Friday, August 3, 2012

My Two Plus Two Rant on Poker in Relationships

Here is what the original poster wrote:

Hi guys,

To make a long story short, I have been playing online and live poker for a few years. I have never really been able to beat the online arena. However, I have managed to do very well in the live 2/5 games making consistent profits. I thought about doing this full time, but neverf had the courage to quit my job. Finally I took a 6 month sabbatical leave from my work and have been playing everyday for the last 4 months, playing mainly 2/5 and 5/10. 

I have a pretty good job, but in the last four months, I have managed to make roughly 50% more at poker that I would in the same time working. And I feel that my game is getting better, and I am getting better as a player, which leads me to believe that I will be able to better these results.

The problem is that my wife has an objection to me playing poker as a career, and her main argument is that gambling is against our religion. I have tried to explain to her that it is not really gambling, instead a lot of skill is needed to consistently win in the long run. 

However, she is not convinced. Can anyone help me here with some convincing reasonings that you may have come up with in the past. Also, if anyone else has had the same problem, how did you deal with it?

Thanks


I decided to put my response here because 

A)  Most people ignore what I write on 2p2
B) I would like to get some feedback from people who enjoy what I write :)

Here it goes.....

I read through a few pages, and all I can see are the common blanket descriptions of how poker is a game of skill and it can be proved, etc, etc. 

People are ignoring the religious the component of the question, and for the most part, I am going to as well, with this one comment:

It appears, for the most part, that people will use religion as a defense AFTER they formed their opinions. I would say it is a safe guess to say that the both of you shagged up before you were married, and I HIGHLY doubt she consulted the pastor about this first. Likewise, churches everywhere benefit from things like bingo and, even worse, casino nights where they skew the odds even further in their favor. They happily enjoy the windfall and then seek assurance in the bible of right-doing after the fact.

That being said.....

I believe in male/female evolutionary roles, i.e. women have an inherent need to seek a strong man that will provide them with security, etc, etc. This might invite a firestorm of sexist claims that I don't care to deal with, but most people are also of this belief. Your idea of playing poker for a living is the antithesis of this. When it comes to relationships, I don't give a hoot about the skill vs. luck argument and ESPECIALLY the day trader vs. poker pro argument, which I strongly believe has the same effect. These arguments don't work. It reminds me of a friend I had who was in seminary school. He defended his beliefs with rationale and had quoted one of his teachers who said,"telling non-Christians that the proof is in the bible is a waste of time. That argument only works on other Christians." Likewise, the skill vs. luck and daytrader arguments only work on other poker players. 

All this does nothing to cover up the fact that you have invited loads of uncertainty and anxiety into your home, and face it: it offers no perks of other jobs such as insurance, paid leave, retirement plans and all that other good stuff. 

So you know what? Having been through relationships as a poker pro and now being married for the second time, I can impart to you this wisdom which will certainly invite the firestorm:
She is right to feel this way.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Every job has benefits and drawbacks, and this is one that you signed on for, whether you realized it or not. You can't blame her, and more importantly, you can't get rid of her, even if she were just a girlfriend and not your wife. If you want a quality woman you are going to have make a choice: get a secure job or learn to handle the destruction this will almost inevitably cause. Any woman who is completely okay with this is a lemon. NOTE: The "perfect woman" who is completely secure with the idea that you can be rolling in dough one day and sweating the mortgage a week later might be shocked to find out that you aren't comfortable with her habit of shooting heroin and sleeping with your best friends.

Not to be negative though. 

It took a long time, but I have found a way to make peace at home with this, and here are some tips:

1) Don't talk about poker with your wife- ever. It only heightens the anxiety. The only time I speak of what happened is when there was an exceptionally exciting or funny hand that happened. Beyond that, confine your solidarity attempts for your career to your poker-playing friends.

2) Don't play in the evenings and keep a normal work schedule. Don't sleep late and maintain good hygiene. Doing so heightens the respectability you seek. Not doing so is to possess the qualities of a loser and reinforces the negativity.

3) Most importantly- don't take your work home with you. When you are done with poker, you are done. No whining, moping, nothing. Act as if you came back inside from getting the mail and nothing noteworthy has disrupted your day.

Hopefully this helps, but it might be that you are already on a sinking ship. It's not her fault, and you are going to have to accept this. All you can do is maintain the true qualities of a professional, and since you can't control the deck, you need to control the effect that it has on everything else.

I wish you well, my friend.