Lessons Learned at the Poker Table

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentOne of the first things you realize after sitting down at a poker table at Gila River’s Vee Quiva casino is the slogan “Go to the River!” isn’t just marketing, it’s a daily mantra followed fastidiously by most players there.

For those who haven’t the slightest idea what I’m talking about (and this means you, Mom … and you too, Kathie) the “river” is the final card dealt in Texas Hold ‘Em. And it’s amazing how many players will stay in a hand against incredible odds in the hopes of finding success with that final card.

Taking a disciplined approach to the tables doesn’t seem to pay nearly as well as taking wild chances left and right in hopes of getting lucky.

To be honest, it’s not much different than the Phoenix real estate market.

Fishing for Short Sales

Just as many players will fish for flushes (five cards of the same suit) until the very last card, many buyers will troll the waters looking for values in short sales. Odds are fairly long against a true bargain being found, even in an environment when more short sales are being approved than in the past.

There’s not always a great deal of motivation among these buyers … if they happen to get lucky, fine. Rake in the chips and head to the cashiers’ cage. If they don’t, there’s always another hand to be played.

Slow Playing Bank Owned Homes

Few things will cause you to have your tuchas handed back to you faster than slow playing pocket jacks. In poker parlance, slow playing means you demonstrate next to no aggression in hopes of luring others into the pot. Except there are several other hands that can beat you – Aces, Kings, Queens – and all seem to appear on the flop when you are squeezing your jacks too tight.

(For that matter, Ace-King also will cause you to get blasted more often than not as I discovered the hard way on my last hand of today’s tournament. Jay Thompson rightly pointed out the Ace-King also is known as “Anna Kournikova” because it looks great and never wins. I left the table remembering a line from last year’s World Series of Poker that Ace-King often is the last hand you play in any given tournament.)

Given the heightened interest in bank owned homes, coming to the table with anything less than your highest and best offer is next to pointless because it’s almost certain that someone else is going to have a better offer and thereby get the house.

But even your highest and best offer, like my lamented suited Ace-King, doesn’t really guarantee success. A little luck is needed as well. Some of my clients have had it. Some of my clients have not.

Just like I had luck on a few hands today. Just not on a few others. Adam, wherever you are, thanks again for such a miserable flop. Like I said, I’ll be over it in a few years.

Postscript:I’ll probably expand upon this in the near future, but bank owned homes are a bit of a crap shoot. Loyal reader Frank is quick to point out that many have been gutted and would require a great deal of work to be inhabitable. That’s true to a point. But just like there’s beauty in some suited connectors (I’m too tired to explain), not all bank owned homes are trashed.

Clean and/or change out the carpets, throw on a coat of paint and call the movers.

They really do exist.

[tags]Phoenix real estate, bank owned homes[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.