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Zen Madman Day 7 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

I woke up grumpy and unshaven. I'm going to sleep cleaner and happier. Today started off rough, but picked up. Tomorrow will be a long day.

  • 1,000 VPPs
  • 2 videos
  • 1 chapter
  • 1 Taekwon-Do class
  • 1 music practice
  • 1 blog

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It’s 2010 And You Still Can’t Clone Yourself?

Posted by Leatherass

If there were somehow an option where I could clone myself for a couple of weeks, I would certainly be paying pretty much whatever it took to do that.  I basically have 5 different things that I really wanted to do and 3 of them are at the same time.  Right now I am on Chicago on a layover waiting to fly into Charlotte so I can be a part of Matt Bolt's (Mbolt1) wedding.  I am really pumped for that on it's own merit, but it probably could not possibly come at a worst time with my Oregon Ducks playing Stanford on Saturday at Autzen stadium.  ESPN's Game Day is coming and well, I should just stop writing because I pretty much want to throw up (like literally throw up uncontrollably for hours) just thinking about missing that game.  I never miss a Ducks home game, and even attend about half of the road games every year.  So wow, it is going to be tough to miss it.

To complicate matters I am a huge golf fan and the Ryder Cup is this weekend as well.  Missing that has been something that I have barely even thought about relative to missing the Ducks game, but to me anyway, it is pretty much like being a huge soccer game and having to miss the World Cup.  No fun there.  I also catch a cold about 75% of the time I get on a plane historically, so I may be signing up for a cold as well to rub insult into injury.  Anyway, enough of that.  On the bright note, I am incredibly pumped to see Bolt and his bride tie the not.  I am definitely a big fan of theirs and even though it is going to be tough missing out on some things to be there, I couldn't be more excited or happy to get to not only see them tie the knot, but also get to see a bunch of other poker buddies like Forcewithme, Beach Justice and well, there is no clever way to say his name other than to just call him Jared Tendler.  We are all playing golf tomorrow which is going to be quite a group!!  I was too lazy to bring my golf clubs on the flight, so I will have to borrow someone's clubs and likely shoot about 80 with them haha.  I never play worth a darn with other clubs, but I weighed that against the pain of bringing them on the trip and the likelihood they get lost or delayed and decided to just leave them behind.

Next weekend is my daughter Lennon's first birthday!!!  As some of you may know, Lennon is a name we picked out for her 6 months before she was born in honor of John Lennon.  On the day she was born, Oct 9th, I got a text from a friend saying, "OMG I can't believe your daughter was born on John Lennon's birthday!!"  I had no idea it was his birthday.  Lennon was due on Nov 2nd, so her coming on Oct 9th was quite a surprise.  So later that day I did some research and discovered that John Lennon was born at 6:24PM in London.  I then asked the nurse what time she was born and she said 10:24AM here is Portland, Oregon.  10:24 AM in Portland is 6:24 PM in England, so lo and behold they were born at the EXACT SAME TIME!!  Crazy stuff.

So the weekend of her birthday also coincides with a trip to Bandon Dunes I was invited to go on with some PGA tour players, including one who shot a 59 this year on tour.  Definitely a tough break to have to miss that, but they are playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Lennon's birthday is on Saturday, so there is just no way to enjoy the trip without having to miss her birthday, and as much as I would love the Bandon trip and as much as I know she doesn't even know it's her birthday, I don't want to start off her life not being there for her.  One of my main goals in life was to raise a family the right way after being frustrated with the way I was brought up, so I don't want to start off right away as a flaky Dad.

Poker in September went reasonably well.  I'm done playing for the month and ended up winning about $40,000 on the month.  I will certainly take it because I didn't play too many days of poker. I spent a lot of time on vacation, and being sick with an infection as well as working really hard on my book as we reach the home stretch.  So to scratch out $40,000 playing part time was definitely nice.  I also spent a lot of time working on my game which I think will serve me quite well as I am really going to be grinding a lot more hands than I have in awhile in November and December as I close in on SuperNova Elite.  I am way behind right now with about 640,000 VPP's. but I planned on having a busy end to the year and have cleared out my schedule mostly in Novemeber and December so I can take care of business at the tables.

Well, Go Ducks, Go Lennon and I hope everyone crushes it at the tables!

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Zen Madman Day 6 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

Another mediocre day. I wanted to write 10 chapters today, but managed to finish only 3. Is it possible that I've overwhelmed myself with too much stuff to do?

  • 3 chapters
  • 2 poker videos
  • 1 blog

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Zen Madman Day 5 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

It rained. I'm not sure that helped me get stuff done, but it was soothing in its own way. I quickly learned the drawback of having window screens to let in the breeze. This flooding was nothing like the dishwasher fiasco, though.

Not too much poker. Lots of poker videos:

  • 1,000 VPPs
  • 3 poker videos
  • 1 Taekwon-Do class
  • 1 music practice
  • 1 blog

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Life beyond the virtual felt

Posted by OMGPhilGalfond

Recently I was sick and since we have a 4 month year old, my wife has taken the liberty of using the card to make me go to the doctor.  I am not a big doctor person, not because I am "rough and tough and don't need them" but because I think perscription drugs have been over used.  I don't really recall many experiences were I have been to the doctor and not gotten a perscription for one thing or another.  I choose natural remedies before going to any MD, but for my son, I went.  My wife has been asking me to get a physical since we found out she was pregnant (13 months ago) but I declined.  Long story short, when I got to the doctors they started asking me questions for my physical, not my sickness.  Tricky tricky.

I found out a lot of things that day.  I am slightly obese (level 1 they call it).  I weighed in at 217 and obesity for my height starts at 200.  Then I got some unfortunate news.  My cholestral (I am have a family history with heart desease) was extremely (techincal term?) elevated (The bad one).  The good cholestral was just at the minimum requirement.  On top of that they found a sist. 

I have never really let things bother me, but my son with the possiblity of no father does in fact bother me.  I realize now that the decisisons I make effect much more than myself.  I may want a cheeseburger, but my son may want a father.  I don't think a cheeseburger = heart attack, but it does damage an already bad ticker.  Whenever we choose, we don't just choose for ourselves, but those who depend on us, those who love us, and those who look up to us.

I have gotten things turning around though.  I eat very few carbs (as of about two weeks ago).  I am eating chicken, turkey and other white meat.  I have not had any red meat.  I also am a soda-holic and can no longer have caffeine.  I have had one soda in 2 weeks only for caffeine on a particularly drousy morning.  I have started running again and have quickly gotten to 1 mile per day (for the past 4 days).  My weight has dropped to 209.5 as of this morning.  I also have a weight loss bet with JCampbell.  I have to get down to 175 by March.  (I was 165 a few years ago when I was playing soccer competitively)

This is a real eye opener for me.  I never really cared about my health, but once again, what we do effects so many around us.  It is part of the sacrifices we make to increase the longetivity of relationships of people whom we love and love us.  This doesn't just apply to health, but all the decisions we make.  The adventurous ones, the immoral ones, or the ones that waste a day instead of spending it with those love ones. 

