View Full Version : Battered and Bruised: Where do I go now?

09-05-2001, 02:56 PM
Well, I thought I was ready. I built my bankroll up to $1400 and took my second shot at the Taj 10-20 game.........and was absolutely destroyed. I played well until I lost some big hands and tilted my money away. I love this game, I don't know if that's wrong or right, but it's true. I have a good feel for the game, and know I can be great if I can just keep my bearings, but I can't. My friends and family hate it, and I'm starting to think it's time to give it up. I have spent years being sooo passionate about this game, thinking about it and playing it all the time, that I don't know what I would do with myself without it. What do I think about? What do I do with my free time? Can I go back to just playing it lightly for recreation? The money may have been "set aside" for cards, but it is still an immense amount of cash; maybe this is the best thing that ever happened to me. 3-6 a few times a year may be a solid change from 5-10 and 10-20 3 times a month. At the same time, I don't want to lose the passion I have for this game. What do I do?


09-05-2001, 05:13 PM
Jon you said;

"I played well until I lost some big hands and tilted my money away."

It sounds like you lost the whole $1400 in one session. Should this be correct that was a mistake. I play 10-20 on a regular bases and I believe after $500 or $600 it's time to pack up and leave. Today just isn't my day. I would have recommended dividing that bank roll into three separate shoots at the game. Try not to give the game more than you can rreasonablely win in one session. I know you can win $1400+ in one session but most of the time a win of $200 to $500 is pretty normal for eight hours of play.

You said; "Can I go back to just playing it lightly for recreation?

Of course you can, but we know that's not what you really want to do. Tighten up get another bank roll and don't take big losses.

SPM,...play long and prosper...

09-05-2001, 06:42 PM

May I repost this thread on the "Everything Vince!" forum. Not that I mind commenting on your post here. It's just that every once in a while someone on one of these forums posts something that is so important that it deserves (demands) maximum exposure. Yours fits the bill in my opinion.

I will only say this right now, you are not alone. I defy anyone that has played poker for any reasonable length of time to declare that they have not experienced exactly the same thing you have described here. Well let's say similarly experienced. It's not possible to experience something in exactly the same way someone else does but I'm sure you get the idea.

In fact this thread because of it's common theme to all poker players should be responded to by everyone that reads it. I only hope that happens. I will post my thoughts on this subject on the everything Vince forum. I will wait a while to get your input before I proceed.


09-05-2001, 06:56 PM
You should read Feeney's book. The chapter on going to therapy. I don't mean this flippantly or as a flame, so please don't get too upset that I wrote this. You asked for advice, so I am trying to give you an honest answer as a courtesy not an insult. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but it is clear from your post that you have some major issues to work out and will not be happy until you do. To start on a small example - if 1400 is an "immense amount of cash" to you, you should not play 10-20. I think it is fine to take a shot at 10-20 with less (I have myself) but I do not treat 1400 as an immense amount. If I lose 1000 or 1400, oh well, my life is such that I will still eat.

It appears that you have way too much emotional investment in the game. When you say that your friends and family hate the game, you may be saying that they hate how you treat the game and devote your passion to it over and above normal limits. That you go on tilt indicates that you view the game irrationally at times. This is natural to some degree, but it sounds like this is a big problem for you. You might want to look at Schoonmakers book too. You spoke honestly about your feelings aout the game in your post, so that is a good start to assessing why you play poker. My guess is that you play for all kinds of emotional reasons that have nothing to do with playing winning poker. Thus, you may be doomed to lose unless you address those emotional factors. It also sounds as if other parts of your life are negatively affected by poker and the emotions that you bring to it. Addressing these issues will probably improve your life.

Writing your post took some guts. Sounds like you can fix what is wrong. It might be a good idea to stay away from poker if you can. You can live without it. Good luck.

