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Happyness and Fear

I failed to play any poker over the weekend. I was too tired and I was happy to just settle in and relax the weekend away. I spent some quality time with my kids and my wife. I also played a little Far Cry 2 (great game). A pretty standard weekend for me save for a movie that my wife and I watched - The Pursuit of Happyness.

The Pursuit of Happyness is about a guy named Chris Gardner. He's a really smart guy who took some wrong turns in his life and ended up with a dead-end sales job, a wife who no longers loves him, and a son who absolutely adores him. Things go from bad to worse as Chris finds himself alone with his son, completely broke, and homeless. All of Chris' hopes and dreams rest on one thing: completing a stock broker internship and getting hired as a full-time stock broker. There are lots of emotional ups and downs in the movie and, spoiler alert, everything ends well for Chris and his son.

Most people watching this movie will see it as inspirational. A regular (though brilliant) guy loses everything except the love of his son and ends up getting his dream job to lift his family from the gutters to the penthouse suites and the good life.

That's not the movie I saw.

The movie I watched was a clear warning that, should I fail at my job, should the economy get worse, or should I simply get unlucky, the life that me and my family have come to know may well crumble away before our very eyes. My wife and kids will look to me to save them. What would I tell them at that time? Would I be able to save them as Chris Gardner saved his son? Or would we all end up living in the basement at a relatives house as I struggle to make ends meet? Would my wife and kids still love me or would I be seen as a failure in their eyes?

The movie ended, the credits rolled, and my mind started crunching numbers. There are a few potential sources of income to fall back on should I lose my job: contract work, web site administration/development, and poker. Contract work is my best shot at maintaining the status quo. My only concern is that I'd be looking to secure a contract from the very same sources that would have kicked me to the curb. Web site adminstration and development are both things that I'm able to do though the money would not be good enough to keep our house or any semblance of our current lifestyle.

Worst case scenario: how much could I expect to earn playing poker professionally? If I lost my job tomorrow, would we be lost or could I somehow save us by slinging virtual chips on the Internet? Would I even be able to keep us afloat long enough for me to find work?

I'll be back later this week with an answer.

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