If anyone can take anything away from this blog its to take care of yourself.  Really think about all the decisions your make in life that might effect others.  Take care of yourself more than you would like because someone out there depends on you, loves you and wants you to be there for them.

Take care and good luck at the felt


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Zen Madman Day 4 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

Day 4 was less than ideal. I let myself get distracted by black cards, poker championships (which I didn't play), and nuclear kittens. I had a lot planned for the day, but made some serious scheduling adjustments. I'd like to say I relaxed a bit and that I'm now prepared for a hard week, but the feeling only lasted until I woke up this morning. It's raining, which contributes atmosphere but not energy.

  • 2,000 VPPs
  • 1 video (The Sixth Star Volume V)

A little guitar playing for fun:

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Zen Madman Day 3 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

I can't say things are getting any easier so far. A little quality sleep would be more than welcome. I managed to pick up the pace on the poker at least, largely by nine tabling. I also decided to spend 24 hours at some point writing a short mystery novel.

  • 7,100 VPPs
  • 2 videos
  • 1 blog

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Thoughts on Abusing Players Online

Posted by tacojohnsftw

MDuck abusing me at PokerStars made me the poker player I am today. I made my first deposit on to PokerStars October 2008. I learned the different games and happily played a 55-12 (VPIP & PFR) and pretty quickly burned through my first $50.
Determined to continue because I was a constant winner in my home game I slowly deposited and lost about $300 in my first 3 weeks online. Not really sure what I was doing wrong, I continued on in my foolish ways, limping about 1/3 of pots. One day I was playing against MDuck and we got it all in on a KQQ board I had 88 – he had QJ – and I sucked out an 8 to win the pot.
I wish I had the chat log from back in the day but it amounted to:
Do you actually think you’re decent?!?!?!?!
You’re the worst player at the table!!!!!
You don’t such a *&^*#%*@’n idiot!!!!!
I already realized I had played the hand poorly, but I never thought I was bad. After all I won at my home game. I was pretty bummed and angry that I had been quasi-publically berated, and was apparently bad at online poker, so a little while later I took my $125 or so off the site and didn’t really play online much for the next year.
After winning a couple grand live I decided to take another stab at online poker. Only this time I was determined to be good. So with the thought of being mocked online, I joined a training site and spent a lot of time learning and training at DTB and 2+2.
3 Months later I’m on track to having my first $1000 month online, and am happily winning consistently on PokerStars and Full Tilt.
So let this be a lesson:
Berating other players make you an asshole: plain and simple.
It also makes two bad things happen:
1) Bad players take their money elsewhere
2) They train like Rocky, kick your ass and take your money.

Either way – you lose.

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Zen Madman Day 2 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

I was physically exhausted all day, so I took two quick naps, Da Vinci style. My focus was been mediocre at best, but my spirits are high. I'll need to keep that fire to grind through the tough days like today. In other news I made a runner-runner royal flush. Very exciting.

I wanted to go to my friend and singer's third degree test, but after an awful night of sleep, there was no way to do it without falling way behind pace. I can't afford that this early in the game. I need a solid first week to keep myself motivated for the rest of the challenge.

  • 6,000 VPPs
  • 2 chapters
  • 2 videos
  • 1 blog

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Zen Madman Day 1 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

I woke up exhausted today. Within an hour I was on the creative high of pounding out a couple chapters. I got a sorely needed haircut, played some bass and guitar, got a little free fighting in, ran a mile, then came home for round 2 of poker. I only had 2 hours scheduled, so that was no problem. After grinding out a couple more chapters for the book, my brain feels like mush. Hopefully I'll sleep through the night.

  • 2,100 VPPs
  • 4 chapters
  • 1 music practice
  • 1 Taekwon-Do class
  • 1 blog: video below

Somehow it looks so paltry to me when I write it out, but it felt like a long day. Just 99 bottles of Buddha on the wall...hmm...should I have gone with luftballons?

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Zen Madman Day 0 of 100

Posted by GiantBuddha

I began my 100 Days of the Zen Madman at the stroke of midnight. More like the click of midnight since everything's digital these days. I'm only five hours into my madness, and I'm already tired as hell. That's because I'm out of shape, out of practice, and thoroughly unprepared for what lies ahead. Rather, I'm mentally and physically unprepared. I'm emotionally committed, though, so I expect the body and mind will fall in line. Time for sleep.

Progress so far:

1790 VPPs
1 video produced: Hand of the Week 5
1 chapter written
1 video blog

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100 Days of the Zen Madman

Posted by GiantBuddha

I figured I'd get the DragTheBar Poker Challenges Forum started with a bang. My plan for the next 100 days:

700,000 VPPs on PokerStars
100 Blogs (written or video)
35 Taekwon-Do classes (taken or taught)
35 Music practices (with band or solitary)
20 Poker videos (full length or short form)
4 Songs recorded (in a pro studio)
3 Parties attended (gotta have some fun)
2 Shows played (electric or acoustic)
1 Book published (with a co-author)

The hardest thing about extreme grinding is maintaining a balanced life. I began 2010 year with the goal of getting Supernova Elite in 6 months, but got sidetracked by other interests. Now it's September and I've only got about 300k VPPs, so I need to grind 700k more in 100 days to reach Supernova Elite this year (that's the pace for 2.55 million VPP/year).

I'm giving myself this challenge to prove that I can accomplish this without giving up on artistic expression, literary accomplishment, poker coaching, exercise, or even fun. My notion of a "balanced life" may sound unbalanced, but I can only stay sane when I let myself get a bit crazy.

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Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Me You Are A Patriot

Posted by Leatherass

Well, I can't believe what just happened again today in the political football game (with real lives) being played once again by our politicians. Our senators stood on the floor of congress and essentially told a large group of people fighting each and every day to protect our lives that they will not fight for them. I would say I am speechless at how something like this could happen, but nothing surprises me anymore and I am after all, writing this blog.

Maybe I am unusual in this regard, maybe I'm not. But I view what anyone who defends our country as someone I respect more than anyone else. I am more impressed with what they do than what a guy like Michael Jordan did. To me, there is nothing in this world that compares to what a military man or woman does. They have all my respect. If I called the shots, those in the military would have a unparalleled pension, the best health care in the world and be made to feel like what they accomplished is greater than just about anything. Honestly, it's sad that someone like me gets accolades for doing things like sitting in front of a computer screen and raising fish. The folks in the military, those are the people that should be looked up to. I may take some winnings here and there and donate it to those less fortunate, but big whoop. The people in the military lay their LIVES on the line to help others.

They see things that most people only see in the movies. They have to live the rest of their lives having had that experience and many, if not most, deal with that difficult time period in their lives on a daily basis, if they are lucky enough to make it back home. Most have severe mental hurdles to overcome. Many have physical problems from the time they spent at war. Yet they still fight on each and every day while so many of us get to enjoy our lives here in the United States relatively safe and sound. And back home what are we doing to these people? Well, we send them into war over a bunch of lies (and for those of you that disagree, cmon, get with it, it's 2010, it is a FACT that we lied are way into war in Iraq). We give them worse health care coverage than most industrialized nations would give a homeless person. We give them inadequate at best mental health care that is essential for them to recover from the mental trauma they have endured. And then if that's not bad enough, today we told them that they are essentially something less than a human being.

