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Daniel - Poker Journal

The Next Stage of My Life

17 Apr 2007


The place I lived before wasn't exactly horrible, but it was clear, that along with my wife Lori, it was becoming a little cramped. She has an Emelda Marcos like shoe collection, I have a few too many hockey jerseys, and overall, we found that we had little closet space which made things cluttered around the house. That's not a problem anymore. The new house is about 5000 square feet and there is tons of closet space. (more on that later)

Since we moved into the new house Lori and I have been getting along even better than before. She seems really happy, which in turn, makes me happy. We aren't quite done yet, with boxes still unpacked, but it's already starting to feel like home.

For me to feel good about myself and my path in life there are several important things that need to be in order. Organizing my priorities allows me to live a much better life:

1.God When the other things in my life are well organized, it helps me to put away some time each day to spend with God. Whether it's reading a devotional or some scripture, feeding on the word of God on a daily basis is essential for me to make good life decisions.
When I start to think I can do things on my own, and neglect God's role in my life, that's when I suffer. That's when the ugliness inside me often comes out. It'll always be that way and I've learned not to be too hard on myself when I slip up, but each day, I want to grow closer and closer to God. I've been ridiculed countless times for my belief in God, but it doesn't weaken my faith or make me any less willing to say that I am a believer.
In fact, in Matthew 5:11 Jesus says, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsly say all kinds of evil against you because of me." I find that to be a pretty powerful passage. It can be really tough for most people to deal with any ridicule they may face for being vocal about their belief in God. That passage should help make it easier to share your personal beliefs with others.

2. Family I've been more focused on doing things that will make my wife happy. Rather than thinking about how this or that will efffect me, if I put her needs and wants first I end up getting exactly what I want anyway. Its amazing how that works! It really does. When you give to someone it feels good. When you recieve gifts it usually makes you want to give back to that person. That's a good place to be in any relationship whether it's your friends, wife, mother, etc.
My brother came out for the move with his high school buddy Victor who has been a part of my extended family for over 20 years now. They did an unbelievable job moving me in here. A two man wrecking crew that not only moved all of our furniture, but did electrical work, tiling, and a whole slew of other things. By the way, they both flew out to Las Vegas from Toronto with less than 24 hours notice! That's pretty special and I'm extremely grateful. No chance we'd be all moved into this house without them. No chance.
I only regret that my mother couldn't be out here. She spends about half the year in Toronto and the other half here in Las Vegas. She can't come back for another few weeks, but I can't wait to see the look in her eyes when she sees our new kitchen!
In our previous house, we didn't really have a guest bedroom. We turned it into a closet. Well, now when Lori's side of the family comes out to visit we'll actually have mattresses for them that they don't have to blow air into!

3.Health I started out the year working out and feeling great. As usual, though, that faded and I was back to being a lazy bum. No more. This week we have a Bowflex on the way and that will go a long way to ensuring that I stay on track.
Food wise, Whole Foods is less than two minutes from my house now and that will help make sure that I'm getting a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, tofu, etc.
In the backyard we have room for lots of stuff. A large swimming pool with a huge yard that I can practice chipping on. Also, a basketball net to shoot some hoops. Swimming, Bowflex, basketball... that's going to help me get into good shape for the WSOP.

4. Poker Ready to get back on the horse. I'm going to be completely honest here, and say that I've NEVER felt like I've put in a solid year of poker where I was at my best for the whole year. Even in 2004, I feel like I could have played even better than I did. There are several things that get me side tracked, but this new house should help cure those problems. 1) being my relationship with God and making sure he is at the center of my life. 2) a good, healthy relationship with my family. 3) Being in better physical shape will allow me to play good poker over longer periods of time. If you look at the "modern poker player" they look more like Lance Armstrong than, say, Babe Ruth. I don't think it's a coincidence at all.

When I'm not prepared to play in tournaments I just don't do as well. Period. Seriously, I can look over all of my victories and failures and attribute how I did in those event to how prepared I was to play. Knowing this, I try to only play in tournaments when I feel like I have all my ducks in a row.

5. Stuff Always helps make life a little more fun, and with the new house there is a lot more room for some of the things I've always wanted as a kid:

-Pool Table. I bought a beautiful Briarwood Brunswick table.
-Swimming Pool. A much nicer pool and room for a volleyball net.
-Golf Stuff. Eventually I want to build a green in the yard, but for now I bought a chipping net.
-Basketball net. A small area for a net.
-Game Room. Two Arcade Games (Golden Tee, NBA Showtime/NFL Blitz), and X-BOX, X-BOX 360, Playstation 2, and a Wii on the way. Dart Board, Putting Green, etc.
-Home Gym. A mirrored room designed for working out exclusively.
-Craft Room. That's all Lori, I won't be spending any time in there!
-Office. A sweet office for my computer. A plasma on the wall, trophies, books, DVD's, etc.
-Poker Table. A custom poker table perfect for 8 players, but could fit 10 easily.
-Doggie Door. Hopefully Marley will continue to use it and our carpets can remain clean!

For the first few days that I was here I didn't have internet access. The funny thing is, is that I really didn't miss it? I realized that I waste far too much time surfing the internet so I decided to make a rule for myself: no more than two hours a day online. That'll give me enough time to answer my e-mails, check out the FCP forums, check some hockey stats, etc. Obviously if I have some writing to do I may go over two hours.

Anyway, my two hours is almost up, so I'm headed out to the backyard to go for a swim with the dogs.

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