Saturday, December 29, 2007

2 x bottles of wine & a packet of crisps...

Look out there is a hypocrite about…

It's 3:34 in the afternoon and I have just got out of my pit my head is spinning and the carnage is all there in front of me. One times large bottle of Jack Daniels with about shot left in it, 2 x empty wine bottles and a little bit of nan bread. I have just looked up at my bookshelf and noticed a bottle of Amaretto with a bit missing, oh dear…

Now I've been heading back to the cash tables and really enjoying the poker. I have also been enjoying the fact that I can play constant winning poker regardless of suckouts. So last night while the booze was flowing and my confidence was ever growing and I went on the cash tables well oiled. That's all I can really remember, other than a few all in moments for 5/6k pots.

First thing I did after analysing the carnage and to be honest thinking I don't really feel that bad for the amount I have drunk was checked my poker account. 2.5 K. released into the poker economy just for old times sake. Obviously I am a little pissed off especially after the poker that I have been playing and the discipline I have been applying, but hey it's only money. Okay, stop right there before we go any further I am coming back to this paragraph to explain myself. However without further ado…

Here's my excuse, I have two daughters aged 13 and 14 from a previous relationship and I haven't spoken to them for three months. I have been studying and have become a master practitioner of NLP. Some say NLP is the study of excellence I like to describe it as the art of freedom. In a nutshell you could describe it as the way we communicate verbally and nonverbally and I haven't spoke to my daughters for three months. They have a reality tunnel which has been created by their mum and in their reality tunnel dad doesn't exist. Yesterday I took them their Christmas presents and a long letter explaining my feelings and offering them the choices available. I've tried everything apart from pen to paper so I thought I'd give that a go.

I included metaphors as my last ditch attempt to communicate past the barriers that have been defended ferociously from a young age. I bought them a laptop each so that no matter what they have a means of communication - no excuses. One of the girls seems uncomfortable with the situation the other gave me a dirty look. Now before anybody thinks it's the thought that counts, my Christmas present from them was a tumbler with a miniature whisky inside it. It was very unique and even looked aged, in fact it looked about 10 years old. Isn't it amazing what they can do these days to make things look old?

Anyway, I sent them a letter it was more like an epic to be honest because when I start writing I generally can't stop. And I poured out my heart, my feelings, my frustrations. One of the stories was about when I lost my mum and how It took 10 years to for me to realise she was still a part of me even though she'd gone etc. One of my girls sent me a text message ‘thanks for the presents dad x’. That was it. Fucking marvellous I thought, isn't it great to be appreciated. My new abilities to control my state disintegrated for the day and even nearly ended up in a road rage incident. However, I managed to recover and brushed it off as “hey just one of those things”.

So I got pissed lost 2.5 K. playing poker and lived to tell the tale… the following is an excerpt of what I wrote to my daughters which I've just decided to share because sometimes you should take a leaf out of your own book…

Part of my epic....
I was thinking back to Florida the other day and how it was meant to be the perfect holiday the one holiday that we never forgot. The week before the journey I was so excited, everything booked all the spending money arranged, first-class flights with Virgin Atlantic what more could I ask for. That night a week before I decide to go to the jujitsu club and do some training open to burn off a few calories before I hit the buns big time. Training went as normal until it came to doing the throwing and I thought “oh dear here we go, knowing my luck probably injure myself”. I did a few throws and got thrown a few times until it was my turn to throw the big guy. Guess what was going through my head?

“If you throw him you will end up injuring yourself.”
Guess what happened?
Well you already know the rest, sometimes we are just so good at creating our future. The doctor told me I had injured my knee that bad when I needed surgery, major surgery as soon as possible. I told him about Florida with my family and he just said don't worry I will write you a doctors note and you will be able to claim on your insurance. I sat and thought about what he was saying and then pondered what everybody else would think and asked the doctor if there was anything else that could be done. I didn't want to let my family down, not to be the hero but selfishly I want to be holidaying just as much as everyone else. He said the only alternative was by wearing a knee brace go on the holiday on crutches, well you already know the rest.

