July 10, 2019
There are many moments in time in where you arrive at a fork in the road, and whether you realize it at the time or not, you have essentially two options: you can remain in the original direction you intended, in the original course of your bearing, or you head off elsewhere, plotting a new course in your ventures. Over ten years ago, I had circumstances that provided the canvas for very possibilities.
In the online poker space, which I played for a living for over ten years and is what was my main ‘career’ of choice until over a month ago, Poker Stars offered a player-program that was based out of the rakeback that the ‘house’ (Poker Stars) wins. [For clarification’s purposes, the way the casino guarantees itself profits from those playing poker, with every hand played that sees a flop, a certain percentage (that is capped at a certain amount) is kept by the house, and that’s how the casino makes money. In other words, it’s a small ‘tax’ (or fee) players pay to be part of the game.]
With that out of the way, Poker Star’s loyalty program was incredibly robust and easily the best in the game, which was one of the vanguard reasons they were the best online poker company by far. Though the name of the player program escapes me at the moment, the program essentially would guarantee players to earn a certain percentage of the money they themselves paid the house. It was Poker’s Stars version of a “tax return” if you want a lose analogy of it. Essentially, the more hands you played, the more money you ‘made’.
The strength of this program was that if you were able to log in an incredible amount of time and effort, you would be able to clear somewhere along the lines of $80-000 – $100,000+ year (with significant benefits as well), which was an opportunity of a lifetime, especially give that’s before your winnings. Yes, before winnings, you could still make that kind of money back then .
Anyone that played on Poker Stars had that option. All you had to do was make sure that you were playing in the right amount of games logging enough hands, which was admittedly obscene, but for the driven, very doable, and log an incredible amount of time playing the various form of poker games available. This is where the rubber meets the road.
I brought this idea up to my significant other at the time, and told her that it’s an incredible opportunity, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked given how such an opportunity (even playing only a handful of years) could really set someone (or a couple) financially up for the rest of their life.
Anyways, after endless debates and considerations, I relented to the fact that it was best not to do that, given that we agreed (although in my case, it was tentatively, and I will get to that in a moment) that it was more important at the time for the relationship. In hindsight, even though I think it might be seen, or even objectively be selfish, I believe that what would have been best for the relationship would have been to sacrifice a bit of personal time, in order to set the future up nicely. The future is what it’s all about, right? At least, that’s what I thought about then and still ponder at length now. And though I do realize you ‘only’ live in the moment, to pretend tomorrow will never come is like pretending you need not eat food now because you know you can’t be hungry later because all you have is now.
Even so, at the time, the choice we made seemed tenable, though it still irks me that I didn’t do that, especially since I was working at home, which was the main strength of playing online poker, because any one in that instance could always take breaks by themselves, or with acquaintances, friends, family, significant others, lovers, etc. How many other jobs in the world allow that amount of latitude and freedom?
But that wasn’t the case. Had it been a traditional job, where you spend time away from home, I wouldn’t have regretted the idea at all. But the choices were made and now we are here.
I bring this about because during those times, poker was job, but more importantly my passion, so to not be able to chase it to the fullest extent of the opportunity always left me feeling like I left a piece of myself in the past that I will never be able to get back.
Fast forward to the present, now we get to writing.
Currently, I’ve already made a choice that, regardless of where my path as an individual heads towards in life, I will continue writing since it is my main passion. But where as in Poker I wasn’t able to test the limits of my passions, in writing I will not do that, I couldn’t live myself if I followed that course. I could not sacrifice a passion, a dream of that magnitude again, without looking back at the end of my life without feeling like I didn’t live life to the fullest, even if we’re only talking about it through the lens of writing.
Now, what makes this matter even more interesting from a variety of angles is that, wherein Poker I had to do it for an income (whether I liked it or not), with writing I don’t have to do that.
I can write when I want, how I want, where I want, for whatever purpose I want, to accomplish whatever goal I wish to accomplish and all around the parameters that I set upon myself. This freedom (and passion) is definitely something that I don’t take for granted given that it’s allowed me not only to be able to live life in a more meaningful and much wider range than in the past, but in a way that is even more fulfilling than I ever thought possible.
Concurrent with that, the bonus is that because I’m not doing it as a career, I don’t have to worry about any of my writing ‘paying the bills’ through that passion, which allows me the freedom of expression and choice that I would otherwise had if I had come through writing from a more traditional vantage point.
These considerations are born about because I find it highly intriguing how often I converse with people on myriad subjects where they are passionate about hobbies (or possible dreams) and so on, though usually not in a I-want-to-make-a-living-out-of-this sort of way, but in a passionate way nonetheless, and I see people, give up on something they are passionate about because they just don’t see it as ‘possible’. I can definitely empathize with such instances given how I myself followed this course a few times, though not necessarily for these very reasons.
Be that as it may, this is the type of mindset that holds individuals back, and I think most individuals are familiar with some part of this spectrum, and it’s something that serve no purpose but to anchor an individual upon the sea of regret for the rest of their lives.
Thankfully, life has kicked my rear end enough, and I have made enough mistakes to realize what it is I truly want to follow through with, and at least it didn’t take as long as I thought it would for me to realize this.
Yes, no passion that you wish to take to the fullest extent, or at least, to a far-reaching range is easy to follow through with, nay. But if you truly want something you are passionate about, sometimes you just need to jump into the deep end of life and begin swimming.
Either way, I know that 50 years from now, irrespective of where writing takes me, I won’t have the regret of not having followed through with my passion for writing, as I know I will have when I look back having played online Poker. And for that perspective, I am definitely thankful.
 In full disclosure, I believe that the amount of money that could be made had a wider range than the one mentioned, but either way, it was enough to make a comfortable living by average middle-class income standards.
 I apologize for the lack of content on the blog; I’ve been busy on a few different things I will discuss in the next few weeks, and also dealing with some health issues at the moment. Nothing serious, but I just don’t want it to get as such, so I just need to take care of myself. That said, I still plan on uploading content of a wide scope here, I just wanted to do a small update on why there hasn’t been much the last few weeks.
 This piece was written with the thoughts that even if it doesn’t seem feasible at all, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to truly consider how complex or truly complicated chasing a dream or a passion is. If thought about open-mindedly on paper, sometimes certain things aren’t as complicated, or as simple, as they may be at first blush, but consideration of them at least allows for the true scope of the issue to be grasped, rather than think that you can’t do it because x, y or z reasons.
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About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an an author, business owner, CEO, avid book reviewer, inquirer, open-minded skeptic, and writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.