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Views: 581
Date Posted: Jan. 27, 11:55am, 0 Comments

I continually remind people in all pursuits to look outside the normal playing field.  There is tremendously valuable information available if we but keep our eyes and ears and minds open.

I am playing in an 8-game tournament in a couple of days.  And so it dawned on me I didn't even know what the eight games are.  I found a play money table and sat for a rotation of games.  As I have never played deuce-to-seven triple-draw, I am guessing that's where I might put my focus.

 

I'll put the Cliff Notes before the body of the text. Look everywhere for poker advice.  Listen for it.  Puzzle it.  And try other games besides NLH.  No limit hold'em games are exponentially more difficult than the games of just a few years back.  And a few years from now, I am betting poker players will be saying the same about PLO.  Get in early.  Get yours now.

      I am also guessing you can take your time with deuce to seven.

 

A Guide to Having a Crisis-Proof Career  by Donald Latumahina

Do you want to make your career crisis-proof? Do you want it to thrive even in difficult times? The key is to be quick to adapt to changing conditions. Change is the only constant in the market and you are crisis-proof only if you can quickly adapt to new conditions.

These quick-to-adapt people are called versatilists. But how can they be crisis-proof? And how can we be one of them? We will answer these two questions here.

Wikipedia has a good description of versatilists:

To illustrate this using a math phrase, the versatilist has a higher area under the curve rating. Think of a person having some level of knowledge/experience in 15 knowledge areas. That person may have a very high competency (score 5) in 3 areas, a medium level of competency (score 3) in 5 areas an introductory level of competency (score 1) in 4 areas and no competency (score 0) in 3 areas. This creates an area under the curve of 34. This is different from a specialist who may score very high in 1 area and have no competency in others. This is also different from a generalist who may score a 1 or 3 in every area. This breadth of knowledge and experience is what enables faster changes to other roles.

From the description, there are two characteristics of versatilists:

  1. Versatilists have wide interest
    Unlike specialists, versatilists don’t limit their interest to only one area. They are interested in many things. You can quickly recognize such people when you talk with them. They show enthusiasm for many different topics and not just one or two.
  2. Versatilists build competencies in their areas of interest
    Generalists also have wide interest. But unlike generalists, versatilists build competencies in their areas of interest. They are not satisfied with just knowing a little about those fields. Instead, they improve themselves to the point where they can do something meaningful. Of course, their level of competency is not the same from one area to the other, but they improve their competencies in more than just one area.

The magic of versatilists is they can combine their different competencies into unique offerings. It’s like cooking with many available ingredients. If you have only one or two ingredients, the number of combinations you can create is very limited. But if you have many ingredients, there are a lot of possible combinations. Let’s say there are three ingredients you could have: A, B, and C. Here are the possible combinations for different numbers of ingredients:

  • With 1 ingredient (A), there is only 1 possible combination (A).
  • With 2 ingredients (A,B), there are 3 possible combinations (A,B,AB).
  • With 3 ingredients (A,B,C), there are 7 possible combinations (A, B, C, AB, AC, BC, ABC)

As you can see, the number of possible combinations increases exponentially with each additional ingredient.

That’s why versatilists are crisis-proof:

Versatilists are crisis-proof because they can quickly create new offerings that meet new market demands.

This, in my opinion, is the main advantage of versatilists. When market changes, they can quickly create a new combination to adapt to it. People might be astonished with how fast they switch roles but they actually just create a new combination from their portfolio of competencies. Their portfolio of competencies becomes a base upon which to create many potential offerings. They can then choose one of them based on market demands. Specialists, on the other hand, have a hard time to adapt since they have only one – or a few combinations – to offer.

So how can we be a versatilist? As you can see above, the important thing to have a portfolio of competencies. It’s just like investing. Financial experts suggest you diversify your investment and not put all your eggs in one basket. Similarly, you should diversify your competencies and not bet your future on just one. Add to this a strong network of friends and you will always have good opportunities come your way.

Here are some tips to build your portfolio of competencies:

1. Start early

As with investing, the earlier you start the better. The reason is that it takes time to build your portfolio. You can’t have a strong portfolio overnight.

2. List your base competencies

Base competencies are the competencies that become the elements of “combined” competencies. In my case of blogging, for example, the competency needed can be broken down to at least three base competencies: writing, personal development, and information technology.

What you need to do is listing all your base competencies regardless of your level of expertise.

