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Author Topic: The heart of a lion - A long and winding quest for wrist jewellery  (Read 3310 times)
Marky_Crash
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« on: March 19, 2017, 04:20:06 PM »

Have been reading up on some of the diaries today and thought I would start one off.

Will it be long lasting, interesting, funny, informative? I have no idea! Lets see how it goes 

To quote Sympathy for the Devil, Please allow me to introduce myself...

I am a 41 year old guy from the west coast of Scotland. I have been playing poker for around 11 years (7 of them full time). I consider myself a Omaha 8 player however my largest scores and highest amount of profit over the last 10 years have been on the NLHE tables. I am currently serving my last 4 weeks or so as a 'mature' student doing a BA in psychology.

If you want to know any other boring details, feel free to ask!

As to the current blog title...

There are some imaginatively titled blogs on here so I tried to be a bit more creative than writing something like 'my blog'.

Why 'heart of a lion'?

Well in my first real live game of poker (a $1500 PLO8 WSOP 2007 MTT), the poker gods decided to put Johnny Chan directly on my left and Marcel Luske 2 places to his left. It was an interesting game and I had Chan all in and covered twice, both times on the turn, both times with him needing to counterfeit me for a split pot and both times him getting said counterfeit card on the river. I didn't cash, I didn't last past day 1 and Marcel Luske bust my AAxx hand.

I did however get a real taste of playing with some of the top players and absolutely loved it! I was properly hooked on the pokerz  I hadn't made an idiot out of myself during my first live game, I remembered (most/some of the time) when it was my turn to act, I didn't spill my beer on the table and Marcel even commented on my play saying I had the 'Heart of a Lion' and he even sang us all a song!

Now in actuality, if I have the heart of a lion then we are talking about a rather unhealthy lion! I smoke copious amounts of cigarettes (planning to stop after uni in 4 weeks), I am 'out of shape' (planning to get into shape after uni in 4 weeks) and my blood pressure is stratospheric (yup, you guessed it, planning to live a healthier lifestyle after uni in 4 weeks).

Apart from these elements being wildly at odds with the lion analogy, I do tend to try and play with at least a little bit of a roar and bite. If a table invites me to try and run it over I like to think I can accept the invite, even if it does result in the odd moment where I am caught with my hand in the cookie jar and the only flushed thing in the vicinity are my cheeks. So I will happily accept Marcel's label, even if it is absurd in parts Smiley

As for the 'long and winding quest for wrist jewellery' part of the title...

Well, after playing my first WSOP event back in 2007 and being hooked on poker I have made it a personal challenge to one day win one of those shiny bracelets. I don't particularly like bracelets, don't wear jewellery, wouldn't wear the bracelet if I won it and am fully aware that 99.999% of the population wouldn't give a shit! It is a personal challenge though and I tend to get drawn to silly little challenges in life.

I do take the silly personal challenges seriously though as I am about as stubborn as they come! After some mixed success live and online over the 7 years playing full time I realised the current plan wasn't working. I was grinding for small ball returns, playing too long and getting very unhealthy. I didn't have the financial backing in real life which would allow me to reinvest my poker returns into poker. I therefore went back to education and after 4 years am just closing this chapter in my life. I am now hoping to find stable employment in the background which will allow the poker profits to grow maybe let me have at least a proper bash at winning that bracelet, you know, the one that I would never wear and nobody would give a shit about! Smiley

No idea how things will pan out from here! Hopefully I can crack 2 views and it won't have been a complete waste of time!
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TightEnd
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 04:34:54 PM »

hello well you have one reader

where do you play online and/or live? i think i recognise you from Sky Poker?
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 04:52:40 PM »

In. :-)
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EvilPie
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 07:07:40 PM »

Looking forward to reading more especially as we're the same age.

How did you find the 'mature student' life? Have you had to juggle everything with a family life or are you single making it relatively easy?

Are you going to head over to the 'Blonde will make you strong' thread in 4 weeks when your next phase kicks off?


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"Because thats what living is, the 6 inches in front of your face......" - Patrick Leonard - 10th May 2015
tikay
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 07:32:02 PM »

Looking forward to reading more especially as we're the same age.

How did you find the 'mature student' life? Have you had to juggle everything with a family life or are you single making it relatively easy?

Are you going to head over to the 'Blonde will make you strong' thread in 4 weeks when your next phase kicks off?




There you go Mr B.


http://blondepoker.com/forum/index.php?topic=65850.0

I was gonna join that thread at one point, but I just got too strong, fit & healthy.

