I mentioned before that I applied for Taylor Caby’s protégé contest and I was thinking last night about what my realistic chances are of winning. My few paragraphs would have to stand out from everyone elses and I’m not sure if I did that. I’m sure much of my responses were just as generic as the rest. The one original thing I did do was cancel my membership and then rejoin a week later so that I could enter the smaller pool of contestants filled with new signees. Then I started thinking about why I want it so badly. The obvious choice would be money but it’s much deeper than that for me.
It’s for freedom. I can hear Mel Gibson screaming it out right now…FREEDOM!!!!
I have a full time job and have no inclination to quit that job for a poker lifestyle. I don’t make a ton of money but I live comfortably. The extra money I make from poker gives me the freedom to do what I could not with my normal income. I feel very bogged down by the working suburbian life. We live in a society where work dominates your time. The standard 9 to 5 day and commute times leaves only a few hours a day for yourself to enjoy and most of the time you’re too tired anyways. Throw kids into the mix and you might as well forget about doing things for yourself (can you tell I don’t have any yet? :). In the short time that I’m on this planet I want to experience it. I want to see many different parts of the world.
Poker gives me that option. I used some of my winnings and took my girlfriend to Mexico over Christmas for 10 days. We didn’t choose the popular beach locations but delved into some culture in Mexico City and the surrounding areas exploring some ancient Aztec ruins. It was amazing and it only fuels my fire to see more. Since poker is not part of my normal income it’s easier to spend it. I know this doesn’t make sense but psychologically it works for me.
So what next?...what if I don’t win the contest? I know that coaching would be beneficial for my game. I’m a winning player but I have leaks and it’s hard to plug them all through self reflection. A kid can play basketball his whole life and shoot basket after basket day after day for hours (like I did) and become a great shooter. Yet there are always small changes in mechanics that would improve the shot that the shooter is unable to see. If I don’t win the contest I will start looking for some coaches. The difficult part is finding someone who is a good fit and priced reasonably.
I’m also considering doing some coaching for free. Why would I do that and who would want to learn from me? Well…I am a winning player and could help out a low level player improve. More importantly why would I want to? Teaching is not a one way street. I’ve mentioned before that I am a teacher and when you start out teaching, even though you have a firm grasp on the material, when you explain it to someone else you get a much firmer grip on everything. Someone may not understand the way you’re explaining something and you have to think of another way to present it. This only strengthens the knowledge you have on the subject. Students also ask questions that you haven’t thought of and make you see things in a new light. I would assume that I would get the same result from coaching poker. I’ll make my decision on these things after Taylor announces my name.