Haseeb Qureshi

Starting Over


So I’m starting over.

I’ve decided to give away all of my money. Two years after retiring from poker, I have left about half a million dollars. I’m giving some of it to charity, and the rest to my family to go toward my parents’ retirement. I’m leaving myself $10,000 to live off—you know, in case I’m an idiot and everything goes horribly wrong.

Oh, and I just finished the book, which I’ve been working on for the last two years (as most of you who follow my blog already know). It’s finally for sale, and you can get it here.

Wait, wait, what? You’re giving away all your money? Why?

I know, right? What the hell?

Well, I wanted a fresh start. I wanted to use what I’ve been given to help people who have been less fortunate. I also wanted to support my parents, who have done so much for me throughout the tough times in my life. I’ve been lucky in so many ways, it’s only right that I do what I can to pay it forward.

On the whole, poker was an amazing (and surreal) experience. It taught me a lot; it was very generous to me. But I don’t want to live in the shadow of it. I want to prove to myself that I didn’t need poker. That my career as a poker player was not my apex, but just another stepping stone toward the rest of my life.

Okay, okay. So if you’re giving it away, can I have some?

No. Unless you’re running a registered charity, in which case maybe. I’ve made my first donation to ICCS, the Indigenous Cultural Conservation Society, and I’m looking to donate to three more, but haven’t settled on the other charities for sure yet. I prefer smaller charities, to minimize administrative waste and, ideally, maximize investment directly into projects. Most mega-charities funnel so much money back into marketing and fundraising, oftentimes only half of your donation actually goes toward charitable work.

So if you know of any awesome charities I should look at, tell me about it on Twitter. I’m still in the process of researching them, and I want to complete all the donations before the end of the year.

The rest is going toward my parents’ retirement. The older I get, the more I realize what amazing human beings they are. When I was born, they were poor, struggling immigrants living out of a tiny little apartment. They inspire me. I don’t expect my life to become quite like that, but I try to remember how hard my parents had it. Probably harder than I ever will. I think they deserve a break, and hopefully this will give them one.

How are you going to live off $10,000? That won’t last you too long.

I know! I’ve started cutting back on costs as much as I can. I’ve always lived pretty simply though, even when I was a poker player. But now, I’m trying to live as frugally as I can. I’m also learning how to cook. I just learned how to hard-boil eggs. Yes, learned. As in, I couldn’t do it before.

I can’t make this stuff up, guys.

What charities are you donating to?

I’m donating a total of $75,000 over three or four charities. Right now, the first charity I’ve picked out is ICCS, the Indigenous Cultural Conservation Society. I’ve sent them $20,000. They’re a nonprofit whose primary work is with the Masaai of east Kenya, working to educate them on sustainable, efficient agricultural practices (in a region of the world that is suffering from rapid desertification). I really just fell in love with their work. I encourage you to check them out, they’re awesome people working toward an important, sustainable solution. Send them a donation! Seriously! This cause needs all the help it can get.

Update: the other charities I’ve donated to are The Simama Project ($20,000 for awarding comprehensive scholarships to 7 Kenyan children to get them through high school), charity: water ($20,000 to build and maintain 6 water wells in Dadu, Pakistan), and GiveDirectly ($15,000, matched by another $15,000 from Good Ventures; learn more about GiveDirectly from their TAL episode).

Do you have proof you did all this stuff?


Receipt from ICCS for first $20,000 donation — Scribd

Receipt from The Simama Project for $20,000 donation — Scribd

Receipt from charity: water for $20,000 donation — Scribd

Receipt from GiveDirectly for $15,000 donation (matched by Good Ventures) — Scribd

Documentation of title transfer (deeding my real estate to my parents): image

Bank statement (with $55K segregated for the remainder of charity donations) — image

Picture of the cafeteria food I’m now eating everyday ($9.10 for all-you-can-eat) — image

Well, damn. Okay. And what’s this about your book?