How does this happen? How can someone like John Mccain, a self proclaimed ware hero and someone who tried to parlay his own fake patriotism into gaining control of the most powerful position in the world, tell people that because of what they do in the bedroom that they are less than someone who does something a little different (and often times similar!!) in their bedroom?

Who gives a shit? I mean honestly it's one thing if you are bothered by what a gay person might do. It's America, so yes you are entitled to your own opinion. But for God's sake, how do you actually legislate in such a way where your own personal morality detracts from the dignity of another person?

I would like to ask all of the folks out there who actually do side with all the neo cons (the same folks who have tried to tout their own fake patriotism to win political points) in the Senate in today's Don't Ask, Don't Tell vote one simple question. In a way, we are going back to when we were all 5 years old and our parents were teaching us the concept of "do unto others" and the concept of "You know what you did to little Johnny today? How would that make you feel if someone did that to you?" And my question is this. Please, take 1 minute of your time and bear with me here. Close your eyes an imagine what it must be like fighting a war in the middle east. Imagine being away from everyone you love. Imagine not knowing if you would see tomorrow. Imagine all of the luxuries you enjoy are taken away from you. Imagine all of the things you would see over there and all of the fucked up emotional shit you would deal with each and every day. Imagine watching your friends in your platoon get blown away. Watching them take their last breath. Imagine what you would give to be home with your family, enjoying Christmas or a nice night out with your significant other. Imagine what you would give for even a day of that?

Now imagine that in order to deal with all of this, you have a great sense of pride that you develop for what it is you are doing. You may not have a lot going for you at the moment in terms of what a civilian might think of, but what you have is a sense of pride that is unmatched for what you do on a daily basis. You know that what you are doing is for your country and if something does happen to you, you will die with dignity. And then you find out that the entity that you are protecting, the guts you have spilled, both literally and figuratively, are all for an entity that views you as something beneath a human being. They are sending a very loud and very clear message, that you are to be tolerated, but nothing more. And if they have it their way, you will never be truly dignified as a human being the way they define a human being.

How might this make you feel? How would you feel if you were them? How would you feel that because you were born attracted to the same sex (again, if you don't think so, get with it, it's 2010, it's a FACT you are most likely born gay) as opposed to the opposite sex, that you are, in the eyes of the country you fight for each every day, something less than all the rest of your peers? Now please try and think about this and tell me how you could possibly vote the way you did? How?

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The Professional

Posted by GiantBuddha

When you want something done right, they say you should do it yourself. I prefer to find someone who takes pride in their work. A professional. A true professional.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that my move has been less than smooth. I won’t re-list the problems with this place, but I will say that I was losing sleep over a number of them, particularly the menagerie of malfunctioning doors. Long story short, they’ve all been fixed.

Short story long, I met a member of the DragTheBar Limit Holdem squad a couple weeks ago at a party. In response to my complaints about this new apartment, he mentioned that he was a carpenter and a locksmith. I offered him the job of fixing the place. While he wouldn’t take my money, he did accept my offer of poker coaching in exchange for repairs. So I’ll be teaching him to take other peoples’ money instead.

After sitting here for three weeks watching the original contractor get nothing done, I needed to find a professional. I did. In nine hours, he fixed everything but the plumbing. My Taekwon-Do student (the master plumber) came back to fix that. Now everything in the apartment works, and I’m ready to begin my psychotic 100-day challenge on Thursday.

People ask poker coaches why they coach. The good ones do it because they love teaching. That’s true for all types of teachers. One of the most gratifying things about teaching is the favors students will do for you. It’s not gratifying just because it helps get things done (which is awesome). The gratification comes from knowing that your students are doing these things from their heart, because they appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your knowledge with them. And that’s really what it’s about on both sides. Taking the time to help someone else.

So thanks to my guys for taking the time to help me out. It’s made a world of difference.

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My poker job pays $16/hour

Posted by tacojohnsftw

Just to clarify, the red line represents my ego, the green line represents reality.

I grinded out this weekend until my brain turned to mush. It’s incredible to think how little time most poker players actually put in at the tables. In Dusty’s book he said something to the effect that ‘anyone who plays 40 hours online per week is a monster in the poker world’ and I can see why. I played 3000 hands on Saturday 3000 on Sunday and 3000 on Monday, making for the highest volume week I’ve ever played.
Even though it only took about 10 hours of total time, my brain is completely fried, and the thought of looking at a monitor is enough to make me sick. So playing 3 hours a day 6 days a week is only an 18 hour per week job, less than most part time jobs!!!!! (And better paying)
I’m up $283 over the last 9000 hands and I feel like I haven’t playing my best. I have 3 big leaks right now:
1. Shoving a little too light pre flop. I’ve been getting stacked A LOT with JJ and AK in some pretty cooler type situations, but still I think I can find ways to decrease my losses here.
2. Dealing with aggressive 3 bettors in the blind
3. I usually sit down LAG 50bb for myself and forget to adjust to players who take notice and re-adjust and call me down lighter & check raise more.
I think the biggest challenge for myself while playing 13 tables is to make sure that I’m aware of table dynamics, and that players who are single tabling are going to notice when I steal 100% of limped pots.
32 Hours
23686 Hands
$516.70 Profit = $16.14/Hour!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Problem with graph - soon to come)

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13 Days 25,000 Hands to Go

Posted by tacojohnsftw

This challenge has actually taken quite a toll on me. With only 13 Days I have to start grinding out 2000 hands per day to make the 40,000 goal at the end of September.
So why am I behind? Basically there has been drama at my work and because I am the manager I’ve been spending nights and weekends dealing with it. When I have free time the last thing I want to do is engage in the mentally taxing challenge of multi tabling at the top of my ability, so I’ve been laying off the felt.
I’ve been using my poker time to watch more videos and read NHLE Theory and Practice by Ed Miller which has been awesome!!!!! Definitely recommend if you haven’t read it yet.
A couple things I’ve learned in the past 5000 hands. Moving to PokerStars has been great because the competition seems MUCH MUCH weaker then at Full Tilt (50NL). There is two problems grinding at stars though
1. Hands per hour has been much lower than at FTP, so while my win rate is actually increasing my volume is decreasing and $/Hour is the same
2. The resolution of my monitor makes 9 tables at FTP easy, but for some reason at Stars I can’t even read the bet sizes, so I have to stack (which I hate, I’m a tile guy) or pull up another monitor (which is low res as well)
So until I put up the $$$$ for a high res monitor I’m basically stuck playing 9 on FTP and 4 on Stars until I can see more tables.

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I Need Your Help

Posted by Leatherass

The poker strategy book is going great so far.  Paul Hoppe and I are really making some great progress and we have really had a lot of fun writing this book so far.  Paul is a great guy with a great attitude, and I feel very fortunate to have such a great writing partner and great poker mind to collaborate with.

