Happy Thanksgiving!

I am waiting for my main computer to process a video that will take awhile, so I have some time to pop open my chromebook and write one of those posts where I talk about all of the things I’m grateful for. Actually, a list of all of the things I’m feeling thankful for would take far too long, so I’ll go with poker related things that I’m thankful for. Mostly.

I’m thankful for bad beats, because they have made me mentally tough. Very few things even cause a ripple in the calm pool that is my mental state these days. After eleven years of playing poker for a living, I am much stronger mentally and able to handle minor ups and downs in life without breaking stride. It also helps me focus on the big things because the small things aren’t distracting me.

I’m thankful for recreational players. We should never forget that this is their game. You may feel like the king of the table, but they don’t care, they are having more fun than you are, the casino would rather have them in that seat than you, and without them you would have to get a job. We should never call them idiots or fish, at least not within their hearing range, and we shouldn’t disparage bad play at all. I know I have been guilty of this on occasion, but it’s rare for me these days. The fact that someone does not play well in terms of profit does not mean they are stupid, it means they are having more fun than you are or they haven’t learned how interesting the game can be when you get good at it. Some recreational players are very intelligent people who make a lot more money than you do and are probably happier too.

I’m thankful for my poker friends. I’ve met some amazing people in the poker world and learned some very cool things from them. While there are a few bad apples, I trust the average poker player far more than the average person and I find that I like them more often as well. I still have friends outside the poker world and I’m thankful for them too, they help remind me that there is a real world out there and that not everyone lives in a toybox full of money and plays games all day long.

I’m thankful for variance. While it may make me crazy some night to lose money in a game where I know I am the best player, it also allowed me to win a bracelet this summer. While I feel really good about my mixed game skills, and think I am one of the best, it is unlikely that I was the best player in the field of such a tough event. Without three days of running good to go with playing well, I wouldn’t have the bracelet, the greatest night of my life, some extra cash and some extra endorsement deals.

I’m also grateful for those endorsement deals. I’m blessed to be able to work with companies that I believe in, and to be able to turn down offers if I don’t think they are a good fit for me. Ivey League, Blue Shark Optics, Running Aces Card Room, and PocketFives.com are all great companies that I am proud to be associated with. I’m truly blessed to be able to choose the companies I work with and have none of them turn me down.

This year has been amazing for me, and this last few weeks has also been incredible, so I’m feeling awfully lucky these days. Thanks for reading. I leave you with my favorite holiday song, White Win in the Sun by Tim Minchin.

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