Archive for January, 2013

Hey, US Govt: Stop Deporting Your Friends

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Allow me to introduce you to Savina, a friend of mine.  She came to the United States from Bulgaria right before she started attending classes at an elite, private American liberal arts college. Aside from being fluent in Bulgarian, she speaks English better than most of my friends.  She has a real passion for poetry and English literature in general.  As a student, she spent a term in Argentina where she perfected her Spanish as well.  She’s comfortable in a few different programming languages (which she picked up mostly for fun).  In college, she ran an online women’s culture magazine that achieved reasonable success.  After college, she moved to San Francisco and started working for an upcoming technology start-up business.  She spent weekends negotiating a long-distance relationship with her longtime college boyfriend, eventually sharing an apartment with him in the city.  She loves to go out to concerts, drink wine, and spend time with her incredibly close-knit group of friends.

She has an infectious laugh.  She’s one of the smartest people I know.  She happens to also be incredibly beautiful.   Without a doubt, she is one of those people who is going to provide a disproportionate level of good to America.  In short, she is an enormous contributor to cultures both big and small, she is probably going to generate a lot of money, and she is just straight up awesome.

And, next week, the US Department of Immigration is kicking her back to Bulgaria.

For some largely unknown reason, Savina’s status as a fully employed legal immigrant wasn’t moving enough to preserve her American-ness.  Neither was her history of American education nor American relationships.  Simply put, there is and was nothing she could do to stay in the country to which she has given so much already.

Sometimes, I feel like the USA is like a popular bar that’s “at capacity”.  There’s a lot of people waiting in line, looking through the window, and seeing that it’s really not at capacity.  In fact, there looks to be plenty of room.  However, the bouncer at the door still says no.  Now, if we look even closer into the bar, we see lots of people who got to the bar early just loitering, drinking slowly, not talking to anyone or contributing to the success of the evening.  But, they’re still in, and everyone outside is still out.  If the bar was smart, they’d start to let some people in and usher these non-contributors out the door (or at least make them buy some more drinks).

My analogy started to fall apart there for a moment.

I know, I know.

I want to trade some of the less valuable Americans for people like Savina.  I can think of (easily) a hundred people I would trade for Savina.  It’d be a great deal for America:  we’d improve our human assets, we’d trim some of the fat (in this case, probably literal), and in the long run we’d generate more money, more business, more good-looking half-Bulgarian children.

For all the people out there who refuse to acknowledge that immigrants might actually be better at stuff than you are, I’d like to direct you to Mr. Jack White for just a brief moment:  “White Americans, what, nothin’ better to do? Why don’t you kick yourself out?  You’re an immigrant too”.  Guess what– I’m a mix of Polish/German and English immigrants. Tesla was CroatianMadison Albright was born in Prague.  Oh yeah, there was that Einstein guy. He was either born in Jersey City or Ulm, Kingdom of Wurttemberg. I seriously cannot remember which. Can you imagine if we had been this totally backward back when it really, really mattered?

No, suddenly we’ve become so fat and lazy and useless that we look down on people who actually DO things (namely, immigrants). “Those Mexican immigrants stole that gardening job that I actually didn’t have and wasn’t ever going to do, and actually it’s kinda nice to have less expensive labor, I mean, wait, kick’em outta here, America!!”  Any of you Irish/Italian/German/Polish/anywhere else people want to think back to when YOU were the immigrants? Hint: It wasn’t that long ago.

The good news (?!?!) is that this cases like Savina’s are apparently happening so often that people are starting to take notice.  Today, I was sent an article with some amazing information, like the fact that 40% of MIT Graduate Students are not US Citizens or Permanent Residents.  After a little bit of searching, I discovered that the Senate will consider a bill to prevent highly skilled immigrants from being deported so easily.  It looks like the vague outline of change peering over the far end of the horizon. Sadly, it will come too late for my friend.

I’m going to miss Savina a lot.  She is planning on finding work in London after her deportation.  I am fully confident that she will continue to be extremely successful.  Our loss.

Lots of love,

Andrew

 

The A-Ha Moment

Friday, January 25th, 2013

I want you to think about the person most important to you.  I want you to ignore your blood-relations first.  So, the most important non-family member in your life.  Now, I want you to imagine the split-second moment right before you met that person.  They literally didn’t exist.  You had no frame of reference, no history, nothing.  Your ducks were in a row, so to speak.  Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, another entity collides with yours, changes your point of view, changes your belief  system, really changes everything.  Flash forward a month, a year, however long it takes, and suddenly this person is a fixture in your life  and you can’t even imagine what life was like without them.  Obviously this person could be a significant other, a friend, a mentor, a coach, anyone.  One day, you just wake up, and they’ve ingrained themselves in your life, whether you (or they) wanted to or not.