It had been my life's ambition to one day have a holiday of a lifetime. What better place than Disneyland to make that dream come true. Bring it on... There are lots of things to learn from the holiday, I was going to call them bad memories but I'd much rather class them as learning opportunities. One thing in particular springs to mind and that is the ability or lack of as far as Disney was concerned ability to control our own ‘states of mind’. I remember thinking when everybody was whingeing about the heat, “does anybody consider the fact that I am here with a mangled knee in the same F*****G heat?”

Have you ever heard somebody say “ put yourself in my shoes”? Have you ever put yourself in someone's shoes? Yes, actually I can answer that for you because if you remember in Spain we played a game whilst we were driving in the mountains. I asked you before we went in the tunnel to pretend you was an artist and look through an artist eyes - take an artist's viewpoint, can you remember? Then I think after the tunnel I asked you what you saw and you described the mountains, clouds, colours etc. Then I suggested that you imagined you were a motorway maintenance man in charge of the roads and I asked what it is you saw then (remember how different the experience was). I don't know whether I actually went in and explained about how we filter our experience through our beliefs and values but the exercise was to give you an insight into just how easy it is to see something from somebody else's point of view.

So back in Florida I understood that it was hot and that’s why I bought you water sprays to cool yourselves down. I stepped into your shoes! a quick look through your filters/lenses and accepted why you were feeling hot and flustered. Wouldn't you agree that probably if somebody would have took the time to see things from my point of view then the heat probably wouldn't have been as important? In fact you probably wouldn’t have noticed it was hot. They are some memories I can choose to select and dwell on.

Alternatively I make a CHOICE - I change my lenses/filters and put the past behind me and guess what? I can look back at Disney and recall the good times. Having the Godfather theme played to me in a big Italian Resteraunt., Tony and Tina’s wedding and the drunken Vicar “was he really drunk?”. Tubbies and loading up for breakfast and realising why a lot of Americans are fat. The magic of the Disney characters. Losing the bottom of my crutches when Levi dropped it in the water. That parking spot “what number was it again?”.

The things I learned then and the things that I still learn now just by reflection give me hope for the future. Sometimes just floating back in your past and having a little look round give us the opportunity of new discoveries. Just what can you discover?
Can you see now its what lenses you CHOOSE to wear? Why not CHOOSE to wear someone elses for a change instead of putting the same one’s on, you may be surprised !

Mmmmmmm Food for thought :)

Merry Xmas & good luck at the tables (sober)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

You're not what you think you are, but what you think, you are..

So I have decided to start updating my blog on a regular basis again. The reason is that I have started to play nice smooth recreational poker and I'm enjoying the ride. Before I talk about the present just been doing a little reflecting on the past and where my poker journey has taken me. Things were going well actually and at the time of my poker beginnings, things couldn't be better. I was living a life of riley. The poker filled in the gaps and I remember thinking to myself this is the life, flashing off my three screens and talking to anybody who wanted to listen about poker.

Poker on the surface level so simple but as you drive down into the realms of the poker world you enter an intricate web with more facets than the finest cut diamond. As I drove down into the realms of the poker world I sampled some of the different roads available on my journey. The further and deeper I travelled down some the more I felt I was escaping the reality of the fact that something was missing in my life. Anyway I carried on regardless and wherever it was, whatever it was I was still making a tidy profit even though now the alcohol had crept into my game.

Alcohol and poker do not mix, it was great at first playing on the play money tables with my friends and the old Jack Daniels but Jack and real money poker was a recipe for disaster. By the year end I was winning the 30k tax free recreational poker player profits that could have been treble that. However, I was still pleased with my progress until I blew the lot in a tilt infested frenzy that lasted about three weeks culminating in my decision that online poker was rigged. I really did what Robert Anton Wilson says in his book ‘Prometheus rising’, (what the thinker thinks the prover proves!) I thought online poker was rigged, and deleted everything from my experience that suggested otherwise, how laughable but true.

