Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm A Hypocrite..

My last post might as well be deleted because today I tilted, cried, complained, screamed, shouted, yelled, moaned, berated, and was just an all around moron. I guess playing so much and getting so close so many times (Today I was in the top 30 in 3 big tournaments) is really getting to me. I need to stop making excuses first and foremost and just handle what is thrown at me, be a professional, and be mature. I'm not going to repeat everything I said in the last post but I have been an idiot the last couple of days and I really need to stop. I'm sorry again to everyone. You can make a mistake once and apologize, but if you keep making that mistake then your apology and your word means nothing.

On that note, let me show you a post from a pocketfive member on an experience he recently had. The post is from pocketfiver "shanetrain22"

"Maybe this should be put in OT, but I think it’ll be of more use here. Also, let me say first that I don’t consider myself to be a “preachy” kind of person. I feel that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and if someone disagrees with me on something, I’m generally happy to hear their personal contentions on the issue. Often times, I’ll even change my views on the topic. And to be honest, this is usually because I was ignorant about it to begin with. I’m saying this first so that people don’t read this post and think that I’m on a high horse, or say that I think my opinions/thoughts are “the way things are”. (note: I tend to ramble a bit when something is on my mind, so please bear with me. Also, Cliffs Notes are overrated imo, sorry).

Today I realized there are things that shouldn’t be “out of sight, out of mind.” And while I’ve certainly always known this, I haven’t always put it into practice. For example, last month the electric bill didn’t come in the mail. Instead of calling the gas company and seeing what happened, I just ignored it. Sweet, no electric bill this month! Wrong. And not that it’s all that expensive to begin with, but that’s obviously not the point. When the bill came this month, it had last month’s balance on it as well as a nice little fee. Could this have been avoided? Of course, and it should have been. Just because the bill got lost in the mail or someone accidentally threw it out doesn’t mean I’m not responsible for it. That’s just a selfish, immature, and ignorant way to be. And as I get older and mature more (by the way, I’m a 23 year old college student), these things become more and more evident. It’s scary yet invigorating at the same time to realize that I’m becoming less of a life noob these days. It’s about time!

Anyway, onto the story. After going to the gym with a few friends, I decided to do the smartest thing possible and go to Wendy’s. Yeah, whatever, I hadn’t eaten much today and a Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal just sounded amazing (note: I’m eating it as I type this up, and it’s delicious). So I go through the drive-through, pay & grab the food, and drive towards the exit to go home. I swing around the building and spot a couple people sitting on a bench by High Street (the main street that takes you almost everywhere here on campus). I’m not sure if these people were homeless or not (couldn’t see them that well), but this street and specific area is known to be where many less fortunate people hang out. I thought to myself, “I should just go ask them if they want some food, especially since I had that nice little score on Friday.” (Took down the 16k on FTP, obv brag post, just ignore it imo.) It was just a random "why the hell not?" thought. But for some reason I decided against it and just kept driving towards the exit. Before I turned onto the street that heads towards my house, I saw a man standing right there on the sidewalk. He was just a couple feet from my car, so I suppose this forced my previous thoughts to become my actions.

Larry is an older man, looks about 70 years old or so, and is obviously homeless. I know his name is Larry because I stopped my car and asked through the passenger side window if he was hungry. We exchanged names, shook hands, and he told me he hadn’t eaten in three days (whether that’s true or not is irrelevant; if I were him I would have said I hadn’t eaten in a week, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt lol). I asked him what he wanted and he told me a cheeseburger and small strawberry milkshake would be great. As he waited on the side of the parking lot I swung back around to the drive through. I decided to order him a large #3 (some big ass sandwich & fries), a large strawberry milkshake, two Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, an extra large fry, and a caeser salad. I wanted Larry to have more food than he had ever eaten in one sitting before.

I drove back around the building over to where he was sitting, got out of my car, and handed him his food. The first thing he said was “This isn’t what I ordered,” which made me laugh a little. But he was very gracious. He thanked me, shook my hand, and then pulled out his wallet. I thought he was going to try to give me whatever spare change he had, but before I could say anything he pulled out a piece of paper. He put it on the hood of my car and told me he was a Marine in the Vietnam War. He had been in the service for three years and had been honored with 7 ribbons in that time. It was apparent that this paper, which proved everything he said, was what gave this man all of the pride and dignity he had left. It was his only possession that had any value to him.

