Is Poker taboo?

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Kabuo
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Is Poker taboo?

Postby Kabuo » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:26 pm

Some background: I used to be a moderately successful poker player during my first couple years of undergrad. Made ~$14k playing VERY part time and online. I would have made a lot more if I hadn't stupidly put half my bankroll at risk playing heads up with a rich idiot who had pissed me off at a limit well above what I could afford. I feel like I could write an amazing personal statement about how an undisciplined moment of sitting with half my bankroll and getting rolled by a combination of cold cards and stupidity taught me to always consider the big picture. And, no, this would not read like a Rounders screenplay for a couple reasons, but the biggest being that online poker involves a much less glamorous style of play (for example, 20 tables at once and just playing a system while hardly paying attention to individuals).

My question is regarding the legality of online poker. I haven't even bothered to check on this since 2008 or so because I just don't play anymore, but I used to always tell anyone who asked that it was "dubiously legal," by which I meant I was pretty sure it was illegal to play but an almost unenforceable law. Does the fact that I no longer play mitigate this at all? Would I need to address this if I wrote on it? Has anyone admitted to underage drinking or smoking or something in a personal statement in order to show a life lesson it taught them?

Thanks for any advice. I already have a rough draft of what I would use set up, but I need to decide if this is going to be my PS or not because I plan on applying ED to UM and need my apps out by Nov 15.

*EDIT* I tried to search for threads on underage drinking and the like, but searching is temporarily disabled. Sorry if there are lots of these or something; I'm going to browse through the first 5 pages or so now.

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AreJay711
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:52 pm

Sounds badass, go for it! I'm pretty sure it is legal now. To people who win enough playing online to afford to lose it at their local FOP sounds like a cool story and it probably will to people who never play too. If nothing else it will be different and the adcomms will remember you. lol it also depends how long your streak was... don't write about getting super lucky. Double points if you lost on the river to someone chasing a straight or flush.

bdubs
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby bdubs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:59 pm

Kabuo wrote:Some background: I used to be a moderately successful poker player during my first couple years of undergrad. Made ~$14k playing VERY part time and online. I would have made a lot more if I hadn't stupidly put half my bankroll at risk playing heads up with a rich idiot who had pissed me off at a limit well above what I could afford. I feel like I could write an amazing personal statement about how an undisciplined moment of sitting with half my bankroll and getting rolled by a combination of cold cards and stupidity taught me to always consider the big picture. And, no, this would not read like a Rounders screenplay for a couple reasons, but the biggest being that online poker involves a much less glamorous style of play (for example, 20 tables at once and just playing a system while hardly paying attention to individuals).

My question is regarding the legality of online poker. I haven't even bothered to check on this since 2008 or so because I just don't play anymore, but I used to always tell anyone who asked that it was "dubiously legal," by which I meant I was pretty sure it was illegal to play but an almost unenforceable law. Does the fact that I no longer play mitigate this at all? Would I need to address this if I wrote on it? Has anyone admitted to underage drinking or smoking or something in a personal statement in order to show a life lesson it taught them?

Thanks for any advice. I already have a rough draft of what I would use set up, but I need to decide if this is going to be my PS or not because I plan on applying ED to UM and need my apps out by Nov 15.

*EDIT* I tried to search for threads on underage drinking and the like, but searching is temporarily disabled. Sorry if there are lots of these or something; I'm going to browse through the first 5 pages or so now.


Did you pay taxes on your winnings? If so then go ahead and write about it. Otherwise I would watch out because it may open up a whole can of worms.

For those in the know, does C&F investigate completeness of tax returns/tax evasion?
Last edited by bdubs on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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homestyle28
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby homestyle28 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:02 pm

Kabuo wrote:I would have made a lot more if I hadn't stupidly put half my bankroll at risk playing heads up with a rich idiot who had pissed me off at a limit well above what I could afford.


At least you could fall back on the delivery route...here's a tip: if he eat's the oreo he has the cards...

but seriously folks...I don't think any topic is really taboo if the writing is good and expresses the right attitude...if you wrote a PS about your love for Nazi regalia, that would be the wrong attitude, but the same topic with a different angle would be fine. Also, i believe online poker is legal IF you report your earnings...

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Kabuo
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby Kabuo » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:28 pm

Was a 3 hour hu session at 200\400 limit, so it was a series of hands. Actually was about 9k up on him at one point and my friend wanted me to get up and buy a car, but I was being an idiot. He just kept reloading because, you know, he could afford to take some beats, and eventually cracked my top set 2x in a row on naked gutshots, firing the whole way, which was just so improbable that I lost it and kept playing instead of cutting my losses. I don't even remember what I eventually lost with. I still believe the guy is absolutely terrible, but the whole point is, he was playing at a limit he could afford, and I was not, which makes me the idiot.

Bdubs brings up an annoying point, but I've pm'd him about it. Afraid that his objection is going to sink this idea right after I finally found some support to write about it.

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AreJay711
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:15 pm

Kabuo wrote:Was a 3 hour hu session at 200\400 limit, so it was a series of hands. Actually was about 9k up on him at one point and my friend wanted me to get up and buy a car, but I was being an idiot. He just kept reloading because, you know, he could afford to take some beats, and eventually cracked my top set 2x in a row on naked gutshots, firing the whole way, which was just so improbable that I lost it and kept playing instead of cutting my losses. I don't even remember what I eventually lost with. I still believe the guy is absolutely terrible, but the whole point is, he was playing at a limit he could afford, and I was not, which makes me the idiot.

Bdubs brings up an annoying point, but I've pm'd him about it. Afraid that his objection is going to sink this idea right after I finally found some support to write about it.


Law schools are not checking you income taxes. That would be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. AND you lost your money so what would you report?

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Kabuo
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby Kabuo » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:20 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Was a 3 hour hu session at 200\400 limit, so it was a series of hands. Actually was about 9k up on him at one point and my friend wanted me to get up and buy a car, but I was being an idiot. He just kept reloading because, you know, he could afford to take some beats, and eventually cracked my top set 2x in a row on naked gutshots, firing the whole way, which was just so improbable that I lost it and kept playing instead of cutting my losses. I don't even remember what I eventually lost with. I still believe the guy is absolutely terrible, but the whole point is, he was playing at a limit he could afford, and I was not, which makes me the idiot.

Bdubs brings up an annoying point, but I've pm'd him about it. Afraid that his objection is going to sink this idea right after I finally found some support to write about it.


Law schools are not checking you income taxes. That would be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. AND you lost your money so what would you report?


Well, that would be reassuring, especially as it would be such a small amount, but I did not lose all the money. I had already cashed out and spent 14k of it, which is what I mean when I say that I made that much. I had more money left in my acct which is what I ended up losing.

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AreJay711
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:22 pm

bdubs wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Some background: I used to be a moderately successful poker player during my first couple years of undergrad. Made ~$14k playing VERY part time and online. I would have made a lot more if I hadn't stupidly put half my bankroll at risk playing heads up with a rich idiot who had pissed me off at a limit well above what I could afford. I feel like I could write an amazing personal statement about how an undisciplined moment of sitting with half my bankroll and getting rolled by a combination of cold cards and stupidity taught me to always consider the big picture. And, no, this would not read like a Rounders screenplay for a couple reasons, but the biggest being that online poker involves a much less glamorous style of play (for example, 20 tables at once and just playing a system while hardly paying attention to individuals).

My question is regarding the legality of online poker. I haven't even bothered to check on this since 2008 or so because I just don't play anymore, but I used to always tell anyone who asked that it was "dubiously legal," by which I meant I was pretty sure it was illegal to play but an almost unenforceable law. Does the fact that I no longer play mitigate this at all? Would I need to address this if I wrote on it? Has anyone admitted to underage drinking or smoking or something in a personal statement in order to show a life lesson it taught them?

Thanks for any advice. I already have a rough draft of what I would use set up, but I need to decide if this is going to be my PS or not because I plan on applying ED to UM and need my apps out by Nov 15.

*EDIT* I tried to search for threads on underage drinking and the like, but searching is temporarily disabled. Sorry if there are lots of these or something; I'm going to browse through the first 5 pages or so now.


Did you pay taxes on your winnings? If so then go ahead and write about it. Otherwise I would watch out because it may open up a whole can of worms.

For those in the know, does C&F investigate completeness of tax returns/tax evasion?


And how would C&F know whether what you reported is true or not? They would need to check income to bank accounts and spending and figure for up to 50,000 in undeclared gifts.

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Kabuo
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby Kabuo » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:31 pm

AreJay711, what you say is what everyone told me 3 years ago when I was debating on what to do about it. It's further complicated by what was explained to me as an obnoxious state law, saying that you had to pay on gross gambling winnings instead of net unless you declared yourself professional, which was illegal under another state law. So, I would have been required to report on my ~80k or so gross winnings even though I really only made a fraction of that. Anyway, thanks for the reassurance. I think I will go work on this PS and maybe post it when I feel it's nearing ready.

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AreJay711
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:44 pm

Kabuo wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Was a 3 hour hu session at 200\400 limit, so it was a series of hands. Actually was about 9k up on him at one point and my friend wanted me to get up and buy a car, but I was being an idiot. He just kept reloading because, you know, he could afford to take some beats, and eventually cracked my top set 2x in a row on naked gutshots, firing the whole way, which was just so improbable that I lost it and kept playing instead of cutting my losses. I don't even remember what I eventually lost with. I still believe the guy is absolutely terrible, but the whole point is, he was playing at a limit he could afford, and I was not, which makes me the idiot.

Bdubs brings up an annoying point, but I've pm'd him about it. Afraid that his objection is going to sink this idea right after I finally found some support to write about it.


Law schools are not checking you income taxes. That would be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. AND you lost your money so what would you report?


Well, that would be reassuring, especially as it would be such a small amount, but I did not lose all the money. I had already cashed out and spent 14k of it, which is what I mean when I say that I made that much. I had more money left in my acct which is what I ended up losing.


I do doubt they will ask you if you paid taxes on your winnings. Still, just focus on being up and then losing it all, not that you cleared 14k first, and it should be good. You didn't really have a gambling problem, you just learned a hard lesson a hard way, so it shouldn't reflect poorly on you

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kalvano
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby kalvano » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:16 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Law schools are not checking you income taxes. That would be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of.



Want to bet?


OP - this question was asked last year, and the basic consensus was that there are better topics out there, but as long as you did everything right and reported your earnings, you should be OK.

bdubs
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Re: Is Poker taboo?

Postby bdubs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:56 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
bdubs wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Some background: I used to be a moderately successful poker player during my first couple years of undergrad. Made ~$14k playing VERY part time and online. I would have made a lot more if I hadn't stupidly put half my bankroll at risk playing heads up with a rich idiot who had pissed me off at a limit well above what I could afford. I feel like I could write an amazing personal statement about how an undisciplined moment of sitting with half my bankroll and getting rolled by a combination of cold cards and stupidity taught me to always consider the big picture. And, no, this would not read like a Rounders screenplay for a couple reasons, but the biggest being that online poker involves a much less glamorous style of play (for example, 20 tables at once and just playing a system while hardly paying attention to individuals).

My question is regarding the legality of online poker. I haven't even bothered to check on this since 2008 or so because I just don't play anymore, but I used to always tell anyone who asked that it was "dubiously legal," by which I meant I was pretty sure it was illegal to play but an almost unenforceable law. Does the fact that I no longer play mitigate this at all? Would I need to address this if I wrote on it? Has anyone admitted to underage drinking or smoking or something in a personal statement in order to show a life lesson it taught them?

Thanks for any advice. I already have a rough draft of what I would use set up, but I need to decide if this is going to be my PS or not because I plan on applying ED to UM and need my apps out by Nov 15.

*EDIT* I tried to search for threads on underage drinking and the like, but searching is temporarily disabled. Sorry if there are lots of these or something; I'm going to browse through the first 5 pages or so now.


Did you pay taxes on your winnings? If so then go ahead and write about it. Otherwise I would watch out because it may open up a whole can of worms.

For those in the know, does C&F investigate completeness of tax returns/tax evasion?


And how would C&F know whether what you reported is true or not? They would need to check income to bank accounts and spending and figure for up to 50,000 in undeclared gifts.


If you explicitly state that you won money gambling in your PS and then don't declare ANY gambling winnings they will know. OP had issues reporting some (or all) of his winnings because of the moral judgement that the IRS passes on gambling winnings. It might be OK, but then again it might not be. Why risk it?

FYI - As someone who has gone through several IRS certifications, you cannot reclassify gambling winnings as undeclared gifts.




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