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Views: 939
Date Posted: Dec. 31, 1:32pm, 1 Comment
Seems like the same resolutions ever year.  Lose weight.  Drink less.  Exercise more. 
Drink more water.  Write more.  Play better poker.  Clean up my office.
And every year I get some of that done.  For a while.  And every year I don't. 
Not enough... certainly not long enough.
I know better.  I can do better.  Call it my New Year Recognition. 
I have been insufficiently resolute. Hardly a revelation.
A resolution is simply a mental pledge.
And I can be weak.  Something greater is called for. 
A complete change, a revolution. 
From which there is no going back.
I am revolting against complacency, against a lack of focus, against sloth...
against weakness and temptation.
I once had a teacher, a guy who could barely communicate in English,
yet grossed $1,000,000 annually in sales.
He was all about goal-setting. 
"Goals by themselves are not enough," he told me.  "You must be specific."
At least that's what I think he said.
It is not enough to say 'I want a new car.' 
An effective goal is a blue Jaguar with tan leather interior by June 1st.
That being said...
Lose 30 pounds before arriving at the WSOP. 
I have a goal weight in mind, but, as I write, I don't even know what I weigh now. 
I'm scared to look.
No alcohol before Easter. 
Told you I could be weak.
Exercise 40 minutes daily, increasing to a minimum of one hour daily by Feb. 1.
Write something good daily.  A blog, a poem, an article, a story, something good. 
Rediscover the artist within.
Study more poker videos.  Eliminate distractions when I do play.
Be more aggressive.
Organize office - thereby shocking wife - by Groundhog's Day.
More symbolism.
Oh, I have probably forgotten something. 
Resolve is not the only thing that weakens with age.
Last year's goals included no hospital stays, no surgeries.
I damn sure would like to do that again.
Bottom line.  I need to remind myself what I remind others - Be Your Own Hero.
Think that way.  Live that way.  Stay that way.
I am confident I will have a truly wonderful 2011; I hope your new year is even better than mine. - JDW
Views: 903
Date Posted: Dec. 23, 3:13pm, 0 Comments

Since 2009, it's been my tradition to publish this birthday tale...



As you get older, three things happen.  The first is your memory goes,

and I can't remember the other two. - Norman Wisdom.


When I was a much younger man - 42 - my parents gave me an original copy of the New York Times for December 24, 1946, my birth date. The paper cost three cents when published.

Times have changed; bought the same publication just last Friday for two dollars.

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln


Much has changed.

Back then, at all Horn & Hardart Automats, you could get a Christmas Day Special of selected young turkey, roasted to a golden turn by expert chefs, for 80 cents. Dinner included savory filling, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and carrots.

Gives some historical perspective to today's 99-cent menu at the local drive-thru.


In youth, we run into difficulties. In old age, difficulties run into us.- Beverly Sills.


Northwest Orient Airlines had seats available on their four-engine, 44-passenger luxury service from New York City to Portland, Oregon, for just $118.30 plus tax.

I am guessing the stewardesses were young and pretty and you would get a halfway decent meal at no additional charge. Oh, and your bags rode for free.

The bad news was the flight took 15 hours and 25 minutes.


You can live to be a hundred, if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred. - Woody Allen.


Prices were low, but so were salaries.

In 1946, 47% of American families had an annual income of less than $2,000.

In the classifieds, under Help Wanted-Female, bookkeepers were being offered $35-$45 weekly.   Another ad, this one in Help Wanted - Male, asked for "BKKPR, alert, commanding personality, managerial timber; $50 start."

An alert male was probably harder to find.

I didn't get old on purpose, it just happened. If you're lucky, it could happen to you. - Andy Rooney.


The president of the New York Stock Exchange had just received a raise to $40,000 annually. RADIO - that was the name of the company - led the most active trading list at 19,300 shares. Total volume was 1,170,000. (Today, every day, NYSE trading volume can exceed three billion.)

In 1946, on Christmas Eve, radio - the communications medium - was the most popular form of commercial entertainment.   That and pro whittling.

