BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: AUG. 23, 2011
Canada Teen Unsure How Poker Fits Into His Changing Life
Perhaps my most satisfying LuckyDog Poker e-mail came the other day from a teenage online player in Canada. It’s a story worth sharing.
The tale begins with a message from Samuel T., 19, of Whitby, Canada. At first I thought he simply was looking for a strategy tip by sharing a typical “bad beat” story, but his words carried far more meaning.
“Dear LuckyDog, I recently read your article about the young pro who blew a $10,000 bankroll. I played tournaments online for a while and built an $8,000 bankroll.
“I stuck with my strategy, but bubbled a $45,000-first-place-prize event, got 11th in an online ‘Rush’ event when my top two pair lost to a set, and kept busting out of $10 and $20 re-buy tournaments. I wound up losing all my money.
“I’m going to be working soon, but as a 19-year-old who is starting as a university freshman in September, I don’t know what to do with poker at this moment in my life. I do think I am definitely a winning player, but I admit I tilted away at least $1,000 to $2,000 of my money.
“What would you recommend I do? I feel I have the dedication and work ethic to make it in the poker world, but I’ve been stressed lately. It’s frustrating as hell to be ahead that much and then lose it all within a month and a half.
My return message the same day keyed on advice, not strategy.
“I must say, Samuel, your note is as honest of an assessment by a young aspiring pro as I’ve ever seen. That’s great news for you and your future! Thanks for sharing your situation with me.
“It’s pretty clear to me that you have a good skill level, but your confidence and patience are hurting in the wake of bad results in a short period of time.
“The worst feeling of all is that you know you were out of control while losing a big chunk of your bankroll. Eight thousand is a lot of money to lose in your situation, so it’s time to gain something from the experience.
“I may not know specifics of how well you play, but I feel as if I know you a little bit as a person. You’re coming into a period of significance — a new job, college classes, new friends, new responsibilities — and this seems like a perfect time to take a break from poker.
“Build up these new elements in your life and, if you decide to give poker another shot some day, save money for a new bankroll. Poker will always be there if you return; the chance to start a non-poker career and get a quality education may not be.
“So, my advice is to set poker aside for a while, establish good work habits and people-communication skills on your new job, study your butt off in college with an eye on a career choice that will make you happy, and then, several years from now, see where you stand.
“You’re so young that all of these choices facing you probably are confusing. Take the sure thing for now.
“Best of luck to you.”
Samuel’s satisfying response came just 10 minutes later.
“I’m really glad you replied. You described my situation perfectly. Thanks for your advice. You’re really the only person who understands what I’m going through right now, and it’s reassuring hearing your thoughts.”
That made my day.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to email@example.com for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit www.creators.com or www.luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 RUSS SCOTT
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