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He wants to play poker for a living.

(12 Posts)
Felinefancier Tue 06-Feb-18 18:41:58

Sorry for the long post but the situation is a little complex.

DP and I have been together for ten years. We're serial renovators. Last year we realised a long-held ambition to build our own house from scratch. I work part time (managing renovations) and have built up significant capital. He worked full time in a well paid financial consultancy job but has never built up any savings.

He has a good credit record so has helped with mortgages for renovations in the past but he has not been hands on. When properties were sold he would get an agreed percentage of the profits but he never saved any of this. He would usually upgrade his car or some other luxury.

Self build mortgages were very expensive with lots of additional fees so we agreed to use my savings to build the house on the proviso that he would get a mortgage to pay for his half once the house was completed.

He was unexpectedly made redundant half way through the build. The house was completed at the end of last year. We have converted the money I spent on his 'half' of the house into an informal mortgage between us with him paying me monthly capital and interest at market rates until he gets a new job and can get a conventional mortgage.

My plan was to buy and renovate other properties with my capital in due course, but for now every penny I have is tied up in the house.

After a few months of half-heartedly searching for a job he announced a couple of weeks ago that he wants to try to become a professional poker player. He has always played as a hobby but has never won significant sums over any length of time.

I'm pretty upset at his now trying to renegotiate our agreement as although I am getting capital and interest on the money (which is enough to live on), my capital is tied up.

The house is in joint names (joint tenants) although it has been funded 100% by me.

I think if he really wants to play poker professionally we should sell the house and move to something smaller thus releasing some of my capital (and the equity which we have built up).

He argues that I should give him a year or so to see if he can make it as a professional poker player during which time he will continue to meet his financial obligations. (His redundancy money will cover his mortgage for most of this time).

I've never particularly approved of his playing poker but as it was his hobby and he could afford it I wasn't unduly concerned.

Now it feels like I'm being required to finance his ultra risky new career and I'm seriously considering ending our relationship if he insists staying in our current house while he plays poker for a living.

Does anyone have any advice? Is there a way to square this circle that doesn't involve us breaking up? What would you do in my shoes?

Schlimbesserung Tue 06-Feb-18 18:49:02

Honestly? I'd try to get him to sign over his share of the house before he gambles it away. This is a horribly bad idea.
I'm not sure how bad it could get for you (in terms of financial liability) if/when it all goes tits up, but it sounds like a recipe for disaster. This sort of thing should be built up slowly over time, if he does it at all. It shouldn't just suddenly become an alternative to an actual job with a salary especially when he hasn't been especially successful in the past. He is being massively irresponsible and there's no way I'd fund this.

reetgood Tue 06-Feb-18 18:49:48

Nope nope nope. We have a friend who works in that world: it’s an extremely risky undertaking, you need capital to enter most tournaments. Also if he plays online, the real life tournaments would be a difficult transition. Much more difficult to make money online nowadays. Plus, it’s a lonely gig that isn’t terribly relationship friendly - antisocial hours, travel etc

I’m not sure how you manage the financial side but this would be a hard line for me: no, nope, not now.

(Our friend transitioned from playing, to reporting, to managing frequent player ‘loyalty’ schemes. Which gives you an idea of where the living can be made in poker - and it’s not playing)

Felinefancier Tue 06-Feb-18 19:09:32

Schlimbesserung sounds like a good idea asking him to sign over his share of the house that could be used as a 'a deposit' to protect me in the event that his poker playing goes tits up.

DriggleDraggle Tue 06-Feb-18 19:12:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Felinefancier Tue 06-Feb-18 19:14:16

reetgood. What's odd is that in every other area of life other than poker he is quite risk averse. In fact part of his previous day job was risk management for a large financial company.

He has always been wary of my buying and renovating properties for a living despite the fact that I have never made a loss on any of my developments.

He says he can prove to me using spreadsheets etc that he can make a living out of Poker and will work at it 8 hours a day do lots of training etc.

I am certainly not willing to "argue" with him whether or not he can make a living out of it, or as he has suggested, read up and become well informed on poker myself.

Quite frankly I'm shocked that he is expecting me to seriously entertain this idea.

hadthesnip Tue 06-Feb-18 19:15:48

I would normally say No way.............but I heard Victoria Coren-Mitchell on the radio recently and she said that she'd earnt just over £3m during her professional poker playing days, so it may work but I'd say its odds against (pardon the pun) and like a previous post says, I'd ring fence the house as a year or so down the line you may found that he owes hundreds of thousands and they come after his share of the house.

tribpot Tue 06-Feb-18 19:29:30

It's true that Victoria Coren-Mitchell is an extremely successful professional poker player - she also always has a career as a broadcaster and writer so I don't think has ever depended on her poker playing for income, and from reading some of her autobiography (I couldn't follow most of it as it is very 'poker-y') I doubt she would recommend it.

I don't see how he can produce spreadsheets that 'prove' he can make a living doing it. Even if he had evidence of past performance all that really proves is that in the past he has won some games of poker. I'm not saying it's purely a game of chance, but clearly that's a massive factor.

I think certainly protecting your investment in the current property is essential, esp as I'm sure there is a reason why he has only half-heartedly looked for a job, knowing that he has the house to fall back on. He needs to suggest a workable strategy to limit his liability to something manageable and yours to zero. As his redundancy money will cover his 'mortgage' for the year, he could start off by paying that up front, so that you don't have the situation in a few months where the redundancy money has been lost on poker and now he can't cover the 'mortgage' and you've no comeback. This isn't a real mortgage, there are no proper penalties for failing to pay.

Felinefancier Tue 06-Feb-18 20:53:51

tribpot. Great idea that he pays his mortgage to get for a year. That's a really good idea just in case you was planning to use the redundancy money to bankroll the poker (he claims not but I'm not so sure).

timeforabrewnow Fri 09-Feb-18 14:42:11

Sounds like a joker. And the answer from me would be no too.

Felinefancier Wed 14-Feb-18 15:06:25

I talked to a lawyer friend and she also advised that we transfer the house into my sole name.

We signed all the papers to do that yesterday and he also paid his mortgage to me up front for the rest of the year.

So although my capital is protected, it is still tied up in the house until he can get a mortgage, which will not happen until he gets a job and he is not actively looking for one.

I cannot therefore use it to fund my property renovation business, which without capital is dead in the water

Should I stick to the agreement to let him play poker until the end of the year?

TalkinPeace Fri 16-Feb-18 14:27:35

If he is genuinely good he will probably make money - BUT
he needs to keep a clear head and allow you to "risk assess" every tournament he enters.

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