This is something that I wrote many years ago. It has been quoted more times than nearly anything I ever said, but what does it really mean? Since it is my quote, let me tell you my interpretation of it.
Poker players, especially professionals, get so caught up in the complexity of the game that often, other parts of their life suffer. Players trying to make their living at the poker table often forget two very important things. First poker is a game that should be enjoyed, but remember it is just a game. The second thing players forget is that they need a balanced life away from the poker table.
If your entire life is wrapped up too much at the poker table, other parts of your life will suffer. Relationships, especially, are always difficult even in the best of times. Poker players spend long and often unusual hours at the table. This often means that their wife, husband or significant other does not get as much time and attention that they need, so things on the home front suffer. Of course, children and other friends and family members also come up on the short end of the stick.
This is why poker players need to have other priorities in their life besides poker. Hobbies and other interests that are fun and relaxing are a must. If players want to be at their best when at the table, they need frequent breaks from the action. Remember poker is often available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week in many locations. That should make scheduling your poker time easier.
I know about all of this because my own life has often suffered for doing the same things I am discussing. I have written several books on poker strategy, but I could write another book on mistakes I have made in my life because I was way too self-absorbed at times with my poker career. It is easy to forget there are other, more important things in your life besides poker. Neglect them at your peril. Self-absorption is a losing game.
- Tom McEvoy Poker Samadhi Guru, Four-Time World Series of Poker Champion, Poker Hall of Fame Member