When you do something for a living like play poker, it opens up many avenues for you in your spare time since you are your own boss. Like yesterday, instead of playing on Sunday during the football offseason (something I should be doing since I won't be playing Sundays once the NFL kicks off) I decided to head down to the M Resort, sit at their draft beer bar, and drink while watching the Phils and playing video poker. Fortunately I won a little cash while drinking for free and unfortunately the Phils lost. However, I know to video poker to be a leak. It's something I should only partake in after I have consistently proved I can win money week in week out playing hold'em. I knew this was not "living right" and it's something I am going to be working on from this point forward. Rebecca deserves better from me. Getting tuned up once in a while is ok, doing it on a frequent basis like I have been for quite a while is not. In the following I am going to detail the things I feel like I should be doing off the felt so that when I do sit down and go to war everything else in my life has been taken care of. I keep telling myself I am capable of living the life of my dreams, meaning achieving success at poker while getting in great shape and maintaining an awesome relationship. I have 3 Cantonese symbols on my right lat which are supposed to represent my mantra on life. They state desire, devotion, and discipline. Desire represents that thirst you can't quench. It used to be for me becoming the best possible soccer player I could be. I had this mindset that if I wasn't training, someone else was, and when we met on the field he would get the better of me. So I trained constantly. In the offseason in high school, I would come home, change, and head directly outside to train with the ball until my mother would call me in for dinner. Nowadays, poker has taken over, though lately I have not been training the way I did when I was working on my soccer skills. Every morning that I wake up I need to be reading chapters in books or articles and forums on the internet to help me to improve my game each day. If I do that, I know I will be able to consistently beat the tourists for a real profit and I will be able to beat the locals a majority of the time as well. This leads me into devotion. Devotion to me means each action I take has to point me in the direction of success. So I need to keep reading and taking notes. I need to discuss hands with my friends from back home and the compatriots I am meeting out here who are also trying to do this for a living. Devotion is the burning desire in action. Finally, discipline means keeping on that path and not going astray. Discipline is what I have been lacking for quite some time now. It also means playing enough hours to make a living, playing at the right times (read: a night,) and playing in good games and getting out of bad ones so that I maximize the time I have available to me.
Off the felt there are many things I want to accomplish to better my quality of life.
- First, I need to quit boozing. Period. It's ruining my health. Once I put the bottle down, I need to pick the weights up and start hitting the gym on a regularly scheduled basis. As my health improves, I know my stamina will increase giving me an edge in late night sessions when others' concentration will start to slack. Hand in hand with this is eating right. Right now I eat like shit. This needs to change. I will start eating lean meats and fresh veggies.
- I need to go to church every Sunday morning. Whether or not I believe in God has yet to be determined. However, I do enjoy the lessons and teachings of the Bible. I do not necessarily agree with the Catholic Church's societal views. However, I can mentally separate the two. Besides, going to church makes me feel good and I know somewhere my grandfather is watching me and it will make him proud as well.
- I need to complete my final project for my master's degree. This is something I am going to strive to do this week. No more putting it off. No more when I speak to my folks will I have to skirt the issue. Completing this program and graduating with honors will make my parents so proud. Even if I am discouraged with working in sports after my experience with the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball team, completing this degree to the best of my ability and graduating with honors is something no one can take from me. I want that piece of paper on my wall.