April 19, 2011

My (Forced) Retirement

Last Friday I was on my golf trip in Southern Pennsylvania. When I golf I seclude myself from the world. I enjoy the course, I leave my phone in the bag unless the Sox are playing and it's really a time I'm at peace with everything. I tend to be a nervous Nelly and being on the golf course is a time where I'm worry free. It's part of the reason why I love it. 

We started our round around 2 and at approximately 5 O'Clock I checked my phone just in case. While I like to think of myself as a popular guy my phone rarely blows up. When I checked my phone I had 10 missed calls and 4 texts. Originally my first thought was I had been accused of a multi-accounting scandal in which I wasn't worried as I've never done that before. Then I read the texts that the government had shut down Full Tilt and Pokerstars to Americans. I was shocked but it never really hit home. As we were up on the 17th hole the reflection of the hole was in the nearby pond as the sun was setting. It seemed tough to have a worry in the world walking up to the tee box. Then when I got back to the room, reality set in. 

I had a few too many beers to be overly concerned. I made some calls after, found out what was going on and basically put it in the back of my mind before I got home on Monday night. That evening while drinking some more beverages we decided to get a poker game going. It had leaked that I was a pro and I just sat back and enjoyed playing in a social setting again. I had no pressure to do well and could really care less if I won or loss.

This reminded me of the good old days. I was the only one raising preflop and it was just so easy. People at the table were so loose-passeve it brought me back to the party sit and go days. When it got three handed I was raising every button and nobody was doing anything to stop it. Their response was to call, try to hit a flop and fold when they missed. One hand I had 67 on a A89 board, turn was an 9 and I shipped. The guy started swearing as he folded saying he knew he had me preflop. I didn't show, I probably should've. 

Back in 2004 (I can't believe its been 7 years ) I made my first of about 10 separate $50 deposits. From there it was a fun ride. To see myself improve enough to make a living at it. From my tourney playing days to being a struggling cash game player until I stumbled upon 3bet.net. This marked my peak as a poker player. Besides the poker coaching from Jsnipes, just becoming a DC coach and talking poker helped me to improve my game and make money I never even thought possible.

Which brings me back to Friday. Now, for the first time in seven years I'm going to have to worry about money. Fortunately I have been saving up for a while but because of this I'll be cancelling my Vegas trip. I was also planning on going to Boston in May, NYC in June, and Pittsburgh in June. I was planning on buying a house at the end of the summer, no mas.

For the first time in seven years I'm going to have to work at my Dad's store. Something I vowed I'd never do again. However I need some sort of income while I get on my feet as a financial advisor (currently taking my series 63 exam at the end of the month.) However through poker I was able to cross a lot of things off my bucket list. The amount I was able to travel the last 4 years is something I never imagined possible at the beginning of my poker career.

I was telling my Dad I feel like the old baseball player that accounces he was retiring at the end of the year. Then he starts off hitting .157 in the first month and the club forces him to retire. Except the club is the American government.

For the life of me I don't get how they can allow the lottery, scratchoffs, and horse racing yet poker is the ultimate evil. For a country that is in debt it obviously makes too much sense to regulate it and in turn make money off of it. So this is it for me when it comes to being a poker player. When it comes back in the future I'll definitely play again. As a pro? I'm not sure, it depends on the circumstances. If Brett Favre can constantly come out of retirement I figure I can too. Maybe I'll get a homegame going with my fellow co-workers.

However my life is about to drastically change. I'll have to keep a close eye on what I spend, the luxury things I took for granted are going to have to take a back seat for a while. The random impulse buys and trips are going to have to end as well. It's a weird feeling but I'm in a better spot than most. I'm fortunate that a few times in my life I've been in the right place at the right time. While having a college degree the more I live the more I realize it's not what you know it's who you know. So my advice is to never turn down a contact you never know when that person can or will help you in the future, it can't hurt. Also, being a finance major I learned how vital it was to put money away, without that I don't know where I'd be.

I do feel bad for the American grinders coming up right now. Ready to take off and turn this game into a living. I also feel bad for the small stakes players that have no college degree and nothing to fall back on. The American Government really put them in a tough spot. I feel a lot of successful high stakes guys and middle stakes guys will be fine as I think most will just move to where you can play poker. Either way I'm hoping everyone does well in the future as this pretty much came out of nowehere and is just unfortunate. However some with families obviously have much tougher decisions to make.

I'll probably still blog but it won't be about poker. I enjoy writing as an outlet and it helps me think clearly. I appreciate all my readers as without you I probably wouldn't have a blog as I'm not much of a journal guy.

I'll end with a story from my childhood. One time my father and I stopped at a local burger joint after a game. I forgot if we won or lost but I do remember this. A young child who obviously had something wrong with him came in with his family. However he was still smiling and seemed to be enjoying life, he had to be around 5 years old. My dad sees him and says to me "Look at that, just remember when you get too upset about baseball someone else has it worse than you, be grateful for what you have."

This has stuck with me ever since and while I'm not happy about the events that occurred last Friday when you put it into perspective it could be way worse. Good luck to everyone.

Mike

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Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston Churchill


Posted By bosoxx34 at 11:57 PM

12 Comments

12 Comments:

WallyWattz posted on April 20, 2011 at 01:35 AM

Img_1378

good luck to you bosoxx.


DiggerTheDog posted on April 20, 2011 at 05:52 AM

Chuck

Nice post.

Good luck in future.


TecmoSuperBowl posted on April 20, 2011 at 17:33 PM

Tsbbadugi

GL sir. I'll continue to read as long as you continue to write :)


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