Dusty Schmidt Laments Damage To His Brain From Poker Multi-Tabling

Dusty Schmidt Laments Damage To His Brain From Poker Multi-TablingAfter being absent from the blogsphere for quite sometime, Dusty ‘Leatherass’ Schmidt posted a blog on Feb 19 entitled ‘This Is My Brain On Poker.’ In his more than 2,000 word piece, Schmidt warns of the damage multi-tabling has had on his brain, and could have on your own. But then again, the poker pro’s thoughts could just be where quasi-science meets hypochondria and even Schmidt admits that he is no doctor and that everything he wrote should be taken with a grain of salt.
Dusty Schmidt has been playing poker full time online for the last 8 years and despite having made millions of dollars from the game, the US pro says there was a huge price to pay in terms of the subtle changes that have taken place in his brain. Its not all bad, though, as Schmidt explains:
“I gained an ability to read and process information at ridiculous speeds. I became able to take a subject I had little to no experience with and understand at nearly an expert level, all of the moving parts to the subject.”
On the downside, however, Schmidt talks about becoming overwhelmed by the sheer speed and volume of information swirling around in his head and not being able to process it all in time. The ‘rapidly paced and intense thoughts’ he would experience and, of chief concern, the anxiety he has suffered as a result seems to have impacted his relationship with his wife and children.
After being prescribed medication by his practitioner in 2012 with limited effect, Dusty Schmidt then goes into great detail about how he sought out a psychiatric evaluation from www.amenclinics.com, which is owned by the uncle of his best friend, Matt Amen. Basically, it appears that his doctor urged him to retire from full time online poker, and here are a few extracts from his protracted piece:
“After hearing some exciting things about my brain, I then got the bad news. The bad news is that what poker puts the human brain through is unsustainable. I was told that if I choose to play online poker as a full time career, I will likely die of a stroke before the age of 50. They said that the human brain simply does not have the capacity to put itself through 8+ hour days of mass multi-table online poker. They said that playing online poker to that degree was quite literally one of the very worst things you can do to your brain and body.”
Finally, although not having played online poker for 2 months, Dusty Schmidt said he was not quitting the game but, instead, needed to approach the game “in a much healthier fashion.” This would seem to involve playing 5-10 hours a week, and as h explains:
“I was told that a good way to avoid severe damage to my brain would be to go on a schedule of playing for 2 hours in the morning followed by lots of exercise and then for 2 hours more before retiring from any other strenuous mental activity for the day. For now, I am happy to take a little more time away from the game.”
Whether Dusty Schmidt’s anxiety attacks and perceived damage to his brain are multi-tabling related or not is questionable at best. In addition, everyone is wired differently so Schmidt’s experience is less likely to prove an across the board study on the subject. Nevertheless, we wish Schmidt success in finding a healthy balance in his life and finding an approach which works best for him.

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