WSOP 2014: Jake Cody and the solution to all poker problems

The poker player's lifestyle, one of long weeks spent away from home playing endless tournaments in Las Vegas, doesn't exactly lend itself to a family friendly lifestyle. Too many late nights, as well as the concentration required to succeed in such a tense and volatile environment. Poker instead suits the loner, reliant on themselves and with no responsibilities other than to play cards.

Or does it? What if having family on the trip with you actually helped your game, grounding you in real life and giving you a welcoming place to escape to at the end of a long day? For Jake Cody, here with his girlfriend Alex and their daughter Arianna, the choice is a no brainer.

"To be honest, having them here has actually helped my poker," said Cody. "It keeps me out of trouble in Vegas. No late nights. I have had two nights out for the whole six weeks!"

Jake Cody_2014WSOP_EV65_Day3_FUR.jpgJake Cody in action today (Photo: Jayne Furman/Poker Photo Archive)

That's not meant to sound as fun free as it might. For Cody, his central preoccupation away from the table is his young family, so he's getting the best of both worlds.

"We've got a family friend with us," said Cody. "That's been so crucial. It means me and Alex can have a bit of time to ourselves. Or if we want to go out for dinner we've got a babysitter.

"It's too hot for Arianna," said Cody. "We can't take her outside at all. But it's good. If I bust a tournament I get to go home and see them. It would be way worse if I'd been away for this long. In fact I wouldn't have come if they couldn't' be here. But I wouldn't be able to be away for them for that long."

It's a necessary problem for Cody, balancing the needs of his career with family. He's been in Las Vegas for most of the summer, albeit with a break in between for UKIPT Marbella. But while it might be nice having family around, Las Vegas is not exactly the easiest place to entertain a baby.

"To be honest it's not a very family friendly place really," said Cody, with a dash of understatement. "There's stuff to do with kids that are six to eight - you can see dolphins and stuff. But with a new born baby, there's not much."

But proving that he's ready to roll his sleeves up where parenting is concerned, Cody has looked for solutions.

"We've actually joined a baby class," he said. "It's like an interactive class to get them to play musical instruments and sing stuff. So we went along to that which was funny. I was the only Dad there. It was just me and all the mums clapping along and singing songs."

So while he sings about the wheels on the bus, or winds the bobbin up (see children's nursery songs, circa 1920), there is still the business of poker. Does a seven week World Series really sit well with domestic bliss?

"I think obviously you kind of need to be a bit risky and give it your all [in poker]" said Cody. "You want to make good decisions, but you can't think about what could go wrong, like the bad side of things - that you're playing for a big amount of money that could pay for your child's college!

"I just put that at the back of my mind and just try and play good poker. For the most part, for the first three weeks, I've been playing really well. Then the last week or so, the last two events, I've not played that great. In the Main Event I've not played that great either."

"No major mistakes," said Cody. "Just a few decisions that I've got wrong, like thin value bets when I should have just checked, or when I've not gone for it and I should definitely have value bet. Not a massive mistake where I've triple-barrelled all-in or something, or hero called. Just little things. But when you make a lot of them they add up."

For now Cody will iron out the creases in the usual way, talking through things with friends. For everything else that might bother him a few minutes back home should put that right.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.