Patrick "pads1161" Leonard
Choosing who you live with as a poker player is really important and probably something most people don't get right. Let's say that average career of a online poker player is 5 years. If you commit to living with somebody for 1 year on a long contract then you're committing to living with them for 20% of your career. For an industry where you really need to be happy at home and feel comfortable and relaxed it can be a huge error. Not only may you not like the guy or he disturbs your sleeping or spoils the environment that you live and work in but you can also be missing out on other people, soaking other knowledge, improving from other people and maximizing your potentially by learning from different people.
I think GTO living arrangements for a poker player is actually to live by yourself. Generally if you're living in a 2 or 3 bedroom place with a poker player they will be going in and out at different times of the day. Maybe they party on Saturday night, slam the door too loud and you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep and then your Sunday grind is ruined. Maybe you're in a great sleeping rhythm and then they go out for Salsa night in Wednesday and wake you at 4am and then it's ****ed again. The real world lives for the weekend, generally they all share an identical rhythm throughout the week give or take 30 minutes extra in the morning and then on the weekend all hell goes on but that's expected and understood. Monday might be tough but everything is back to normal by Tuesday. With poker the one thing we really struggle to attain (I'm writing this at 6am having woken up at 4am, lol jet lag) is a routine. It's something so simple. We quit college, school, 9-5 so we don't need to have a routine. But once we are in this profession it's actually the one thing we strive for. We procrastinate in bed watching videos and reading Wikipedia and then 3 hours later ask ourselves why didn't I just sleep?
I always tell myself "it's ok, we will start again on Monday, a clean slate" I often do (I often don't aswell!) but by the next Monday usually something has came in the way to stop this rhythm. Generally living with another poker player is the most obvious reason that it does go downhill.
Another bad thing about living with poker players is you have two options. 1) live with somebody you don't really know, 2) live with somebody you know pretty well.
1- this is a potential problem for so many different and obvious reasons. Especially when you work where you live it becomes very easy to feel unhappy because of the way somebody else is. You washed all the dishes and then this mfker dirtied them? Does he have to have his music on so loud?! How can he have his pokerstars alert buttons on when I'm trying to concentrate too?! So many small and trivial things hat anybody else would think we're irrelevant but can add up.
2- this is a potential bigger problem than 1. The longer you spend with somebody the easier it is to see the worse of them. If you meet somebody 2x a week for dinner and have a great relationship then it doesn't mean you will just live together and be best of friends. Small things will start to grate on you. Once the smaller things grate on you you start to nitpick in things that don't need nitpicking. Generally things will go great at first and then slowly deteriorate over time. If you have a really good friendship with somebody then I'd advise not risking it by living together. It's not because either of you are bad people but it can just make things sour between you and regret the whole thing.
Of course there are so many great things about living with somebody who is a very good friend. I just think personally living with somebody for 1 year or 6 months that you haven't lived with before is a really dangerous thing for a poker player. If the last 4 months of a 6 month contract really effect your ability to work and maximise your potential then maybe that's 10% of your career that you've really ****ed up.
I have had on the whole great living arrangements. I've lived by myself, I've lived as a two, I've lived as a three. I think generally living in bigger groups is easier. It means you can have your own space for longer without feeling a need to socialize. It means you're seeing different and fresher faces every day and it means there's different people to learn from and to motivate. This summer I had a really great house with similar poeple, all with similar motivations and all genuinely hoping for the others to do well. That's also something that happens when you live with somebody for so long in a game controlled by variance. If you are losing and losing and losing and your friend is playing similarity or worse to you and is binking and binking and binking it's really easy to get sour, easy to get jealous and easy to funk for the deuce when your friend gets it all in pre with 80 left in the million with aces vs deuces. Previously I used to actually really struggle with this, I thought I was really a bad person for wanting my friends to sometimes lose. Of course I didn't really want them to lose, but I was just jealous of their success whilst I was failing. i read a lot about it and it's a normal expression to feel, it's just you not being able to handle your negative emotions so well. I haven't felt this way in a long time, I know deep down somewhere it's still there though and could creep back at any time.
Not sure what the point of this post is, I just started writing and speaking what is very likely a lot of nonsense. I just think that you can value studying, grinding, eating well, working out, meditating etc but imo the most important thing you can do as a poker player is have a good, healthy living arrangement that's easy to get out of if things aren't as they initially seemed.