Fitting Poker into an Otherwise Busy Life

Wait, what do you mean no Wi-Fi?

Poker as a Hobby

Let me get this straight for the record: I am not a poker professional. I am many things, but that is not one of them. Of course I have daydreams about running deep into a WSOP event, who among us doesn’t?

I am, however, very realistic about how remote the chances are that I could ever live that dream. I am a father of seven children and I stay at home to raise them, educate them, and hopefully prepare them for the unpredictable world of the future. Poker doesn’t really fit into that picture easily, except as a casual hobby.

So as a homeschooling father of seven, how is it even possible to have a hobby such as poker? To make it possible I have to first admit that poker in my life is pretty far down on my list of priorities. Once I settled myself into that idea, I was able to be realistic about how much time I could devote to the game.

Poker as a Parent of Young Children

With three year old twins being my youngest children, I really can’t sit down at an online poker table and expect to play any more than two hands per round, which would be insanely unprofitable even if I were a professional player.

The other children are all over the age of five, so they are into the realm of being able to occupy themselves when the inevitable time comes that I need some adult alone time. So that leads me to this conclusion: I can only have my own time for play when the twins are asleep.

They take one mid-day nap that usually lasts between one and two hours and they go to bed at eight o’clock, so those are my available times. Just because I have those times available free from toddler duty doesn’t necessarily mean they are automatically available for poker playing.

Our oldest, a twelve year old daughter, is very responsible and a terrific fit as oldest child. She is artistic, whereas, I have no innate ability in that area, so she will often teach an art class. As great as this is that she can take charge, it does not excuse me from supervisory duties.

Any parent can witness to the number of questions one child can come up with in a day’s time. So on most days, the mid-day toddler nap is still not available.

Poker as a Tired Person

This leads me to my solution: poker can only be played after all the children are in bed. Let that sink in a bit. I am awoken at six o’clock every morning by three year old twins yelling at the top of their lungs.

They aren’t misbehaving, that’s just the volume with which young children speak normally. After fourteen hours of parenting, bedtime arrives and we go through the bedtime rituals. All the children are now snug in their beds and will soon begin to chat with each other and go to the bathroom multiple times.

This is not quite the ideal time for poker, because every few minutes I will have to remind them that there is a time for play and a time for sleep. This is where I am willing to compromise, though, because one hour later, at nine o’clock, I begin to get tired.

Poker as a tired person is not ideal poker. So I play in the CardsChat freerolls that begin at eight, and hope that my first hour of conscious poker can propel me as deep as I can get before my fatigued decision-making processes fail me completely.

I hope you weren’t expecting a fairy-tale story of success at the tables. I’m a casual amateur hobbyist, and accepting the facts about that designation is paramount to my sanity. Is there anyone else out there who is willing to admit that they just don’t play as much as they might like to?

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