Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sick again

I hate being sick. I've been in bed since Thursday with some type of cold that won't seem to go away. The worst thing about it is that there is absolutely nothing productive I can do during the day while I'm awake because I lack the energy to stay focused, so really I am just lying around like a bum watching TV all day waiting for the moment when I start to feel better. It's only when we're sick that we realize that we should be more thankful during the times we are healthy.

I'm sure I'll get over it soon and quite honestly I have to because I have a big couple months ahead of me. My upcoming schedule:
Dec 22 - Kansas for Christmas/New Years
Jan 3 - Bahamas for PCA (EPT)
Jan 14 - Melbourne for Aussie Millions
Feb 3 - back home to Berlin, but not for long
Feb 23 - Kansas again for my sister's wedding

The trip should be tons of fun, there are just sooooo many things I am looking forward to. First off it'll be great to see my family again as always around Xmas time. I've never been to the Bahamas before and from what I've heard, it's really awesome. Australia is going to be amazing for sure again, this time I've budgeted in enough time to stay there for the Australian Open men's final on Feb 1st. Then it's back home for a couple weeks to recoup before flying back to KS for my sister's wedding. It's going to be a lot of traveling but it's nothing I can'd handle! Stay tuned for trip reports!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's not all sunshine and roses

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the upsides and downsides that playing online poker professionally entails, some more obvious than others. Being your own boss and answering to no one is something that many people aspire for and I must say, it feels pretty darn good. Then comes the fact that you can sleep in every day of the week and make your own work hours. Waking up naturally is one of the most satisfying feelings out there and undoubtedly has a positive effect on daily energy/focus levels. Finally, the freedom to travel whenever (and in most cases wherever) you please is something that is not very normal for 18-30 year olds.

I can't tell you how blessed I feel that I found poker. In a way it worries me that I am too spoilt right now because honestly I can never imagine having a conventional job that gives me a boss to report to, dictates what time I wake up, etc. I know this thought is something a lot of other players struggle with. I hope that doesn't come off as too arrogant or sound like shameless bragging because that is really not my intention.

Moving on, there are some negative aspects that poker brings with it that are too often overlooked in my opinion. Obviously there are exceptions and not everyone can be pushed into one category, as is the case with most things in life. For starters, playing poker professionally can lead to very high stress levels, especially with the guys who can win or lose a large % of their bankroll on a daily basis. Downswings can be very difficult to deal with emotionally and I think the stress is too much for some people to handle which is why they blow up and eventually go broke.

Also, online poker players have very little social interaction by default. As a result, poker players can be some of the most awkward people you'll ever meet. Many lack even the most basic of social skills and I think this is the reason so many get literally addicted to places like the Spearmint Rhino. Poker players really should make an effort to try and have more actual conversations (Skype convos don't count, nor do conversations with the pizza delivery guy) and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they would start to feel more comfortable in their social interactions.

Another thing I have briefly touched upon in the past is physical activity. I'm a firm believer in that being physically fit has a direct positive effect on the mind and its ability to make decisions. Unfortunately, tons of poker players totally ignore this. I really can't blame them, either. Why leave the house when it's cold outside and I could make $xxx/hour staying inside? What they don't realize is that in the long run, that hour spent exercising is going to potentially pay off exponentially. Also, your body will thank you! My advice: join a team sport and kill two birds (social interaction + physical activity) with one stone.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Halloweeeeeen

My roommates and I threw our first annual Halloween party that turned out to be quite a blast! There were just over 20 people over at our apartment and though we were planning on having around 30, the turnout was still pretty good. I get the feeling that most people, myself included, waited until the last minute to get their costumes and as a result, several people canceled at the last minute or some showed up 3.5 hours late *cough Nasr cough*

I went as Hugh Hefner but was pretty disappointed in my costume. I managed to order 3(!) different Hugh Hefner robes from various online stores and obv the worst one was the only one that arrived on time. After I ordered the first one I realized that they would not get it to Germany on time, then ordered a different one a day later and they promised to get it to me two days before the party. When I saw that that was not happening, I rush-ordered a third costume which only came in black and is something Hefner himself would probably never wear. These sort of things tilt me beyond belief! Almost as tilting as the real robe being delivered at 9am on the first business day after the party!

don't have a higher resolution, sry! notice the shower in the back, he of course won the best costume award!

There were definitely some hilarious costumes at the party in addition to the costumes that made you realize that Germans don't really celebrate Halloween (or attend many Halloween parties). Stereotypically Halloween is supposed to be scary or gruesome but in reality for people my age in the States, Halloween is generally an excuse for girls to dress with as little clothing as possible and for guys to come up with funny costumes.

I didn't get very wasted at all but I did pick up some kind of food poisoning or virus that had me puking 7x the next morning/afternoon and spending the following two days in bed unable to eat. I felt like death so I obv missed my soccer game on Sunday morning and even now my stomach is not back to 100% yet. Getting sick tilts me, too. I haven't been playing any poker the past week because I've had company in town + the sickness has kept me out of business. In my downtime I've been doing a lot of thinking about my future so it's been great to get my head on straight, I will get back to the grind over the next couple days! Btw for anyone interested in Ivey and his crazy baller lifestyle, check out this ESPN E:60 video!