Tuesday, March 3, 2020

When You Don't Improve...

I've been playing pool in Texas for close to 30 years. And I always wondered what happened to those female players that I used to see playing on the Texas tours. The ones that really loved the game, but didn't cash a lot or make it to Sunday.  Where did they go?

Players either eventually improve, or they don't. Right? 

My heart tells me I think they sadly realized they weren't advancing enough and they got frustrated spending money and traveling with no success to show for it.  They may have got discouraged and didn't think they played good enough anymore to continue spending the money to attend all the out of town tournaments.

A lot of players, no matter if they improve or not, love the camaraderie of our amazing sport!  They will continue to travel and play in tournaments, even if they aren't a good player and hardly ever cash. But.... not everyone will continue to do that.

Obviously, there could be many other very life-changing reasons why players stop attending tournaments, which have nothing to do with skill-level.  Family life, moved, health reasons, new career, etc. 

But I'm not talking about those players. 

I'm talking about the ones who didn't finish well most of the time. There were too many players throughout the years that stop playing that makes me think they didn't have the passion for the sport anymore because they just weren't successful. That hurts my heart to say it out loud!

Now, you all know I like to be very honest and transparent in my blog, so let me tell you that I am one of those ladies. 

I really am.

However, my sport wasn't pool, my sport was poker.  I was myopic for sure.

(Because I wrote about poker yesterday, thought I'd share some more about my experience with that sport.)

I used to play poker a lot at Winstar (a casino on the border of Texas/Ok). I really loved the camaraderie and the socialization! I loved that I got to know all the dealers, waitresses, and many of the 'regular' poker players who played at Winstar often.  I just loved the whole entire atmosphere, really. The clanking of chips, the bad beats, talking to the players at the table, etc. My extrovert personality really came out in that atmosphere for some reason; I was very comfortable.

Winstar had 46 tables (now they have more) so it was a HUGE poker room!  My ex and I would go all the time. It was definitely an addiction.

But, just like pool players get the pool bug, I definitely got the poker bug. However, I didn't know what I was doing, mostly socializing, and especially drinking too much.

After those two to three dedicated years of (mostly having fun and) playing poker, I slowed down substantially after we broke up. I have played maybe only twice a year since then.

Every once in awhile I played pretty good, but I still didn't really know the game. I left 90% of the time without money in my pocket, and therefore only 10% of the time with money.

I didn't put any effort in to improve my knowledge. I only read part of one book.  I only occasionally watched poker on TV.  I didn't study the game at all.  My recent ex-boyfriend (MM) gave me some tips and also friends throughout the last ten years gave me some tips, but because I haven't worked to put in any effort to improve, and I hardly play anymore, I am not a good poker player at all. 

I don't love the game anymore. Instead, all it's done is made me realize that I wasted A LOT of money the last 10 years (trying) to play poker and I really, truly didn't know what I was doing.

I don't play poker anymore just like those ladies don't play pool anymore. It's disheartening to not cash most of the time, so I understand. 

So, I understand in a very direct way, why maybe some of those women stepped away from pool.

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