Advice needed

I’m going to pretty much outline my 2 life biggest issue’s in this post, feel free to call me a idiot regarding ‘issue 1’. Now that I’ve gotten myself into this mess though I need to somehow get out of it as well.

About 2 years ago I got myself into a lot of problems at school (I don’t want to go very deep into this) to the point where I disappointed my parents. I got myself to the point where the only ways out I saw where running away or to continue to lie to my parents regarding my school progress. This was a process that slowly developed over time. I eventually solved all the issue’s and graduated with solid marks, but I put my parents through A LOT of stress in the progress.

Right now I am in highschool and I’m getting myself in a remarkable similar situation. Last year I got the ‘kissing disease’ from my little brother (don’t ask), it appeared at the time I didn’t have a lot of problems with it. Looking back though I realize that I was very tired in the last half of that school year (about the time I suffered from the disease), because I just continued to life my regular life (involving getting up every morning at 5 am to deliver newspapers) it only increased the symptoms. As a consequince I failed a lot of classes the last year, I told my parents about a few classes, I didn’t explain to them though how serious it really is.

My parents expect that I am going to graduate highschool in 4 years, right now this is nearly impossible and it will most likely take atleast 4.5 years (and quite possibly 5 years). This isn’t a major disaster at all, but I fear my parents don’t quite agree with that. Especially my father always stresses that I need to graduate in 4 years, he lost himself a year during college because he had to go to the army. This caused him to fall behind other people, and even though he likes his current job he feels that if he didn’t miss that year he would’ve had more options and chances in life. He wants to prevent the same thing happening to me. The situation has changed a lot over the years though, its not uncommen for people to graduate one year later and find a good job afterwards. So the problem is; How do I tell my parents what the situation really is? And how the hell am I going to find the courage to do so?

My second problem revolves around online poker, I’m fairly good at poker and I know I can make a decent amount of money playing poker. My parents have a different view in this regard, they think that poker is inherently a negative game (you always lose money if you play long enough). This view is mostly because of lack of knowledge regarding poker. I currently have a job where I deliver newspapers as my only income. I really want to get rid of it because I can win more with poker, and frankly I’m getting sick of delivering newspapers. My parents are paying any school expenses I might have (they are the best parents you can wish) and I am living at home. This basically means that they have something to say in all of this as well. I don’t want to upset my parents, but I also don’t want to deliver newspapers for another 2 years (I’ve been getting up at 5 am, 6 days a week for 2 years now). So any idea’s on how to convince my parents that poker really is a good way to pay my monthly expenses?

Also note that I am slowly developing the idea that a ‘perfect’ life would be a part time job with poker to supplement my income. And perhaps eventually become a ‘poker pro’ depending on how much I enjoy it/how good I really am. This is for the future though, and not a problem right now.

Ps. One of my good qualities is that I am very carefull with my money, without being a prick. As a result I’m in a decent financial situation. So I should be able to handle the unevitable swings that WILL happen if I take up poker as my only income.

Pps. If I quite my current job and my sole income is poker, does that mean I’m a now considered a ‘poker pro’? (which would be neat :stuck_out_tongue: )

Yes. Play poker, win, and pay your expenses with it.

Technically, yes. ‘Pro’ simply means profession. If that is where you get your income, you would be in the profession of playing poker for income. This would be your profession. Of course the term may be used loosely to describe a very good player in general, so that you would have to earn. Good luck!

Sorry to hear about your problems. Fortunately you seem to have time to turn things around.

As a teacher, I can assure you that both your family and your teachers want you to succeed. Why not, for example, ask your school counsellor for guidance? Make a plan to improve your work habits. Ask bright classmates for constructive help (they don’t do your homework, they explain it to you).
You’ve got years before graduation - turning the situation round will make both you and your family proud. Plus learning planning and self-discipline will benefit you throughout life.

I’ve played poker for years. (Only with friends and currently with a computer program.) Nevertheless I have never met anyone who thought they were a bad poker player. :confused:
I’m not sure how you know how good you are. There are a lot of bad online players for sure, so it’s hard to estimate your ability.
It is however certain that you need to spend a lot of time on poker to be a full-time professional and can lose all your money. Where is your back-up? Are you going to borrow money from your parents?
Even if you break even, how are you going to pay rent, food, heating, lighting, transport, taxes and holidays?
Famous poker pros have usually been successful in another field first. This gives them a guaranteed source of income and the confidence to cope with bad breaks.

Hope this helps.

