In part 2 - We'll look at the long term - Finances, Life savings, Supporting a Family and maintaining the lifestyle.
Putting money aside to save for the future is important, especially for poker players. We see a big bankroll in our account and assume we are always going to be safe. For alot of us we don't have to pay taxes so premium bonds/ISA’s are not as important. Putting away small savings amounts on a monthly/quarterly basis is always a smart thing to do - Have a backup plan.
Supporting a Family
Supporting a family in any job is tough and mostly stressful, with poker even more so. Imagine you are on a downswing and the kids need a new school uniform or a summer holiday - the feeling of taking more money out of the bankroll is sickening but we have to, so we then start chasing the money to try and cover it which then results in further loss and then an empty bankroll. This is why savings and intelligent planning are a must.
Variance is just a huge annoying part of poker, everyone's in the same boat. We can be the best in the World and still have a losing month - It's out of our control. We can minimise the losses or stunt them but if the A is going to fall on the river then it's going to fall no matter what we do. You must maintain the state of mind that this is part and parcel of the poker grind and it will come good eventually...Whatever you do, DON'T TILT - Mental strength is a must.
Surroundings - Dealing with isolation
So we have quit work and left our office/cubicle and now we are in the back bedroom with a desk and computer with the kids running around with their friends and the washer whirring around and shaking the house. Is this going to be a nice relaxed playing environment? Of course not! Make sure you have everything you need to get a solid grind done in a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. Letting the wife and kids know what your working hours are is a good way to go about it, “this is my work time, please leave me alone” can be blunt but effective. Create a solid working environment.
Remember we still need to buy things to work as a poker player which will come out of our poker bankroll. Desks, chairs, computers, keyboards, mouse, software etc. all need replacing at some point. Be aware of this and have a budget just like a business would. Make intelligent investments and account for them.
Being an online poker player can be lonely, make no mistake about it. Of course some of the highs we experience as poker players are absolutely amazing, but in between we invevitably have some solitary, lonely time. We sit at home, work alone and don't exactly find many opportunities to leave the house. Meeting friends, partners and just being social comes hard to poker players as unlike other jobs we are not forced into situations like meeting colleagues. Make sure you get out of the house, do new things and stay life motivated. Don't become the fat guy at the computer in your pants playing a card game. Maintain a healthy work-life balance.
With poker there is no pension plan. We have to setup our own plans with investment companies. This is a must. We need to know that we have an income when we're older. We all hope to have a bank full of money at the end of poker but for many of us this is not the case. Plan for your future.
Our credit is shot being a poker player. We cannot get mortgages, loans and some even find it difficult to get a mobile phone contract. Sadly there is no way around this as of yet but it's something we need to be aware of.
Didn't work out?
If poker doesn't work out or we just have a change of mind on what we want to do for a living then we need to be conscious that our resume is empty for those years and all our qualifications are now irrelevant. Taking courses alongside poker or working one night/day per week somewhere can help with this. So long as there isn't a huge gap in our resume then you'll be all right - Think about trying to get some solid references too. Remember - Always stay positive, life's a journey full of ups and downs.