3. Develop your base competencies

After listing your base competencies, you should work on improving them. Read books, practice, and learn from other people. You don’t have to be a world-class expert in any of them. Remember, the strength is in the combinations.

4. Add new base competencies

Besides developing your current base competencies, you should consider adding new competencies to your portfolio. Find something that’s related to what you already have. Or find something that can complement what you have.

5. Watch the market

Market always changes so you need to watch it closely. Where is it heading? What new demands might occur in the near future?

6. Develop unique offerings based on market demands

When you see a growing demand, you can look at your portfolio of competencies and find how you can combine them to make something that meets the need. It’s like trying to combine available ingredients to create the kind of meal requested by your customer. The more ingredients you have, the bigger the chance that you can find the right combination.

Views: 591
Date Posted: Jan. 20, 11:24am, 0 Comments

 

 

Poker has gone to the dogs in Florida.  The greyhound tracks all now offer poker.  Which is good.  Because betting on the dogs is just gambling.

    Of course, you don't have to bet to enjoy a day at the track.  Nobody's going to force you to walk up to the pari-mutuel window and ante up, say, $6 for a three-dog trifecta.

    Not wagering, however, has all the flavor of twin beds on a honeymoon.  Something's missing.

 

Fifteen minutes after arriving at the kennel club, I got my first tip.  A somewhat disheveled, grey-faced guy with grey stubble pointed to Kelso's Minnie in the 12th race, the Budweiser Marathon.

    "Long shot.  I can say no more."

     He said no more.

                     

Like all savvy players, I have a system.  For example, in the 4th race, I bet on Dog Gone.  I'll tell you why.  Because he had the word "dog" in his name.  He's not trying to be something he isn't.  Which is how you succeed in this life, regardless of the species. 

    I tend to ignore racers named, for example, Garfield The Cat or Arsenio Hall.  Name just one fast schizophrenic you know personally.

     Try to pick a dog with a name which has a special meaning to you.  Look for a karmic relationship.  Yukon Teeny in the 8th race reminded me of Yukon Jack; not only includes my name but also an adult libation of which I am fond.

    No connection is too tenuous.  I remember the all-time winningest dog in history was D.D. Jackie.

 

I like black dogs.  Black is my favorite color and black dogs just look like winners.  Fast, even when standing still. 

    Norma Louise, who believed in numerology, studied my charts.  She said "6" would bring me the the best luck.  So, the #6 gets extra consideration.

(By the way, I haven't seen the woman in 20 years and "6" still has not won anything for me.)

 

I don't like betting the favorite.  It's too easy and the payoff always seems insignificant.  The favorite is the choice of most of the other gamblers and they are your enemies.  Considering the average IQ, by definition, is 100, I always opt for the road less traveled.

    Investors can observe this same tip when playing the stock market.  Avoid the pack mentality in all things.

 

If you see a racer pause to relieve himself enroute to the starting line, give that animal special attention.  (Don't stare.)  He's definitely going to be lighter and probably feeling a little frisky.

    If the dog is black, coming out of the 6th hole, following a B.M., and a long shot, you can be fairly confident.

    Back up the truck.

    Bet the kid's college fund.  Hey, that's what scholarships are for.

 

I call my system The Divine Concept Of Universal Symmetry.  Or, for short, "the hunch method."  For real short, "wild guess."

    Seems to work about as well as anybody else's system.  I know, 'cause I asked around.

    "The best system," I'm told by Duane, "is to sit on your wallet."

    He then went on to explain what he does when he's in a gambling mood.      "Take the favorite and wheel it with the rest of the field.  Then, if the people's choice is running the way he should, you get half the trifecta."  It's a $56 wager and it's called a 1-All-All.

 

Pete plays the first race.  If he loses, he doesn't bet again.  Pete was finished for the day when I arrived.

 

By the 8th race, I was down $40.  On paper.  Then I picked Revelation Guy, whose sire was Black Aztec.  Picked two other black dogs, EOB Velvet and Texark Andy. Velvet reminded me of an adult libation and I once had a dog named Andy. (Andy was so wonderful, when he died, the local newspaper published his obituary.  True story.)

    The trio finished in exactly that order, with a $2 trifecta paying $384.20.

    So much for science.

 

I was still suffering from the 'if-onlys" when the 10th race arrived.  I picked Montongo Bob, the only black animal in the competition.  Barry's Boy, because of Dave, the Pulitzer-winning humorist, and Cardiac Shock, who's black & white.

    I actually wrote down 8-1-4.  There are witnesses.

    $953.80.  Would've made me well in a hurry.

