Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day

I know it was a couple of days ago but I didn't have a chance to write so I'm gonna talk about it now. Actually the topic is playing poker professionally while having a family. I think I have the experience to write about that since I've been married for 12 years and have a 9 yr old girl and have played poker the entire time as a means to income. Also everyone that knows me will say that I have been a good family guy over the years, esp. my wife and kid. Those are the 2 people that I want to think highly of me so I'm happy w/ how I went about things the past 12 years.

Nowadays most professional poker players are in their 20s, single, and don't have much of an overhead. It is much easier to play poker as a living if you fall in this group. You only have yourself to look out for and usually don't have mortgages, health insurance, etc. to worry about, although some guys do have those. Also you can travel, take shots at bigger games, and live a pretty unrestrained lifestyle.

Now that doesn't mean that life can't be fulfilling or easy w/ a wife and kid(s). I'm very happy w/ my life and feel lucky to have a great family that are supportive of all things I do (as long as my wife approves). I owe my wife a lot as I was pretty degenerate when starting out in poker. I'm sure lots of guys were when starting out. I used to play long sessions and ignored life outside of poker but having my wife (gf at the time) added balance to my life and she set me straight, esp. when I was playing long overnight sessions constantly.

When my kid was born it really made me become a grown up. I gave up smoking..quit cold turkey...I remember throwing the pack that had half a pack still left into the trash can. I slowly played less and less all nighters. When she turned a certain age where she was aware of everything I stopped playing all nighters permanently. I did not want my kid to see her dad playing cards from the time she went to sleep to the morning she woke up. I wanted to be a responsible father and I took it seriously. In the abnormal world of poker, I wanted my kid to be raised in a normal like world.

Anyway since I was busy w/ the WSOP, my wife asked if she can go to Disneyland w/ her sister and the kids (our girl and her sister's boy) over the weekend. I said sure and they had a blast. I was ok w/ spending father's day w/ my buddies grinding online mtts since my family was out of town. For me, I spend a lot of time w/ my family since I play at home most of the time so we were all ok w/ that. They did come back w/ 3 disney tshirts for me but I told my wife I refuse to wear those outside of our house. I'm a poker player...I'm not gonna be wearing disney shirts in public, and hell no at the Rio during the WSOP.

Anyway Father's Day is nice and should serve as a reminder that there are great dads out there, even in the poker world. There are degenerate stories of poker players w/ families going broke, ignoring their kids because they're spending countless hrs playing poker, cheating on their families, etc. but there are poker players that are doing a great job balancing poker and family, and I'd like to think I'm one of them. For me poker is only a means of providing the best life I can for my family, and I hope all poker players realize that poker is not your life, but the family you have is.

***I'll be doing a write up on my WSOP soon...just won my $1500 nl shootout table today to cash for the 2nd time this WSOP...I resume tomorrow...follow me on twitter for those interested***


  1. ka-ching! Good luck in the rest of your events.

  2. Sounds like you should be forced to wear one of the disney shirts at the Rio if you don't cash in one of the next events ;)