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Old 01-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #51
Possum2007
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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My goal for poker is to open up other avenues. Two goals: (1) down payment (40%) for a house; (2) start up capital for a coffee shop. The down payment is complete, just grinding for my business now. I will probably still play poker once I open up my coffee shop during downtimes in my office ($160/hour is pretty good) though.


LOL. I'd say you should have that start up capital in about a week at that rate. Grinding coffee will probably not be as profitable as grinding poker, I'm thinking that's a lot of cups of coffee.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:01 PM   #52
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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OP,

I assume you were some type of adjunct since you don't have a PhD? And what field are you considering for a PhD?
Ditto this -- "College Professor" has a much more specific meaning in academe, with specific expectations regarding salary range, job security, etc.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:10 PM   #53
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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I will say that this sort of restlessness and looking for other things seems to be part of the human condition that you have to live with.
I agree 100% with this
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #54
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

This is the first decent thread I have read in NVG in a long time. Good job Sirio
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:47 PM   #55
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

LOL everyone on twoplustwo seems to earn $160 per hour playing poker.

Why is it on tableratings 90% of regs are break even or marginally losing then...
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #56
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

i was a mediocre poker player for 2008

i found a better paying job at the end of 2008

i got smashed playing poker in 2009, so i only work my job
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:50 PM   #57
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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i got smashed playing poker in 2009, so i only work my job
In the 9 days of 2009? Or was this supposed to say 2007 and 2008? Anyways, how do you like your job/lifestyle now? I'm sure it sucked to lose a lot playing poker, but are you generally happier now? Or would you be a lot happier if you were playing poker, but a bit more successfully? If you think the latter, did you try getting coach, etc. to improve before just giving it up?
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:31 PM   #58
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

I went back to work last August after almost 2 years full time poker. I def only got the job because I knew the ppl and they were confident that I would fit in. I did a really pathetic interview lol trying to equate playing to working - so I would advise anyone looking for a job to do a few mock interviews.

One downside is that I've played virtually no poker since starting work. The whole process of starting up poker clients and software and putting in hours when I know that I'm not going to make that much per hour just puts me off.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #59
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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In the 9 days of 2009? Or was this supposed to say 2007 and 2008? Anyways, how do you like your job/lifestyle now? I'm sure it sucked to lose a lot playing poker, but are you generally happier now? Or would you be a lot happier if you were playing poker, but a bit more successfully? If you think the latter, did you try getting coach, etc. to improve before just giving it up?
i had a pretty gross downswing the last few days of december and the first few days of 2009. just losing every day non stop for tons of hours and i started to wonder if it's even worth it when i make more working my job and there aren't swings to deal with.

i think my happiness has become money minus variance (whatever # i could assign to it). so my job pays a lot more and i don't have swings so there's no stress and now most of my thoughts are "what's next?" because poker used to (and almost still, because i still read 2p2 and listen to all the poker podcasts, watch the shows) take over my whole life, and without playing i have so much more free time.

i guess if i had very little variance and were earning more by playing poker, i'd probably prefer going back to poker. i really like the community aspect poker has and i feel like i identify with the general poker population (20 something gamers/analytical nerds) a lot more than i do with the "adults" i work for and what they're interested in. i feel like i'm missing a lot of excitement living without the occasional monster win, but i'm facing the reality that poker also comes with the occasional and sometimes persistent soulcrushing monster loss.

right now i'm thinking about maybe moving way down, maybe getting a coach, and maybe signing up for DC and putting a ton of effort into getting really good emotional control where the wins and losses don't affect me, but i'm wondering if maybe my life would be better if i put poker behind me and at some point stop missing it. the combo of a lot more money + more free time that a real job gave me has let me have a more fulfilling social life, going out a lot more, and whatever - but maybe that's something a more winning poker player wouldn't have to face if they got a normal job (because maybe they could put in only a few hours, outearn everyone, and take the rest of the day off)

i'm definitely at a big crossroads in life, i guess. i'm almost definitely happier now with a job without playing, but i assume a break from anything completely life consuming like poker has been would make one happy for awhile.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:50 PM   #60
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

It's sort of funny, in a dark way, reading these stories about how unfulfilling poker is, and all that. Once you master the skills, most jobs ARE. Unfulfilling, that is. It's the money that buys you a better life which is what most people seek, regardless of the particular job. Suffice it to say that tons of successful, middle-aged people with 'real' jobs say exactly the same thing. As a matter of fact, success requires to some extent that you sacrifice portions of your life in order to get ahead. Just read the biography of any successful, famous person, and most likely, there will be whole chapters in their book about which they say, "I call those 'lost years' because I did nothing but work. There are whole blocks of time I can't remember how they transpired and what happened."
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:26 PM   #61
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