So without further ado from a little reflection of the past to my projection of the future in the context of poker. I realised whilst on the emotional roller coaster that the reason I was playing poker so much was not that I was living a life of riley but there were just gaps that needed filling in at that time, pretty big ones. I had achieved my goals and as a result took my foot off the accelerator. Now, with no sense of direction had tried to adapt to the life of leisure but it wasn't me something was missing.

I'm playing poker now with a new-found vigour and I play for recreation and to test my ability to control my ‘state of mind’. This is my new challenge and part of my new goals. I am focusing more on live play but don't mind firing up the odd six-pack when I feel like doing so and if I don't feel like it I just don't do it. That's all part of the discipline. The discipline to be able to take it or leave it and not to become a victim of its complexity. The journey has been a fantastic one to reflect on and as I sit here now writing this poker taught me a valuable lesson.

I have the ability to walk away…

Good look at the tables Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

P.S I am now a certified master practitioner of Neuro linguistic programming and my training was taken with the co-creator of NLP doctor John Grinder. One of my goals is to work with professional poker players in helping them achieve their potential and I am currently in the process of setting up this aspect of my business.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sometimes things give us the opportunity to reflect and learn…

Years ago when I was being bullied by the family I have told you about before. The adopted one in the family and me became best of mates after a few fist fights and years of physical and mental abuse from his family; I have told you about him before as well. In fact he was adopted he had to go through much more than me as his 4 x brothers and Mum and Dad bullied him. Anyway, I remember we would go into town after robbing some fags from a shop where we had a couple of birds, and once cashed in - straight into the amusement arcades. I would think to myself **** this gambling what I have earned for a game of soldiers, and spend probably 20p on the Galaxian game. Once my 3 lives had gone I’d go and watch my best pal as he gambled every penny on the eachway nudger machine, bit of a careful hebrew I was in hindsight, even then!

So once skint he would ask me for 50p and I’d give him a quid (because I knew 50p wasn’t enough) until eventually he’d wipe me out and my £8 days robbings now did not belong to me (or him anymore). Every Saturday without fail we did the same thing and no matter how lucky he may have been on a particular day it went in the same pattern. When I see him now 25 years later I see it in his eyes and hear in his tone that he thinks back to the times when we were lads and things we got up to. One thing always concerned and ate away at me at the time and without the benefit of reflection… As it didn’t matter to me how I felt as long as he was alright, it didn’t really matter as long as he could see me for who I was (try to make sense of that). Did he really know though or was he blind to it? should I have pointed out just how much of a friend I was?

When I think back I remember how it felt to be able to give something away in the knowing it probably wouldn’t come back how I wanted. I also remember always wondering and hoping that he appreciated me for who I was. Maybe if he didn’t then he soon would recognise where to place his values one day and then I’d know if I was a true friend. However, at the end of the day I can only assume what he might be thinking, feeling, remembering, when I see him now and I cant keep going back 25years for them feelings can I? Yes of course because the feelings of being who you are cannot be taken away by anyone. Money comes and goes in and out of the hands of fools but memories are ours to keep, they cannot be bought or sold; just reflected upon and learned from. What about the bad ones I hear you say? Well, they don’t exist is my answer, they are all good, it just depends how you remember them and what you choose to learn.

I know he knows I am genuine…. what else? Haven’t got a clue but the fact he knows me more than most is back payment for 25years ago. It’s funny you know me and Kev were talking while eating a baked spud in town yesterday and I was mentioning peoples intentions, and frame of references, even perceptual positions, where you put yourself in the other persons shoes. The thoughts start rolling in again, maybe I had an external frame of reference and wanted my old friend to just let me know I was a friend. Maybe in my internal frame of reference I thought I was a dickhead and just wanted feedback to the contrary, access to his innermost thoughts on how he perceived me as a person.

So back to the frame of reference and normally I just know If I’m doing a good job, I don’t need feedback. One thing I am brilliant at if I don’t say so myself is finding a positive to why a person did such a thing then constructing excuses for them for why they may have done it. I am so good at that, I can even make the persecutor feel better for doing me harm as I reframe the intentions for them to help them feel better. I am laughing at myself here as what I have learned cannot be bought for any price…

What have I learned ?