Essentially the book is going to break down into 3 major sections.  I will put the final outline of the book up for everyone to see before it goes to print, but for now we are going to leave it a little more vague as we will be doing some adding and subtracting before the book goes to print.  Section 1 is essentially 50 chapters on what I have found to be the biggest misconceptions and/or biggest mistakes poker players make at the poker tables.  Each mistake or misconception will be its' own chapter much like in Treat Your Poker Like A Business, which was essentially a collection of the 50 most important things you can do to monetize your poker game, along with several chapters of poker strategy.

Section 2 is going to be an undetermined number of "Hands With Leatherass."  In this chapter, I will take you through some critical hands I have played and analyze them in such a way that you can get inside why I did what I did and relate that back to how it can help you at the tables.  This type of learning tends to be hugely popular and because of that, we felt it was a good idea to include such a section in our book.  Section 3 will be a quiz that will be 50 questions long, with 1 question each that correlates with the 50 chapters in the book.  So for example, quiz question #14 will be a question that will correspond to chapter #14 in the book.  So if you nail all the questions, then you likely have very little reason to go back and read the book.  But if you miss questions 12, 17 and 27, then you can go back to those chapters and review them to make sure you are solid with what we have taught and then you can be ready to kick ass and take names at the tables!!!

The reason I am telling you all about this is that I need your help.  We would like to hear from the people we are writing this book for what they would like to see talked about in the book.  Is there a mistake you feel you are making that you want to be addressed in the book?  Is there some piece of advice that you hear on TV or from friends at the tables that you are skeptical about?  Please let us know.  Remember, the concept of the book is to address the 50 biggest mistakes and/or misconceptions people have about poker.  So any questions along those lines would be great.

The reason I like to write books that deal with things like the 50 biggest mistakes and or misconceptions is because it gets straight to the point and fixes the leaks in your game that you are possibly making.  While dense strategy books filled with elaborate equations and philosophies have their place, I feel it is much more effective to have straight to the point, winning advice, that you can translate into cash in your pocket immediately.  You won't have to sift through a manual to find any gems here.  This book won't be filled with a bunch of fluff.  Our aim with every sentence will be to carry your game forward, much like a running back, into the end zone and towards a pile of cash.  But before we submit the final draft to go to print, we want to hear from you first.  What do you want to read about?  What questions have been bugging you forever?  Are you tired of not knowing what to do when you are out of position in a raised flop against an aggressive player and you have 88 on a T52 flop and your opponent bets the flop and the turn?  These problems are not easy to solve, and our mission is to answer all of these tough, burning questions that most poker players have.

Please reach out to me in any way you can.  Thank you so much.

Here are the ways of letting me know what you want to see in our book:

Facebook message:    <a href="">Facebook</a>
Card Player: simply post below in the comments section under your Card Player screen name
<a href=" ">Dragthebar</a> : There is a thread in the NL holdem General and theory section titled, "I need your help."

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When It Leaks, It Floods

Posted by GiantBuddha

If when it rains, it pours, then when it leaks, it floods. I have neither slept more than an hour nor eaten more than a snack since 11 AM yesterday morning. That's 41 hours of less than perfect existence. At least I received my weekly affirmation that I'm a little bit clutch.

Today's high jinks began at 9 in the morning when my friend and former student came by to repair the plumbing mess left by the guy who's been "fixing" the house. My guy is a master plumber, which means he knows his shit (the other guy, not so much). He replaced the valves on all of the heaters, repaired the leaky toilet downstairs (which had hot water melting the wax sealing it to the floor), and replaced the pipe beneath our clogged sink. He also shut off the gas and electricity which had been carelessly left on in the boiler in the basement. That's the thing that could've blown up.

The only thing he didn't repair was the pipe leading to and from the dishwasher. He asked if it was leaking, we said no (it wasn't), and he said it would probably be fine. Turns out it wasn't fine. I don't blame him for that. He already did us a huge favor by coming to fix everything two days before his knee surgery. He asked if the pipe was leaking, we said no, and that was that.

The guy I blame is the one who's been doing shoddy work throughout the house, and the guy who left the gas and electricity going to the boiler, ambivalent to whether or not we got blown up. (When confronted about this, he gave some bullshit excuse and acted snotty.)

Long story short (too late), we ran the dishwasher twice today. The first time we watched it like hawks and it ran smoothly. The second time, I sat in my office while the pipe broke about and blew water all over the kitchen, into the bedroom, bathroom and living room (and the shower downstairs). Once alerted to the disaster, however, I ran to the sink and grabbed the knob next to the spraying water. I turned it counter clockwise and it sprayed my face more forcefully. I turned it clockwise and the geyser subsided. Fortunately, we'd recently purchased two 12 packs of paper towels. We need to get a new one tomorrow.

Two hours and one blog later, the floor is dry and I'm exhausted. I hope this blog isn't incoherent, because I feel a bit delirious. I always look for the bright side in things, but right now the best I can come up with is humor. My life has become Grade-A slapstick. And hey, I still haven't gotten blown up yet.

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I Didn’t Get Blown Up

Posted by GiantBuddha

I didn’t get blown up. That’s the best thing I can say about the past three weeks.

Two days after moving in to my new apartment, I commented on a building bearing the plaque “Dadi’s House.” A neighbor related to me the sad tale of Dadi’s wife, who had smelled a gas leak, called 911, and gotten blown up, along with her child and two cops. The children in the neighborhood fashioned a plaque made of multi-colored tiles to rechristen the widower’s home.

I spent the first two weeks in my new apartment struggling to grind out chapters for the book I’m writing with Dusty. The struggle came not so much from the traditional writer’s block (although that was an element), but rather from the insane distractions coming from my mess of a new home. Renovations were supposed to be completed one month before we moved in, but here we are, no end in sight. A short list of what’s been wrong with the place:

  • Recently installed mailbox sucks
  • Front door doesn’t lock properly
  • Office door doesn’t fit the frame (drags on the floor, gap at the top – not quite the sound booth I was aiming for)
  • Bathroom door creaks on its hinges
  • Bedroom door handle falls off
  • Light fixtures not affixed
  • Mice
  • Insects
  • Paint all over the floors
  • Fuse box painted shut
  • Thermostat painted over
  • Poorly installed kitchen cabinets
  • Poorly installed microwave
  • No hot water upstairs
  • Hot water in the toilet downstairs (this melts the wax seal at the base of the toilet, causing water to leak all over the bathroom)
  • Kitchen sink won’t drain, except into the dishwasher, which leaks all over kitchen floor
  • Leaky water heaters with broken valves (covered in paint)
  • Broken water boiler valve sealed by a sock wedged in with a screwdriver
  • Broken water boiler in the basement, which was left empty of water, but with the gas and electricity on (this could have blown up at any minute, but it’s “fixed” now)

I called my former Taekwon-Do student, who’s a master plumber, so the water issues are getting straightened out. And I didn’t fall down the half-installed stairs (even when I was told they were fully installed). And I didn’t really need to go out last night, so who cares that the stairs got lacquered while I was upstairs eating dinner. Who cares that I couldn’t come home the other night because the stairs had been painted?

