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Old 05-15-2018, 05:26 AM   #1
KGAA
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Poker messing up my life

Hi guys,

I have a bit of a problem. Fortunately I'm lucky enough to have not lost money at the game, up around $1000 since I started playing several years ago.

It's messing up the rest of my life. I can't stop. I'm meant to be doing my PhD work at the moment and all I want to do is sit in my underpants and grind. Then I feel guilty about how lazy I am etc and so the cycle continues.
I'm not making nearly enough money to consider trying to be a professional, and I'm wasting such a huge amount of time playing for pennies. (I have similar problems with online chess where theres no financial reward - only rating points to be gained and lost).

I want to be able to enjoy the game on a social level - last time I quit for the same reason, I limited myself to "Only live and with friends", but yet here I find myself after yet another online binge. It seems to crop up every time I have a big piece of writing to do.

Any advice on managing your life/time roll properly?

(Not a degenerate gambler - have always stuck to my level, never incurred any debt or anything, don't do any other gambling (sports, casino) etc. Made continual withdrawals though to use the cash, limiting ability to move up in stakes. Maybe I'm just a pussy lol )
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:23 PM   #2
antialias
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Well, I fell into a similar rut during my PhD (not playing poker....but simply surfing, playing video games, and doing basically anything but getting my thesis together)
At some point I just noticed that it was immediate gratification vs. the looming mountain of work (and possible threat of failure). I looked at myself and saw someone totally failure averse because I knew I could 'beat the games' I was playing (or argue circles around the people I was arguing with on the net)

So there's - in my view - a couple ways to go about it
1) Slow withdrawal. If you're the kind of person who can make a plan and stick to it (I can't) then make such a plan. X hours computer turned off and work on thesis, then Y hours playing
2) Cut the cord. Uninstall any and all gaming software. If you have the cash go on a retreat where you have no internet connection.
3) Get a deadline from your PhD adviser (e.g. deadlines for delivering each chapter). Deadlines work wonders to sharpen the mind (and ruin your health....but that's just temporary until you hand in the thesis ...after that you should alread plan ahaed for taking 3 months off or something ). Don't work from home.

(I did 2 and 3 ..except the 'retreat' thing)

Here's another thing I've seen someone do: Bet your parents that you won't touch a game until you're finished by date X. Some amount that really hurts. Made for a nice gift when he actually did finish on time.

Last edited by antialias; 05-16-2018 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:02 PM   #3
Phil Me Up
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by antialias View Post
Well, I fell into a similar rut during my PhD (not playing poker....but simply surfing, playing video games, and doing basically anything but getting my thesis together)
At some point I just noticed that it was immediate gratification vs. the looming mountain of work (and possible threat of failure). I looked at myself and saw someone totally failure averse because I knew I could 'beat the games' I was playing (or argue circles around the people I was arguing with on the net)

So there's - in my view - a couple ways to go about it
1) Slow withdrawal. If you're the kind of person who can make a plan and stick to it (I can't) then make such a plan. X hours computer turned off and work on thesis, then Y hours playing
2) Cut the cord. Uninstall any and all gaming software. If you have the cash go on a retreat where you have no internet connection.
3) Get a deadline from your PhD adviser (e.g. deadlines for delivering each chapter). Deadlines work wonders to sharpen the mind (and ruin your health....but that's just temporary until you hand in the thesis ...after that you should alread plan ahaed for taking 3 months off or something ). Don't work from home.

(I did 2 and 3 ..except the 'retreat' thing)

Here's another thing I've seen someone do: Bet your parents that you won't touch a game until you're finished by date X. Some amount that really hurts. Made for a nice gift when he actually did finish on time.
This is good advice.

GL OP. Pull focus. You'll be fine.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
Howard Beale
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Give your computer to a friend or family member and have them check your emails and w/e else you need to know on a daily basis. If you need a computer for your PhD use one at the library.

You're the one who signed up for the heavy load, now get your act together and get it done.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:18 AM   #5
Phil Me Up
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Re: Poker messing up my life

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Originally Posted by Howard Beale View Post
Give your computer to a friend or family member and have them check your emails and w/e else you need to know on a daily basis. If you need a computer for your PhD use one at the library.

You're the one who signed up for the heavy load, now get your act together and get it done.
This too.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:40 PM   #6
BDHarrison
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGAA View Post
Any advice on managing your life/time roll properly?

(Not a degenerate gambler - have always stuck to my level, never incurred any debt or anything, don't do any other gambling (sports, casino) etc. Made continual withdrawals though to use the cash, limiting ability to move up in stakes. Maybe I'm just a pussy lol )
If it affects work and relationships, you're still a degenerate gambler. If you are a winner with good bankroll management, that just means you are a functional degenerate gambler.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:18 AM   #7
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Yeah, I set a limit on the days I play. It was hard at first but Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays were never really profitable for me and most of the time i'm too busy with work to play Mondays or Thursdays anyway.
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:58 AM   #8
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Poker isn’t messing up your life. You’re using it as a distraction to avoid doing the work you need to do. When I was in grad school, I was never overwhelmed by tests but sitting around thinking about the work I needed to do to write a paper was stressful. I would often just put it out of my mind and find something else to do, just like you are, to avoid feeling overwhelmed with the daunting task of writing.

