Poker vs. Stocks

May 27, 2008

While I spent most of the day getting the typical tournament teases – going deep to make minimal cashes and nothing going right during the late levels – I also caught up on some tv via Hulu.

For those who have not tried this site out yet I would highly recommend it.  The site is designed well, the actual media player is easy to use, the content is high quality and loads/streams fast.  So I was checking out some of the newer shows on the Mojo network, home to Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak’s “I bet you” among other things.  Shows I was watching:

Bobby G: The Adventure Capitalist – cool show about an ultra-rich, highly animated, venture capitalist.  He owns some moturary type business, the beverage company Clearly Canadian, along with some other investments.  I like his style, he’s calm, cool and collected and reminds me of a boss I once had.

Start-up Junkies – About a new seattle based startup called Earth Class Mail.  This company takes your regular snail mail and digitizes it for you.  Big potential globally.  Interesting to watch the fund raising stress as well as the growing pains of a small organization.

Wall Street Warriors – follows a bunch of different people around Wall St.  Watch some boy genius operate a hedge fund out of his apartment, follow some rookies as they learn what day trading is all about, tag along on the high brow exploits of some 28 y/o private equity fund manager as he helicopters between Manhattan and the Hamptons.  It’s interesting stuff.  But it brings me to the point of this whole blog.

Why is Wall St. more legitimate than Poker? It seems strange to me that if I had a job where I analyzed numbers/charts/financial data/industry news and made ‘educated guesses’ as to the next move that would be held in higher regard than a virtually identical situation using cards and chips.  In the stock market, when one guy wins, another guy is losing.  Going against the common grain of knowledge/behavior is highly risky but potentially incredibly lucrative.  There is greed.  People go on ’tilt’ and start gambling as they chase losses.  The symmetry between the two industries is remarkable.  Morgan Stanley and all the other big firms are essentially the online poker rooms, collecting the rake.

I guess sometimes things in life can seem a little hypocritical.