I didn’t get blown up, so I guess I’m running pretty good.

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WCOOP/Golf/Books/Man Code WTF?

Posted by Leatherass

This week has been nuts.  I have had a cold all week and granted, I haven't moved from my couch in a week other than to go to the gym to shoot some baskets this morning, but still I feel like I haven't stopped working.  I have hosted 3 final tables of WCOOP events on Poker Stars.  I have played 2 final tables myself in tournaments as well as played 20,000 hands of cash games.  I have done quite a bit of work on my new strategy book and oddly enough my media/publishing business, Imagine Media, experienced some serious mainstream publicity this week.

I noticed some people in various poker forums who thought it was pretty "interesting" that Imagine Media is involved with the Bachelor Pad winner's latest book.  There were some, let's use the word "clever" remarks made online, but anyway, yeah, my company is in fact involved with these projects. We recently published two books written by two of the biggest reality TV stars going right now.  Jesse Kovacs, or "Kovacs" as he is known on the Bachelor Pad, wrote The Young and the Thirsty: 25 California Wines for the New School Drinker which we were happy to publish.  Then last night we released our latest creation with Bachelor Pad winner David Good. David became well known for his many references on a past season of the Bacehlorette to the "Man Code."  He would say, "You can't do that.  That breaks the Man Code dude." So naturally David wrote a really fun and interesting book called Man Code: A Woman's Guide To Cracking The Tough Guy.  His book created quite a buzz in the gossip community getting written up in People Magazine among many other gossip related websites and magazines!  It was pretty cool to see a book that is under our Imagine Media umbrella receive such intense interest.  Anyway, exciting stuff for our young company.  We started with just my one book and now we have 4 with 2 more scheduled to be released before year end.  I guess for the guy who has one of the largest private collections of golf books and once won a book reading contest in 3rd grade, owning a publishing company is a natural fit for me anyway.  I can't wait when some day we maybe have a few hundred titles.  Then I can have a room in my house dedicated to all of the books we've published.  That would be awesome!!  It's fun to dream anyway.

Today is an off day for me from the WCOOP.  I have been grinding like crazy at both cash and tournaments, and like I wrote yesterday, it  has resulted in a tidy $20,000 profit, so it's nice to be rewarded for my efforts, especially when I haven't been feeling well.  Had I played all week while sick (although I have gotten some great rest when not playing) and lost, man that would've been tough.

For all the golfers out there, how much does it suck that Tiger is playing so poorly?  It is almost strange to watch huh?  It's like I actually am surprised when he plays well now, not when he plays poorly, like I used to be.  I think he is actually going to come back better than ever though.  Even though he got great results with Hank Haney, I think it was in spite of, not because of, him.  Hank is an awful golf coach in my opinion.  I have very little respect for his philosophy and think if Tiger had just gone to a guy like Sean Foley right off the bat he would've been much better off.  In fact, I think he'd have 20 majors right now if he had seen Foley first and passed on Haney.  Foley has an understanding of the swing that few on earth have.  He is the only one who can quite literally prove why his theory works from a physics standpoint.  Once Tiger finally gets a chance to fully understand what Foley is teaching and gets time to make the changes and feel comfortable with them, barring injuries and/or additional personal life issues, I see him having a grand slam year before he's through.  With Foley's techniques, Tiger will be unbeatable in my opinion.

Well, gotta run.  Gonna go play with my daughter for a little before I'm back to work.

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I have a book too now!

Posted by OMGPhilGalfond

Caught your attention? 

I have not written, nor am not writing a book.  Since everyone else is doing it, I just wanted to feel a part of the club for a very, very short time.

I am currently working very hard at the "non-card" decision making when it comes to poker and life.  I don't think people put enough weight on this type of decision.  Being able to set up a schedule so that you can work, work out, get family time and be able to review is very important and a definite flaw of mine.  I think QTip mentions this in a video of what it takes to go pro.

I have always been a very disorganized person who works well under structre.  So clearly without structre and a solid day to day/life plan I will unravel.  Currently I work from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. After work is work out time which goes until 5:30 p.m.  From there I spend some time with my wife and son and at about 7 p.m. I start playing until about 10 p.m.  (With the exception of Mondays, which I take off, and Sat/Sun when I don't have work) I am typically exhausted at that point.  So clearly I lack a good solid review time.  I know this is important and am trying find some place to fit it in, but cant or wont bend on any other time.

Another part of poker not many people mention is the organization you will need while playing.  Not just making decisions on hands, but also the optimal amount of tables to get volume in while playing well.  Also, adding and getting rid of tables.  There are important decisions going on and one can get distracted while trying to add a table and seeing if there is a fish there or not, etc etc and make a poor decision for up to, if not more than, 50 big bets.

I have heard of life coaches and currently see the value they bring to someones life who is working constantly.  So this is one of my biggest goals for fall.  Opimal schedule, optimal tables (and table decisions), optimal decision making.

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WCOOPen It Up This Week

Posted by Leatherass

This past week I have been playing mostly tournaments which is something I haven’t done in a long time. Given that I have been working here and there on my tournament game all year and the World championship of Online Poker is running virtually all of September, I thought well I might as well try and win me a bracelet.

So far the WCOOP has gone very so so. For tournaments this week it has gone fine with me winning about $19,000 on the week. About $10,000 in tourneys and the other $9,000 at the cash game tables. I have been a small loser in the WCOOP tournaments, but had a couple of final tables in non WCOOP events on Poker Stars so overall if has been pretty good. I am really enjoying trying to learn MTT’s. Even though I am not a big fan of them normally, it is hard to pass up the incredible structures Poker Stars has in their WCOOP events. Today I placed 126th in the 4 max event and towards the end I had 20 blinds in my stack and was 80 blinds below the average! How sick is that? The average person with 126 left had what amounts to a full buy in in the cash games that I usually play. Very awesome. Great work Poker Stars!

I am starting to feel a little bit better now. I have had a cold since Wednesday and am starting to get over it now. That’s great timing because I am playing golf with some folks for a charity event on Wednesday and on Thursday I will be a keynote speaker for a company’s annual retreat. Apparently there are a lot of poker players at this particular business and my aim is to speak in front of them and relate business techniques to poker, much like I did in my book, Treat Your Poker Like A Business. It’s pretty cool to see how well my book has caught on not only in poker, but in business as well. When I was writing it, I could have never foreseen it taking off the way it did. It was kind of one of those things where I thought I had something decent to share with the world, but surely didn’t expect what has transpired overall with the book. It’s quite an honor, that’s for sure.

