the past three years. I am almost always long and I buy well known companies (EBAY, HAL, GOOG, AAPL).


    After reading Fooled By Randomness and hearing of trading in a few other places...I am intensely interested in researching it more and possibly entering the field.

    I am 25 and have the luxury of multiple streams of passive income now and a job (poker) that is very flexible w/ regard to my time and where I live.

    So my question is...given the above...what would be my best course of action to:

    A. Find out if trading is right for me
    B. Learn to trade successfully
    C. Enter the field

    I would be willing to do intense study on my own, or take any sort of job that would 'show me the ropes' without concern for the amount of pay.

    Thanks in advance and sorry if i've just broken some sacred rule around here.
  2. get out of poker and into trading and or investing 100%. The Poker knowledge doesnt scale well - you cant trade 100000 shares of KK or QQ or AA , but you can while trading.
  3. I can play for higher and higher stakes...and a lot of the research I have done shows a huge correlation between the two skill-sets.

    If I were to trade full time, what do I need to do to get there? Read a certian book or series of books? Take a certain position? Get a certain degree?
  4. Deng

    The ONLY similarites between the two skills are self control and money management.

    POKER is about luck

    TRADING is about edge

    Even the greatest gamblers that ever lived understood the difference.

    My advise is to read as many good books on trading as you can especially the classics and if you can find a good mentor grab them.

    The prop shops are only the route to go if you have no cash and I only know of one or two that offer a good education.

    My number one piece of advise is to NOT buy anything from any web site that sells trading material in any form.

    If they are in the business of selling off of web sites they are not in the business of trading.

    Books, screen time and a mentor are the best route but be VERY cautious of finding the right mentor.
  5. Disagree.

    My first comment would be this. If you feel that playing poker for 1 year successfully qualifies you as a pro, you may not have hit the big drawdown years that will eventually come, the ones that all long-term poker pro's can tell you about. Don't get me wrong - I am not saying you haven't had great success online, only that you won't know if you are a true poker pro until you hit that huge horrible period where every one of your hands is beaten on the river for huge losses. 1 year just ain't enough, in my very humble and almost-informed-only-by-theory opinion. Maybe you've been playing for years and have only gone pro in the last year.

    That said, success in poker can stand you in good stead for success in trading, especially shorter term trading.

    The big difference is in the learning curve. You shouldn't play the markets with a $150 account (well, some suckers try, but...) but it's a great way to learn poker. Instead you have to do a bit of research, do some reading and educate yourself as to the different types of trading you can try. Then learn how they all work. Then, before you do anything else, you must devise a strategy; many good traders suggest a written plan as well. The #1 way beginners lose money is by opening an account and starting to trade without a clear plan. The #2 way is by breaking one's own rules. That's where your poker skill will come in. As a ex-bad poker player, I know that making losing calls is the way to lose. You have to be able to get out when that's the right thing to do, regardless of what the river card turned out to be, or regardless what the stock did in the last 15 minutes. Your exit wasn't wrong just because something unlikely happened at the end of the (hand) (day).

    Having said that, your real education will come when you start to put your money on the line.

    Everything you need is here at ET. Do a search on good trading books and get a few. There are sites at which you can follow the market action intra day for FREE. Do that if you want. Get an inexpensive piece of charting software and start looking at charts if that appeals to you. There are people on here that will tell you that technical analysis (making decisions after running price,volume and a few other variables through various algorithms) is bogus. Others will tell you that it's the only way to trade. A lot of very successful short term trader don't look at any technical indicators at all - they simply observe price action and make their decisions.

    Maybe you'll become an options trader, never taking an outright long or short position in any instrument; instead you will always hedge your risk and try to take advantage of the mispricing of certain options.

    Maybe discretionary trading (that is, allowing your own mental decision making processes be the final filter for actually placing a trade) will not be for you - maybe you are a quant and have the patience to sit with a piece of software for a long long time and devise a system and then automate it, so that all the buying and selling is done automatically, without emotion getting in the way.

    Some people make money in the markets by selling other people systems. I would suggest that you be very very careful about spending your money on other people's systems and then trying to trade them. Much better to devise your own.

    Maybe you will realize that the only way for you to trade is to do fundamental analysis on a stock or a currency or a futures contract. Maybe you are great at research and you have a feel for what makes a small cap company potentially huge. Maybe that's the only way to feel comfortable about putting your money into play. Many of the biggest behemoths in the financial world made their money trading in this way.

    If you read through this site, you will see that people who just start trading and are good at it right away are very rare. I want you to consider the possibility that the learning curve for trading may be a couple of years long. The best traders in the world have blown out badly, just as the best card players have had bad runs of play. I remember Lederer in the 2003 WSOP saying 'Well, I think I'll continue my run of bad play by calling that raise'. I am sure that a lot of traders have felt the same emotion - doing something when in the back of your mind there is a voice saying 'you shouldn't be doing this'. It's the same with dieting or quitting smoking or whatever.

    Remember that you can use simulators to test your methods. They can be downloaded from any broker that provides on-line trade execution. Alternatively, you can 'paper trade' your longer term methods. Some here will tell you that paper trading is usless for raw beginners, others will tell you that it is indispensible. As always, you need to find out what's right for you.

    PS - I just re-read your initial post and it says

    I am not sure what you are asking for now. You already know about long,medium,short term and intraday trading. You have a successful strategy now. Maybe you think of what you have been doing as 'investing' and are interested in shorter time frames? Are you asking about daytrading specifically? Are you looking to go short more often? Maybe if you give some specifics we can give you the info you need.
  6. gkishot


    I don't understand how people can make money playing poker. People can fold in poker and a good hand goes to waste. The player's edge should be so small in poker if at all. In my opinion it's much easier to make money by trading markets.
  7. gkishot


    I don't understand how people can make money playing poker. People can fold in poker and a good hand goes to waste. The player's edge should be so small in poker if at all. In my opinion it's much easier to make money by trading.
  8. Hi Samson - we agree about some things but I will vehemently disagree with this statement. There is a huge skill component to No-Limit Hold-Em and it far outweighs the luck component, IMO.

    Agree with everything else you said, though.
  9. People don't fold - that's one way to make money. They stay in the hand when it is best for them to fold. The other way is to make people fold the better hand. That happens in games with good players.

    Not saying which is easier, but there are plenty of ways to make money in a poker game.
    #10     Oct 29, 2005