Friday, 27 September 2013

dreams and fears

I don't know what happened to all those Poker Wives who just disappeared from the blogosphere after writing a couple of posts, but I better keep writing. Nothing special to say today... me and Josh have been apart for 2 weeks, he's been at his beach house (I'm writing this and thinking "yeah, this sounds bad", so I'll add) he's got his computer with him and has been playing (or so he claims).
He'll be back tomorrow and I'm getting a little anxious about how things will work out with our new "stay-at-home-husband" arrangement. I'm not sure how I'll feel, if I will still feel used or if we'll reach some kind of balance.
I'm also anxious about his trip back home and that something might happen to him. This sounds crazy, but I have these worries from time to time, that something might happen and he'll die from a freak accident or something. I read somewhere that women have this kind of "worrying gene" or worrying part of their brains, which makes us worry about stupid things, while men can live their lives much more peacefully. This sucks.
Anyway, just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been commenting or even emailing me with advice. I've come to the conclusion that if I'm going through this with Josh is not because I don't know what I'm doing, but because I believe he has a chance. And for now I'd rather live with a successful poker player than with a McDonald's employee (no offence, it's just a personal choice). I know things can go seriously wrong, but they can also go extremely well.
And I want to see him go through whatever difficulties he has to and then come out clean on the other side. I want to be able to tell people "hey, he's done it, he finally had a great couple of years, he paid me back everything he owed and is now making some serious money on the bankroll he alone put together". Or "hey, I followed my heart and ended up choosing the right guy after all and we're happy". Or "hey, miracles do happen!". You get the point.
Just dreams for now.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

to lie or tell the truth about your job

I've been reading some posts on the twoplustwo forum and one of the issues that caught my attention was the hard time professional players have explaining others what they do for a living, or trying to be accepted. This also happens to Josh, and to me, when someone asks me what he does.
When he first started playing for a living, 4 years ago, he told his friends and family, but wasn't comfortable with telling the truth to acquaitances. His family didn't take it well, immediatelly trying to make him quit and go back to a "real" job. My parents didn't take it seriously, they didn't imagine it would last this long, I'm sure. But for everyone else it seemed there would be too many explanations involved and that it would be easier just telling a little lie.
So, now I only tell the whole truth when I absolutely have to. On most occasions I just say "my husband works at home", because that leads to a world of possibilities that require no explanation: he could be a freelance designer, a stock investor, or whatever other "respectable" jobs you can do from home.
The issue with Poker is, obviously, its connection to gambling and with the idea of addiction. My real dad was a computer engineer and worked at least 12 hours a day, but that was ok, no addiction there... wait, what? Yeah.
Although other jobs can be equally addictive, Poker can have you loosing your entire family savings in no time. So.. it's understandable that most of the people I tell the truth to have a some kind of reaction. Men usually get excited, consider it "great" and say they wish they could do the same thing, or that their wives/girlfriends allowed them to do the same thing. Women just stare at me with a mix of amazement and worry in their eyes.

And then comes the explaining (or my general idea of how the game works) - that he pays only a small ammount to enter tournaments where he can win a lot, or just plays low stakes sit and gos and slowly builds his monthly income, that he doesn't go to the casino (this is usually reassuring to women and strange to men) and only plays online.
Making a living off online poker is the equivallent, for many people, to being a couch potato, someone lazy, unqualified for a better job, someone very irrealistic and immature or just plain dumb. The line between a professional player and a degenerate gambler is thin... and people have no trouble judging others, even if they've never even met Josh. I don't blame them. We all need some order in our lives and sometimes that means putting people into little boxes we can easily define, understand and relax about.

When I say my husband plays poker, the immediate reaction will most of the times be: poker = gambling = addiction = no stability or chance of a good future = she's doomed. So, instead of saying it and getting pity from others, I just lie and dream of a better world, like that chicken down there.

What about you?


Monday, 23 September 2013

about yours truly

Hey there, sorry for the "late" post, this week will be complicated at work so I won't be updating that often. Besides, most of my story is already told, now I'll update as new stuff unfolds. I had promised to do a post about me, so... here goes nothing.

Let's see... despite being 30, I feel like I'm still in my mid twenties, since I've got no kids or major responsibilities other than keeping my job. I spend my free time surfing the Web, watching movies, reading or writing. I particularly like horror stories and that's also what I like to write. I go out with my friends every other weekend, but during the week it's mostly work and my family: Josh, our french bulldog, and occasional visits to my parents'. I hate sports, but I still work out as much as possible and sometimes I go with Josh to the gym.

English isn't my first language, but I try to write as best as I can and sometimes use risky words that I'm not really used to, hope I don't make a fool of myself too often.

I'm a very spiritual person, but not religious. I don't believe you need anyone between youself and the God you choose to worship. I accept all religions equally - I find them all the same bullshit, a means of controlling the masses or starting wars, no offence... I respect all religious people as long as they don't try to sell it to me.

I'm also quite interested in politics and I think I'd be considered a "democrat" in the USA, not a republican. I believe in personal freedom and the power to lead the life you choose, whatever it may be, if it doesn't hurt anyone around you. I support gay marriage, the adoption of children by capable gay couples, and I am also pro-choice. I'm against the liberty to sell guns to whomever wants them (thank god that's not allowed in my country) and against the death penalty, in any circumstance. I believe the war on Iraq was a scam, there were no weapons of mass destruction there, and no connection to 9/11. I am unsure about the origin of 9/11 (but I mostly believe it was really Al Qaeda).

