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When it’s time to quit the game

Apr 9, 2002 3:40 AM

The true test of a person’s determination and inner strength lies in their ability to find a silver lining in a truly bad situation. How one reacts to, for instance, losing a lofty position or facing financial ruin says a whole lot about a person’s character. If one is able to “let go” while looking at the future as a new adventure rather than as an uncomfortable journey of confusion, unfairness, and loss of toys, motivation kicks in and very positively carries you into tomorrow. Finger pointing becomes a thing of the distant past, and you are ready and anxious for what awaits you.

What does this have to do with playing video poker? Plenty, and depending on who you are and how serious the game is to you determines how many pieces to this puzzle you could be affected by. While many players may play video poker as a secondary agenda when visiting a casino, many more do not. For most of these, it almost instantly becomes a type of obsession that occupies the mind with endless possibilities long Âí­after returning home. That’s when you start reading up on all the video poker sites and essentially begin your journey ”” one that more often than not eventually turns out to be a curse second to none without proper preparation and understanding of the game. Sooner or later nearly every player either makes a conscious decision to ”” or has to ”” quit, for one reason or another. No one is immune to this, regardless of a player’s passion, addiction, notoriety, or drive.

The person I know the most about in these situations is myself. Unlike other video poker writers/self-promoters who believe people want to constantly read about practice hands, game theories, per-hour earnings expectation if you play a hand this way vs. that way in a computer-perfect world throughout eternity, or the twisted value of using a slot club card, I believe readers can better relate to real-time experiences. Sometimes I write about what happens on one of my trips. There’s times I explain my seven year failing at expert-play long-term strategy, while reviewing just how it is I have turned it around to become probably more successful than anyone else in this game over the past five plus years ”” and how it has been a good living for me. But I know nothing lasts forever. I also know that setting goals in life and working towards them is much more rewarding than simply plodding in some undefined direction hoping for something or someone else to make it happen for you. That’s why my Play Strategies are dominated by certain goals, and why I know I will end my professional playing days as soon as I attain a net win of one million dollars. That goal may take years to reach or it may not ”” depending on luck. I’m currently at $382K, and $43K towards my 2002 goal of $150K.

Several factors will actually determine my ability to reach my goals. Will I remain healthy enough to keep on playing? I eat right, I jog four miles every day, I don’t smoke, and I do numerous other workouts. But anything can happen at any time, and just like holding certain cards in the game trying for that big hand, I understand that. Will the casinos continue to offer the games I play? I hope so, but that’s not under my control.

And will I even continue to win? While nothing is for certain in gambling, 121 winning trips out of 126 is a good historical basis for future expectations. Although I have not yet experienced a big losing session, neither have I seen a 6-figure royal  ””  something mathematically more probable than the huge potential loss. One thing I do know is that if I am fortunate enough to win my overall professional career goal ”” or even if I am not  ”” I’m prepared for the future because I’ve learned long ago how to let go of the past. Regardless of why, how or when I or anyone else quits the game, there’s always tomorrow, and in gambling, that’s not a bad book.