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Old 01-08-2017, 12:36 PM   #1
QuitPlaying123
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Life and career after poker

I stopped playing poker last year (2015) to focus on finishing my business studies and try to focus on my long term goals. I started playing poker when I was 17 up to 24 years of age. I played up to the highest stakes but did not manage to save a lot or retire.

I have an extremely hard time transitioning back into the real world. Where my student peers have been active with internships, student clubs, international studies, I have merely focused on poker, coaching and some rakeback affiliating. As a result of this perhaps misguided focus I currently do not have a competitive profile at all, because of a lack of internships and a less than stellar GPA.

Poker was a very good way for me to be competitive and reach the top in something. While I did not reach the top like some of the people reading this, I did manage to get to the highest stakes in my games and beat them. Unfortunately I have come to the realisiation that I will not ever be able to reach the top outside of poker. My undergraduate in business is not that valueable at all and I do not have any other skills. Furthermore poker is not something I feel like I can mention on a resume without being frowned upon. Furthermore the perception that poker gave: freedom and the absurd amounts of $$$ at a young age hasnt been very helpful either.

I have talked to a psychologist since quiting poker but this has not been of any help. I have spoken to a therapist, but this has not been of any help. I have spoken to a student councelor, but again this has not been of any help.

Every day I truly wake up with intense amounts of stress and regret of starting poker. I strongly believe that my decision to play poker and my approach to life while playing poker has truly ****ed me up for life. I do not blame poker for this, but I do blame myself for this. Then this regret is even multiplied by the fact that many of my poker peers have done substantially better and have basically set themselves up for life or have found other things they are good at/passionate about. Then this regret is ever more more multiplied by the fact that I see people from my studies going to get nice jobs etc. I have had over a dozen of job interviews so far, without even landing an internship.

The only thing that truly keeps me semi sane is hope for a better future and the fact that I do have some savings 100-200k that can keep me alive for a few years.

I am just wondering if anyone here has experiences something similar and how he or she got out of this mess.

tldr: focused on poker for the past decade, didnt focus on my long term life and studies, stopped playing poker, learned the wrong perception of freedom and $$$ in the normal working world, experiencing great diffeculties lifewise and career wise.

Last edited by QuitPlaying123; 01-08-2017 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:37 PM   #2
p2 dog, p2
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Re: Life and career after poker

u have 100k - 200k saved up, that's a lot for a 24/25-year-old. The past is the past, if you didn't like it, keep trying to change your future for the better.

Your 'help" post comes across much better than most. gl in the future, don't stress the short term, you are fine financially. every day keep progressing toward something, something that when you look back in seven years you are satisfied with doing because poker does not seem to be it.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:21 AM   #3
BigBadBabar
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Re: Life and career after poker

the idea of not putting poker on a resume comes up all the time and i think it's completely wrong

you have developed a skill set that is not very common and that is in demand in several fields (has there ever been a dedicated thread about this on 2p2? if not, seems like this could be a good time for it - maybe we could develop a template for poker players wanting to pitch themselves positively on a resume/etc)

of course - how fully you believe that, and the enthusiasm you have when you talk about poker and etc - that will matter a bit

are you applying for jobs that you truly want? do you truly want a job? are you just applying for jobs because that's what your peers are doing and you feel compelled to compete/keep up with them?

how's your physical health - are you in good shape? do you exercise regularly and see a doctor? do you do yoga, meditate, etc? it may be that you're depressed and talking with your doctor and therapist could help you choose from some potential courses of action

you mention you've worked on your mental health some but haven't really clicked with any professional yet - i recommend you keep trying - there are good professionals out there and you're likely to click with one of them - it seems like you have the time and money to keep trying. and when you're with them, maybe your goal shouldn't be to rationalize your poker career but rather to figure out how to become happier in the present - be more at peace with yourself - figure out what you truly want in life both now and in the future - that kinda thing

a lot of people find that volunteering is very fulfilling, or getting into some new hobbies

with time and money you could certainly learn some new skills that interest you, or take more college classes, or take some time off and travel and relax

bricking a dozen interviews can be pretty standard in the business world - there are often lots of people applying for limited jobs, and certain fields can be very competitive. i wouldn't sweat that very much.

