Some of you will notice that it has been six and a half months since my last entry. It's really strange to sit here and type that as I vividly remember blogging daily (sometimes twice daily) a few years ago. Honestly, I just grew tired of it. I look back and cringe a little bit about some of the stuff I put on the internet years ago. Call it poor blogging etiquette, but it got to the point that I actually took the blog entry archives off the internet. Additionally, I lost interest in talking about myself and have thoroughly enjoyed laying low and not reporting to anyone the last year or so.
It has been an amazingly fun and wild six and a half years to start my career as a professional poker player. It goes unsaid that this line of work sends one on an emotional roller coaster. That said, I'm extremely fortunate to be where I am and would do it all over in a heartbeat. Other poker players and I have it so good compared to many others, so I regret sometimes complaining on this blog. On behalf of all poker players, I'd like to apologize to anyone who has ever had to listen to us whine.
Anyway, this blog entry IS about me. Here is an honest, rambling account of what I've been up to since I last posted on November 1, 2011.
Let's get the bad part out of the way. Professionally, things haven't been going well. One of the things I've tried to stress in my blog since Black Friday (4/15/2011) when online poker was essentially banned in the US is the volatility of playing just live poker tournaments for income. The variance in tournament poker is something that only true poker insiders will really ever understand. I am a tournament poker player by trade, so I played 124 live poker tournaments in 2011 with an average buy-in of over $5,000. Comparably, online I played around 30 tournaments per Sunday for an average of about 33 Sundays per year during the years leading up to Black Friday. Obviously, it was nice to spread the variance out over a lot more tournaments. I won't sit here and make excuses though, nor will I complain. I made my own decision to play poker professionally, and I will deal with the highs and lows of the business accordingly.
My short term plan is to move to Las Vegas for 50 days starting next week. This will be my seventh consecutive summer in Las Vegas. I will be renting a house with five of my friends, and I look forward to the experience. I intend on playing a bunch of events, but I won't go out of my way to play almost everything that runs. For the last 3 years I have been near the top of all players in events played. That isn't necessarily a good category at which to be near the top. After the summer, I will most likely hop up to Canada to set up residency so I can log in and play poker whenever I'm outside the US. Honestly, I would like for poker to be more of a secondary source of income for me within the next 5 years. I'm not sure if that can happen though as Black Friday was a big setback. Add to that the fact that I don't have a passion for any other kind of work at this time. I can still say with confidence that I love waking up and playing poker each day that I do. I'll enter each tournament this summer in a positive state of mind ready to work.
As I type this, I am in the best shape of my life physically. I weighed in at 173 lbs this morning--down from 237 on Jan 3, 2007. I can't tell you how good it feels to type that! I have fully dedicated myself to my health over the last 9 months or so, and I'm reaping the benefits. As my 27th birthday approaches in a couple weeks, I look back and am pretty disgusted with how I treated my body for most of my twenties. Something just clicked one day, and this sense of awareness came over me. I realized that my overall life could only be improved by getting into tip-top shape. I did it all by myself which makes me feel even better. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to find out if I had it in me, and I got the answer. I've developed a passion for running and look forward to getting into other outdoor activities.
I won't go into what exactly I've been eating because I'm no diet expert. I will say though as many have and will: DIET is the key to success in weight loss. For years I ran often enough but didn't understand why I couldn't shed pounds. You just must show the discipline to lay off the junk food, the late night food, and the big meals if you want to see a difference. Straying from your diet multiple times per week won't cut it. I educated myself on what foods actually were healthy--something else that you must do. I feel like so many individuals don't understand what they actually need to and needn't be eating. It's going to take a lot of work and it's not easy, but I hope this section of this entry motivates just one person to turn his or her life around with regard to health.
Any poker player you talk to will tell you the difficulty of having relationships when you do what we do. By choice, I've spent most of my twenties single aside from one childish 19 month relationship I had. I've been gone so often and was never in one place, so it didn't make much sense to try to cultivate any sort of romantic relationship. I made some mistakes with girls by not being honest upfront, and I truly regret that. It finally hit home that my actions do have consequences.
At this point in my life, I'm still focusing on me. There are a lot of things I'm still trying to do and places I'm still trying to see while I'm single. I've enjoyed not having to report to anyone. The difference now is that I'm honest upfront with girls about my situation, and it just makes things easier for everyone. When I find a girl that I like that likes me, I hang out with her and we do what we do without labels and don't make a big production about it. I think there's something to be said about that. It's not for a lot of people, and I can respect that.
This is the section of this blog that I'll get the greatest joy from typing. I have increasingly been strengthening my relationships with my family over the last year. I love my dad, mom and sisters Heather and Carly so much. It has given me great pleasure to grow closer and closer with them. I'm in contact almost daily now and know what is going on in each of his or her lives. I've always had a great family life but at times people get busy and lose touch. It's a matter of making it a priority. I've always looked very highly at people with very strong family relationships, and I'm glad to be part of one.
Poker is about to take over my life again, as I'll be playing up to 80 hours per week for the next 7 weeks. Still, I have some non-poker goals and plans for the rest of 2012. I have been doing quite a bit of reading in 2012 and hope to continue that. A lot of my reading has been on communication, eye contact, self improvement, and human relationships--things in which I'm absolutely fascinated. Additionally, I'll spend much of my spare time attacking Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America) that I just purchased. I've developed a fondness for foreign films, so I plan on watching a bunch more of them.
I'll continue to spend time in the gym. It's so easy to sacrifice diet and fitness at the WSOP each summer because of the horrible work schedule, but I don't intend on letting that happen this year. Another thing I'm really getting into is meeting new people. For the longest time, embarrassingly, I wasn't receptive to it. I love talking with new people now and believe that there's good in everyone. You just have to dig to find it. I cherish every interaction that I have in my daily life now.
I really appreciate you guys reading. Have a great weekend!