The Cumulative Effect (Reason #1804 you shouldn’t make poker your career)

My next poker session will be my 1,804th as a full-time professional.

How many poker sessions have you played as a full-time professional?

The data suggests I’m 65% to book my 1,170th win (as a full-time professional)…

But I’m also 35% to book my 635th L (as a full-time professional).

How many L’s have you booked?

How many L’s do you think highly competitive people (the only kind of people that can win at poker) get before they start to perma-tilt?

(now answer the above two questions with the following attached to the end of each: “… as a full-time professional, who is all grown up and therefore has grown up expenses and responsibilities…”)

If I am forced (by my high bills and debt) to keep playing poker as a full-time professional poker player, what am I going to be like when I book my 1000th L?

How different will I feel inside than I did when I booked my 1st L (as a full-time professional—my first ever session as a full-time pro actually, I believe I lost 3 or 4 k that day)?

What will my face look like when I stand up from the table?

How will I react to the dealer saying, “Thanks for playing”- or the guy who won the big pot against me immediately looking for racks because he’s brand new and has no idea what just took place/that all my madness at the table was calculated/that he, in fact, just got really lucky?

Will my madness still be calculated?

How many more 80/20s can I lose with 5k in the middle?

How many more of these can I lose (I’m the poor starting hand guy) with 20k+ in the middle?


(I don’t believe those ever leave your mind completely. And I’ve had several of them…)

How many times do you think highly competitive people can lose more than the value of their car in one hand?

How many times do you think they can do it as an overwhelming favorite?

How many times can intelligent people (I hope I’m not taking too much liberty here) sit through the same insecurity and nervous energy-fueled conversations about nothing, dim-witted remarks seeking laughter/approval, etc., before their minds become fully numb?

How many times can you sit there and witness someone say nothing for hours, win a big pot, and then suddenly have interest in everyone and everything (“That’s a nice watch. What kind is it? I wear this one because I’m clumsy and I know it’s going to get scratched. I got it at Costco for blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…”).

How long until you start rooting for all the talkers to get cold-decked back into silence?

How many times can you sit through someone tanking in a trivial spot?

How many times can you call, see a look of disappointment, and then a hand that could never lose?

How many times can you get hit ‘n’ run?


How long until you start wanting their heaters to get unplugged- just for a second, just for your sanity?

I’m sure almost all your answers are, “Forever. I could do it forever… I fucking love poker, and I am very mentally strong.”

Well so do did I and so am was I.

That was a long time ago though…


Excuse me while I go put myself through misery for two hours at the gym just so I can (hopefully) get through my next poker session without cracking.

Oh yeah, my average session as a full-time professional poker player is 9.8 hours. How long until that number dips considerably? I mean I’m 44-years-old now. I’m a super involved dad of two. I have some folks who mean a lot to me- and I need/want to spend a lot of time with them too…

Also I have this thing where I just have to write (and now talk too) about my job or I’ll go nuts.


Want to have these blog posts delivered to you the moment they are published?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

3 thoughts on “The Cumulative Effect (Reason #1804 you shouldn’t make poker your career)

  1. Man, poker sounds fun.

    Rob Roseman 702-580-7883 LinkedIn



  2. Booked the L. Sweet number 635!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close