with money in the bank, and (hopefully) your health, you shouldn't be under as much pressure as you seem to be. i think a good current plan would be: take a step back, relax a bit, and try and work on yourself as a person and figure out how to be healthier in mind and body - it should help a lot. adulting isn't easy but some approaches are better than others!

posting on here is a good first step and i hope that we can give you some good feedback and get a useful discussion going!
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:41 PM   #4
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Re: Life and career after poker

Dude, if you crushed highstakes NL you can do anything. Think about all the time and energy you put into the game. If you put that same amount anywhere else youd crush anything. If you put half of the energy I'm sure youd do well. Went through a similar phase in my life after i separated from the military. You think that everyone is further ahead of you, but there not you just have to relate your skills and market them.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: Life and career after poker

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Originally Posted by backdoordaddy View Post
Dude, if you crushed highstakes NL you can do anything. Think about all the time and energy you put into the game. If you put that same amount anywhere else youd crush anything. If you put half of the energy I'm sure youd do well. Went through a similar phase in my life after i separated from the military. You think that everyone is further ahead of you, but there not you just have to relate your skills and market them.
qft. op, finding a new place in life so to speak can be tough especially coming out of the poker community. don't worry as much about this and try to find something you can really see yourself putting hours into without hating it. you will auto find success.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:17 PM   #6
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Re: Life and career after poker

there have been a lot of threads similar to this one on here, you should find them and link them imo
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:55 AM   #7
QuitPlaying123
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Re: Life and career after poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by p2 dog, p2 View Post
u have 100k - 200k saved up, that's a lot for a 24/25-year-old. The past is the past, if you didn't like it, keep trying to change your future for the better.

Your 'help" post comes across much better than most. gl in the future, don't stress the short term, you are fine financially. every day keep progressing toward something, something that when you look back in seven years you are satisfied with doing because poker does not seem to be it.
Thank you for your advice.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:11 AM   #8
QuitPlaying123
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Re: Life and career after poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBadBabar View Post
the idea of not putting poker on a resume comes up all the time and i think it's completely wrong

you have developed a skill set that is not very common and that is in demand in several fields (has there ever been a dedicated thread about this on 2p2? if not, seems like this could be a good time for it - maybe we could develop a template for poker players wanting to pitch themselves positively on a resume/etc)

of course - how fully you believe that, and the enthusiasm you have when you talk about poker and etc - that will matter a bit

are you applying for jobs that you truly want? do you truly want a job? are you just applying for jobs because that's what your peers are doing and you feel compelled to compete/keep up with them?

how's your physical health - are you in good shape? do you exercise regularly and see a doctor? do you do yoga, meditate, etc? it may be that you're depressed and talking with your doctor and therapist could help you choose from some potential courses of action

you mention you've worked on your mental health some but haven't really clicked with any professional yet - i recommend you keep trying - there are good professionals out there and you're likely to click with one of them - it seems like you have the time and money to keep trying. and when you're with them, maybe your goal shouldn't be to rationalize your poker career but rather to figure out how to become happier in the present - be more at peace with yourself - figure out what you truly want in life both now and in the future - that kinda thing

a lot of people find that volunteering is very fulfilling, or getting into some new hobbies

with time and money you could certainly learn some new skills that interest you, or take more college classes, or take some time off and travel and relax

bricking a dozen interviews can be pretty standard in the business world - there are often lots of people applying for limited jobs, and certain fields can be very competitive. i wouldn't sweat that very much.

with money in the bank, and (hopefully) your health, you shouldn't be under as much pressure as you seem to be. i think a good current plan would be: take a step back, relax a bit, and try and work on yourself as a person and figure out how to be healthier in mind and body - it should help a lot. adulting isn't easy but some approaches are better than others!

posting on here is a good first step and i hope that we can give you some good feedback and get a useful discussion going!
Thanks for the advice about the resume. You are probably rightin that regards.

