Sunday, January 28, 2007

State of the Non-Poker Union

I can't say I'm missing the poker too much, as I've only dinked and donked around in freerolls for the last few weeks. Part of me wishes that I was ready to take up arms, whip myself up into a righteous frenzy, and rail against all the evil that has brought only poker to its knees.

I just can't, though. If I had to pluck out a single emotion that the current state of affairs has produced (as far as having zero money online and zero ability to easily transfer funds to an online account), it'd probably be relief of sorts. Well, no. It's pretty much straight-up relief.

I've been my own worst poker enemy over the last year or so, despite knowing better. Playing without discipline, without a plan, playing while working on 17 other things playing above my bankroll, playing games I had no edge in, playing when I didn't feel like it, playing with no other goal than to win enough money to somehow justify all the time I was spending playing poker.

I won't necessarily say I have an addictive personality, but it's a close cousin. If I find a flaw in a system that can be exploited in my favor (without, you know, blatantly breaking the law or injuring other peoples), I tend to exploit the hell out of it. Even if I know, in a broader, long-term sense, I'd be happier just putting it down and walking away.

The problem with poker, in my particular case, is that it ceased being exploitable when I started playing like an ADD-addled lemur. But it was always, in theory, exploitable, so I had a hard time walking away.

With that decision largely made for me, the last few weeks have been nice. Don't get me wrong, the fact that the choice was involuntary still riles me up, but it's hard for me to ignore the results. I'm reading more, getting more work done, and spending more time with my wife. I'm much more engaged with the world, as far as cooking up new projects, overhauling some existing stuff that I'd let slip to the side, and in general taking more responsbility, as far as extracting the things I want from the world.

It's that last one, I think, that's most important, and maybe most applicable to the current state of online poker in the US.

If you want to play poker online, for the sheer right of playing poker online, fight for it.

If you were depending on the money you were making from playing poker, either fight for the right to play poker or find another way to make money.

If you want something, take it.

On a less didactic note, assuming that online poker largely goes bye bye in the US for quite awhile, what's the net loss/net gain going to be on the total number of divorces?

At first I'd wager that an unintended consequence of kneecapping online poker would be that some marriages would be saved, as the husband and wife would no longer disappear for hours on end to pursue their evil, degenerate activity, resulting in more quality time together to discover anew the wonders and joys of your life partner.

On the other hand, poker might be responsible for keeping some rocky marriages limping along, as it's much easier to deal with a largely deadbeat spouse if they wolf down dinner and then disappear into the office for the rest of the night.



Drizztdj said...

Taking away my hobby is definitely going to strain my marriage.

Maybe I'll take up high-stakes Euchre or something :(

Mark said...

The lack of online poker will cause a lot of marital problems. All the guys at my home game talk about is how terrible their marriages are, and how they're only saved by their children and poker. It's depressing.
I'm glad you're finding better stuff to do with your time than playing online poker, but I miss your poker posts.