Man turns video game hobby into career
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Having a job isn't always fun and games, unless you're a professional video-gamer. We met a Houston man who couldn't find work, so he made his hobby his full-time job.
Mark Stenmark just arrived to work. He punches the clock whenever he feels like it at Jakes Philly's Steaks and Sports Bar in southwest Houston. His cubicle is this Golden Tee video game.
"I probably start sometime between 11am and noon and then I'll play until 7 or 8 at night," Stenmark said. "So it's about an eight-hour day when I play."
Stenmark previously worked in the oil and gas industry, but when the economy tanked -- like thousands in the Houston area -- he was laid off. That was two years ago!
"I switched and started playing 30 games, 60 games a day basically so I could pay my bills," he said. "To be honest, I made just as much -- if not more -- at the video game."
OK, we know what you're thinking: he plays a video game for a living, and no, not all women are impressed. His Golden Tee career, actually played a roll in ending his previous relationship.
Luckily, his new lady is more lenient.
"She's is a lot more understanding than my ex-girlfriend. She understands that it does pay my bills, I can take her out to dinner and all that stuff that women enjoy," Stenmark said.
He is consistently ranked as the No. 1 Golden Tee player in the world. His ranking is how he is paid. The higher the score he averages over a month determines the size of his check he receives from Golden Tee every two weeks.
Stenmark now clears several thousand dollars a month, making it hard to search for a regular day job.
"It does make it difficult to look for work because I am basically self employed. The freedom of playing this game I can wake up and come in and play at anytime during the day. I don't have to answer to a boss," he said.
So don't expect to see Stenmark applying for a job in the oil and gas industry anytime soon.
local, erik barajas
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