My applications for jobs are mostly fearbased. I do not think I truly want them, but they beat the alternatives. Furthermore I feel like me having one of those jobs, can really help me get some structure in my life and maybe get a gf and a normal life. I still do not know what I truly want in life. I also got some study/career coaching to figure that out, but yeah that did not really help and then I decided to focus on other things again (mistake).

My physical health is quite bad. I barely eat, I lost weight (already skinny) and I also do not work out. Everyday I wake up at like 11am and just go on laptop and do some random browsing. Then sometimes I skip breakfast/lunch cause I am not hungry.

Thank you for the profesionnal help advice. This week I went to the psychologist and we discussed it. He also came to a conclusion similar to yours: ''Be more happy in the now, focus on what makes you happy''. At the same time he told me I seeked instant satisfaction and that this is extremely conflicting with long term success and happiness. But then again I also noticed I kept trying to analyze/rationalize every I have done in life to him. Maybe I should just let go. Anyway he gave me a list of specialists for more intensive guidance, so I guess I will do that.

Thank you, I think you have quite a good idea whats going on.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:12 AM   #9
QuitPlaying123
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Re: Life and career after poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by backdoordaddy View Post
Dude, if you crushed highstakes NL you can do anything. Think about all the time and energy you put into the game. If you put that same amount anywhere else youd crush anything. If you put half of the energy I'm sure youd do well. Went through a similar phase in my life after i separated from the military. You think that everyone is further ahead of you, but there not you just have to relate your skills and market them.
Thanks for your reply. The point is I feel like I did not actually accomplish something. I did not work hard. I did not study. I just played without a structure/schedule and somehow beat the games, probably mostly weak games to begin with.

Thank you for sharing your pov regarding military, sounds familar.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:13 AM   #10
QuitPlaying123
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Re: Life and career after poker

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Originally Posted by look at me now View Post
qft. op, finding a new place in life so to speak can be tough especially coming out of the poker community. don't worry as much about this and try to find something you can really see yourself putting hours into without hating it. you will auto find success.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
there have been a lot of threads similar to this one on here, you should find them and link them imo
Thank you both.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:06 AM   #11
Anssi A
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Re: Life and career after poker

Could you continue your studies (further)? It would give some focus, especially if you really focus on it.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:48 AM   #12
Aillemkall
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Re: Life and career after poker

I had an exact opposite reaction to my poker career. I played professionally for almost 10 years. I put my wife through college (PHD) and provided for her and my daughter. My wife did work part time or full time during periods of that decade of poker. I now own several businesses that are valued in the tens of millions of dollars. I feel like I owe it ALL to poker. Or at least, I owe it to the way that poker taught me how to think.

No decisions, whether it be over a market strategy, employees, financial, etc... is emotional in any way. I run EV calcs on just about every decision and it has become so ingrained in my decision making that it is just about second nature. I make the best business decision given all of the information that I have, then I execute accordingly until I have new data.

I made Supernova Elite in 6 months playing small and mid stakes and anyone that plays that many of hands of NLH is used to pouring through tons of data. Every situation, vs every type of opponent, from every positions, yada yada.... I do the same thing now with all of my financial statements and key performance indicators. I didn't do it by myself. You can listen about it in this week's pokercast with Matt Wiener. Between him, myself, and Kevin "WizardofAhhs" Thurman, we have an amazing ownership group that is comprised solely on disciplined poker players.

