This makes the topic a sensitive issue for discussion for poker players who are striving on a daily basis to maintain a balance between their lives as poker players and their lives outside the game. Maintaining the optimum poker-life balance is not as easy as it looks in the movies. It is hard work. However, if you manage to pull it off, then there is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling.
This article discusses how to balance poker with family, your significant other and with your studies (if you are a student).
Poker and Studies
If you are a student at a university or college and play poker as well, then maintaining a balance between your love for the game and studying to make your future is very critical. Getting carried away playing poker and ignoring studies is, to put simply, bad.
It is always apt to divide your time such that you dedicate more hours to studying than playing poker. If there’s an important assignment that needs completion or an exam that is coming up, then that should get higher priority.
Think of it this way, the degree that you receive will give you a secure backing. Once you are set, nobody will stop you from becoming a poker pro if you want to. Also don’t forget to have a life outside the books and the poker table. Go out with your friends, make NEW friends, get a hobby. Live your life to the fullest.
Poker and your Significant Other
With your partner, it is crucial that you devote as much time to them, and preferably more, than you do to poker. Maintaining this balance is very important, otherwise it can threaten the stability of the relationship.
There are some ways in which you can do this. If your partner is not entirely over the moon about your poker playing, then introduce them to the game. Once they are familiar with the game, then maybe some of their preconceived notions may break. However, if you plan to teach your partner poker yourself, then keep in mind that you will need to be patient, understanding and need to give them their own time to learn. Plus, the dynamics of your relationship are not that of a typical student-teacher. So it’s best to start them off with some self-learning and then let them ease into the game.
Another way to avoid arguments and have your partner resent poker and your playing is to communicate. Maintain an open and honest dialog about your playing. This means informing your partner about your wins and losses, letting them know where you are and when you will be home, answering your phone and NOT using poker as a way of negotiation (I will come with you now, but then I’m going to the game tomorrow night). Do not forget important dates, occasions and honour the commitments that you make. Sometimes, it may be tempting to stay on in a game because a fish has come in or you are losing and want to make up, but know when to stop. It will need mental strength, but you must do it.
Compartmentalize your day for your poker playing time and that which you spend with your partner. If you have a bad day at the table, then blow off some steam before you go back home. Don’t go dumping your frustration on your partner. This will just cause more resentment and anger, which is detrimental to any relationship in the long term. Your partner will feel like they have made some mistake, or like you are bringing too much negativity into the relationship.
The same goes for your family and friends. Make time, compartmentalize, honour your commitments and communicate. People cannot understand unless you talk to them.
These were some tips to maintain a balance between life and playing poker. This does not apply just to live poker players, but for online poker too. This balance will ensure that you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a good run in poker and a positive and loving relationship with your close ones.