Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Response to Andrea King

For anyone who decided to read between the pictures on this post, I had a comment which read as such:

Andrea King: "Hi there, just read you're getting married. I was wondering how your wife to be deals with you playing Poker and with the debt issue. I'm struggling to be happy with a Poker player myself and it's been quite a ride. Don't know if you wrote a post on that or not, so I thought of just asking. (Nice bums by the way.) I wish you all the best for your wedding."

For anyone who read it and didn't click through, Andrea has a blog she recently started detailing her trials and tribulations with living with a poker player.  So far it's been a pretty interesting read.  After going over to that page and starting to read a bit I completely understand why the question was posed to me.  So, my retort.

Dear Andrea,

Being that your last name is King I'll just assume your married to Stephen King and in that case I'd like to ask if you could manage to sneak an autograph to me.  I know Stephen is an author but I have this fantasy (that I'm just making up right now) that he secretly loves poker but loses horribly at it and one day I'll be at a table with him completely enamored by the man who wrote more books that I have read than any other author ever will and I will somehow manage to lose all of my money to him.  I'll be broke and homeless (after my wife kicks me out for losing the children's college money) but I'll have a good story to tell.

Our stories differ which is why I probably won't be reporting any useful information to you.  You see, I have a full time career in the retail business where I work and earn my living and I enjoy playing poker on the side, for fun.  Kind of like a hobby that sometimes earns me good money and sometimes costs me money.  I used to have this fantasy that I'd win a ton at poker and make it my profession but over the years I've realized that I'm not really up for that kind of life style. I like to play for fun and I want to keep it that way.

So, how does my fiance deal with me playing poker?  Well, she understands that I love the game and that I have no intentions of giving it up.  She understands that I am not going to gamble with money that I cannot afford to lose. She understands that I have money set aside specifically for poker playing and she has an idea that this is what I'm talking about when I refer to my "bankroll."  I'm well grounded and I'm not going to screw myself over to pull a buy-in out of my bank account so that I can go gamble if I don't have the money to pay my other bills.  I'm perfectly willing to go 6 months or longer without playing poker because the extra money just isn't there.  So, I guess to sum it up she deals with it by putting faith in the fact that I'm not going to make any decisions that are going to screw over our little family.  I'm hoping I'm never stupid enough to break that trust.

As for the Debt portion of your question.  Truth be told we are both entering this marriage with a little bit of debt but we both have solid plans to have it all gone by mid-year.  Well, all of the short-term debt that is.  I've got a dental bill and I've got her engagement ring that I'm paying off.  She has her car and a couple of small credit cards.  Other than that we both have long-term debt as well.  I have a mortgage on a house and she has one on a condo.  We plan on getting rid of all the short-term debt and then working off anything left over from the wedding.
My goal (and I feel safe saying our goal) is to be debt free (other than the property) before we have a child. This way she can safely take off 3 months or whatever and we won't have to worry about it.
We are already making plans to start FSA's for next years medical expenses.  I know I'm going to have another dental bill and I'm also considering LASIK for my eyes, but we will both have FSA's to pay for that stuff instead of incurring more debt.
So, how does she feel about my debt?  I don't think she honestly thinks about it.  We've both talked a little bit about our plans and how soon we expected to have everything paid off by but she has never brought forth concerns of her entering this matrimony with me having outstanding debts.

My advice to you after reading through some of what you wrote is:
Run fast and run far.  It doesn't seem like you have a lot of happiness and it's because this man of yours is a leach.  If you had to go as far as to draw up legal documents stating that he had to pay you back by a certain time then I feel as if the relationship has run its course.  You can find something better and he can find a real job with consistent positive income.  He can learn to play poker on the side for fun instead of being stuck and not being able to meet his payments.


  1. i wonder if shes ever seen my blog although im sure im a lot better at poker than the man u are referring to. remember poker isnt where i lost my money, it was on other things. thats why everyone is so confused, they are thinking just because im broke i must not be good and yet me being so broke now has nothing to do with poker at all.

