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The Disciplined Degenerate

A spot where I try to make sense of a game that rarely makes any sense
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/May/2014

Poker and the Pursuit of Money

By: dashowkiller @ 09:24 (EDT) / 318 / Comment ( 0 )

First of all, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my first couple of posts. I try to hit the right balance between writing for myself to work out my own thoughts, but also have it make sense for anyone who takes the time to read it.

I'm going to warn anyone who starts reading this one that I'm gonna get a little deep with my thoughts this morning. So, don't say I didn't warn ya!

I've been thinking lately a lot about my spiritual side in all aspects of my life. This is nothing to do with religion because I'm not a religious person by nature. What I'm referring to is simply the way in which I live my life, whether I'm at work, at rest, in public, by myself, etc. and trying to be more at peace with myself in all situations.

The way I've been thinking about spirituality when it comes to poker always come back to what many call the root of evil: the almighty dollar. As I wrote in my first post, the big reason why I ultimately stopped my pursuit of playing poker full-time was because I couldn't get over the idea of chasing money 24/7. For as long as I can remember, I've always felt like there's a lot more to life than just how much is in your bank account. However, in a game that's seemingly all about money, how do I reconcile this?

After all, your bankroll controls what kind of cash games you can play, what kind of tournaments you can play, what kind of accolades you can achieve and most often decides how successful you are as a poker player. Of course, a successful player may have many other vices in their life such as drugs, alcohol, other unsucessful forms of gambling, etc., but at least what you've made at the tables can usually link you to how good of a poker player you are.

As I've talked about before, the biggest thing that keeps me going back to the tables day after day is the challenge of it all. I'm someone that craves being on top of a leaderboard instead of how much being on top of the leaderboard would net me. As crazy as it sounds, I've always thought about how cool it would be to win a WSOP bracelet and never about how much money the bracelet would come with. I've often wondered how many people in the poker world think this way.

I also wonder if many of the recent WSOP Main Event winners feel this way also. I could be wrong, but I suspect that all of them loved how much they made by winning, but most of them hate the fact that they have a responsibility to be much more visibile in the public eye as an ambassador for the game because of being a Main Event winner. If what I suspect is true, no wonder there's a complete disconnect between true poker fans and the recent champions of that prestigious tournament.

Wow, I got off the rails a little bit there. I went into writing this thinking I was going to talk about Phillip Gruissem winning another EPT High Roller and how his attitude towards "effective altruism" may be just what I need. I'll save that for tomorrow, I guess...

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