Friday, February 11, 2011

Prop Bets are Foolish

A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place. – Stanley Weiser

The poker blogosphere is currently abuzz about the recent prop bet between two young guys that, apparently, have more money than they know what to do with.

I don’t know a lot about them but, it seems from the two blog posts I read, they are young poker players that have enjoyed a fair degree of success - enough that they have $300 – 900K to donk off on an ill considered prop bet. Ill considered for a few reasons.

First, if one is good enough to win/earn $300K+ at the ripe old age of 21 or 22, one might want to stick with that activity and not waste a lot of money on others. Unless one is at least as experienced/good at prop betting as one is at poker, one would be much better off using the $300K to earn more money playing poker than on some whimsical prop bet.

Moreover, it seems clear from his own words that he is far from experienced/good at prop betting and that he definitely had not thoughtfully or carefully considered this bet before making it – after all, the bet is for a significant amount and could create some serious health issues for his friend.

As for wondering if there is something fundamentally unhealthy about the environment successful young poker players (Unsuccessful young poker players don’t have enough money to make the sort of prop bet these guys did) are living in, there certainly is. It is a lack of sufficient respect for the value of the money they have earned/made and also the belief that their earnings are sustainable indefinitely.

To all the young “ballas” with a few hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket, (seriously) hire a decent for pay financial advisor and invest/save some of your money (10-20%). You won’t miss it now, but you will greatly appreciate it later.

And by the way, just say no to dumb prop bets.