About a year ago, Hank had an excellent post detailing different motivations people have for playing poker. I read the entry a few times, nodding along in agreement with everything he had to say, yet I still didn't understand what my real motivation for playing was. I don't think I have my exact reasons pinned down today, either, and at this rate, I probably never will.
It's absolutely not the money, because any little amount that I've made playing has stayed a part of my bankroll and doesn't really belong to me. It's not for fame, that's for sure. If there's one thing that I've learned over the past year of playing, it's that the chances of me becoming a WCP are unbelievably minute. That's fine with me, too, because I'm not one to seek out the limelight. Not that I've ever had that before, but I can imagine what it would be like if I did, and it's deer-caught-in-headlights frightening.
I could go on forever detailing what aren't reasons behind my poker fascination, but that's not why I'm writing this entry. And I'm a little worried that I'd never come up with any real, concrete reasons why I stick around a game that is an emotional rollercoaster much of the time. So, I'm just going to lie to myself and decide that there has to be a few reasons in this world for me to keep playing. A little denial never hurt anyone, did it? That's what I thought. What those reasons are, I'll have to find some day, I suppose.
I read this via iggy's entry and it got me to thinking about the blogging phenomenon, and why I choose to blog. Specifically, my reasons to blog about poker. Yes, I know that thinking, for me, is a sure path to what's known in the medical business as "brain hurt", but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
Why do I blog about poker?
Is it because I believe that I'm a foremost authority in poker theory, and that by writing, I'm providing some great service to my readership?
Sadly, no. I wish that insight was my forte, but I'm woefully unqualified to be writing anything of that nature, and if I did, you can bet that most of the information would be erroneous and unintentionally comical. If anyone is coming to my site to "learn", the only thing that I could suggest to them is a frontal lobotomy.
Well, surely it's because my poker "career" is an exciting tale that must be told, right?
Wrong. If anything, my progression is moving along in baby-steps--two small steps forward, one tilt backward, and a whoops, just fell on my ass. I'm not crushing the fish on a nightly basis, I've never even made a final table in a MTT, and there is absolutely nothing interesting in any of my sessions. Some people that are technical, like Chris, can write in that voice and make it interesting. I cannot. Believe me, I've tried to write that way, and the entries even bore the diapers off of me. The only reason for me to ever take that angle is so everyone else can feel better about their game.
If you don't write because you're qualified, or an interesting read, you must be writing only for yourself?
If nobody, and I mean nobody, ever read anything I've ever written, I would've quit writing. That's what paper journals are for. Also, if I had to get all my poker knowledge out of a book, it would've been tough to stick with as long as I have. There's a give-and-take that comes along with this journal, and moreso with the community as a whole. As much as I think I'd be terrible in the limelight, I do like being the center of attention from time to time. I am an attention whore. There, I said it. Are you happy now? I like getting feedback, and it's the best positive reinforcement a guy like me could ever get. I write something, somebody responds. Pavlov rings a bell--the dogs salivate. Outlook Express rings like a bell--I salivate.
I love to write, but I don't consider myself a writer. I don't have the background that many of the more prolific writers in this community have, and in fact, I'd go so far as to say that I have no background at all. That doesn't stop me from striving to get better, though.
For me, there's a direct correlation between poker and writing. Many of you have been doing both for a very long time, whereas I'm a relative newborn. I don't have the depth in either to consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but as I add skill in one discipline, I notice skill in the other growing as well.
It's this symbiosis that keeps me going--I study poker so that I'll have something to write about, and in turn, it's the writing that keeps me interested in the game.