How To Create A New Life

Warning: This post is an experiment. In it I will lay out some stuff that I can only describe as, “new age, psycho babble, weird, gobbledygook”. Normally, I am vehemently against that sort of thing but I’m a pragmatist first. I do what works. I am going to share a mental exercise that you can go through sometime. I cannot explain to you how it works, I can only tell you that it does. It is up to you to suspend any disbelief and go for it.

The only thing you are risking is a little bit of your time and some brain juice. Since you’re already on my blog I know you have some of both to spare so invest them here. You will thank yourself later.

I first went through this exercise in the spring of 2010 and have continued to repeat it at least annually since. I think of this as a software update for my brain and each year I go in and make tweaks/changes so that my software is always running at maximum efficiency. Continue reading “How To Create A New Life”

8 Things I Learned From Being An Underage Semi-Pro Poker Player

Not a lot of people know this, but I cut my teeth as an online poker player. That’s how I went from being a dead broke 15 year old, to only moderately broke 18 year old. I learned a lot of valuable lessons, in here are 8 of them. But first, some back story.

The first poker tournament I ever won happened when I was a month shy of 16 years old. It was the $22 9:10PM Heads Up Matches. There were something like 170 entrants, and a first place prize of $1100. I’d been grinding out the low stakes $5.25 Heads up SNGs (that means Sit & Go, 2 players register, game starts, play 1 on 1 until one player has all the chips and they win the pot, minus the houses take of 5%). I played the 4 man version where there were 2 tables each playing 1 on 1, the winners went on to the final round, and the winner got $20. I literally played 20-30 matches per day, every single day. I’d play before school, in school I’d review hand histories and read 2p2 posts I printed out discussing various strategies for heads up matches.

The $22 nightly tournament was always my “big shot” game. If I’d had a good session that evening, I’d play it. If not, no thanks. I was constantly “going broke” and having to wait tip I could scrounge up $100 to give to my friend’s dad to transfer to me on the site so I could start playing again. Of course I was playing under my mother’s name as you had to be 18 to be on the site.

As soon as I got a taste of poker for money, I was hooked. I recognized that it was a game of skill, and that I could leverage my infinite free time as a broke 15 year old to learn well enough to make an extremely modest income. I’d watch Phil Ivey and Daniel Negraneu on High Stakes Poker and read about the Las Vegas lifestyle of high end poker players and think to myself, “Mathematically at my current win-rate and bankroll it’ll take me 100 years to make it to that level if I live with zero expenses, but wow it must be nice.”

Being the youngest son of a single mother of four, who worked part time in the deli of a grocery store to make an attempt at making ends meet. A $3/hr average rate playing poker on the computer in my room was totally worth it. Every day I’d grind and ruthlessly pursue improving my game. Then it paid off. Continue reading “8 Things I Learned From Being An Underage Semi-Pro Poker Player”