Although I’ve slowed the gambling train down quite a bit (actually, more like a screeching fucking halt!) since my marriage and the birth of my daughter, I’m a pretty avid poker player. At one point, I was pulling in several thousand dollars a year in extra income by playing poker in both live and online casinos. I even paid for our wedding in Maui through poker winnings (and my poor wife’s little dinky ring is living proof). However, as is the case for a lot of us when we start having kids, my free time disappeared, my expendable income disappeared and I became much more conscious about taking risks – especially with money – since I have a family to consider.

So, those days are over for now and my time “at the tables” is limited to an hour or two playing online for a couple of bucks here and there or the occasional poker night with the boys. About the only thing I fold now is my empty wallet. I have good memories of all the action, the big wad of cash in my nightstand, and all those runs to Commerce Casino or the Mirage. Those were good times. However, these are better times…just in a different way. The big pots are replaced by a little tiny face yelling “Daaaady” as I walk in the door. The trips to Vegas are now trips to the park or the beach. And my nightstand doesn’t hold anything of value anymore because it will inevitably be emptied on to the floor. But that’s OK. That’s my stuff and she’s welcomed to it anytime.

So, Dads [and Moms!], what kinds of similar things have changed for you since the fruit(s) of your procreation replaced your methods of recreation?

I managed to track down a few of my old trip reports from a few years ago. Mostly Vegas runs with the boys. You can find them here, here, and here.