Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Occupational Hazards

So far, I've identified two serious occupational hazards for me, as a poker-player.

The first is the negative impact upon my circadian rhythms and social life of the vampiric hours I keep. For example, last night I got home at about 5 am, and didn't get to sleep until around 6 am. I was so exhausted that I unplugged my landline, and silenced my mobile phone so as to not be disturbed. As a result, I overslept a lunch date with my godmother, and had to make a mad dash to the DMV before it closed to get my car registration renewed (yeah, that's another story, involving a $100 ticket which alerted me to the expiration... unlike, say, getting a notice in advance from the city which they're supposed to send but didn't). This week has also featured my having to cancel dinner plans with friends because the tournament I was in ran impossibly long. I am now facing the possibility of the same scenario happening this coming Saturday... I may just skip the game to avoid it.

The second is potentially even more problematic. Last night I absolutely CRUSHED the Crime Scene Game. Sweet, sweet vindication. Played awesome, ran good. It was just delicious. I made a 200% return on my investment, for an hourly rate of 30.5 BBs. Needless to say, this had both a positive impact on my mood and on my bankroll.

Now, you must know this about me: I am not much of a shopper. I'm simply not one of those gals who particularly enjoys shopping; I buy what I need and like and I'm done. I don't buy things as a therapeutic exercise. I am, by and large, a utilitarian consumer (even, I would argue, when I buy higher end computing devices). And yet... when I had my big score at the Venetian, I bought myself a little souvenir trinket at a jewelry store. It was very modestly priced, I love it, and it has garnered much favorable comment when I wear it.

Today, however, after finishing up at the DMV, I found myself at a Christian Barnard store sporting a going-out-of-business sign. Huge reductions. Bargain bling. Long ago, I bought my favorite watch at Christian Barnard, so I thought I'd stick my head in and see if there was anything cheap and appealing. Well, I found and bought for a song a pretty white gold ring of unusual design. At which point I should have patted myself on the back and walked out. But I did not. Instead I discovered the insidious world of Pandora jewelry, god help me. (As a silversmith and jewelry designer myself, I have to bow to the ingenuity of their scheme.) I now own a necklace, a bracelet, and five charms. Gulp. I am going to have to institute some pretty strict guidelines about acquisition of this stuff, because as far as I can tell it's the gewgaw equivalent of crack.

Needless to say, I would never have given any of this fripperie a second glance if I hadn't just had a big payday at the poker table. But that's exactly the point. Income from the poker table IS MY PAY, and not some kind of "whoo hooo! extra money! let's go spend it! yay!" windfall. I positively cannot afford to make a habit of this sort of thing.

Part of me, though, takes a certain rebellious pleasure in this expenditure. For most of my life, I've spent the absolute minimum amount of time and money on my personal appearance, and eschewed with an almost puritan fervor anything that smacked of unnecessary feminine adornment. Yet the further I plunge into the very masculine world of poker, the more I find myself enjoying gussying-up (nice clothes, cosmetics, and now ~ apparently ~ jewelry). I'm sure there some deep, twisted psychological reason for this, but meh. The key is to keep it all in some kind of moderation.

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Blogger Steve said...

give yourself a break. and a treat, sometimes. you're doing something hard, and trying to do it well. sometimes you will be giving yourself the only rewards.

2/13/09 11:35 PM  

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