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Old 12-03-2016, 10:07 AM   #1
DalTXColtsFan
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Give me a frank and honest assessment...

...of my addiction (or non-addiction) to poker.

I never play any other gambling game with real money. I've been playing for almost 5 years.

At the beginning of each calendar year I give myself a budget for the year of $1000 for live poker (I know that's a terrible roll but it's all I could really afford to lose - that and having a wife who doesn't approve of my hobby does NOT equal a much bigger bankroll!). There were a couple years where I lost that whole amount by February or March and had to shut down for the rest of the year. I'm not going to lie, there were times I really, really wanted to go play but couldn't because I didn't want to break a promise to the wife (and that was the *only* reason - a few times I got unexpected big bonuses from work and could easily have gone to the casino and plopped down a buyin or two at $1/$2NL or $4/$8LHE without it affecting me financially, but I didn't). There was even one year that I'd blown my budget by March and in September I tried to make a deal with my wife - let me go to the casino just this once and I'll do something that at the time was super nice for her. Of course, she said no, I accepted, and never tried that again .

There was a year where by September I was actually *up* for the year - I had a $500 win followed by a $350 win followed by 2 straight $200 losses. The 2 losses made my wife flip out - I tried to explain to her that the $850 I'd won more than made up for the $400 I'd lost but she'd have none of it, so just to make her feel better I *offered* to not go back to the casino for the rest of the year. And I didn't.

I give myself a daily stoploss of $200. Once I'm down $200 I'm done. One time I broke my own rule and lost $260 in one day.

This year, thanks to a really good work year last year I gave myself a budget for the year of $2000. The year started off reasonably well, but in March I had a session where I played stupidly (losing my whole buyin) and I was really mad at myself so I took a break. This year in June I found out about a Card Player Cruise in April 2017, so I booked it and told my wife, "You have my word that I will not spend ONE PENNY on poker between now and that cruise - no books, no coaching, no internet deposits, no casino trips, NOTHING. You also have my word that if the poker goes badly on the cruise I will stop spending money on poker for the rest of 2017 as well." And so far, I haven't. I even did a little mini-vacation where I accepted 2 free nights in a casino's hotel, and while I was there I walked around the poker room to watch, and as much as I really really wanted to pull $200 out of my wallet and sit down (especially when I saw a particularly juicy game!), I *didn't*.

One other tidbit - I completely stopped playing NLHE and PLO live. I suck at them. According to the records I've been keeping for the last 4 years I lose about $50/hr playing NLHE and PLO but I "only" lose about $6/hr playing LHE (when you consider how rake-gouged that game is that's not bad at all!). I have never lost my whole buyin at an LHE table two sessions in a row - ever. I can't say the same about NLHE and PLO .

Now, my budget for the upcoming cruise is something I'm really wrestling with. I really want to spend that whole week *on vacation* not worrying about money - I really want to set my daily stoploss at $200 and play without even thinking about the money, but as improbable as it is, that means I *have* to consider the possibility that I'll lose $1400 on the cruise. My wife will crucify me if I do that (even if I promise not to play for the rest of the year). So I don't know what to do.

OK, I think I've typed enough. Honest opinions - do I seem like I have it under control? Any warning signs anyone sees of a future problem? Any signs I'm kidding myself?

Thanks
DTXCF
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:49 AM   #2
Dochrohan
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Sounds like you suck at poker.

Quit poker or improve.

Quite poker and get huge +EV wife decision or self +EV and continue playing.

Win money consistently, gain wife and life EV.


Fwiw $1000 on any hobby is relatively cheap depending om finances obv. I am not a big fan of your wife but if you are not making serieus cash she has a point. Quit loding money.


Also a poker cruise with the wife sounds so -EV for you.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

OP, you are navigating between a rock and a hard place. So far, figuratively speaking, it has been a truce between them. Don't count on it for a long time. I think you know the game. My advice: Play exclusively limit poker for a while. Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2016, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

As far as your question about addiction, no, it doesn't sound from your post like you are addicted to poker or even close to it. You make limits and if sounds like you stick to them almost always. Try and ask an alcoholic to limit himself to 3 drinks a day, an addicted cigarette smoker to only smoking one day a week, or a gambling addict to cut himself off after losing 1k in a year and limiting himself to only 4-8 LHE. The likelihood of any of these experiments being successful is close to zero.

Your strategy of setting a gambling budget at the beginning of the year based on your financial situation seems like a responsible approach to your hobby. If your wife was on board with that plan at the beginning of the year, I don't think it's right that she changed her mind mid year unless there was some event that clearly changed your financial situation during the year.

I do think that having fear of repercussions from your wife if you lose may have an effect on your ability to play your best game. You are gambling not just with money but also with her approval so the effective stakes are higher and may be outside your comfort zone.
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:28 PM   #5
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Nice post.

I think dal needs to watch "white men cant jump." If you haven't seen it then don't read this:

Spoiler:
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

What is poker for you?
A hobby?
Or do you want somehow to make money from it one day?

