Monday, December 01, 2003

The Death of a Poker Player

There has been a poker "death" in my family. Glenn is the victim, and the killer, both.

Since Glenn and I retired from AOL last year, we started taking poker seriously. Not to make money to live on, but for something to do. We both attacked it from different angles.

I wanted to talk to other poker players. I wanted to read every, single book. I wanted to eat, sleep and drink poker. I wasn't obsessed to the point that I was a degenerate gambler and blowing money, in fact, I got more pleasure out of reading poker books and watching WSOP videos than I did actually playing!

Glenn, on the other hand, always wanted to be in the action. Nevermind that he couldn't play. He would ask me to "recap" a poker book I'd read, so that he would play better. Recap??? What the heck can he learn from that? Good poker books are to be chewed through, many times over; studied, studied, then studied some more.

When we first got serious about poker, we would play low limit Stud. I would usually "cover" Glenn's losses. I experienced a really good run for several months and was more than able to sustain his awful play.

Glenn made the switch to hold'em, and his losses were a bit more limited. He still wasn't any good, but at least he was tight (the one thing he'd learned from me and my Mom). Over time, Glenn got better at poker. Experience, the teacher, plus his genius mathmatical skills. He wasn't losing "as much."

Glenn has never been a winner at poker.

Several times I urged Glenn to just quit. He wasn't winning. He wasn't happy. He wouldn't study, nor could he accept that poker has a large percentage of luck built into the game. He couldn't tolerate the luck factor. He was used to chess, table tennis, billiards. He refused to accept that there are bad beats, and that bad players can take all of your money in any given session.

A few years ago, Glenn had to go on blood pressure medication. He was only 31 years old, but his BP was dangerously high. He lost some weight, ate right, got into cardiovascular exercise, quit AOL, and managed to get it under control. It took about five years, but he was able to get it back within high/normal ranges, and go off of his prescription.

Now Glenn's BP has skyrocketed again. He gets so angry at bad beats. He cannot understand poker. It isn't the game for him. I have tried to get him to read all of the books, specialize in one form of poker with less variance. I have tried virtually everything. He started wearing headphones so that he didn't have to listen to all of the yahoo's talk about drawing out on him. He listened to soothing music and/or music he loved.

I have tried everything. Everything has failed. Finally I have convinced him that he has to quit poker.

Felicia :)