If I were Emmit Smith ….

by PokerAnon ~ March 4th, 2011. Filed under: Bankroll, Poker and life, Poker psychology.


Emmit Smith, former running back of the Dallas Cowboys and Dancing With the Stars winner, is one of the celebrities asked to play in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship. This tournament is a mixture of entertaining big name poker pros along with celebrity players. My blog is not a poker news blog so my reason for posting is not for the information but for the question that came to my mind after I heard this news on the 2+2 Pokercast.

The question that came to my mind was, what if I were Emmit Smith and wanted to play poker? What if I had his personal finances, combined with my current poker background, experience and bankroll? What would that do to my poker game?

The answer should be: Nothing.

I guess the question could have been, if I won a lottery but continued to play poker, what difference would that make? And the answer should be the same.

Two thoughts that come out of this. One, if I were well off, not necessarily Emmit Smith range, but enough to be comfortable spending $200 every week for an evening out, $500 a month on clothing, $10,000 a year in donations, and more interested in playing poker as a once a week hobby, then maybe I’d be happy depositing $250 every month, losing that during the month, and then redepositing. This is similar to my paramedic who was happy playing at Doyle’s Room and losing $10 a week.

The second thought is that I’m really not emotionally disconnected from my poker bankroll. I can imagine that if I spent $10,000 a year in donations and $200 a week on evenings out that my attitude to my poker bankroll, currently in the small thousands, would be different.

And you know, I think that it’s the spending that is the key difference. I’m a cheap bugger in real life. I could afford to spend maybe not $200 a week but $75 every week on entertainment, but I don’t. I could spend maybe not $500 a month on clothes but $100 every month, but I don’t. My annual cost for clothing (I don’t buy a new suit or winter jacket every year) is probably close to $150 on average. Partly that’s because my clothing inventory relies on gifts since people don’t know what else to buy for me, but also because most things I wear until they wear out before I replace them. I have some socks and underwear that are well over ten years old, but don’t have holes or dead elastic so I keep them in the rotation.

Maybe that’s too much information. 🙂

So I’m not a spender and it takes some convincing for me to part with dollars. On the other hand I willingly part with $150 every fall to join an NFL pool because I get enjoyment from it, plus I think I’m ahead lifetime because the pool has no juice. But even if it turns out that I’m not ahead I can’t be very far under and that’s a small cost for the years of enjoyment that I’ve had from participating. But to lose one $100 stack, be prepared to lose another, and possibly another after that is still tough for me to accept even if it is variance and I know that I’m still within my bankroll requirements.

I’m sure Emmit wouldn’t worry about it.

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