Wednesday, May 3, 2017

After 500: All About the Money?

June will mark ten years since we played in our first live poker tournament. We won for the first time in our 13th game, four months later - and took either first place or a "divided first" in four of our first 22.

In the wake of Sunday's 500th live tournament, we took a count of our winnings today. We keep accurate records for tax purposes, and found we've won $3,138 in money and gift certificates from live events. We're not counting money from cash games, which is quite small. And we're not counting the small pieces of candy thrown our way at Yvie's Bar and Grill.

Before we moved to Kansas, we played primarily in bars where the prizes were small - no more than $50 for first place. Thanks to two strong nights at a Florida poker room, the total winnings in the South were $906. But since coming to Kansas and regular poker room trips four years ago, the winnings have jumped to more than $2,200.

But to be honest, we've probably lost money overall in ten years at poker tables. While bar nights in Georgia might cost you no more than a two-dollar can of soda, big-time poker rooms have buy-ins of $30 or higher. We'll figure that actual cost when time permits.

So if making money is our ultimate goal, we've probably failed. But we remember what the Bible says about such things....
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. - Ecclesiastes 5:10
These words were written by arguably the wealthiest person in the world at his time. King Solomon of Israel had ridiculous luxuries; read I Kings 10 for a list of his possessions. But he came to realize something:
As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?.... Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. - Ecclesiastes 5:11, 15
An old stage play and movie put it correctly: You can't take it with you. What should you do instead?
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. - Matthew 6:20
It's better to prepare for eternity with God. We'll talk more about doing that as this commemorative series of posts continues.

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