That may be true, but in many jobs those "lost years" are sacrificed in order to get SOMEWHERE professionally, and not just to make money. In poker, there is nowhere to get. All you can do is make more money. I think that's why many people might find it not worth the sacrifice.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:47 AM   #62
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by TheWorstPlayer View Post
That may be true, but in many jobs those "lost years" are sacrificed in order to get SOMEWHERE professionally, and not just to make money. In poker, there is nowhere to get. All you can do is make more money. I think that's why many people might find it not worth the sacrifice.
there are always new mountains to climb in poker, "get somewhere professionally" is only relevant to 1% of the population
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:42 AM   #63
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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there are always new mountains to climb in poker, "get somewhere professionally" is only relevant to 1% of the population
I guess. But aside from the fact that you may do something better with the money than the guy who you took it from, no one except for yourself will ever care how you do in poker. In other many other professions, other people's lives are made better directly by your doing your job well. I think it is that sense of "contribution" that many people find lacking when playing poker professionally. As an obvious example, a doctor's patients have their lives drastically improved by the fact that the doctor does his job and does it well. So although the doctor might view med school as "the lost years" it is worth the sacrifice because it is necessary towards the goal of becoming a doctor. There is no poker analogue for that.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:56 AM   #64
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

I sort have a negative experience, tried poker for two years, made some money but not great money, never went busto. I have a masters degree in international affairs and since then my colleagues have gone on to really cool things in the government and politics. I feel like I just wasted two years of my life chasing a 'dream' that never came true. Now I'm hustling to get back on the right track and believe me it's really really hard. I feel like I'm two steps behind always and am rushing to get back on the right track.

Once I secure a full time career and feel that I'm back on track in my life I will start playing poker again as a side income. Until then I'm very hesitant to start playing before a securing a career because I might start getting those annoying ideas of poker greatness once again.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:08 AM   #65
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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I sort have a negative experience, tried poker for two years, made some money but not great money, never went busto. I have a masters degree in international affairs and since then my colleagues have gone on to really cool things in the government and politics. I feel like I just wasted two years of my life chasing a 'dream' that never came true. Now I'm hustling to get back on the right track and believe me it's really really hard. I feel like I'm two steps behind always and am rushing to get back on the right track.

Once I secure a full time career and feel that I'm back on track in my life I will start playing poker again as a side income. Until then I'm very hesitant to start playing before a securing a career because I might start getting those annoying ideas of poker greatness once again.
I have to say something here, in case you are at all regretting your decision to play poker. First of all, we make the decisions we make and then we have to live with them. Once they're made, there's nothing we can do and nothing gained by regretting or wondering "what if I had done something different".

Second, I think that taking a shot at a dream is one of the most noble things a human being can do (read the first quote on this page for elaboration). When you are 80 and in a rocking chair you will be able to look back and say, I didn't always blindly choose the safe, the ordinary path, instead I took a crack at the path less travelled.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:15 AM   #66
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

I tried to leave poker last year for about 6 months and just couldn't do it, went back after 4 months of time off. It's not that I'm addicted, it's just that I love the game
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:59 AM   #67
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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I have to say something here, in case you are at all regretting your decision to play poker. First of all, we make the decisions we make and then we have to live with them. Once they're made, there's nothing we can do and nothing gained by regretting or wondering "what if I had done something different".

Second, I think that taking a shot at a dream is one of the most noble things a human being can do (read the first quote on this page for elaboration). When you are 80 and in a rocking chair you will be able to look back and say, I didn't always blindly choose the safe, the ordinary path, instead I took a crack at the path less travelled.
Cheers dude, that really made me feel better. I feel raw right now but I am proud of myself to go venture off the beaten path to try something new.

I'll just ahead and copy paste the quote JohnnyHumongous gave me:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:44 AM   #68
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

i guess i am in the minority because i have been playing poker for 11 years (8 years pro) and i still enjoy playing. sure, i have periods where i feel burned out so i take some time off, but for the most part i still like to play and actually look forward to it when i wake up in the morning. a lot of it is the easy money (compared to a real job imo), but i also like the challenge.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:05 AM   #69
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Cheers dude, that really made me feel better.
Cheers Best of luck.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:31 AM   #70
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

I think there is some v solid insight from others who have been at this for awhile and are now thinking about moving on or sticking around. And all in NVG *gasp*

To offer somewhat of a contrast for lack of a better word - Because poker starts off as a hobby / recreational affair and then, as you get better and read forums like 2+2 and gain more insight knowledge and experience etc etc...You realize you can possibly make reasonable to good to great! $ playing the game you started to play just for fun...And you then proceed to do so. Sometimes it may happen somewhat naturally...

This is similar to someone who picks up the guitar as a hobby and starts playing and getting better and winds up getting a small gig wherever...And then winds up getting noticed and is asked to join a band...And then one thing leads to another (It sometimes just *happens*) and the band takes off and you are selling albums / touring and making good $. The same 'theory' could apply to a painter, writer, photographer, actor...A Dj would also be a good example as nowadays...Dj culture being as popular as it is...You start as a hobby and threw work, networking, marketing etc etc...A year or two later you are making 1-5k a gig without ever having the intention of doing so (making $ with your hobby) when you first started! Poker seems to be similar amirite?

