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Old 09-24-2021, 04:46 PM   #1
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A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

I will start with my story. I came from a rather poor background living with my divorced mom. I was 24 (I’m 37 now (living alone)) and I thought I was smarter than most people. My IQ tested out around 130. I also knew that with poker you got to solve time pressured problems and receive rewards of money. I felt like it would be a good way to make a lot of money and expand my mind through competition and study. I also got a rush out of winning and enjoyed that.

If you had asked me when I was 24 what I wanted to do with my life I would say grind high stakes poker. If you had suggested that I aim to build skills and expertise in a career I wouldn’t have wanted to listen to you. I’d just block you out. My fear of losing my dream would make me certain that I was pursuing the right path with poker and that anyone against that shouldn’t be listened to. I beg of you to listen to me – a veteran of poker with over 100k winnings.

I spent 10 years more or less as a professional poker player living at home with my mom without bills. Poker got me by financially. But I could have done so much better apprenticing in a real job with consistent income. You can use those skills to guarantee income and give value to the world. You can’t give the world value with poker. All you do is take value from players you think you are better than and its a bad mentality (prideful and selfish).

I think one of the problems that plagues the poker community is the spirit that we don’t want to work. In reality work is a really redeeming thing and rewarding with a ceiling that goes way above 5/10 No Limit for those who constantly take responsibility, listen to their conscience, and serve others well.

If you are thinking of pursuing poker seriously, I invite you to listen to the rest of this essay and hopefully some hard won knowledge from the poker streets and beyond can help you.

Theres two sides to why I think if you haven’t gotten situated in a career or developed a real set of skills and knowledge from some type of apprenticeship, college, or profession that you should not pursue poker. One is practical and selfish. The other is spiritual and altruistic.

I was an atheist for a long time. I was persuaded by some of the new atheist thinkers and this formed part of my basis for why I thought poker was acceptable. The Bible taught that gambling was evil and sinful. I ignored that thinking there’s no consequences and that all parties involved at the poker table were mature adults taking a consented risk to be lied to and bluffed out of pots. And so I thought it was alright.

Any game that is built upon the principle that agreeing to try to screw each other out of material goods rewards selfish thinking, destroys the lives of an unfortunate few, and wastes the time of many more. If everyone in the world treated life like poker, the world would be an absolutely horrible place full of conceit, deceit, and selfishness.

Many pro poker players are aware that variance at the start of one’s playing has an effect on how much money a “fish” will lose. If a weak player wins most of his first 15 sessions he will keep playing much longer after his luck changes thinking that he’s playing fine and should get back to winning soon. Many authors cite this as a reason why the game is profitable. Its also why the game is morally bankrupt.

Poker only takes value from the world. Its extremely selfish. God looks unfavorably on those who pursue it. So I urge you to reconsider it as a pursuit. There’s tons of other skills you can learn where you don’t make an art of bilking people out of their paycheck. And some of them will even make you more money than poker ever would. Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:05 AM   #2
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Re: A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

Couldn't disagree more.
This post offers 0 value.
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

Originally Posted by nawledge4pwr View Post
I beg of you to listen to me – a veteran of poker with over 100k winnings....

I spent 10 years more or less as a professional poker player living at home with my mom without bills.
So you averaged 10k/yr as a "pro" living at home during your prime is what you are saying. I agree 100% that is a horrendous waste of time.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

There could have been some value in this post. But you had to make it about god and selfishness...

Poker as a carreer is often not the best choice one could make. There are so many other things a successful player could do. We can agree on this I guess.

Its very hard on the mental, as well as on the body if you don’t have a good life balance. It requires insane discipline which is often difficult to get to from the get go. Its not great when it comes to insurance and taxes. It requires you to play at hours most people are relaxing. It generates a lot of stress and put you in contact with people who are bad influences in so many ways. Its a very solitary occupation. And so much more.

Any of these points has more validity than selfishness imo. 90% of people have a job out of selfishness, poker is nothing special. And even those who have a humanitary goal always seek to exploit others. Just look at people trying to collect money to fight aids or cancer tricking people into recurring payments.
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Old 09-26-2021, 10:34 PM   #5
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Re: A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

For whatever it contributes to the discussion:

I was a chess player before I became a poker player. I took it quite seriously, I practiced, I took lessons, I wrote down my moves and fed them into Chessmaster, I read books et al. I never broke 1000 rating. I got tired of getting beat by 9-year-old girls with their grandmaster coach grinning at me from the other side of the table. When I decided to give it up I really felt like I got absolutely nothing out of it. I mean it was fun, but other than being a hobby it had no overall positive impact on my life.

Before I was a chess player my hobby was tennis. I could talk about tennis all day. The benefits of keeping your body in shape are obvious, and when it's 4-4 30-30 in the 3rd set after 2 hours of play on a 105 degree Texas day, your opponent hits a drop shot he thinks you'll NEVER get to and you sprint it down and hit a winner - that's a high that simply has no comparison. The mental discipline a sport like tennis can instill can't be underestimated either. I would still be playing tennis today if I didn't have two arthritic knees - I guarantee it. Nothing but fond memories of my time in the sport.

I played poker fairly seriously for about 8 years. The impact it has had on my life has been tangible and significant. It's changed and improved the way I look at the world. I've actually met some wonderful people I've stayed friends with through the years.

My new hobby is magic. I've been at it for a little over 2 years. Magic is just a CRAZY rewarding hobby - when you get an audience, even the simplest tricks get crazy reactions. There's money to be made in magic too - the president of my magic club charges $450 an hour for walkaround magic.

What's my point? Only that it seems like the OP's feelings toward poker are similar to my feelings about chess. I guess not every hobby is for everyone?
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

Sounds like a troll with a self esteem problem.
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:01 PM   #7
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Re: A letter to all those unsure of whether to pursue poker seriously

Nice post. There's a lot more truth in there than I'm sure many here are willing to admit or too young and naive to fully realize.
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