Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bobby Fischer II and Being Sane

It goes without saying the there are times you get so involved with something you lose track of what is important to you. I was sitting here and thinking about what happened to Bobby Fischer and so many other great minds. It’s almost like their genius drives them to another level of understanding that they can never come back from. They get so into their world that they can never come back or their understanding of reality is skewed. I was reading the post to my last blog entry by MSCMIKE. I couldn’t agree more with you, brother.

For those of you who don’t know Bobby Fischer or his persona, has said some awful things about Jewish people and their standing in chess and the world in general. I am not going to make this a political post but needless to say, they have been done in poor taste and have no merit. In the world of poker Jewish players have made huge contributions to the game and here are a few names for you: Unger, Greenstein, Arieh and the list goes on and on.

In chess and life Bobby refuses to acknowledge the great Jewish players and people there are in the world (these remarks are odd being that Fischer himself is half Jewish):

Yeah, there are too many Jews in chess. They seem to have taken away the class of the game. They don't seem to dress so nicely, you know. That's what I don't like.
- Bobby Fischer

Now how does this relate to poker you may ask? Well I often think that poker consumes way too much of my life. And I never want to go over the deep end like Bobby. Not saying I’m the caliber of player that he is and ever was…but I have seen people throw their lives away on games. Reminds me of that great chess movie, Searching For Bobby Fischer when you see guys playing opening move after opening move and talking to themselves. If you think that this really doesn’t happen or it's overboard go down to the Washington Square Park and the local chess stores in the area and you can find those individuals by the dozens.

I read Iggy’s blog and wonder what it would be like to live his life instead of grinding it out on the daily from the 9-5. Yet, there are times when Iggy himself questions his sanity by living this life. I can’t recall any direct quotes, but I think Iggy has had a difficult time of it from time to time adjusting to this new profession. His mind often grapples with the notion of getting a new job instead of playing online daily to grind out his profits.

Staying sane is a difficult thing while playing poker. I have been reading and reading and reading and getting lost in some of these books. Do I consider myself a good player…well not good…about average, yet the desire to get better is a daily exercise for me. Whether it be reading a book or playing, I’m always trying to improve my game. At times I forget to do some simple things because I rather play a few hands of poker. I have been working on getting better at this and I have made a daily hit list to assist me with this goal. My daily list looks like this with some other things added here and there…but this is the base:

1. Read a book on the way to work that doesn’t deal with poker.
2. Read a daily political blog.
3. Complete my work hit list before reading daily blogs
4. Call a friend and speak with them about something other than poker

I know these things are simple but they keep me sane. Serious…I had been going to my local poker room so much that I didn’t have time for myself, and anything other than poker.

I hope that all of you do something outside of poker if you see yourself getting too caught up in the daily grind. I’m not sure what your hit list would and should look like…but make sure it includes some healthy things to keep you mind clear and pumping blood to the brain. I wish you all the best of luck.


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Abulafia said...

Poker is seductive. It's venal, greedy and vicious. Ir rewards the strong and punishes the weak. Its a game without justice, mercy, morality or kindness. They're leaks.

Worth is a function of how much money over time you can take from your opposition.

Cool post man.

One of the main motivations for play is to accrue wealth, through the application of experience, knowledge, skill, and deceit.

And for many people, it offers the only economic outlet where they can see a direct correlation between what they consider their ability, and the rewards they are due.

It can, for many, be the only economic aspect of their lives where they have such a degree of control. Where there is such a direct correlation between effort and reward.

Its no surprise, I guess, that it can exert such an exclusive grip on anyone hooked on the reward loop.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger chrisL said...

excellent post. it is hard at times not to be consumed by the poker. so many things to learn, every situation is unique... but don't forget life. There is a big beautiful world out there waiting to be explored, love and life should not and cannot take a back seat to a game of cards.


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