November 17, 2013

Couldn't stay away

Now that life has finally slowed down enough for me to think clearly I'm going to start blogging again. Probably once a month from anything about from life to poker to anything in between.  I'll touch on a little of everything in this post. Firstly, I got engaged a few weeks ago. Kate and I had been going out for a little over 2 years, I've learned a lot from her and am extremely fortunate we met. We couldn't be happier and plan on getting married on April 11, 2015.  
I couldn't help but think about black Friday when we settled on that date, about 2.5 years ago I never thought the middle of April would be a happy time for me, couldn't help but smile when thinking about how short it takes for things to come full circle. If black Friday doesn't come, who knows how things workout? I don't know if I'd call it a blessing in disguise, but I no longer look back on it with bitter feelings anymore.

Onto my next point, my current job is to test scenarios for new software, it keeps you on your toes, there's always something to do, and is really a challenge. It has some similarities to poker in so far as you have to make quick decisions at times, think creatively, and be adaptable. Currently we are wrapping up our first round of testing a couple weeks earlier. We're now going to retest quite a bit of stuff and basically think of other scenarios to basically break stuff.  I'm not sure exactly why but on Friday in our weekly team meeting when we were told this, it made me think of my coaching sessions with Vanessa. 

A little background first. This was in the summer of 2008, I had just spent the last year of poker being coached by jsnipes. He took me from being a $200 HUNL loser to doing very well at 200-600NL. We were friends away from coaching and talked strategy quite a bit so I decided I wanted a bit of a change. He had no problem with it, I knew he was close to Vanessa and asked him about her. He had rave reviews, so I sent her an E-mail and we set up some coaching sessions.

A few things I learned about Vanessa after one session:

  1. She scared the shit out of me. I've played for some tough coaches over the years but she knew what she was talking about and was very assertive in getting her point across. I remember I acted too fast one time and she said "Will you stop acting so fast, I was going to tell you to do something else." Sure enough her line would've extracted much more value. I didn't act too quickly again out of both fear and respect.
  2. This was going to be extremely beneficial
  3. This was basically my reaction after our first each one of our sessions:
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  7. She thinks about scenarios different than anyone I've ever talked to

And the last point is something I want to expand more on. So many times when I was playing, I would hear someone talk about a hand and the response would be "standard." I'm not sure if Vanessa has ever uttered the words standard during a coaching session. Basically I'll try to sum up her poker philosophy in a few short sentences. Even though I was making a bunch of money at the time, and the decisions I were making were profitable, they weren't necessarily right. Nothing is really standard and nothing is necessarily wrong as long as you have a good reason for it. The answer to "why did you do that" should not be "I don't know" or "That's what I always do." Question everything and basically don't be standard.

I was confused while listening to her, I can't imagine how my opponents felt. I did some of the strangest stuff during our coaching sessions (and outside of it), but it was by far the most success I've ever had as a poker player. There were some learning woes but to tie it all together, I was trying to break stuff be it conventional wisdom, my opponents willpower, etc. It's something I've tried to carryover into all facets of life. Just because something works one way doesn't mean it's the best way. It may be incredibly efficient, there may be no reason to change it, however if you don't try to change it you'll never know what you may find.

"To be normal is the ideal aim of unsuccessful" - Carl Gustav Junj




Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:47 AM



B-rye88 posted on November 17, 2013 at 08:41 AM


Congratulations on your success and your engagement :)

TecmoSuperBowl posted on November 21, 2013 at 21:16 PM


Congrats man!

leking posted on February 17, 2017 at 10:25 AM


lol..i usually feel the same when have a huge assignment due in a few hours and just cannot stay away from asking term paper writers to give me a hand..just hope i will graduate soon so that this feeling disappears and i can have a piece of mind..

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