I would include sports but that is imo an entirely different thing than...Let's call it art.

Getting paid to do "your art" has its various ups and downs which I'm not going to get into here as this is already tl;dr...But poker is in many ways...An art form...And of course...One you can make a living / get paid to do. Some "artists" make just enough or a little more to get by and are happy with that. some do well...Making good $...And some do very, very well. The thing is, things change, and art changes. The people, the 'scene', the trends etc etc...And few "artists" have the "staying power" to remain in there for various reasons. Sometimes you just lose your passion for your art. Sometimes the art changes and you don't change with it...Or don't want to as you liked it as it once was...And not as it is now and so on and so forth.

Essentially...Poker is an art...And once you start making all your $ that way...It can compromise / change your art or the way you feel about your art as making a significant amount of $ was not in your thoughts when you first 'picked up the guitar' . Sometimes a break is what is needed. Sometimes something new entirely...Which will perhaps take you back in some respect to where you started...Your hobby that is there just for 'fun'. Perhaps with a new perspective on what exactly you want to do with it now.

At the end of the day, it really is about what makes you happy. Fulfillment and more social interaction and steady income and changing the world etc etc...All this is within "what makes you happy". Sometimes it’s not such a complicated deep soul searching affair...Just ask yourself...What makes you happy...And go for that. Most 'work' is a grind to one degree or another...But when you enjoy that grind...And the outcome of it is far more positive than negative...I think you are doing just fine?

Do what makes you happy...Sounds trivial and obvious...And it is! I guess figuring out what makes you 'happy' is the hard part. And unfortunately...$ may not buy you happiness...But when you have it ($) finding it (happiness) is a whole lot easier

Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:08 AM   #71
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

Awesome thread and I share some of the thoughts expressed in this thread. I'm also starting to open up to the possibility of transitioning to something else as my primary occupation - first step being school of course.

Not much to add on that front because there's been plenty of discussion about that in FWF's and Strassa's thread so I won't beat the dead horse on that one.

Carry on.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:58 AM   #72
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

everyone here that quit poker and are happy what is your job now?
i get what all of you are saying about poker isnt fulfilling and sure all we do is take money from other people no help to socitey here, but how many jobs are there were you can really fulfill yourself and do something for others?

the way i see it the best direction we can go is trading or accounting, now would that be any different? would we be helping society more by making a billion dollar company pay a couple of million less taxes? or by consult others how to gamble with there money? i think most of the good money earning jobs are not gonna fulfill me at all just like poker, the best way to help soicety will be to make allot of money and do something good with it, and at that i guess poker is just as good as those jobs.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:49 AM   #73
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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everyone here that quit poker and are happy what is your job now?
i get what all of you are saying about poker isnt fulfilling and sure all we do is take money from other people no help to socitey here, but how many jobs are there were you can really fulfill yourself and do something for others?

the way i see it the best direction we can go is trading or accounting, now would that be any different? would we be helping society more by making a billion dollar company pay a couple of million less taxes? or by consult others how to gamble with there money? i think most of the good money earning jobs are not gonna fulfill me at all just like poker, the best way to help soicety will be to make allot of money and do something good with it, and at that i guess poker is just as good as those jobs.
Thank you. That was sort of what I was trying to say before.

For example, say you went into structured finance. How proud will you be telling people that you did this? Not very. People may tell you how awesome that is, but not because it's awesome, but because you (probably) have money and they want to angle a way to get you to give them some or help them get some, too.

Obviously, professional gamblers are low on the social status ladder, but the great thing about the US is that social status really doesn't matter. What matters is money. And for a lot of people, that is ALL that matters. They wouldn't care if you made a fortune hauling garbage.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:15 AM   #74
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

crazy how many of you equate your job with how you make an impact on the world and other peoples lives
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #75
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

Here is the problem.

Poker, as many others have pointed out (such as in the Foxwoodsfiends "I quit poker" well), poker is only a means to obtain financial freedom. On it's own, it is rare that it brings about its own sense of satisfaction or accomplishment. Even Phil Ivey, almost universally acclaimed as the best poker player, said in an interview he doesn't feel like he has accomplished much in his life.

But it's rare for someone to find total financial freedom. Some of the most successful high stakes players still state they do not have enough money set aside to never worry about grinding again. They become lost in a desperate loop to obtain more and more wealth in a game that pushes them further and further away from the skill sets that allow them to make any sort of worthwhile impact. (I recognize some people don't care about making an impact or whatever legacy they will leave behind, but I contest that becomes one of the dealbreakers in middle age, and certainly at the end of your life)

There has to come a point where you decide to continue the grind, or sacrifice poker for a more satisfying career.

I was just a micro-stakes grinder slowly climbing the stakes ladder. But I decided to spend less time playing and more time writing. Once my stories started getting picked up for publishing, I dropped poker in a heartbeat. I play maybe once a month for half an hour now, or sometimes at home games, but that is more for social fun than any pleasure at taking money from my fishy friends
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