Accomplished poker pro Vanessa Selbst recently announced that she was ending her run as a PokerStars ambassador, effective at the end of 2017, and was effectively retiring from poker. “….moving on from my career as a professional poker player,” was how she put it.
In a statement, she gave a few reasons for her decision. Black Friday made things more difficult for her, as it meant she had to travel most of the time to make a living (she lives in the U.S.), which has become less tenable for her as she gets older. Selbst also doesn’t feel comfortable promoting poker anymore and trying to suck amateurs into a world in which they will lose money.
“Lastly, whether because poker got more competitive or because we got older (or likely some combination of the two), poker recently turned into a real job, requiring hard work and discipline to succeed.”
“I had never treated the game that way–I always kept a very light poker schedule–I showed up and played for fun and did other projects back home as my ‘real work.’ The shift in the nature of poker and what it requires put me at a crossroads and asked the question of me whether I would rather change my relationship to the game or move on. To me, the opportunity to work hard and learn something totally new and get to keep poker in my arsenal of fun go-to hobbies feels like the right approach….”
In a tweet to end 2017, Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu told his followers that he cashed for $2,792,104, but wanted to know if people thought he bought-in for more or less than that. In a follow-up blog post, he revealed that he had, in fact, paid more in buy-ins last year, resulting in net loss of $86,140.
Negreanu explained that he posed the Twitter question “….because I think my 2017 was a good illustration of the illusion that players cashing for $2 million in a single year is a great accomplishment. In the old days, before super high rollers, you could all but guarantee that cashing for $2 million would mean the player had a winning year. Well, the truth is, if a player plays the full high roller schedule and cashes for $2 million, they are all but certain to have had a losing year, and that’s before expenses.”
Negreanu also posted his results from the past five years. 2016 was a significant losing year for him, as he was lost $1,246,693 in live tournaments. This is just tourneys though – it doesn’t include cash games and online results, so Negreanu could definitely have still made money on the year from his poker player. Even with the losses the last two years, Negreanu was up $8,733,074 the past five years.
According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there likely will be no movement on legislation to legalize casinos in Georgia this year. House Economic Development and Tourism Chairman Ron Stephens, who introduced a bill in 2015 to do just that, believes that since this is an election year, lawmakers up for re-election do not want to back anything that could be considered controversial.
The lottery is the only legal gambling in Georgia and though the state is firmly in the Bible Belt and largely conservative outside of Atlanta, there has been some increased support in the Capitol in the last few years to see casinos built in the state, and in the Atlanta metro area in particular.
The main reason more people have warmed to the idea is to help fund the HOPE Scholarship, which provides tuition assistance to Georgia high school graduates who attend in-state colleges and universities (public, private, and technical), funded via the lottery. The program has been so successful though – students need a 3.0 GPA to qualify – that money has been dwindling and casino gambling is seen by many as a way to give the HOPE Scholarship a boost.
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