Development of this topic is well beyond the scope of this virtual letter.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Self beleif re-visited

On march 7th 2006 I set myself a goal and placed it in my future (30th June) after a very serious knee injury had seen my weight spiral up to 21st 7lb or 137kg of:

15st or 95kg fighting fit by 30th June 2007

I weighed in this morning at 15st 6lb & fighting fit…

I have achieved so far a total weight loss of 6st 1lb or 38kg.

I calibrated my results today and it’s funny but I always thought I was going to easily achieve what I was setting out to do in. This, although made it seem easier did enable me to relax on the more than the odd occasion. My love for white wine and fine dining definitely got in the way with a few hangovers to boot. However, my outlook changed in many ways and I never once came off track to the extent of giving up. This goal was mine and I was going to get it.

After a while I started to realise that not only could I easily achieve my goal but also I had so many limiting beliefs that had been hindering me all my life – (unbelievable). So I have missed my goal by 6lb but thoroughly enjoyed the ride (with a cherry on top).

Now it’s time to reset my new goal and get that six-pack I never before believed was possible. My self belief has now become my ally from within and life is fantastic.

I have always believed that you can have anything you want in life you just have to want it enough to go out and get it. Weight was the one thing that I was always doing battle with and I have learned so much in the process..

To anyone thinking or struggling with anything:

‘Self-belief is your secret ally. You've just got to be able to turn it on, boost it when you need it most. It’s part of the armoury of all people who achieve great things. To win at anything in life, your greatest battle is with yourself. Your most powerful enemy is within. Your greatest ally is there also. The person who has the weapon to make you win or lose is you. Your weapon is your mind. Your mental approach makes you strong or weak, tough or flabby. Conquering yourself is the ultimate challenge.

Great self-believers have the edge. They carry within a formidable advantage over the average person. They know how to dig deep and muster additional resources and back-up when called to. They never lose. They always live to fight another day. They always come through. Even if you identify yourself as one of the great self-believers, you’ll still be eager to run a check on your current levels to ensure you’re in peak condition! Self-belief is your secret ally. You've just got to be able to turn it on, boost it when you need it most.’

A very happy & grateful

Toshiwonka ----- switched on ;)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Positive Intentions

Every behaviour has a positive intent.. E.g A smoker smokes because they say it helps them relax, concentrate etc..

My positive intent:
I play to test myself and manage my emotional 'state' i.e absorb the beats and play controlled Poker. It to me can be the ultimate test of discipline, and when I come off 'knowing' that's what I achieved then all well and good. I also played to escape boredom which I hate and do anything to avoid.

However, as far as positive intent is concerned and playing to test my discipline poker wise my conclusion is... To test myself and manage my emotions I stopped playing poker. To avoid boredom I found other things of interest to me. Basically I got the same result I played poker for by stopping playing (Discipline) & (New Interests). I found new ways of putting myself to the test in the process e.g Fitness training/Study business ventures etc.

The result:
Sometimes if you have a look at what your trying to achieve 'unconsciously' whether its to chill, escape boredom etc. you may find like I did that there are many other ways of getting that result that are more beneficial to you. I like the fact I can choose to play if I want and test my discipline.

I also like the fact that I have proved to myself I have the power of making choices. The more choices we have available the more flexible we are as human beings.

Sometimes we become so involved in something it overpowers us and we become tunneled as to the choices available to us. It's like standing in the grand canyon looking through a toilet roll with one eye and saying the view is fantastic. Sometimes if we drop the toilet roll theres a little bit more on offer that we couldn't see previously...

This is why I haven't played for over four months till now and I believe I'm missing the buzz from the game I was so obsessed with... I am focusing on some live poker and a little online maybe the odd MTT.

The true test now is to win a major live event :D

Good Luck

Monday, March 12, 2007

I started with the man in the mirror!

Been a while since my last post and I have hardly played any poker at all. In fact to be honest I haven't got the time to play at present, just how did I manage before???

Well it's a long story that I am trying to compress into as little wordage as possible but here goes.

