First â€“ everyone needs some kind of job or income to survive. This job is a small aspect of ones overall life, and does not define an individual as much as how they live their everyday life, and the type of person they are. One could drive shitter trucks for a living, and if they have an overall positive outlook on life may be happy doing so, whereas someone who has a negative outlook on life will be unhappy with whatever they are doing. So theres several types of jobs/income. Providing benefits to individuals, providing benefits to groups, or providing benefits to the community as a whole through goods or services. Many people do not have freedom to choose a job, and must choose whats available. They may work for companies who are doing no direct good for the world, such as a minimum wage fast food job, which only promotes a company that promotes obesity, and food. This job provides benefits such as satisfying hunger, but provides negative factors too such as supporting factory farming and obesity. One may choose a job with a high salary, such as a criminal defense lawyer, which may let some innocent people go free, but let other criminals go free. Basically tons of jobs have both positves and negatives is what Iâ€™m trying to say. Then theres some jobs which are majorly positive for the community as a whole â€“ Doctors, nurses, firefighters, social workers, teachers. Then theres jobs which are majorly negative for the community as a whole â€“ theft, criminals, etc. But having a job that is entirely positive doesnâ€™t neccessarily mean it is better than a job with both positives and negatives, if an individual is creating a more positive impact on the world through the rest of his life than in his job.
Next, weâ€™ll look at my job as a poker player. I play one on one vs degenerate gamblers who will lose their money regardless of who they play, unless they actively pursue to become a full time poker player (which most people wonâ€™t) and constantly improve, or seek help because they are losing too much money and have 0 chance of winning because they are not intelligent enough to become a winning poker player. These players are playing solely for entertainment, entering a competetive game with a lack of experience and skill, willingly putting their money in the line. This could be compared to chess tournaments, or video game tournaments, except that the amount of money is much greater in poker. I also play one on one vs regulars who play for a living, and this again is just a game of competition where the prize is money. Iâ€™m going to give a quick overview now of how heads up poker works. You can either sit at an open table and wait for a player to come, or sit at a table that another player is sitting at. In the lobby, there are generally 10-40 tables per stake with one player sitting at them. 98% of these players are regulars who know what they are doing. The phish(bad players) sit at a regulars tables, with no hope of winning, lose their money, and this happens all day every day. Why do these players consistently lose money to regulars? Why donâ€™t they stop playing after they lose time after time after time? Well humans have a clever way of rationalizing these losses, attributing them to bad luck, bad luck, and more bad luck, when in fact it should be quite obvious that they are a terrible poker player, and the thing they should be doing is studying the game, not losing more and more money. Now, for the even bigger question â€“ how do casinos operate? Its here that every single person who sits down to play blackjack, roulette, slots, etc WILL LOSE IN THE LONG RUN GUARANTEED. Yet people always come back, to continue to toss money into a game where the odds are against them. Its really quite incredible how many people gamble as a hobby, how many casinos there are in the world, and how packed casinos are all the time. This is just to show that people will keep playing a game where the odds are against them. So what do I provide as a poker player. I provide the benefit of entertainment to the players I play against, because that is why most of them are gambling. These bad poker players will dump off their money to some regular, guaranteed. If I donâ€™t win it from them, another regualr will. I provide an intellectually challenging game to the regulars I play against. Negatives are that these people are losing great sums of money. Iâ€™m basically an independant casino. Money is going into my pocket and the casinos pocket, instead of just going to the casinos pocket.
Why poker is so great for me now. First of all, it allows me complete freedom. I can live whereever I want, work whatever hours I want, play whomever I want, vacation whenever I want, and dedicate as much time to the game as I want. Even more importantly, its one of the only jobs available that provides countless mental challanges, to sharpen my mental skills. If I play poker for 40 hours one week, I am actively engaging my brain for that entire 40 hours. Most jobs may be 40 hours a week, with tons of down time or busy work. Data entry, filing, clerical work, none of this is mentally complex. A lot of jobs have some time spent doing something that is mentally engaging, but not all of the time. Lawyers, doctors, CEOs, athletes â€“ these are some of the highest paying jobs there are. But, I guaratee, none of these jobs engage complex critical thinking skills for the entire duration of hours worked.
Within one hour of playing heads up poker, I see anywhere from 200-400 hands. Each of these hands is a brand new puzzle, with tons of variables, and tons of different solutions. Each puzzle has solution that will net the most dollars, but it is very difficult to arrive at that solution, because of the amount of variables such as gameflow, player type, bet sizing tells, timing tells, board texture. And the action preflop, on the flop, on the turn, and on the river. Its a very complicated game. The more hands I see, the more experieneced I become at finding a +expected value solution. And the more experienced I become in not letting my emotions get the better of me, thinking in a rational manner and not in an emotion manner. Not allowing emotions to control your life is a skill that is very difficult to master, but its very beneficial. Anger has absolutely no positves, only negatives. Worry also has no positves. Sadness, no positves. Poker allows me to notice when these emotions enter my mental state, be mindful of them, and quit playing if they are affecting my poker decisions too much. Poker allows me to improve my own life by increasing my critical thinking skills, increasing my ability to handle emotions, and reducing financial stress. Money does not equal happiness. But, money is a source of stress for the majority of people. And enough of it can relieve other sources of stress, which can make it easier to focus on the here and now.