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The Way It Is

I had dinner last night with pal-o-mine Jefe. It was nice to have some time away from my usual routine. The restaurant that we went to, Houston's, was also fantastic. If you are in the NY area or any other place with a Houston's (I know of at least 3 NY locations), definitely stop in for their spinach dip. Damn that's a fine dip. I also recommend their fish sandwich, which is cheaper than most of their fare and delicious.

While having dinner, Jefe and I talked about a lot of things. One theme that came up was my general dismay at work. I hear it a lot from the likes of GCox and others. We just don't like work.

For me, I don't even think it has to do with my job per se. I like my job. In fact, prior to my wedding, I would have told you that I loved my job at times. I think it is the post-honeymoon adjustment, t0gether with my personality traits that make the 9-to-5 (or, actually 8-to-6) so damn hard. These same things are what makes me a poker enthusiast.

The way it is, I have a couple of traits not ideal for the usual work environment, and potentially ideal to a poker player lifestyle..

First, I am a man of leisure. I like entertainment, as we all do. But I think I might take it to a new level. I wake up to Howard Stern. During commercials, I switch to another radio station. Sometimes, I watch something on TV on Demand. I walk to the subway with headphones on. I get on the subway and read. I get off the subway and read-and-walk (dangerous!) or turn on my walkman again. I read in the elevator. I sit down at work and check my email. And then I have to work and concentrate. Part of it is me blocking out the world around me. I like my entertainment. Poker is entertaining for me. I could sit there for an eight hour stretch easily. The hard part would be getting my ass up. This said, I prefer live games for marathon sessions to avoid the monotony and solitary existence of online poker.

Second, I like my autonomy. I don't like being told what to do. I don't mind guidance. In fact, I crave it at times. But I don't like being an errand boy. This doesn't happen a lot at my current job, and when it does happen, it is usually not bad. But, even so, there is something in me that wants to choose my own destiny. I want to be in control of my hours. I want to be in control of how I handle a case. In poker, I have control over my destiny for the most part. Lady luck plays her role. But I know that it is up to me to decide what to do with her.

Third, I like to be confident in my abilities. Okay. This is an odd one. If you've played poker against me, especially online, you may have seen me talking up my own play. It is a strategy as much as anything. Hell, the other half of the time, you'll see me talking about how bad I am or how new I am to the game. I can do all of this (and I do do all of this) because I am confident in my actions. I know what I am doing and what results I am hoping to get. I know when I am getting them. And I don't care either way because in the end, I am good at this poker thing. In fact, I think I am damn good at it. Great at times, even. I think I can make a go at it seriously because I have what it takes for the most part. I need to work at discipline, but discipline is a lot harder when your game consists of hit-and-run sessions after work and between other responsibiliities. Or when you are getting in a game for leisure instead of serious reasons. At work, I know I can be great. But I'm not there yet. This is probably related to my second reason. I don't work as well as I should under others. I'm not good at taking criticism and this hurts my performance and my relationships at work. Even more oddly, I think I am well liked and well regarded here. Yet I can't shake that feeling that I'm not what I should be. Self-doubt will sink a man at the table or at the office. For me, it's easier to shed the doubt at the table.

Fourth, my mental image is 14. I have a theory. Everyone has a mental image that is associated with an age. It is almost an ideal to them. Some people go to school with an intense desire to be a stock broker. They exit school and get a job and make lots of money working ridiculous hours and love every minute of it. Those people's mental image may be in thier 40s. I know girls who still use baby talk when they chat to each other. Their mental image is probably 4. Me, I'm somewhere between 13 and 16. I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily. It just means that I like my leisure and games, I'm sometimes cocky, and I don't have the innate drive to be joe businessman. I'd rather wear a t-shirt and ripped jeans than a suit. I listen to hip hop music, and not opera.

Ok, so enough introspection. The truth is, I need to work and, yes, I do like my job. I still want to be a poker player though. So, I will strive for that goal, while looking for other angles. Maybe I will start my own practice, where I can do what I want when I want. Maybe I will start a side-business, which has crossed my mind a bit. Maybe I'll get lucky and actually make it semi- or totally professionally as a poker player. There are a lot of ways this can go. Certainly, I may just remain a cog in the machine. But that's just the way it is.

posted by Jordan @ 12:09 PM,


At 12:00 AM, Blogger TripJax said...

For now, just make poker your side-business. There are juicy pots to be pushed your way when not doing the 9 to 5'er.

Would wifey kim really go for a poker prof jordan?!


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