A high limit cardroom is a pretty cool place to hang out.
Inside the high limit games, money is on the move and wherever and whenever gobs of money are moving an intriguing cast of character creates a wonderful milieu.
Of course, there is the main contest of knowledge, skill, observation, and mental toughness going on between the players in the game but there is derivative action among the crowd of hangers on trying to make a living on the periphery — loan sharks, bookies, money launderers, masseuses, cocktail waitresses, gold digging women and the casino itself.
Among these secondary players are women looking for a hook up—-not normal women doing what normal women do and looking for a normal man for a normal relationship. I mean women who are like the bears wading in a fast flowing arctic stream during the annual salmon run hoping to stick their big paws into the water and come up with a nice juicy sockeye to gobble up for dinner.
Many of these women are almost like the professional courtesans of old because they are not looking for what the PTA defines as a normal relationship between consenting adults—with long term commitments, binding legal agreements that guarantee women life long financial security whether the relationship lasts or not and romantic love.
These women are on the stalk — hunting for men who have money and under the right circumstances will part with it, and actively try to interest men in sexual and emotional engagement with the goal of somehow, by hook or crook, getting a piece of Big Benjamin.
Most have a history of success— dating or banging rich players and getting thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands off the men they were involved with in the past.
Most are good at their craft. They wear clothing that presents their assets, have plastic surgery to enhance themselves physically, and are personally engaging and provocative in good way.
These are not low level streetwalkers squeezed into skanky skin tight mini dresses and mile high clear plexiglass stilettos. These are attractive sexy intelligent women who know how to work it when motivated.
In many ways, they fit the politically correct feminist ideal of independent intelligent women who are in touch and, in control, of their sexuality.
They are also good in the bedroom—physically and personally because in any type of long term game with men who have money and experience starfishing most likely won’t get the job done.
But that is a topic for another essay.
Most likely, the same but bigger girl swirl takes place at L.A. clubs in the VIP sections where the actors and directors get to hang out and mess with groupies and girls attracted to money and fame but I’ve never had the good fortune to run with such a crowd.
Among these secondary players are women who actually play in the high limit games and they fall into various categories.
The professional women players that are skillful enough to beat the games on their own.
The affluent recreational players who are long term losers but don’t care because they play poker for entertainment and whose bank accounts are fat enough the money in play is of little consequence.
And then there are the women who can’t beat the higher games, but play anyway and are always prowling for a financial hook up — either onto a professional who is beating the game, a wealthy amateur who plays for fun, or a gambler whose roll is temporarily fat from a run of good luck.
The skillful professional women usually aren’t interested in dating inside the casino. They know what card players and gamblers are like and realize they aren’t exactly the best material for a real relationship.
The rich recreationals are mostly older women who are too far over hill to be interesting to anyone but professional gold diggers.
And that leaves the third group of women—the ones playing decently but are marginal break even players at best and destined to be losers most likely.
The third group seeks partners that will enable their gambling. Sometimes in the way psychiatrists talk about drug addicts and alcoholics being enabled by partaking and drinking friends who share an addiction but more often enabling in a statistical way.
Because they are break even or losing players, these women play on marginal bankrolls that constrain the stakes they play and suffer large variance in their results.
If they go broke they will be unable to play and for the ones without regular jobs they could literally end up on the street — and they are frequently in danger of going broke.
With an affluent boyfriend as a backstop, they can play in larger games with the same roll— with the backstop of being able to get another bankroll if the cards run bad.
Without that affluent boyfriend, they would have to play in much smaller games or actually go bankrupt and face being out of action— and with no job skills that means low grade waitress work or other marginal jobs that are available to unskilled labor.
Taking a shot at larger stakes is the tried and true path to financial independence for pro players. Some players do it by getting lucky in a big tournament where the prize is in the millions, others do it by taking a shot in a super high limit game and getting lucky, and others do it by working their way up in stakes as their skill level improves and grinding out a steady but substantial win over years of playing. All ways start with the accumulation of a modest 5 figure bankroll.
The thing about getting involved with these women is that somewhere along the line decisions need to made about money and the best place to make those decisions is up front.
Money is an integral part of the action so decisions about money are going to made one way or another.
Early, middle, or late in the relationship the girl is going to request money and you will have to make a decision.
Most of the time, these girls want to be staked in the games at unfavorable terms—if she wins you split the profit and if she loses you absorb 100% of the loss.
Other times she will just ask outright for money or try to get you involved in business ventures where she gets an ownership stake and puts up zero capital.
And infrequently, they will just steal it.