Now this is obviously a shameless plug, but I am going to do it because I think most will be happy to hear about this. Anyway, here goes. Poker Stars just began carrying my book once again after selling out so quickly last time. If you go into the lobby and click on VIP store and then onto books, you will find my book, Treat Your Poker Like A Business, on sale for only 1,900 FPP’s which is a pretty nominal point cost. So there it is, a shameless plug, but I heave heard so many people ask for the book to be in the Poker Stars store that I am sure many of you will be glad to know that you don’t have to spend $40 to get it anymore, but rather just 1,900 FPP’s.

Today I had a great time giving my dog a full sized hamburger for his birthday. He turned 5 today. I laid the burger on the ground in its entirety and my dog just looked up at me and sniffed. He looked up at me again and kind of sniffed around it and gave it a few licks before looking back up at me. He then kind of walked around it for about 2-3 minutes and kept looking at me. I think if he could talk he was trying to say, “WTF is going on here. This has to be a trick of some kind.” It was almost like the dog version of someone being told they won the lottery while they were just lounging around at the house. You would probably need to tell them a few times before they actually believed it. Anyway, my dog finally took a few nibbles to make sure I wasn’t going to get mad at him and then once he realized it was OK it took him all of about 4 seconds to finish his burger lol. I guess giving that to him on his birthday was as much for me as it was for him, I really enjoyed watching him eat that.

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The Best $5 I Ever Spent

Posted by QTip

I'm rather frugal with money.   Some might say I'm downright tight.  Others have said I'm the cheapest man alive.  And even still, some have said if I swallowed a penny, out of my anus would come copper wire.  But, I put $5 on the line today.

Doing a project for, I've become acquainted a bit with of the rules for sports betting.  So, I wanted to see what it was like to watch a game with something other than just enjoying the sport.  PhilN, from our DTB forums, hooked me up with an account at

I decided to go with the Cleveland vs. Tampa game since I've had orange and brown in my blood since the day I was born (yes, I hate my life).  The line makers had the total at 37.  I didn't really think the Browns could score, so I choose under 37 and laid down that huge Lincoln.  What an exciting Sunday afternoon it turned out to be.

With 5 minutes left in the game, the score was 14 to 17, and Tampa was ahead.  The 31-point total was getting dangerously close.  The Buccaneers were inside the 5-yard line, and Earnest Graham was looking more and more like John Wilkes Booth.  I was on the edge of my chair.  Then...the most beautiful fumble I've ever seen.  The Browns recover!  And, of course, they can't do anything with the ball!  For once I loved that fact.  The game ends at a 31-point total, and I'm $4.55 richer.  Bookmaker has to HATE themselves for letting me create an account.

But, games are changed forever.  I remember the first time I watched HD TV.  I said "Well, can't go back now."  And so it is with Browns games.  Insta micro-junkie am I.  Love it.

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4 Lessons Learned over 11,000 hands

Posted by tacojohnsftw

11k Hands

For those who haven’t been following my thread (I'm moving it to the blog) I am undertaking a September Challenge to play 40,000 hands of 50nl to build my bankroll up after a failed stab at 100nl. 11,000 hands in I’ve learned a few pretty valuable lessons that I think would be quite beneficial to the community.
1. Rake
I’ve paid $321 in rake at Full Tilt with zero rakeback and no opportunity to receive it b/c I signed up directly. As I had run pretty bad the first 5000 hands and only broken even – having a 27% rakeback would have made quite a difference. I’ve started playing at PokerStars and also signed up to Blackchip to start receiving rakeback.
2. Variance
I started running bad playing 100nl in august and even though I stepped down to 50nl my run-bad continued and even started to put a little pressure on my online bankroll. Upon reviewing my hands I realized that most of the stacks I lost were coolers or bad beats and I didn’t need to feel bad about any of them.
I also learned that a healthy dose of run bad doesn’t necessarily stop in a short amount of time 
3. HUD
I really spent some time learning about my HUD and what a lot of the different stats actually mean instead of having a pretty vague understanding. Not only did this help me to play more tables -successfully, it allowed me to understand how to play against someone who is 3 betting a high percentage.
4. Aggression
I’ve learned that you can’t just watch a Matt Bolt video and try to steal the pot every time limpers get in. You do need to fold those hands occasionally. I went from TAG to LAG-Tard to sensibly LAG.

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The WSOP Lacks Common Sense

Posted by Leatherass

I have been fighting a cold the last 2 days which has really sucked. I get colds fairly infrequently these days (maybe 1-2 times a year), but man when I do get them, they are really bad colds. Luckily I don’t have anywhere to be for a week and the World Championship of Online Poker on Poker Stars is running, so I can just be a sick bum laying around all day playing for a bracelet!!! Not a bad gig. So far the series itself has been fairly quiet for me, but I have been playing a ton of tournaments the last 2 days on Poker Stars, most of which are non bracelet events. I did make two final tables this week coming in third for $14,000 and 6th for $1,000 in a small field $55 tournament. I am starting to get the hang of tournaments, but I have a very long way being primarily a cash game pro. I have a lot to learn which actually kinda excites me. Not that I don’t have things to learn as a cash pro, but I’m definitely much closer to the ceiling in cash games than I am in tournaments.

One thing that is nice about playing in the online version of the World Series of Poker is that you can’t be victim of a dumb ruling like you can in the World Series of Poker in Vegas. Being sick and having more time to bum around, I have been reading some of the Cardplayer blogs and noticed this whole Prahlad Friedman controversy. I guess if I’m going to weigh in on that one, I don’t think you can really fault Prahlad. I have been in a similar position at the World Series and things happen so fast and a bunch of men in suits who approach the table make such quick and authoritative decisions that it feels almost pointless getting involved. I think Prahlad realized that and just let those guys do their thing. Obviously anyone with a brain knows he called and knows he should have been out of the tournament, but no matter if Prahlad begged them to eliminate him from the event, the ruling wasn’t going to change.

You see, that is just the problem with the World Series of Poker. It is run (not all of the staff, but unfortunately most of the higher ups) by people who lack basic common sense. I have been to the World Series numerous times, but this past summer was the first time I played most of the Series. I had heard of some of the horror stories of bad rulings, but I needed to see it for myself. And what I walked away with kinda blew my mind. I guess when you see these confident men in suits running one of the biggest events in the world, you just expect that things will be done right. But as I played the series, I realized that the main reason they must wear suits is to over compensate for their lack of basic common sense that most 4th graders have. Let me give you the run down of a few experiences I had or observed while I was there:

1. The Prahlad incident. Seriously? Why on earth would you ever make the ruling that a clock ends at one? Has a clock ever ended at one for any situation in any sport (or pseudo sport like poker) ever? Is it possible that the floor person just wanted to make history in the same way Jim Joyce did (the ump that blew the perfect game call). I mean this HAS to go down as one of the dumbest things ever caught on national television. Amiright? Who could argue that? The entire table knew he called. Prahlad knew he called. And the best argument is one that Daniel pointed out. In poker the clock has no relevance to the game like it does in football or basketball where the clock is everything. What a tournament director with common sense would prioritize is not the clock in the most absolute terms (even though he ended the clock at one which is even more insane) but rather the player’s intent. Prahlad’s intent was to call. So if it’s close at all with respect to the clock, since the clock has basically no relevance in poker the way it does some other sports, you just rule intent and Prahlad’s intent was to call. And anyone with any common sense agrees with this. I don’t think I am going out on a limb in saying that. Sure, maybe the floor person can make mistakes or maybe he got nervous due to the magnitude of the situation. Fine, that stuff happens, but don’t rule so authoritatively then!! Bring on other floor persons and put your collective heads together. The floor person didn’t do that. He ruled like a child who was on the playground who wanted his ball back at all costs. He wanted his stupid ruling to stand at all costs and he wasn’t going to even listen to reason.

