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Daniel - Poker Journal

The Civilian Life

25 Oct 2015

Just finished watching the latest WSOP main event episodes and reflecting on the last few months. I haven't taken this long of a break from poker since the year 2000. Since the main event, I followed that up with a 6th place finish in the WSOP National Championship in July, and haven't played since. I did play a couple WCOOPs, but the only live poker I played since July was Vanessa Selbst's charity event in New York for the Urban Justice Center which ended up being a really good time.

When I used to talk about what my dream life might look like, some of the things I wanted in that life didn't seem possible because of all the travel I do for poker tourneys. I always wanted to be on a routine, I've craved routine. I always wanted to play in a weekly league of something, anything, to be on a team. I always wanted to read more, watch more sports, play video games I enjoy, and stay current on world events.


Finally, I realized that I could just live that life NOW! All it took was me choosing it, so I did. I started playing in an indoor soccer league, three leagues actually- Mondays, Wednesdays, and an outdoor league on Thursdays.

In addition to that, I hired an ex-pro and the coach of the Las Vegas Legends indoor soccer team to work with me three days a week for an hour. It's been really fun and I'm definitely getting better. I played soccer as a kid, but was never really good. The teams I play on, we play to win. It's just a fun rec league, but most everyone actually cares about winning and I love being a team player. I'm not the best player on the team by any stretch, but I always give it my best effort which masks a lack of actual fundamental skill. Kind of like poker! haha!

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays I'm in the gym with Tiffany Boydston and usually my golf coach, caddie, and close friend Christian joins us. I like having him there for motivation. Kid is 5' 6" 135 lbs and he can bench press 235 lbs! It's crazy.

Here is a short video ESPN did covering part of my daily routine:

Gym and Soccer

So I got the weekly routine down from a physical perspective, but I've also been on a gratifying mental stimulation routine. I read daily, non-fiction covering a wide range of topics. I play Hearthstone daily and I absolutely love it. I don't let myself play for 10 hours straight anymore, but I really enjoy the game so much that I typically find an hour or two a day to play.

As far as keeping up with current events, I watch TV and also read about what's going on in the world. I realize politics is a divisive issue, but I really enjoy following the drama and discussing it. In the past I couldn't watch FOX News for more than 5 minutes without being annoyed, so I challenged myself to add it in and try to watch it with a blank slate so that I take in a more balanced diet of information. Not just from the left or right.

I still haven't been able to watch MSNBC for more than 10 minutes ever. Despite the fact that my views lean left, I find the delivery on that network to be even more rude and condescending than on FOX News. I find both to absurdly bias, with CNN being the most balanced of the cable news networks. I actually laugh when an issue comes up and watch the reaction on both networks. It looks something like this:

MSNBC- "Hillary Clintion was a superstar in the Benghazi hearing and showed up presidential while Republicans tried to attack her on this witch hunt, but came away with no new information. It was a great week for Hillary."

FOX News- "Breaking: new information from the Benghazi hearing of Hillary Clinton lying to the American people after she killed four Americans. This is the beginning of the end for the Clinton campaign as she will likely be indicted for those murders."

You just have to laugh! I have friends that are Republican, and I have friends that vote for the Democrats. I always appreciate it when people are willing to hear the other side and not jump to personal attacks just because we have different views. OK, enough about politics as I'm sure some of you are fed up with all of it.

As far as watching sports, I watch hockey as much as possible, mostly the Pittsburgh Penguins since my buddy Phil Kessel got moved there, but I also keep my eye on what's happening with the Leafs and the league as a whole. I've been in the same fantasy league since 1996 with mostly the same group of guys and it's an absolute passion for me! It's very competitive and I follow my 48 players closely. Yes, you heard that right... 48 players in a 20 team league! We all have a 20 player farm system incorporated into our keeper league so there really isn't a 3rd line player in the NHL that isn't drafted in our league.

I also rode the emotional roller coaster that was the Bluejays playoffs. Heartbreaking. A 162 game baseball season can become quite tedious, but playoff baseball is really intense. Not going to lie, I threw a shoe or two across the room in the dying moments of that game. Ugh.

I even started following the MLS! Just watching Toronto FC who finally made the playoffs for the first time ever this season. This Giovinco kid is so fun to watch. What a beast!

Notice I didn't mention the NFL? I haven't watched the Super Bowl in about five years. I used to watch the NFL religiously and was a die hard Buffalo Bills fan back in the Scott Norwood days. Ouch. I will occasionally watch the Bills play today, but otherwise, the organization disgusts me so much that I just feel dirty supporting it. It would take me an entire blog to explain the many reasons I find them to be a disgusting, hypocritical organization. I'm not hating on people who watch it, it' a great game to watch, bet on, or do fantasy sports around, but I just can't do it.

So, in a nutshell, I have been having FUN!!! Contrary to what you might think, I am massively introverted. I prefer being at home to going out, but that's not to say that I have any issues being social. It's just that if I have the choice between going to a club or being on the couch, playing Hearthstone, while there is hockey on the TV... I would pick the couch all day.

Poker will always be part of my life. I've been playing long enough now that I don't get rusty from a lack of practice. If anything, not playing for long stretches makes me sharper when I do play. The year isn't over for me as I will be playing an event in December, the WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio which I've had lots of success at coming first, third, and a couple other cashes.

2015 marks my lowest number of tourneys I've played since the year 2000 when I took a hiatus from everything but partying and spending money haha. My stats are still consistently good despite this year not amassing as much earnings as I did in 2013 and 2014 ($2 million and $7 million respectively).

Here is a look at my 2015 numbers so far not accounting for swaps:

Events: 47
Cashes: 8
Buyins: $1,392,325
Payouts: $1,818,832
Profit: $426,507

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