I often relate this type of mental exercise to people when they’re talking about poker books.  Poker books, I usually say, are only understood once you understand them.  I read Doyle Brunson’s “Super System” as a 16-year-old, and while I found it terribly entertaining and engrossing, I learned roughly zero from that book in terms of application.  Then, many years later, I looked back at it (as a pro poker player) and found that not only could I understand all of Doyle’s advice, but a lot of it was really sound!  So, the information was all there, but the connective process wasn’t.  That connective process is often called the “A-Ha” moment in the poker world, and it describes that singular instant where you finally get it.

Apparently if you Google “a-ha” you get these guys.

 

Turns out, life is full of these moments when you suddenly “get” stuff.  Are they representative of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory (that you need 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of something)?  Or, do they happen randomly?  I genuinely have no idea. Sometimes, I feel like they can be associated with the “moments of enlightenment” or “flashes of inspiration” that philosophers and artists experience while creating their masterworks.  Well, the same thing happens in both life and in poker.

Usually, in my experience, it’s a process of condensing an excess of irrelevant knowledge and experience into the core foundation of a concept.  When people first start writing about poker, they write using gigantic, verbose paragraphs.  It’s virtually impossible to boil down to the really good stuff.  One story that I can remember clearly, on the subject of writing:  Elie Weisel, author of “Night”,  perhaps the definitive Holocaust novel, originally delivered the novel at over 1,000 pages.  Then he edited, re-edited, re-re-edited, and published it at 120 pages.  120 from 1,000.  The core, fundamental concept was almost 10% of the original content.

Not to compare myself to Elie Weisel, but the same thing happens if you look at my earliest poker strategy posts and compare them to my latest ones.  The later ones are very short and to the point.  When I released “Easy Game“, people blasted me for making it too short.  In my view, that’s a good thing.  I remember some statement like this:  real knowledge means the ability to explain it to a 3rd grader.  If you can do that, you’ve got it.

So how does one create these moments of insight?  Well, I don’t think you can reach out there and grab them.  People can spend their whole lives straining for that feeling of awareness & connectedness and come up empty.  Instead, you actually have to just make yourself open to it.  Every time in my life that something truly amazing has developed it has happened because I was in a steady mental state.  When you’re committed to learning, you will learn.  When you’re committed to happiness, you’ll be happy.

Just this week, I was thinking to myself about how great my current situation is.  I play poker sometimes, I coach and make videos, I sell books, I work with a couple of different startups that are really exciting, I take chinese lessons & eat dim sum and mexican food and I really don’t need to go anywhere but here to be really, really happy.  And literally at that moment, a friend contacts me with a potentially life-changing offer that would take me away from my home and challenge me in totally different and new, exciting ways.

The truth is, you can’t really control when those moments are going to happen.  A close friend (that I met while she was on a first-and-last date with a friend in probably the most profound chance-meeting of my life) told me recently that trying to control everything just isn’t the way.  You’re here, you’re there, it’s day-to-day.  And, while we disagree often, there’s a lot of truth in that.  You have to keep trying, but you also have to let it happen.

It’s a delicate balance.

For more, I’d read some Tommy Angelo and also some His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

 

Stay well

Andrew

Three Player Types in Life

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Hey,

This thought occurred to me the other day so I thought I would write about it.  Those of you guys who have seen my videos on DeucesCracked know that, at the beginning of every hand, I identify the players involved.  Invariably, it boils down to three player types based on three psychological profiles.  Those three are, in poker terms: bad-passive, bad-aggressive, and good-aggressive.

 

Did somebody say bad-aggressive?

Bad-Passive:  This player is afraid of risk and therefore only bets or raises when he is sure he is going to win.  As a result, he misses a lot of opportunities.  He also lets others dictate the terms of combat during a hand.  Basically, this player bleeds away money until he runs into an unfortunate situation that costs him everything.

Bad-Aggressive:  This player lives for risk.  They seriously can’t get their rocks off until they’ve taken the gamble.  Consciously or unconsciously, they’ll pay the extra theoretical money to take a bad gamble because the rush is worth it for them.  I’ve seen these guys bet tens of thousands without even considering their cards, just because the endorphin-rush kicks in and they get high.  These players are capable of compiling massive wins when luck is on their side;  but, they are usually first to bust, first to tilt, first to get angry and disappointed, and the first to blame others for their misfortune.  It’s great to be a bad-aggressive player on a good day– on a bad day, it’s the worst.