A half page of the N.Y. Times was devoted to a schedule of programs hosted by such superstars as Rudy Valee, Arthur Godfrey, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Red Skelton and Amos & Andy.

Not exactly The Morning Zoo.


How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was? - Satchel Paige.


A basketball game between Duquesne and Tennessee was called off when the Volunteers refused to take the floor unless assured Charles Cooper, the Negro freshman star, would not play for the Dukes.   More than 2,600 fans were already in the gymnasium when the cancellation was announced.

If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself. - Eubie Blake.  And Mickey Mantle.


An advertisement for the Capitol movie theater promoted Claudette Colbert and Walter Pidgeon in MGM's "The Secret Heart." That sentimental gentleman Tommy Dorsey, complete with his trombone and an augmented orchestra of 40 - plus comedian Jack Carter - was appearing in person.

The ad reads... "Parents! Is your daughter a problem child? Must her romantic ideals agree with yours or may she follow her own heart? Girls! Are your parents' ideas of love and life old-fashioned?"


There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age. I missed it coming and going. - J. B. Priestly.


I guess change is relative.

I have long been amazed by one woman's experience.  When my grandmother was three years old, the Wright brothers flew the first airplane 120 feet.   Just 66 years later, Grandma watched as Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.

My next few years could be interesting.""babies_copy_3-sh.jpg""

Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week. - Louis Kronenberger.


I'll be honest with you. When I three-bet out of position with two napkins and some mouthy punk folds like a beach chair, gosh, parts of me feel practically unused.


I play poker because it keeps me young.  I am married for the same reason....

Views: 920
Date Posted: Dec. 18, 2:14pm, 0 Comments
Deer flees nativity scene... Family sues police over arrest for blowing kiss... Dance troupe sure looked like terrorists.
Heart medicine mistaken for cocaine...Bomb squad blows up stuffed pony... Dress code, cheerleader outfits conflict.
Man accused of growing pot in front yard... Snake handlers should be careful... Circumsion brings a criminal complaint.
Obituary ends homicide case... Longhorns, Red Bull and dachshunds - a bad mix... BB gun used as motivational tool.
Burglar left computer logged onto MySpace... Free-spirited bull's frolic lands owner in jail... Pregnant girl says the dad is 70.
Pooch's pink paws bring $255 fine... One-Way Ticket To Mars Proposed... Buy a truck, get a free AK-47.
Burglar bakes brownies... Masked Men Burst Into Wrong Location... Locals get exposure on nudist TV show.
Governor asked to pardon a dog...Doctor accused of shoplifting laxative... Poker champ arrested on third DUI charge... 
Punches Fly In Defense Of Conway Twitty....3-year-old won't be prosecuted... Salad bottle fails as holdup weapon...
Panthers Prey On Calves... Florida man uses BB gun to steal deodorant... Suspect in rape sues his accuser...
After falling on audience, camel taken out of Christmas show.
Views: 330
Date Posted: Dec. 12, 12:17pm, 0 Comments

The PPA reminded me a period of 15 months without legalized online poker may be more beneficial than continued industry decline: “We believe that the trade off for getting regulated, permanent U.S. online poker market is worth a temporary blackout of some sort. It’s not what we want, either, and it’s not what we pushed for in Congress, and we don’t even like it. But when viewing this from the perspective of maintaining a sustainable internet poker market, the 15-month period is short-term pain for a long-term gain.”  U.S. regulation will reduce - hopefully - the continual chipping away at our freedoms by local authorities.


As a poker player, I first looked at the blackout period as an egregious assault on the game. 

I wondered about the young family men who completely support a wife and children with their online income.

Or the single moms who might supplement their incomes with online poker. 

Or the kids who dropped out of college to pursue a poker career and must now find a job. 

Or the old guy on Social Security who prefers the virtual green felt to driving to a distant casino and playing slowly with a bunch of stinky drunken loud rude buttwipes.  Wait, that's me. 

No, not the buttwipe part... the old guy part.


As a life coach, on second thought, I wonder how online players might use this blackout period to our advantage. 

I could finish all those poker strategy books I half read. 

I could learn to enjoy live play. 

