Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sports betting vs Poker

Someone sent me an email wondering why all the recent posts are about sports and none about poker. There are a few of reasons why I am so much more interested in sports at this time of year than poker:

1. It is the football season. Football creates so many more betting opportunities than all the other sports combined that any serious sports bettor must give their undivided attention to the game at this time of the year. Poker one can play any time of the year and achieve the same expectancy. If one wanted to put their full effort into sports in, say February, there is too little opportunity.

2. Making money by betting sports is capital-intensive while making money playing poker is labor-intensive. If one has the capital, and doesn't want to put in the laborious hours, all else equal, sports betting is better. Playing poker effectively means one needs to pay attention to the game at all times. In sports, the analysis comes before the game where there is plenty of time to think about the games. The only times when one has to put in the labor is during the gamedays. This means Saturdays and Sundays are super busy days that require full concentration, but the rest of the week (except for Monday night) one can use their own time. Compare this to playing poker full-time: it means putting in 30-50 hour "play" weeks, which means working 5 days a week.

3. During my trading career, I always thrived when learning something new and switching gears. In trading, it's almost impossible to go back and forth between two different types of jobs. One can't be an expert making markets in equity index options and also dabble (with positive expectancy) in mortgage bonds. It's just not feasible. With sports and poker, it is. During the football season, it's a perfect time to focus my attention on sports (remember, the baseball playoffs and the beginning of the basketball season occurs at this time too).

Of course it is all personal preference. During the football season, I prefer to concentrate on sports. And that means the posts in the blog will mostly about sports.

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