Now.. regarding my past and why I put up with what many of you consider "too much" from my boyfriend. I am a bit insecure, yes, I have some self esteem issues and a history of self-harm when things go a little out of control. I never thought of killing myself though, I wouldn't do that to my mother. My father died when I was 9 years old in a car crash and I wouldn't put het through that kind of suffering ever again. My mom remarried when I was 10 and I was raised by a loving step father, who, I'm saddened to say, I love more than my real dad. My real father was a workaholic, a very cold man, I never felt like he really loved me (my mom later said he wanted a boy) and I tried really hard to be perfect during my childhood. Besides, he could be violent - although he never hit my mom (that I've seen or became aware of), he broke things around the house frequently and hit me a couple of times (not beatings, just a hard smack in the face sometimes).

I've always been a good student and seen as "a little angel" by the adults around me. After smoking pot when I was 15 (and the subsequent panick attacks that forced me to my first visits to therapy), I went back to being their "angel" for several years. I never did drugs or alcohol ever again, because I don't like loosing control of my mind. I don't even smoke cigarrettes now and I seldom drink coffee.

Only at 24 I went "wild" again and decided to tattoo my whole back (and later on, several parts of my body). My parents hated it and it was difficult for me to deal with that. I guess I continue trying to be perfect in their eyes, even if that means doing things that displease me, or not doing what I really want. My therapist says I'm a "pleaser", I need the people I love to approve me and am more than happy to change and adapt for them to appreciate me. This only happens with my parents and boyfriend (sometimes at work, but I think it's necessary) not so much with friends or people in general.

Finally, also related to this, I have difficulty dealing with any kind of personal loss in my life, however small. For instance, last year I had a couple of fights with two friends that lead to the end of those friendships. Even though they were people with whom I didn't have much in common (life kind of lead us different ways), I felt like those were major losses in my life and couldn't accept it for some time. Then I realized I was just clinging to something insignificant, that for some reason I didn't want to lose, and finally moved on. I guess that's why even in the darkest times I insisted on keeping my relationship with Josh.

My friends consider me a very "maternal" and tolerant person. I'm usually quiet but speak my mind when some interesting discussion is going on. I don't like to stand out in a croud, but I also like to be heard and make my point in an argument. Going crazy like attacking someone or breaking things only happened with Josh so far!

And.. that's basically it. Anything else you'd like to know? :)


Saturday, 21 September 2013

the little voice inside us all

Well, I had a very interesting session today at therapy and thought about sharing some of my conclusions with you. Kind of weird, because therapy is supposed to be private, but since I'm using this blog to get my ideas straight, I guess it will help me (and, who knows, maybe other people too).

I've been feeling like a rag doll lately, being pulled in one direction and another every time I hear (or read) a comment about my situation. Only one of you noticed (or at least commented on it) that I seemed happy with my new arrangement with Josh, until I listened to my parents' opinion and became miserable again. After going over this on therapy, I realized (well, admitted) that I was having difficulty listening to my own voice among all this external noise. I'm not saying your comments (or my parents' opinion) are mere noise, but everything must be put in its rightful place and, in this and many other cases, our personal voice must be the one to speak loudest.

I still want you to know I value your opinion. Let me give you an example: once me and Josh got back together, my cousin freaked out on me. She called me stupid and said I'd spend the rest of my life hitting my head against a wall and never learn anything. It was very hurtful, but I understand why she said it. She only wanted the best for me, as I believe you do, for me as for any other human being. So even if I sound hurt when answering your comments (and I probably am), I know where you're coming from and I respect that. I hope you can keep respecting me and my choices.

What do I really want? As I've written before, I want to be happy with Josh. This may sound ludicrous to the majority of you, but remember: you are reading my partial story, miles and miles away from me, from a completely rational standpoint. I also have that rationality in me. It's the little voice that tells me "watch out, you're gonna get burned in the end!". But, I do have an emotional side, as I'm sure you all do. The question is how much credit do you give that voice and how often do you listen to it, if ever.

According to my therapist, many of us who are most miserable in life, and become addicted to drugs, alcohol or anti-depressants (she works with recovering addicts on a daily basis, just in case you're regarding this as psychological mumbo-jumbo) are those who disregarded their emotions too often -  in other words, the ones who don't follow their hearts, for several reasons, such as fear of failure, fear of suffering or simply peer pressure. 

I believe it takes strength to listen to your heart and be brave enough to go against the world for what you believe in. This blog is called Wives of Poker (Poker Wives was already taken :P), not "Ex Wives of Poker" or "How I booted my leech-boyfriend". I named it like this for a reason: I want to be as happy as I possibly can with my poker playing husband (well, he's my boyfriend, but I'm devoted to him as if we were married, as you might have noticed). I was looking for women in the same position that could help, because I'm willing to make some adjustments in my life to make it work. To a certain degree of course!

In the past, I was very unhappy with Josh. To be totally honest with you, I was. Not because of Poker though - but simply because I didn't feel loved (maybe I'll tell you that story in another post). Two years ago, I started being  happy with Josh, when he came back and started treating me well. I experienced the most memorable moment of my life with Josh: the moment he came back to me, when I was missing him so terribly that I fell into depression and went from 132 to 116 pounds in one month.