Matt (EvilPie) is a good guy though, seriously. 
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celtic
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 07:49:40 PM »

Like tikay, I'm too strong and healthy to bother with healthy threads, hope you survive the next 4 weeks Smiley

In.
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 11:34:08 PM »

Like tikay, I'm too strong and healthy to bother with healthy threads, hope you survive the next 4 weeks Smiley

In.

FAF, we should start a 'how long will we live' thread, and just report on the terrible life decisions we make that contribute towards that, jaysus, pretty scary when you think about it   
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Marky_Crash
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 09:46:05 AM »

hello well you have one reader

where do you play online and/or live? i think i recognise you from Sky Poker?


Thanks TightEnd!

I started out on Pokerroom (not sure how many of you would have played there?)

I am told, although I don't remember as I didn't play poker at the time, that it used to be thee site to play on when it first came out in the early 2000's. To say 'I loved that site' wouldn't be much of an overstatement. I broke my poker cherry there, learned to play OH8, won my first live package, was a moderator on their forum, made a lot of friends both on and offline whom I still keep in touch with, had my biggest ever score via them and played lots of live stuff through them. It was a sad day when I logged in to find this image (testing if I can post pictures on here)...

 Click to see full-size image.


When they did close I played some on Pokerstars, FullTilt, Bwin, Redkings, PartyPoker and Tower Poker. You are correct that I play on Sky poker too. Although I had been a member on Sky for a while... I only started playing there properly last year when I decided to try and qualify for a WSOP event through them. I decided to stick around there though after a warm welcome from Tikay, managing to snag the live package, and realising they had a decent little OH8 community.

As to the live stuff... I am 0 from 5 @ the WSOP and would have a pretty poor return in the live games if I hadn't managed to donk a $100k score back in 2009 in a live game sponsored by Pokerroom the 'Poker Race Trophy'. The WSOP cherry is still to be broken (maybe I should be aiming to sort that before setting winning a bracelet as the goal lol).

Thanks for the warm welcome folks!

I will reply to any questions soon, have to set out for my 4th last day travelling to uni (not that I am counting or am crossing the days off in a big wall chart or anything absurd like that, honest).

Have a cracking Monday everyone!
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Longines
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 12:52:20 PM »

Also good to hear from a PLO8 player, absolutely love the game.

#subscribed
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Marky_Crash
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 10:49:13 AM »

Looking forward to reading more especially as we're the same age.

How did you find the 'mature student' life? Have you had to juggle everything with a family life or are you single making it relatively easy?




Hi Matt, brilliant question!

I have a lovely partner whom half the time considers herself a 'poker widow' lol. In reality she is very understanding when I spread myself thin between studying, work, life and poker. I suppose she has to be as she is a mature student too. She is about 2/3 of the way through an astrophysics degree via the open uni and works part time in a pet store.

My first step as a mature student was when I signed up to an HNC in 'Working With Communities' at college. I was unsure what the course was about, unsure if it would be all 'young people' and didn't know if I would enjoy it or even be able to do it. I hated regular school when I was a teenager, didn't try hard and done pathetic in my school exams. I figured that the worst case scenario would be that I would get a few student loan payments and leave after a week.

I received some advice just before I started the course which helped change my mindset and probably had a big influence on how I would do. I was doing a little job for an old lady (cleaning some carpets for her) the day before I started the course. She liked to have a chat and I don't mind to chat either and am also rather fond of tea & biscuits, so we sat chatting for a little while and I told her I was about to start the course. To cut a long a story short... I done the job and was leaving and she said to me 'I hope you enjoy your college course'.

That was a simple enough sentence and yet I was taken aback! 'Enjoy the course'? I mean this was a means to an end right? I was there to gain a qualification, improve my chances of getting a solid job in the background etc etc. I wasn't going there to 'have fun'! Well it only took a minute of two for me to realise that this old lady (late 80's) had probably, intentional or otherwise, gave me some very valuable advice.

If I went and actually tried to 'enjoy' the course I might have a better outcome than I did when I was at school; I might get better results; I might mix better socially and I may actually have some fun! I mean if we walk around seeing things as a 'means to an end' and not properly appreciating the moment then there is a chance that 1 day life is cut short and we never get to that final destination where happiness is supposed to reside. I properly realised that day that I had to try and 'enjoy the journey' through life, even the parts that often seemed a bit of a chore. That little sentence completely changed my mindset and I was now thoroughly looking forward to starting life as a 'mature student'.

