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Tempting Fate

How far would you go to finance your startup?

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This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Deva Hazarika, CEO at ClearContext Corp., a software company in San Francisco, once paid his business's bills with winnings from online poker. "Poker helped us bridge the gap between development and when we started generating sales," Hazarika says. He and his partner, Brad Meador, estimate their 10 hours each of poker time every week delivered a 10 percent return.

"Entrepreneurs do what it takes to be successful," says Joseph C. Picken, executive director of The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas, Dallas. "But [playing online poker] is not a serious way to raise funds."

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