    1. Being broke has everything to do with everything Tony.
      How can you say that when one of the big claims is that you can't win because you don't have enough money?
      This is EXACTLY what her husband/boyfriend/whatever has told her before.
      He might as well just be you but with a woman.
      He took out a loan to play higher levels and then BLEW all his money on stupid stuff ($800 taxi ride, machines...) This is the equivilent of you getting a free $5000 or that huge amount of the SSI and then blowing it as well.

      This last time he borrowed money (stake) so that he could grind poker.
      He is angry and violent and has control issues. He doesn't know how to handle losing.

      This story reminds me of you with less outrageous behavior (though it might be there and she just isn't telling it).

    2. sure, tony. delusional. wow, blew 5000 on poker.wonder if yr kid ,i am sorry, adult son got any cash?

  2. and why does Grouchie have so many women followers of his blog? mostly all mine are men. what ever happened to carmel?

    1. Carmel stopped coming around after we parted ways and she got married.

    2. the answer is in the mirror,tony.look at 1 and u will see the answer.

    3. Because he isn't a self centred asshole like you?

      Great post, grouchie. I agree wholeheartedly that Andrea seems like a great person with a huge heart and could be really happy in life if she wasnt wasting it with a shallow, egomaniacal narcissist who knows exactly how to manipulate her to get what he wants, and does it often and fully. She clearly has spent way too long with the same dipshit to be at all in touch with reality as to how a normal and healthy relationship should feel.

  3. LOL @ the two comments above... Pick me! Pick me!

    Anyway - even though it wasn't asked for, I'd like to interject my situation as well. For my wife & I, it's not so much issues with money but the issue of time and emotion from the game. The time spent at the tables is time away from the family and with my wife. That time is always a point of contention. I think over the years my wife has come to accept that this is a major "hobby" for me and it makes money for the family to use.

    For the emotional side of the game, the online roller coasters were much stronger - add to the fact that there's no down time between driving from the casino to home to help "get over it." Allowing my mood to be affected by how I've done in the game the hour or night or week before is something I'm always struggling with.

    1. TPM - Those are big issues. Most of my poker playing life I've been a bachelor so I just played when I wanted and for how long I wanted.

      When I was with Carmel we went into the relationship and she knew that I loved the game and sometimes played a lot but she expected that to change and didn't let me know until after the fact and it became a huge issue between us. Neither of us handled it properly and it caused a few blow ups, both at home and at the poker tables.

      Since then I have grown up a bit and I now plan my playing time in advance (usually) and plan it around family time.
      If she is working late an evening and the kid is being watched by his grand parents then that's a good time to go. Or if people are in town and I know enough in advance I'll let her know that "on Tuesday I'll be out with some friends for a few hours" type of deal.

      I think the whole "Hey babe, I was out till 5 am playing poker and am tired" thing kind of scares her because there was a previous issue with some gambling addiction in her family. So, I do have to play it a bit delicate until she see's how I handle things and how I manage my money and such. But, I think in the end everything will work out pretty well providing I keep her in the loop on everything and don't surprise her by going on a week long bender where every day after work I go play for 8 hours only leaving myself time for a nap and a shower before work.

    2. Yeah - I think with a few exceptions (notably above), we'll find the poker bloggers are pretty consistent: it's not about money but other things surrounding poker. I'd imagine if you're blogging about playing poker (this is a general rule, not a catch-all, TONY), you have the presence of mind to keep it from becoming a financial burden or gambling problem.

      Of note, it's kinda funny that you only become a "problem gambler" when you lose money. Have you ever heard of a winning player going to gamblers anonymous? Generally not...

      Erick Lundgren is the only guy I can think of off hand but he's not a "problem gambler" when it comes to poker - only off table things like sports, etc.

      FWIW, my father is a problem gambler who swore off poker. I liken him to Tony; not willing to study or understand the game, lives in the moment, impulsive, etc. My mother was very concerned when I started getting heavily into playing (my wife was always supportive because she knows how conservative I am about money) until I showed her results, discipline, record keeping and statistics, and writing. I think my father got into a good quantity of debt over poker.

    3. And Tony, I'm describing my father above, not you. Don't be upset about my description of you, even though the shoe may fit.

  4. great post, grouchie. no yoga pants . i am sad. lol.