Full time RL + part time poker - dealing with mental exhaustion?

    • Jaissica
      Jaissica
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2009 Posts: 1,385
      Hi Lads,

      just wondering how everyone who works (or studies) full time and is playing poker on the side gets along with the mental drain of combining both pursuits. Personally I work full time, and when I pick up a hobby (be it WoW, SC2 or once again now, Poker) I tend to throw every minute at it, or at least every minute that my wife will tolerate.

      However I find that with poker I am starting to run into walls of mental exhaustion, far more so than with any previous obsession (even the dark days of 60 hour WoW weeks, though to be fair that game has long since been debased to cater to the mindless). I believe the hours spent playing are not any more relaxing than the hours spent working - indeed they can often be more taxing.

      How are the players with full time jobs / study find they are coping with this? Do you manage it with decreased hand volume? More tables in shorter sessions?

      Some kind of magic solution I don't know about? :)

      Poker is quite fulfilling as a pastime that actually generates something tangible (instead of another stupid set of virtual gear that will be rendered obsolete and made available to retards who can find the "queue random dungeon" button within 6 months) but it is also unexpectedly actually more devastating on the work-family-hobby balance, simply from mental drain and result-based mood impacts (its hard to be in a good mood over dinner on a Saturday night when you dropped a couple of stacks during a 10am-6pm marathon session, especially if you throw in a ridiculous suck out at 5:55).

      I'm not saying its not something I can and will deal with, I am just curious to know if anyone has similar experiences or tips on dealing with balancing full time work + trying to grind up the poker limit ladder.
  • 13 replies
    • RedHeater
      RedHeater
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2010 Posts: 219
      A difficult situation. I would suggest your priorities should be

      family > work > poker

      If poker is seriously impacting on either of the other two then you need to cut back.

      I agree with what you are saying about poker having more reward (for winning players) than many other hobbies. I spent years playing and studying chess which was -ev financially! The little I won in tournaments was dwarfed by my spending on books and the like. Still, I did enjoy it.

      At the end of the day if its not your job you can't let poker stop you doing your *real* job well, as that is unfair on your employer or co-workers. Needless to say it would not be fair for your poker to have a big negative impact on your family either.

      I reckon you need to find a way of limiting the time you spend on it and get control of your tilt if it is affecting your mood. Personally I find playing more tiring than study/ looking at forums etc.
    • conall88
      conall88
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 1,715
      am working 40 hrs/week, studying 5 hrs /week, playing poker 4 hrs /week and studying poker 2hrs/week

      (51hrs total)

      I feel 100% awake when I go to play poker/studypoker at 10PM.

      my secret has been to sleep for 1 hour after dinner, and then go to sleep at 1AM. I then get up at 7:50am the next day.

      works fine for me.
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 7,401
      Totally agree with RedHeater.

      its hard to be in a good mood over dinner on a Saturday night when you dropped a couple of stacks during a 10am-6pm marathon session, especially if you throw in a ridiculous suck out at 5:55


      I struggled with this for a long time. Mrs could always tell when things were going badly as I was suddenly so uncommunicative.

      Unfortunately, the reality is that overcoming tilt is actually very time-consuming process which relies on experiencing unexpected losses over and over again and eventually reaching a point where it doesn't bother you any more (because you know that the losses are short-term and overall don't affect your win rate).

      I think it's incredibly difficult to combine these three things successfully, and I would always encourage prioritising in a way that does not make yourself (or those around you) unhappy. I think that setting yourself clear boundaries for poker might be a way ahead.

      If you agree with your partner that you will spend 10 hours a week of your "free" time on poker then you both know where you stand. If you don't, you end up with a situation where you always want to play 'one more hand' and the other half gets annoyed pretty quickly.
    • hackbinder
      hackbinder
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2009 Posts: 618
      I am not a bigtime grinder (or terribly successful for that matter), but for now poker is my hobby. I used to be into Magic The Gathering, recording my own music etc, and all those things take up time.

      I have to say poker probably takes up the most time out of all my previous hobbies. My wife is pretty understanding, to a point. I play if we aren't doing anything and if my son is asleep, so I usually play at night.

      My wife has hobbies, I have hobbies, we make time for each others hobbies. My wife, however, gets concerned over how long I sit in front of the computer, even though I cannot do sessions of more than a couple of hours because I have to go to work the next day.

      As anyone who is married will tell you, if your wife says to you, "I think we need to change something", it is very important that you swallow your pride and be as accomodating as possible. The last thing you want is for your hobby to be a source of tension, especially if it may affect your relationship in front of the kids.

