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Old 01-10-2009, 11:42 AM   #76
BustoRhymes
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

Snaggle: I don't think the problem is that a job=impact. The problem is unless you have the financial independence, most people are going to spend a significant portion of their lives at work, whatever that is.

I suppose, in that regard, poker could be treated as any other job. Make an impact away from work. The tendency of a lot of players is to just get further and further into the grind, sacrificing more and more time. But I'd say you may have hit the nail on the head.

Poker or no poker, what you need is moderation and an outside ambition.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:50 AM   #77
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by snagglepuss View Post
crazy how many of you equate your job with how you make an impact on the world and other peoples lives
Considering there are 168 hours in each week, and I spend about 40 sleeping, and 80 working, it's not too surprising that I equate the impact i make on the world what what i spend 60% of my waking hours doing. Maybe I should equate my impact on the world with my watching of tv, writing emails, posting on 2+2, and talking to my wife? That's what I do with the other 40% of my waking hours, mostly...
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:13 PM   #78
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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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
thats a really sick quote
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:18 PM   #79
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by TheWorstPlayer View Post
Considering there are 168 hours in each week, and I spend about 40 sleeping, and 80 working, it's not too surprising that I equate the impact i make on the world what what i spend 60% of my waking hours doing. Maybe I should equate my impact on the world with my watching of tv, writing emails, posting on 2+2, and talking to my wife? That's what I do with the other 40% of my waking hours, mostly...
In all seriousness, if you are spending 80 hours per week working, your life is out of balance, and you WILL end up an unhappy person as a result. But that will have little to do with poker as such.

And also, to be honest, I truly feel that many who complain about being dissatisfied about poker 1) would say the same thing about other financial pursuits; and 2) may really be complaining about the tighter games today than during the boom.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:51 PM   #80
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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In all seriousness, if you are spending 80 hours per week working, your life is out of balance, and you WILL end up an unhappy person as a result. But that will have little to do with poker as such.
Nobody who has ever worked 80 hour weeks ends up a happy person? Interesting viewpoint.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #81
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Nobody who has ever worked 80 hour weeks ends up a happy person? Interesting viewpoint.
LOL. Yes, there is an inverse correlation between personal happiness and length of workweek.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:12 PM   #82
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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LOL. Yes, there is an inverse correlation between personal happiness and length of workweek.
Maybe for people who don't find their work to be personally fulfilling? Seems like chicken or egg to me... I do agree that the vast majority of people will burn out from working 80 hour weeks for a long time. But for me it's only occasionally that it is that long and hopefully that will diminish over time as well. As pointed out above, there are some "lost years" where you might work more than you like or doing something that is less than ideal, but it is to serve a purpose. In my case, to get promoted.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:29 PM   #83
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by snagglepuss View Post
crazy how many of you equate your job with how you make an impact on the world and other peoples lives
for real. i mean im 23, so what the **** do i know, but my goal is to be happy and make as many people in my life that truly matter to me happy. it sure is a nice idea to make the world a better place, etc., and im really not trying to trivialize the importance of that, but i think its a lot more important to make the life you live in (with the people you care about) a better place and thats not strongly correlated with a career for me.

having said that i dont intend on being a poker professional at age 40, but im starting to think theres going to be a way for me to play poker, pursue other business venues (mostly from an investment standpoint, but its certainly possible to have a more hands-on role with my business degree from a very good school), and still do all the things i consider really important, like get married, start a family, pursue various hobbies, travel the world, spend more time than most get to with friends and family. these are the things that really get me going now. time will tell if this path is feasible and fulfilling, but ive left myself plenty of room to transition into plan b. anyways, i guess i just told my story because i dont think i addressed anything in particular, but maybe it helped someone.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:32 PM   #84
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Maybe for people who don't find their work to be personally fulfilling? Seems like chicken or egg to me... I do agree that the vast majority of people will burn out from working 80 hour weeks for a long time. But for me it's only occasionally that it is that long and hopefully that will diminish over time as well. As pointed out above, there are some "lost years" where you might work more than you like or doing something that is less than ideal, but it is to serve a purpose. In my case, to get promoted.

That's true--to an extent. In my opinion if you don't like what you're doing--no matter how much it pays-- it's all worthless in the long run. Me? I'm trying to find a way to be somewhat a full time poker player. But with something like poker, what constitutes full time for you?