Now, things have gotten better and better and I am happy.. not completely, or this blog wouldn't exist, but I started writing when we were going through some tough times... I should start a new one called "Happy Moments with Poker Playing Husbands". Anyway, I have faith in Josh. How can this be?? Because I'm stupid?? No. It's because I'm in love. Not blindly in love, sickly in love, going over my own feelings in love, disrespecting my desires in love. Just in love, and still hopeful.

You say that if I leave Josh I will go through the grieving process in no time and be as good as new soon. I know, in my heart, that today that isn't true. It might be, in a few months, if my heart tells me I've had enough. Or not. You can come at me with your Nostradamus comments and tell my I'm damned to hell if I continue following this path. But my heart disagrees, today. Tomorrow... well, that's another day.

As long as I feel OK with a situation, even if its socially unusual or even unacceptable to some people, such as me providing for my husband instead of the other way around, I'll keep following this path. The day my heart feels disrespected, I'll change directions, I know I will (and my therapist is there to make sure I'm not in denial if that starts happening and I ignore it). 

Finally, I have a question for you, that I ask you to consider carefully. I know that in America there are many "stay-at-home-moms", a concept we don't have much around here. How would you feel if your stay-at-home-wife would play Poker and asked you for money to play (as long as it didn't jeopardize your finances), if she was doing 400 dollars a month on it? 

This might make you reconsider my position, or not. It doesn't matter. What's important is that I respect my own feelings and, for now, Josh is more valuable in my life than out of it. 

Thank you for reading this long post.

Much love and luck at the tables. And for all of you Poker Wives out there, I'm still waiting for your visit.


Friday, 20 September 2013


I understand that reading my blog can become exasperating for some people, who believe I'm being unnable to do the easiest and more logical thing on earth. I imagine you reading this and thinking "how can she be so dumb?!"... but there's nothing I can do about it (apart from following your advice, if and when I'm ready).

Yesterday I watched a show called "Who The **** Did I Marry" where a 40 year-old lady married this australian guy that robbed her of like 250 thousand dollars on fake business trips in which he was actually meeting other women. I identified with her a lot, although my case isn't that bad. And it felt a little easier knowing that even a 40 year old woman can go through something like this.

But what I wanted to say is that, as she said, people who have never been in a relationship like this can't understand how someone can tolerate certain things. Keep that in mind. Basically I'm asking you to go easy on me... and sorry for not being, yet, able to "grow up". I'm working on it, everyday. Thank you for reading and for all the support.

Oh, for those who asked, I'm from Europe, from a country who is experiencing one of the worst financial crises. Our unemployment rate is at 20%. Our minnimum wage is 600 dollars (McDonald's, cleaning, security guards...) and, on average, someone my age and education (like young lawyers, architects, designers,...) earns like 1000 dollars. I earn 1700 dollars a month, not the 1200 I was saying (been doing the math and I was wrong sorry!).

Now, the scheduled post:

Hi there, finally got some spare time to write.

In response to grrouchie serge, who bothered to write a full post explaining how his life works (thank you): no I’m not related to Stephen King haha, but I do love the author and that’s exactly why I chose this surname (I also thought King would be a fairly common surname in the States). If you work and you play poker as a hobby, that’s great and that’s what I was hoping Josh to do. The problem is.. well, I’ll explain it in a moment.

My point when creating this blog wasn’t to whine about my miserable life and get sympathy from strangers, or even to get the necessary encouragement to leave Josh. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of encouragement from everyone I know over the years. I know that is the most obvious answer to our problems: just leave, go your separate ways, move on with your lives. That is also the most difficult thing to do, when you are in love with someone. My goal with this blog was to raise questions and start discussions that could lead to reasonable and original ideas on how I could continue living with the man I love. And the poker players’ (and their wives) community looked like the best place to do it, since it would gather pro and against-poker opinions.

I could give you a list of reasons why I love Josh, or why I think it’s worth to fight for this relationship, but you’d certainly be bored to death. Besides, some of those reasons are unexplainable by words, as I believe you know, if you love someone. What I mean is, I thank and respect all of your comments (and agree, when I put my heart aside), but I can’t be “reasoned with” into leaving Josh. It’s impossible.

So, I’ll give you some facts, plain and simple, that justify (to my belief) Josh’s choices and provide what I consider to be a valid argument for me not to feel “offended” enough to just dump him:
  • Josh didn’t go to college, so he can only do “minor” jobs like working at McDonald’s or so.
  • Minor jobs here don’t pay more than 600 dollars (full time) and 300 (part time) a month.
  • He hates minor jobs, he worked in several of them since he was 18, until starting his full time Poker activity (yes, I care about what he likes or hates).
  • Josh makes 450 dollars playing Poker, which is only about 150 less than if he was working full time on something he hated.
  • He says he has a chance of making his stash grow if he doesn’t have to withdraw too much every month, and we will see about that...
  • He feels Poker is his best chance at a good life in this country, given his education and working experience. He could work as a security guard, standing 12 hours on the same spot every day and make 600 dollars for the rest of his life, or he could try his best playing online and make his money grow. - This is how he sees it.
  • He is still committed to working the antique’s business with my dad and try and make an extra 100 whenever he sells pieces (he loves antiques).
This is, from a cold, rational standpoint, why I “tolerate” him, as you might put it.  The way I see it, if I earn 1700 a month, I can accept to take 200 and pay our bills and his loan, giving him time to make his money grow while not forcing him to withdraw more from his Poker account. In exchange, he’ll clean and cook every day, as I said, allowing me to let the cleaning lady go (and saving me money).