I could get in better shape. 

I could write my novel.

I could spend more time with my family.

The list goes on.

If each online poker player carefully analyzed his life as currently played, we all can find alternative uses of our time.  Positive uses.  Ameliorative changes.


And I would so like to see the next Russ-Hamilton-cheating son-of-a-bitch lose his house, his car, his clothes and the ensuing five years of his freedom.

Legalized internet poker, regulated by the government, might just grow the game into a respected profession. 

Like Wall Street.  Or prescription drugs.


You could even make 15 months the minimum jail term for cheating. - JDW

Views: 358
Date Posted: Dec. 10, 7:36am, 0 Comments


Some people study poker strategy.  I study life strategy.  This comes from Joe Tye.


                                                       Never Me-ject Yourself!

Me-jection: Giving in to the fear of rejection by rejecting yourself before you even ask for what you want or need.

Me-jection is a number one cause of failure and unhappiness.

It is why salespeople don't meet their sales goals - they don't make the necessary calls because they hear the word "No" so concretely in their imaginations it paralyzes them from picking up the phone or knocking on the door.

It is why would-be authors stare at blank yellow pads year after year, never getting around to writing the books that are burning in their souls - they can already see the stack of rejection letters before they've written down the first word.

It is why so many people waste away in soul-stultifying jobs - they'd rather face the certainty of misery than the misery of uncertainty.

It is why so many people sit home lonely in front of the television on a weekend night - they are afraid of being turned down if they ask for the date or ask to be included in the group (or worse yet, they imagine going on the date or going out with the group and being "discovered" to be frauds).

Nobody likes to feel rejected - the bone-deep fear of rejection is what makes the threat of exclusion or excommunication so powerful.  Yet the only way to achieve your goals in life is to run the risk of hearing that awful word "No" when you were hoping for "Yes."

In today's world, rejection is like the Red Badge of Courage - cowards don't earn very many because they don't take the risk.

Here are five actions that can help you make sure that you never me-ject yourself.

Action 1: Be a Dionarap (don't go racing for your dictionary - I made the word up).  Dionarap is the word paranoid spelled backwards.  Assuming that everyone likes you and wants you to be successful - unless and until proven otherwise - will help you assume the best when you're asking for what you need.

Action 2: Don't take "No" personally, because it's usually not about you.  If you apply for a job and don't get it, it only means that someone else had qualifications that were a better match than yours.  More important, if you are a Dionarap, you will appreciate that it also means something even better is right around the corner.

Action 3: Practice the Aladdin Factor.  In their book of that title, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen say that if you keep asking until you have asked the right question of the right person at the right time, you will almost always - eventually - hear the right response.

Action 4: Recognize negative self-talk for what it really is - mental graffiti, the echo of some vandalously painful remark someone made to you long ago that is still echoing around up there in the attic of your mind.  That nasty little graffiti artist is only happy when you are miserable, because that's the only time you listen to it.  But if you are to achieve success and happiness in your life, you need to confront that spoiled inner brat and tell it to shut up.

Action 5: Take to heart what the late Randy Pausch said in his book The Last Lecture: brick walls (aka rejection) are not there to stop you, they are there to make you prove how much you want something.

Finally, keep your perspective.  You might not be able to choose whether or not at any given time you are "rejected," but you choose whether or not to be dejected.  And while rejection is an inevitable part of life, as long as you are breathing no one can eject you from the only game that really matters.

