This is the transcript, chapter 1 of 6, for the PaceMakesTheRace Podcast: Interview With The Gambler, which originally published in 2012!
The Pro Gambler’s identity is restricted to us knowing his name is Jeff. This is really great information for today. We trust you will enjoy this series of transcript blogs!
- Getting to know the Gambler.
- Handling Pressure.
- Cushion & Coaching.
- A Master-Mind Group.
- More about coaching.
- Becoming a Winner.
Chapter 1: Getting to Know the Gambler
Dave: Hi this is Dave Schwartz and I have a really interesting guest for you today. I would like to introduce you to The Pro Gambler. You are a professional gambler right?
Dave: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Jeff: I play poker, primarily cash games. I am starting to focus more on tournaments to hopefully get the life changing money. But for the most part it is not the glamorous poker tournaments that you see on TV, it is a daily grind, trying to make the money to pay the bills just like anyone else who goes to work
Dave: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, what is your life like?
Jeff: I am married with four children and my wife does not work so all of the income comes from my gambling. The kids are all pretty young and for the most part I do all the normal dad stuff, staying involved with my kids activities as much as I can with work and making sure they are taken care of, the mortgage and electrics are paid. Same things everyone else does
Dave: So your family really depends upon you to win?
Jeff: Yes we would be homeless if I did not win
Dave: Just like if anyone else did not have a job and could not get one. How long have you been doing this full time?
Jeff: Full time I have been playing poker for over a year and a half now
Dave: I asked you a question about your lifestyle before we got started. Would you say you have a mortgage like the rest of us and you are not driving beater cars?
Jeff: I got my mortgage before I listed my occupation as professional gambler because one of the things that happens is once you decide to make that jump you are pretty much cash only for everything you ever buy because who on earth is ever going to finance a professional gambler to purchase something?
Dave: Actually I know someone who did. I know your wife, but would you describe her to most people as a classical soccer mom type? Do you guys own a minivan?
Jeff: No we have a large SUV.
Dave: That is a snazzy minivan. You have credit cards and mortgages just like everyone else?
Jeff: We actually do not have credit cards. I stopped using credit cards about eight years ago and pretty much went to a cash only model and that helped me make this transition. But I have a car note still, mortgage and all the other bills. Whenever I want to buy something like a new TV I am paying cash for that. If I do not have the cash I will wait until next month
Dave: That is a good way to live life anyway
Jeff: Probably the toughest transition in my life was not going from having a “normal job” to being a gambler, but going from using credit to paying cash
Dave: Do you feel more or less financial pressure now that you are a professional gambler as opposed to how you felt when you has a job?
Jeff: The last job I had I owned a business that really cratered four years ago. I felt more pressured then than I do now. I think I am happier, able to control my life a lot more, I understand the ups and downs, some days are going to be great, and some days are not going to be very good. But it is on my shoulders to make it great as opposed to outside factors influencing how I do. My wife says it all the time, she has never seen me so happy
Dave: That is great to hear. Are there pressure points financially? Do you have months that are more difficult for you to make your financial target, some more so than others?
Jeff: Absolutely. One of the beautiful things about poker is that long term it is a skill game and the best players if you are playing in the right games over the long term are going to make the money. It is really important that you understand what the right game is for you.
If I were to go sit in a game with the top level players in the world all of a sudden I go from being the best one at the table to being the fish at the table and it would not make any sense. I do not have the ego that tells me I want to go play at that level.
I think one of the advantages of being older is not having that ego and understanding my goal when I sit down is just to earn a living. But another beautiful thing about poker is in the short term, luck plays a large role. Anyone can sit down on any given day and win, including the worst player you have ever seen.
That means there are a lot of people who – if someone ever objectively broke down to them how bad they are and how much they depended on luck to win a hand – they would not go near a poker table. The fact that those people sit down make it a very profitable game in the long term. In the short term they can get lucky.
That is when it can get somewhat frustrating, if you have a bad run of luck whether it be for a couple of days or a couple of weeks where you are on the wrong side of luck and you are looking at, “I have not made any money this month.”
Chapter 2 coming soon..
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