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Views: 844
Date Posted: Aug. 30, 12:23pm, 0 Comments

       "Put your pants on!" 

        That's the warning offered by Natalie Randolph a minute or so before she enters the boys' locker room at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C.  Petite and soft-spoken, the 30-year-old Randolph is one of the very few women in the U.S. ever to coach a boy's varsity football team.

      How difficult must that challenge be?  And what can we learn from Randolph's courage?

The lesson I took away from her risk-taking is this - still waters never reach the sea.


      Here are some lessons preached by Coach Randolph.

      HAVE NO FEAR. 

Too many of us focus too much on what other people will say. 

If you know you can do something, don't be afraid to try.  Ignore the naysayers.


But it is not okay to run away from what frightens you. 

Act brave until you feel brave.  Then be brave.


Trust your instincts.  Seek advice from people who actually know what they are talking about.


No matter how difficult yesterday was, today is all there is.  Never give up.

Never, never, never.


Sometimes you go through the wall, sometimes you go around.  Many times you'll discover the wall was simply waiting to be climbed.   - JDW



Views: 804
Date Posted: Aug. 21, 1:47pm, 1 Comment

An excerpt from
Eat That Frog!
by Brian Tracy

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management. It is also called the "Pareto Principle" after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the "vital few", the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the "trivial many", the bottom 80 percent.

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle as well. For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of your products or services will account for 80 percent of your profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of the value of what you do, and so on. This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times or more than the other eight items put together.

Number of Tasks versus Importance of Tasks
Here is an interesting discovery. Each of the ten tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value of any of the others.

Often, one item on a list of ten tasks that you have to do can be worth more than all the other nine items put together. This task is invariably the frog that you should eat first.

Focus on Activities, Not Accomplishments
The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous. For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80 percent while you still have tasks in the top 20 percent left to be done.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, "Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?"

The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you will be naturally motivated to continue. A part of your mind loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference. Your job is to feed this part of your mind continually.

Motivate Yourself
Just thinking about starting and finishing an important task motivates you and helps you to overcome procrastination. Time management is really life management, personal management. It is really taking control of the sequence of events. Time management is having control over what you do next. And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.

Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is. As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result. This should be your way of working as well.

Views: 780
Date Posted: Aug. 14, 4:13pm, 0 Comments

I found the following information on, a site which keeps a close eye on poker legislation.  What interests me most is the confirmation of empirical knowledge which has long suggested to me I am better off winning a few huge pots vis a vis winning many smaller pots. - JDW

A major finding of a new Cornell study of online poker may seem counterintuitive: The more hands players win, the less money they’re likely to collect, especially when it comes to novice players.


The likely reason, said Cornell sociology doctoral student Kyle Siler, whose study analyzed 27 million online poker hands, is that the multiple wins are likely for small stakes, and the more you play, the more likely you will eventually be walloped by occasional but significant losses.

This finding, Siler said, “coincides with observations in behavioral economics that people overweigh their frequent small gains vis-à-vis occasional large losses, and vice versa.”


In other words, players feel positively reinforced by their streak of wins but have difficulty doing the “cognitive accounting” to fully understand how their occasional large losses offset their gains.


The study, which was published online in December in the Journal of Gambling Studies and will be published in a forthcoming print edition later this year, also found that for small-stakes players, small pairs (from twos to sevens) were actually more valuable than medium pairs (eights through jacks).


“This is because small pairs have a less ambiguous value, and medium pairs are better hands but have more ambiguous values that small-stakes players apparently have trouble understanding,” said Siler, a long-time poker player himself.


Siler used the software PokerTracker to upload and analyze small-stakes, medium-stakes and high-stakes hands of No-Limit Texas Hold’em with six seats at the table. The game has simple rules and “any single hand can involve players risking their entire stack of chips,” Siler said.


The research not only examined the “strategic demography” of poker at different levels of stakes and the various payoffs associated with different strategies at varying levels of play, but also “speaks to how humans handle risk and uncertainty,” said Siler, whose look at online poker combines aspects of behavioral economics, economic sociology and social science theory.


“Riskiness may be profitable, especially in higher-stakes games, but it also increases the variance and uncertainty in payoffs. Living one’s life, calibrating strategies and managing one’s bankroll are particularly challenging when enduring wild and erratic swings in short-term luck and results.”


In online poker, a multibillion dollar industry, Siler concluded that “the biggest opponent for many players is themselves, given the challenges of optimizing one’s mindset and strategies, both in the card game and the meta-games of psychology, rationality and socio-economic arbitrage which hover beneath it.”

Views: 646
Date Posted: Aug. 1, 1:12pm, 0 Comments
     Recently, I came across an article by Patrick Lencioni in which he applied ten rules for business success to improving one's family life. 
     Speaking personally, the optimal poker experience cannot exist without a supportive personal environment. 
     Victory is best shared, while defeat is a bitter pill to be swallowed alone.
1.  Identify your core values.
     I strive to continually improve my skills.  I will not cheat.  I do not abuse other players.
2.  Establish a single top priority.
     If everything is important, then nothing is important.  If you are going to accomplish one big goal as a poker player in the next few months, what will it be?
     I am going to be far healthier.  Lose weight, build muscle, increase flexibility, improve diet, drink less booze and drink more water.
3.  Keep your values and top priority visible.
     A Post-it note on your computer will work.     
4.  Don't make snap decisions.
     There is no rush.  Think your move through.
5.  Understand your opportunity cost.
     Taking one course of action typically precludes you from taking another action.  The inability to pursue the other course is your opportunity cost. 
     How does this decision impact other possibilities?
6.  Assess which balls bounce and which balls break.
     Imagine you are a juggler.  You have several balls in the air, some are glass, some are rubber.  Which balls do you focus on catching??
7.  Don't confuse long-term strategies and short-term tactics.
     This is an excellent method of tilt control.  You want to win the tournament, not prove to the guy on the left he can't outplay you.
8.  Meet often to review your progress.
     Study hand histories after every session, especially the losing ones.
9.  Get out of the "office" from time to time.
     If you grind without respite, you'll end up nothing but a nub.  Take some time away from the tables.
10.  Welcome productive conflict.
       "When executives can't argue," Lencioni write, "they can't make good decision and commit to them."
       Get involved in the numerous poker forums.  Ignore the flamers - worthless on so many levels - and seek heated discussion with others anxious to learn.
Add any one of these "rules" to your game today and you will be a better player tommorow. - JDW
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