Strangely as it may seem, I can live with that... if, of course, he lives up to his part. Do you think it’s a fair deal? I'll tell you about our progress as the time goes by. I already have a big post scheduled for tomorrow.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

feeling numb

Hello, this is the second scheduled post I mentioned. Wrote this 3 days ago. I must admit that, after reading all your comments, I was ashamed. Ashamed of my naivety, stubbornness, and probably delusional hopes. I was on the verge of deleting all my future posts, but decided against it. I'm keeping this honest and real, it wouldn't make sense otherwise.

I just got home from my vacations and my head feels like a drum. On the last night of our vacations, Josh and I went out to dinner (I paid) and had a conversation about how we could manage things. 

Long story short, I told him I would be ok with helping him one more time, as long as he did something for me. We could act as if he was unemployed - I'd help him out, but he would have to help around the house on a daily basis and clean the whole house once a week so I wouldn't have to pay for a cleaning lady as I've been doing so far (we have a dog in the apartment and I can't deal with a dirty home).

He was ok with it, he said he would clean up every wednesday and would also cook me dinner every day, and in exchange I'd pay for his bank loan and would pay all the bills. (He would continue to pay for his food.) I was quite surprised, I was expecting this cleaning house thing would harm his masculinity, but it turns out it didn't.

Then he put something else on the table: he asked me if I would also pay for like 2 dinners out between him and friends (I could also go along, of course) every month (40 dollars total), if he would prepare a special diet and exercise plan for me and if he'd cook all my meals, including those I would then take to work. As I mentioned earlier he's like a gym enthusiast and has a special diet for himself, and I wouldn't mind trying it as well. He then raised the bar for 4 dinners (80 dollars a month). So... 80 dollars plus his 125 loan plus 100 dollar bills every month. I thought, since I earn around 1200 a month it'd be ok.

But.. today I came home and talked to my parents about it, and they say this is terrible. They claim it's terrible that Josh isn't capable of looking for a job, even if that means he'll lose me (when we have bad fights about money he refuses to get a job and invites me to find some other guy who will do that for me). It's terrible that he has to ask for money in return of simple favors that should come naturally from his life choices - for instance, since he's at home all day, my parents think it would be perfectly natural for him to clean the house once a week, and even cook me dinner if necessary, free of charge. It's terrible that he's keeping me from having a normal family. And finally, they say it's terible that I don't do anything about it, just continue to help him and accept everything.

I'm drained. All these words sunk into me and now I feel terrible. I don't know what I want anymore. I mean, I want to be happy. With Josh. I want to help Josh, but I don't want to be a sucker in this relationship! I earn twice what he makes. Is my decision to help him out, by paying some bills, while he does things for me in return, an immature decision? Or is it just not the perfect relationship, that my parents wish I had, but it's still acceptable?

I've always been very confused and insecure about my personal decisions and I've always counted on my parents' guidance, so knowing that they're not behind me on this scares me shitless. A pitiful little girl, you may think, but... I'm just being totally honest here.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

alright I might have overreacted a little bit there

Hello everyone, here is the first scheduled post I told you about. I'm posting them once a day to keep the blog going at a good pace. 

So... last night me and Josh were arguing until 5am and I asked him to show me exactly how much he's earning, and it ended up being about 450 dollars a month instead of 200. I mean, it is still a lot less than what I make, but not as horrible as I thought.

We ended up having the same fight in which I say he should get a job and he says he wasn't made to work at something he hates (basically he hates any job in this world, that he is qualified to do at least) and that he would rather earn 450 playing poker than a little more doing something else and being unhappy for the rest of his life. (as I said earlier, I don't want to give you specific details about my location, but I can tell you that in our country the minimum wage is about 550 dollars. Yeah, we're barely third-world.)

So it all comes down to this: he makes 450 dollars, which isn't much, and he only makes it every other month, which is worse. I have some important thinking to do. Any projects such as having a baby, getting a bigger house or having some special vacations are completely out of the question, unless I pay for it all. But at the same time, I don't picture myself doing any of those things with another man. 

Josh has the money issue, and the whole pride issue that makes it impossible for him to quit Poker and start washing floors, even if he's close to starvation. But other than that we get along great, we have things in common, we live in the same world, I respect him, I like the way he thinks (about everything else), I mean, we share ideals, my parents like him (also, apart from this aspect of his), and we have, as you've read, a huge past, a real struggle behind us. I don't want to feel like it was all for nothing. And yes, I love him very much. My love for him is huge and is only shadowed by the position he puts me in by lacking his own money and alternatives to get more money.

Basically I have no idea of what I should do, how we should organize our finances and what would be comfortable for me while not being indulgent for him. I feel so alone in this situation. Are there any couples going through the same?? Ugh...

Oh well, I guess it's Google time, going to search for some other despeate housewives out there. 

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Hello everyone, I'm overwhelmed by all the comments, wow!
I'm at work right now, but I already read  grrouchie serge's reply to my question on his blog - some hilarious parts I should say :) - and will write a proper answer to you all soon.
I guess the big question everyone is asking is why didn't I give Josh the boot so far, what's making me stay with him, why didn't I run away yet...
I wrote a bunch of posts while on vacations (now I don't have as much spare time) so there are still two posts scheduled for publication tomorrow and the day after that might explain a few things. Meanwhile I will write explaining my reasons to stay with him.
Hopefully I can make you believe I'm not completely crazy... Thank you for reading and for giving me your views on all this mess.

shocking truth

Hello my fellow Poker Wives... I'm pretty shaken up today, let me tell you why.

