As diverse as a poker room can be fashion-wise, culture-wise and age-wise, so poker is when it comes to love.
As a game played all around the world, poker and people are viewed differently from continent to continent.
Western anecdotes of love and poker are innocent high school drama stories compared to odd tragedies that are still taking in other parts of the world.
Contrary to the Western superstition that being lucky in poker means being unlucky in love and vice versa, love and relationships are occurrences we have no control of, so, lucky or unlucky in love, we always have at least something of the sort going on or keeping us searching or waiting for it during our whole lives.
Poker, on the other hand, seduces only some, and they have to love it passionately and devote most of their lives to it, which is tricky when combining it with human relationships.
Even though Western women have opened up about poker to the point of becoming excellent full-time players who compete in world championships head to head with male poker legends, there is a great number of women who are not only oblivious to poker but actually see it as a curse, fearing their family will hit bankruptcy and their husbands go gambling mad because of it. There are also men who have no desire to be bothered with their wives’ poker lives, and others who have tried to learn it for years to no avail, but have drawn the line between their wives’ playing and family life.
Unlike some perspectives that claim that poker is just like anything else in our lives and it is not to blame for divorce or separation, most married poker players agree that it’s not as simple as that.
For couples in which only one of them is a poker fan, there are always concerns about bankroll risk and fluctuations, misconceptions about winnings, bad beats and bankroll replenishments, demands and resentment over time spent playing or thinking about it versus time spent with spouses and family, mood swings during losing streaks, lying about expenses, losses and winnings, and of course, the possibility of poker becoming an addiction that would threaten the relationship and the player’s sanity.
According to poker player and blogger Tanya Peck, better known as MissT74 online, poker is much more than a hobby, saying that “while non-poker players can’t understand how someone is willing to throw away a relationship for the game of poker, poker players can’t understand how someone isn’t willing to understand the deep desire and passion that poker seems to bring out of us.” And although she wouldn’t throw away her marriage for the game, she would actually consider separation from anybody who would limit or disrespect her passion for anything in her life. She believes the key to making poker and love work is to negotiate it openly with your partner to determine needs, boundaries and compromises that need to be determined before any misunderstandings or resentments arise, so that both parties feel their needs are being met.
Other players such as Craig Cunningham, believe in a recipe for poker-love success:
* Express what poker means to you and let your spouse also express his/her feelings about it;
* Determine poker limits;
* Properly manage bankrolls;
* Erase online poker hand histories
* Bringing your wife flowers on a regular basis;
* Making your spouse first priority by engaging in their life;
* Watch less TV poker;
* Arrange weekends to have the kids away from home so your spouse can do his/her thing, or sending them to their favorite place like fancy spas, or bowling allies;
* Tackle bigger relationship problems that may be diagnosed by poker;
* Pay attention to your spouse when needed.
Both players are right about the need to compromise, but in relationships where poker is one more issue to put up with, negotiating may not be that easy, but that also means that communication is not working overall and needs to be prioritized. In the case of couples who cannot handle the pressure or balance both love and poker, leaving the game or the relationship is usually the chosen path.
For couples in which both people play and love poker, this balance is much easier to achieve, and some are able to develop such team work that they reach a very comforting and unexpected level of happiness and fulfillment.
Poker-loving couples like Karina & Chip Jett, Michael “The Grinder” & Lily Mizrachi, Jennifer Harman & Marco Traniello, Marsha Waggoner & Kenna James, Phil Laak & Jennifer Tilly and Bob & Maureen Feduniak have enjoyed a life of considerably less hardship and unbelievable solidarity, to the point of having an almost argument-free relationship.
How do they do it? Well, in most cases, one of them was initiated in poker by their more experienced partners, which enabled them to lean and trust each other in ways regular couples don’t usually experience. When couples teach each other about poker, that tends to eliminate unnecessary miscommunication between them, since they get to know each other deeper by opening up to being taught, corrected and backed up, and this builds a bond hard to break or replace. Besides, being crazy about each other also helps to establish a solid relationship. Do they rely on a recipe for success? Not really, they only recommend going with the flow and cherishing each other, and the rest will fall into place.
Now, on a cheesier note, let’s not forget the occasional Hollywood fairy tale, which nowadays translates in reality tale in TV. As I am sure you have all heard, Pamela Anderson’s latest cupid attack occurred during a poker game, where she lost $250,000 to her then platonic friend Rick Solomon: he offered to drop the bet if she kissed him and we all know the rest. Even though they are now divorced, poker acted as cupid, to a point of making them believe they were made for one-another. It makes you wonder about the aphrodisiac power of poker.
Talking about poker versatility, there is now something you can buy to poker-up your relationship: Poker for Lovers, the Romantic Poker Game for Couples. According to MSN shopping, the game is strictly made for 2 people, and it includes a card deck, 30 blue chips, and 30 pink poker chips. According to the only review posted, the game gets players to interact in fun, intimate ways, but it was only granted half a star for the review ranking.
Adding to the cheesy notes, now single poker players don’t have to worry about having to convince their partners to accept their poker side or about introducing them to the game; they can mingle with their own kind and even find their match at Poker-Online-Dating.com. You only have to sign up with username and password, and you can post your profile and pictures for potential matches to browse you up! The site also offers a fun love calculator (which measures your compatibility with the members you like), dating tips, free poker games, poker odds, testimonies, and also a cupid service -a personalized compatibility matching aid provided by the site’s cupid agent.
Thus, whether you think love and poker can be a perfect match just by following a recipe or buying a kit or think love is an incurable disease, getting along with your partners and feeling good about your life should be priorities 1 & 2.
By M.J. Morgan
Rake Break (www.rakebreak.com) is a newly re-launched rakeback and bonus code hub for online poker players. Players who meet monthly quotas in VIP points also receive invitations to freeroll tournaments and complimentary memberships to other sites like StoxPoker.