In the end college went great. I got thoroughly involved (even when I didn't need to be). I took on lots of extra stuff like 9 separate NHS courses on 'addictions' and passed the course with a 96% mark and collected a 'student of the year' award. It was tough going at times dealing with 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 kids, studying and work but I tried to enjoy it and this approach pulled me through.

I then decided to keep running with the 'mature student' thing and signed up for a BA in psychology. I kept the same mindset and tried to enjoy it and get involved in other stuff that would help my all round development and agreed to do 'community profiles', 'business plans' and reports for 2 separate charities on top of the studying and other stuff I was committed to. I was getting paid for this so it should help but I was stretched thin, very thin...

Uni turned out to be a bit of a let down! My college lecturers had recommended me for 2nd or 3rd year entry but without so much as an interview the uni decided I had to start in first year. There was a lot of snobbery and I found that some of the uni lecturers (especially in 1st and 2nd year) spoke to students in a manner that suggested they were not sure if we would know how to hold a pen, let alone have anything valuable to contribute. A lot of the stuff we were learning I knew before I even started at college. Being spread so thin during my college time was fine because I was enjoying it but being spread so thin while doing a lot of tedious work is a whole other matter. Then in 2nd year I found out just how bumpy life could get and how easily the house of cards could fall down. My mother and grandfather died just days apart and my gran just a few months later. Life had just become an almighty mess.

I honoured my commitments to the 2 charities and kept going with the uni course but I had somewhere lost that enjoyment along the way and am counting the minutes down until I can close the 'mature student' chapter on my life and move on to pastures new.

So I would say life as a mature student while juggling real life etc can be fun if it is approached in a positive manner and you have a stiff wind at your back. I would advise anyone setting out on this path not to spread themselves too thin though and as life is such an unpredictable beast and we really never know what is around the corner. I guess that still fits in with the old ladies advice though and just means we have to try and cherish the here and now and take enjoyment from things when we can as nothing else is guaranteed!

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Marky_Crash
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 10:53:27 AM »

Looking forward to reading more especially as we're the same age.

How did you find the 'mature student' life? Have you had to juggle everything with a family life or are you single making it relatively easy?

Are you going to head over to the 'Blonde will make you strong' thread in 4 weeks when your next phase kicks off?





There you go Mr B.


http://blondepoker.com/forum/index.php?topic=65850.0

I was gonna join that thread at one point, but I just got too strong, fit & healthy.

Matt (EvilPie) is a good guy though, seriously. 

Ha, I think I actually lurked in that thread a while back.

I will definitely be visiting, I have some smoking to give up, weight to loss and blood pressure to reduce!

I think my pattern of weight gain/loss is in line with Tikay's judging from his blog posts. I seem to lose a few stone in the approach to summer and WSOP time and feel all positive about myself and then just put it all back on during the winter months...
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Marky_Crash
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 10:57:42 AM »

Like tikay, I'm too strong and healthy to bother with healthy threads, hope you survive the next 4 weeks Smiley

In.

Cheers celtic!

Is your username to do with the football team or the "relating to the Celts or their languages, which constitute a branch of the Indo-European family and include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx, Cornish, and several extinct pre-Roman languages such as Gaulish" thing?

I am a big celtic fan myself if we are talking football although not so good with the Gaelic speaking other thing.
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Marky_Crash
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 10:59:11 AM »

Like tikay, I'm too strong and healthy to bother with healthy threads, hope you survive the next 4 weeks Smiley

In.

FAF, we should start a 'how long will we live' thread, and just report on the terrible life decisions we make that contribute towards that, jaysus, pretty scary when you think about it   

Lol, I could have offered a lot to such a thread over the years!
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Marky_Crash
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 11:02:46 AM »

Also good to hear from a PLO8 player, absolutely love the game.

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Thanks Longines Smiley

Agreed, love the game too. My patience can wander at times when I only have 2 hole cards.
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celtic
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 11:29:28 AM »

Like tikay, I'm too strong and healthy to bother with healthy threads, hope you survive the next 4 weeks Smiley

In.

Cheers celtic!

Is your username to do with the football team or the "relating to the Celts or their languages, which constitute a branch of the Indo-European family and include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx, Cornish, and several extinct pre-Roman languages such as Gaulish" thing?

I am a big celtic fan myself if we are talking football although not so good with the Gaelic speaking other thing.

Definitely the football, glad you are a fan too, as I donated a whopping £16 to
You on the cash table on sky the other night. Hope it helps get you to a bracelet, don't forget me if it does Smiley

Do You play live still?
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