Retirement of a Grinder

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Retirement of a Grinder

Over the last few years, I've been intensely focused on maximizing the opportunities poker has provided me. I knew that working as much as I did wasn't sustainable, I knew I was sacrificing a bit of short-term happiness, but I also knew it was temporary: at some point, I'd reach my financial goals and I'd allow myself to go back to being balanced again.

Temporarily over-stretching to achieve something extraordinary, whether for personal gain, family, or the greater good, isn't inherently wrong. However, it's crucial not to fall into the trap of constantly moving the goalposts. Especially in poker where the most common way to keep score is by looking at your graph at the end of the month, the hedonic treadmill is real.

Reflecting on the past few years, I believe I could have afforded myself more leeway. Yet, given the fact that I became a father of two wonderful daughters, there wasn’t too much room for anything else beyond work and taking care of the family.

Now I find myself in a new chapter: I recently moved into the house where I’m planning to grow old, and my oldest is starting to walk, talk, and play. The other day I went downstairs to take a break and be with my kids a bit, and the first thing she said to me was: “Daddy need work?” This moment made me realize how much I’m missing out on by working so extensively, and equally, how much she’s missing out on our time together.

I’ve reached a point where I don’t need to make this the most profitable year in poker I’ve ever had. I don’t need another spreadsheet to tell me what I’ll win if I play x hours per week. What I want is to spend more time with my kids, travel the world, and become the best player I can be along the way. If that means there’s less time left to grind it out, then I’m ready to make that change.

View from the street of our new house, close to the city center of my hometown

Recalibration: Play Less, Study More
When it comes to poker, my main goal for the next few years is to try and become the best player I can be. I imagine some of you might be thinking: 'Didn't he just say he was going to relax more and seek balance?'. Don't worry: I am going to take it more chill, be more balanced, and all that other fun stuff. In fact: I don't think I can become the best player I can be if I don't become more balanced. This balance is necessary for deeper study, a healthier state of mind and to help me deal with the larger swings.

So, instead of playing every day, I’m going to cut it back to 3 or 4 days per week. The other days I’ll be studying and creating content for Nachos CFP. This will have a pretty big impact on not only my own game but also on the quantity and quality of the content we’ll be providing over the next few months. I aim to transition from being very good to being one of the best. I want to get to a point where I’m dominating any table I play on. I know it's an ambitious goal, but I plan to study hard and share my progress with you, showing what it takes to get there.

Documenting the Progress
As I step into this new phase of my poker career, prioritizing improvement in play quality over sheer volume, it seems like the perfect moment to start a fresh blog. The old one has fulfilled its role well, but I haven't updated it much lately because it felt "complete" after reaching certain milestones. Beginning as a 10nl player with ambitions of one day beating 100nl, I've now become a regular at 5/10 and 10/20 and run a successful coaching business. It's time to aim even higher towards nosebleeds, a journey that requires putting my ego aside and dedicating myself fully to the challenge. This new blog will serve as a diary of this journey, focusing less on sharing graphs and outcomes and more on the journey itself and the lessons learned along the way to becoming an even better player.

In our public Discord server, I’ll do the occasional streams as well as share the occasional hands/thoughts/upgrades. Feel free to join me there as well.

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