Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Please respect Professional Poker Players' Career

I, once again, acknowledged comments about what pro poker players really about and what they do!!!

Today, I have send an email to my gym instructor to apologise that I cannot make the session as I need to work, she replied enjoy "at work" :-)

Two years ago, I define poker as gambling. Still, it is certainly gambling but now I learned it is much more than that.

First, I just want to clarify the poker players here specifically pointed at tournament players, I do not have enough understand and experience to talk about cash players.

I have worked in a 9-5 job just like majority of people around me for years, so I certainly understand the pressure and feel trapped in front of the desk with that computer. However, I would like to point out few things about being a poker player in real life you may not know about:

1. Yes, you do not have to work 9-5, but you have to be on time for all the tournaments. Once they have seated, no matter it will finish 3am or 4am in the morning they physically will not be able to move. "leave work early" means quiting and losing money. Normally, they have dinner break for an hour then depend on the tournament structure it will be a 10-20m every two hours on average.

2. They get opportunities to travel to the places all over the world and this definitely very attractive to everyone, but yet they are facing the problem like limited time at home, less time to be with their family and friends. (my partner and me are finding in fact it is very hard to keep friends and be able to socialise as we will not be there to organise anything most of the time).

When they do travel, they do not just all staying in a five-star hotel and eating in the fancy restaurants. They indeed find sharing accommodation with the locals and cook for themselves.

3. Poker players daily route is different - they came home late and as you can image they will be sleeping in the morning. However, just like the rest of us, they sleep, eat and then play poker. They do not have weekends off as during this time it will be the time attract more players, and more players means more money in the pot to win. Therefore, no you can compare this job as some roles like working in the service industry as you are the busiest when others are on holiday.

4. If you consider typing or doing office work is a skill, why playing poker is not? In this industry, you simply will not be able to survival if you are not making profit. The competition is extremely high, plus you need a very strong heart and clear brain to know the difference between play well or play lucky.

5. Image the responsibility to have your business, every poker player is directly related and effected by themselves. Let us be honest, if I have to work 8 hours in an office, it is not too hard to sneak a facebook break or online shopping break when no one around, right? Poker players have to stay focus every seconds during the 10, easily can be an 12 hours period. If they do not, they are out.

6. When people know you are playing, they always trying to be nice and say good luck to you. Luck is certainly an elements in poker, but different from recreation players (people play for fun not money), poker players need to focus on the long-term goal. Everyone get lucky once a while but you cannot get away with that all the time, and when other people get lucky, you are unlucky.

7. It is common for people who know how much you win in an tournament to get jealousy ( I am too). Look at their bankroll make us feel our annual salary is nothing. However, I swear that  you will be surprised if you know how much they have to spend each month to be able to carry on what they are doing. From an outsider, we always see what is come in, rather than what goes out.

8. Pro players need to be able to handle the low time, this is an essential and critical moment in their career. If you work in regular job, as long as you physically there, at end of the month you will see the cash come in your account. If poker players cannot see things straight or not confident in themselves, then it is very easy to quit. So next time, when you are cheering for someones winning, please ask yourself to think about how much they have lost in order to make this far.

I am not trying to describe how horrible being a poker player here. However, I want to tell others please respect this career and people who doing this as their career. Every job has its own advantages and disadvantages, something you like about it and something you hate. Poker is the same. They work hard for their money, we should simply respect that.

Next time, when you meet a professional poker player in the bar drinking, please do not think they must be so rich and spending all their winnings on alcohol, maybe they just like one of us, having an regular drink and a good time.

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