Poker mirrors life, and everywhere I turn, I discover poker lessons in plain sight. Poker and life are both about making correct decisions while balancing priorities. Women are particularly good at balancing life situations, which is one of the many reasons women make good poker players.
If you are a woman poker player who has struggled with balancing the many facets of your life, I'd like to tell your story. Please email me directly: Donna at BigGirlPoker dot com.
Here's my most recent balancing act.
Yesterday, when our temperature in Florida finally topped 80 degrees, my 83-year-old mother announced she was giving our five dogs a bath. Even though I had hopes of briefly zoning out in front of the TV before planning strategies for next week's poker coaching, then on to a poker tournament, mom handed me a huge stack of towels.
While sitting on the couch juggling two wet, squirming Yorkies, my coffee cup, and the TV remote, I surfed into a highly underrated TV series, In Plain Sight. As I absently watched the replay of the pilot while brushing and drying Herman and Starr, I wondered how the lead woman character would fair at the poker table… especially since she lives her life on tilt, wearing her anger on her sleeve while suppressing her softer side.
A United States Marshall, attached to the Federal Witness Protection Program, Mary Shannon works in a male dominated professional world and has a dysfunctional personal life. As I watched Mary's ongoing life struggles, they reminded me of the challenges faced by virtually every women in business, including women poker players: balancing our professional life, with the relationships within our business community, while tending to the care and nurturing of our personal life.
The beauty of poker is that it gives women the ability to work through balancing these roles while taking baby steps without huge commitments. It's reassuring to know that practically any woman with the desire to learn the game can step into the poker arena and seriously compete on whatever level she chooses.
Every time we sit down at a poker table, we have the luxury of starting over. If we screwed up last time, we start fresh. If we played at our peak, we still begin anew. Poker is all about learning lessons and releasing baggage. The very nature of poker enables us to learn at lightning speed with minimal risk.
For me, poker initially was a diversion from the incessant stress of my all-consuming business life. Within the game, I found joy, truth, and lighthearted fun. Then, poker became my passion.
Now I live in paradise, surrounded by love… my husband, mom, and five dogs. I will play poker today, come home to clean dogs tonight, and coach other poker players this coming week. It is plain to me… I am a very lucky, woman poker player.
Remember my motto:
If you can't raise, don't call!