Me and Josh have been struggling with our new lifestyle, where supposedly he has to pay for his share of things, and I pay for mine. It has been a struggle because.. he has barely any money and because I wasn't entirely aware of how little he has.

So.. it's been very difficult for me, for instance, to go with him to the market and see his tension and how he worries about what he can or cannot buy, when he had never acted like the before, while I was paying for everything. It's amazing how he just didn't care...

It also sucks not to be able to do half the things we did before, when I was paying. Now we don't eat out, we don't go to the movies (unless I pay) and we don't go out, because he has no money. It's incredible how much the lack of a "margin" (my bank account) can change our lives. Suddently he has no money at all for anything that isn't his food or gym.

He explains this situation by accusing me of "leading him" to having spent more money than he should for years, which resulted in him not having any savings and now being unprepared to live without my financial help. According to him, my lifestyle was "contagious" in a sense that, as I didn't care how much I spent, he didn't care how much he spent, even though he had (I came to find out) pennies to live by. This doesn't make any sense to me, since, as I explained earlier, when we had dinner together he would eat 15 dollar ribs while I got the 5 dollar burger (this is just an example). So... I think he's just refusing to take responsibility for his choices. I mean, if I have enough money to eat out, I don't have to worry about my expenses... but if he doesn't have money, he should worry about his!!! It seems pretty easy to understand, but he thinks different.

Anyway... yesterday I had the most shocking conversation with him. I found out that he earns like 200 dollars a month, playing poker. OMG. Like three thousand a year, which is what I make in a only couple of months! And he still thinks it's awesome!!! How can this be? I mean, I'm speachless. Keep in mind that he has a monthly payment of 120 dollars (the bank loan he got years ago), which means that he has about 100 dollars to live with every month. If I wasn't in his life he would starve!

I don't know how he will deal with this reality in the future, but I must stay strong and continue not to pay for anything as much as possible, so he can understand things. I mean, he is completely delusional... he thinks that, since he invested 5K and has earned around 3K in one year (200 dollars a month), he is a successful investor. Really, Josh, really?! Yeah, it's awesome to earn almost 3K in a year investing only 5K, but that's not as great if it's the only money you have to live your life!

Will he ever wake up? 

What do you think? Any advise on how I should handle this? Comment or email me at

Monday, 16 September 2013

chapter X - tired of BS

This past year went on "fine". I would pay for everything, he would pay me back from time to time. Josh reached August owing me 700 dollars - money he couldn't pay me on time and accumulated for the next month. 

This situation started to grow on me by April or so - I felt exploited. His promised 800 dollars a month never came, he would have 400 hundred at the most, while still living "large" and going out and having dinner.. all on me. I say living "large" because Josh isn't a guy with expensive tastes. He doesn't go on buying clothes or drinking his money away. The only thing that is obviously above him is his new taste for body building.

Yeah, after the whole soccer thing went to hell (because of the "female friend" and also because one of the guys from the group slept with another one's girl - a really nice croud as you can see), he started pumping iron at the gym. His body looks great, that's for sure, and maybe that's why I still love him after all of this, because all my exs were fat and ugly as shit. But he spends lots of money on supplements like whey protein and whatnot... fortunatelly no steroids - he has considered it, but it's just too dangerous.. and too expensive. 

Supplements and food - those are his too main expenses. He doesn't spend money at the gym because he works out at his grandmother's garage (he built a small gym there). He does like 5 meals a day, all meat, and of course that becomes more than he can spend.

Anyway, after numerous fights because the money wasn't coming in steadily, we decided it was time to change things. I decided I wouldn't pay for anything from that moment on - he would have to pay for everything he needed, without my help. Food, gas, bills, all split in half. He didn't take it well, of course. I don't know what goes on in his mind to even think he has the right to disagree, but he did. 

But I kept my ground, I had to... or else we would live this lie forever. He would never realise how little he really earns at the tables and how miserable his life is... now it's all hitting him, hard. And it's been a tough ride, so tough that I consider breaking up just not to be forced to witness his despair: knowing he won't go anywhere playing poker, but not being able to accept it and make a real change in his life. He's like.. paralyzed. And it's a horrible thing to see, night after night screaming at his computer when he looses a hand, hours at the (virtual) tables to make a miserable 40 bucks, if he's lucky... I will tell you all about how it is to live like this in my next posts.

Now you know my story and I'm hoping you can open up and share yours with me.

Do it on the comments section or email me at

Keep sane 


Sunday, 15 September 2013

chapter IX - going under

Debt. If you live with a Poker Player you're very familiar with the term. So far, during the 6 years of our relationship, I've lended him money on several occasions and got in debt with him in one. Somehow I always trusted it would be different, that he would end up reaching his goals and paying me as he promised. But he's been using me as if I were a bank account, a no limit credit card. Let's see...

I paid for his new computer with my credit card (he didn't have one at the time) and agreed he would pay me monthy the ammount I was paying the bank (in about 10 times). He stopped paying me after 3 or 4 months. I paid for his first suit, so he could go work at the bank - his grandmother paid me back later on. I lended him a thousand dollars and had him sign a piece of paper promising he would pay me back within a few months, I believe we agreed on 6 months - he never kept his word. And on a day to day basis, as I told you before, I paid for everything in half, even if that meant I was paying more than my fair share - for instance, imagine we went out to dinner, I'd eat a 5 dollar burger and he'd eat a 15 dollar plate of ribs...  I'd pay 10 dollars, instead of only 5.

