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May 24, 2013

Online Poker Pro successfully transitions to Day Trading

By RTR Dennis

Online poker can be a pretty volatile game, where even the best poker players experience huge swings on a monthly basis. This being said, it's no wonder why people often compare online poker to trading stocks, where income is never a certainty and wild market swings are the norm.

Dylan Collins is a guy who has plenty of experience with both of these disciplines since he transitioned from a successful online poker player to an even better day trader. At just 25 years old, Collins is a key member of AMR Capital and makes a six-figure annual income doing what he loves.

"Trading is fun - I’m genuinely excited most days when I get to the office," Dylan told the Washington Post. "I was so excited and jazzed by what I was doing that it was a year before I took a day off. For me, this is a dream job." Collins took a very interesting road to get to his dream job and, as you'll find out, a large portion of his journey involved playing poker.

Moving up the Stakes
Growing up in Florida, Collins was introduced to poker by his high school friends as they played $5 games on the weekend. He grew so enamored with the game that he used his father's name - Denis, a former journalist for the San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post - to start up an online poker account. Despite earning a profit, Collins never cashed out his winnings due to the questionable account.

After going to college at the University of Miami, Dylan had plans to focus on engineering. However, he spent a lot of his time playing poker and hanging out with friends. An acquaintance who owned an online poker site eventually offered Collins a prop player job. By his junior year, Dylan was earning $1,000 a week between his prop player wages and earnings on the tables.

Collins chose to play solely for himself during his senior year and he made some nice profits in low and mid stakes games. One night, he even managed to earn $5,000, which certainly isn't bad for a university student!

On a Career Path
Despite his success with poker, Collins became interested in a job that AMR Capital posted at his school. Dylan applied and impressed the company during his interview, thus leading to a job with the company. But this was certainly no 9-to-5 job with steady wages and guaranteed job security.

Instead, Collins was given a $25,000 stake and wouldn't receive a paycheck until he was able to pay back the stake with profits. This wasn't an easy task either because over half of AMR recruits quit before they make this stake. Dylan, who cited online poker as great training for his new career, was able to pay back the $25k within nine months. However, he wouldn't have long to celebrate because he lost nearly everything the following month.

A Major Downswing
Just 10 months after starting his day trading career, Collins jumped aboard a hot stock that everybody at AMR was buying in 2011. Unfortunately, the Canadian company they invested in, Sino-Forest, became the subject of a federal investigation soon thereafter. It turned out that Sino-Forest was a Ponzi scheme and Dylan and many of his officemates lost a great deal of money.

Despite this devastating incident, Collins was able to recoup his losses and then some after posting trading profits of $70,000 by the end of his first year. The initial $25k stake that he'd began with was now boosted to $100,000. At one point, Dylan hauled in $140,000 in a single day, thanks to an extremely volatile stock known as Knight Capital.

Where is Dylan Collins Today?
Dylan is still working at the AMR Capital office in West Palm Beach, Florida and doesn't envision himself cashing out any time soon. "Barring some disaster, I can’t imagine leaving this firm." He added, "I’m sure this is the perfect career for me."
He went on to say that some people get burnt out from day trading after 5-10 years and eventually become long-term investors. But for the time-being, it doesn't seem as if Dylan Collins is anywhere close to joining the ranks of long-term traders.