Good-Aggressive:  Whenever I coach poker, I always avoid making blanket descriptions of the “good-aggressive” player type.  In trying to give my students quick insight into the way bad players think, I made it really simple.  However, really good players are complicated.  They are aggressive (but not overly).  They can be passive (to trick or trap their opponents).  In short, you can’t give a one-liner silver bullet solution to defeating good aggressive players.  (You can silver-bullet bad-passives and bad-aggressives, though;  respectively:  “Fold if he raises” and “Call if he raises”).

Most of you guys already know this stuff.  So why write about it?

Well, it occurred to me that those personality types transcend poker.  In fact, they exist in every day life.

Passive people let others dictate the terms of their lives.  They don’t position themselves to take advantage of opportunity.  In fact, they often purposely avoid opportunity in an irrational (sometimes openly irrational) attempt to limit their risk.  This can mean money, work, relationships– anything.  Do you find yourself afraid to go up to a girl at a bar?  It seems risky?  Consciously you probably know that you have literally nothing to lose.  Your best case scenario is that you pick up a sexy/smart/cool girlfriend.  Yet, you avoid the risk and stay firmly planted to the bar.  Or maybe you’re annoyed by a co-worker, a friend, or a girlfriend, but you decide not to deal with it and just let the whole thing play out naturally.  If this sounds like you, you probably fit the passive stereotype.  Don’t worry, though– we’ll talk about it in a minute.

Aggressive people seize control of situations, but they often do it recklessly.  A friend of mine, eager to dive into the entrepreneurial culture, blew through tens of thousands of dollars riding the wave of a cool idea (with little chance of success).  In fact, the money was spent so quickly that it was gone virtually before his co-workers realized that they’d received no value.  Imagine what the people who funded homegrocer.com were like.  “OMG everyone’s making so much money… let’s throw more in!  More!  Let’s see how big it can get!”  Pretty much describes the dot-com bubble.  And the financial crisis.  And the financial crisis before that one.  If you’re constantly bored by your work, you dream of sick yacht parties or playing bass in a sold-out Madison Square Garden Arena, and then you actually spend your time and money on it, you’re probably an aggressive person.  And you probably like jumping out of airplanes for fun too.

Here’s the beautiful thing about life, though:  we all can change.

If I can change… and you can change… then everybody can change!!!

 

When I first started playing poker, I was undoubtedly in bad-passive-land.  Even while I was cruising through the 2+2 forums getting premium advice at zero cost (the good ‘ole days), it took me 18 months before I finally became a winning player.  A year and a half!  About 540 days of actively trying not to be passive and actively failing.  Turns out, we can change, but it’s not easy.

Eventually, though, I gained control of my fears of risk and started seizing the opportunities in front of me.  My mind took over and my heart took a backseat.  And, as a result, I started winning.  Now, I’m considered one of the loosest and craziest players in my games, yet at the end of the day I still go to sleep with my passive foundation tugging at me.  I hate debt (even GOOD debt), I often leave my plans up to other people, I am almost always the first one to cave in a disagreement.  So, despite my training, there is still work to be done!

And, for all of you bad-aggressives out there, there’s room in the middle for you too.  To this day, I believe the best players in the world started as bad-aggressive and slowly worked their way towards good-aggressive.  Simply put, controlling the terms of engagement is the surest way to secure a conclusion in your favor.  It doesn’t have to be reckless, arrogant, or dictatorial– some of the best leaders are extremely aggressive in their pursuit of positive aims.  So, I’m going to make an active choice to grab hold of life and make it better, both for me and for everyone else.

This blog is going to outline how I do that, whether it’s building things (I have a new website on its way, which I’ll blog about when we launch it), learning things (blogging in Chinese at some point I hope), and of course, beating poker games.

‘Till next time

Andrew

 

 

Internetz Poker, Staying Healthy, and the Wikiverse

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Hey all,

 

When you’re building stacks (or trying to, at least), it’s not exactly an aerobic activity.  A true grinder will spend at least a few hours every day almost motionless.  Sometimes, in poker, you will literally be completely motionless. Some workout.

It can be pretty tough to stay fit and play poker, and not all of us get to be Patrik Antonius.

Who, me?