So it would be imaginable that, by the time he came back to me and started "dreaming" again, exactly one year ago, I would have some sense in my mind... but no. Last summer he started talking about a new poker strategy he could pursue in PokerStars that would grant him 5 or 6 thousad dollars guaranteed by the end of 2013: rakeback.

As he explained it to me, PokerStars has rakeback levels, which means that the more often you play, the higher your level goes and after reaching a certain level (SuperNova he said) you would get tons of money regardless of what you won or lost at the tables - you'd get it just from playing there. His goal was to achieve the SuperNova level next year (2013) and by December make an extra 6 thousand dollars or something. All this, while still being able to withdraw like 800 dollars every month to pay for his expenses. All he needed was 5 thousand dollars to play as often as he possibly could.

My initial reaction was saying no, showing him how he never honoured his word and that was why he was so alone in the world. He said (of course) this time was different, it was guaranteed, and if he didn't make it with 5 thousand dollars he was never gonna make it. I had about 15 thousand dollars left from my inheritance and I figured this would be my last effort to help him out. He said this was his chance to really get the money flowing and for us to finally have a normal life and think about building a family. He also said that he could pay me back when he got his inheritance (when his grandmother dies... geez). 

So I agreed, but this time I took it a bit further and asked a lawyer to put it all on paper. I now have a signed legal contract saying he has to pay me back my money by the end of 2013, or when he receives his inheritance. Not only the 5 thousand he asked me, but all of it, which is about 8 thousand dollars. If he doesn't, I can sue him.

Now that I think about it, it's making me feel sick. Even owing me 3 thousand dollars from before (which include all the money I lended him in 4 years), and still owing like 4 or 5 thousand to the bank, he was still able to believe his ridiculous fantasy enough to take another giant loan from me. And I was still able to believe this time would be different. 

Now I know it's never going be be different. He will never win big time at the tables and he will never keep his word regarding business or money. I will not lend him another dime in my life, so help me God.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

chapter VIII - a changed man?

Hello there, so today I'm going to tell you how my relationship changed after Josh realised I was the only person who really cared for him, since he was sent to live in another state after being rejected by all of his friends and family, who saw him as a money leech.

When he came back, he was very different and continued to mature along the way. He treated me with respect, appreciated me, supported and cheared me up when I was feeling low, helped more around the house and even did a few romantic things from time to time. He cooked, surprised me with a watch for my birthday, took me places, you name it. Our relationship improved a lot. The only thing that didn't change was, unfortunatelly, his "job". The root of all evil so to speak.

He stopped playing at Full Tilt Poker because that was the summer when they closed the site. Yeah, so he was alone in another state for 2 months without a dime in his pocket because they froze his FTP account... I guess that must have been hard and also an eye-opener for him. He survived with the help of his grandmother and a friend lended him 500 bucks to start him off at Poker Stars. 

Anyway, he came back and that's when our life became more... decent, but that was also when he became totally dependent on me without even seeing it. We went back to the "I pay, you'll pay me back whenever possible" thing, but this time he was doing  more regular payments to my account. Still, every month he would have like 400 or 500 dollars expenses written down, that he had to pay me, and of course sometimes he didn't pay the whole ammount and started accumulating debt.

We started living a lie and I'm only realising it now. He was conviced (and me as well) that he had a good life, when in reality he was still making pennies at poker and living well only thanks to my help, my "margin" as he calls it. We went out for dinner lots of times a week, parties with friends, went to the movies... we did whatever we wanted (within reason).

And this is where we found ourselves today, two years later: at the exact same point we were when the big break-up happened, with the difference that there are no female friends, no stupid soccer matches and a much more stable and strong bond between the two of us. Even after FTP came back and he got his money back (like a thousand dollars), that wasn't enough. Not to mention he had another "goal" (fantasy) along the way and I ended up lending him a large, large sum of money that he was supposed to double ("easily!") and of course that never happened either.

Will tell you all about it on my next post. Thank you and keep strong, Poker Wives.

Friday, 13 September 2013

chapter VII - the dreadful hours

After the big fight, it was... somehow reassuring to see that no one, not even Josh's family, was willing to take him in. This may sound cruel, but it was a way for me to stop making excuses for him and to see that not a single person in all of his friends and family, not even his grandmother, were OK with his lifestyle, believed he had some future in it and were willing to give him a break. 

He had no choice but to move to another state, to an old beach house his grandmother owned, where he spent the summer. I ended up regretting the whole thing, because I was pretty sure he hadn't cheated after all (which doesn't mean he wasn't getting ready for it, I know), because a good friend of mine told me Josh had swore nothing had happened, and he really didn't have any reason to lie to him, or to try to manipulate him, thinking  he would later tell me, because they were best friends. This friend is someone who was already (and recently) completely honest with me, regardless of the harm it could do to Josh, by telling me I should have never taken him back and should actually consider leaving him for good, because of his poker lifestyle. So yeah, I trust him.

Meanwhile, I fell into a depression and started doing therapy. I lost 15 pounds in a month (and I'm slim!), wasn't able to eat, sleep or do anything, the whole nine yards. You probably know what I'm talking about. It sounds crazy, it is crazy, but I just missed him and loved him too much. I can tell you a few things I learned about codependence and unhealthy relationships in another post.