I see poker as a means to an end. I've worked too many hours and too many crappy jobs to work for anybody anymore. Poker, in of itself, IS a dead end if you don't have any outside goals. And really, I don't crave the "ballin'' lifestyle insomuch as just wanting to travel the world, and leave my son money for college, or trade school.

My question to the OP and others are this: Did you look to poker as a means to an end when you started poker or the end all be all?

Last edited by Monti Rock; 01-10-2009 at 01:34 PM. Reason: need to use the quote function more often...
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:59 PM   #85
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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My question to the OP and others are this: Did you look to poker as a means to an end when you started poker or the end all be all?
Good question, I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about this.

As a cash game player poker for me has always been a means to an end. "Strike while the iron is hot" then move on to bigger and better things once the action cools off. And my understanding is that it's the tourney players who fall into the category of "poker as an end in and of itself" (ie: braclet race, recognition, fame etc.). Would this be an accurate assessment of what poker as "the end all" entails?

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:30 PM   #86
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

(not a pro- still stuck at poker- tl;dr)

As an outsider looking in, it seems that how one eventually resolves 'poker as a career' in their own mind will likely boil down to two things, each influencing the other.

1) The financial stability of ones background(and whatever baggage they carry as a result)

2) What sort of personal motivation one has in ones life.

People who were raised in relative financial stability can never, ever understand the financial 'chip on the shoulder' held by people who come from poor backgrounds. Poverty is an elephant that can only be truly understood by those who've seen it first hand and yeah, it definitely inspires enough fear to cause some people to react by basing their lives on ensuring that they never see it again.
Poker sates this need unlike any other profession.

The intelligent person who hasn't ever known poverty may eventually become bored with poker once it ceases offering the dynamic intellectual stimulation that it did in the beginning, while his equal who comes from an impoverished (or financially deficient) background is more willing to troop it out for the moneys sake, since that's all that matters to him.

Also, some people are a little more 'bohemian' than others and, while intelligent and capable of doing other, more meaningful things, just don't have the motivation or desire to go that direction. For these people, poker is the picture-perfect ideal profession and they'll likely never leave.

There seems to be a catch-22 about the game, though, in that to play poker at the higher levels requires a degree of dynamic intellect that will eventually cease to be stimulated by it and almost certainlly burn out as a result.

Someone like me, who comes from dirt nothing and is trying to work my way up, I look at the financial aspect of poker in about the same way as a cat looks at a wounded mouse... Tunnel vision pretty much sums it up. I couldn't care less how "rewarding" it is, but this may change someday...
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:32 PM   #87
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by questions View Post
LOL. Yes, there is an inverse correlation between personal happiness and length of workweek.
Nonsense. Maybe if it's a *forced* workweek, but some of the times I've been happiest are when I was working on something really interesting and put in a ton of hours to get something amazing done (like shipping a video game or publishing some research at a conference). Most people derive happiness from accomplishing something hard that they feel is important, especially as a team with coworkers that they like.

A lot of people going onto poker seem to think that if they get a lot of money and have a lot of free time they will be happy. I found that not to be true, I need a challenge, some purpose to wake up for every day. I want to have some problem going in my mind all the time that I can have ideas about, and wake up excited to take it on.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #88
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by kevin21 View Post
when u say playing poker .... are you playing mainly online or live i can understand the online aspect because there are so many players playing nowadays making it a real grind to win and make it worthwhile ... i am becoming a bit disillusioned with poker myself so i know wer u are coming from tho i play mostly online and not alot live... i imagine live play hasnt changed as much as online has over the last 4 years
Kevin21, yes, I play basically online only, and even I have not experience the live scene lately, I also imagine it must have not changed at least as much as the online one.

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I am also older at 44. I will be surprised if I am not back at poker giving it a full time shot and seeing how I do
Lozen, yes me too, maybe not full time, but one of the good things about poker is that if you maintain a good brain you can do it even at an old age, nothing wrong with a hobby that allows to compete with guys much younger than you.

Quote:
I was in my late 30's when I started getting the poker bug back in '01 and I was lucky enough to befriend and play with many players that become poker celebrities in the following years. After taking a parachute from a company buy-out, I felt confident that I could probably handle the poker pro lifestyle. Thus, from 06 and 07, I took the route of playing live in LV, LA and the Northeast at the middle stakes as the thought of constantly staring at a screen remind me too much of a normal job.