In fact, I played college football for my first year at Dartmouth.  I quit during the summer after my Freshman year, devoted myself to playing poker (and not so much to school, to my parents chagrin.  But that’s a blog for another day).  Needless to say, I also committed to my social life (read: Keystone Light) and the pounds started pouring on.  Pretty soon I had ballooned, picked up a big ole belly, and lost most traces of my previous athleticism.  But, I was making money, so I didn’t worry about it too much.

Eventually, after my years and years of travel had petered out, I decided to get back in shape.  I tried hitting the gym super hard.  I got buff, but the stomach stayed around.  I didn’t really understand why it wasn’t exactly working quite right.  After all, I’d spent many years in weight rooms for football throughout my youth.  I’d always been a pretty trim guy in general until that sophomore-year slump.  I just figured it was a lack of gym hours that was my problem.

At some point in the last year or so, I got a new roommate who happened to be an old friend.  He was always the funny fat kid growing up.  Except now, he was the funny kid who’d just lost 50 pounds.  I was, of course, super interested in how it’d happened for him.  But, when I asked how he’d done it, his answer surprised me:  “Reddit”.

Sure enough, he had taken to posting and following along in the Reddit fitness forum (found here).  As he was explaining the series of trials-and-errors, book and article reviews, and massive volume of quantitative data amassed by an internet-going population, I couldn’t help but notice a similarity between that experience and my own on the good old 2+2 forums (begrudgingly linked to here).    I had arrived on 2+2 many years ago as a losing-but-curious poker player without any real glimmer of hope for a long-term future.  But, through the collective wisdom of the online forum community, I (relatively) quickly learned new skills, observed millions of hands of data via my own play and that of others, and slowly but surely began reaching my poker goals.  It turns out that the Wikiverse, the collection of global knowledge and experience, can make you an expert in pretty much anything if you’ll only dive in.

So, just like I had become an expert in poker (debatable), my friend became an expert in fitness (less debatable).  Pretty cool.  So, I started asking him what to do to get back in shape, and he started telling me.  And holy shit, did that shit work.

But before I get to the actual advice, I want to wrap up the other main prong of this blog-essay.  If you WANT anything in the world, the internet is filled with literally thousands of people who want, will want, or have wanted that thing.  They’ve tried to figure it out, they’ve tested things, they’ve talked about it and written about it.  There is countless expertise floating around.  Why would anyone become a history major in college anymore?  All the world’s history is accessible online for free.  If you *really* want to learn about history, just boot up some wikipedia links and some youtube videos and you can get on the learning train for hours and hours and hours.  And it will cost way less than a degree, I promise.  But, so, whether it’s poker, fitness, music, business, lock-picking (yes, I actually googled/learned this once), particle physics (most amazing youtube videos of all time… there are actually hundreds of them).  Once upon a time, it took a ton of courage to go from nothing to something;  two quick anecdotes.  Number 1:  My dad worked with a successful businessman who’d never graduated from college.  His dream was to become a stock trader at a high-end firm in NYC.  So, he got a job in the print shop at that firm, making copies for everyone.  He kept asking which books to read, asking “what would you do” questions, or “why would you do that”.  He was always around, always learning and improving, until, eventually, somebody quit their job.  They needed to fill the post in a hurry.  You can guess who got the job.    Number 2:  A good friend of mine from New York City knew, back when he was in high school, that he only wanted to go to Dartmouth.  He applied early decision and was summarily rejected– not even deferred, just given the blanket, “You don’t deserve to come here” letter.  So, he went around in NYC and gathered signatures on a petition that said, “Dan should go to Dartmouth”.  Then, when he had collected over 10,000, he drove north to Dartmouth unannounced.  He walked into the admissions office building with his stack of signatures in one hand and his rejection letter in the other.  Tossing them both down on the stunned administrator’s desk, he said, “I see that you don’t think I should go to Dartmouth.  Here are 10,000 people who disagree” and left.  And yeah, his decision was reversed the next day.

The point of these anecdotes is simple– it used to be really, really hard to gather the knowledge or the resources to get what you really, really want.  Now, though, it’s almost too easy.  The classic JFGI meme is right on the money– you want something?  Just Fucking Google It.

And now, the part you were all skipping through that last wall of text to see (if you even made it this far).  Here’s the magic recipe to get back in shape that was handed down to me:

 

1)  Drink a ton of water.

2)  Eat your body weight in grams of protein.  If you weigh 200, eat 200g of protein (if you can)

3)  Eat the minimum possible amount of carbs.  Vegetable carbs don’t count to your total.  Breads and such, of course, do count.  Shooting for less than 50g/day is the way to go.