In September, however, I had one of the happiest days of my life. I was leaving work and walking towards my car, when I saw Josh just standing there, waiting for me. It was one of those movie-like moments, you know? I had never lived anything as powerful and mindblowing and heartwrecking as that. We just held eachother crying, not even saying a world, it was so surreal. We immediately got back together but kept it a secret for a few months. He was living at a friend's house, but eventually moved back in with me.

So... I had to face my family and friends, who considered me an idiot, brainless little girl for taking him back; and he had to face some of his friends who thought he was stupid for chasing me after I had kicked him out "for no reason". Yeah, there was no cheating, but our money problems were real. And this, of course, he never told them. 

Thank you for reading, feel free to share your stories with me by writing to or just leaving them in the comments section. I will continue writing soon, and you'll see how a good scare can do miracles for some people: Josh came back a changed man.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

chapter VI - the big break-up

By June 2011, Josh and I were living under the same ceiling but growing more and more apart. The house was mine, which meant he didn't pay rent (actually I'm paying a bank loan on the house) or any work that had to be done in the building. The car was mine, which meant he only helped with gas money from time to time and didn't pay for the insurance. The internet and cable service was free, because I work in a company that pays for it. 

So basically he had quite some advantages moving in with me, while I had none by taking him in. Monthly bills and food were supposed to be divided, but thanks to the poker's uncertainty, he only paid every other month. We even had a fight because, when he first moved in, he brought up the fact that up until then I had been using his house (like showering and watching TV and using the lights and stuff) without paying for it. This meant that he should be entitled to live in my house for a couple of months without paying for anything. I agreed, although now I look back and see this petty, ridiculous attitude of his. He didn't pay for anything in November and December, and when January came and I asked for the money, we fought because he was convinced I had said "until January", which I did, but not including January. He didn't want to pay the bills until February.

I don't remember how that story ended, but you can see the type of thing I had to put up with. Meanwhile, he started helping my father out on his antique business, hoping this would bring more money home... but it didn't. In fact, his enthusiasm with antiques only kept him from playing poker and when the antique selling didn't work out as he had hoped for, he had no money at all.

This started a terrible period between us, we had constant fights because I kept suggesting he got a job or went back to school and he would freak out on me every time. He was also more and more careless about his attendace at the tables, because he was obsessed with playing soccer with his friends. He used to organize two to three matches every week (reminder: renting the field wasn't for free...) and was determined to became the best soccer player in the group. I couldn't deal with such ridiculousness. Besides the matches, he went out frequently at night to meet friends (including females I didn't even know) on a regular basis.

The shit hit the fan when, after noticing he was growing more and more distant, I decided to check out his Facebook account. Yeah, it's wrong, but I'm glad I did it, because it was a real eye-opener. He had been talking to one of his new female friends in a very suspicious way. The conversation indicated that they had been together the previous night and he was actually begging her to get together on that very night.

I totally lost it. He had gone out for a run, so I went after him and had a huge fight on the street, I insulted him, spat on him and tried to beat him (I had already done that when I was suspicious of these "friends"). It was a very low moment for me... and for him. We went home and he tried to explain that he hadn't done anything wrong, he was just being an idiot online with that girl, enjoying the attention, but nothing had actually happened. I didn't believe him.

After that terrible night, I left to my parents house and told them everything. They told me he had to go immediatelly, that he was a low life good for nothing who was simply draining me out, financially and emotionally. I was so filled with hatred and betrayal that I agreed. I gave him 5 days to get the hell out of my place and told him I never wanted to see him again.

But as usual, life had other plans for both of us.

Thank you for reading, I understand this part of the story is a bit "soap-opera-like", but it all comes down to the same problem: if he wasn't playing poker, if he had a regular job and money coming in every month (even if it wasn't much), we wouldn't have lived this nightmare.  

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

chapter V - another day, another... fight

After being together for almost 3 years, I got my own place and Josh started talking about moving in together. Moving to his house wasn't an option for me for several reasons. First of all I had a brand new home, fully equipped and beautifully decorated (my father owns an antique store and got me a bunch of 70's furniture, lamps, paintings and objects). 

Second of all, Josh's house was a mess - his constant rampages caused him to break things around the house whenever he lost, and he also wasn't exactly a tidy person. I'm talking about kicked in doors, several desks broken in half, and tons of dishes laying around in the sink every week waiting for the cleaning lady (payed by his grandmother) to arrive. 

And finally, because his house always creeped me out. His parents died under tragic circumstances and I never felt comfortable around the house. I'm not saying it's haunted, but... I'm not saying it isn't. I don't know, I guess I'm a little paranoid, but the idea of living there just didn't feel right.

So he ended up moving in with me, although I wasn't totally ok with it, I was enjoying living alone (I did so for about 6 months) and didn't feel ready to have him "invading" my space. Actually we had a big fight the week he moved in and I was thinking about calling the whole thing off, but, as always, I gave in. My love for him, or obsession or whatever you wanna call it, always spoke louder. 

He moved in late November and by June he was out - I basically kicked him out, and I will tell that story in my next post. But during those months our lives just got worse and worse, thanks to the lack of money, my feelings that he wasn't trying hard enough, that he was using me and he didn't really love me. Our finances were organized in a simple way: I payed for everything, he would pay me back when he could, depending on how well he did on the tables.

This, along with the fact that he didn't help around the house and didn't treat me right, became unacceptable for me and it all went down in flames when I found out he had been cheating... again.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

chapter IV - troubles ahead

The whole point of quitting his job and dedicating himself to poker was to try and get sponsored by Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars or something. This was Josh's first goal (should I say fantasy?) that he eventually dropped and moved on to the next. His goals always seemed pretty realistic, until we saw he wasn't going to make it. Every single time.