What worked for me was breaking it down into smaller tasks and STICKING WITH THE SCHEDULE TO COMPLETE THEM. I emphasize the sticking to the schedule bit because it’s easy to complete one or two of the smaller tasks then “reward yourself” with the distraction. Before you know it, you’re back to procrastinating. First task would be writing an outline. Do that and make another task gathering articles. After that, another task is to modify the outline. Eventually, start setting goals of completing one section of the lit review or five pages of writing, whichever makes sense for the particular paper. You might find yourself with some good momentum and just hammer out the paper. If not, keep sticking with the schedule and give yourself timed poker sessions as a reward whenever you finish a task. But stick to the schedule and time limits of the reward!!!
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:52 AM   #9
tytythefly
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Stop being a lazy ass OP. I can relate. You've come this far bro, finish school strong. Then you can go to the casino and crush the 5/10 scrub reg's and when you lose, you can laugh about it. GL.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:53 AM   #10
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Re: Poker messing up my life

OP also, get to the gym/find fitness, it will help the motivation. I promise you.
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
Shai Hulud
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Grad school can be horrific especially if you have teaching and grading duties. Is your heart really in earning your PhD? Getting a tenure track professor job is so difficult nowadays I would recommend nobody attempt a PhD unless you absolutely love the subject matter and nothing else in your life much matters.

I was working on a mathematics PhD. I could keep up with the coursework and my grades were ok. I had the highest GRE scores in my department. But I lacked something most of the other students had, and that was an absolute obsession with mathematics. They seemed to love staying at campus all day doing math proofs, working 90 hours a week.

Not me. I find math quite interesting but I have too many other interests to be able to devote that much time and energy into just mathematics. So I quit before I completed the program. Now I play poker.

Not suggesting you should do the same. But I wonder if you have the same basic problem I had and are just not that into your PhD research. My guess...you use games like chess and poker as a diversion from a life you might not want?

I would just advise you to deeply examine your motivations for getting the PhD and working in the field as a researcher / academic / whatever. You can cut off your internet connection but if you're at all like me you'll find some other diversion like video games.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:00 PM   #12
antialias
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Re: Poker messing up my life

I would definitely suggest not giving up. Having a PhD looks mighty fine on a resume Quitting out?...not so much. Employers tend to ask after 'holes' in your CV. If you have to answer that you stopped studying because you werer playing too much poker...erm...you can guess how well that will go down.
A PhD can also give quite a salary boost right off the bat - especially with the larger companies who put some store in their employees having one.

Even if you're planning on becoming a pro it's nice to have something to fall back on. Getting a job with PhD is a lot easier than without one, even in tough times.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:48 PM   #13
Shai Hulud
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by antialias View Post
I would definitely suggest not giving up. Having a PhD looks mighty fine on a resume Quitting out?...not so much. Employers tend to ask after 'holes' in your CV. If you have to answer that you stopped studying because you werer playing too much poker...erm...you can guess how well that will go down.
A PhD can also give quite a salary boost right off the bat - especially with the larger companies who put some store in their employees having one.

Even if you're planning on becoming a pro it's nice to have something to fall back on. Getting a job with PhD is a lot easier than without one, even in tough times.
Totally depends what the PhD is in. For most fields a PhD is not very valuable outside academia, and those jobs are incredibly difficult to attain. And ironically, for fields where PhDs are more generally useful (like engineering or computer science), a Master's Degree often commands a higher salary.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:14 PM   #14
nightmaretilt
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Re: Poker messing up my life

I dont know if this thread is still active but I want to add something here and maybe it might be valuable to someone.

Poker is a game which creates huge repetitive stimulus when playing (especially online which is so fast paced), from what I understand poker makes you burn through serotonin/dopamine when you are playing. Poker screws with your work/reward systems, and using your brain in this way is essentially the opposite of writing a dissertation for your PHD or any task which requires prolonged concentration. If anyone is trying to balance poker with tasks which require this kind of sustained concentration I strongly recommend that they do the sustained-effort task first in the day, then play poker. Poker is not unhealthy, but it is training your brain to work in a completely different way than is required by these other kinds of tasks. If you play poker before writing an essay you will be burnt out, and you will have conditioned your brain to work like a machine gun rather than a car that can go the distance.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:41 AM   #15
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Re: Poker messing up my life

Here's my 2c: coming from someone who has a PhD, works in my field and plays successful midstakes poker and MTT's (live, not online).

TIME IS MONEY. IT IS THE MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE YOU HAVE IN THIS LIFE.

When you are wasting that precious time grinding meaningless stakes, you get little to no learning or reinforcement from your subpar competition and you do not grow as a person or poker player. Go and play live twice a month or play a tournament that matters like Sunday Million once a month.

For the PhD, set yourself biweekly goals that you must accomplish (checklist). If you do not accomplish them in a given two-week period, you do not get to play your biweekly poker session or can't drink until you recover in the following two-week period.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:07 PM   #16
mttplayer
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Re: Poker messing up my life

poker ain't ruining your life.
its your state of mind that is.
Your creating all this suffering inside your head.
no need for it.

You decide to play poker or not. You decide to do your papers or not.

simple as that. Seems to me you enjoy playing poker but it ain't going to pay the bills it seems in your mind.

solution: Decide to play poker for a living. The papers may or may not be in your plan to play poker for a living.
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