Originally Posted by mdouglass
this thread is solid gold.
Have you guys ever had an intelligent conversation about online poker with someone who has never played before? I've had a few and I was very impressed with them afterwards.
I am not yet "out" as a poker player. I used to go back and forth between two cities becasue of school and work. In School City pretty much everyone knew I played. I played three live tournaments, and final tabled one of them. In Home City my family knows, and a few other people, maybe 25 altogether. I'm now back home full-time.
I've had people scouting the live tournaments in Home City, and it sounds like I can cash pretty consistently. So once I get a live reputaion, I'm pretty much outed.
The biggest problem will be my church. I worked for 12 years at a rescue mission, so I completely understand the concerns about addictive behaviour. I understand it better than most.
I decided to tell my pastor first. He is a very intellectual guy, so I actually sent him a three-page letter, along with about 15 pages of relevant 2+2 threads. He read all of it.
(Mason, whenver I send someone 2+2 info, it's always attibuted, so don't ban me!)
In a nutshell, here's what I told my pastor:
1. My goal is to turn this into a part-time job, and if all goes well, maybe my full-time job.
2. I understand that many will think it's an addiction or a sin. I'm prepared for that reaction. So I want you to know first in case it becomes a big issue in the church.
3. I have been reading, studying, learning, and grinding for two years. I did a one-year trial run with play money before that. I am very serious about this, it's not a whim.
4. My wife was dubious at first, but now she is 100% behind it. The only problem now is that when I win, she says "I want more."
5. My wife has a good job and good insurance, and my employment situation is a mess for a lot of reasons. My kids are grown and on their own. I'm not actually risking very much.
6. I have done many other competions which had cash prizes, from 10K running races to chess tournaments. I don't see any practical difference.
7. There are no addiction issues here. I recently walked into a casino, looked around for an hour, watched the cash games, and walked out without spending a dime. I even found some free pop.
8. I decided to be a tournament specialist partly because of the moral/ethical considerations. In a tournament, no one can go all-in with his grocery money in the heat of the moment.
9. Once I am in a tournament, it it my obligation to do my best to win money for my family. If there happens to be an "action junkie" who wants to shove with J7o in my STT, it's my job to take his money.
10. I briefly discussed the legal issues, including mentioning that the UIEGA (I hope those are the right initials) regulates business, not individuals, and that the state of Michigan licenses charity tournaments, which is where I do my live playing.
After that there were a couple back-and-forth E-mails about questions that he had. He basically said that while he can't exactly endorse my decision, I certainly have the freedom to make that choice, and he wishes me well.
A couple weeks later, I sent him a joke which he thought was pretty funny. I got it from 2+2, of course.
A professional poker player is standing on your porch at 6 P.M and he won't leave? What do you do?
Pay him for the pizza.