There is no right or wrong way here and there are many ways to deal with the situation if you want to mess around with these women but a recipe for disaster is to just let things roll along without prior careful deliberation and decision making.
It’s really the same advice any good lawyer will give an affluent man about marriage and pre-nuptial agreements—think out make rational decisions and deal with the money issues in the beginnng of a relationship and you’ll avoid problems and grief down the line.
I have heard second hand about a famous L.A. businessman who plays high limit poker regularly who is divorced and dates a succession of young girls (30-40 years his junior). He gives them an apartment in a luxury high rise in downtown L.A., leases them a luxury car like a Mercedes convertible, and gives them $3000 a month spending money. When he moves on he continues the lease and apartment for a year so the girl has ample time and resources to get re-settled.
That’s one way of dealing with money issues in relationships and there are many others.
For two reasons, similar money questions come up in Thailand when you get involved with most Thai girls. The reasons are the wide disparity in wealth and the structure of the Thai family.
Unless the girl is from one of the elite super rich families that rule the roost in Thailand, they are part of an extended family.
Families are different in Thailand. In developed Western countries the husband and wife are financially independent or strive to be. They rely on their own income and expect, except under extraordinary circumstances, for others to do the same. This works because many of the unexpected and dire needs for money are covered by insurance or government welfare programs. Get laid off, collect unemployment benefits. Have a disabling accident at work, collect disability. Need a kidney transplant, medical insurance or the government will pay for it.
This is not the case in Thailand.
The extended family structure in Thailand has evolved over the years as a survival mechanism. It is an amazingly flexible, durable, and effective social mechanism for dealing with poverty, the inability to borrow money through western style financial institutions, and lack of a publicly financed social security net.
By pooling resources, the extended family allows individual members to come up with money for emergencies like life threatening medical conditions, and finance businesses that will yield a profit in the future. Members who make money are expected to put a portion of that money into the common pool or make it available to the less fortunate members of the extended family.
Instead of insurance and government welfare, Thais have the extended family.
Get close enough that you have access to all the family gossip and day to day workings and you’ll discover that requests for money are not limited to farang. Every member of the family with above average wealth or income is frequently asked to lend or give money to those lower down the wealth ladder. Wealthier members regularly supplement poorer members incomes, assist with major purchases, and step in when periods of financial hardship strike.
And you’ll find out that there are always members who push the envelope and ask for financial assistance when it is not appropriate of when there is no dire need.
A Thai girl with a long term relationship with a foreigner is classified as a member of the extended family with above average income who is expected to contribute to the common pool. Since she usually has no money herself, that means the foreigner is expected to contribute and she will ask you for money at some point.
If you get involved in a long term relationship with a Thai girl this issue is going to come up and just like winning poker players who want to mess around with cardroom girls it is best to make decisions at the outset about how you are going to handle the situation.
Sitting there like a numb nut and just letting the requests flow in and handling them on a case-by-case basis is a recipe for disaster because you set no limit on how much you are contributing and how to ration what you are providing among potential recipients.
There is no right answer to this question but contributing nothing is not right and not reasonable. You should kick in something. The decision that has to be made is when, who, and how much.
Sometimes the girl’s family doesn’t really welcome you into the family as a bonafide member and just wants to prey on you. If that’s the case, just say no.
Sometimes the person you are helping is so distant that you feel no emotional or personal connection to them. It’s OK to just say no.
Sometimes you feel like helping out because you feel the person is deserving or you have established an emotional bond to them. Step up to the plate and do the right thing.
Whatever decision you make its’ best to think things out in advance.
Farang I know refuse to contribute anything because they are convinced by columnists like Stickman that all requests for money are scams. I think this is wrong. If you are going to part of an extended family and enjoy the benefits, you must also take care of your obligations.
Farang I know set aside an amount each month they consider reasonable and let the girl decide how to ration the money among allegedly needy family members.
And there are farang that don’t think things out and deal with each request on a case by case basis.
Finally, there are farang who don’t bother thinking at all and end up losing all their money —known as poor SA (situational awareness) in the special forces world.
Similar to cardroom girls, your Thai girl will use her wiles and skills to convince you to contribute generously and may even try to get you contribute when there is no real need. She might become a partner with parasitic and opportunistic members of the extended family who are just trying to get some money out of you with no legitimate need. In a way, she is just trying to take care of her family and shouldn’t be held too much to task for this.
But to get to the point of this long winded essay, you should think of dealing with money as a game where you need to work out a strategy for success before you sit down to play.
Otherwise you’ll likely end up as a Stickman reader’s submission.