After a few months he decided to take a loan so he could play higher stakes and, supposedly, win more money. Since he didn't have a job and no guarantees whatsoever, I was the one who had to step in with the Bank. We took a joint 10 thousand dollar loan, that he has to pay monthly (like 125 dollars) for 6 years. This meant opening a joint account in my Bank and represented the first rope around my neck, which proceeded to tighten.

After taking the loan we went on vacations and he spent much of it, convincing himself he was entitled to have a "normal", one month vacation (WTF), which means he just stopped playing poker for that period of time. 

When he got back to playing he had a really long bad run and lost almost everything. Basically the loan money went straight to hell and he's still paying for it every month.

Speaking of Hell, that's where he was heading to the following months.

chapter III - poker dreams

About 6 months after getting his job at the Bank, Josh started to intensify his poker activity. By then, Full Tilt Poker was his world and he was making some serious cash (for a 24 year old anyway). I remember he used to take his laptop to the toilet so he wouldn't miss a round and he was more and more convinced he would be able to be among the world's finest poker players, if only he had more time and more money to play.

After a couple of sleepless weekends, when he earned like 1000 dollars and skipped work, he decided to do it. He told me he was quitting his job and would play full time from then on. Getting an education or finding a better job was completely (and still is) out of the question.

Believe it or not, I was ok with it. By then I was still living with my parents and didn't realise the risk that decision brough upon our future. I figured, if he wanted to try, he should try it as soon as possible, and not when we were married and had kids. I also thought that he would have the ability to see and recognize if it wasn't working, and to stop and change directions if necessary.

That was a huge mistake. I mean, not that I supported his decision, but that I couldn't see that he wasn't mature enough to know when to call it quits. Now, 4 years later, he still isn't among the best of the best (not even close). He isn't sponsored. He has debts (some of which I share) and he is basically broke.

Thank you for reading this far, feel free to share your stories on the comments section.


chapter II - one tough cookie

My relationship with Josh had many problems and money wasn't, by then, the biggest of them. Although I supported him, respected him and even pampered him with gifts from time to time (like buying him an expensive watch for his birthday and not getting a single birthday gift in return when I turned 25), I felt like he didn't love me back. After a few years I realised he did love me, but his poor behaviour as a boyfriend was the best he could do for anyone.

My worst struggle was dealing with the fact he didn't value me, or recognized what I meant to him. This is something that, because of his choices in life and how we live our lives, I still feel to this day.

A few days after my birthday, he cheated on me. I couldn't bring myself to break it off by then, because I was finishing my Master's Degree and breaking up would ruin it for me, I just wasn't enough emotionally stable to do it. So a few months went by, I finished my thesis and we broke up because of how he reacted to it: pure indifference. He didn't congratulate me, didn't care for how good my grades were (and they were good) and he basically ressented me for being successful. 

I couldn't deal with such lack of empathy and of... love, and broke up. But I still loved him... so two weeks later we ended up getting back together.

Monday, 9 September 2013

chapter I - the early years

When I met my boyfriend I was 24 and working as a reporter, since I have a degree in Journalism and hadn't yet turned to marketing. I was still living with my parents and the money I made wasn't much, but more than enough for the lifestyle I was leading. 

My boyfriend Josh was working part-time in one of those jobs-for-the-youth programmes and earned like 1/4 of my salary. He has a complicated history. His parents died when he was only a child so he had to live with his grandparents. When he turned 18 they told him he had to get a job (and could continue studying if he wanted to), which he did, but decided to move out and started living alone. He eventually dropped out of school and kept working at call centers and stuff for a few years.

However, he could never keep a job for long, he always started trouble with his bosses or was always late or just got bored and quit. So, when I met him he was working at that State gig that his grandmother got him and it was ok since he didn't have to pay rent (the house belonged to his family) and always got some help with the bills.

Our relationship was very difficult in the beginning, he showed no respect for me whatsoever, he was selfish, violent and always angry at the world. We broke up 3 times in 6 years (I did, anyway). But somehow I always took him back and blamed his past, his complicated childhood with addicted parents, or his overprotective grandmother... and I always hoped he would change He did change, in many ways, thank god, but... moving on with the story.

Later on he got a job at a Bank's call center, but I knew that wouldn't last for several reasons... he hated it and was always late and spent his salary on taxis instead of catching a bus to get there on time.

So... he was a pretty unreliable guy and it became pretty obvious that wasn't going to work. By then he was already playing poker, as a hobby, for a couple of years. And that's when he decided to change his life.

a little background...

Hello there, my name is Andrea and I'm a 30 year old copywriter working for a marketing agency. Me and my boyfriend have been together for almost 6 years and we moved in together like 2 and a half years ago. The reason why I decided to start this blog is he became a "professional" poker player 4 years ago and... it hasn't been easy. We've had our good times, but mostly it's been pretty bad. 

We are now going through another rough period and I decided to search online, to see if I could find anyone who's going through similar experiences. No luck. The only blogs I found were from 2009... so here I am. I will tell you my whole story - trust me, no picnic here - and am hoping to know more women out there who, although are successful and independent, are getting their lives shaken (or destroyed) by their boyfriend's or husband's dream of poker success.

I am also hoping to find success stories. Someone who can give hope to the rest of us, who do not wish to leave our companions, but simply cannot live like this anymore.