Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, that's life. Tryin to make ends meet you're a slave to money and then you die. Between 20 and 3 years ago I was a very humble (don't let my old rampages on tl.net fool you), modest, generous, and philosophical person. From birth my parents raised me to be compassionate for my fellow man and always keep perspective of what really matters in life. They didn't specifically teach me things by sitting me down and talking to me but things like my dad coming home from a day of hard work in a shitty Honda worth about 50$ with a huge smile on his face asking me if I wanted to play catch conveyed those things to me. When I was a little boy I wanted to be a police officer...I ran around the house with various kinds of guns sometimes pretending to be Rambo or whoever was needed to save the day from the imaginary bad guys. Well guess what: If you're a professional poker player you're that bad guy.
Anyways, that genuine person was buried under a pile of money. I went to Korea and through a series of events you all already know I got rich quick. For a while year I did not once bother to think about life, philosophy, and all the things I did on an hourly basis the previous 19 years of my life. I was a drunken party animal every night buzzed up and on the hunt. It was the first time I had ever experienced such pleasurable things on a daily basis without sacrifice. None of my childhood dreams of being a police officer were at any point emitting any pleasurable aroma for my soul to sniff. The only thing I had was that wallet with two grand in it at all times emitting the noxious yet irresistible scent of freedom and fun. But was I really free?
I was talking last night with a friend, Daniel Lykins aka ilnp, and he made a very interesting point. "Poker money equals freedom. Yet it's just too much freedom. Almost everyone I know who is successful at poker is dangling in neutrality or worse off because they can't handle that freedom. Only a very very select few out of successful poker players are mature enough to handle all the immaturity that being a poker pro allows." He's very right. Sure you're a poker god and you drive a corvette and have a huge house. Your life is only about one thing. Material possession. Does that make you happy? If you really think so then keep going as a poker pro I guess. But lets do a little math: Roughly 20% of people who play poker are winning players I'm guessing. Out of that 20% Roughly 10% can handle it and truly enjoy ever moment of their life at the same time. 2%, 1 out of 50, 40% of your chances to hit a backdoor runner runner flush draw. Do you like your odds?
All the thoughts that I'm trying and convey in this article were instantly triggered a little while ago as I sat and watched a WSOP (World Series of Poker) episode that I downloaded onto my computer. I was watching and instantly hated Scott Fischmann. This guy is a very young and successful poker player who is now doing very well in the poker world. Like the very first hand he was already talking in third person, that short little frumpy fuck who plays cards is sitting there saying "Scott Fischmann is about to fold the best hand. Scott Fischmann has the best hand," as if he is something. Sure, maybe he's a nice guy but this just pissed me off. Then they did a little interlude segment for him where he talks about bankroll management and that he didn't finish college (I think) because he decided to pursue a career in poker. Thats when stuff started jumbling around in my brain. I was confused. I sat there watching, half naked in my 1800$/month apartment thinking..."Do I see myself in Vegas at that final table? Would I enjoy that? Do I want to be on ESPN telling the world how cool of a 'poker pro' I am?" For the last year of my life money really did make me happy. But now I'm burnt out and let me tell you now I find people who take great satisfaction and pride in having a bulging wallet and a monstrous bank account quite pathetic. Money cannot make me happy. Do I really want to be a poker pro?
No, I do not. All this money even corrupted me to a point where I was actually considering a career in business to maximize the money I could possibly make off poker through investments and such. I am literally laughing out loud as I think about how much of a fool I was not so long ago. Most people struggle really hard all their life to get by...yet when I walk by the Subway Sanwhich place near my house and see the 35-ish year old scrubby couple working there every day for atleast 12 hours and we exchange waves I see a truly genuine smile on their faces that can seriously warm the heart. They work so hard, they have no freedom because of financial issues yet they are truly happy. Happiness equals freedom. Not money. Is the business man who works 10+ hours a day making phone calls non-stop, writing up business plans, and meeting people that don't really give a shit about him a free soul? Well I guess if he enjoys what all that gives him (the ability to go to the most expensive hooker at night and the feeling of being someone known and important) then I cannot slander his lifestyle. But lets face it...odds are he probably does not truly enjoy that.
I suppose I'm trying to act like I have been enlightened but I'm still just an animal who has certain values. But my values are much different from most poker pros. They value money and intellectual domination of their fellow man. I value four things with the fourth being the most important: 1. Intellectual domination - Lets face it I enjoy being superior in strategy, mathematic, and intuition based games and things. 2. Bodily Domination - This I have just recently started but I want to get in great shape and take a little bit of martial arts. 3. Ability Domination - Having the experience and knowledge to take advantage of certain things and certain situations where I would normally be clueless. 4. Never ever using any of those three things to harm anyone financially or physically or emotionally but only to benefit my friends, myself, and any average random joe who is in dire need of help. Poker only satisifes one of those four things...the intellectual angle...but even there it only satisfies the gaming angle. So it satisfies like 30% of the intellectual angle, and 0% of everything else. So thats like 30% of one divided by the four others (I'm trying to be funny and serious at the same time help) is 7.5% of what I want to be. Odds are being a poker pro will make me into seven point five percent of what I want to be and do. Thats pretty bad EV.
All this being said I am going to change my life. I will have to be a hypocrite and maintain my current poker playing status for another year maybe in order to finance my life with ease (wow i'm a hypocrite!) but after that I'm done for good from a professional standpoint. But I might play for fun in college games once I get back to university. I'm pretty sure that I want to go back and fulfill my childhood dream. I shall study psychology or criminal justice, maybe combined and pursue a career from that angle. Maybe a cop? Maybe FBI? Maybe CIA? Who knows but I know I love that shit. Helping people makes me happy. And you all know banning people makes me happy (or does it!?!?!). But for the next year I shall workout, study Korean rigorously, and save money to prepare myself. I guess I'll have a little fun too...I'm only 20 afterall.
I still stand by all my points in my other articles. You don't have to go to college. You can do anything with your life just have fun and make sure you are happy in every moment and don't harm other people. If you play poker and you're losing you won't be happy. If you play poker and you're winning sure you'll be happy but you are harming other people. I used to think 'sure, it's their choice if they want to gamble I'm giving them fun!' but now I totally disagree with that. Even if that person is rich as hell and you're not harming him you are not benefiting society in any way you are just using it's goods for your pleasure. Owning rich people in poker and getting rich your self to me is the exact equivalent to some some spoiled brat living off his parents his whole life with no job. He is a waste of space. I'll go ahead and apologize to all the people I will take money from in my next year of poker playing but rest assured I will put it to good use in the future .
In summary: Winning at poker will not give you true freedom. Stop acting like you're cool wearing sunglasses indoors and get a job you fat fucks.
Thank you for reading,