      So, my wife and I have agreed that there are two days a week that I do not play poker. I am more than fine with that. I have tilt problems but I can safely say that my family never knows how I am running at the tables, but then again, I'm a micro fish! :f_p:

      This is not to say that everything is perfect trying to balance the hobby with my wife, but she knows that it makes me happy, and I know that she is pretty good about it all things considered, so if a problem ever arises both of us are approaching it from a good place.

      It also helps that I do not play with more than I can afford to lose, and she knows it.

      :f_cool:
    • mallikarim
      mallikarim
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2010 Posts: 104
      Funny how half of your post is about being a special snowflake in WoW, you sir are pathetic.
    • esuohdla
      esuohdla
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.05.2011 Posts: 411
      Originally posted by mallikarim
      Funny how half of your post is about being a special snowflake in WoW, you sir are pathetic.
      He had a hobby he enjoyed and was decent at it, whats wrong with that?
    • RedHeater
      RedHeater
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2010 Posts: 219
      Originally posted by mallikarim
      Funny how half of your post is about being a special snowflake in WoW, you sir are pathetic.
      The following is one of your previous posts. I don't understand it but I am guessing it means you shouldn't be having a go at others for being geeky gamers?


      16 Jul 2011 19:01 Forum: Small Talk

      -Favorite hero? Sandking for sure , PotM, which is sometimes a gamble cause you may have good days when u hit arrows and play good and days when you play her like a donk if you will , tiny, basically every hero that can gank and be useful to the team , without having to farm all game and then come to end it.I like some carry heroes but its just not my playstyle.


      -Favorite Clan? Liked Ks.int back in the day, also long time acolo when coL had a team, they were pretty good and verGe.But that was in the old dota.Now I guess since people switch team so much , you dont know who to root for, especially in the European/NA scene.



      -Where you ever part of any serious clan? / Are you any good ?
      Yea, I played in Dimension 4 Gaming ( French Clan ) for sometime,could've gonna a lot higher in terms of skill but after sometime of grinding strategies and practicing too much , I didnt feel like playing anymore, so I quit.
      Pretty sad that my dream at that time was to get into a proffesional team, and after things got better and better, my love for the game fell short.

      Atm, I only play on dota-league for fun , when im not playing Poker, Starcraft II or Killing Floor.

      -How long have you been playing for?
      Dunno but I would imagine for a long time, since I saw the birth of professional dota and stuff.Had a lot of breaks tho, cause like a lot of games it gets boring if you play it too much.
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Cash out some of your profits and buy your wife a nice present. Short term solution tho.
    • fuzzyfish
      fuzzyfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.01.2010 Posts: 862
      Oh and I forgot. If you want to make some time for playing poker, cut back on crap entertainment. I play quite lot while having a full time job, but it's only possible, because I don't:

      a) watch tv
      b) go out drinking (or drink at home)
      c) play other computer games (for entertainment)

      Many people spend 20+ hours a week on this kind of meaningless bs
    • Jaissica
      Jaissica
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2009 Posts: 1,385
      Hehe nice Fuzzy. If she ever gets cranky I will keep that in mind.

      She doesn't mind (the time spent - it is less than other things have been), with exception probably of when we interact immediately after I quit on-tilt from losing. I can be a little short obviously - I quit the session because results put me in a mental state to no longer play, which implies not being in a proper mental state to interact with anyone else either.

      The bigger problem I think is the mental exhaustion that builds up interfering with work. Reduced sessions I think is the only way to fix this. I didn't play at all after dinner last night and feel fine for work today, just a shame to lose the opportunity for a ~4 hour session.

      Don't feed the troll. It isn't even his fault. Dota and Dota-clone players are strangely renowned for often being horrible people in general.
    • hackbinder
      hackbinder
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2009 Posts: 618
      I play quite lot while having a full time job, but it's only possible, because I don't: a) watch tv b) go out drinking (or drink at home) c) play other computer games (for entertainment)


      I agree with this 100%. Its amazing how much $ and time you have, not to mention access to normal level headed clean and sweet women, when your definition of fun does not include alcohol, clubs or bars.
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
      Gold
      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,061
      The bigger problem I think is the mental exhaustion that builds up interfering with work.


      there are people who has additional freelance work after their fulltime job. And they see no problem. So I guess the same is with poker.

      But I think the ideal solution would be to work half time (4 hours a day) and then the next hours dedicate for poker. Then you'll be not too much exhaused and have much more time. And my ocusin (he doensn't know how to play poker) says - why work if you can earn money with poker. But I don't know what to say to him. I can argue that its hard to earn money with poker and there are swings and so on. But he could say - the same is when you work on your own (have small company or something).
    • Leito99
      Leito99
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.07.2009 Posts: 754
      play before you got to sleep, so weather you win or lose it wont affect the people around you cuz sleep neutralises whatever mood you were in before anyway