The Long Road

I started my journey to the 2010 World Series of Poker in November and it is a long road to travel. I try to spend at least ten hours a week working on my poker game in preparation for the upcoming WSOP. I have committed to writing in my blog everyday and I continue to keep that current. I read and study the game of poker and try to improve my game. I still play poker but I have a different focus this year as I target a run at the main event. For years I have played poker to win money. I am sure that qualifies as a “no shit” for most of you. Followed closely by, “what is wrong with that?”

I have just finished reading Deal Me In the story of how twenty top poker professionals. That book is the inspiration for my blog today. This is really my story.

By all measures I am a very good poker player. I consider myself a couple steps above the hometown hero level. Like all of the hometown heroes I can beat up the local games and make money. I can even support myself and build a bankroll. I am actually a very good road gambler. I can travel around stopping in all the card rooms and jump into the biggest games and win consistently against the local hometown heroes. I have detailed my struggles in making the move up as I tried to crack the Peppermill $10-20 game for so long. I was finally able to improve my game and get where I was beating the big limit game in Reno. I was able to beat up the side action games on the tournament trail. I was on my way to making that final step and joining some of the great poker players on the top of the food chain when my life changed and I took a break from poker.

People will ask, “What happened?” I had a life problem. I was suffering too much in my personal life to really be happy with myself. There were too many social pressures. I was not taking care of myself. In the end I was playing poker because that is what I was good at. I was winning money just so I could give it away to people who needed it. I never really admitted that. I did not use my winnings to make myself happy. I would give my money away because I really felt like I didn’t need it.

I stepped back from poker and got my life together. I am a happier person now. I lead a better and more balanced life. The funny thing is that I make a huge salary in my day job and yet I have way less money than when I was playing poker and giving away thousands of dollars. I would love to have just 10% of all the money I ever won playing poker. I wouldn’t retire but it would be tempting.

As I make my way back up the poker ladder I am trying to keep myself grounded and do it in a balanced and happy manner. I am playing to improve as a poker player. I am not playing to maximize my profit. I am working on my game. I know it is difficult and requires a certain level of commitment to get to that next level. At the same time I am unwilling to sell my soul to get to the top.

I look forward to all that life has to offer in the coming months and I will do my best to share it all with the readers.

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