Successful poker player

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by philivey, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. philivey



    I am a successful poker player, but would like to get into trading.

    Is the transition easy?

    Learning curve?

  2. Lucias


    Phil Ivey... lol

    Well if you find a good mentor then it could be a lot easier. But, in a word.. NO.

    I've always been rather surprised that prop firms look at pro poker players as if they will somehow win at a game that is different. I played poker as a TEST and as an EXPERIMENT just to see what it could teach me about trading. A lot of these prop firms and hedge funds are jokers. If you want a world class brain surgeon do you go to a world class veterinarian? No.. Duh.

    It taught me some valuable lessons but not that much. As a poker player, you have a few traits that are useful: mentally tough, some ability to think in probabilities, and and maybe some ability to manage risk and desire to win. Your biggest asset will hopefully be a large bankroll. But you need a much bigger bankroll to trade then to play poker.. you'll need 50k to step up to the plate and 100k is better.

    But you lack a lot more.. I found poker way too boring for me. I was OKAY but my trading skills didn't translate into poker skills either.

    Basically, how much do you think completing elementary school would prepare you to be a brain surgeon ?

    One big thing about poker is that there are, at least, some verifiable edges. There are weak games. Things like that.. Trading isn't that way. No weak games and nothing for sure. Nothing to review that will tell you what cards are worth more then others.

    These are real uncertainties. No weak games. No fish to prey on. And, we don't take kind to gamblers either.
  3. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

    I have to say it is. I know a poker player turns trader. His hard part is the transition from face-to-face to battling a faceless foe. Once he got over it he just waits until market shows a weak hand then he strikes. Patient is still a virtue not matter which battlefield you choose.
  4. The rules in poker are much more well-defined and it's easier to acquire information from other players, books, training sites. The main difficulty is probably the work you put in and the amount of hands you play. It's also a relatively fair game (UB/FTP scandals aside).

    IMHO trading is a very different beast. Institutions have advantages which you won't begin to comprehend until you've actually traded for a while and your bankroll gets cut in half. In a sideways market, trading is a zero-sum game and if you take a look at the obscene profits the bank traders are making, you can infer how well the typical retail traders are doing. The banks basically get to lie, cheat and steal at your expense.

    There's next to ZERO sharing of truly valuable information even on trading sites like this. There's a ton of information on bankroll management, psychology, brokers to use, software to use. Yes, a lot of info that are requisite to being a successful trader, but you will not even get a whiff of a secret sauce. Information like that would never be shared and there are very few retail traders who are actually able to trade for a living. Most posters on this board are wannabees.

    That being said, it is possible, but going back to your post, it's a very different game than poker so I wouldn't think you could leverage much of your poker skill to trading.
  5. There's many similarities between poker and trading; but there are many differences as well. One big one is that anyone can hop on Amazon, find a basic poker book and have a base to start off (hand rankings, betting patterns, etc). In learning to trade however, you can buy 100's of books and none of them could provide any value for you to act on. You have no idea if what the author/website is providing something that actually works. In poker, you already know that AA is better than any hand preflop - this is a fact. In trading, there is no way to know until you've tested something for many hours to see if the idea presented is any good, let alone the AA.

    Personally I enjoy playing poker as the similarities from trading help me at the table -- but poker is just a hobby to me.
  6. Is it easier to become a winning poker player than a profitable trader ?

    Lately I have asked myself whether I should have invested my time in learning poker instead of learning to trade.
  7. Daal


    I don't think so at all. Markets are WAY more scalable than poker. Also trading is essentially legalized gambling, there are all kinds of legal/tax headaches that poker brings. I find it more stressful as well
  8. I used to play online poker before I got into trading, and I think poker is easier to learn while trading is obviously much more scalable.
  9. Phil,
    Assuming that you are a real poker player who is a positive expectations player, why on earth would you want to transition into trading? Assume that you make money from live games you likely do not declare the money to the IRS and could set up a business - such as a small liqueur store to lounder cash and have a side income. If you become a trader the transition will not be easy. Your success is no way quaranteed and you will have to compete with the sharks, where as a poker player you feed upon the stupid player. In trading you cannot expect that.
    So this begs the question, if you make money now (which by the way I am not questioning) why fuck it up and try something different?
  10. The link below will give you a decent amount of knowledge on the entirety of the subject. Obv, there are a good amount of idiots on the site that you should completely disregard. I did switch to trading from poker back in Mar 09 and did very well at my firm. Made them a ton of money but they screwed me and alot of other guys over in bonuses so we all left the firm. I made them like 700K in 18 months and didn't get a single penny for a bonus and just had my base. Now I switched over to a reputable hedge fund doing multiple roles in addition to trading.
    #10     Dec 5, 2011