I would say in both cases something goes wrong. I mean if it is a hobby, then it should cost so much money how you can easily afford and it should produce ZERO stress in your marriage.

It is even more wrong if you want ever to make money from poker. I won't elaborate here. I think you have enough posts on 2+2, that you know that.

Is the 400 $ significant in your budget? What for would your wife spend this money? I mean you sound like you would get a LOT of stress, if you spend 1400 $ instead of 1000$.

I don't think that you are a gambling addict. You most definitely aren't one. But it is also completely clear that you have some issues with poker and your wife.

I don't know...... If it is much money for your family I wouldn't go to this trip and I would look in online alternatives, where you can play a lot lower stakes. You just can't afford life poker then.

If all your basics are easily covered and your wife just makes stress because she wants a pair of shoes for 400$, then you need somehow work on that. Or may be she feels that poker is for you more important than her, then you need somehow to convince her, that that is not the case. Or she has some very good and reasonable ideas what for you can apply this money.

Does your wife have any hobbies? How much do this hobbies cost? Does she work?
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Thanks for the productive responses so far.

I actually make six figures so $1k or $2k on poker is peanuts. I NEVER gamble with money I can't afford to lose. Ever.

Poker is just a hobby. Assuming I stick to only LHE live and I can maintain a lossrate of no more than $6/hr over the long term I can't imagine not getting to play it all I want - how many hobbies out there only cost $6/hr?

Yes, there is extreme pressure on me while I'm playing because I know the wife is going to flip out every time I lose my $200 buyin. Yes, it does make it harder to make the correct mathematical decision sometimes. But it is what it is - she doesn't like the fact that I enjoy poker and we just kind of agree to disagree as long as I keep it under control.

As far as the cruise, my wife and I each take a vacation without the other once a year (this year she went with her best friend and my mom to Barcelona!). Long story, but trust me, if you knew us it would make perfect sense. My solo vacation is always a cruise - I love cruising and could talk about it all day. The one cruise I chose happened to be a Card Player Cruises cruise. I still haven't decided what to do about setting a poker budget. I suppose I could I could set my loss cap for the week at $600. If I don't get play anymore poker the rest of the week, so what? I'm on a big cruise ship headed for Honduras, Belize and Mexico . Besides, I'd have to get really really really unlucky to lose my whole buyin each of the first three days. I have NEVER lost my whole buyin two LHE sessions in a row let alone three.

Last edited by DalTXColtsFan; 12-04-2016 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:42 PM   #8
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

That explains why you'd book a poker cruise while having such a poker hating wife. What I would do is this: Think of a convincing lie.

As far as any warning signs and future problems go, well, that should be obvious.

Now, for this part, please realize that I've struggled w/ writing it for 5 full minutes but I've GOT TO KNOW! Pic of wife, plz?
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:55 AM   #9
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Oh, I thought we were going on cruise with wife. Win if we are not, **** that, gambool it up.

You make 6 figures and have a very small financial hobby in likelihood. If she makes such a big deal about it, have a legitimate conversation about it with her.

If you truely love the woman, explain her your desires of life, what makes you happy. IF she can't be supportive, especially, when you're making a good financial life for her.

Let her know it wont work long term and "we" should think of divorce.

No woman is worth wasting your life on in self happiness just because it's standard. 100 years goes faster than you think.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DalTXColtsFan View Post
I actually make six figures so $1k or $2k on poker is peanuts. I NEVER gamble with money I can't afford to lose. Ever.

Yes, there is extreme pressure on me while I'm playing because I know the wife is going to flip out every time I lose my $200 buyin.
Something isn't adding up here - you're apparently so wealthy that $2k is peanuts, yet your wife flips out if you lose $200?
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:13 AM   #11
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrazor View Post
Something isn't adding up here - you're apparently so wealthy that $2k is peanuts, yet your wife flips out if you lose $200?
I agree with you 100%. It makes no sense. You should see how much we spend on vacations. You should see what she spends on manicures and pedicures. Heck, nowadays 2 movie tickets, 2 popcorns and 2 cokes is already about 40 or 50 bucks, and that gets you what, 2 hours of entertainment, so $25 an hour? Even on the days I lose my whole buyin it very seldom takes less than 4 to 6 hours, so that's $33 to $50 an hour ON THE WORST DAY.

The only thing I can think of that makes any sense at all is she wishes I'd take up a more productive hobby - something like tennis so that as I'm spending the money I'm at least getting in shape, or learning more about autism (our 9-year-old daughter is autistic), or just spending more time with our daughter. I think I spend plenty of time working out, and I spend plenty of time, money and effort on our daughter. Human beings have to have outside hobbies and interests for life balance.

