The next move

In any game, it is important to think ahead. What is the next move my opponent will make? What move should I make to counter that? What are they likely to do after that?

Life is similar. It is important to think ahead. It is important to gaze into the crystal ball and ask: what does the future hold?

Recently I have been asking myself this question. The problem is… gazing into the crystal ball all I see is haze…

Perhaps it is time for me to move on. It is time for me to try something new. Try my hand at something fresh, something different. But what?

A trend seems to be developing with this… Constantly I am asking myself this question. I ask myself this a lot with poker.

However, I think it is also very important to not think too far ahead… life is wildly unpredictable after all. Predicting the unpredictable is like going for a run while eating an ice-cream – it doesn’t achieve much.

I’ve had a hell of a year. I’ve been able to spend a year as my own boss. Nobody to answer to. No one breathing down my neck. No one telling me how to do shit. The autonomy of time has been great. But it has also been lonely.

Within the span of a year I’ve proven to myself that I am good enough to be a professional poker player, if that is what I want. But you know what, I’m starting to think that maybe that self-proof alone is enough for me. That perhaps all I needed was to prove to myself that I am capable of standing on my own two feet.

The crux of it is this: I enjoy working with others, and poker is a lonely business. It’s just you and your mind, trying to outwit/deceive your opponent’s mind. Collaboration helps me, collaboration inspires me – I enjoy hearing from other minds; I enjoy interacting with other minds. Poker is a game of individual minds. And while collaboration off the table is possible and enjoyable (i.e. discussing strategy etc), collaboration on the table is not (i.e. working together toward a common goal). I think I’d like to try my hand at collaborating on the table, preferably with others, but I’m not entirely sure what that looks like just yet.

There is of course another side to this story: poker is going well from a financial perspective. The old adage, “don’t fix what’s not broken”, is doing its little dance in my head at the same time. The major counter-argument I have is that money has never inspired me, never driven me.

New goals are beginning to spiral around in my head; they are very broad at this stage:

  1. Remain my own boss
  • Moving from employed life to self-employed life has taught me that I prefer the latter (and it’s not even close).
  • I want to create something. With others.
  1. Live life in the summer
  • Relocating to America alone has taught me that I will be okay wherever I go – I’ll be okay chasing summers in foreign lands where I don’t know anyone.
  • People told me that the Portland winters were long, wet and miserable. They weren’t kidding. The things I like to do with my spare time almost all involve being outside. It has been difficult not to let the wet and dreary weather I’ve experienced affect my mood.
  • I believe you should do your best to avoid letting your environment dictate your mood. I believe that to be truly happy you need to be able to accept what is. However, when there exists the possibility to change what is for the better, why not go for it?

For right now, for this moment, my focus is squarely on the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in June. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a Vlog (video blog) to capture my time there – stay tuned.

Life’s a gamble, it’s hard to win if you never put your chips in play!

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