Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Retirement - The end of an era

Today I regretfully have to say that the time has come for me to retire from the world of poker. After months and months of debating I have come to the conclusion that I must give up the game that I love so much. I feel that where I am in life right now I must focus on the other areas where I am needed. This is not a joke or a publicity stunt, this is truly one of the saddest days of my life. At this point I have only told my wife I was going to retire, but I have not told anyone the reasons.

I would be a liar if I didn't say money was a factor. This year I have had one of the worst losing sessions of my life. After just seven months I stopped counting my losses once they hit over a thousand dollars. Every poker player has these bad streaks or times where they go broke and I expect them to come now and then. For those people who don't know me or don't know about my gambling let me explain, this money has always come from extra money I have on the side. I have never dipped into my savings, never borrowed from friends, used credit cards or not paid a bill because I lost the money gambling. I am very responsible with my money management. Go ahead and make your argument about gambling and I will talk to you about it, but today I want to focus on this decision I have struggled with.

Responsibilities is something I cannot afford to take lightly now. I recently just got married and my wife has always supported me playing poker. Since day one she has been by my side and always been my one and only fan. She has never asked me to quit, she's only asked how I was feeling and not to be so hard on myself. In my heart I feel a responsibility to be the financial supporter of our family and to put equal time into being at home. I also have an obligation to other family members that cannot take care of themselves and who's health is not getting better.

I had a dream and a goal and that is why I started this blog. I wanted to be a professional poker player or least make a good living from poker. Ever since I played no limit texas hold'em I have played at the lowest stakes offered in the casinos. I have on occasion took big chances, but many times not successful enough to stay there. I have always struggled to advance my game and move my game to another level. The emotional struggle has always been there, wanting to be something so bad but not been able to get any better. I do not have the time and energy to put into getting better so I have been stuck at the lower level games. Then you reach a point where you think that your dream was just dream and something you can never reach. I had that moment months ago time and time again.

This decision has been one of the hardest I have ever had to make. I had to struggle with balancing my new life at work and home. I also had to decide how much I was going to cut back on poker. Playing poker is normally "frowned upon", like gambling or drinking in today's society. However, it is not illegal and widely accessible to anyone over the legal age limit. It became an addiction of mine. I played all the time and when I wasn't playing it I was watching it or reading about it. I became a ten times better poker "fan" then I was a poker player. I have decided to cut it cold turkey all together. If I tried to just cut back a little I know the "itch" would become too great and take over. After this 2010 World Series of Poker season I will stop playing, blogging, watching, and reading about poker.

In conclusion I would like to say thank you for the supporters and fellow poker players who have been there with me from the beginning. I will now need that same support to help me stay away from the game and focus on the areas and responsibilities of my life that need me now.

Thank you!