Not to mention that I’m fairly sure in most places you’d be considered too young to gamble. It’d certainly be illegal here.

Regarding school: if you’re still in high school (US), you could reduce the extra time spent in school by taking summer courses. You may also be able to earn credits through a local community college that could be applied to your high school credits. It’s worth checking into, anyway, if you haven’t already.

Regarding money: I find it hard to believe that your only choices for income are delivering newspapers or playing poker. Paper delivery doesn’t pay well (from what I recall), whereas earning from playing poker is inherently unstable and inconsistent. I don’t care how good you are at it, you cannot guarantee that you’ll win a certain amount on a weekly or monthly basis. I’d also think that given the shape your grades are in, you’re not going to win your parents’ approval for it when you could be using that time to, say, study.

Discuss quitting the paper route with them but have an alternative at the ready. There are lots of service industry jobs you could pursue that would pay better but not require you full-time: food server (full service or fast food restaurants), coffee house work, retail sales, etc.

I know they have the best intentions possible, I just don’t know how to tell them that I’m more behind than they think. I 'm also going to take a course in self-discipline and planning, this is on top of whatever study I do currently, this as an advice from my ‘studieloopbaanbegeleider’ (probably similar to a school counsellor).

Thats what I plan to do, I just need to somehow convince my parents its possible. Thinking about it some more though I guess it should solve itself eventually.

Being a full time professional is nowhere near in the future. I am planning to pay my monthly expenses during highschool, these aren’t very high at all (250 dollars or so). I also have enough saved up to last me atleast half a year (without counting my online bankroll).
I am aware that poker has a tendency to give the illusion your a great player. I’ve been slowly grinding my way up though from the 5$ NL tables to the 25$ NL tables.
I started of with 50 dollars on a poker account, I slowly worked this up to slightly over 700 now (with the last 300 dollars in the last month after moving up from 10 nl).

Ps. Don’t feel sorry for me, I’ve been in deeper shit than this. If these are my biggest issue’s in life, than hey I’m lucky !

Your parents are eventually going to find out how badly you’re behind in school; trust me, as someone who was in your situation at one point in my life, it’s a lot easier to tell your parents yourself than have them called in for a school conference and find out just how much and how long you’ve been hiding the truth from them. In my case, alcohol was behind my mess; it wasn’t until I got cleaned up that I was able to get my life straightened out, but in the meantime it was really hard on my parents to find out that I’d basically been lying to them for a year and a half.

I know it’s hard to disappoint your parents, but I suspect they’d rather you come to them for help with your problem than let you fail even more.

Regarding issue 1: come clean with your parents. Believe me, keeping things from them (for longer and longer) is FAR more damaging than just spilling the beans. And trust me, though they may go through shock, disappointment, even anger, they WILL be VERY GRATEFUL that you have been up front with them. With all that parents have to be concerned about their teenaged kids these days: drugs, smoking, unplanned pregnancy etc., they will be SO glad to find that their child is able to be open with them.
They will likely get upset, repeatedly ask why you never said anything, disappointed, etc., but once they get over that, they will support you in how to dig yourself out of the hole. One thing that doesn’t make sense is that if you did have mono, that is a very legitimate reason to start having a tough time. Why cover that up ? Or be concerned about explaining that that was part of how you got to where you are ?
Above all else, parents are generally primarily concerned with their kids’ well being and their future. So though they may get upset, they will work with you to figure out how best to work things out (summer school, extra classes, etc.). This is also where you should get the school involved. As worthless as many counselors may be, this is where they can get a chance to work the system to your benefit. At least give it a shot.
But the key is to just sit the folks down (turn off the TV), and spill the beans. The sooner the better (don’t allow yourself to make lame excuses to procrastinate).

Regarding the second issue, the first issue may have some bearing on it. IF you are to buck up and do what you can to finish school in 4 years, it may require so much time, you may have to put the poker on hold (and the paper route as well). Part of what it takes to finish on time may be that you spend a LOT more time on studying. If you point this out to your parents, they may be willing to support you even more (financially) to get this done.

My other thought is that I was raised with the rule that “whoever paid the rent makes the rules” (period). So long as you’re living under their roof, eating their food, your parents have the final say on how you live your life. As lucrative as it may be, if they say “no” to the poker, so be it. Again, deception is not the answer. It may not be “fair”, but it’s their house.
I’m also not sure that online gambling is actually legal for those of any age. If, in fact, this is the case and you are essentially breaking some law (somewhere), then all the more reason for not continuing. “But I can make good money ?” you reply. Imagine your parents’ reaction if you were to tell them you could also make good money dealing drugs (that you don’t use yourself). Get the point ? Again, once you’re on your own, you are free to do what you want. But while you’re under their roof (even if you are taking care of your expenses), it’s still their rules.