The experience financially was very good but after a while the lifestyle become trivial. In the end, there was very little intellectual challenge left for any of the games and truly I wasn't contributing anything meaningful to anything or anyone.

Thus, I decided to get back to the business world and found work that besides being sometimes maddening, it leaves an imprint beyond the loss or gain of clay chips.

I still love poker in its many forms but engage in it at my leisure and the funny thing is that once your learn the game, it's relatively easy to pick up where one left off. There are times that I miss the daily shuffling of chips in my hands, needling a respected opponent or just sharing silly poker war stories with a fellow poker degenerate but overall I am happy with leaving it behind.

My only advice that I feel qualified to give a stranger is that you have to honestly ask yourself whether you are happy and fulfilled with what you do with your time now, does it fit with your values, are you getting the most out of your own personal potential?

Best wishes with whatever choice you make.
Gio, pretty good post, I really thank you for your contribution. It really hit me, and for sure at least now, I'm not feel fulfilled and probably that's the main reason I need a change.

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Im shocked at how helpfull everyone has been so far. there is hope for NVG after all.
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Wow, an in depth topic and truly deep thoughts on nvg, who woulda thought !
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This is the first decent thread I have read in NVG in a long time. Good job Sirio
Ha, TBH I'm surprised too at the excellent responses in the thread and I really appreciate people sharing their experiences.

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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?
Dalebrock, I was a full time lecturer (non-tenure track) at UTEP.

Not sure about the PhD field, my Master is in Mathematics, so the only thing I have clear is I don't want my PhD in Math. I love Math and teaching, but with all the respect to my math peers in the forum, I don't find the math research in general that rewarding and usually a very lonely endevour.

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I've found work more enjoying and also this might sound strange but the structure of a 9-5 job 5 days a week a lot more rewarding.
Norfolk, I can relate, even I didn't have a 9-5 job, for sure I miss the interaction with the world, I played poker too those days and I think it gave me balance.

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Transition to fantasy sports full time?
Another rack, if only there were enough money . Besides, too many grinders like you these days

Quote:
I'm on the wy to doing the same thing (quitting poker) but I guess I've been procrastinating for about 2 years. Inertia is a *****.
CardSharpCook,

Ha, I remember talking with you about this in 2005 in Vegas (if I remember correctly, you didn't live there then). It was clear to me then that you loved cooking and I asked you if you envisioned yourself playing poker for many years more and you told me maybe 1 year more or something like that. I answered you "1 year? no way Brendan, you'll be here (playing poker) much more than that"

Break the inertia Brendan, don't be afraid, poker has been here, is here and will still be here years from now and as Ucla said, it's not an either/or proposition.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:02 PM   #89
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by Watchmaker View Post
There seems to be a catch-22 about the game, though, in that to play poker at the higher levels requires a degree of dynamic intellect that will eventually cease to be stimulated by it and almost certainlly burn out as a result.
Well said. Not sure how much this applies to live poker though.

Quote:
Someone like me, who comes from dirt nothing and is trying to work my way up, I look at the financial aspect of poker in about the same way as a cat looks at a wounded mouse... Tunnel vision pretty much sums it up. I couldn't care less how "rewarding" it is, but this may change someday...
This "tunnel vision" can be paralyzing to a poker player. Having a certain amount of money hunger can be a good thing, but from my experience people who value money to the extent described above aren't fit for the extreme emotional ups and downs that come with poker. The thought of losing money hurts these people much more than the "priveleged ones" which in the end can lead to the collapse of their ability to play the game properly.

Edit: Not saying this is 100% the case, just a trend that I've taken note of.

Last edited by Delecto; 01-10-2009 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:29 PM   #90
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

quick q for guys who went from poker to a real job: do you find yourself feeling lazy doing what you're doing now? like you might work more than others but you feel like you should be "grinding" way more?

i work from the time i wake up until i go to sleep, taking breaks whenever i like (commission based pay), and i feel like any break i take is slacking. weird feeling
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #91
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

I used to 12 table NL 1K during my last two years of pursuing finance degree and also the year after while getting MBA. It was fun and the money was good. Now I'm a financial analyst, soon getting married, and dont plan on playing another hand. Poker opened up a lot of opportunities for me and it was an absolute blast while it lasted. I have no regrets and am thankful that I put school before poker.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:02 PM   #92
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by Delecto View Post

This "tunnel vision" can be paralyzing to a poker player. Having a certain amount of money hunger can be a good thing, but from my experience people who value money to the extent described above aren't fit for the extreme emotional ups and downs that come with poker. The thought of losing money hurts these people much more than the "priveleged ones" which in the end can lead to the collapse of their ability to play the game properly.

