Why are you playing poker? Is it for the money or the challenge? Are you bored and need a hobby? Do you need the social acceptance? Is it to rid yourself of several of your hangups? Are you a compulsive gambler and action junkie? Are you curious into the human psyche? Are you sexually or socially inadequate and need to overcome those haunting self-esteem issues with a winning session at the poker tables?
Back to Keirkegaard.
Not all poker bloggers are overeducated navel-gazers, but damn I will never pass up an opportunity to explore the lint trap, so here goes.
After dropping 2 buy-ins playing NLHE Friday night I came to realize that money is just how I keep score at poker. I'm never going to quit my job to be a poker pro. Not only do I only have a moderate interest in doing so, I am self-aware enough to know that I don't have the discipline required. I don't have it in me to grind it out 4-tabling Limit on Party (Bonus code IGGY) for 8-10 hours a day. I get too easily distracted (bright shiny objects!) and bored.
So I play because I like to hang out with people and not always participate in the catty BS that tends to dominate the conversation when theatre people get together. Playing a weekly home game gives me some semblance of a social life, which beats the hell out of laying in bed watching Smallville reruns on DVD.
I'm also competitive by nature, and arrogant enough to think that I can be at least passing good at anything I set my mind to. Which explains why my golfing interest waned rapidly after repeated blows to my ego proved that I was never going to be good enough to wipe down Tiger's shoes, much less actually play any reasonable game of golf. But poker is something that with a little dedication, I can get good enough at to not completely humiliate myself, and I get to hang out and drink at the same time. Which usually leads to the complete humiliation. But anyway.
Then there's the bloggers. The people who are listed on the right side of the screen are a reason that I play. I love reading the exploits of the poker bloggers as much as I love playing. Having this blog makes me feel like part of a semi-exclusive club, and I was always too big a geek to get into any clubs. Plus writing has always been something I've loved to do, so this is an outlet that doesn't take too much work and I get my writing jones taken care of.
RANDOM TANGENT ALERT - The book that my poem is published in is now available on Amazon.com! It's called My South, and my poem is on page 26, facing the picture of the Elvis impersonator. I'm also the final performance on the DVD, which features the whole piece, not just the snippet they printed in the book. So if anybody wants a copy, go online and order one! I'm now a nationally published poet, even if it was by accident. The details of how all that happened are here.
Anyway, that's my answer to Pauly's question, which makes perfect sense as questions go. I play for fun, a little bit of profit, sociability and a sense of community.