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  #1  
Old 09-18-2005, 05:18 PM
PokerPaul PokerPaul is offline
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Default Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

I am lately caught in a bit of a mid-life or something like it crisis.

Hereís my situation. Up until a year and a half ago I had a great job in software industry, getting quite a great salary, for very reasonable working hours and conditions. It was a very niche business segment, so we didnít get much work, but when we did get client, they would pay very high rates for this specialized knowledge.

I always knew however that the gravy train would end sometime, and last spring it did. Unfortuanately, I got laid off due to work shortage and our company having to cut costs, so they went with more junior consultants (which turned into a very bad move on their behalf, but thatís another story). Anyways, I wasnít really too depressed about it, cuz I was getting really bored on that job after doing same thing for 8 years, and the office politics were getting ridiculous.

So after a nice negotiated severance package, I decided to take it easy over the course of the following 6 months, play poker fulltime, and spend more time with my young kids and enjoy a couple months off. Needless to say my wife needed some convincing that the poker would continue to pay the bills and allow her the lifestyle sheís accustomed.

The plan was to simply play poker, and take on some occasional clients myself for 2-6 week projects now and then. That worked for the first several months, but since then the clients have dried up (a major technological advancement in my field kind of automated now what I used to have to do manually for clients).

So for the last year straight its been almost playing poker for living exclusively. I love all the positive things that go with playing poker for a living, and I am in no way tired of game yet.

However, I am starting to ask myself more and more what I plan to do with my life over the next several years. As much fun as this currently is, I canít realistically expect to do this for a living long term and support my family from it.

Not to mention the whole stigma this is creating between our social circles, for me and my wife. Some people think its cool, others think its highly irresponsible, and some think its downright negative. I donít really care what others outside of my family think, but for my wife she needs to put up with people shaking their heads at it from time to time.

I also get ribbed from some of my own friends who always drop little verbal jabs that, oh you donít have a job so of course you have time to pick up kids from schoolÖor asking are you still unemployed??.

The truth is I love to play the game, I love to work on my skills, read up on strategies. The other truth is I just canít seem to want to return to a regular 8-5 job. Its just too tempting to know I can do what I love, and make a good living at it (albeit not as highly paid as previous job). Although I do feel like the longer I stay out of regular workforce, the worse kind of job Iíd have to settle for when I do decide to return.

Anyways, I am beating myself up and having sleepless nights lately cuz I canít decide what I should do. Work a regular job, getting regular paycheques and have wife and social circles happy, but at expense of me not ďlovingĒ what I do, but instead just getting through the days. Or play poker, and settle for a little less money and luxuries, but enjoy immense freedom, and more time at home.

The thing is though its tough being a poker player. On a great day or week, you feel on top of the world and get all the positive emotions that go with it. During a bad week, not only can you blow through large amounts of bankroll (which now represent your phone bill, property taxes etc.), but you also start to question yourself and hate that this is what Iíve become.

I am really caught in the middle, and my wife is growing more impatient with this, which is understandable. Iím almost 40 with 2 kids, and while friends and former university class mates are just entering their prime earning years of their careers, and advancing to executive levels, here I am grinding it out at online poker. I gotta give my wife much credit for putting up with this as long as she has, but its getting to point of I really gotta decide which way I want to go in my life, and pursue it whole heartedly.

Any relevant advice appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2005, 05:26 PM
Edge34 Edge34 is offline
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

Nobody can tell you what's better, but here's my line of thought.

What's important to you? Is it the steady money (or the amount)? Is it the freedom in your hours? Is it the approval of your "social circles"? Is it personal satisfaction with your career?

Decide what's most important to you at this point in your life, and which career gives you the most benefit. At that point, you may be closer to your decision. Talking it over with the missus wouldn't hurt either.
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2005, 06:40 PM
Ulysses Ulysses is offline
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

[ QUOTE ]
Iím almost 40 with 2 kids, and while friends and former university class mates are just entering their prime earning years of their careers, and advancing to executive levels, here I am grinding it out at online poker.

[/ QUOTE ]

Look for a job. Play poker in the meantime. Because of poker you can take your time and find one you really like. Then, play poker on the side and have more money than your peers.
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2005, 06:44 PM
Eder Eder is offline
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

Get a part time job in your field close to home...dont worry about the money it pays. Play Poker. win win
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2005, 06:48 PM
Justin A Justin A is offline
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Location: I travel the world and the seven seas
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

Shouldn't it be obvious?
link
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2005, 06:52 PM
Alex/Mugaaz Alex/Mugaaz is offline
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

If you didn't have a family I'd say just continue to play. Since you have one I'd say go for a job and poker on the side, (INSERT CLICHE HERE) - "and it's not even close"
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2005, 07:27 PM
BillD BillD is offline
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

The proper answer when asked your occupation is: I am retired. (just do it with a big smile) Talk about how you played golf Wednesday morning or attended a school play during the day. What a person does for a living is nobody's business, anybody who asks is rude. Asking what someone does for a living is a really asking how much they make. If you don't want to use the retired line, just make up something.
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2005, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

Watch the movie City Slickers. You will find some unexpected answers there.
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2005, 08:47 PM
PokerPaul PokerPaul is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

that was one of my favourite movies.

maybe i should watch it again...lol...although i doubt i'll be joining a cattle drive or running with the bulls in spain as in movie.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2005, 08:50 PM
Mark Heide Mark Heide is offline
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Default Re: Should i continue with online poker career or return to 9-5 job?

PokerPaul,

I've been through this phase and the way I solved it was by showing my family my daily records that I keep. I use a speadsheet to calculate my daily hours playing poker and limits. The nature of gambling ventures is that the results are erratic in the short term and only make sense in the long term.

You have to run your poker business as a BUSINESS! The only way you can accurately assess profits and losses is by keeping records daily.

Lastly, the records will prove to your loved ones that what you are doing is making money, and it will also help you improve your game.

Good Luck

Mark
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