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Old 10-11-2014, 09:56 PM   #1
TeflonJon
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How do you explain poker to your family?

For the past 2 months or so I have really been making a serious effort to improve my game. I study a lot and have been putting a lot more volume in online. With that being said, my family and friends are obviously noticing my infatuation with the game. They think of me as somewhat of a degenerate no matter how I try to explain the game to them. If I have a losing session, they think my opponents must be better than me and that maybe I should stop playing. Perfect example, I played in a private tournament tonight at a restaurant near my house because my dad knows the owner very well. The structure was a 25 big blind starting stack (50 chips all equalling 1 and the blinds at 1 and 2) and 15 minute blind levels. I didn't play a hand for the first 20 minutes and raise AQ suited to 4x (over 30% of my stack) on the button and get 6 callers! This was also the first preflop raise of the tournament!* My gf texts me before the hand "How's it going?" I say, "These are the worst players I have literally ever seen." I go on to get eliminated by J4 off and when I show up home my gf says, "wow, I can't believe you lost! You said they were bad." I try to tell her how the structure was an absolute joke and how playing with people that bad makes it almost impossible to put them on a hand but she looked at me like I was pathetic and was just making excuses for my "gambling". It's so hard to care so much about something and not be able to tell anyone about it and have them all think of you as a joke. It's like you see something that literally no one else sees and it makes you feel like you must be crazy. Some nights after losing a big preflop flip and I go home a loser I even think that they are right. That I should quit. After a nights sleep I wake up and get back to the grind but it's just depressing. I love this game but I just don't know how to deal with it. I feel like the only time someone will ever believe me about the game is if I show them a humongous stack of cash but they still might look at me like a degenerate. I don't know.

Any advice on how to deal with family, friends, and poker? Or do I just seperate them completely?*
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:08 AM   #2
TooRareToDie
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

If they don't have the mental(/mathematical) capacity to understand it, or if you aren't able to explain it well, you just have to wait until you actually have beaten poker over a few years. Money talks!

Try telling them poker is like flipping a coin that comes 55% head, and only 45% tail, and if you are good, you get head nearly all the time
(% are rough averages, ofc you have some 80/20 fav's and some 20/80 dogs etc when being all-in, too, but keep it easy with them.)


And do something else that makes you proud of yourself, like sport or gym, or whatever other things that don't rely on luck in the short-run.

Last edited by TooRareToDie; 10-12-2014 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:13 AM   #3
jukofyork
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeflonJon View Post
The structure was a 25 big blind starting stack (50 chips all equalling 1 and the blinds at 1 and 2) and 15 minute blind levels. I didn't play a hand for the first 20 minutes and raise AQ suited to 4x (over 30% of my stack) on the button and get 6 callers! This was also the first preflop raise of the tournament!* My gf texts me before the hand "How's it going?" I say, "These are the worst players I have literally ever seen."
This sounds like the sort of games that are standard in UK pubs...

For the love of god, next time just shove all-in: you'll still get 6 callers (who you absolutely crush) and they may well bluff each other off dry side-pots on the flop, etc.

Also, if you win your early all-ins, then you'll build a nice tight image that makes them think you're only shoving with premium hands and by the time it comes round to 3-handed and/or HU; they'll be insta-folding their 3/4BB stacks against your "any two card" shoves!

If you follow this simple advice then you can easily maintain 100% (or more) ROI...

Juk
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
TeflonJon
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Thanks, I definitely will keep that in mind!

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Old 10-12-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
TeflonJon
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

@Tooraretodie thanks a lot, I really like that analogy

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Old 10-12-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

i doubt your family and friends have trouble understanding that poker is a game that can be beaten, and that there is some variance involved. the question is, is it a game that you actually do beat. if you bring home money, then there isn't a question. but if you aren't, then you don't just have to explain that poker is beatable, but that you think you can beat it, and that you think it's worth giving up on whatever other life opportunities you are forgoing in order to spend all of this time to reach the point where you are bringing in money from it.
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:28 AM   #7
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

You should probably listen to your friends & family. A lot of poker players in their early career think they can beat the game & overestimate their own ability. (Myself included!) Be honest, if you were really that confident in poker then you shouldn't feel the need to prove this so badly to your friends, family or anyone.