 

The tip on Kelso Minnie in the 12th?  She finished dead last.

    The bitch could still be running for all I care.  Even if she was the only black dog in the race. 

    After all, I don't gamble - I'm a poker player.

 

Daytona Beach Kennel Club, Daytona Beach Derby Lane, St. Petersburg Ebro Greyhound Park, Ebro (Florida Panhandle) Flagler Greyhound Track, Miami (Near Miami International Airport) Hollywood Greyhound Track, Hollywood

Views: 594
Date Posted: Jan. 13, 3:47pm, 1 Comment
In my younger days, I used to go to all the gallery openings.  Great place to meet women. 
    And you never had to worry about what to say. 
    You see someone of interest near an artwork and you simply ask, "So, what do you think?"
    Whatever she says, you reply, "Really, I hadn't thought of that."
    And off you go.
 
    So, I'm loitering next to an, ummm, assemblage.  Looks like the guy crashed his 1978 Pinto into a chicken coop, put the debris into a pile, then priced the whole mess high enough to pay for a new car.
    I'm standing there, looking at this stuff, trying to figure out if maybe they hung it upside down.  And this woman - gooood lookin' - comes up to me. 
    "Are you the artist?," she asked.
 
    "Sure, lady," I said, more than a little insulted.  I took a sip of wine.
    "Don't I look just like the kind of chump who would hammer a Ford bumper to a dead tree limb, paint it six shades of black and hang a title on it: In Search Of An Honest Man."
 
    "I thought so.  I bet my girlfriend a glass of wine.  I just knew it."
    She sipped on her own glass.  Obviously not her first.
 
    "Where do you get your ideas?"
Views: 251
Date Posted: Jan. 10, 2:47pm, 1 Comment
My life as an elephant racer actually lasted only a single afternoon in the summer of 1989.  It just seemed longer. 
    Some notes from The Wild Dog Archives.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, the circus came to town last week.  Circus Vargas, that is.  Under the world's largest traveling Big Top.  That's circus talk for a tent almost large enough to cover a football field or one month's trade deficit with Japan in $20 bills.  An amazingly big show, supported by four monstrous center poles, each 56 feet high, and 24,478 feet of steel cable and manila rope.
 
Amazing, too, was the call that came the day before the circus opened.
    "Jack D. Welch, please."
    "Speaking."
    "Mr. Welch, this is Sharon Brown with Circus Vargas.  Your name was suggested to us for the media personality elephant race."
 
Miss Brown had a really sexy voice.  She sounded like slender redhead who would wear tailored suits and drive a baby-blue Mercedes convertible with vanity plates that said GOTCHA.  I didn't understand what she wanted exactly, but I agreed to do whatever she asked.  I hung up the phone and rushed to Peggy Diane with the news.
    "What's a media personality elephant?," she wanted to know.
 
I found out when we showed up at the Multnomah Exposition Center in North Portland.  It was the PACHYDERM 500. A dozen or two local media types had agreed to actually climb aboard a live elephant and see how fast a trio of massive mastodons could move across concrete-hard parking lot.  While carrying an actual adult human being.  Who should probably know better.
   
Except for one young TV newscaster - who looked positively fetching in a safari helmet and an outfit straight from the Banana Republic catalog - I didn't recognize anybody. 
    I met a bunch of disc jockeys; I understand now why they're on radio.
    All of a sudden I start to wonder just exactly how many folks turned down the siren-like entreaties of Ms. Brown.  Before my name came up, you gotta figure a lot of important people said, "Sorry, I'd like to, but that's the day I plan to spray-paint my underwear."
    On the other hand, I figured this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.  Survive this occasion and I'd be able to scratch ELEPHANT RACING off my list of things to do.
 
I began my pre-race preparations by eavesdropping as one deejay tried to bribe an animal trainer. 
    "You've got to do it on your own," I overheard the trainer say.  "Headpiece, balance, butt and legs... that's all you've got.  You're on your own.  They can do up to 40 miles per hour.  No guts, no glory."
    No helmets, no training wheels, no safety net. 
    To be honest, I was expecting some sort of chair atop a totally trained domesticated beast who actually enjoyed the concept.  I found instead the largest of all land animals, a 10-feet tall, 11,000 pound giant of the jungle who was having a tough day in a strange town.
 
