Last week we discussed the positives of dating a professional poker player. If you are a first time reader be sure to check it out. Today’s blog entry will cover just what the title says, some of the negative aspects of dating a poker player for those of you considering a career in poker.
1. Unstable income. As you can see from the graphs and monthly charts I posted for 2013 on my results page, income can vary drastically from month to month. From my experience, this can be scary for most women. Any time I go out on a date, this is probably one of the first things I am asked about. I explain that I calculate my income yearly, not weekly or monthly and that poker is a marathon not a sprint. Then I break that down to my hourly rate over the last 500 – 1000 hours which is easy enough to understand. But any one will understand the caveat is that some months you may do well and some you may not, so understand that explaining this to your future wife may be very difficult.
2. Late and/or long sessions. While playing poker can be extremely flexible, if you want to take the game seriously, you will have to understand that some of the best cash games are played late at night and into the am along with the weekends. Not to mention sometimes a session can run 10-14 hours when the game and circumstances are right, you have to be able to make that sacrifice and stay late when necessary. Personally, I play much shorter sessions but if the game is right I will push myself to stay longer.
3 Stress of work can spill over into personal life. This used to be a major problem for me and can definitely have a negatively impact on your dating life or relationship. I hate to lose, so whenever I did, I would bring all of that anger and frustration home with me. My fuse would be short, and small issues would turn into big arguments. To be fair this is true with any job, but in poker it’s more likely you can do everything right and still come out on the wrong side of things. With the help of a mental game coach, I have been able to find a more even work-life balance and no longer struggle with this issue. Bankroll management is a major contributor to this as well. When your bank account is overflowing, it’s hard to get mad at anything. When your money’s tight and your aces lose to a pair of nines, maybe the fact you had the same dinner two nights in a row is a reason to start a fight.
4. Socially unacceptable. I know what you’re thinking, ‘It’s 2014, everyone’s super cool about everything now’, but no, there are still lot of negative stigmas surrounding playing poker. I definitely feel we have come a long way and that it is becoming more socially acceptable, but with so many horror stories about gambling addiction, it may forever have that undesirable label to it. If you’re dating a poker player it can be difficult explain what you’re partner does. Maybe you talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend about poker a lot and know how difficult it is to be successful, but explaining to your friends and family won’t be so easy. People will not really understand the complexity, skill, or focus needed to play professionally. Most people may write off poker players as degenerates with a gambling vice.
There are always going to be negatives to pursuing any passion and when it comes to love, you want to make sure you are dating someone who is supportive. So while there are many negative factors, finding the right person who will be there no matter what is most important But also be reasonable and understand dating a poker player isn’t for everyone, and there’s no fault in that either.
Next week we will discuss how I manage my money away from the table and how financial literacy will help you at the table.