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Poker spending has had to take a back seat; Poker face.

Byline: Jon Barbuti

CHRISTMAS is a time for decisions. What presents to buy? Spend it at home or with the relatives?

Buy goose or turkey, get the fancy crackers or supermarket own brand?

They can all be summed up as spend a fortune or spend slightly less, but still a fortune. It was a list of worries that poker had, until now, been happily absent from.

But this year brings its own special set of circumstances. Expenditure is up, income down. You don't need to be John Maynard Keynes to work out that's not an ideal combination.

I blame the little fella. Yes, his tastes might be simple, yes his favourite toys might be the whisk and cat's water bowl, but it would seem wrong to wrap up kitchen utensils as his first Christmas present. Instead he'll get the trike and have great fun playing with the box and wrapping paper.

Needing a few quid, I logged on to play a few quick hands, making the princely sum of $6 in two hours.

I could have tried my luck at a tournament but time was pressing and it didn't feel like my day.

There was one more option. I have taken funds out of my account before, of course, but only when it's been in rude health and to pay for something specific - that holiday last year that I don't like to talk about being a prime example.

Right now there's not a fortune in there, but there's enough to pay for a few pressies and a fridge full of food that I can enjoy watching slowly rot through the first few weeks of January.

I got as far as re-entering my password to make the withdrawal before reconsidering. It will lead to long-term problems.

I haven't added new funds to my account in over a year and have no intention of doing so now, so taking money out would mean a return to lower stakes.

It might also lead to a return to losing poker because when you drop down you tend to lose focus, play too loosely and slowly drip funds to your opponents.

Rather than skimp on poker I've skimped on Christmas, that's how dedicated to this column I am. There's always a better option, I mused as I went for a walk and, seeing the local Oxfam, that option suddenly became apparent...
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 22, 2010
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