4)  Eat 1000 calories less per day than you’re supposed to.  How many are you supposed to eat?  This site will tell you.  Use the sedentary lifestyle button, even if you plan on being active.   Don’t count exercise an excuse to eat more, as it’s difficult to really know how much exercise boosts your metabolism in any given day.

5)  Booze will absolutely kill you.  You can drink through 1000 calories in literally no time.  So, if you want to drop the weight, put down the beer.  You can still get away with drinking once or twice per week, but college-style binge drinking 5x/week will make it literally impossible.

6)  Lift weights, but don’t over do-it.  Personally, I lift 3x a week, and it’s pretty much just the big ones– squat, bench, deadlift, pull-ups, shoulder press, and curls.  Currently I do something like Squat Mondays and Fridays with Deadlift on Wednesdays, then I just alternate bench+ curls and shoulder press + pull-ups every time.  That’s pretty much it.  It should take less than 45 minutes to do.  Do 2 sets of 5 and a 3rd set of as many as you can.  If you get 5 or more, increase the total weight by 5 lbs the next time (this means ya gotta use the 2.5 lbs weights… emasculating, I know).

My advice:  get an app like LoseIt! or Fitocracy to help you manage it.  Then, just eat less and move more.  You may notice that items 1-5 on the “how to get back in shape” have nothing to do with exercise and everything to do with diet.  Here’s a cool story:  A guy who weighed like 600 pounds didn’t eat ANYTHING for 382 days (he had vitamins and salt tablets).  He lost like 410 pounds and then resumed a normal, healthy life.

If you want to read up on this stuff, the items that were recommended to me were Eat Stop Eat and Starting Strength.  They’ve been fundamental to helping me avoid scams and get to real, solid knowledge.

So thanks for that, internetz.

 

A Tough Poker Question and a Word on Diversification

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Hi guys,

Been a while.  I wanted to write about something and then I want to give a quick update about what’s new with me.

We’ve all been there (all of us poker players, at least).  You’re at a bar or a party, everyone’s having  a good time, and then that cute girl you’ve been talking with asks the inevitable, uncomfortable question– “What do you do (for a living)?”

I’ve known some poker players whose preference is just to lie– “I work in finance” or “I’m unemployed”.  Others simply dodge– “What do YOU do?”  or “What I do is boring” or “I don’t want to talk about work”.  However, if you ever want to actually get to know somebody, you can’t run from what you do.  In fact, most of you guys are playing anywhere between 3 and 7 days per week.  Often, the hours start looking more like real-job territory than the “messing around in my spare time” we all imagine poker to be.  So let’s ask ourselves the question:  Why is it uncomfortable to proudly declare that you’re a pro poker player, a deductive and mathematical whiz-kid who pays his own way and lives an independent, financially successful life?  If you ever want to develop meaningful relationships with people, you need to get past that question.  First, I’ll show why it’s uncomfortable for me.  Then, I’ll show how I’ve gotten over it.

1)  Poker, especially online poker, is an antisocial activity.

You might not want to admit it, but it’s true.  If you’re playing online poker like I do, you’re sitting at home in your PJs melting your brain into your computer screen for 4 hour stretches, clicking the “withdrawal” button every once in a while and watching the numbers add up (or, as it may be, not add up).  The most interaction you get via the average workday is when someone G-chats you or your roommates get home early from work.  Those roommates, meanwhile, are attending social work environments where they have to deal with people every day.  They have company parties and group events.  You might get a few of those things from the occasional big-buyin live tourney event (PCA has events and parties, for example), but it’s not a mainstay of your work experience.  Even though live poker tables are filled with a variety of people (some more unsavory than others), there’s still an element of cutthroat competition and total lack of cooperation that is the exact opposite experience of a healthy workplace.  At least there shouldn’t be any cooperation, you dirty cheating colluding bastards.

2)  Poker (and gambling in general) is not a terribly productive industry.

Surprise! You’re part of the entertainment industry.  How, you ask?  Well, consider the case of the average fish.  He likes poker, he’s not too good at it (he may or may not know this), and he sits down to play against you.  For arguments’ sake, he wins 25% and loses 75% against you during a 1 hour heads-up session.  If he plays with $1000 for 1 hour, he pays $750 theoretical dollars for the privilege of playing poker against someone at the very moment that he wanted to play.  He pays for his own entertainment.

