Poker Mirrors My Life

    • martiangoblin
      martiangoblin
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2011 Posts: 93
      A quick introduction...
      My name is Alex, im 26 and i come from Copenhagen, although ive lived in the US for most of my life.

      I started Playing poker in 2004. The poker boom was here and i, like everyone else, jumped on the bandwagon. I loved the game. It seemed like the perfect combination of strategy and luck, intelligence and gamble. Poker encapsulated an age-old idiom for me: Its not the hand that you're dealt, its how you play your cards.

      Playing live with my friends became a regular weekend event, and soon a friend of mine introduced me to online poker, via pokerstars. I deposited $25 and started playing a mix of sngs, mtts and microstakes cash games, really just to get a feel for the dynamics of online poker. A few months of recreational playing lead to mixed results, yet i did wind up cashing out $100 before busting my roll.

      I then took a small break from poker, but after moving back to Denmark a year or so ago, i decided to give online poker a try again.

      I can first and foremost thank PokerStrategy.com for enabling me to do this.

      The 50$ free starting capital was soon on my account at Everest, and in one month (december of 2011) I had grinded it into about $400 playing mainly NL2-10.

      In accordance with the new danish gaming laws, i then withdrew my roll, and redeposited some of it on Unibet, and the rest on the iPoker network, and started hitting the tables again hard in the beginning of march of this year.

      And since then... its been one long ride downhill.

      http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/844/69637770.jpg/
      http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/846/marts.jpg/


      I dont want to call it a cooler.... i will freely admit that my play has been sub-optimal. But what frustrates me most is perhaps whats happening outside of the tables.

      The last few months i have been in a transitiong period of time... i feel lost and confused. Sometimes I start to feel better, and capitalize on my newfound motivation to grind som tables... and inevitably the same thing happens.

      I LOSE, just like in life.

      I have been given the same oppurtunites as everyone else, and somehow i manage to waste them all. Every girlfriend ive ever had has left me, every job ive ever had has been lost somehow, everything i ever thought i was good at has blown up in my face.

      So in a way, it doesnt really surprise me that im doing poorly at the tables. Poker seems to perfectly mirror everything else im my life.

      I study, i set goals, i prepare myself, i exert myself in every moral and honest way possible to give myself an edge. I try and try and always fail.
      Epic fucking fail.

      So im quickly approaching a crossroads... either give up entirely or reach out for help. I dont know what to do... im lost as lost can be and i almost dont care anymore.

      The money doesnt even matter, the idea of failing at yet another endeavor in life does...

      What should i do??
  • 10 replies
    • aciddrop
      aciddrop
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2006 Posts: 1,519
      When the choice comes down to giving up entirely, or reaching out for help, unless you intend spiralling down into depression, drug addiction and ultimately suicide, there really is no choice.

      Reach out for help.

      First step is already taken. You have opened yourself up here and admitted your life is a mess you don't even like. I can't say why that is, but usually some combination of self hatred and fear will do the trick. You feel old and trapped with nowhere to go at age 26. But believe me, you will be twice that age one day, and feel like you have hardly begun.

      Whatever health professionals are available to you in Denmark, take advantage of that. See somebody. Let them give you some perspective you can't find for yourself.

      Don't let this opportunity for change pass by. You really have nothing to lose.
    • martiangoblin
      martiangoblin
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2011 Posts: 93
      Originally posted by aciddrop
      Don't let this opportunity for change pass by. You really have nothing to lose.
      ...and yet it seems like i also have nothing to gain
    • aciddrop
      aciddrop
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2006 Posts: 1,519
      The opposite of despair and depression.
    • aciddrop
      aciddrop
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2006 Posts: 1,519
      Which is not to say that the gain will be without effort.
    • martiangoblin
      martiangoblin
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2011 Posts: 93
      yea, aciddrop, maybe im barking up the wrong tree by posting about my existensial crisis on a poker forum, but it seems like its the only place where people might actually give a shit.....or maybe they dont, who knows.
    • martiangoblin
      martiangoblin
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2011 Posts: 93
      Can anyone else in here relate? Doesnt it seem like people who are succesful in poker are succesful in life in general, and vice-versa?
    • aciddrop
      aciddrop
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2006 Posts: 1,519
      I think it is important because you have found the parallel between the two worlds. The most important one is life itself of course.

