Farewell to the felt - Quitting the full-time Poker scene

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This post is mostly about the shortcomings of a professional Poker career

I used to play Poker for a living from 2018-2021. These days whenever I recount my past with new people, everyone inevitably asks me why I stopped playing the game (full time) if it was profitable to do so. Its understandably hard to comprehend why anybody would stop pursuing a money making endeavour. So, I want to write this post to summarily answer most questions around this topic and mostly because I am tired of repeating myself again and again.

I was working as a product manager at Flipkart.com back in 2020 and around that time, I quit my job to pursue the game for two main reasons:

I stopped playing full time because both of the above premises turned out to be false. Let me explain

TBH, in-spite of all the reasons stated above, I was totally confident in my self to become one of the top pros in the world if I grinded for another 10-15 years. But after meeting them, their lifestyle, earnings, swings etc, I wasn’t sure I wanted that life for myself when I am in my early 40s or late 30s. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be playing cards for a living for 20-25% of my lifespan which felt incredibly wasteful to me personally.

The above were my personal reasons for moving away from Poker. There are some other things like changing life priorities, achieving financial security, long-term sustainability concerns and regulatory/compliance challenges which I haven’t elaborated much on. While bidding farewell to a successful career in professional Poker is undoubtedly a significant decision, it is essential to recognize that life is a dynamic journey, and priorities evolve. I would like to think that I evolved and can judge decisions better.

In conclusion, I didn’t think through the minor caveats of the career path and was fascinated by the competitive aspect(you play something for a living which I still find fun) and the money. However, I am still extremely grateful about my journey. I learned another skill and I probably can always find a way to support myself in dire situations. Poker has taught me a lot of life lessons and has immensely shaped how I view the world on a day to day basis. I am better at quantifying risk , looking at decisions from a EV perspective(instead of being results oriented) and overall having a good idea of how to judge EV of a situation. Things like bank roll management, the mental stamina, propensity to take immense amount of stress repeatedly, grit etc are also things that Poker teaches you and I probably should write another post about my life lessons from the game if enough people ask me that question IRL.🤣

If you liked this, checkout my other posts on building a business in Poker and how to think about bundling games:

· poker, gaming, opinion, startup