Friday, April 30, 2010


i lost $14,000 in the past few days playing poker. that's a lot of fucking money. now compared to what i have in the tank, it's not a catastrophe or something that will affect me financially in the long term. however, losing that much opened my eyes up to how much poker just isn't in the cards anymore for me.

the reasons are threefold:

1) the games are much tougher. back 5 years ago or so, anyone with a half analytical brain could make a good chunk of money playing poker online. with all the regulations and training sites and the increase of grinders and grinding culture, this just isn't the case anymore. supply and demand dictated the field of poker and i don't see it becoming any better.

i'm an old dog. i've got other loves, other interests, other joys. part of the reason why i wanted to continue playing poker up to this point was because i wanted to prove to myself that i had something left, that this old dog still had some tricks up his sleeve. but to do that, i need to devote all my time and energy to poker, and i have neither the passion nor the time to do that anymore. to keep up with the curve, it takes a lot of effort now.

the solution to continue then, would be to quit all my other stuff and devote my time to poker. i can't do that now.

2) it makes me a much angrier person. i've been an angry person a lot of my life, and i've felt like poker is not good for me emotionally. i'm beginning to realize that no matter how much i try to stifle it, i am a man of intense emotions and playing poker just depresses me continually. the highs of winning are nowhere near the lows of losing, the self-doubt, the self-loathing, the self-what the fuck did i do this time.

3) the very fact that i continually play poker means that i don't trust my own abilities as an artist to survive. i want to ensure my security for the future in case the next few years of my life don't pan out the way i want it to. i need to have more faith that this is what i'm going to be doing, and i'm recognizing that poker is definitely getting in the way of all that.

ironically, people comment on the freedom that poker gives you. and don't get me wrong, it does give you freedom. but i also feel trapped into wanting to play more and get better and become engrossed in it when playing. someone once said, "poker's a tough way to make an easy living." you cannot serve two masters, i've found.

i know it sounds cheesy, but i really have to start believing in myself and what i can do instead of trying to half-ass things and hope it'll come out alright on the other end.

this was not an easy decision to make, and it's something that i had to realize for myself instead of being told. but i'm taking it. so i'm cashing out my funds online. i'll prob play recreationally, and maybe some tournaments online with the remaining points that i've accumulated over the years, but as for a profession, my career is officially over. (hopefully i won't have any michael jordan/brett favre/roger clemens type retirements)

Monday, April 19, 2010

of being a man

it's super late (or early depending on what kind of person you are), and i took a stupid "nap" from 7:30pm to 1:30am, so basically i'm still kind of wired. being that there's no one online right now to talk to, save for a few degenerate poker playing friends (just kidding you know i love you guys), i decided to just write about random gak.

my sister always tells me that my dad said that she should've been the guy and i should've been the girl. i suppose that might be true, given that she is a bit more forceful and aggressive than i am, probably more of a go-getter, eats more voraciously, calls people her "bitch" more frequently, drinks like she wants to be irish/scottish or something, etc.

i think i've always struggled with the idea of being "masculine enough". when i think of my dad, as goofy as he is, he's always been a super masculine guy. as a traditional korean man i suppose this is only natural, asserting himself as the head of the household, being pretty physically fit for a man of almost 60 (he goes to national kendo tournaments or something). he has a strong sense of responsibility and duty that i suppose come with "being a man", and that's something i've always respected and tried to emulate.

unfortunately, however, growing up under the circumstances that i did were not entirely conducive to being a manly man. i was recently interviewed by a friend from church for her project for school about being an asian american. the interview reminded me about the issues i had growing up, how public conceptions of our limitations and our strengths were ultimately somewhat formative in how i psychologically and mentally developed, no matter how much i'd like to believe that i could create my own personality outside of them.

"asian guys are too pussy, geeky, socially awkward. they have small urinary devices. they don't have originality, they're lame." there's no question that i have always championed the cause for asian males everywhere, when i see an asian guy with a non-asian chick in america, i always give him a telepathic mental high five. i myself hope to someday to make a change in these perceptions.

but this is not to say that i blame being asian for not being the archetypical male, because i know plenty of asian males that i'd consider to be pretty manly. and i don't necessarily want to become an alpha male type guy either. but i can't help but consciously take note of times when my family or other people give me suggestions on being "more of a man". i guess that explains why i get pissed when i see some guy that is being "unmanly", partly because it probably reminds me of myself.

when i think of myself, i'm like, wow i'm 26. does that make me a man? when you hear news reports you hear of like a 23-year old man doing some crime or something, and i'm like, "wtf, 23-year old man? i mean i guess if he's a man, then by numerical analysis, i too am a man." did i become a man yet? i definitely don't think of myself as a MAN, but a guy. a dude. a normal amigo down the street. i guess a "young man" might qualify. if someone were to refer to me as, "that man over there needs customer service", i'd be like OMG WTF BBQ. it kind of gives me a chuckle when i check into hotels and they refer to me as "Sir".

maybe when i'm 30, i'll finally become "a man". i mean if you're not a man by 30, you're like, some bum living in the basement of his parents' house, or something equally newb. the idea of being a man for me seems daunting then, it seems like you need to have:

a) purpose in life
b) responsibility
c) confidence
d) the ability to convince others you have a-c

i think what i'm realizing now at the end of this long-winded post, is that i myself am not satisfied yet at my own long term psychological development and want to change into the idea of a man that i've come up with for myself. this idea is not entirely different from other people's perceptions of a man, but there are a few nuances of myself that i'd like to keep rather than becoming what other people want me to be.

anyway, i'm getting really tired now, and this probably didn't make that much sense, so i'll just end here. good...morning.