      What is happening to you isn't unusual, many people here, as everywhere are either going through it/have gone through it/will go through it or something similar.

      There is not, and cannot be, anything more important than establishing a life where relationships are fruitful and rewarding for all involved. When it has been identified that the opposite is true, you are in a position to begin understanding what it is in you that leads to that happening. It can then change.

      There is a saying that goes, "The truth will set you free."

      This is correct, but the other bit of that saying, which doesn't get so much airtime, is, "...but first, it will piss you off."

      You will never let the ugly in yourself go unless you accept it. That is the bit that will piss you off, because no one really wants to own the ugly. We fear that, and fear leads to the practice of violence, whether physical, mental or emotional, and whether projected on to others or completely internalised, totally destructive.

      Sooner or later, everyone finds themselves in this place. It is the bottom. Bedrock. Which is a good place to stand. So get a good grip, and realise the journey is begun. Find your heart, and let that be open.
    • Svarthjalmar
      Svarthjalmar
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.05.2010 Posts: 27
      I can relate, for sure. I used to suffer from fairly severe depression and anxiety in my early 20s. I won't go into details, but let's just say I got to the very edge before turning around and seeking help.

      The most difficult step is admitting you need help, and actually reaching out for it. I would say: Just go and talk to somebody. I was lucky - I went and talked to a psychiatrist who gave me a little kick in the butt, and over the course of a few months he had given my all the tools I needed to make myself better. He took my shovel away before the hole I was digging turned into my own grave. Then he showed me how to dig out of it.

      This is an extremely complicated subject. Do I know what you're going through? Of course not. Even though I've had some of the same thoughts, and even been pretty deep myself, I'm not you, I don't know your world, your experiences. But I can certainly relate to what you're going through.

      I dug out of the hole, but I still need to watch myself. I've found myself slipping into it again, but now I have the tools to get out before I'm in too deep (most of the time, anyway). To connect this to poker again, I use short term things that you could say increase my hEV (Happiness EV). While there are things you need to discuss with a professional, there are certain things that help me keep me from slipping when I feel like I might be headed for a rough patch. And to me, just like in poker, I feel like if I make sure to make +hEV decisions, I'm ahead of the game. So just tiny little things, like noticing the details around me that I like, help a lot. When I look at the clock and it says 22:22, that's wonderful. Birds are nice. For some reason I find weathered picket fences with the paint peeling off very beautiful (I'm weird like that).

      I used to wear a watch and set it to beep every hour. And as a rule, every time it beeped, I would stop what I was doing and look for one beautiful thing in my environment. So during my waking hours, I would spot 16+ nice things. That's a lot of nice for one day.

      I don't know if this is helpful to you at all. At the very least, I hope you know that you're not alone. And more than anything, you need to make sure to make +hEV decisions. If poker is getting you down, maybe the +hEV thing to do would be to give it up for now, or even for good. You should talk to somebody. And my advice, in the meantime, is to start focusing on the little things, enjoy the little moments. It certainly won't make everything better, but it might make your day a little brighter.

      Hope you find your way to the other side of this.
    • Borisian
      Borisian
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 947
      @aciddrop & @Svarthjalmar +1

      Nothing to add but find a professional to talk to, you'll be amazed how good it can be to talk things over with a "stranger".
    • martiangoblin
      martiangoblin
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2011 Posts: 93
      I appreciate your comments but im done... done with this game, done with this planet and done with myself. I dont care anymore, i give up... fuck it.

      Im going to sleep, maybe when i wake up things will be different, but i doubt it. goodnight