It's likely your own self-doubts about poker is reflected in yourself that is giving you those reactions & they're only telling you what they see! So you can't really blame them.

You be amazed at how good people can accurately describe other people but when it comes to themselves they suck at it...

Last edited by MistakesWereMade; 10-13-2014 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:08 AM   #8
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

But I can understand when there is something you're really enthusiastic and people just can't seem to see what you see...
Your best choice would be to ignore them, cut them off... Don't talk to anyone unless they're supportive about the subject. Not until you've aleast proven it to yourself!
If all goes wrong and you realize poker isn't right for you, then aleast you would've saved yourself some face...

Last edited by MistakesWereMade; 10-13-2014 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

OP, if you're really serious about improving, focus on studying more than you would think is necessary. Most people say they study 'a lot' but when you actually get them to pinpoint how much that is, you find it's like 2 hours a week. If you're playing 10 hours a week that's fine. But 20-30 hours a week of playing should coincide with 5 hours of reviewing your play, and 5+ hours of studying new aspects of the game. I became a winning player after 3 months, and the largest reason is that month 3 I watched and studied poker for about 60 hours that month, while playing maybe 10-15 hours. The next month my game springboarded from a losing player to someone beating the games at a healthy clip. People doubted me that I could be a good player, and I was skeptical too until I generated the results.

MWM, I agree we can definitely describe other people better than ourselves. But no need to cut people out of your life just because they lack understanding. To me that's a little too judgmental. I have friends who are religious, or very right wing, and I am neither of those. These people are my friends because we have other things in common, and nobody is going to agree on everything.

I have sustained myself from poker for almost 2 years, and I have an uncle that always asks what I'm doing. When I say 'poker', I may as well have just said I'm homeless, because he'll proceed to tell me places he knows that are hiring. Other people convince themselves that i'm just heavily in debt and truthfully they don't want to believe that I'm not. Most of my family knows that I'm pretty much a genius, so they know I wouldn't bother choosing a career that I'm bad at when I have many other ways of printing money.

Not sure what your intelligence level is OP, but most of the other winning players I know are what I'd consider the top percentile types. We can read something complex once and know how to apply it concisely, we could average 95%+ on any course we're interested in, and we notice patterns much faster than the average person. When we discover incremental edges that may take hours to study, we do it because we like it. I'm not saying you can't beat the games unless you're a genius, but just realize that there are definitely hundreds of really smart regs out there, and we'll eat your food if you are trying to play higher stakes without being as knowledgeable and hard-working as us. GL

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss poker, I'm always up for a chat with players eager to improve.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:13 AM   #10
TeflonJon
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

@winnercircle thanks, I appreciate the help a lot. I definitely have been putting more and more time into studying and I think the best thing for me to do for a bit is study more than I actually play (which I have been doing for a few weeks now). And then dissecting my sessions when I do play. Very interesting take on the intellectual side of the game too. Crazy how you've been beating the game for a while and still get the speeches. I guess it really never stops lol

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Old 10-14-2014, 01:56 AM   #11
MistakesWereMade
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

I'm just saying he shouldn't expect his friends/or family to see something he himself hasn't proven capable yet. Poker is much harder to make a living then what most people believe at first.

There is just so many psychological variables in poker to overcome in the long term. Tilt control, br management, discipline, enthusiasm, luck & fearlessness etc.

I realize I am laying unreasonable skepticism onto some players due to my own failures. I am not trying to cut them off, I am just warning them it's not as simple as it looks!

If they can get in that 5% bracket, then truly my congrats to them!

