Balla on a Budget
THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2008-12-07, by OzoneWith poker games becoming tougher and tougher to beat and an economic recession threatening to shrink the poker economy by millions, it's time for poker players everywhere to learn how to be a balla' on a budget. In 2004-2007, when the games were easier and fish were more plentiful, it was easy for highly successful poker players to live extravagant lifestyles. An early-20s phenom buying a Lamborghini or only a moderately successful online tournament player moving to Vegas to buy a house were not unheard of. Many a high-rise condo located right on Las Vegas Boulevard were sold or leased to kids with a knack for playing cards. Countless overpriced bottles of Patron or Grey Goose were emptied in a single night of partying at a marque club. Extravagant shopping sprees, high-stakes coin flips, and frequent binge-spending at strip clubs have become commonplace in the poker world. But going forward, these activities may be drying up.
Poker players will probably have a hard time adjusting to their new, less-ballin' reality. They say, "once you go baller, you never go back." To all the ballin' poker degenerates out there, here's the PokerTips Guide to Being a Balla on a Budget:
Buy Recycled Balla' Goods
Being a balla' is very much about brand recognition. For most guys, the point of leading an awesome lifestyle is to have a revolving door of women coming and going from their place. Luckily for ballas-gone-poor, women aren't always that savvy when it comes to looking beyond an item's brand name. For example, if you can only spend $20,000 on a car compared to the $80,000 you were hoping, it is much, much better to buy something like a used Porsche than a brand new Hyundai. Nothing says "not baller" like a Hyundai. The great thing about buying a used Porsche is that the car still pretty much looks the same as it did 15 years ago. So while your car-loving guy friends will call you out for driving an old heap, your new lady friend will just be thinking, "wow... he has a Porsche!"
Drink at Home
Keep your place well stocked with alcohol. It is much cheaper to buy in bulk from a liquor store than to pay for drinks at a club. Turn your home into a Club of Affordability where you can provide girls drinks for very cheap while watching a movie or playing the ol' "pull it out and see what happens" game.
Avoid -EV Bets
One of the cornerstones of being a balla' is betting lots of money on craps, sporting events, or blackjack. However, it's time to throttle back on throwing money around just to impress your friends. And remember, it's much better not to bet at all than to bet a paltry amount. Nothing says "not baller" like a Hyundai, and nothing says "not baller " like a guy betting $5 a hand or $50 on a sporting event. Keep your money in your pockets and act like you're too good for these -EV propositions. No one will suspect you turned poor.
Keep Things Clean
Keep your place, clothes, and car clean. Having clean, shiny stuff looks better than dirty stuff that's technically nicer. It's cheaper too. Spend an extra 20 minutes a day on appearance and you'll be amazed at how far it'll take you. And while you're at it, you might as well get in the habit of eating less too. Not only is it cheaper, but dropping those few extra pounds will make you look more attractive and lead to people giving you the benefit of the doubt when questioning your ballahood.
Keep Them Guessing
Remember, no one needs to know exactly how much money you have. Just because times are tight doesn't mean you need to broadcast that to the world. Avoid complaining about your financial situation, act calm and collected like you've got everything under control, and follow some of the above tips. People generally tend to overestimate how much money others have, so don't give them any reason to think otherwise.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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