Deception and keeping things hidden is generally never a good way to do things. I thought of a story to which illustrates this point. My first job I worked for a government contractor, and needed security clearances. Periodically you’d have to fill out a bunch of paperwork and “renew” your clearances. This one guy I worked with (who’d been working at the company for 10+ years) decided, on one of these “renewals”, to come clean about having smoked pot when he was in college. He had his clearance revoked. And it was not for the pot smoking - it was for having lied about it all these years. The offence he was covering up was no where near as severe as the act of covering it up.

Hope this helps. And I hope it goes well when you tell your parents.

My advice? Shorter posts and stay away from poker.

Two questions:

  1. If you’re in high school now, what did you graduate from two years ago?

  2. Why do your parents not already know the truth?

  1. “Junior high” or whatever the local equivalent is called. Most countries don’t even have graduation ceremonies… I have “finished school” four times, so to an American friend I’d say I’ve “graduated” four times.

  2. Agreed. Don’t they get grade reports from the school? Even if the school doesn’t send them, I’d make sure to stay in contact with the school myself about how my kid is doing. You need to spill the beans (call up a meeting and give them the truth… don’t ask how, you know how!), including both “I lied to you” and “I’ve already set up this and this step to fix it”, then the three of you need to work a complete plan. Their job helping you to school doesn’t consist exclusively of saying you have to do well; they need to be in contact with the school directly.
    Re the poker, how much time you spend on it? The absolute amount you make is not as important as the amount/hour: someone who makes 10K$/month but works a 60hr week is getting worse pay than someone who makes 8K$/month on a 40hr week.
    I know that “I’m making my own money” feels nice, but really, wouldn’t “I’m directing my own life” feel even better? I know that at your age anything beyond 20 sounds ancient, but… do you have any idea what you’d like to do when you’re 25? College may not be the best option for you; perhaps you’re better suited for a trade. School plans I know range from the very rigid one I had here in Spain to the US system, where students can do things like take college courses before graduating high school - or graduate high school without having touched trigonometry; what is the case in your country? Look at your “optional courses” as a door into different professions; if you hate high school acocunting it will probably not be a good idea to become a CPA :slight_smile:

You do know that you can catch mono from someone by sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils, not just from kissing, right? It’s not at all surprising that you caught it from your little brother.

I realise that it’s going to take a big effort to speak to your parents. But (as others have said), the sooner the better. Please believe me, this problem is not going to go away, or get better on its own.
Look, your parents are on your side. They may be ‘over anxious’, but why turn down their support?
I guess you are in the Netherlands - if so, you have a fine school system there (and your English is great if it’s your second language).

I disagree completely with this advice.
I have books by Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Dan Harrington etc. Great reads - but even these world class players have lost all their money at some point in their careers. They all had other ways to earn money. Please don’t bet your education on playing poker with no backup.
I’ve reached international chess standard, but I qualified as a computer programmer before considering a pro career. I’ve bought sandwiches for pro chess players who were going through a bad patch and had no money.

Surely you realise that if you spent time studying instead of playing poker, you’d solve one of your problems?

I wish you luck.

I heard an interview on NPR’s This American Life of a professional poker player in Las Vegas a couple years ago.

Her comment was that it took her 2 years, playing 40 hours per week before she was good enough to be a professional poker player.

She also said that she’d gone completely bankrupt twice, losing a $600,000 house, during her career.

I think I’d play poker for fun, and find a different career.


Not a lawyer, but you should probably consult one before you try to gamble illegally

Pardon me, but what’s the legal age to gamble in your state? Most states its either 18 or 21, and if you graduated junior high 2 years ago, you’re neither of those.

Did you know that if you are underage and discovered gambling that, beyond prosecution, the house considers all bets ‘null and void’? (i.e. they keep all your winnings and there isn’t a single thing you can do about it).

As for prosecution/incarceration, your Dad might think that this would hold you back in your career also.

[DearAbbey] Hit the Books & Ditch the Crooks. [/DearAbbey]

What caused the problems you had at school two years ago? Was it not doing homework, poor study habits for tests, being in classes that are too difficult, or what? You should figure that out- it’s almost certainly germane to your current problems in school.