I can't believe I'm spilling my guts like this to a bunch of anonymous poker players hahahahahaha!
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:18 AM   #12
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Beale View Post
GOT TO KNOW! Pic of wife, plz?
HAHAHAHA nice try . Trust me, my wife is hot - I'm a 4 at best and she's a 9! I have her in my facebook profile pic so that everybody who used to beat me up and call me a loser in school can see the hottie I married and feel my middle finger coming out of the screen at them

If you want to see hot girlfriend pics, do a search for "low-level debauchery in Vegas". This guy wheydacheese does kind of a blog and occasionally includes pics of the girlfriend and *drool* - I'll just leave it at that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dochrohan View Post
No woman is worth wasting your life on in self happiness just because it's standard.
Are you or have you ever been married?
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:28 PM   #13
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

I advise either of these:

Just before leaving show her $562 from your pocket and say 'Honey, I'm only bringing this much to play poker with.' Have the rest of your poker money hidden in your sock.

Or, give it a go, what the heck:

On returning: 'Honey, I didn't play a single hand of poker. It turned out that half of the ship was sold to Card Player Cruises and the other half to the Swingers Club of Southern California.'
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:11 AM   #14
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DalTXColtsFan View Post
or learning more about autism (our 9-year-old daughter is autistic), or just spending more time with our daughter.
Here is your answer, GL.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:59 PM   #15
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

I am female and I think your wife should somehow work on her attitude towards you and poker. It sounds like a lot of stress she is making about nothing.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:37 PM   #16
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Don't leave your wife. If that means you quit poker, you quit poker.

Don't lie to your wife. That's not a healthy relationship.

Three options:

1. Agree to play tournaments only. You can set a limit of $100 buyins or less and you always know how much money you will lose without it influencing your play. Or use your entire $2000 annual roll for WSOP or something. Make sure the wife approves.

2. Play strictly at home games at your house. They tend to be cheaper and your wife is there with you. Make sure the wife approves.

3. Quit poker.


I'm married and do well financially and I do option 1 above. I only play the WSOP and some local dailies a couple times a year. I study and play for fun/free the rest of the time to practice new moves. As a hobbyist, this satisfies me.

Although I make good money, I hate spending a lot on poker. I'm very frugal. So I go through my old crap in closets and in the garage so I can sell it on eBay and use the money to help bankroll poker. My wife loves it because it helps clean out the house and keeps the paycheck intact.

Your wife is an extension of you. You took vows to be with her for life and shouldn't take that lightly. Divorcing her for poker would be like chopping off your legs because you want to have access to handicap parking. Never leave her over a card game.
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Options 2 and 3 are not helpful.

I cannot play my A+ game when my wife is around, especially if my wife would it be as emotional as OP's wife.

I don't quit my hobby unless I am not capable to find a medium solution.

That's cover pretty much options 2 and 3.

Option 1?

Well, for me at least, playing exclusively tournaments, is not too much fun. Poker becomes somehow boring, insipid, and in a way, deprives me from freedom, one of the best thing that I like about poker.

By the way, did I miss something? I don't think that OP ever implied that his was going to leave his wife for his hobby, am I right?

Last edited by tirtep; 12-11-2016 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:02 PM   #18
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tirtep View Post
Options 2 and 3 are not helpful.

I cannot play my A+ game when my wife is around, especially if my wife would it be as emotional as OP's wife.

I don't quit my hobby unless I am not capable to find a medium solution.

That's cover pretty much options 2 and 3.

Option 1?

Well, for me at least, playing exclusively tournaments, is not too much fun. Poker becomes somehow boring, insipid, and in a way, deprives me from freedom, one of the best thing that I like about poker.

By the way, did I miss something? I don't think that OP ever implied that his was going to leave his wife for his hobby, am I right?
I'm guessing you're not married. If the wife isn't happy about poker and freaks out over $200 losses, you have a choice to make. She won't stick around and be miserable forever.
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:44 PM   #19
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

I've seen at least 3 divorces bec of poker, so that's a consideration but here's what happens if you never lie to your wife:

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Old 12-11-2016, 07:24 PM   #20
tirtep
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Yes, I am married and so far so good. When I say I don't her to watch me when I play poker what I mean is I don't want to project the emotions of the game unnecessarily to her.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 AM   #21
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

thats insane.. from what i hear you are the most responsible gambler who ever existed, and yet your wife treats you like a degerenate who lost their mortgage on one black jack hand.
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:18 AM   #22
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

Responsible gambler is an oxymoron.
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Old 12-12-2016, 04:39 AM   #23
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

so a millionaire buying a one dollar scratch ticket isnt being responsible?
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:13 AM   #24
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

I highly doubt that if a millionaire bought a scratchcard, he would identify himself as a gambler, anymore than someone who enjoyed a small glass of sherry on their birthday would identify themselves as an alcoholic....
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:47 PM   #25
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Re: Give me a frank and honest assessment...

I mean he is gambling. What if said millionare bought 1 one dollar scratch ticket a day each day for a few years? is he a gambler now since he technically is gambling every day? i def believe you can gamble responsibly. but i dont want to hi jack this thread, so ill drop it.
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