Monday, August 20, 2018

What Do You Do For a Living?

by Batman (writer), Redondo Beach, CA, June 09, 2007


I got asked this the other day. I didn't know how to respond right away, however, when I want to mess with people's heads, I reply:

I play poker.

To which they'll almost always respond,

You play poker?

Now, since you can't hear the inflection in their collective voices when they respond, it's usually in one of two ways. Either, unbelievably, as in, "What, are you nuts?" or, interested like, "Cool!"

The "What, are you nuts?" faction, herein after referred to as simply, 'nuts', usually walk away with a strange look on their face, after they've asked the follow up question with the sound of incredulity in their voice, and goes something like this, "How can you earn a living playing poker?" To which I usually reply, "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," or some such other random movie quote, which doesn't actually answer their question.

The fact is, I do, and it's really none of their business how I do it. Unless, they wish to pay me for the privilege. Rates are available, and pretty steep. Just because I have the ability to teach, doesn't mean that I want to.

I feel that this reaction is judgmental at they've formed an opinion based on what I do, and not who I am, and I don't need them as friends.

On the other hand, those that reply, "Cool!" usually become some of my newest best friends. People that I'd want to hangout with, when I'm not playing poker, or doing whatever else it is that I do on any given day.

Of course, the context of the question is sometimes taken into account. It comes down to where I am when I get asked. I was once at a poker tournament when someone made the grandiose statement, "There are no professionals here." To which I replied, "I guess I'm not here then." Now, at this point, I could've gotten up and left, however, I did achieve the desired effect, and took all his money later in the tournament. Then he got up and left, shaking his head all the way.

Usually, if I get asked the question at the poker table, I tell the other players that I'm a filmmaker, except as noted above. I do this, simply to mess with the players' heads. Most of the time, if I can get you to talk about anything else while at the table, you're not going to be concentrating on the game.

Yes, there's more to poker than life. No matter what it is you're doing for a living, ultimately, it's none of my concern. Tell me what you want. I'm not going to check you out or anything. There's no background check involved. Of course, I'm not going to ask in the first place. Unless of course, I want to mess with your head.

About the Writer

Batman is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on What Do You Do For a Living?

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By Jen on June 09, 2007 at 08:06 pm
One of my good friends father is a professional poker player. Quite successful. Did not shock me one bit when I learned that his wealth had come from the tables. Nice article.
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By Batman on June 10, 2007 at 09:20 am
I think there are more of us out there than you might think, Jen. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the compliment.
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By Lady D on December 27, 2007 at 12:22 pm
Well somebody got to be a professsional. Might as well be you. Good article
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By travelingseth on January 14, 2008 at 09:16 pm

I too recently met my first professional poker player.  Really cool guy, although while I gave a genuine "Cool!" response to him telling me about it, afterwards I'll admit to being a little judgemental.  I've actually been kind of conflicted about it since.  To be extreme for example's sake, would you trust your heart to someone who's spent most of their life learning how to decieve people for their own gain?  Then again, maybe poker is just too good a metaphor for human nature for me to be comfortable with...and the fact that it's taken off like it has speaks volumes about our society.

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