Tuesday, August 28, 2012

contentment

A couple weeks ago, I visited a friend of mine who's also a professional poker player.  I went to his place of work in Charles Town, West Virginia.  Personally, I had one of the most horrific runs of my life and lost a decent amount of money.  In the long run, I'll be fine, it was just a nice reminder of why I didn't do this kind of a thing for a full time job.  I think being a pro would decrease my life span by 10 years.

I ended up talking to another player sitting next to me, as he started chatting it up after he took a few thousand off me in a standard kings against aces all in preflop scenario (FML).  People seem to be more friendly when they're winning off you than when they're losing, I've found.  Anyhow, he got to telling me a bit about his life, where I found he was independently wealthy (so not from poker).  I found that he was a bit older than I thought (I think he was around 47, but I thought he  looked like he was in his 30's).

He told me he loved playing poker, and that it was one of the main activities of his life.  He hosted a private game in his house, with an actual poker room, dealer and security, where he'd invite friends to play.  I voiced some sympathy for his marital issues (he was recently divorced from a second wife, with whom he had kids), but he said he wasn't too concerned about it, being content with seeing his kids early in the week, and playing poker for the rest of it.  "Poker's my life now!", he proudly claimed.

Now I'm not judging anyone's lifestyle or what they find makes them happy, but it seemed kind of odd to me that he was genuinely content with the way his life was at his age, just playing poker for most of his life as a hobby.  I guess his life is definitely in a better spot than most people at his age, but it just seemed empty.  I guess most people's lives can be empty in some shape or form, there are plenty of wealthy people who do other kinds of pointless things with their lives.  But perhaps because of my experiences with poker and how I feel about it now, the hollowness was more clearly illustrated to me.

I definitely want to be more thankful and content with my life, but I don't know if I ever want to do it without a sense of purpose.  It is hard to find both purpose and contentment, I guess.