I never reached the mountain top of my poker profession either. I topped out playing 5/10 NLH and occasional 10/25 NLH in live poker after black friday. I couldn't move b/c of my wife's education. I did well in those games but I never amassed a bankroll big enough to do what I wanted. (Fly around the USA/World playing the largest and fishiest games I could find)

I thought I would miss poker a ton but business is just as competitive with way more fish.

tl;dr: Successful businessman b/c of poker acumen.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:29 PM   #13
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Re: Life and career after poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuitPlaying123 View Post
My physical health is quite bad. I barely eat, I lost weight (already skinny) and I also do not work out. Everyday I wake up at like 11am and just go on laptop and do some random browsing. Then sometimes I skip breakfast/lunch cause I am not hungry.
this is very concerning. I do not think there is anything more important in life than health, physical and mental. without optimizing it, what are you going to optimize? it starts with your health. Your body and mind need proper nutrition to feel and work optimally, work on changing it for the better.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:16 PM   #14
spirit123
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Re: Life and career after poker

Have you thought about traveling for a bit? Seems like a lot of the suffering is mental. You have more money than most 24 years have seen in their lives. You don't need to immediately figure out what you're going to do for the rest of your life.

Seems like you are anxious about how other people perceive you. You want to be at the top. I know that feeling. It's all in our minds though. There is no satisfaction at being at the top. There's only one way to go after being at the top.

Some time by the beach maybe some yoga meditation would be beneficial.

My two cents.
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Old 01-15-2017, 04:12 AM   #15
Happyclam1
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Re: Life and career after poker

my story is very similar to yours but i sure as hell don't have 6 figures saved up, thats awesome that you have that nest egg til' you figure out your next play. consider some investment opportunities.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:23 AM   #16
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Re: Life and career after poker

Force yourself to have a schedule no matter if you have something to do or it. Set a time to wake up everyday and follow it. Have a good breakfast, workout, do some reading on something that interests you, etc. Work on yourself and create purpose and you will be much happier, with or without a plan for the future. You may not be set for life, but for 24 you're waaaaay ahead of the field, best of luck.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:34 AM   #17
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Re: Life and career after poker

I just don't get it, how can't you portray positively the fact that you played and beat the highest online NL games for years. This shouldn't be hard at all, unless you actually never studied the game and can't explain how you got to the highest stakes.

I'm still playing poker actively, and actually only being pro for like 7-8 months. My plan is to play poker for 2-3ish years (unless reasonable stakes online cash dies before that) and then head back to uni to finish masters (almost finished bachelors), so would take me 2-3ish years to finish that.

And I'm actually fairly confident I can actually make positive thing out of the poker (unless I go broke lol), by just explaining the various ways I studied the game and got better. Which include database-analysis, solver work, basic math focused on gametheory etc.


Like if I was looking to hire people for work, someone who has reached top of a very competitive area, atleast to me shows tremendous amount of work ethic and ability.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:38 PM   #18
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Re: Life and career after poker

Where is everyone getting the idea that OP crushed high stakes? Or really developed any valuable skills at all? He already stated that he didn't work hard, barely studied, etc. To say he's way ahead of the field just because he has 100k in the bank is absurd. He really does have a **** resume right now. Nothing that can't be fixed, but it will take some effort.

OP: Get yourself in a healthy place physically and mentally, figure out what you might like to do, then go work twice as hard as anyone else at it. Maybe an unpaid internship, just to get your foot in the door and gain some experience. An MBA also seems like a pretty great way to wipe the slate clean, if that interests you at all. Expensive though.
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Old 01-18-2017, 01:41 AM   #19
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Re: Life and career after poker

Pretty much a glass half empty, half full type situation. What you do with it is up to you.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:39 PM   #20
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Re: Life and career after poker

I'd recommend really thinking about how you want to portray poker on your resume based on the specific job you're trying to get. Obviously there are many high paying jobs that would love poker players (options trading, hedge funds, anything entrepreneurial).

