Picture this: A twenty-three-year-old man, lives with his parents after he graduated college and is now unemployed. Life for this man… is pretty tough because of the all the pressure on him. His parents wanted him to work in the family business, but this was the last thing Alex wanted out of his life.
He wanted to do something different.
Alex Wade had a different mindset; money for him wasn’t important if he could earn it through his own effort and skills. He wasn’t a very good businessman, but his parents wanted someone to be part of and invested in the family the business. Being the only child of his parents, who were able to conceive him after ten hard years of trying for a child, they had pretty simple expectations of him: someone who would be their very own puppet.
As he matured and went through his own struggles, Alex figured out more about his personality; he didn’t want to do anything that would easily come in his hands without any struggle. Once it was finally time for him to move out and start his own career, Mr. Wade gave his son the talk.
“Alex, for the last time, why don’t you just come to work with me tomorrow?” Mr. Wade sighed, “I promise you that you wouldn’t have to touch a thing, but at least you’ll be employed!”
“Dad, I’ve told you over and over, I don’t want to do anything like that!” Alex exclaimed, frustrated by his father’s demands. “I want to be someone… someone who can look at all he has and proudly say that it was earned, not given!”
“I’m tired of this, Alex. We have gone over and over this. I’m not giving you a choice anymore. If you wake up tomorrow in this house, you’ll be coming with me to work, and that’s final.”
The talk went absolutely downhill.
What his father didn’t realize, was that Alex didn’t work well with ultimatums and people telling him what to do, let alone forcing it on him. He had enough respect for himself not to be commanded by someone. That night, Alex packed his bags and left a goodbye note to his parents, moving far away from their lives. He walked and walked until a truck driver offered to give him a ride to Las Vegas.
Once he arrived in Las Vegas, Alex had a hard time settling around. He had some money he’d stolen from his parents, that he used to rent hotels a couple of times, but once that money ran out, he was broke. He often spent his nights sleeping wherever he could find a bed, no matter how uncomfortable. He slept on the streets, in hostiles and even shacked up occasionally with some questionable characters. He wouldn’t lie; it was tough. He was homeless, hungry, and extremely unproductive, and it was starting to really bother him.
He applied for every job that seemed interesting to him. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t the only person unemployed, and others had much more experience than he did, so he wasn’t their first choice.
On a very gloomy day, he was sitting outside a famous club in Las Vegas, dead to the core and very hungry. At this point, he lost all his hope as he sat there. A man who was going inside the club saw Alex and sympathized with him for a while. He asked him, “You’re young. What are you doing sitting on the street like this?”
Alex replied monotonously, “I’m just very, very unlucky, sir.”
Vinnie Demarco was the most famous poker player around…and he was taking an interest in Alex. They sat there talking for a while, rehashing how Alex ended up broken and on the streets. Vinnie had been just like him, an orphan, and on the streets himself. That’s when he decided that Alex needed a chance. He offered for Alex to stay with him, and he would help him get on his feet. Vinnie had started from the bottom, just where Alex was now and ended up owning multiple clubs around town. Alex sat there, shocked at the offer, but something about it piqued his interest. In spite of his better judgement, he decided to take a chance…because after all, what did have to lose at that point.
Alex might not be very studious, but he has really good instincts and was very skillful and quick to grasp onto new information – of course, information that was of interest to him. In just a few sessions, Alex started to get the hang of poker. He learned all the hacks and things you need to know while playing it. He started with Texas Hold’em, small stakes in the beginning and often losing in these games; however, winning some money as well. Vinnie was always with him, offering him advice and as much money as he needed in order to begin.
“You’re an investment for me, boy!” He’d say to Alex, patting his back as he gave him wads of cash.
Vinnie never seemed to have a shortage of cash.
In a couple of months, with some practice and additional help from Vinnie, Alex was able to stand on his two feet. Soon, he was losing less money and gaining much more. He paid off Vinnie, moved out of his house, and bought his own place in a year or two.
He paid off his parents, sent them as much money as he took from them, maybe even more. He wrote a letter to them and said, ‘I’m an entrepreneur now. Yes, of my own business. Thanks for never believing in me.’
He finally had some peace in his life. His job was the best thing about it, but there was always something missing.
Someone who’d love him for who he was.
However, for Alex, this didn’t come easily like poker, and he failed miserably to find someone every single time…it seemed hopeless.