Many people complimented me for my maturity, many told me how they wished they could do the same but couldn't justify it financially and many told me I'm going to regret this and that I should be more grateful about the position I'm in.
A year later I've more or less come to one realization: while I may come across as if I know whats best for myself, I am ultimately still a kid who has no real idea what to do with my life.
I felt poker was in certain ways "holding me back" from being the person I want to be/doing the things I want to do/living the life I want to live, and while it may have been a contributing factor, all-in-all I think I need to take more responsibility.
A year ago I said that "I want to be able to have a wider group of interests, and meet more people with similar goals; I want to wake up each day knowing I can fill it with things that I find interesting or challenging rather than simply filling it with things that fill time."
I think since last year I've done a better job of achieving this than I had pre-retirement but still nowhere near as well as I'd like to. I'm enrolled in the Business program at Wilfrid Laurier University and overall its been lots of fun and I've met a ton of awesome people, Most of the learning I'm doing at the moment doesn't intrigue me too much, but so far I'm happy with my decision to return to school and I feel like it has allowed me to appreciate poker more.
The main reason for entering a business program specifically was to help me gain knowledge that would be relevant to starting up a business. During the first term I tried at school for maybe the first time in my life and ended up finishing at/near the top of each of my classes while more or less completely eliminating poker from my life. I learnt a fair bit but it was almost exclusively knowledge that is important for getting a business degree, but not necessarily for understanding how to run a successful business. I still enjoyed my classes, but I do think its kind of lame to learn things that I know will never be useful and I don't find particularly interesting.
Poker is kind of the opposite of that... when learning poker you can choose exactly what to play, when to play, how to study, who to talk to, how to improve, when to move up, when to move down etc. There are very few things in the world where you have so much control over yourself and school has definitely helped me appreciate that more.
Additionally, in terms of independent learning, I remember my ex-girlfriend used to regularly say how she likes the Summer since then she has time to read the books that she wants to read, and I definitely can now understand her point of view. School typically "takes priority" over other sorts of learning, and since I'm the type of person who reads most books for a purpose it means that a lot of the time I spend learning might be more effective if it weren't structured towards school.
Anyways, this is getting rambly already but basically school has been a lot of fun but its not better than poker in every single way by any means, and even from a learning standpoint I feel as if a driven person can definitely learn more when they have more control over the structure of their own learning.
Anyways, after a bunch of time away from poker, I've been playing more the last month. March went great and I made a bunch of money when I played. Yesterday I had a really mediocre Sunday but still feel great after playing it, and I think I've definitely reached a point where I can enjoy poker more in moderation and not necessarily feel as if it has to be my whole life or play no role in my life.
I also made 2 training videos today and think they turned out quite well. A bunch of the hands weren't too exciting and it probably just looks like I just get aces every hand since they were from the WCOOP main event which went for about 1,000 hands and it looks like we'll only talk about ~50 of them.
I guess this one year post isn't anything too ground-breaking, I mostly just wanted to say that I don't hate poker by any means, and I do plan on sticking with it to some degree.
I think I've matured over the last year by realizing that I need to take control of my own sitaution. I am the type of person who will likely have trouble committing to any one thing for my whole life and will constantly need to seek out my own challenges/learn new things/meet new people as a way to keep myself interested/motivated/making the most of my time. I think school, poker, starting this business and any other activities I choose to occupy my time on all have their advantages and disadvantages one of the main keys to my own happiness is finding the right balance/variety of ways to spend my time.
P.S I remember last year thinking if I was 21 for the series I might have not even played the WSOP main event. This year I'm feeling completely different and will likely play a huge variety of events. I plan to play tons of events, work harder on my game than I have in quite some time(going to make sure that I end up rooming with people who I can learn a lot from and spend a ton of time picking their brain), keep eating/excercising well, not get sick of Vegas(this will be the toughest one) and overall just have an awesome Summer before getting back to the school grind in the fall.