Definition of In the Money
In gambling terms, being ‘in the money’ refers to a player having reached a point where he or she is guaranteed prize money regardless. Often, this guarantee occurs well before the gambling event has reached a conclusion.
For instance, most poker tournaments split the prize pool between the players at the final table. So a player at the final table is said to be in the money: Regardless of what happens next, that player walks away with a profit.
So the term in the money is a position, but it’s also used after the fact. A player who has won money in a tournament or other event might say that he finished in the money, meaning that he did better than break even.
The gambling use of the term ‘in the money’ originates with the financial use, which is when market price is above the strike price of a stock option. The key difference is that in finances being in the money does not guarantee profit.
However, the gambling community does sometimes use the term in the financial sense. For instance, if a particular poker tournament is a lucrative opportunity, someone may refer to the tournament as being in the money.
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