Natasha Sandhu PokerTube Column - Relationships and Poker (Part 1)5 years ago
To start with...
Let me start off by saying I know I am not in a relationship with a poker player anymore; however I have spent the last 9 years with the same person; 5 years of this 9-year period he has been a professional poker player. I’m sure most of you already know, but for those who don’t, the person I am talking about is Sam Trickett.
Believe me when I tell you - I know what I’m talking about with regards to the life of being in a poker relationship.
It’s their job!
Poker players have odd jobs; you may not see it as a job but if this is their only source of income and they rely on it, or they are a sponsored player, it is as important as if they were going out to work as a plumber every day. The outcome is similar; it’s an opportunity to earn an income.
It is really hard to remember that and I know I found it far too easy to forget sometimes and try and talk Sam out of playing so that we could spend some time together. This meant that when he did decide not to play, he was giving up his chance to make money; it is similar to taking a day off the work I suppose!
Being with a poker player may seem appealing - and it is in so many ways! However, travelling and odd hours of playing often mean it’s hard for a poker player to find the right person and someone that understands them.
The hours are very difficult and can make a normal life together hard, especially if you are working too and have committed hours. A lot of poker players will be up all night and sleep during the day. That’s, of course, when they are even at home. Most players will follow the EPT’s, WPT’s, GUKIPT’s and so on. They will follow the circuit all over the world, which means they can be gone for a week or more at a time.
I found all of this most difficult as when Sam was home, we had different sleeping patterns. When he would finally wake up, there would always be a game online, which meant he often went straight to his office.
Sometimes, if he had been away on a tour, it meant that when he was home, he was so fed up of being away and in the hotel rooms and without the dogs that all he wanted was to spend time in the house and do nothing; he didn’t want to go out and do things together. We would be very much couch-potatoes the first few days after him getting home haha.
Swings and roundabouts
In addition to the odd hours, travelling and large amounts of time spent indoors, a huge factor that played a role in our relationship (and, I’m sure, in any poker relationship), are the highs and lows, the swings, the ups and downs they experience when playing. Of course, you usually experience these along with them.
If they are winning, they can reach euphoric highs, which is brilliant and really lifts their and your moods. But then there are the lows, the losses, the disappointments, which can cause a huge drop in mood and emotions. Again, you will be sharing in all of this, making it hard to maintain a steady relationship.
On top of this there are the bad beats. If a player experiences a bad beat, even more so if it costs them more than just money, i.e. their place in a tournament or, even worse, a title in a tournament, it can be a very stressful experience. I have been there many times for this scenario, and it’s really important to learn just how exactly to handle it.
The most important thing is to try and understand and to just be there for them. There’s been countless times I have been in this position, and I have a lump in my throat now just thinking about them. When Sam was heads up in the Aussie Millions High Roller or the Premier League in London and, of course, the one you will all probably remember, The One Drop in Las Vegas; the first one when Sam came runner up to Antonio.
Of course, the prize was huge and really amazing, but as I’m sure any of you can appreciate, it’s a tough pill to swallow to get that far and not win the bracelet. It is times like these when a girlfriend has to be patient, supportive and understanding.
On the upside, there are the times when they win or place quite well. Then you are there to celebrate alongside them and doing this with them is amazing and a memory you share forever. My all-time favourite Sam’s victory was Partouche, Cannes. I will remember that weekend forever!
Thanks for reading
Part 2 of this column will bring you an insight into travelling along with your partner as opposed to staying at home and waiting for them and more.
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