From Rags To Riches How Poker Changed My Life For The Better Literally

09/18/2015
By Pamela PattersonGoogle
For three years, I was living a reasonably happy life. But then trouble came in the form of a new manager, with little experience and little idea about running things. An ambitious young employee named Jane began to control the new boss, effectively turning him against me by spreading baseless rumors about me. While this was happening, I realized something: to succeed, you have to know how to manipulate, how to exploit. Things escalated to the point where I was forced to resign on the spot.

I then joined the homeless, living out of my car. All my worldly possessions could fit inside a single box. I would eat scraps that people threw away, but despite that, I never resorted to begging. It was then that poker entered my life as a veritable savior.

In college, I had had an interest and possibly a talent for poker. At my local cardrooms, I had been a winning player at the Live 1/3 and 3/5 stakes. Equipped with this positive experience, I would seek to earn a living in the Live 1/2 and 3/5. So I managed to raise $2k and made my way to Southern California, where live poker is still frequently played.

 
 
Once there, I was surprised to see the sheer crowds of thousands of players thronging the venue. I knew I needed to acclimatize with this new playing environment, but time was a luxury I didn’t have. I joined a poker forum and dedicated myself to learning the tricks of the trade. I was very careful choosing my table and played on prime weekends, as I didn’t have the option of going broke. I also learned to categorize and profile the players I was pitted against. My meagre winnings took a much-needed jump after I won a $1K pot.

My poker journey began on a humble note: moving from hotel to hotel, couch surfing and sleeping out in the open. My life took a full roundabout turn after my foray into poker. I now live decently on yearly earnings of $35K. Yeah, I’m no millionaire, but I’m no longer living in my car either. Playing poker for a living has its pros and cons. I get to choose when and for how long to “work”, but I also need to play during odd hours to get the juiciest winnings.

Poker has even offered me opportunities to broaden my horizon by travelling. I have been to many cities between the States and Canada, playing against all sorts of people and in all sorts of cardrooms. Is the life I lead fit for everyone? Of course not! Playing poker can be a lonely lifestyle. There are times when I feel literally on the top of the world, but at others, I crash hard and fall into a depression. Still, I know this is my calling in life and it’s the route I’ve decided to take.

All in all, I think quitting my job has to be the best thing that’s ever happened to me!
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