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Daniel - Poker Journal

Without God I'm Useless

16 Jan 2007

I'm a mess. In every sense of the word my mind is not in a good place right now. I started 07' on a high, fresh, and looking to dominate the poker world with a steady diet of working out and playing my best in the tournaments.

Bahamas went great. I stuck to my regimen of poker and exercise, totally focused on doing my best at the tables. Then I came to Australia, looking forward to the Aussie Millions and I put in a pitiful performance in everything that I did. I was groggy at all times, abandoned my workouts, and played some of the worst poker I could play.

How did this all happen? I was so focused on being a lion all year long, and within the first month I was already an absolute joke. Sure, I could have won the hands I played for all my chips, but even if I did, it wouldn't have been a good thing since my decisions were just wrong.

So how does God play into this? God plays into it in a big way, at least for me anyway. With all of the resolutions I'd set for myself in 07', not one of them mentioned having a deeper relationship with God in my life. I mentioned video games, working out, and all sorts of things, but there wasn't one mention of what is truly important to me and my well being.

Too focused on "me" and less focused on the fact that without God, I am nothing. Without a close, personal relationship with God, happiness would be impossible.

I'll be honest with you- this month I've been on an emotional roller coaster. At one point I was super excited about working out on a regular basis, but since being in Australia, one of the most beautiful places in the world, I've been pretty depressed.

Not only because of my poor decisions, but also because I'm here without my wife. I miss her, I really do. Before this trip we'd really gotten so much closer and I became so comfortable with her around. I don't think I'll ever be away from her for this long again. In fact, I'm going home. I'm going home tomorrow. Unfortunately, Lori won't be there for the couple days I'm home before Tunica, but I just need to recharge my batteries nonetheless.

Tonight I went out with "the guys." It was a lot of fun and the conversation was very interesting. We ended up talking about God for much of the evening, and despite the fact that several of my friends were non-believers, the conversation was so refreshing since they never mocked me for my beliefs, and we had an open, religious dialogue without it ever turning nasty. It was awesome. Perry Friedman, a guy who I've always respected but never really had a chance to know personally, blew me away. His views of God weren't entirely in line with mine, but he treated me with the utmost respect despite the fact that we disagreed on a few things. I'm so thankful for his open mindedness and his willingness to talk to me about such a touchy subject.

Anyway, about that touchy subject. This blog isn't intended to be a religious blog. This blog isn't intended to "convert" anybody into becoming a believer. This blog, is an opportunity for me to share with you all what is going on with my life.

On that note, I have to say that I've been lonely, and it's not just a case of missing my home, my wife, and my little dog Mushu. I feel like in many ways that my personal relationship with God has faded and it kills me to admit that.

This affects my poker mind, but frankly, I could care less about any of that. I'm more concerned with the person I've become recently, and I don't like that guy one bit. I'm often irritated, jealous, venomous, spiteful, arrogant, mean, insecure, and all around unhappy.

Trying to fill those gaps with things like "working out" just don't last. It's a great step, don't get me wrong, but without a close relationship with God in my life, I don't LIVE. I die slowly, I hate, I complain, I'm sick... I hurt.

Most of you, despite the fact that you may feel like you "know me," really don't know what it's like to live my life. I'm NOT complaining, my life is great and I have all kinds of opportunities, but sometimes, too much of a good thing can be harmful.

Vanity is the deadliest sin in so many ways, but especially because it sneaks up on you without you even realizing it. It's the sin I'm most conscious of, most afraid of, but it's still a constant battle despite knowing that it's there.

I hate to think that this blog is coming off like a, "poor me" blog. I've always tried to let people in, and it's always made me feel better. At the same time, there is a price to pay for always putting on a smiley face, even when you don't feel like smiling at all. The people here in Australian are so nice, they've treated me exceptionally well... but I want nothing to do with it right now. I feel safer tucked away in my room, sweating the hockey games, and the tennis.

Anyway, it's getting pretty late here in Melbourne and I have a flight to catch. I'm seriously not even sure if I'm going to press send on this blog, because a lot of it is pretty revealing, and some may even find it preachy despite the fact that I've tried to be as "unpreachy" as possible.

God is important to me. My life is better when I make God the center of it. When I don't, regardless of any tournament success or accolades, I just can't be happy unless I feel like I'm at a good place with God.

In closing, I don't plan on turning this blog into a religious soap box, but this is MY blog and this is what I think about. I try my best to play it safe, not jamming God down people's throats, but at the same time, I'm not about to hide the fact that I believe.

Here's to an awesome 2007, hoping that we all get our resolutions and priorities in order.

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