I like to say I have an "addictive personality". That explains a lot, or at least, it serves as an explaination for a lot of behaviors, but I'm not sure how effective that acknowledgement is. It may be normal human behavior to gravitate to those things we enjoy, and without the presence of a chemical component, an addiction to something like...oh...poker!...seems a misuse of language. People DO become addicte to gambling, but this is different somehow.
Already I have the following "problems":
An addiction to junk food.
An addiction to booze.
An addiction to cigarettes.
An addiction to gossipy chit-chat.
An addiction to poker.
I'm really a pretty sorry individual.
Of course, two years ago I was addicted to "frolf". So were CJ and OTIS by the way. Every day, around 4, our group of aging dopes would slink away to toss a collection of specialized and over-priced frisbees into an 18 hole "course" of baskets at the local park. THIS IS NOT A GAME!
We had the "driver", a heavier and flatter disk for those long tricky throws, the mid-range disk for those second and third "approach shots", and a softer wider "putter", because God forbid, you wouldn't be caught dead rattling the basket chains with some hammer-handed driver.
By the time we'd played a year CJ had set up a "frolf blog". It wasn't public really, but was just for the frolf LEAGUE we set up. That way we could track our average scores and handicaps. We had regular tournaments and discussions of frolf technique and theory. And, again, all of us had plenty of gear.
Mine is a green shoulder bag designed just for frolf. Its crammed full of multiple disks for every possible shot. The special "fly die" driver with its swirl of colors, the multiple mid-rangers for use on various uphill..downhill...obstructed-by-a-tree shots. It was pretty damn important to me and it still is. I put a special nail in my garage wall just to support that bag and it still hangs there. I haven't played frolf in at least a year.
NO, REALLY, THIS IS A POKER POST:
The other night I was playing at CNR in my home office. (Let me just say the "office" is a room above the garage with a ping pong table and a 27 inch TV...my wife and kids call it the "boy room" but I think "office" sound more productive) Next to me, on my old chair, sit the new set of WORLD POKER TOUR chips that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I haven't used them yet. Granted, I still use poker chips but most good home games and tourneys come equipped with chips of their own. Most times, I just shuffle a handful of chips while I play online.
To date, I have poker bonue whore accounts active at CNR, Party, PokerNow, Empire, and UB. I have money in every account. For the past 6 months or so, I've overcome variance enought to post a profit at each of those sites. That's good considering I was well down when I first started serious play. But does th winning mean this is any less of a so-called addiction? I doubt it. I was awful good at frolf.
I'm also fairly certain I'm not the only person battling this problem. Just look on this site. Here's a comment from BadBlood this week :
"I've been banned from poker today :) Family time will make my standings at CNR go way down. I'll have to make up for it Wed. and Thurs."
And here's part of an Otis post..also from this week :
"I disappointed my wife, I think, by being on the poker machine when she got home from work Friday night."
I think every married man, or woman, among us has been there too.
So what is it about poker that makes us neglect our families? I don't doubt for a moment that BadBlood and Otis would agree with me that our families are FAR more important that our hobby. But each night as I log on for another few, or few too many, hours of digital shuffle, I wonder why I'm not playing with the kids or chatting up the wife. I just f'n LOVE poker and I ALWAYS want to play.
Sometimes I log on the minute I get home from work. I'll play for hours. Then, I'll log off to pick up the kids from school and go to the gym, then, before bed, I'm back online. Rack 'em up before hitting the rack.
Now, this isn't to say I'm NOT a serious player and just some sloppy addictied dope. I do take the game seriously. I'm VERY serious about money. But I wonder if what I'm doing is really a lifelong passion or just a hobby. Just an addiction. I wonder if my poker chips will be gathering dust beneath that nail in the garage.