Edit: Not saying this is 100% the case, just a trend that I've taken note of.
It's a trend that's totally accurate in my case.
There comes a point when I just cannot disassociate the external value of money from it's role in the game and as such, hit a big wall whenever I move to a certain (higher) level and can no longer play with abandon. I attribute 100% of this factor to my coming from a dirt poor background and emphasizing the value of money so much (I'm sure an objective observer who knew me would say I overvalue the importance of money)

Still, though, in time, I can see myself developing the disconnect needed to win at the financially meaningful pokering levels and when that time comes, poker will probably become a profound part of my life, if not my life entire.

I've always been a pretty avid self learner, love doing new and different things and can totally see how playing the same game over and over and over, day in and day out could become a huge drag, but I can say with full confidence that if I were being paid six or seven figures to play a card game, I would thank my lucky stars and deal with whatever intellectual strains I had to solely for the sake o' da Benjamins.

I can definitely understand how smart, winning players would eventually have to leave poker to find something more rewarding and stimulating. I'm just saying if I were them, I couldn't ever walk away from the money.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:55 PM   #93
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

Like any other thing in life that arrouses extreme emotions from within ourselves, over time and with persistence one becomes desensitized to emotional attachment to the money in poker. Take for example what pick-up-artists call the "fear of the approach." They recognize that men without much social experience have an internal fear of approaching women in a foreign environment, and that too much of this fear can cause a PUA to peform poorly in the field. To offset these emotions they stress the importance of becoming familiar with the enviroment where the "pick-up" is to be done as well as approaching as many targets as possible in order to desensitze oneself to the process altogether. However, some of the fear will always remain no matter how many approaches you do but as long as you recognize it and embrace it you do well to move forward. With that said, again work ethic and persistence is key to overcoming these sorts of issues and becoming successful in the game.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:21 PM   #94
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Originally Posted by Watchmaker View Post
Still, though, in time, I can see myself developing the disconnect needed to win at the financially meaningful pokering levels and when that time comes, poker will probably become a profound part of my life, if not my life entire.
This isn't the key to beating poker. Playing well is.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #95
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

wrong post

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Old 01-10-2009, 09:20 PM   #96
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

OP,

re: getting a PhD and becoming a college professor: I assume you know this since you've been involved in the academic world, but I feel it's worth saying anyway. You know that academic jobs are VERY difficult to come by, right? If you do decide to do the Ph.D., make sure you do it at one of the very top programs for the field. And even then, there are plenty of Ph.D.s from very top programs who can't find a job. The general rule of thumb is that if you can see yourself doing anything else, then do that.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck. The one fortunate thing about being a successful poker player is that you always have that to fall back on. A lot of people who kill for that, especially in these tough economic times.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:56 PM   #97
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Still, though, in time, I can see myself developing the disconnect needed to win at the financially meaningful pokering levels and when that time comes, poker will probably become a profound part of my life, if not my life entire.
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Originally Posted by philnewall View Post
This isn't the key to beating poker. Playing well is.
People with certain skill sets and/or abillites are said to be talented, and to these people "playing well" comes more naturally to them. Again let's look at the pick-up example to draw some inference.

In this community we often hear of the "natural," we all know who he is, he's the guy that can pick up women without giving it much thought. He never needed to be trained or never needed to go out there and work at it, again it's all second nature to him. And no this doesn't mean he's extraordinarily attractive or very wealthy, most of it has to do with upbringing and his level of exposure to members of the opposite sex.

The dichotomy here is that contemporary society (in the US) has put a big taboo on male-female interaction for children growing up however the internet and movies are rife with sex and pornography, this is not natural. Because of this many boys grow up viewing women as mere objects and therefore become disassociated from real interaction with women as humans who (like men) desire love and meaningful companionship. So going back to my previous post, when these boys mature they haven't had the proper upbringing for them to properly interact with women. They have to work harder at it later on down the road but in the end they never will be a "natural," again, because of their upbringing.

Going back to poker, like Watchmaker said, certain "priveleged" people grow up with a certain lack of value for money. "Playing well" comes a lot easier to these players because they are able to focus on making the proper play without having their judgement be clouded by the fear of losing money. They are talented in a sense like the "natural" because they grew up in an environment that gave them the required skillsets/abilities to succeed in the game.