2. The infamous “going broke to someone not in the tournament hand.” My friend John Mcclain (who I was backing for the series) neraly went broke to a guy who wasn’t even registered in the tournament. For those who are just reading about this for the first time, my friend John lost a bunch of chips in a $1,500 WSOP event to a guy who registered for some poker tournament in the Rio poker room which is in the casino, and somehow ended up in the convention center at the Rio and sat down at a World Series of Poker event!! He somehow was able to sit down and receive chips from the dealer despite not having the credentials to do so. Then when my friend John nearly went bust to him shortly before they finally caught the error, the floor ruled that John lost his chips “in good faith” to the man NOT in the tournament lol. I told John to tell the floor that he entered the World Series of Poker “in good faith” that he was going to play only against other people who also were playing in the World Series of Poker! After going back and forth for a few days with the head guys of the World Series of Poker, they made a final ruling that John was entitled to nothing! We were asking for a free entry into a similar event since John’s event was essentially ruined by their oversight and poor ruling during the playing of the event, but they told him to pound sand. Again, basic common sense says that no where in any sport can you lost the game to someone not in the event. Can you strike out to a pitcher who came out of the stands? Can you get tackled before the end zone by the mascot? Can your free throw get blocked by a guy running across the floor? I just don’t understand how anyone with any common sense can make a ruling like this.

3. This is small, but was my lone personal experience this year. It does illustrate how the floor people lack common sense though. I was in day 1 of the main event and I was in a pot where I flopped a strong draw of some kind. I wasn’t sure where the action was at in the hand, but I sensed it might be my turn. I looked at the guy to the right of me who had cards in his hand if he had checked. He said “yes, I checked.” The dealer then skipped my turn and the guy to the left of me checked. I then shouted out “Whoa, what are you doing? I never even acted.” The dealer called the floor and the entire table told the floor that I hadn’t acted yet. The floor person asked the dealer what happened and the dealer said, “I thought he said ‘check’ but it turns out he was asking the guy next to him if he had ‘checked’.” The floor then ruled that I had checked! I told the floor guy, “Are you kidding me? The entire table agreed that I didn’t check. Who are you protecting here? I asked if the guy to the right of me checked, I never checked.” The floor person just started walking away and said “Dealer you can carry on dealing.” Now it turns out I ended up winning the pot anyway, so it worked out just fine, but again, why aren’t they using common sense? If everyone says I hadn’t acted yet, then why would you rule against the entire table? What sense does that make. The idea is to get the intent of the players’ actions to most closely reflect your ruling at all times. Sure there may be times where your hands are tied as a floor person and you may have to rule against intent. But for the most part, you just want to get the intent right. And especially don’t rule against intent when the entire table is unanimously in favor of something.

To me, the World Series of Poker would be well served to fire who ever is in charge and bring on Mad Marty Wilson. I played in the Party Poker Big game in London this year and Mad Marty was the director. Marty and I talked about his style of directing tournaments and he said that first and foremost he wants the intent of the player’s actions to stand when at all possible. Marty is HUGE on intent. There were times when he ruled that a person had made a certain bet or check when technically the rules said Marty he should have done otherwise. But Marty would ask the player and everyone else at the table what they thought the player’s intent was and if it was obvious that the player meant to bet $5,000 for example, then he would rule that the player bet $5,000. He wasn’t going to let some stupid technicality get in the way of the spirit of the game and the players’ actions. Marty is a man who has a lot of common sense.

I guess what inspired this blog is not only all of the dumb ass things the WSOP is doing, but also so much of what has gone on in golf and all of their insane rulings lately (I won’t list them because if you are a golfer then you know what I’m talking about and if you aren’t then I’m sure you don’t care anyway). It just pisses me off when people make such powerful rulings on important things just because “a rule is a rule” or whatever stupid logic they use. I just wish more people had the balls as well as the decency (yes, sometimes both are required depending on the magnitude of the situation) to just try and do the right thing based on common sense. Why do people who enforce rules have such an ego about it? Why do they take it so personally? It’s almost like they thrive on these situations where they get to say “a rule is a rule” or “I’m the tournament director here buddy and what I say goes.” It’s like dude, you are not that cool. No one cares. Just use common sense so the rest of us can get what we deserve out of these competitions.

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Shameless Self-Promotion

Posted by GiantBuddha

I don't know how long this offer will be available, but right now you can get my book, Way of the Poker Warrior, for free when you sign up for three months of poker training at DragTheBar. To make things better, they'll throw in a fourth month at DragTheBar for free. This has to be the best deal in poker training right now. My book is written to help you get the most value out of every training resource you use, and DragTheBar is the highest caliber of training resource available. It's a perfect combo. (I know most of you reading this here at DTB are already members, so unfortunately you can't take advantage of the offer. But tell your friends, and if you're still rocking the 7-day free trial and thinking of signing up, grab a free book and a free month in the process!)

Way of the Poker Warrior is all about applying things I learned from the martial arts to my poker development, so I'll give you a shameless self-promotion parallel in this blog. When I was first running my Taekwon-Do school, I was very awkward at sales. I had a hard time pitching the service I was offering and a harder time asking for money. I had confidence in my product, but somehow I felt it was impolite to push someone into a sale.

My outlook on sales changed when I realized one simple fact. Practicing Taekwon-Do made my life better. Wouldn't it stand to reason that it could improve others' lives as well? In fact, I had seen it change many of my friends' lives, sometimes in subtle ways, and sometimes in massive ways. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn't just going for a sale, but that I was trying to change someone's life for the better. I was never much of a capitalist, but this was something I could get behind.

In a rapid decanting, but I poured my heart and soul into Way of the Poker Warrior, and I believe it can improve anyone's life (not just poker players). I've gotten enough feedback from readers now to know it's not just my ego saying that I wrote a book that I'm proud of. It's not just the writing that I'm proud of though. It's being part of the continuity of education. The lessons that I teach in my book are not fabricated out of thin air. They're things that I learned from my teachers, from my friends, and from my life. All I've done is synthesize that wisdom into a series of easily digestible chapters. And that's a product I can sell, because I believe in it, and I believe it can help you.

So there's my shameless self-promotion.

