Playing Poker in Las Vegas
“Startups play poker. Managers play chess.”
I have played quite a bit of Texas Hold’em since my introduction to the game during my freshman year of High School. On my phone, I use the Pokerist.com’s Texas Poker application. Last year, almost every Thursday at 7pm, I would meet with a group of majority Asian students with offers in sales and trading to play no limit. When I go back home, I usually play poker with friends while catching up. Playing cards recreationally has been fun. Being big fan of game theory doesn’t hurt; especially since poker’s high stakes, risk and reward probabilities, and bluffing factor make it a challenging game.
Going to Vegas, however, is a whole different game. Having anticipated that I would need to take my game to a whole new level I studied pot odds, pre-flop odds, and in-game odds. Most of my analytical research came from this site: http://www.tightpoker.com/poker_hands.html. Having played thousands of hands in the past, I had a good idea of the expected values already, but the site conveniently organized the probabilities into charts, making easier to elevate my game.
After playing at the MGM Grand casino for slightly over 4 hours I had turned $110 into $1,159.75. I guess preparation pays (maybe even better than banking). The game was very stressful though, I had to make many correct and lucky decisions to earn that kind of money. I feel like I want to take a break from Vegas for at least a couple more years, and stick with house games in the meantime.
In the end, I blew $300 of the winnings on craps and roulette, saving just enough to pay for my hotel room. Vegas was a blast and my friends made it even better, but I couldn’t be happier to go back to work on my startup. I can only hope that the startup grows as fast as my chip stack did before I cash out.