A Poker Email

“Rick,

I honestly have to say I miss playing poker with you in the Omaha 8 game. I come into town about a dozen times a year to play Omaha 8 and over the last ten years every time I visited we played together.

But my last few visits you were no where around. Hope all is well with you. You are one of the handful of players that I thoroughly enjoy playing with. Not that your an easy to beat player but your demeanor at the table is refreshing compared to some of the arrogant pricks I have encountered in Vegas!

Hope to run into you again soon.”

Thanks for the email. Its been about 6 months now since I have been in the casinos playing poker. Time flys:)

I mentioned before it was my intention when I moved out to Las Vegas to spend 5 years out here playing poker just to see what I missed not moving out here in my 20s. It had always been a desire of mine to play poker full time but between being a trial attorney and business owner that was an interest I never pursued. After 5 years my thoughts were to get a home on the ocean in California take it easy.

Well 5 years turned into 10 and also met someone out here that I have been with now for 8 years. So I am in vegas now for awhile more but have decided to not play poker in the casino’s anymore. My conclusion was I missed nothing not moving out here in my 20’s. To the contrary in retrospect I cannot think of any bigger mistake that would of been possible to make in my 20s.

I have a laundry list of reasons but some of the most important:

1. Until the casinos go smoke free its a no brainer to not spend much time in them. There is study after study concerning casino employees and how their exposure to 2nd hand smoke causes death and desease at a much higher rate then the general population. For a thorough discussion of this see http://www.no-smoke.org/document.php?id=316. Also I know too many players and dealers that have developed cancer related to their exposure in the casino environment.

2. There is much more that is intellectually stimulating then poker to do. I find trading from home to be much more challenging and also more rewarding then spending hours and hours at the poker tables. If you have the mental ability to make money at the poker tables then you have the ability to make much more trading from home. Not that either are easy…but you are really short changing your abilities to grind out money at the tables instead of doing something where you really can make much more money and is as interesting.

3. The players come and go at the poker tables but it seems there are always a hand ful of players that are very unpleasant to play with. Most of that stems from serious personality disorders along with insecurities they have. After awhile being exposed to these types takes it toll and it gets very tiring dealing with these types. You either have to ignore them or get in the gutter with them. Neither option is very appealing to me.

4. Limit poker is a grind…similar to betting baseball and NHL! Variance is high …swings are big….and the profit is about a small bet an hour. I know the books talk about a big bet an hour. But I have yet to run into a poker player who in the long run can take that out of a limit game. Between the rake and other good players that earn is just not there.

So analytical type that I am it was still not an easy decision since 10 years of playing poker 50 hours a week and quitting was really a big lifestyle change for me. But after 6 months now its getting easier and easier:)

I do miss some of the players I played with often as despite the handful of dysfunctional types there are many that I developed a friendship with.

But reason number 1 for me right now is a deal killer for me to ever consider going back into Nevada casinos.

If you spend anytime at all playing poker in vegas you really should read the above article.

Rick

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