My Name is Joe S.
Under the strictest definition of "addiction," my thirst for all things poker certainly qualifies. I've fallen for the game in the hardest way possible. Large chunks of my day are eaten up pondering its mysteries. And, of course, I play. A lot. I really don't have a problem with this.
I was born with a natural curiosity. In fact, my profession concerns finding information. I find that poker also satisfies that need. The more I play, the more I quest for knowledge. The more I learn, the more questions present themselves.
Even among those who lead the most "exciting" lives, existence is largely a series of mundane events, fortified by bursts of activity. Poker has afforded my life more frequent bursts. There's the competitive aspect, the intellectual demands and, dammit, watching that bankroll grow.
If the above seems a rationalization, a self-induced pass, for the inordinate amount of time I've been spending at Party Poker, well, it's not. See, I know addiction. Real addiction. The full negative connotation kind that sends folks running for 12-step program brochures and online help sites. This ain't that. Playing poker a few hours a night isn't going to cost me a job. It isn't going to take the place of my family's love. Or get in the way of my reciprocating tht love. It isn't going to de-sensitize me from my daily responsibilities or inhibit me from meeting those obligations. It isn't going to bankrupt me or send me to a shady side of town looking to score.
I've said too much.
Which is not to say there aren't issues. I have a family and it's no stretch to say they've been neglected at times due to poker. I've sought to (been prompted to) remedy that. There's a balance there, a need to keep poker compartmentalized, away from my duties as husband, father, provider.
It's a tight-rope, to be sure. And I fall. Less and less as time goes on and I find that spot in my life where poker fits.
Addictive personalities get a bad rap. As often as said traits become manifested in self-destruction, they just as often result in passion, in a constructive drive to improve. The passion the poker blogging community holds for the game is palpable. And I'm convinced that's a good thing.
Frolf, however, is a different story.