Monday, March 16, 2009

Chat with Irexes, follow-up

Custo left a comment for my last post, and I was going to respond there but decided I had enough to say about it that putting it on the front page was worth the effort:

Hi Fredrik, I don't think I've played poker for as long as you have but whenever I feel bored or uninterested in poker, and it does happen to all of us at some stage, similar to what Irexes mentioned I'll switch something around. Go from SnG's to ring games, or better yet for me, switch from Pokerstars, to another poker network. Helps me maintain my interest. Perhaps a week or two off is a good idea for yourself. From what I know of you, you are quite a solid player and would be a shame to not utilize all that talent.

For me it's a little easier to keep myself motivated being a family man. But if I was you, find yourself a driving factor, a reason to play and make some money to be able to put it towards something positive.

Hope this helps you in someway. Obviously only you can make the ultimate decision whether you wish to continue playing or not, but if you have a reason to succeed in life, I say let poker be your catalyst and get you closer to a successful and happier future.

First, thanks for the response. I always appreciate it when someone not only reads what I have to say but makes the effort to phrase a written response to it as well.

Secondly, there are a couple of things that come into play for me in terms of my recent poker disinterest. For one thing, I've reached 2/4. Playing $400NL was one of my long term goals when I moved from limit hold 'em to $25 no-limit in April last year, and now I've come there. "Mission Accomplished" and, uh, now what? I haven't set any new goals for myself except some vague notion that I could perhaps make $50k this year if I set my mind to it.

Also, as Rex points out, the upcoming family member addition probably has me at least mentally "nesting." Things that were previously important to me may no longer apply, and new priorities are going to set in - or are already setting in. I could make a lot of extra money off of poker, but it's not "free money" - it comes with a price tag marked in time. And spending 10-15h per week by the computer when I have a baby in the house might be even harder to find motivation for than it is now.

Thirdly, money is not hugely important to me. Sure, there's stuff that another $30k/year in paycheck padding could buy me that I'd like to have, but not that I need. I'm mostly content in spending time at home, or with friends, or reading books or... Well, let's just say that I'm fairly low maintenance. There are very few things that I wish I could afford. A new car would be nice, and a bigger house in a few years - sure! But without any interest in making it as a professional poker player (and believe me, I've thought it through enough to know that I absolutely lack this ambition) and a realization that while I can make a nice chunk of money on the side from poker, I won't ever get filthy rich off of it, and my progression through the ranks has an upper limit due to the limited amount of time I can spend on the game.

Playing a different form of poker - Omaha, Razz, SnGs, etc. - would probably lift my spirits a little, but would only serve to make poker more interesting, which isn't really a goal in itself for me. I want to make a nice chunk of money off of the game, while also finding it interesting. Getting just the one without the other isn't good enough for me. There are plenty of things I'd rather do with my time than play Razz. The motivation for playing Razz would need to be an hourly expectation of maybe $100 or so, and I don't think I'll be anywhere near that for quite awhile.

Because that's what it is, in a sense. I'm choosing not to play NLHE, knowing that it "costs" me $150/hour (or whatever my average hourly this year is; but probably thereabouts), or differently put, I'm paying $150/hour for the privilege of slacking off and not having to go through the stress of playing poker. And at this point in time, it feels like money well spent.

I think your suggestion of just taking time off is probably the best way to go for me. If I just flat out decide that I won't play anymore poker until April, I won't have to come home, look at the computer and think "I know I should play poker but I just don't feel up for it." Getting that psychological hurdle out of my life at least for the time being is probably a good idea, and I think I'll do just that.

I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks again for your input.


The Spore said...

You're way way ahead of me in terms of poker ability, but I know when I'm pressed for time but still want to be active playing poker I tend to play SnG's.

Normally I would say where you are at would be a good time to think about making a run at playing professionally but with the family situation I understand.

Also, congratulations on the baby!

Fredrik Paulsson: said...

Making a run at it professionally is tempting at times (usually coincides with very hot streaks of hands) but it's also not really something that I'm interested in. I like my job. I like having lunch with my coworkers, I like being able to go into one of their offices and goofing off when I'm bored with whatever task I'm doing right now, I like the social interaction and I like the occasional company party that we throw. I'm not ready to throw all that away for possibly high-income but also high-stress job of sitting alone at home all day doing something that, at least right now, bores me.

I haven't played SnGs for years, but I've entered a few of the Sunday tournaments on Stars lately. Still, it won't cure the overall apathy I have versus poker right now. For the time being, I'm sticking with a few weeks of sabbatical leave and will take it from there.

As for the congrats; thanks, but it's a wee bit too soon for that. I'll be sure to mention something about it when the baby is actually out, though! :)

Tildy said...

I think it's a good idea to take a break until April. Of course, since this kid is due to pop on April 2, I'm not sure how much time you'll have in April, either! But perhaps poker will be just the thing to take your mind off the whining and the screaming and the crying (and, of course, all the noises the BABY will make!) so you never know.

-The Wife