09-05-2001, 09:29 PM

09-05-2001, 09:57 PM
Thank you for all the responses,

Now I will provide you with some background on myself. I'm 21 years old and have been playing poker since I was 18. I started with dime and quarter pot limit games with the guys, and after I saw Rounders I was hooked. I started at 3-6, and coupled with the games at my college, built up a pretty solid bankroll. Here is the problem.....poker became my passion. I love the game more than I love almost anything else. I read all of the S & M books over and over...I played at home games, games in the park, anywhere I could find games. My every few months trips to AC became more frequent until they were in the twice a month range. Poker is all I talk about, and I soon found only my poker friends could put up with it. I'm just recently making amends to everyone else. Here's the deal....the post may not make it sound like it, but I am a good poker player. I have been a consistent winner in the casino (up to 5-10), but you know what...I don't know what I want with my life. I fantasized about becoming a pro player, but then I realized that it was only because it is much easier to deal with poker than with the real world, my job, my college education and other concerns. I got good, and I pissed it all away. And now I'm lost. I really don't know what else to do at this point. I major in public communications and can probably get a good job, but it doesn't excite. Frankly nothing is as exciting as seeing those pocket rockets. To High Desert Poker Man, I lost about $1000 at 10-20 and pissed away the rest at quarter blackjack, because I just didn't care at that point. The sick thing is that the $1400 IS an immense sum of cash to me, BUT it was money I had won playing cards that I would not spend on anything else. So even though I am in reality no worse off financially, it hurts worse than almost anything I've experienced. And I don't even remember playing poker with so called "real money"...In fact, I think I would be terrified to withdraw $500 out of my savings and risk it at the table. I just don't know where to begin, but I will be back...and when I'm back, my priorites will be in order I promise....more comments appreciated...


09-05-2001, 11:36 PM
Where you are sounds familiar. I was a 21 year old philosophy major who liked poker not all that long ago. In the archives you might be able to find a post by Wannabe Pro from a few months ago - I don't poke around the archives. He was in a similar position to yours and got a lot of responses. I will tell you some similar things. Get Schoonmaker's book and assess why you play poker. Disregard what that means about poker for a minute and see what it means for your life. See if your poker experience gives you any hints about what you might like out of life. Try to figure that out. In all likelihood, there is a better occupation for you than being a poker pro. For a few being a pro is a good way to live. For most it is not. I wish I had Schoonmaker's book then. I figured out a lot of what he says about why people play on my own, but having the book when I was 22 would have been better. I took some time between college and graduate work and spent some of it in Las Vegas. I had no bankroll and no real clue, so I poked around at the lower limits and didn't make any money. I worked as a prop for a brief time. I learned a lot in a short time despite not making any money, but I consider it tuition. I learned more about life than playing poker well, so it was well worth it.

Anyway, the things that drew me to poker are some of the same things that drew me into a more rewarding career than poker playing. I have made certain career choices that have traded dollars for other things, but I think I still make more than most middle-limit poker pros. Not many poker players could win in a year what I make, and I have done everything I can NOT to make money. (half kidding) But I play for much higher stakes in my job than I could playing poker. The challenges, pressures, thrills, and consequences involved in what I do are far greater than those found playing cards, even for very high stakes. Should I choose to go after more money at some point, I think I could do that. And I would then be making a whole lot more than most poker pros and would still be doing more important stuff.

It is normal to feel lost in your later college years. Particularly in a modern liberal arts academic setting. So first figure out what YOU like and want to do. Be really selfish about it and don't think in terms of other peoples' expectations. Then go after it. It probably isn't poker, but could be I suppose. That's easier said than done I realize, but life isn't always so easy as you are figuring out. As for playing, I noticed I had an easier time winning after figuring out what I wanted to do. I would play poker on vacation and be able to be detached and would play better. With no increase in knowledge or experience really.

09-06-2001, 07:58 AM

Basically I want to say that without disciplining yourself your poker carrear is going to be a yo-yo.. I recently spent close to 40 hours at the tables and came away even and to me that is the nuts rather then coming away broke or half broke.I came close to tilt many times but refused to allow it.. Personnally I set my loss limit and definitely follow it.. Example...If I start with $400.00 and lose half i`m gone.Obviously I`m not up to par or just to tough a game.. Now should I be up to $500.00 my loss limit now is half my stake..( oppenents seem to zero in when you have fewer and fewer chips) I see good players that should be clear cut winners but their discipline is poor.. you got game there guy just get firm with yourself and you`1l see the confidence carry over to your everyday life.. Its not how good you CAN play its how well you DO play..