Family And Poker: A Balancing Act
At times, poker can be all consuming to me. When I wake up in the morning I want to start thinking about my poker game in general.
Have I been to aggressive ?
Should I try a new strategy ?
Is my bankroll management solid ?
I go to work, and thankfully, I have a job that challenges me and keeps me interested day to day. I wouldn’t say I love my job but I am fully aware of the alternatives and have concluded that I am indeed lucky to have it.
At work I have access to the internet and sometimes I want to sneak a peak at various poker sites, poker articles, poker player blogs … you get the idea !
I get home from work and I want to jump on the computer for one or two sit n go’s before dinner. No limit freeze out sit n go’s are my game of choice so you have to set aside a block of time because you just cant leave at anytime like you can in cash games.
You have to play until you loose all of your chips or you win the tournament.
At dinner I want to think about some of the hands and how I should have played them as opposed to how I did play them.
After dinner I want to head back to the computer for a few more tournaments. That would bring me to the mid/late evening hours where my energy would usually starts to drop a bit. I notice that my concentration and discipline are waning as the midnight hour approaches.
Time to logoff and select one of my poker books from my collection and settle in until my eyes close and I start to dream of, what else, poker !
Sounds great doesn’t it !! It probably would be if I didn’t have a lovely wife and daughter that live with me.
Notice in my above statements I always say “I want”. For me, rarely does a day like the one I have described above happen, and that’s ok !
You see I love my wife, I love my daughter and I love poker. Family and poker is a hard balancing act to maintain sometimes, but is very attainable should you approach it the right way.
To me communication is the key. You have to communicate with your spouse/significant other on family matters and what is important to her/him. Once that is done there should certainly be some room for poker in there somewhere.
For example, my wife and I keep a calendar of family events/commitments upcoming. One example is my daughter has dance lessons I have to drive her to a couple nights a week. My wife has certain functions at work that I attend and vice versa. I usually like to play a tournament or two after dinner and as it works out that is usually a good time as my daughter is at the age where she is discovering new friends and mom and dad are not her first choice for companionship anymore. My wife has her hobbies and poker is not one of them.
So we, not I, figured out there is a good time that I can indulge my poker passion. Whenever there is a special tournament I want to play in I simply communicate this ahead of time and usually it is no problem. There is also your gut feeling on how things are going.
I’ve been playing online for about 4-5yrs now. Sometimes I drift over the line and find myself playing alot of poker and spending less time with my wife and daughter. The first time I felt this happening was a couple years ago and I felt that something was wrong. It was just a feeling that things were not ‘right’. To try and rectify the situation I took $100.00 out of my poker account and took my wife and daughter to their favourite restaurant. At dinner I told them this was paid for by my poker winnings and acknowledged that I was playing a little to much.
My wife, more than my daughter was especially relieved and since then we’ve both kept the communication wide open. It goes without saying(but for purposes of this article I’m going to say it)family is always first or at least it should be.
Poker has its place but you’ll notice anytime I mention the two in this article I mention family first. In the long run, family and poker can co-exist. With good communication and a gut feel of how things are, you can enjoy both and maintain that balancing act.