The good news:  entertainment pays really well.  A good poker player will make a lot of money.  An average poker player will still make pretty good money.  In this sense, you’ve got it better than almost everyone else in the entertainment biz (an average novelist, or actor, or screenwriter, is probably making way less money than you.  So hooray.)  Also, entertainment has an important role in society– people must be distracted from their lives, they’ve got to experience some sort of excitement, beauty, challenge, something.  Poker can deliver that to some people, and for that reason, it has value.

The bad news:  entertainment has a sense of emptiness that, most likely, will never really go away.  Read some David Foster Wallace for a masterful takedown of entertainment as a concept.  From my lesser, more mundane point of view, I’d just say that it bothers me that I’m not really helping anyone in a concrete way.  There’s some real stuff going on in the world, and every hour that I spend playing poker is an hour I’m not spending making things better (this could mean building new technologies, helping people in need, taking a hand in the development of new political policies or environmental protection, etc.)  So, it becomes a little indefensible when you ask, “What do you do?” and that cute girl says, “I work as a nurse” or “I do biochemical research to help cure ALS” or “I help develop new social media apps to help people share their lives” and your only comeback is “I get to sleep in until 11AM every day”.

3)  Poker (and gambling in general) exist in a grey area, both legally and morally.

I’m actually not going to spend any time talking about the ethics of poker, but let’s just say that I think it’s pretty clearly moral and ethical to play poker.  However, a lot of other people might not agree, hence the tagline.

However, the legal argument is not in dispute.  The term “legal grey area” might even be putting things a bit lightly.  The Feds’ shuttering of online poker speaks pretty clearly:  the current public policy of the United States Government, and by association the people of the USA, is that online poker is kaput.  This is why, when you say to that cute girl, “I play poker online” her instant response is, “Isn’t that illegal??”.  This invariably leads to the gut-wrenching and totally awful cliff-notes explanation of Black Friday, which serves to make nobody feel any better about anything.

 

So how do you get past this?  Diversify, my friends.

Wu-Tang Financial knows what to do.

Diversify Your Income

Keeping all of your eggs in a not-totally-government-sanctioned basket has clearly shown its repercussions.  Let’s not do that again.  Sometimes, this may mean working at something with a lower hourly than playing poker.  For example, my good friend started a business recently that involves some grunt work but leads to recurring monthly payments with minimal upkeep.  I clearly make less per hour working with his business than I do playing poker.  However, if poker were to suddenly disappear, I would be WAY less screwed.  In fact, the presence of my book sales, seminar sales, DeucesCracked instructional videos, and coaching, helped a lot in the wake of Black Friday.  Of course, this hasn’t even mentioned the far-more-likely scenario:  you run ice cold and lose a ton on a vicious downswing.  Basically, if you stick solely to poker, you’ll get exactly what poker chooses to give you.  If you do more than just poker, you might get super rich slightly less quickly, but things will never get too bad for you financially.

Not to mention, it helps you…

Diversify Your Interests

Poker players have a ton of free time and there is literally a ton of stuff to do with it.  Here is a quick list of the things I spend my free time on:  working on a new business, working on my friend’s new business, learning a new language (Chinese at the moment for me), playing/learning music, reading books, learning to sail a boat, learning to code, drinking with my friends and meeting new people, and of course, writing wordy blog posts.  Everyone has a a list of stuff they’d love to do– maybe you’d love to ride a motorcycle, or dance the tango, or make tiny-but-fucking-perfect toy car replicas.  I don’t quite know your style, but I’m quite sure that YOU do.  So, instead of queuing up the NetFlix and grinding out that next season of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, start working on SOMETHING.

Everyone’s ideal scenario is to work on something that they love.  If you love it, it won’t feel like work.  So, start doing more until you find that thing.  I don’t think too many people really want to end up as a 45 year old poker player.  However, you have to understand that you’re proudly wearing a pair of golden handcuffs and that, if you wait too long, you might never be able to take them off.

So, the next time that girl asks, “What do you do?”, you can say, “Lots of stuff.”

 

Andrew

PS:  Quick note on me: I’m doing great.  Best shape of my life.  Poker’s been pretty good.  Just renewed my deal with DeucesCracked, which I’m very happy about.  I’ll post more about all of those things in a few days.  I’m going to be blogging more now.  I know I said that before, but this time… I’m sincere!  (kudos if you get 1942 movie reference).

PPS:  For a perfect example of what I’m talking about, read MagicNinja/Martin’s post in the high stakes thread here.