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A Better Life

As my wife and I sat in the kitchen, drinking coffee while speaking to my dad and step-mother on Saturday, my mind started wandering to poker. You see, we were discussing some of the work that has to be done around the house in the next couple years. My dad explained that it would be a lot of work but easily do-able, my wife claimed that I wouldn't do the labour myself (and she's right), and I just tried to put a dollar figure to the fixes, touch-ups, and major landscaping that needs to be finished.

It's at times like these that I start to think about poker. How can I afford to pay $5000 for new roof, $5000 for landscaping in the backyard, and $2000 to have all our window frames sanded and repainted? Poker, of course.

Later that night, as I sat in the washroom looking for something to read, I picked up my well-worn copy of Professional No-Limit Hold'em. Perhaps I'd been away from the tables long enough: maybe my time for rebirth at the tables was at hand?

I read a couple pages, hoping that a little light reading might start to awaken the poker beast. Nothing...

I started to wonder why I didn't want to continue reading the book. I like poker: I've proven it time and time again in the past. I remember wanting to play so badly that I could taste it. I remember the exultation of seeing the perfect flop connect with my cards and all but guarantee me a solid payday. So why can't I get back into poker now when me and my family could most use the extra cash?

It all comes down to the money. If I feel that I have to play poker in order to earn some money, I start down a bad path. I look at the amount of money I could expect to earn hourly while playing $50 NL or $100 NL. I then look at the number of hours that I have at my disposal. And that's when my grandiose plans for gambling for a better life fall apart.

The reality is that making $10K at $4/hr (or $8/hr if multi-tabling) is not feasible given my time constraints. Putting in 2500 table hours, or even 1250 table hours of $100 NL, over the next year is not feasible. With two kids, I see my free time per week averaging perhaps 6 hours a week over the next 12 months.

Of course, the fact that the US dollar is crap right now really doesn't help matters. For every US dollar that I make, my take home is probably about 80 cents on the dollar when you thrown in the various fees that banks charge when converting currency.

Until I start seeing the "fun" in poker again, I'm not sure when I'll next play. I guess the first step is getting more than 30 minutes of peace from screaming babies. From there, it's a matter of reviewing what's really important to me. It's funny how I'm managing to play video games right now, but can't seem to log a single minute of poker.

Then again, all my current feelings toward poker might change if I could just win a single sit-n-go. Losing has a way of making my poker game feel absolutely worthless and pointless...


Stefan said...

A reason that you stopped reading may be that Professional No-Limit isn't a great book. I'm not sure if it's even a good book. It just focusses on one model, the SPR and ignores everything else that might or in fact IS relevant!

Klopzi said...

Stefan -

I don't really agree with you. In terms of poker instruction, Professional No-Limit Hold'em is one of the best books out there. Many of my decisions at the tables all take SPR into consideration.

However, SPR is not a simple concept to master and apply at the tables. Coming up with good target SPRs and Max SPRs based on table dynamics and player types is something that can only come with experience.

Professional No-Limit Hold'em's authors never say that SPR is the only decision. It is only one of many factors that you can use to decide if your current hand strength warrants playing for a big pot or a small pot.