Fwiw, I gave up my career options out of college to pursue poker for a few years and don't think I'll ever regret it.
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Old 01-18-2017, 11:50 PM   #21
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Re: Life and career after poker

Forget all the sympathy-laced BS in this thread. Like the others, these are useless to you. I'll give you the raw deal; you have 3 options (in no particular order):

1) Resume playing poker. Maybe transition to live or grind out mid-stakes or do a bit of both.

2) Kill yourself, as you're going to be wasting oxygen for the rest of your life.

3) 24-25 with 100-200K? That's more than enough money to go back to school. Get your undergrad with your savings; get a part-time job at Starbucks to help cope with other expenses; and work like a dog for 4 years till you get a degree. Restarting life at 28-29 is not the end of the world, not at all. You can easily rejoin society with a degree and all you're really losing is about 4 years, which is more than covered by the poker experience you have gained and the 100-200K you have saved which will pay for your university costs. So stop bitching and go back to school. You're not in bad shape at all.
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Old 01-19-2017, 05:47 PM   #22
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Re: Life and career after poker

Based upon the tone of your reports, including highly negative thinking, poor self-esteem, and sense of hopelessness, The question of and untreated depression seems warranted. You also describe biological aspects of depression, including sleeping difficulties and decreased appetite with weight loss. Hundreds of thousands of people with similar problems have found significant help with one of the many different medications used for depression. I think there have been very good posts with advice regarding lifestyle. These approaches can be very helpful. However, if this has been going on for more than a month or so, Use of medications to balance your neurotransmitters may be the most fish efficient means of improving the quality of your life. When your head is clear, which usually requires reduction of depressive syndrome symptoms, it is likely that you will have more clarity in making important decisions about the future.

Talk to your medical doctor. A psychologist or therapist cannot prescribe medications.
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:53 PM   #23
lvanhoe
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Re: Life and career after poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by omahaxpert View Post
Forget all the sympathy-laced BS in this thread. Like the others, these are useless to you. I'll give you the raw deal; you have 3 options (in no particular order):

1) Resume playing poker. Maybe transition to live or grind out mid-stakes or do a bit of both.

2) Kill yourself, as you're going to be wasting oxygen for the rest of your life.

3) 24-25 with 100-200K? That's more than enough money to go back to school. Get your undergrad with your savings; get a part-time job at Starbucks to help cope with other expenses; and work like a dog for 4 years till you get a degree. Restarting life at 28-29 is not the end of the world, not at all. You can easily rejoin society with a degree and all you're really losing is about 4 years, which is more than covered by the poker experience you have gained and the 100-200K you have saved which will pay for your university costs. So stop bitching and go back to school. You're not in bad shape at all.
Please don't say that sort of **** to people that already seem depressed as hell.

OP: If I were you I'd look into hiring some sort of lifecoach that can teach you stuff about how to actually cope with life. Your main problem doesn't seem to be that you can't find a job, your main problem seems to be that you think you are a ****ty human being.

While I don't know you at all, that seems pretty unlikely as you have got a lot more money than ~98% of people your age and you have amassed a ton of skills that you might not be able to quantify on a resume but you sure as **** possess them if you have beaten mid/high stakes online.

So try to get your life on track first. Eat healthy, work out, talk to girls, socialize, get a normal schedule of things you have to do each day. Just get back to living and when you feel better about your life, THEN go decide where you want to give jobwise.
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:48 PM   #24
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Re: Life and career after poker

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Please don't say that sort of **** to people that already seem depressed as hell.
It's called Tough Love. Someone needed to slap him back to reality. He's obviously talented to get to high stakes and make a profit, and I was just guiding him towards Option #3.

PS: I also like the advice you gave to him.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:43 PM   #25
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Re: Life and career after poker

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Originally Posted by omahaxpert View Post
It's called Tough Love. Someone needed to slap him back to reality. He's obviously talented to get to high stakes and make a profit, and I was just guiding him towards Option #3.

PS: I also like the advice you gave to him.
Publicly telling someone you don't know who is seemingly depressed to commit suicide is not tough love- it's asinine.
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