Seven Card Stud

I really enjoy games (games of all kinds really) and today I’m going to talk about 7 card stud. Why? Well for some of you this will probably reveal yet another of Wayne’s many faces 🙂

 For nine months I played poker (7 card stud) professionally.  That’s a broad statement so I feel it should be qualified.  This was not at the luxurious Bellagio in Vegas (home to the highest stakes poker games in the world) or  in one of those illegal underground clubs with the slot in the door at eye level.

 My poker room was a virtual one, and I spent most of my time playing while wearing my pyjamas.  I started playing just for fun.  After playing for awhile,  I began reading about 7 card stud and applying the theory to my small stakes games.  I soon discovered that I could actually make money doing this activity. This excited me.  I spend a lot of times playing games of all kinds and here was a way to actually make some money playing a game! It then became a part time job and gave me a way to earn money for beer while I was attending Grad. School.  I drink a lot of beer 🙂

 I never really made a lot of money doing this; however, I tracked my results and ultimately I was able to make $12 an hour consistently playing 7 card stud.  Needless to say, I make way more in the Public Service. In all honesty, when I tried playing poker “full time” I became less interested and it felt less like a game and more like data entry.

While I still play, I do so much less frequently;  nevertheless, there was a period in my life in which all my income was solely generated from a card game.


6 responses to “Seven Card Stud

  1. sterlinglynch

    That reminds me! We need to scope out the Gatineau casino at some point 🙂

  2. Paper Bag Princess

    Wow, that is incredible. Do you think you were able to win so consistently because the skill level of those playing online was non-pro? Or do you think there were other people like you playing as well? I wonder if repetition would suck the joy out of most game-y pursuits… I find this story very interesting! Gah, I worked at the library during school. (:

  3. PBP:
    In my experience, very few people have ever bothered to read a book on 7 card stud. It is usually a game they have played their whole lives and so they think they know how to play it. This is different from no limit holdem, which most people were not familiar with until after it’s exposure on TV. Because of TV, most online players have read at least one book on holdem; however, when they play stud they are mainly playing for “fun”.

    The amount I made was actually fairly average and mediocre. I was playing at low stakes and I would “buy in” for $120 and play $2/$4 stud. In a live game a pro. can expect to make 1-1.5 “big bets” an hour in this type of game. Online the cards are dealt much faster and you have a very limited amount of time to make decisions. Because of this, in online games you can expect to make 3 big bets per hour or $12 at the stakes I was playing. These are very average results.

    I used to think this would be different at the higher stakes; I’ve since tried stakes as high as $10/20 with a $600 buy-in. While there are a couple other players who know how to play most do not. There is, however, a greater risk of people cheating by working together (this is called collusion) when more money is involved. This is true in live games too, but it is way to easier to pull off online. One day I might write about my encounters with some of these individuals both live and online. This ranged from kids being stupid to a large group of highly organized players operating out of Taiwan.

    I’m really glad you responded. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in reading this or not. I would agree with your second statement that repetition (especially in a game that is 80% waiting for the right situation) can drain the enjoyment from a game at least for people like me. To be honest, I get bored pretty easily.

  4. Paper Bag Princess

    Interesting indeed! I have a follow up question! What is it about this type of gaming (and gambling in general I suppose) that lends itself to addictive behaviour? It is obviously not a problem you had but many gamers seem to border on it…or is that just a misperception?

    • That’s a very broad question. It’s worth noting that I did have a few friends who were initially concerned at the hours I was putting in (20/week). This eventually dissipated when it became apparent that I was as productive as ever.

      I am far from an expert on gambling psychology, but it is my impression that problem gamblers tend to chose games with less thinking. Slots (a game that has and never will interest me) and games like that is there poison of choice.

      I heard of an experiment performed on rats where the rat would stick his head through a hole. Sometimes they would shock the rat and sometimes the rat would get a piece of cheese.
      If they shocked the rat the first time he stuck his head in the hole he would never do it again. If they let him get the cheese a couple of times then shocked him. He would keep coming back and if they varied the shocks until eventually it was just shocks and no cheese. The rat would keep coming back until it died.

      I think slot machines pretty much work on the same principle. The lure of the jackpot is enough to keep the problem gambler playing regardless of the consequences (overiding the pain inpulse).

      I’ve heard problem gamblers actually like the monotony and routine of slots etc. Time passes differently for them while they are playing and they are only focused on the game.

      Poker for me is different than this but for some they are clearly using it in a similar manner. Part of me feels slightly guilty that some of these people clearly with a problem paid for a lot of my beer.

  5. sterlinglynch

    Everything reduces to factory work eventually.

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