Larry was a decorated veteran, yet was homeless. He told me that he had no family and had been living on the streets of Columbus for over 20 years. He also said that his birthday was later this month (he’ll be turning 53, but could easily pass for 80). After telling me that his birthday was coming up, he looked at me and said “Wonder if I’ll make it…” After saying that, he laughed a bit, probably out of embarrassment, but I know he actually wondered about this because of his tone. It was also the only time he had looked me in the eyes when speaking (prior to that he had been looking at the ground the whole time, even when I was talking). I told him I was sure he’d live long after his birthday, and that he was a strong, accomplished veteran. I hoped this would put a smile on this face, even just a small one, but he didn’t react at all. After a few more minutes of small talk I shook his hand again and told him he’d better go eat his food before it got cold (we were talking by my car while his food sat over on the side). He thanked me one more time and I drove away wondering if he’d be able to finish all that food – and if he could find a comfortable place to sleep tonight.

As I sit here now, finishing my fries and frosty, I wonder what kind of effect I had on Larry. This man had accomplished so much in his earlier life, far more than I have… so how much could one meal really mean to him? Did I do this for him just to feel better about myself? Because I felt guilty about luck-sacking my way through some random donkament? Because I’m able to throw around money in poker tournaments and cash games whenever I want to? Which isn’t to say I’m anywhere near as skilled/profitable as the ranked players on this site – and I only play small/mid-stakes tournaments and 100-200NL. Nevertheless, I am in a position to win a relatively significant amount of money. An amount of money that this homeless man hasn’t had in decades, and likely ever. It almost makes me think of my lifestyle as reckless. After all, I live off poker and I play with sums of money that would be life changing to a lot of people. And I’m just a small stakes grinder!

Anyway, maybe I should have just typed this whole thing in my blog. I know a few people read it, but I figured this would be a better place to tell a larger audience about something that really made me think about my lifestyle as a small stakes “professional” poker player. Also, I think after today I’m going to have a little more respect for money. And while I realize that not having respect for money is, to some extent, important as a poker player… I also know it can be easy to get carried away. The money I’m using to play is generally “out of sight, out of mind.” This isn’t to say I don’t follow good bankroll management (which I generally do). I guess I’m just starting to realize now how good I have it. And I hope others in situations similar to mine realize it too. The suckouts, the bad beats, the coolers, the downswings… they’re never going to stop. But look on the bright side… at least we’re in a position to handle the beats, brush them off, and do it all over again. MBN."

Shane is absolutely right. I am lucky to be where I am at, and things can always be worse than what they are. I have an occupation that allows complete freedom. I can work when I want, take days off, win ridiculous amounts of money, whatever I want it can be done. I take it for granted though. I don't appreciate everything that I have right in front of me. I am 23 years old, have a college degree, and I'm in complete control of my life; but I complain about losing poker tournaments and getting unlucky in hands. Hahahaha. That sounds so ridiculous. I could see crying and complaining if every time I got unlucky I lost a limb or got tazed or something. That's not the case. All that happens when I get unlucky is that I lose the pot and either lose the tournament or have chips to try to battle back. I've been acting so stupid lately and that's not what kind of person I am.

That's all I have to say tonight. I'm still acting like an idiot and it has to stop. I don't think I need to throw any extra motivation out there like $10 to every railbird that sees me say something inappropriate or anything. I think this needs to be something I need to be able to control on my own without any other influences. Back to the tables tomorrow. The WCOOP is killing me but its fun playing different games with players who don't always play those games as well. I will keep you guys updated on everything. Goodnight.

I'll leave you guys with an OLD song that I believe I sang at a retirement home when I was about 10 or something. Haha. I'll have to ask my mom to make sure the details, but I'm pretty sure I went into some retirement home and sang this song for the people there. I think it was like a school field trip type thing, when we did stuff like that for the people there, lol. I will find out the details tomorrow. Here's the video.