Originally posted by truenorth
Sport is part physical and part mental. This is where poker comes in. Have you played for a long period of time. It take fortitude AND mental
BTW, is golf a sport?
Have I played consecutively, for a long period of time?
In a word, YES. For about a year, during which those who knew me said I looked like I aged 5 years, I lived on 48-hour days. I routinely played
poker (and infrequently attended my lectures) over an approximately 36-hour day, then slept for about 12 hours, then started all over again. If you
define a "day" in terms of when you wake up, when you fall asleep and then get up for the next day, my "days" were between 36 and 60 hours long.
When I was 23 years old, I mentioned that fact to one of the biggest fish in my biggest fish pond card room, a drunk of about 50 years. He made it
obvious he thought I was b.s.'ing. I showed him my driver's license. He got a sober look on his face and said, in a stern tone, "Mister, if you are
23 years old, you'd better slow down, because you're living way too hard."
And as horrible as my drinking had become, I don't think it was the main culprit at that point. The human body is not meant to live on a steady diet
of 40+ hour days. I often stayed up for 40+ hours, then slept for as many as 16 hours. Somehow, I had no trouble keeping my mind in a great groove
to play poker after 30 or 35 hours (don't ask me how), and opponents who knew how sleepless and drunk I was would chase my bets all over the table,
even though I was playing as tight as ever--bless their souls.
So tell me, y'all:
This "life" I led back then enabled me, ever so barely, to pay my modest bills and get through college. But it aged me terribly, and the stress of
playing poker for my monthly bills, and having bet my next month's rent a couple of times on bluffs, was horrible. Yeah, I got away with hit, but
how'd you like THAT?
Does all of this sound glamorous? It enormously compounded both my alcoholism and the extent of my cigarette addiction. It aged me 10 years, easily,
in the final three years I did it. Obviously the ravages of my huge alcoholism exacerbated it, but so did the inherent sicknesses in the life of a
poker player. And I was one of the very few who could do it, long term, and consistently win at the end of the month, however modestly.
imagine what my obsessive-compulsive gambling antics, which were like those of SO many others, would do to the lives, relationships, jobs, finances,
health, emotional stability, etc., of those who lose big at the table.
Anybody here champing at the bit to take up this lifestyle? And I've been told that the stress, unhealthy lifestyle, development of contempt for
other people, etc., etc., are even worse at the top levels (see, e.g., Hellmuth). I don't claim to know.
If any of you want those Top 4 levels of Holdem hands, in order from 1 to 24 or 28 (don't remember which, but I think it's 24), I'll give them to you.
But you'll have to be out of your mind to want them. Want to have your sleep hours destroyed like mine were? Imagine what that could do for your
job... or marriage.
OK. No more about what a cancer it is.
But TRUE NORTH, you have your answer. I played for over 35 hours literally 100's of times, and for over 40 hours at least 30 times. I don't believe
I ever made it to over 48. I remember thinking I should try it, but unlike a lot of other imbecilic things I "had" to try when I was young, that was
one I skipped.
You know, I'm not a religious zealot or anything. It's just that all of these things hit so close to home with me, and while poker and being in
poker rooms did some pragmatically great things for me, they tore my life apart, too. If I can keep JUST ONE of you from the insanity I got into, and
keep you away from that hideous subculture, then maybe what I did to myself way back then wasn't in vain. Maybe it was The Big Guy, educating me so I
could save others from the same life drain.
If I do have that effect, I'd ask the person I've done it for to please send me a U2U and let me know it, because I'd sure enjoy realizing I kept
someone else out of the abyss which I and so very many other poker players live(d) through. Or didn't.