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For those of you who sometimes have problems with the spouse/significant other/family types (hereto referred to as SSOFT) giving you a hard time about your poker play, I want to offer a couple of ideas I have established over the last couple of years. This is really meant for the player who looks to make a profit when playing, but does not treat it like a job or requirement for their livelihood. In other words, it's a hobby, but you still take it serious enough that you want to make some cashola.

Take all this with a grain of salt since we are each in different environments and/or scenarios and what works for me may definitely not apply to you and your situation. Still, I needed something to write about so here it is...

Keep Your Priorities In Order
At the end of the day, poker is a friggin' game. Yes it is fun (sometimes). Yes you can make money (sometimes), however your SSOFT is what matters. Trust me, if you wake up one day and you no longer have SSOFT, you will have a hard time thinking or caring about anything else, especially a little card game.

That said we should all have hobbies and activities we enjoy. If poker is one of those activities, find a place for it amongst your priorities. If you continuously shove it to the front of your priorities, you'll figure out pretty quickly how much your SSOFT appreciates it by their reaction when you announce your intentions to play. Been there, done that.

One final note on prioritization...if you think about poker more than you think about getting busy with your spouse/significant other, it is time to take a break from the felt and get to reminding them (and yourself) what the deal is. I write that not being cocky (no pun intended), but rather as a reminder to myself and the masses.

When You Can, Plan Ahead
If you know you want to play in a tournament or whatever in 2 weeks, make sure to announce it as early as possible. Get the hard part out of the way up front so you don't have to deal with it as the date nears. Then when that day comes up you can already be in the clear.

To take it another level, to the best of your ability, plan your poker schedule for the upcoming week on Sunday based on what you know at that point. If Wednesday's are the only night you get to have a peaceful dinner with your SSOFT, then maybe that would also be a good night to not even touch the computer. Computer free nights can sometimes go a long way towards your ability to play later on.

Sometimes I will intentionally stay away from the computer for a day or two, which is very hard for me, if I know I want to play at some point in the near future. For instance, I probably won't touch the computer Thursday because I know I will be spending a good amount of time playing in the DADIII and other poker games on Friday. That is an easy trade off to spend more time with the family.

Attach Significance To Your Play
Ever cash out a little bit of your bankroll and get the SSOFT a gift? Maybe pay for a dinner and casually mention that it is brought to them by poker profits? If you haven't, and you often get a hard time for playing, then you are doing your self a disservice. Poker can easily be viewed as a selfish act. Whenever you can give them something in return, it tends to go a long way towards making your poker activities easier.

An example...back before I started this blog I decided I needed a goal for my game if I was going to truly strive for success. After some thought I decided to make it a priority to grow the bankroll in order to pay for our family vacation. Now this is not ideal for many poker players. To those of you who view your roll as sacred and not to be touched for non pokery stuff, then this is not for you. However, for me it is awesome. Now every year I strive to build a roll that will help me pay for the family vacation. The last two years I have successfully made enough money (between profits and bonuses) to completely pay for our vacations. Do you realize how big that is for legitimizing my play? It is huge!

Think / Recognize
If you mention you are thinking of playing after everyone goes to bed, or after dinner, or whatever and you get a roll of the eyes or a hard time for it, stop and recognize that it might not be a good plan to play. You will be playing knowing that your SSOFT is pissed about it and that will effect your game and mood. Find out why they are pissed and then stop to it because you've played the last 3 nights in a row? Is it because you said you would read the kids a book and didn't. Is it because you haven't watched a movie (quality time) with SSOFT for 3 months because poker has taken a front seat in your activities? Just stop and think. If you think you're plan to play is legitimate just talk it out before you head that way. Everyone being on the same page is a good thing.

Sometimes Quit When You're Ahead (*Gasp*)
Folks if this is a hobby for you, but one you still want to make money on, then take my advice on this one. On occasion, if you make some quick dough early, it won't kill you to book the profit and take advantage of the extra time to be with the SSOFT. I can't tell you how many times I've played a set of SNG's and had a nice run and then called it a day/night. Did I give up some profits by quitting early? Probably, but I don't care. I made money, left the felt with a smile and now I'm switching my priorities and putting the family in place of the poker. Wifey might ask what I'm doing, but when I smile and say it was a good run and now I'm ready to move on she gets a smile on her face. This isn't to say when I play for an extended amount of time she thinks I'm stuck and trying to win my money back. Just that sometimes I can walk away from the felt with a smile on my face, which puts a smile on her face and shows her that my priorities in order.

Sometimes Quit When You're Behind
The above can also apply to the times when you get stuck early. If it is not your night or you are not feeling it, just call it a night and figure out something else to do. Maybe this is the time to catch that movie you and the SSOFT have been meaning to watch, or to clean up some of the shows you normally watch, but TIVO'd because you just had to play in that tourney. Or to get the kids to bed early and just be together. You get the picture. Of course, both of the above situations are a sometimes thing. Usually when I go to play I have a frame of mind that I am going to put some quality time in at the tables. Sometimes, however, the game has different plans for me.

Have Fun
In the end, enjoy what you do and hopefully the profits will come. If this is a hobby for you, then you should have fun with it. If it becomes something more than a hobby then stop and think about what you want to get out of it and where the SSOFT comes into play. I'm not saying it is wrong for it to become more, but just take your scenario and work with it.

OK, I've spent much more time on this than I planned. I would love to hear more ideas or criticisms so please comment.

And thanks to

posted by TripJax @ 1:39 PM,


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