Thursday, September 17, 2009

i want to be sick in the head

behind every action we take, there's always an underlying reason we do them. on one hand we want security and we build our entire lives around creating, possessing and protecting things that create the sense of stability, a feeling of grounding. on the other hand, we want to feel free from these things, want to have that "fuck it" moment where we truly feel alive and go batshit insane and have a release so intense that you have that "THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR" feeling. so often in life, it seems that these things are mutually exclusive. i want to believe that they're not.

does self-sustainability need to be our purpose in life? i've been pondering this question as i consider whether or not to continue playing poker as a living. poker, has gotten difficult, to say the least. the game has vastly changed over the past 2-3 years because of various factors, the UIGEA bill, the emergence of online training websites, and the rapidly increasing knowledge of the game itself, making the game almost game theoretically "solved" in some aspects. of course, there's still money to be made, but that money is decreasing bit by bit daily. i have been doing extremely poorly in the past year which has made me reevaluate what role poker will play, if any, in my life in the next few years.

curiously enough, it is this need to stay afloat mentality that has kept me playing until now in the first place, the idea that if i don't keep playing, i won't have a backup for the future if the going gets tough. but lately, i've been wondering, what am i backing myself up for? am i just preparing myself mentally for failure in whatever endeavor i go into? sometimes i wish i was just given a road map of what it is i need to do to live a decent fulfilling life that won't be wrought with regret.

i recently went to vegas to help film the second episode of the documentary series called busto to robusto , a series about online poker players who have taken advantage of this boom and have had success in making large sums of money. these films will help serve to illustrate to the overall public the world of online poker and kind of illuminate poker players lifestyles and personalities. since this is a relatively new phenomenon, i feel like it'd generate a lot of interest among the public, many of which have no idea how professional gambling works, or could even be an occupation.

after talking with some of the players interviewed, and jay rosenkrantz, the producer of the series and a high stakes pro, you get the sense that in the end, even the people at the top are looking for a way out. because this is such a new type of occupation, it doesn't really have a long term plan and people are adapting to "what happens next" on the fly. jay brought an interesting point to me, that tommy angelo, an almost "zen" master of poker, had to stop playing poker for 1.5 years in order to write his book, "Elements of Poker". playing poker is almost perfect for people who want to pursue creative interests, except that the game almost does hinder one's own creative process because of the thinking involved is so taxing.

anyhow, this past year has been a lot of reflection of the path of my life and where it will go from here. i hoped to find more clear cut answers, but it seems that i'm going to have to make some tough choices soon. this is not to say i'm going to quit poker at the moment, i feel like these old bones have yet some life in them for that for at least a bit more. i just want to have passion for creating and living in the moment, and figure out what it is i'm supposed to be doing on this rotating revolving oblong spheroid.


Wandering Gambler said...


Justin Lee said...

dude, how are you... you sound miserable! is this true? don't be miserable..

i thought of an episode of entourage while reading this entry where E says he wants to shut his business down, and the 13 year old girl he's dating tells him.. you have vince..

so i guess i drew an analogy in my head... you can live comfy because you have this great source of freedom.. like E has vince... and you have green.. but both of you are searching for something..

E does end up in a better place and maybe you will too..

now i don't mean to compare you to some fictional character that is not a true representation of real life..

but moral of the story is.. don't be sick in the head and think all that crazy shit. not to say you shouldn't keep searching for that elusive "thing".. but remember you are doing stuff that other's don't have the luxury to do.

ayl said...

Is it too naive to say do what makes you happy?

MrBigHit said...

hey interesting blog doug~

got intro-d here by haein and i used to play poker online too (without as much success as you)

i've kind've realised the same things u have to the extent of how the landscape of the competition is changing.

I think that there are times where u just go along with the ride, because for some unexplained reason, it's party of the journey you know you're supposed to have.

Kind've like the journey in the book 'alchemist' - a book that all poker players should read.

Take care!

chunlee17 said...

alchemist is a good book, i have it if you want to read it.

i'm not going to bullshit you, the book will just leave you yearning for more...more of what, you'll never know.

the only thing i can say to encourage you is that if you are willing to believe it, God wants to do something with you, and you will find NO REST until you are doing it. So if you can't find any rest in what you are doing right now, that's probably not it.

Scientific, I know.