 And trust me, it's not poker. - JDW

Views: 495
Date Posted: Dec. 7, 4:24pm, 0 Comments
Back at the bookstore, I was trolling the self-help section.  Which I do often.  I figure, if I can't help me, who can? 
I fantasize sometimes of buying many such books and presenting them to friends and relatives at Christmas. 
Some non-friends, too.  After all, seems like they could use the most help.
Might be a lot of fun to put a list together of names and tomes.
Why Is It Always About You?: The 7 Deadly Sins Of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss could find a home with a certain princess.
Or for that busy loser in your life, there's Ten Days To Self-Esteem by David Burns.
Don't get me started.
A title calls to me.  My Mind Is Not Always My Friend: A Guide For How To Not Get In Your Own Way by Steven J. Fogel.
Basically, Fogel suggests we let go of the past, move on and create a better future for ourselves.
A simple formula, which seems far easier to say than to do.
He quotes Carl Jung: "I am not what happened to me.  I am what I choose to become."
Often, we become comfortable with the status quo, so we hesitate to rock the boat.
But life is funny.  Not LOL funny, or even funny ha-ha.  We lose our money or our job or our lover.
Your loss___________ goes here.
Sometimes the boat rocks us.
But good news.  The greatest opportunity to grow emotionally is right after a life-changing event.
Wallowing in self-pity will only drive you lower, making your rebound more difficult.
So, take a day, then begin the climb back, aiming higher this time.
Three of Fogel's guiding principles struck particularly true.
The truth is just the truth.  It is what it is - no need to be offended.  No need to hide from it.  The truth teaches.
Feelings are real, but they are not facts.  A feeling is an emotional response at that moment.  Get over it.
Someone else's perception is not your reality.  Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, which is really all perception is.
My point - simply put - is this:  Care less about what other people think.  Think better of yourself.
I actually had this conversation with two very different, very wonderful friends this week.
Because I heard them calling themselves names, feeling inadequate, valuing the opinions of people whom they actually don't even respect.
I don't think that of you, why would you think it of yourself??
Think about it - isn't your own opinion of yourself more important than somebody else's?
Be honest with yourself.  Listen to your self-talk.  Accentuate the positive.
Make friends with your own mind.
And remember the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Don't give it to them. 
Don't give it to your own mind either.- JDW
Views: 858
Date Posted: Dec. 2, 6:21pm, 2 Comments
Despite what Norman Chad might suggest, every poker player is not a math whiz. 
Though I am beginning to suspect all my opponents just might be.
I took high school geometry three times and finally passed only because Mrs. Casey got tired of looking at my face. 
So, when Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt solicited ideas for his next book, I suggested shortcuts for the mathematically challenged. 
"No need," Dusty responded.  "My friend just wrote that book."
His friend is Owen Gaines. 
And the book is Poker Math That Matters.  Sub-titled Simplifying the Secrets of No-Limit Hold'em.   
Lord, how I've prayed someone would do that for me. 
Last month, my mom's bingo ROI at the old folks' home put my poker results to shame. 
Please, don't tell her - she'll just gloat.
Gaines has played over 3 million hands of poker. 
He's been a pro for five years, playing under the pressure of providing the sole income for a family of five. 
He is a coach at one of the top training sites,
I am thinking he just might know what he is talking about.
Let me quote from the back cover. 
Learning the math behind good poker has never been simpler...
This book is an attempt to help those who do not have a strong inclination to math or game theory...
When finished with this book, you will be able to think clearly about no-limit hold'em and analyze even some of the most complex decisions in the game. 
Wouldn't that be special??
The book begins simply enough.  Working with fractions, percentages and ratios.  Heck, I even understood most of it. 
But then Gaines builds.  Implied odds.  Equity vs. a range.  Value-Betting.  Chunking.  True EV and Evaluative EV.  So much more. 
And each discussion is followed by a quiz to reinforce the lessons learned. 
When you win, you will know you made the correct decision based on the odds. 
When you lose, you will avoid some of the tilt because you will have a better understanding of the math you challenged. 
When all is said and done, your decisions are more intelligently reasoned. 
And intelligent reasoning will likely mean more chips in your stack, more cash in your bankroll.
This [book] will make you a force at the tables....
Leatherass offers this endorsement: “I read through this book and all I can say is, 'Where was this book when I was wasting years trying to learn poker math!' I am sad for myself that I wasted so much time, but for everyone else, the release of this book is huge. If you are tired of making plays in poker, but not really having any idea if it is good or not from a mathematical perspective, this book is for you."
You can order the book at www.qtippoker.
I paid full retail for my copy.
And it was worth every penny.
Although still somewhat spooked by the concept of an Isosceles triangle, I am now a better poker player.  -  JDW
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