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Mental Game

Posted by FatsDomino

Well things certainly have been busy up here on Blueberry Hill. I've been thinking a lot about the mental game of poker and how that is my (and I know a lot of other people's) big weakness. I wrote in my last blog entry about how I'm really working on just playing one hour sessions right now, fully concentrating the entire time, and giving myself plenty of time for session reviews/hand postings. It certainly makes a difference when you think every decision through. It's also a big difference when you make a mistake and simply take it in stride, learn from it, talk about it, and then move on from it. That's right, I said MOVE ON from it. A big issue with me in the past is I would beat myself up for a mistake, carry it into the next session, and continue that same destructive pattern. It's a terrible way to play poker, and more importantly a terrible way to live.

I remember reading an article on Stu Ungar, and Chip Reese had a quote in there. He said that Stuey was probably the greatest no limit hold'em player around in his day, however his major flaw was the fact that he didn't understand the object of the game. And that key object of the game was that poker was supposed to make your life BETTER. That's a real key point. Why play the game if it isn't making your life better? And to be quite honest in my time playing poker, the game certainly has brought me more heartache, frustration, and anger then it has joy, peace, and happiness. And if you think about, that's pretty sick. Also, just because you are winning money at it doesn't mean it's making your life better. If you are bankroll is growing, but your family is falling apart, your health is bad, and your always in an irritable mood, then poker is NOT making your life better.

That pretty much is what brought me to this site. I have no extreme problems like I mentioned about, but I certainly have major room to improve. I really love the game and have a passion to learn and get better, and I just don't want the game to make my life worse. I want to be better off for playing poker in every area of my life. Not just financially, but mentally, emotionally and even physically as well. So by blocking off my sessions and study times the way I have, and adding some meditation in there and putting the game in perspective, I have to honestly say I've actually enjoyed poker lately and it's made my life better. So I hope that everyone out there on this site can say that they are learning and poker is really adding to their life, not subtracting. In the end, it's just a game and we have to remember why we really first got into it, because it just looked so damn fun to play. Good luck at the tables.

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Hand of the Week 3

Posted by GiantBuddha

In my third weekly installment, I play flopped trips way ahead/way behind in a multiway pot - both questionable and interesting. In other news, this blogging software is giving me fits. WordPress has higher upside, but it's going to take some time to get used to how things work, namely embedding video. It's probably super easy, but right now it's more frustrating than losing with quads.

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Moving Sucks. Free Books Are Good.

Posted by GiantBuddha

I've spent the last 10 days moving from a studio apartment into a second floor two bedroom. It sounded like a great idea at the time, and I'm sure I'll enjoy having both a bedroom and an office, but right now it feels like a 500 big bet downswing. Complaining about everything that's gone wrong would be about as entertaining as describing every bad beat that occurs in a 500 big bet downer, so I'll spare you the gory details. Instead, I'll let you in on a way you can get my book, Way of the Poker Warrior, for free. It's late, so I'll be brief: Click Here. (Unfortunately, the offer is only valid for new DragTheBar members. I know, sadness... :( )

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Excitement Is In The Air

Posted by Leatherass

Today I woke up incredibly excited to play poker after taking a bunch of time away from poker the past couple of weeks. The reason for the excitement is because the Poker Stars World Championships of online poker begins today. Now granted, I am not primarily a tournament player, but just as I was excited to go to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer, I am equally as excited to play the World Series of poker online equivalent. Heck, I am a mostly an online poker player anyway, so this naturally suits me more anyway, and either way you are competing for a world championship.

I played in the WCOOP today and unfortunately it didn’t go very well for me. I did all I could getting all of the money in with AA on the flop against a flush draw, but the flush card came in for my opponent on the turn and the tournament was over for me. But that’s OK because the series goes on for over 3 weeks and today was just the first day. Sure, I would have liked a good start to the series, but there is a long way to go and many events ahead of us. I have a few speaking engagements to attend right in the middle of the series, but other than those 2 days my next 3 weeks are going to be filled with playing the world championship events at Poker Stars as well as hosting the final tables at many of the events. I hosted the Sunday Million a couple of weeks ago and apparently I did a good enough job to not get fired and so they asked me to host a few of the final tables. I am honored to do have the opportunity to host a final table of a world championship event and I am grateful that Poker Stars has chosen me for that role.

The past 2 weeks I have only played 3 days of poker. Luckily it went pretty well with me pocketing about $6,000 over those 3 days which probably covered all of the fun I had over the past 2 weeks. The past 2 weeks has been filled with some great times. I played golf at my old club and with many old friends. I also got to visit a couple of friends who were in town. After coming back from California, my wife and I went to an amazing new hotel in the Willamette Valley wine area here in Oregon for our 4th anniversary. This place was called The Allison and it was just flat our awesome. For anyone who is looking to taste some great wine in a less stuffy environment than a place like Napa, I would HIGHLY recommend taking your spouse to The Allison. The service and quality of everything at the hotel was on par with some of the best places in the world. In fact, over the past 3 years I have stayed at a number of places widely regarded as some of the best in the world and they didn’t have anything on The Allison in my opinion. In fact the spa was up there with just about anything. It was so relaxing and had so many amenities along with some fantastic masseuses that you could just feel your blood pressure dropping as soon as you walked in there.

We booked a driver through the hotel and went around to a half a dozen different wineries one of the afternoons we were there. It was really awesome to go around to all of the great wineries and taste so much great wine. I made sure to get at least a bottle from every winery mostly because it would’ve been hard not to walk out with at least one, they were all so good. Our favorite bottle we found was a 2006 Archery Summit Red Hills Estate. It scored a 95 and was named wine of the year in Oregon for 2006. We bought it to commemorate our anniversary year and the wine makes assured us that it would be near it’s best on our 10th anniversary in 2016. So we are going to put that one away and crack it open in 2016. Our favorite winery overall was a winery called Natalie’s Estate. The wine was great, but really what we enjoyed so much was the people who owned the winery. It is a smallish winery that certainly isn’t cranking out 100,000 cases of wine every year like some of the bigger wineries, but the man who owned the winery was so kind to us he just made the experience awesome. He was such a nice guy and you could tell he was there not to make a buck, but really for the wine. I’m sure everyone starts out that way, but I’m sure many are tempted to lose sight of what got them into the business and tends to get caught up in the financial side of things. But this guy was all about the wine and I don’t think he has ever lost sight of why he does what he does. Anyway, they are a private winery so you can’t just walk in and expect a few pours, but if you call up they generally will take you right in with no problems. I would definitely put that winery on your list if you ever make it out that way.

Yesterday was what I call the “most, wonderful time, of the year.” Yeah, my buddy and I tend to sing Christmas songs on the first day of Oregon football because, well, screw actual Christmas, for grown up Duck fans, there is nothing that beats the first game of the year. When you wake up, it is like waking up on Christmas morning. I woke up and all I could think about was getting inside that stadium and seeing all of our Ducks on that field ready to start a new season where there are sure to be many ups and downs ahead. The season never disappoints me. There are always so many great thrills and tragic heartbreaks. It’s simply an amazing team to follow.

Well, I better wrap up this blog. My daughter is downstairs with my wife and she is getting VERY close to taking her first steps. And no offense to you all, but I’m not going to take a chance on missing her first step to write a blog haha.

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