Thursday, November 03, 2005

Minutes and Seconds Are Passing Us By

I was actually going to do some real work today, but the comments in the previous post require a response.  Before I go any further, thanks to everyone who has left comments thus far, they are both reassuring as well as thought provoking.

First off, taking a month off cold turkey is something I cannot do.  Even if I tried, I’d surely fail.  I could take a month off from working out were I to be physically injured, but because poker is a mental game, nothing short of a complete intellectual breakdown would get me to take more than a day or two off.

I too impose limits on my play.  In fact, the last two nights I have played 1 SNG only.  (Cashed in both, thanks ().  Last night, with a live tournament at a local G-Vegas player’s house scheduled, I did not attend; rather I stayed in for date night with the Mrs.  Still, I longed to play.

I too have goals to reach.  The great part about poker is that once you reach one, you can set a new higher one for yourself.  Without looking too far ahead, I’d like to continue at my current level and make some cashouts.  I’d like to buy some goodies for the family straight from poker winnings.  Things like that.  I’ll re-assess at some point early next year.

As is the case for most of us, late night sessions are where we usually are able to find the time to play.  For me, the cost of those sessions is being more tired than normal the next day at work as well as a diminished capacity for a decent workout the following day.  That latter consequence is actually one of the reasons that led me to rethink my current situation.  The last couple of weeks, I’ve made a point to get adequate sleep and rest.  And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve set personal bests at the gym.  (295 lbs. for 8 reps without a spotter on the bench)  I missed that.  It had been quite some time since I’d made any real progress.  I attributed the lack of it to my age, but the adjustments I’ve made to my sleep schedule have proven otherwise.

As CJ points out (whether he meant to or not), I’ve actually saved money thanks to poker.  It was just last Friday that me and the Axeman lamented the fact that our attendance levels at various local establishments has been down this year.  Way down.  In fact, with the Axeman’s recent increase in poker play coupled with mine, I think both of us have found something more productive to do with our time.  Still, we owe it to those poor working girls to get back there sometime soon.

Lastly, I will use the Otis experiment and ask myself what I’d be doing if poker didn’t exist.  Strangely enough, his LAN party comment isn’t too far off base.  I used to spend so much time on computers it wasn’t funny.  At my peak, I had six functioning computers in the house.  I designed my home network topology, built my own Linux box for fine tuning a better firewall, and built every single computer I own from scratch.  And I loved it too.  Now, I find that any computer issue is tiring because it detracts from time I could spend playing poker.

I used to play more guitar too.  I’d always be in search of the ultimate effects pedal or the best distortion sound from an amplifier.  That was fun too.  Now, I’ll tool around for maybe 20 minutes at a time with some tried and true riffs.

Perhaps it boils down to this:  I do not want to be a selfish person.  Deep down, I know I have the capability to be one, especially based on some behaviors I’ve seen from my parents.  I obviously inherited some of those traits from my mother.  Without being able to control how much time you spend on a hobby, any one of us has the potential to overdo it.  And I don’t want to.  Some of you may say that the simple fact of me having second thoughts about my play time guarantees that I’ll keep myself in check.

I sure hope so.

And thanks again to the commenters.

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