I had been assured these animals were vegetarians.  I comforted myself with that thought as I watched the radio personalities dicker among themselves.  They actually do talk a lot.
    "I work drivetime.  I should go first."
    "I should have the big elephant.  Our ratings are higher."
    Me, I want to go last.  I want a small elephant.  I want to live.  I want to know why we have to do this on pavement.  (Wouldn't barkdust or grass or padded rubber mats make more sense?) 
    I want a graceful way out of this.
 
"The least big one is a boy," Peggy Diane rushes up with this news bulletin.  She's gone behind - and perhaps under - the elephants to check them out.  The woman is curious about such things.  Don't ask me why.
    Meanwhile, several heats have taken place.  No one had died.  No one has even been hurled to the pavement and stomped flatter than a frozen tortilla. 
    Not yet anyway.  It still looks more dangerous than electric eel juggling.
 
"Jack D. Welch."  You're up."
    I pretended not to hear.  Perhaps they mean someone else.
    "Do you want me to go instead?," Peggy Diane asked hopefully.  "It looks like a lot of fun. "
    The woman always knows just which button to push.
 
I...ever...so...slowly...moved...to...the...trio...of...turf whales, figuring - correctly - the other riders would rush to the faster elephants.
    This was the final heat and only the the winner would have to ride again.  I got Lotti, a former champion in her first race in six months.  Today she'd finished dead last every time and was clearly not in top form.
 
The trainer poked at Lotti with a spiked club and ordered her around like a puppy.  "Down, down!!"
    I stepped on her left leg and swung up behind her ears.  I watched my knuckles turn white as I gripped at the headpiece. 
    I watched her eyes bug out a little as I squeezed her neck with my thighs.  Squeezed like my life depended on it.  Which I think it did.
    I decided I could do this.  I told myself, "You can do this."
    "Up, up!"  I almost fell off.
    And before I could regain my balance, some clown - he was a real clown, red nose and big floppy shoes - hollered, "Go!!"
    So, of course, we won by a trunk.
    I'd made the Finals.  Finals???  Turns out I had won an earlier heat and completely forgotten about it. 
    I think I blacked out.
 
For the Finals, I took the animal nobody else wanted. 
    Col. Joe is the biggest elephant in Circus Vargas.  If not the world. 
    He's got huge tusks.  I can't say it enough.  He's got huge tusks.
    Getting aboard the Colonel was kinda like climbing the outside of a brick apartment building.  I didn't mount this beast, I scaled it.  When I got behind his head and he stood up, I felt like I was looking out of a second-story window.
    Don't believe anybody who tells you such an event is over in the blink of one eye.  We're talking a LIFETIME.
    Which probably explains the earlier blackout.
 
Of course, at this point, I didn't fear death. 
    I was focusing primarily on partial paralysis, when another clown hollered. 
    Forty-five teeth-rattling bounces later, we're across the finish line and I know two things.  I survived and I won.
    Call me The Prince of Pachyderm Perambulation.  At last, I've found my niche in life.
    A beautiful redhead in a tailored suit gave me a trophy - a golden shovel - and Peggy Diane gave me a big hug.  She said she was "damn proud."
    My first elephant racing groupie.
 
I started thinking this could be the break I've been looking for.
    Started thinking about the nationals.  Where the various media personality elephant racers from around the country gather to crown a grand champion.
    Turns out they don't have an event like that.
    Okay then, an endorsement contract with NIKE.  Maybe a helmet with a swoosh and my initials. 
    Yeah, that's it.  A gun-metal gray helmet with my complete name and a pink elephant decal.
 
They never called.
 
Some people may question my claims to elephant racing stardom. 
But I still have the trophy. - JDW
 
Views: 257
Date Posted: Jan. 5, 5:35pm, 3 Comments

Introduction from The Power of Discipline By Brian Tracy

 

Why are some people more successful than others? Why do some people make more money, live happier lives and accomplish much more in the same number of years than the great majority?

I started out in life with few advantages. I did not graduate from high school. I worked at menial jobs. I had limited education, limited skills and a limited future.

And then I began asking, "Why are some people more successful than others?" This question changed my life.

Over the years, I have read thousands of books and articles on the subjects of success and achievement. It seems that the reasons for these accomplishments have been discussed and written about for more than two thousand years, in every conceivable way. One quality that most philosophers, teachers and experts agree on is the importance of self-discipline. As Al Tomsik summarized it years ago, "Success is tons of discipline."

Some years ago, I attended a conference in Washington. It was the lunch break and I was eating at a nearby food fair. The area was crowded and I sat down at the last open table by myself, even though it was a table for four.