I have had a lot of success in business and continue to do so with ever increasing results. However, there has been a lull in this process and an opportunity for me to re-evaluate my life and make some major decisions. You see, Poker took control of 'me' for a while in every shape and form and I wouldn't have swapped my leisurely lifestyle with anyone. I didn't need to work, I just delegated to the people I thought valued my business as much as I did (he he). Gave opportunity, encouragement and vision of the future to them while I decided I was going to get myself on TV playing poker.

Poker is a game of deceit and cunning and some of the people I have dealt with in business would give any poker player stark insight into the greed and levels some people will stoop to for a few quid. Now where was I? Oh yes....

At 26yrs old I was attacked by a couple of lads with chopped down budweiser bottles as weapons which they used to great effect. One day I stood up looked in the mirror at all the stitches and damage and said "That's it!". I had a vision that day, a mental movie of what I wanted in the future and from that day I set my stall out and I went and got it. When I think back to that day of "That's It!" I can feel how I felt, See what I saw, and hear what I heard when I created the vision of what I wanted. I acheived it by the time I was 29, I realised what I never before thought possible in the space of 3 yrs and It felt better than I can explain.

Poker has taught me another lesson and guided me to where I am today (37yrs young). The blog is 'chronicles of an obsessive recreational poker player'. I had my goals and rode on the buzz for a couple of years after getting them, then the poker filled in the gaps. Something was missing however, the motivation had dissappeared and I couldn't be arsed anymore. Poker was there for me and I escaped reality for 2yrs the reality of not having any goals. No mental movie of what I wanted anymore, no ambition or direction. Slowly but surely the poker playing gnawed away at me and my emotions till I had to have another look at myself and where I was.

I have always beleived that you can have anything in life you just have to want it enough to be able to make the changes to go out and get it. I have made them again and I know exactly what I want NOW.

Business is booming and life couldn't be better. I need to practice my skills so will be using this blog as a workshop and am looking for people to work 'with'. Thanks to poker I have re-routed my Internal maps of the world and I'm ready for anything!

"What do YOU want?"

And be careful what you wish for ;)

I did manage two TV appearances by the way Crimewatch (cough cough) I mean Poker channel :) ...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Do not read if Queasy !!

Sorry about the lack of updates of late but I have been ultra busy with my business commitments and other things. However, my head is not lacking poker thought and i shall be applying them to my virtual paper soon.

My best friend & business partner has been playing high stakes cash on BF for as long as me basically, well actually longer. He's the gung ho personality of the two and I much prefer a more methodical approach to certain ventures. Needless to say, he's paid to learn NL poker and I've read books and whatever I can to limit the $$$$$ damage.

The two of us have combined well over the years in business and perhaps the only area we work against each other is on the felt... Here I Introduce DEBIDAX...

It's Saturday night and my girlfriend has took the kids to Cleethorpes for the weekend. I haven't had a drink since the BFWCOP but there is some wine chilling in the fridge. You know the score tonight I am playing some aggressive poker ;)

Anyway DEBIDAX rings me hysterical with laughter trying to gather hiself so he can speak on the phone. Now I can't read into his laugh because it could be anything from losing a 20k pot to well you get my drift - he laughs a lot. OK so he says "Wayne your not going to beleive this but i'm playing two tables". Stop right there here is a Good beat coming - he's just fished a monster on the river type scenario. He continues "and I'm in the middle of two big pots on them after running bad for a couple of hours."
"go on" I reply.
"Well you know when you get that sudden urge for a shite?" Now conjuring up images of my experiences of this scenario in different parts of the world.
"yes, carry on".
"I got the urge, so I take my laptop off charge and run as fast as i can to the toilet not wanting to miss the opportunity of winning a big pot.
"And?" I query...
He starts laughing again uncontrollably... "well I manage to whip my kecks off sit on the bog and releive my bowels of the biggest sloppiest turd you could ever imagine"

So a bit of an anticlimax here I think but he's still laughing his head off. I ask "did you win the pot or pots?" He says "yes I doubled up on both tables!"

"I just wish that I had lifted the bog seat up before I started shitting!"...


Good Luck