I’ve been doing a bunch of crazy shit since my last blogs. I’ve been really busy lately… Honestly, I’m very thankful for the work I do and the amount of free time it gives me. Still, it often seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day.
I recently came to a revelation: Since I am a poker player, and this is a poker blog, I figure I should write more about poker! Shoot me a few topics on Twitter (@junglemandan), to help me get started. I’ll be sure to thank anyone who gives me an interesting topic to write about.
Since my last blog, I’ve been in Las Vegas for the WSOP 2012 (obviously), visited my family in Maryland, and been to Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Cyprus. Las Vegas is still, in part, my home and one of the places I’ve consistently had fun and will always remember with nostalgia.
Right off the plane in Vegas, my plans were derailed by a high stakes cash game involving a couple of celebrities in a totally absurd mansion. This house was 17K square feet, had personal chefs, masseuses from LA and basically anything you could want to eat or drink. The backyard featured a basketball court, a cove (in place of a pool), a slide, gym and a skate park (no joke). They also threw private parties with a surplus of attractive girls, so, needless to say, regardless of the fact that I lost a lot of money, I had a great time :P.
Other than that I did not really play that much poker, actually. To be honest there is something lame to me about spending a ton of time inside a hotel/casino playing poker. I thought I would save time by networking the area so that I would get a text if a good, big game came along. It kind of worked, but I will need to tweak this system in the future. I’ve had something else on my mind lately, which is taking a bit of my time away from poker… I may talk about it in later blogs, but for now, money is not my priority, especially while the market is kind of shit. While I was in Vegas I spent a lot of time exercising, doing improvised comedy and I even gave yoga a try. Vegas’ social scene is also particularly hospitable to poker players during summertime, and so of course I indulged in some parties and other social events :P.
Yoga was pretty interesting—it seems new-agey, which puts me off a little bit. Yet, I’ve only heard good things about it and it’s very different. I like good and different things ☺. Central to yoga is the tenet that you have the option to not be controlled by your emotions, which I like a lot. If you could choose to control your emotions to perform the most beneficial action all of the time, you could pretty much get anything you want in life (or at least give yourself the best shot). Yoga has obvious benefits for poker as well, since it is a game where controlling emotions is one of the most important factors. From it I appeared to have more energy during the day and was less likely to bullshit myself out of doing things that are “hard.” I’d recommend it.
Maryland slapped me with a dose of reality. Having traveled and lived a rather chaotic lifestyle, I sometimes lose sight of the grind back home. I saw my family for the first time in a year. Everything is pretty much the same, but without the kids vs. parents drama now that my sisters and I are older. One of my sisters (Julie) is going to become a nurse soon, and the other is starting college (Kim). Our house apparently was robbed for at least the third time. I was also reminded of a “friend” who used to beg me for money in addition to trying to hustle a few bucks out of me. Apparently that’s Bowie for you… I can’t say I had many pleasant memories there. I met up with some old friends from high school and college. They’re well on their way to making careers for themselves. I also went to the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC! It’s a totally absurd place based part in reality, part in spy-movie-like style. Many of my friends are pursuing graduate and law degrees. Still, several are starting their careers — mostly nine to five gigs. I’ve always known that’s how things worked and I really respect my friends for putting in their time and building something of their own. I imagine it’s a difficult and rewarding challenge. Though, I can’t complain and really have been blessed to stumble upon a career that I’m successful in and am given the opportunity to set my own schedule. Life is good.
I’m in Budapest, Hungary now, where apparently most people live on the equivalent of less than 10K US dollars a year, and probably even less than that. It’s astonishing how far the dollar goes in some places outside the U.S. All in all, it really is an eye opener for me. It’s very easy to lose sight of a clear world view. For me, it’s important to stay grounded. It’s important to remember that most of the world lives with much less. It makes me a bit sad to understand, both in detail and implicitly, that the world is not so fair after all. Add that to the list of reasons to be thankful for having work, a successful career, a loving family, and good health.
On another note, Budapest is pretty cool. There are all kinds of things to do every day of the week. The city and the architecture are beautiful. I plan on traveling for the next couple of weeks and then finding a place to call “home” for a few months. I’ve got a bunch of other crazy ass plans in the near future, including playing a ton online once they get the sites set up again. On a closing note, one thing I realized recently is that when I’ve attempted pursuing a better life, not only has my life improved the way that I wanted, but in secondary ways as well. When I resign myself to comfort, my life seems to go down in quality in more ways than one. As for my other trips, they are part of a longer story that I may talk about later 😛
Good luck with poker and life’s endeavors,
PS: Send me poker topics to blog about! @junglemandan