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by Abigail Van Buren

Poker Helps Pay The Bills, Despite Trouble At Home

DEAR ABBY: My fiancee and I work full time. We are trying to save for our wedding and a deposit for a house. The trouble is, after paying rent, bills and day-to-day expenses, we are left with next to nothing.

I played poker when I was in college, which generated a nice income during my late teens and early 20s. A few months back, I decided to pick it up again and found a group of people who like to play. Since then, I have been playing four hours two or three nights a week, and it has generated an extra monthly income of $1,000 to $1,500. Our finances have improved a lot.

There are nights my fiancee wants me to stay home. She says if I had a part-time job, she would understand why I couldn't stay home on the days she asked. But to me, poker IS a part-time job, and it pays more than anything else I could find in this area. I play the same set schedule every week, so she should know what nights I need to go in to "work." What do you say? -- ALL-IN IN VIRGINIA

DEAR ALL-IN: You appear to be a skillful card player or a very lucky one. Assuming that the games in which you are participating are legal, I see nothing wrong with what you're doing. Because your fiancee feels lonely when you're not with her, suggest that she do something with friends or take up a hobby. After all, you're doing this for the both of you, aren't you? And this "part-time job" isn't going to be forever.

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