Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I was looking at my blog yesterday. I really appreciate the comments you guys leave and the fact that you're reading here. It's definitely an outlet and I'm surprised at how much enjoyment I get out of it. Writing like this is new to me, so to those of you reading - thanks for doing so.

I was looking at the blog with some sadness because I realize I haven't posted about any poker action in a while, and that's pretty much why I started blogging in the first place. I guess it's a good thing I've got that "...and life" caveat up there. 

Anyway, no real poker talk because I haven't been playing. That sucks and I miss it.

I know I'm not the only one.  

Without poker, though, I have to admit that I'm certainly more engaged in my life. Last time I went on a family vacation, we went to Disney and I took my laptop. Pretty sure I played every day after coming back from the park. I missed out on time with my daughter and the rest of my family, and that's really not fair. Plus, it ultimately hurts me because I can't get that time back. While I have good memories of the trip, my family's memories are all - "yeah, you were always on your computer." I'm embarrassed by that truth. Not to mention the fact that it's not like I was racking up big scores, because I wasn't. 

That's the dilemma in a lot of things in life, isn't it? To be really great at something, you have to give it everything you have. That means time, energy, focus, commitment - everything. I've said it before - it's why you see, more often than not, so many young, single guys excelling at this game.

This forced time off from poker has been eye-opening for me in a lot of different ways. I love the game and I want to win; I also want to be present for my life. 

...I guess what I'm getting at is the importance of balance.

As a former BigLaw zombie, though, my deep down gut belief is that there's no such thing.

I remember in the days before my own daughter was born, watching my law partner trying to balance his litigation practice with the needs of his two kids and his wife, who's a doctor. While he often left work early to attend games or would arrive late because he was the one getting his kids off to school, he was also the one who'd send out to-do list emails at 3:00 in the morning. And this was in piddly San Antonio, Texas. I know of female partners in Houston and New York who weren't even willing to do that. Instead, they either had husbands who didn't work or full-time nannies. Essentially, outsourcing their home lives. This is not uncommon in a lot of different professions.

The elusiveness of a sane work-life balance is not a new concept. Whether you're trying to be the top rainmaker in your BigLaw job or the Main Event WSOP champ, I'm not sure "balance" is something you can truly incorporate into your life and still be those things. Maybe once you've achieved those things, yes, but not before - not really. That's my view, anyway.

I wasn't willing to live that way for a BigLaw job. But hearing the comments from my family these past few weeks about how much fun it's been having me around, I can see that I was apparently very willing to live that way for poker.

Right now, I don't have poker pulling at me as it was when I could readily fire up as many tables as I could handle online. I'm reading more, I'm cooking more, I'm writing more, I'm present more. Those are good things. 

A lot of things since Black Friday have helped me see that we only get so many minutes and hours and months and years in a life. I love poker...but I also want to wring out as much as I can from each second I've got left. 

I'm chagrined to say that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be writing or feeling any of this if Black Friday hadn't occurred because I was working so hard on my game.  But now, I've time to reflect on how I was living. And how I wasn't.

I don't know what the future holds for online poker, but this time has helped me see that I want things to be different when it comes back around.

Then again, maybe I've just been listening to too much Amos Lee.  


  1. I agree with this of course, but it is such a tricky thing to find this equilibrium.

  2. I find myself going from one extreme to the other. Either totally obsessed with poker, or completely staying away from it. There doesn't seem to be any balance. But then again, I've always been this way with everything else in my life. Zero to 120 in the wink of an eye...

  3. Here I am in my attempt to reply,
    From time to time wisdom speaker,
    Unexpected part time variance tweaker,
    Always and forever balance seeker,
    If I only knew the reason why?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...