A few minutes later, an older gentleman and a younger woman who was his assistant came along carrying trays of food, obviously looking for a place to sit.

With plenty of room at my table, I immediately arose and invited the older gentleman to join me. He was hesitant, but I insisted. Finally, thanking me as he sat down, we began to chat over lunch.

It turned out that his name was Kop Kopmeyer. As it happened, I immediately knew who he was. He was a legend in the field of success and achievement. Kop Kopmeyer had written four large books, each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. I had read all four books from cover to cover, more than once.

After we had chatted for awhile, I asked him the question that many people in this situation would ask, "Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?"

He smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied, without hesitating, "The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, 'Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.'"

He went on to say, "There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work."

Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.

 

JDW - The emphasis above is mine. 

Tracy targets seven areas of your life where the practice of self-discipline will be key to your success. These areas include goals, character, time management, personal health, money, courage and responsibility.  

I have been trying to raise my own bar.  Seems like the key is to have the self-awareness to know what your responsibilities are and then manage your time to be achieve them.

I am playing less poker and writing & exercising more.

Views: 257
Date Posted: Jan. 1, 11:10am, 2 Comments
"I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried - tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being."  - Paul Newman
 
THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE.     I BELIEVE.....
FUN IS GOOD. AND DOING GOOD FOR OTHERS IS THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE.
GOD EXISTS. AND MIRACLES HAPPEN. AND PRAYER WORKS.
 YESTERDAY'S GONE. TOMORROW'S NOT HERE YET. THERE IS ONLY TODAY AND
 WE CAN EACH MAKE A DIFFERENCE RIGHT NOW.
 YOUR REACH MUST EXCEED YOUR GRASP. THE SIZE OF YOUR SUCCESS IS
 DETERMINED BY THE SIZE OF YOUR BELIEF.
 A SETBACK IS JUST A SETUP FOR A COMEBACK. ONCE YOU LEARN TO SWIM, IT
 DOESN'T MATTER HOW DEEP THE WATER IS.
 SUCCESS IS NEVER AN ACCIDENT. THERE ARE FEW THINGS THAT CANNOT BE
 ACHIEVED BY HARD WORK AND SHEER DETERMINATION.
 WHEN AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE MEETS AN IMMOVABLE OBJECT, THAT OBJECT WILL
 MOVE. MAYBE NOT FAR, MAYBE NOT FAST, BUT IT WILL MOVE.
 ENVY IS IGNORANCE AND IMITATION IS SUICIDE. WE ARE WHAT WE DO AND
 ALL OF US COULD DO BETTER. 
 VISION WITHOUT ACTION IS A DAYDREAM; ACTION WITHOUT VISION IS A NIGHTMARE.
 YOUR VISION OF WHO (OR WHERE) YOU WANT TO BE IS THE GREATEST ASSET YOU HAVE.
 THERE ARE NO SHORT CUTS TO ANY PLACE WORTH GOING.
 WITHOUT A GOAL, IT IS  DIFFICULT SCORE.
 CHANGE SHOULD NOT BE FEARED, BUT EMBRACED.
 ALL CHANGE IS NOT  PROGRESS, ALL PROGRESS IS NOT IMPROVEMENT.
 THE PERSON WHO DOESN'T MAKE MISTAKES IS UNLIKELY TO MAKE ANYTHING.
 OFTEN IT'S RIGHT TO BE WRONG.
 NOTHING IS BRAIN SURGERY EXCEPT BRAIN SURGERY.
 SOMETIMES YOU'RE THE  PIGEON, SOMETIMES YOU'RE THE STATUE.
 YOU MAKE A LIVING BY WHAT YOU GET; YOU MAKE A LIFE BUT WHAT YOU GIVE. 
 LIVE EACH DAY LIKE YOUR MOTHER, YOUR MINISTER, YOUR DOCTOR
 AND THE POLICE CHIEF WERE WATCHING.
 THERE'S A INSTANT BETWEEN WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AND HOW YOU RESPOND.
 IN THAT INSTANT LIES YOUR FREEDOM AND POWER TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU DO.
 IN THOSE CHOICES  LIE YOUR GROWTH AND HAPPINESS. WHAT CHOICES WILL YOU MAKE?
 IT IS BETTER TO BE IN A POSITION TO HELP OTHERS THAN TO NEED THE HELP OURSELVES.
 LIFE IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT; LIFE IS A CONTACT SPORT.
 WE NEED TO DO MORE. WE MUST.
 THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE.
 WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?    -    JDW

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