Give up on poker dreams or risk everything and go all the way this year?
Tommorow, I will be turning 29 years old and it has come to the point in my life where I have to decide if I want to give up on the game or go hard and finish what I started. Poker means more to me than anyone can comprehend. It's not about the fortune or the gambling aspect about it, it's about what I have sacrificed in my life for the game. It actually saved my life as well as my wife's life.
Before I found poker, I use to be a well driven college student who has high hopes and dreams of graduating and becoming someone great in the business world. I was the top of my class, played on almost every team and everyone knew I would make something of myself in the business world.
Well, the biggest mistake of my life is when I was 21, and I had dated the wrong girl who was 18 at the time. Long story short, the relationship turned sour and because I had tried to find someone else; this girl had me false arrested three times. This killed me inside and I don't think anyone know how it feels to be punished for something you did not do and on top of that, the justice system makes it so hard that it is impossible to fight a false claim. After this, I became severely depressed; I had a job and was still going to college but I drank nearly a whole bottle of black label every other day. I couldn't get up to go to school or work on times and I eventually gave up on it and continued drinking. The drinking led me to even a deeper hole when I met people who were doing drugs and there were gangs usually in these places.
I knew everything was going downhill and I did not know where to go or what to do. It wasn't till I was 21 I sat down at the poker table in atlantic city that I felt like something was different. I started to think to myself instead of wasting my money drinking everyday, I can use that money to play poker. I wasn't good at first and for the first 3 years, I had lost almost 10k playing just $62 tournaments. I did not know how to play at the time. But it was better than abusing my body with alcohol.
So then, I saw the wsop
main event one day on tv and a wierd feeling came over me. I told myself I will get better at the game and play on tv one day and win that bracelet. I started to get better and better from that day on and eventually, I cashed consistently in those $62 tournaments. I became well known by the locals and the money was not great but it did help because I had no job.
At 25, I met my wife who ironically was going through the drugs and drinking and I told her I could save her and take her away from the negative and pretty deadly situation she was in. I said we can start a life in Atlantic City and I married her after meeting her for only a couple of weeks. We then started to live in the casinos
and eventually I told her to go back to school and she did college online. I supported her and ourselves with those $62 tournaments and 1/2 cash games.
Money was tight and living in the casinos was not easy. We had to manage such as cooking our own food in the hotel rooms and we even had our pet cat living with us in the same room for a year. Rooms were easy to get especially if you knew some people. I was happy at the time because I was playing poker and we was living in the casinos. I always had faith believed in myself, I could make it one day in the poker world if I got really good and I would know myself when that time would come.
After two years living in the same casino, my wife got curious and started playing poker. It turned out to be a fortune but started out really rough. She was losing at least $300 a day and I could not keep up with the bankroll no matter how hard I tried. Finally after a couple of months that she played, my bankroll was down to nothing.
I only had $100 left and the day before I had told my friends who worked in the poker room that this is the end of the ride, Ill have to leave Atlantic city and give up on poker. Even my wife told me to leave with the last $100 I had left because thats all we had left for food. I was scared, I was the type never to borrow money from anybody because I learned that you learn to make more money when you don't rely on others. I told my wife, Im confident in my game and I sat down at a 1/2 cash game. It was the strangest night of my life because that $100 literally turned into $1100 in a couple of hours. I never ran that good in my life, the hands pretty much played themselves out. I then let my wife play because she asked me.
That same morning, she came to my table and the first hand she hits the bad beat with me at the table and we share a jackpot of a quarter million. I cant explain the feeling of shock, happiness and relief that all hit me when it happened. It was a blessing from God because the week that my bankroll was dwindling, I could not eat and was just laying in bed praying every day for a miracle. The way I was going, I was dying emotionally and physically.
When this miracle happened, I made sure we tipped the dealers really well and we gave them so much that even my own wife got mad about it. Long story short, we ended up buying a house because we had no place to live except the casinos. Many people thought I would invest it in poker and I regret that I did not because even with that much money, I did not really get a good shot at the bigger tournaments. By that time, I had gotten really good at the game, I was cashing consistently in $100 buyins all the way up to $500 buyins. However, most of the money was going to expenses.
So fast forward to these last couple of years, I always wondered why am I playing this game if I am never going to be someone great in the poker world. Alot of players including dealers in the atlantic city poker rooms truly believe I can make it and this helps alot to fuel my drive to winning the big events. But personally, my wife wanted me to give up because it takes so much time and dedication. I finally figured myself out and realized I have to become a pro because I have dedicated so many years and I have alot of people that support me and I can't let them down. Plus those that don't believe and say poker is pure gambling, I have to prove them wrong. I looked to God and asked " why poker?".
I thought about it for months and one day I noticed certain players on tv such as Einhorn and Greenstein who would donate their winnings to charity. I knew that if it was anything, God would want me to play and to help those that need it in the world. I always thought with money, you can do so much and in a sense you are a superhero without the super powers. Winning the bracelet is what I see as a healing symbol for everything I have been through and everything I dedicate for poker. The money is just there but I don't really care about the money except to take care of my family and my wife's family as well as donating it.
Well recently, the last two years I have encountered the worse nightmare a poker player can experience in a casino. When me and my wife argue, I go on tilt and gambled away pretty much my whole bank roll to blackjack
and slot machines. This year was my worse but also by best in poker cashes. I earned about $60k in poker but have lost everything or it was spent unaccordingly.
Everytime I lose it to blackjack or slots
, I can't even eat and just want to sleep away the issue. Recently, I have gotten better at this problem. My poker skills became stronger, and I know that in myself I am finally ready for the bigger tournaments. However, right now my wife has pretty much given up on me and poker after all these years. Mentally, I have lost and physically again I am dying because I am not eating properly and I can't seem to play right. It hurts because I just lost $6k profit playing online because I was on tilt. All I remember in my mind are all the tournaments I won and how come I never have money left. I really want to continue but doing this alone will hurt my game.
I know at this point, either I get through this and if I can, I know I can make it because I would have finally mastered my weakness of being on tilt from personal issues. I never go on tilt because of a poker hand or because of someone at the table. It has to be someone close to me that affects my mindset. And I have noticed when I was happy and everything was fine, I always did my best and my best cashes came from these times. Pretty much, I can give up right here right now, or I can go with my feeling that I can make it this time. Im ready to play the big events and I know it but emotionally I think I will donk off my winnings no matter how much I win.
I wish my wife knew I was not doing this for myself, its actually for her and also for those homeless, poor children and others who need the help. If I ever want anything for my birthday, it's for my wife to support and understand poker. It saved our lives and without it, I feel worthless. Thanks for reading all this and please share your opinions.