What A Year

2018 I ran below expectation in poker. But looking at my spreadsheet now—a winning spreadsheet for the year with an hourly rate that is actually chill AF for someone with no capital/who found himself in red chip hell for much of the year—I realize I actually didn’t run that far below expectation.

It just seemed like I did…

Because in 2017 I ran bottom 1%…

Because 2017 left me in fucking financial ruin/owing plenty…

Because I’ve depended on not having terrible luck (aka murdering poker, because I have a weird, fast brain and can peer right into your soul without you even knowing it) for too long…

Because my monthly nut is now managed, but still a goddamn beast

Because I never saved/I always gave…

(giving is good, but not saving anything is bad—especially if you are a poker pro)


2018 I spent my first year officially out of the house where my kids stay, a year after initiating a very overdue divorce. I started exercising regularly, eating well and drinking way less immediately. Eventually I got too busy and worn down and I stopped exercising regularly and started eating Cotixan again—but I still drink way less than I have since I was like 15 years old.


2018 I had some falling-outs. Standard. I’m forever scarred from growing up unloved (at least that’s how I remember it) and as much as I have insight into it, my demands of others in my life remain some degree too high.

I still expect people to be as considerate and generous and down AF all the time as I am. And that’s unreasonable. I know that…

2018 I learned about compatibility though. I’ve long thought we all just are who we are as the result of genetics, temperament, environment, VARIANCE, etc. This year I learned to actually find understanding for everyone though, to blame no one (including myself) for being the way they just are…

I then learned to stop loving the entire world—to only love and spend time with my children and those who are good for me. Those who are compatible with my giant but scarred heart, my awesome but sometimes dark brain, my somewhat troubled (less and less everyday I think) but absolutely unbreakable soul.


2018 I learned to breathe. I always knew the importance of focused breathing and I always felt better after I did it, but this year I actually learned how to do it. Most importantly, I installed a breathing app (the one I use is called Breathe Deep) on THE FRONT of my phone and I began using it unabashed, at the poker table, in traffic, at a restaurant, etc.

Wherever and whenever I get a little too wound up, I just breathe. For 2 minutes. 12 long inhales followed by shorter exhales. I just follow the app.

AND JUST LIKE THAT I GET PERSPECTIVE BACK. I fade going too deep and dark, too irrational. If I can use my “Internet fame” for anything at this point in my life, I’d like to get as many people as possible breathing…

Install Breathe Deep (or any breathing app you want) on THE FRONT of your phone. Set a daily alarm for whatever time of day you typically are most wound up. Use the app on the days you need to. Don’t use it on the days you don’t. Let your daily reminder get it in your head though that you have the equivalent of Xanax (without the scary side effects/potential addiction/dark bags under your eyes) with you all the time.

You never have to go too low anymore. You never have to get too irritated or angry anymore. You don’t even have to get manic anymore in case that’s in your wheelhouse…

You just have to breathe. How scary/difficult is that?



2018 I became a podcaster. As I head into 2019, I realize podcasting is my new passion/dream job. It’s the therapy I’ve always needed. It’s art without revisions (the best art there is IMO). And people tell me I’m good at it.

Makes sense…

I was shy growing up, but eventually too much time alone sparked this internal movement to become more social and funny/entertaining. Basically I wanted to get more girls. I also wanted people to play long hours of high stakes poker with me, even though they knew I was much better than them.

And so now, on most days (unless I’m hung up on something and somehow forgot to breathe), I can really talk…

I’m also NOT self-absorbed. I refuse to be/it’s my fucking pet peeve actually. And sadly, I feel like that’s pretty damn rare. At least in the world I live in it is.

I also have a weird AF, both dark and beautiful story to tell. I haven’t taken the path less traveled. I straight up went off both paths a long time ago and I’ve just been using a machete to find my way through the jungle.

I also don’t think I’m better or worse than anyone else on this planet…

(that shit is just gross imo)

Lastly, I’m just not scared to lay it all (the good, the bad and the seemingly embarrassing AF) out there. And people like that most of all. They like listening to it when they are driving, doing stuff around the house, working out, etc. It makes them feel less alone…



2018 I continued to coach my kids in youth sports. I continue to LOVE it. I continue to be the Geno Auriemma of elementary school.

(sorry, that’s something I will brag about/can’t help it)


2018 I almost finished my first book, “The Long Run…” (I had to leave something for 2019)…


2018 I spent considerable time with some AMAZING people that I will do everything in my power to keep in my life for as long as I live. 2018 was my best year in that way, even if it was my also easily my hardest year…


2018 still has a few days left in it. And fingers crosses, 7 Hail Mary’s, etc, my first company, Poker Rags, will officially open. It will be a Soft Opening, with the Grand Opening coming some time in 2019…


2018 the car I bought brand new as a poker pro in 2008 went over 200k miles.

2018 I fell in love with the ocean again.

2018—at age 44, fuck it—I started skateboarding again.

2018 I became strong as hell, a little bit smarter about life, a lot less self-destructive, and a ton more understanding…

Also, Lebron came to LA.

What a fucking year…



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3 thoughts on “What A Year

  1. What a year indeed. Proud of you, buddy. 👊

    Rob Roseman (702) 580-7883

    Listen to The Dad The Best I Can Show (new podcast episodes weekly!)


  2. The best post yet. Keep up this positive mindset. 2019 will be ur year. 😉


  3. I started using a breathing app on my phone once or twice a day because of your podcast, and its honestly done wonders for me in several different ways. My overall mood is improved, my perspective is better, it helps me be more objective/less emotional, I’m more productive/creative/grateful. Taking time to empty/clear my mind every day is probably the best decision I’ve made in a while. And its free. Just wanted to say thanks for that, and good luck in 2019.


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