Friday, December 30, 2005

Going Amateur

Playing poker for a living was fun while it lasted, but I'm glad that eight-month experiment has come to an end.

Poker is tiring, especially when you depend on it just to get by. You have to play every day, even if you don't want to. I still have a lot of fun playing poker, but I think many of the cliches about poker being a grind are also true.

I didn't feel like I had a hard time dealing with the pressure of having to make money (or else get broke). But I still didn't like feeling like I had to produce on most days. When I was losing, I cut back on spending. When I was winning, I was more likely to be a little less frugal. This isn't the best way to handle a bankroll, but I told myself I wanted to have fun while living off poker, so I felt like it was worth it when times were good.

I worry a little bit that my play will actually decline once I'm working a real job (next week!). Because there will be less pressure, I may not force myself to study and practice as dillegently. I'll certainly have a lot less poker time. And I won't have the huge advantage that I now enjoy of being able to be fresh any time I sit down at the tables. Work is tiring, and that could erode my poker game.

But then again, I'll be more active and won't have to worry about poker as much. That may outweigh the disadvantages.

One of the main reasons I'll be happy to not be playing poker with real-life money is that I won't feel like such a bum. Poker is a selfish game meant for self-enrichment. It doesn't do anybody any good except for the person playing. And I've been living in my parents' basement for the last six months, and that it way too long. Way too long.

Now it's time to rebuild the bankroll rather than spend it! That makes me happy -- new limits, new fish and new profits.

Empire Bonus: 100 percent to $100 on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2

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