Mixing Your Real Life and Poker Life

Poker Life BalanceHave you ever been on one of those poker highs? You know the ones, where you feel you just can’t lose and you seem to cash ALL the time?

Well, I’ve been on a couple of those I’m happy to say. It just doesn’t get much better than riding one of those waves does it!

I don’t know if it’s me just getting older but since I started playing online poker in 2005 I’ve started thinking about the game and how it relates to my everyday life.

Poker Life is good!

With Poker, each game is a new game, a new start, a second chance. Each game starts with a chance at riches. Each new tournament brings new hope that will enable you to take the next step to poker greatness.

I look back at some of the twists and turns that I’ve taken in some tournaments and I think about the ups and downs of everyday life. Some are good, some are not so good … and some are great!

The one thing I think about the most is that I have the potential to make both better. Its my choice. I can choose to work on my poker game, analyse my mistakes and work on improving my play for the next game.

Goals & Improvement

I am passionate about Poker and really enjoy the learning side of the game, and constantly strive to learn new strategies and concepts that can help me become a better player.

For me, developing patience and discipline were two of the hardest things in poker to work on. I’m glad to say that I have improved that aspect of my game dramatically over the past few years and as a result of this and other improvements in my game it is showing in my results so far.

I’m smashing my poker profit goals for this year. I’m a big believer in goals. You have to have something to work toward and once you’ve reached that goal you take some time to celebrate and then set a new goal. I will always strive to be better.

Like poker I have looked at ways to improve my real life. Each new day is a new tournament so to speak, a new chance. There is less and less time to be angry or lose your temper or to, as I now put it, indulge the dark side. Lets face it, we only have one life. Why not make it the best it can be? Why not cash everyday in the game of life. (I hope that’s not to corny!)

So now I work constantly at improving both. I take what might seem like disadvantages and turn them into advantages. I make note of my mistakes in poker. I don’t dwell on them and say “why always me.” I correct them the next time the situation arises therefore improving my play.

Everyday I look at things that make me angry or loose my temper and now ask why and try to correct it if I can or at the very least work on it. I can truly say I have more “happy” days now then I have ever had.

Family and Poker

You’ll notice right away that family is listed first in that phrase. That’s the way it should be.

It hasn’t always been that way for me. When I first got ‘addicted’ to poker back in 2005 I started playing a lot. I have a wife and daughter. My wife especially saw the change right away. We had several arguments about the time I spent on the computer playing poker. Some of them got pretty heated.

I had to find a way to satisfy my wife and my ‘addiction’ with a balance. I believe many players will experience a similar problem and I can now tell you there is a way that family and poker can coexist and even thrive!

The key is communication and flexibility. The first thing I did was to listen. I believe that listening is truly a lost art in today’s world. Some people listen but don’t hear a thing. Some people talk and say nothing.

When I actually listened to my wife I found out she did not want me to stop playing poker but rather ‘pick your spots’. After all the basis of her argument is she wanted to spend more time with me.

We came up with an solution to fit both sides. You see my wife and daughter usually turn in early and I do not. There’s our answer! I get in a couple of tournaments most nights during the week and we talk about what we want/need to do on weekends and I play around that schedule.

If there is a particular tournament I want to play I simply provide notice to my wife and everything is good. If there is an event she wants us to attend she gives me notice and were all good.

I haven’t had an argument over poker with my wife for quite a long time. Now and again I’ll admit I increase my playing time and stretch the limits of our agreement but now I recognize when that happens and usually try to do something to make up for it. (dinner, movie etc…)

I love my family and I love poker … you can have both!

Poker can be a very addictive game

I’m hooked! I love poker. I pretty much love everything about the game. I love the highs and while I don’t equally love the low’s I believe those lows can make you a better stronger player and allow you to enjoy the highs that much more.

I also believe that poker can make you a better person and visa versa. You see I believe that you can relate so many things that are a part of poker to real life situations.

I’m willing to bet in most cases that an aggressive gambler who plays a lot of pots, raises with garbage, pushes all in with a draw has pretty much the same traits away from poker. He/she is probably a no nonsense type of person who likes to keep busy and stimulated most of the time. They push the envelope in different area’s of their lives and can get addicted to many things, good and bad.

I’m also willing to bet that a patient player who plays a low percentage of hands, waits for good opportunities only and doesn’t ‘gamble’ that much is the same sort of person away from the game. For example I would guess that this is the type of person who has safe investments for his/her money. I would also guess they are a very organized neat person that goes by the motto ‘a place for everything and everything for a place’, yup neat and organized.

In life like in poker you can change. You can keep the positive/good traits you feel you have and work on eliminating and minimizing the bad. There are good and bad traits to both of the situations I mentioned above. There are exceptions and many fall in between. I described the two above because they represent both ends of the spectrum.

You do much the same thing in poker. You have strong points to your game and weak ones. You try to eliminate or minimize the weak and use the strong to your full advantage. Its an ongoing process. One I believe I will be working on the rest of my life.

For me, working or trying to improve my poker game has opened my eyes to things I should / am trying to improve in my life. I believe in a sense of karma if you will. I believe that if you do good things it will come back on you. This is another process I will be working on the rest of my days.

Maintaining that balance between your poker life and real life is not only possible, but will actually help you to enjoy your poker more. It can also help you to identify and improve yourself in the real world. In life as in poker you make a series of choices to try and improve. What choices will you make?

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