Last edited by MistakesWereMade; 10-14-2014 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:36 PM   #12
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeflonJon View Post
@winnercircle thanks, I appreciate the help a lot. I definitely have been putting more and more time into studying and I think the best thing for me to do for a bit is study more than I actually play (which I have been doing for a few weeks now). And then dissecting my sessions when I do play. Very interesting take on the intellectual side of the game too. Crazy how you've been beating the game for a while and still get the speeches. I guess it really never stops lol

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I attribute it to jealousy. People want to feel superior to others, and their jobs are usually an easy way to do that. The freedom a good salary can give a person is often something people boast about. But the ultimate freedom is doing what you want from anywhere in the world and doing it anytime you feel like it. So their questions are often a way of them trying to minimize my accomplishments so that their own don't seem diminished.
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:11 AM   #13
Onlythenuzt
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Don't. better say you are doing some course or something until you score big enough or regularly enough
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:15 PM   #14
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

"Even If No One Else Sees It for You, You Must See It for Yourself (The Survivor Personality)" it's a quote that I heard in one of Les Brown vids.
In my opinion:
Keep playing if you feel it's good for you.
Try to make a small group at least that are playing poker.(someone to talk to that actually understands)
When you win don't bragg, when you lose to whine!
Make things work if you really feel you can do it. (Lots of good players were in your spot,afterwards they bought nice things to their parrents familly etc with money earned from poker)
Just my opinion.

Last edited by kill_u_fish; 11-13-2014 at 11:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:18 PM   #15
kill_u_fish
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistakesWereMade View Post
I'm just saying he shouldn't expect his friends/or family to see something he himself hasn't proven capable yet. Poker is much harder to make a living then what most people believe at first.

There is just so many psychological variables in poker to overcome in the long term. Tilt control, br management, discipline, enthusiasm, luck & fearlessness etc.

I realize I am laying unreasonable skepticism onto some players due to my own failures. I am not trying to cut them off, I am just warning them it's not as simple as it looks!

If they can get in that 5% bracket, then truly my congrats to them!
Also what he said .
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:53 PM   #16
OilSpill
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Whats up man,
I know exactly where you're coming from. Luckily, my girlfriend of 4 years knows that I have the chance to make more doing this than at a career I am going to school for. We have had tons of talks about it, though. When we first moved in and I would work 30hrs/week, go to school full time, and then come home and play poker online for 3-4 hours, she would complain that I don't give her attention and all that. I basically told her I'm doing all this work now so we can have freedom to do whatever or go wherever we want in the future. She's pretty cool about it now, and I am planning on taking her on a vacation this summer with purely poker money, which is an awesome feeling.

Parents are another story. Just yesterday, my folks called my while I was playing PLO and up about $9 playing 1c/2c. I told them what I was doing when they asked and they pretty much told me to stop wasting my time and money and do something productive with my life. They are pretty understanding, but "gambling" is not really accepted. I don't tell them to F off or anything, but I pretty much just take it in one ear and blow it out the other.

There's always going to people who are jealous of you for living the life you want when they are stuck doing some boring 9-5 making less than you. Those people have given up on most of their dreams and want to feel better about it by telling you you're not good enough or that you don't have what it takes.

It sounds like you're putting in the work studying, and I have definitely seen you on ACR at least 3 times this week. You are clearly doing your part. The results will come. Even if you pull up your graph and show them you're winning, people will still think it's stupid.

My parents say I'm wasting time playing for pennies and all that. But, what they don't get is bankroll management, moving up in stakes, learning strategy and adapting to exploitable players. To most people who don't play, poker is just a game where you get drunk and smoke and throw your money around hoping to get lucky. They don't get what we do, but just keep at it, dude. Results will speak for themselves. Sometimes, you have to do what you want. We only get one life, and if poker is what you wanna do like I do, don't let anyone stop you.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:54 PM   #17
OilSpill
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

Quote:
Originally Posted by winnercircle View Post
I attribute it to jealousy. People want to feel superior to others, and their jobs are usually an easy way to do that. The freedom a good salary can give a person is often something people boast about. But the ultimate freedom is doing what you want from anywhere in the world and doing it anytime you feel like it. So their questions are often a way of them trying to minimize my accomplishments so that their own don't seem diminished.
agreed.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:06 PM   #18
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Re: How do you explain poker to your family?

While your starting off don't tell them. It's gonna be a lot of pressure on you.
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