Amarillo Slim, who's the butt of many jokes in the modern poker world, gave some sage advice in his book "Play Poker to Win": (I'm paraphrasing) If you're playing poker for money, make sure you will get paid if you win.
I wonder how many modern uber aggro internet pros heeded that advice. (BTW, get that book for the low ball section if you're a mixed games player.)
I bring this up because I've been considering many different projects over the last few months. Some are much more socially acceptable than others. However, judging which angles are the best to play can be very confusing.
Last year I started a restaurant operation in a local bar. Sales were good right out of the gate. However, I had a landlord that didn't honor our agreements, prohibiting growth. Since I was month to month (and not on a lease) it was an easier play shut down my operation and incur a small loss, rather than spend lots of cash to fight for a mild increase in sales.
I've had quite a few friends ask me why I'm not back in the restaurant business. Truthfully, my health just prohibits me from working 70 hour weeks anymore. I have looked for quality people to partner with, but it just hasn't come together.
I've worked online for years, dabbling in various activities such as ebay, poker, fantasy sports and internet marketing. I also have a strong business background and follow the financial markets daily.
I've considered trading currencies on Forex. Commodities also seem to interest me.
The main question I come up with is this: Is playing fantasy sports, Proline, horses or betting offshore actually a better play than gambling with Wall Street?
Currency (and stock exchanges) are very efficient markets with rather high vig. Battling cutting edge technologies and high frequency traders seem to make this a difficult proposition.
Having access to offshore sports books is difficult right now, but still possible. Getting paid is my only real concern here. This is why Proline is so attractive, payouts are guaranteed (although lines are often sub-optimal).
Fantasy sports and horses offer easy access and certain payouts. While both have been profitable for me I'm still apprehensive about risking large sums of money.
It seems that "investing" in Wall Street is the most socially acceptable activity, yet it appears to be the biggest sucker bet.
Which activity do you think is the best/worst gamble?