To Friends and Loved Ones who ask “Why?”

First off, the description below is important to me because the analogy is simple enough that perhaps some skeptical friends (and one specific loved one) could come to peace with my thirst for knowledge on the topic of poker and my openness to the idea of this being a “career”…whether full-time or part-time.  

In my weekend poker readings this morning I came across a description of what it takes to be a professional poker player that I found to be very interesting (and accurate).  The source is:  “Professional No-Limit Hold ‘Em – Volume 1” by Flynn, Mehta, and Miller on Two Plus Two Publishing, LLC.

The section of interest is the description of “Fundamentals” and the very simplistic summary which states that the main difference between pros and amatuers is their ability to manage risk.  It compared the educated/pro poker player to a bank that makes decisions based on favorable risk/reward ratios and an amatuer player as one that risks too much for the expected reward.   You can read the full description by clicking and checking out page 46 of the text.

I hope you enjoyed the read! 

On top of the sound reasoning (in my opinion) of the above excerpt, I want to add that it’s rewarding for me to participate in an activity that offers a social outlet, stimulates my brain, and indulges my competetive spirit – and occasionally offers a modest financial reward on those occasions that I do manage risk and “plan my portfolio” better than the other bank managers…to stick with the bank analogy.  [To read WHY it’s important to “plan your portfolio”…or plan your hand, read posts from 11/14/07 and 11/16/07].   Oh, and I suppose I should mention, I’m finding it to be pretty fun!  :-)

In the past I’ve put just as much time and energy into coaching/playing soccer and coaching/participating in triathlons.  I did so for the same reasons – the social outlet, the mental/physical challenges, the indulgence of my competitive spirit…and, on occasion, as a dedication to a struggling family member or friend.  I believe I’ve been successful as a soccer coach and a triathlon coach for one simple reason:  while studying the ins and outs of each sport, I did so as if I knew that I would have to turn around and teach that day’s concept to someone else the very next day!  The process of reading a poker text, applying that knowledge by playing in a tournament, and subsequently blogging about it here follows the same pattern – and therefore, I expect to someday be as successful at poker as I’ve been as a soccer coach and triathlon coach.

Long after I can no longer compete in a triathlons or play soccer, I’ll be able to play poker…and I’ll still be a knowledge-thirsty student of the game.  Hopefully one with a healthy supplemental income.  Hopefully one that still takes time to reflect and share. 

Thanks for reading!


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