Last edited by Delecto; 01-10-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:28 PM   #98
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

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Ive been playing for about 2.5 years and im thinking about quitting or atleast taking a long break. its probably for different reasons then other posters here, TBH i just feel like poker has turned me into a worse person then i used to be. i remember when i started playing poker i was a pretty honest and genuinely nice guy(for a poker player lol) and i dont remember intentionally trying to make some other person feel bad for no reason. but recently ive just noticed that ive turned into kind of a dick at the poker table. i despise almost everybody i play against. i show people bluffs only to **** with them and make my opponents feel bad. ive noticed myself become more greedy and selfish over the last 6 months or so. u can just see what poker does too people when u play live, all the douchebags that u see at the casinos at 3AM. i mean it just cant be good for somebody to be around these types of people.

It also just makes no ****ing sense to spend your 20´s in front of a computer grinding 12 dollars an hour when i could get a job and make more then that for half the time and probably feel better about myself while doing it.

i think poker has just turned me into a really miserable person and i would be doing myself and everyone around me a favour if i quit or take a long break or something.
ICELAND,

I found your post most interesting, it even made me to make a post about the topic on my blog (no links though, looks like it's not allowed anymore)
But I basically agree with your post based on my 12 year experience, and any present player or every aspiring pro should take a hard look at it.

Quote:
Sirio, i am a bit younger than you, and came up in a different age so to speak, but i am in a similar enough situation i think. I simply get little to no joy from playing poker anymore, and think it's time for me to move on.
Raptor,

You are in a so much better position than me, you're a better player, you're younger (and I'm assuming single?). Do it, go back to school and choose to study something you really like. I know it's a cliche, but being young is awesome; but of course you really realize that, once you're not; don't let the years pass by; do it now !!

Quote:
I am really curious to hear other stories as well, because i have no idea what it will be like to wake up in the morning, eat some breakfast, then do something other than log on and see if games are running. Even if i have no intention of playing, i still load up lobbies to see if any fish are on. It is sort of disgusting really, and i think it will be liberating to be away from that.
I don't have the experience what happens after leaving poker, but since I started playing really late (at 27), I already had the experience of what was a regular job like, since I started teaching at 17. For me it was very rewarding (most of the time) since I really enjoyed to teach, I used to come with new ideas all the time about how to improve as a professor, and I really loved making a difference, changing my environment. I think I did change my city and my State on what I used to do and influence many lives and changed many futures.
I think it all comes to what you do. If you leave poker to work in some job you despise or study a career you don't love, most probably you're going to be miserable, look for where your passion is today, it may change 10 years from now, but don't worry, you'll deal with that later.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:30 PM   #99
sevencard2003
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

when u've been playing as many years as i have (18--since i was 21) and have never done anything else ur whole life--except for 1 3 month job in 1991--its TOO LATE to get outta poker.

and the sad thing ive never had nothing to show for any of it. never had my roll up higher than 10,000. was even homeless and recovered a small roll panhandling a few times, although it was many years ago. and yet, had i not always wasted my poker winnings on BJ, VP machines, and giving it away to women,--id probably have about $25,000-100,000 in the bank today. i feel like i wasted my whole life, and now i feel OLD (turn 40 in febuary). once u get into poker its hard to ever get out. no one would ever hire anyone whose just played cards their whole life.

but since im now playing mostly $1-2 NL --instead of the $1-5 stud i played most of the 1990's--and its so much easiest to beat, i still have hope for the future. i certainly play a lot better than i did 10 yrs ago. only thing is everyone else does too now. but at least its a lot easier to clear $10-20 an hour in $1-2 NL than it was in $1-5 stud. i know i can easily be successful at poker as long as i dont go near any more machines.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:43 PM   #100
KushfromAms
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Re: Changing paths: Experiences about leaving poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by poker1O1 View Post
I used to 12 table NL 1K during my last two years of pursuing finance degree and also the year after while getting MBA. It was fun and the money was good. Now I'm a financial analyst, soon getting married, and dont plan on playing another hand. Poker opened up a lot of opportunities for me and it was an absolute blast while it lasted. I have no regrets and am thankful that I put school before poker.
wow great post.. I kinda want to do what you did... focus on my college right now while also making some money playing poker on the side and then just stop playing and focus more on the family/real world job aspect when I do get my degree outta college
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