Fall behind other people how? I found that, once I got out of school, being a year older or younger than other people around me really didn’t make any difference. In fact, in most business settings in the US, it would be considered rude to ask a colleague how old they are, and it would be illegal for someone interviewing you for a job to ask how old you are.

I’ve played online poker for a few years now. With the number of idiots online right now, sitting down and making a few hundred bucks at low limit poker is really not that hard. Consistently making money can be hard. Making money at higher limits can be harder, sometimes a lot harder. Keeping your head and playing well in the middle of a massive losing streak that’s already drained half your bankroll is hardest of all.

I’d say it’s way too early for you to be making plans regarding poker until you’ve played for a lot longer. You really need to play through some droughts and some losing streaks before you can assess how good you are. Also, just because poker is big now doesn’t mean is will be forever. If it becomes illegal or just falls out of fashion, all those idiots might dry up and the pickings will become a lot leaner.

If you enjoy playing poker, keep it as a hobby and a way to make some extra spending money. You’ll play better, and the swings won’t be as devastating. You really need to finish school and make sure you have some career options if poker doesn’t work out, or even if you find you simply don’t enjoy it as a job. From all acounts, playing poker for a living is a boring, stressful job most of the time, and not particularly lucrative unless you’re one of the best.

A update and additional information;

My problems at my last school mostly consisted of not finishing the small things in a project. Eventually the small problems became big problems, and eventually it appeared as though a huge wall was holding me back. The only was out for me was running away from home (one of the best things I ever did, and one of the most stupid things at the same time). I didn’t push it through however, and came back late in the evening. My parents had called the police by that time. The worst of this all is that I hurt my parents in the process a lot, I eventually worked myself out of the mess and finished the project.

Yes I’m from the Netherlands. And I enjoy my study very much, and I will finish the study eventually.

Regarding poker;
I am not planning to become a true pro, you have to realize that the money I win in low stakes is more than enough to pay for anything I need at this point in my life. I have very little expenses each month. I changed my plan slightly however, if I continue to do well with poker I am going to quit delivering newspapers and either get another job (a once a week a few hours job) or only delivering newspapers on Sunday (pays better than on other days). Either way I will make sure I have some kind of secondary income.
I’m going to wait this out a bit though, I can handle delivering newspapers for a month or two more. If I’m still doing good with poker after two months I might do this.
If poker happens to crumble and fall down there are a myriad of low/decent paying jobs that I can pick up to get me through college.
With the money I have now I can pretty much get through college without dept, I’m not a person who easily gambles away there money or buys useless crap (in fact I’m pretty much always in ‘save’ mode). This doesn’t mean I’m a prick though.

I am by the way 19 years old, and the minimum age in the Netherlands for gambling is 18 years old. I actually checked this out when I was 17 and avoided playing untill after I turned 18.
Yesterday evening I sad down my parents and showed them my list of grades from last year. Once I decided that I really need to do this it turned out to be more easy than I thought. I guess once I accepted that it needed to be done I was also mentally prepared. Suprisingly to me was that my parents wheren’t as suprised as I imagined, they where sad that it got this far and disappointed but had already seen it coming. I guess I didn’t hide it as good as I thought, or perhaps they know me better than I imagined. Whatever the case is, I agreed to take a course in self-discipline and spend more time on school. We also talked about poker for a bit and they agreed that it was fine as a game and nice that I won some money with it. However if they think I am spending to little time on school and to much on poker there will be repercussions.

I was top of my class with english writing/reading and listening.
You wouldn’t want to hear me talk in english though, honestly…(still thanks :smiley: )

I saved for a decade until I had enough for a 50% deposit on a house. And I’m not a prick, either. :wink:

Excellent. Well done! :smiley:

I’ve been to about 20 Dutch chess tournaments. (And very pleasant they all were too!)
I once tried to tell an English-speaking Dutchman about one Netherlands town which is also the name of a chess opening.
“Shhh - ven - ee - gen”
Nope, he’d never heard of it. :eek: :confused:
When I spelt it (Scheveningen), he produced a guttural snarl “You mean Heyrrrr - ver - ningen!”
We have nothing like this sound in English!

Yeah the dutchies sure sound weird for pretty much everyone else. Atleast thats what they always tell me. They have also told me in chatboxes that they assumed I’m a brit/american/scot, I found this fairly amusing. Especially considering back than I ‘hated’ americans, and this usually followed with a long winded argument back and forth.

Brag; I’m now on nearly 1000 dollars with poker. Yeah I’m definitley running steaming hot. I don’t mind though. :smiley: