poker player to auditor to prop trader? also anyone need a part qualified accountant?


3 1
Hi all,

I played a lot of online poker whilst studying for my Economics degree. (graduated summer of 2007).

I grinded most days and my total winnings were around £150k (it was a serious career option).

However, when I graduated I believed in the long term the games would get significantly tougher (as they have) and so I had applied for trading jobs and accountancy jobs.

I got through to a couple of second round interviews with IBs but, as highlighted in my feedback, I knew very little about trading (only know the very basics now) and didn't appreciate that I needed to seriously prepare for interviews.

Instead I accepted a job as an auditor in a Big 4 accountancy firm in London.

In hindsight, I believe this was an error. I should have continued to play online poker and then switch into a career using the skills I have/had learnt e.g. prop trading, internet websites.

I'm now 2 years into my 3 year chartered accountancy qualification. I feel I should try to finish it given it should be a useful backup career if riskier career choices go pear shaped.

I have 2 questions and would greatly appreciated help:

1. I always have been interested in screen trading given my online poker background.

Is it a reasonable expectation that if I prepared well for interviews, that I would be able to find work for a reasonably reputable prop firm?

2. I really do not enjoy auditing. I am considering sending my CV to companies in areas I find of interest (almost anything market related, but given I need gain applicable work experience for my chartered accountancy qualification, I believe trading or fund management would be a good way forward). Would companies instantly bin my CV as they'd see I was currently employed?

Do you need a part qualified accountant to work for your trading/investment company? (that would not involve checking tens of invoices everyday!).

Many thanks for any advice,



Well-known member
368 8
I would have thought that being a sucessful poker player ( £150K) is a hell of a fun life,
rather than being some suit stuck in an office working for some large faceless company....that to me is a boring life, but good luck in whatever you decide to do !
ps.....any tips on how to improve my poker :)


3 1
Thanks for your reply wheezergeezer, I believe I made an error by not sticking with online poker, but got to accept it and see where to go from here.

I wouldn't want to go back to it mainly because the games are quite a lot tougher and I'd rather spend all my efforts working towards on a growing earnings potential than online poker.

Ideally I'd either like to work up my way in a much smaller/startup company within a finance role or try prop trading.

I expect the former with hard work may be possible (I do a lot of work in my evenings and weekends on a startup but it's not an accountant based job so doesn't qualify for the chartered accountancy qualification). The latter may be impossible even with hard work.

To develop my initial questions further:

- how should I go about approaching start up/small, high potential growth companies? are their websites out there? should I use google and find as many companies as I can and email out CVs?

- i've read a lot of threads on the forum, is the general consensus of prop firms that you have to pick very carefully, and work very hard and then you have a chance of surviving and hopefully eventually prospering?

Many thanks


edit: as for tips for poker:

- find the tables with a weak player (one who calls way too much or bluffs way too much).

- keep isolating this player i.e. preflop reraise him, raise big when he is in the big blind, this will hopefully get you heads up with this player

- get some table chat with this player to get a rapport going

- show a willingness to play differently postflop vs him i.e. show a bluff at some point, don't always play the same way

- wait till he either calls you down with a bad hand or puts too much in on a bluff, and you'll get paid.

if you can't find such a player, then for general advice:

- work out each player's strategy on the table. play aggressive vs the tight players and vice versa.

- for example, some players may call flop bets a lot but fold to turn bets, so be willing to fire two bets into these players.

- always be alert to shifting gears e.g. if you feel you're getting called all the time, stop bluffing immediately and hope to hit a good hand in the next 5 or so hands. vice versa if players keep folding to you, bluff more.

hope that is of some help!
Last edited:


Junior member
39 2
With your background, I reckon loads of prop firms would want you. When applying for a firm and interviewing be very very careful though. Some firms are complete ****, and will cut you after one week live, whilst others are pretty good and will help develop you. Be aware it is a tough time in the industry and ask alot of questions and be highly sceptical when looking around/interviewing.

A Dashing Blade

Experienced member
1,373 170
Never seen the link between poker and trading myself except wrt money management.


Active member
178 17
Never seen the link between poker and trading myself except wrt money management.
I suppose another way you could look at the two is discipline and patience for example as a trader many get temped to trade just for the hell of it and take any set up rather than be patient and wait for the right one, likewise in poker many can be tempted to play many hands rather than wait for that key hand where the probabilibty of them winning is more in there favour

Skill Leverage

Experienced member
1,316 186
I know this chap personally, and he's not kidding about the amount of money he's made. Harvey if you want an interview at my firm, it won't be a problem. You have to guess who I am first though.

P.S It smells like tens


3 1
John Kinnell :)

very well played getting into a prop firm and I see from LinkedIn you've been working for 7 months so I guess it must be going pretty well (from what I've read and from Block King's post above a lot of people get fired pretty quick).

How is everything going? How is the prop trading? Great choice imo going down the prop trading route, I made a big error doing this audit job. Audit in online poker terms, is like being a guy who has to check every hand history to make sure the automated software hasn't made a mistake - aka mindnumbingly dull!

About the link between poker and trading, there are quite a few I think (e.g. making decisions based on imperfect information, bankroll management, profit maximisation, extracting value, developing and implementing strategies, not being results orientated, quick change of though process required, sitting in front of a laptop for many hours dealing with at times big swings and other times pretty dull spells) but then I imagine there are a lot of differences as well.

Skill Leverage

Experienced member
1,316 186
Going well dude, yeah been here just over 6 months, was on a simulator after our initial training but have been live for a while now, still learning every day obviously but it's an awesome job if you're into trusting your instincts and shipping it in, which clearly you are.

Anyway as I said, with your quals/track record in poker I'm sure the people I work for would be interested in talking to you. Our office is in Woking which is a bit of a commute, but there's one in London too for those who make it that far, and being out here means cheaper desk fees, not to mention there's a KFC and a bookies 2 minutes round the corner - what more could you want?

If you want more info, about the firm or just what being a trader is like send me a private message on here and I'll give you my email.

Cheers, John

Skill Leverage

Experienced member
1,316 186
P.S I will teach you all I know about trading if you teach me how to play poker as well as you. This is not at all a fair deal for you, but I might as well chance my arm.
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