I am who I am.
When people respond to my statement "I would give every penny to go back to when I was young & right all my wrongs with what I now understand about life and knowing what a great feeling being alive really is." with "But you wouldn't be the person you are today!" makes me look myself up & down & say "What the fuck makes you think I wouldn't want to take the risk of going back, being a different person, but having a better life for myself & the ones around me?"
I have no excuses for the fact that when I was younger I had always looked down at my feet because in the mirror it made me look thinner in my eyes and going out of the way to do things like that instead of pushing forward, fighting for it. My mother always told me "just walk away" when I was faced with the "fight or flight" medulla oblongata scenario. **Insert random Waterboy saying here!
I was never a person to take a big risk. If it was skateboarding, I mastered ground tricks & never skated gaps, that is just how I was brought up. My father was around as much as I would of liked (which was hardly ever because growing up without a dad on & off for so long, he just became an inconvenience) and the closest people to me were my grandma Carleen, my cousin Andrew, my Grandpa Leon, my mother Andrea, and my grandma Betty.
I became a rather sheltered person & therefore lies the problem I had growing up in my teenaged years, so when I found poker, I ate it up. I always had this mentality that I looked embarrassing trying new things so if there was a group of people I would never do them, which is why I was so belated getting into any sports. I never could bring myself to take, what seemed to me like a big risk, such a small chance and enjoy my life a little bit more.
**I honestly to this point of this have sat on my laptop for about two hours trying to figure this out & what to say to be satisfied so I apologize if I am rambling. I had much more, but Pokernews reloaded on my browser & I lost it
The sheltered mentality I had was the whole reason I fed into poker so much. I watched Chris Moneymaker on television & listened to the way everyone was snapping off with Moneymaker & Farha statements. I suddenly found a way to get the strong feeling of without having to feel truly at danger...just my money!
Study halls, lunches, and any spare time we could find, you could always find a group of people rolling dice, playing $1-$5 face up NLH hands, or any other random way we could set money on fire! We would even bet on who would bleed first while playing nickels, or what color certain girls' thongs would be (you know you all had that one girl who would ALWAYS sit in a desk & it would peak out. Disgusted or not for girls, it was true.) We in actuality meant no harm from it, it was just another thing to gamble on!
I threw $50 on PartyPoker (those were the days) and within a week had $450 playing cash game. I thought I was on top of the world and told everyone. Word had gotten around just as soon as I busted the roll. The next time I started playing I threw $30 on Full Tilt. I was shocked to see over a weekend I built up to $1,300.
Once I say $1,300 in my bank account, I still was young, didn't have a value of money (all poker players lose value of money, but me also being 16-17ish, I knew if I cashed it out I would likely take a Bic to it faster then you can say lighter. To my surprise one evening (while stealing wi-fi from the Southern Hills Barnes & Noble) I saw John Juanda was on a $5/$10 table. I had no business on one seeing how I had to click seat open to see what the min. & max was.
My exact words to myself sitting in my car in my car in a mall parking lot were "I am killing all these guys on here...how cool would it be to take Juanda for a grand right here?" Long story short...it took me about 3 hours to bust the roll it took me about 60 hours to build.
Bankroll management is another blog! ....from another poker player....perhaps one who knows bankroll management!
The feeling I had even losing my entire bankroll was an incredible experience that even I can't put into words. Playing poker, having something at risk was the first time I had ever had the feeling of falling from a 30 story building but being in no immediate danger. Rob Dyrdek refers to it as the feeling in the pit of your stomach. Anyone that has made it through this blog to this point understands what I am talking about.
In any sport I had played I was so wrapped up with impressing people, and not necessarily doing the right thing, but not doing the wrong thing, that I never had time to enjoy the ride & I feel that is my main focus of this blog. I see myself as a great overall person, but sometimes it is the outside that counts & I have been working hard at improving my body (wisdom teeth out tomorrow!). I am not talking all outside as physical appearance, I am talking about the outside where you push yourself, push others, don't hold back, and never giving up!
The competitive spirit was lit with me in poker & it transformed everything I have become as a person. I have two beautiful girls and I adore them! Sometimes though, you can't help but wonder if you suddenly could look into a mirror at a younger age & see your 30 year old self telling you what to do, if you would listen to them, change your path, or what would happen!
Some people do not have the experiences I had, and I am well aware of the fact that everyone has problems, but what if this is it? What if this is 100% the only life we have to live & I live to be 100? Almost 1/4 of my life in my eyes as me working to be the best me I can be has been a complete waste.
As the person I am now, I make every minute count, but I also feel like the life I created for myself prior to me seeing a light at the end of the tunnel has put me so far deep in a hole, I am not always 100% sure I can be the best overall person I can be for this world.
The 45 year old me doesn't know whats going to happen in the rest of my life, so why should I know at 23? I shouldn't! That is part of what makes this life fun! I live like I may die tomorrow, but plan like I will live forever! I have new aspirations, new goals, and new hurdles to jump through!
I went back not too long ago to visit my old high school teacher who played the most important role in my high school days & it felt great to walk through old halls, see old lockers, see old teachers, and see kids who I laughed at like "wow, they don't have a clue" then I asked myself "Do I?". No I really don't!
I have dealt with depressive states, and in that form I jumped on almost any girl willing to chill. I feel my broken home life allowed me to let any girl that wanted to occupy the arms that were empty & out waiting for someone to latch on to. I spent so much time angled that way that I also lost a lot of momentum I could of used to pursue anything I wanted.
I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea from this blog. I play the hand I was dealt the best I can (I have 3 barrel bluffed & went down in flames with less trust me) so with this life I see myself as still fortunate. I have had the chance to play poker with some of the best in the world, at some of the best tournaments in the world, as well as win in those exact tournaments. I am a very good player despite recent stats of a major downfall, but the stress that comes with a poker lifestyle piled on to an already stressful life is just a way to get grey hairs faster! Then I have to fit Just For Men in my budget & there's another expense! (HAHA)
I have the words "Stay Positive Never Give Up & Always Love Life" tattooed on my arm for a reason, and every time I see someone read it, it is quickly followed by a compliment. I like to think that people don't know my meaning behind the tattoo, and it doesn't matter, because they make up their own meaning, and it shows we are all in this together regardless of if we die alone!
So I stand by the fact that if I could go back and change my life for the better, iron out some wrinkles that have long been permanent in my life, I would in a heart beat only because like Alec Torelli said "You can never have enough time." If you saw that video while it was up on YouTube, you know the meaning behind it. Its true! You can never have enough time, which is why I would go back & redo the mistakes to make my life the best it can be for the short stint in time I have here!
I had tweeted about ChannelOne & talking about 9/11 & it brought out so many memories from the past & made me align things that brought my path to where I am today. I am very fortunate to have done certain things in my life, I mean winning Venetian Deep Stacks, conquering Red Rock, experiencing life for what it really is! It has been a journey so far I will say that, I just hope the sand in my hour glass doesn't take to gravity too lightly & I still have time to iron out some of these wrinkles!
Thank you everyone who is still here!!
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