Peace. Poker. People.
Playing poker requires hours away from your family, loved ones and friends. While the bills keep piling up, there’s no denying that time is money. As you put in hours in front of your screen or on live felts, the equilibrium of a happy home life is at peril. Here are a few basic tips to retain an active poker life and not jeopardize the most important relationships in your life:
#1 Keep a separate poker bankroll!
The golden rule that will ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones: Retain a separate bank account for poker!
If you are in the initial stages of your poker career, take our advice and learn to supplement your initial poker bank role without taking away from your savings. If you’ve already committed the cardinal sin and in the middle of your poker career, take our advice again, its not too late, have a separate bank role.
Here’s why it’s important:
- It is critical that you don’t dive into your savings or family savings account for your bad beats.
- Especially since there is great degree of protectiveness when it comes to savings, there is no friction in the family that is dependent on you.
- You take away the degree of doubt your loved ones might have of sustaining a small loss or a long run of bad beats.
Easier said than done, how do you achieve this?
- Start with a very conservative strategy, minimizing your variance.
- As your poker bankroll grows, steadily rise up in stakes. If due to a bad beat, you feel like your depleting your funds, be prepared to go back to grinding smaller stakes. (Read our article on rising up the felts here)
- Resist the temptation of spending on your initial winnings on materialistic things. Take out the money, only if you needed to play. As the fund rises spend on items without any risks of its future viability.
Soon you will have the luxury of funding all of your poker expenses without ever requiring any discussions with your spouse/family about spending money for poker.
#2 Set a weekly time for your loved ones and more importantly always stick to it!
With hectic hours of play and late night grinds, it might be hard to spend time on a daily basis. Well, all you need to do to fix this is allocate a (or multiple) fixed time (s) during the week where you spend dedicated, uninterrupted quality time with your loved ones. Here’s another hint if you haven’t figured it out yet, do not talk or suggest anything to do with poker or give this time up to win a million dollars!!
Do things that help you and your loved ones unwind and trust that this will take you a long way both personally and professionally. No matter the short terms cringe worthy sacrifices you have to make to your schedules, it will pay off in the long run.
#3 Your family/loved one’s needs and wishes are always and instantly more important than playing.
While some poker players might be of the belief that all these hours of hard work is to keep their family/loved ones happy, they are sadly mistaken! Making money should never trump the need of your loved ones (Assuming you’re not the victim of a gold digger that is)
Establish this rule and practice it, you will have the peace of mind when you play poker. Let your loved ones know that when push does come to shove, there is no question of playing poker, they win.
Be it your daughter or sons sports day, a social event your wife needs you by, a quiet dinner with your mom, a movie with your dad, your grandparents needing a helping hand or your girlfriend just wanting you home; Read very carefully – No hand whether online of offline is more important than the lending hand they need from you. Don’t ever put up a fight, argue or plead, this sacrifice will go a long way off for the peace of your future games.
The sense of security it gives your loved ones knowing that they can rely on you in these times of needs will take you a long way, both in terms of your personal and professional life. The nagging and cajoling happens when they are less certain and you haven’t kept to your word. Avoid the friction; know when not to play your hand and most importantly, find the right balance!