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)