Yes! I just finished it. It’s for sale now—you can get it here. I’m pricing it for the first month at $2.99, because I want to make it as affordable as possible as a favor to people just starting out in poker; after that, it’ll be priced normally at $9.99. Go pick it up. I know a lot of you guys on my blog have read a lot of my writings already, but it’s super polished and sexy, and there’s some new content as well. Plus it’s just cool to have an actual for-real book, right? That’s what people tell me, anyway.

If you want to help me out, please write me a review! Share this story or Tweet about it. Tell your friend, “hey, this pile of pages is pretty awesome, go read it.” Everything helps. This book has been such a labor of love for me. I was eighteen years old when I came up with the idea for this book, and it’s kind of amazing now to think now it’s finally been released.

Man, oh man.

Anyway, go pick it up! What are you waiting for?!

Ah! Stop yelling at me!

Don’t be like that.

Well, Haseeb…

Oh, you want to say something? You can tell me here, or ask me a question! I’m probably going to get swamped by those pretty soon, but I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Related Posts

Why I’ve Decided to Devote my Career to Earning-to-Give


It’s been almost four years now since I retired from professional poker. I haven’t played a single hand of poker since then. I’ve written a lot about poker, I’ve coached a lot of poker players, but the game itself is long behind me. So what comes next?Read more »

The Dog of Athens


Diogenes of Sinope was the father of Cynicism, an ancient school of ascetic philosophy. It’s easy to talk abstractly though. I like to imagine him: tattered clothes, tangled beard, a scraggly old man. In Athens, Diogenes was known unaffectionately as “the Dog.” He lived in a discarded wine tub, which he kept out in the […]Read more »

The Million Dollar Bet


Lately, I’ve been thinking about the infamous “million dollar bet” I made back in 2011. Today, I thought I’d repost the original story on this blog so it’s all here in one place. I was originally planning to rewrite it, but I’ve decided instead that I should post the whole thing unedited. It was very […]Read more »

Tilt: The Customer is Always Right


Today, I’ve got a special treat: I recorded a preview of the audiobook! Hear a great section from the book, “Tilt: the Customer is Always Right,” which teaches how to play optimally against a tilting player. Of course, you also get to enjoy my chocolatey voice in its full aural deliciousness. It’s okay, it’s not […]Read more »

Money, Money Everywhere


My first ever purchase as a poker player wasn’t made with money. It was made with FPPs. About a year after I started playing poker, I was $3/$6 reg with over $70,000 to my name, and I decided to cash in my FPPs on Pokerstars to buy an iPod. I was 16 years old, and […]Read more »

What Ithacas Mean


I made my final donation yesterday. The $75,000 is now all accounted for. I sent $20,000 to charity: water for building water wells in rural Pakistan, and $15,000 to GiveDirectly (matched by another $15,000 by Good Ventures), which will be distributed through Kenya and Uganda. I’ll be updating the original post where I announce I’m […]Read more »

Turning the Wheel


[For those of you who don’t know what’s going on with me right now, read this post first.] Christmas has come and gone. It’s never been a big day for me and my family. We don’t celebrate Christmas. So mostly Christmas is a day when everything is closed, my friends are busy, and everything is […]Read more »

What Comes Next


It’s fall now, and just starting to get cold in Texas. I haven’t written in a while. The book, The Philosophy of Poker, I will collate and edit from the pieces written on this blog. I’ll release it within the next couple of months as an e-book. There will be extensive editing, some additional material […]Read more »

This is a beginning


This is a post. I will write more when more stuff happens. I don’t know my plans yet or where I am going to go, but for those of you who wish to contact or meet me, I am reachable at haseebonroad at gmail dot com. Once I decide what exactly my plans are, I […]Read more »

  1. I did like your book a lot and will review it once I have finished it on Amazon for you.

    For a scholar of Poker , this had some new ideas that I had never heard about.eg (Game-Flow). :*)

    Some of your ideas I may disagree about but your knowledge and approach in Poker is excellent.

    I think makes this required reading for any serious poker player.

    Well done Haseeb

Leave Me A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *