Notes From The Field: January 26th To February 10th

January 26th 2015:

I reread my last notes from the field entry. It made me feel like those things actually happened. Normally I struggle with not feeling real. I don’t feel part of many moments. Part of the reason I think I’ve been successful is I feel separated from much of what is happening. Getting laughed at hurts, but not as much as it does for other people. I’ve been able to try more because I’m less afraid of embarrassing myself. When I do make a fool out of me, I tend to forget it quickly. The problem is I also don’t seem to feel the upticks either.

I told one of my best friends, Daniel, the German I lived with in Malta, what meds I’m on. Doctors really don’t have a word for what’s going on with me, but the meds are for schizophrenia.

I don’t really care what it is. They all have their own diagnosis. Spoiled brat, Asperger’s, OCD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’m dead normal on my meds. All the awful things I used to see are gone. Now I feel distant, but I’ll take that over intrusive thoughts. I know I don’t get to be like everyone else, so I won’t go off my meds searching for it. That’s all there really is to it. There’s no need to assign a name to anything. Some people have diabetes. Others have chemical imbalances. We’re all blessed to be living in a world where medical technology has come so far.

I made breakfast, playing with the egg white to yolk ratios again. I accidentally dropped an egg yolk into the sink. My wife came out and asked what I was doing.

I made my schedule before the year started, trying to strategically implement days off. My problem is I don’t notice I’m exhausted till it really sets in on me, so I’ve tried to count the days till that happens. My guess was today should be a day off.

Feels weird. Nothing wrong with today. I’m not that tired, or so I think. I should be working.

Rereading my last week, I felt like all I did was read. But the work is so direct, there’s not much to expand on, so they take up very little text. I did, oh, 15-20 hours of teaching last week? Not to mention running the business of selling the videos, webinars, and whatnot. It adds up.

I shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying a day I earned to take off.

I always feel like I’m not doing enough. I’ll never prove myself to myself. That’s why I work so hard. It doesn’t come from a place of discipline.

Get anxious. Down some water.

I read The Bible, a new financial book about how to save your money properly, and the Washington Post.

When my wife goes to lunch with a friend, and I can get away with the sound of guns blasting, I finish Sleeping Dogs. Well, I finish all the story modes. Probably going to take me months of hacking away to finish all the side missions.

That was an excellent game. I really hope they made some money off of it. I read there’s not much chance of a traditional sequel any time soon, and that’s really a shame. This is probably the most enjoyable open-world crime game I’ve played since Grand Theft Auto III. The number of game modes is mind boggling. When you get into a fist fight it’s a kung fu game, on level with a great brawler, bringing up Streets Of Rage nostalgia. The driving and in-game races feel like a Need For Speed. The gun play is competent and engrossing, with a heavy influence from Max Payne. 

The only game mode I really didn’t enjoy was when you are challenged to drive a car, aim a weapon, and fire it. The control scheme has you using both thumbs, index fingers, and then your middle digits. It’s not intuitive for someone who grew up without a game mode like this, and I never got the hang of it. I almost don’t want to try and play through all of the game, just because there seems to be a series of missions focusing on just this wonky control scheme.

The narrative is classic noir cheese, with great voice acting and cut scenes. There’s so many details here for a kid who grew up on kung fu, Johnnie To, and John Woo. Collecting the new threads, homes, and yes, girlfriends as you grab triad status is sure to make any adolescent geek out.

The sprawling metropolis is gorgeously designed. The story mode keeps thing changing and interesting. Even the music they selected for driving around shows a real attention to detail. Hong Kong pop, rap, metal, trance, classical, there’s a station for everyone.

Many people complained about the camera, but I never had any issues.

The game was not as deep as it could have been, which is frustrating. The concept for an incredible new open world game is there, but at some point all the fighting systems stop becoming more nuanced. You do gain a handle on every mode quickly, and enjoy yourself. That’s usually all a game needs. But at some point the story mode starts becoming less challenging, and you’re left searching for the few non-essential missions which really do challenge you.

The Definitive edition adds some story modes. The Year Of The Snake was a nice little add-on, but all too short.

I loved the Nightmare story mode, and how the game didn’t have to take itself so seriously. It’s a campy, and amazing. I don’t know why I’ve grown this fondness for stupid horror in my mid-twenties. I enjoyed all the films as a kid along with crappy Hong Kong action. To see all the cheesy old outfits and horror plots mashed together is mind numbing nerd trip.

I love how the color scheme changes from red overtones to light blue. The dialogue is good enough to make you laugh out loud. The battle sequences are varied from the common game, adding a twist to the action. It’s a great continuation to what’s already a 15-20 hour main game.

Sleeping Dogs doesn’t approach the depth a Grand Theft Auto would, but the varied game play, gradual learning curve, and setting is enough to make it the preferred option for many players. There’s not enough in the play pack to make you go back if you already played it on Playstation 3, but for new gamers it is a must.

Well, that’s the most I’ve written about a game in a decade. Can’t say writing about the game gave me much of a rush in the five minutes it took to do. I guess I’m still jaded from back when I was a teenage video game reviewer.

So sad Rotten Tomatoes took down their video game section. I used to have a catalog of all my horrible teenage writing.

Oh wait, I found a list of my review articles. Remember, this was one site out of 10+ I wrote for.  Although it has the prize distinction of actually still being around.

I also started playing Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Man, I loved the last Call Of Duty. I love going to exotic locales and, then, you know, killing people. This game seems right up that alley. But Jesus, they add a bunch of new tactics. I like the jumping, but there’s so many new controls it has an a later 20-something feeling overwhelmed. How do 17-year-olds manage all of this?

I go outside and practice my bars. It comes in at 2:20 if I just go straight through. I remember the whole thing without checking my notes. That’s a good sign. I just need to find some finishers to fill it out. The inspiration isn’t really striking today.

My wife comes home. She takes a nap while I read The Bible, The Qur’an, The Washington Post, Moorman’s new book, and Writing From Left To Right.

Her parents come over. We have sandwiches, tamals, coffee from my new machine, and apple pie. It is incredible.

Relaxed, I go to play a session at America’s Cardroom.

in 899 hands I lose $520. I think I got bluffed in a few hands. People are much more adept at turning hands into bluffs now, even in some instances where it makes so little sense to me.

Otherwise, I feel I played pretty well. It just seems it’s hard to get things to line up these days. It’s harder for me to go on the runs that I used to go on when I was younger. There’s better players, sure, but I also think the cards haven’t exactly broken my way. However, I still have a good deal to learn, and that’s really all I can control. That’s all I can really focus on. I have enough money to throw at the problem. The real key is I have to play each day. I have to work each day. I have to study each day.

I guess that’s why I’m excited about the Twitch.tv thing. I enjoy playing for an audience. I’ve always been that way. I don’t know why. If there’s money in it, even better.

I think I like the audience because no one watches me and goes, “oh, this is a losing player.” It’s ready confirmation, which poker doesn’t always provide. Maybe a decision is debatable, but I’m never punting.

I’ve always had some weird thing where I could do much more for someone else than myself. My career really took off when I met my wife. Not many poker players get to date a doctor, much less marry one. But really, she’s got so much more going on. She studies opera, plays video games with me, loves metal too, reads Ray Bradbury, encourages me in everything. She’s all about clean healthy living. She’s so motivating to be around. It makes me want to be on my game.

After my session I watch the news with my father-in-law and shoot the breeze. I read after him and his wife leaves. My wife turns on Bates Hotel on Netflix. I decide I’ll check it out.

I like the show. It’s thoroughly creepy. I love how the time in history is messed up. They wear antiquated clothes, use 30th English, and play records, but there’s also iPhones. It’s spooky how four girls go up to him, like something out of a Pepsi commercial. I’ve read people with Schizophrenia idealize and exaggerate in their minds what happened to them. This is like watching that.

The rape scene was a little much. I can’t believe what they can put on TV now. I really hope the show isn’t all about that.

January 27th 2015:

Wake up, snuggle with the wife, drink a protein shake, and get to the gym. I actually don’t have protein shake mix right now, so I drank that Ensure again.  I guess it did the trick.

In my kitchen I grab a pill I have, and contemplate crushing it and putting into the drink. It occurs to me a lot of people would like a drink like the one I concoct in my kitchen.

But how the hell would you market something like that? I like my job now because I’ve worked to the point where I can take days off and half-days whenever I feel like it. A venture would take all my time, all day.

Maybe I could patent it and sell that. I look up a book to do that. My friend recommended this one, although I hate reading books written by women.

Got ya. My grandfather used to say that like it was the most normal thing in the world. But he loved the Harry Potter series.

The book looks great. Excellent reviews.

I felt good jogging three kilometers and working out my back muscles. I went till failure today on every machine I could make it to. Unfortunately, failure came way quicker than I would have guessed.

I don’t really lift weights for mass, but more for stress relief. I seem to be able to handle much more in my life when I lift anything in the morning.

The trainer tried to come talk to me. I told him to fuck off in as polite a way as I could. Before the PCA trip I was hurting every day on his bullshit program. I felt amazing and gained mass when I did my own program on the road.

In Costa Rica, it’s a law that a trainer must be on site. It’s noble, to make sure people don’t strain themselves or lift something incorrectly, but God they can get annoying.

It’s annoying as hell to me when they lump my wife the physical therapist in with trainers and massage therapists. She had to study medicine to get her degree here. It’s a six year program which she did in five, with specialization courses. These people go to some community college for six months, get some bullshit degree, and know absolutely nothing. I’ve watch them advocate exercises which could easily tear a muscle. I’ve seen massage therapists jam their elbow right into the spine.

I came home, and for some reason was dying for something sweet. I grabbed a cup of coffee, a little piece of ginger cake, and a slice of a brownie. It’s the bane of my waistline, but God it’s better than being high.

I call for a restaurant to deliver food. They usually take an hour. I sit down to get some work done, and they’re there in ten minutes. Not really hungry, I still eat fajitas de pollo, and platano with cheese. Mmmmm…

With a pot of coffee on I finally get to work, and it is hard. I decided today was the day I’d get done my two first theory videos for Cardrunners. I think that’s what people were really clamoring for from me, so I want to deliver. I decided to make a series based on learning, and how to do it more effectively in poker. It’s a topic really near and dear to my heart, because if there wasn’t a way for average players to be proficient at poker, I wouldn’t have stood a chance. Many people tell me my poker knowledge is daunting, but I really have faith anyone else could do the same if they just knew the method, and they were ready to put the hard work in.

I go through four glasses of water and a pot of coffee. For an hour of video it takes me about three and a half, four hours of production. I build the Powerpoints from scratch and the Cardrunners EV analysis. I record, using Hold’em Manager, Flopzilla, calculators, Cardrunners EV, and my own Powerpoints to…uhmm, make my points.

I’m really proud of the product. I rewatched some of it. Didn’t like parts, so I redid them. I think people will be very pleased.

I get nervous making these videos. It really is putting your heart and soul out there. This is what I dream of, what I think of, and what has gotten me to where I am. I’m fine with people pointing out errors, but I’m afraid to expose what a dolt I can be! 😛 I really feel like someone who has been blessed with poker. I never think anymore, “Oh yeah, I deserved this!” I know how fallible I am after all these years. I just want to make the best product possible, because you guys are the reason I have a living, why my family eats, why we have a roof over our heads. I can get to be a bit of a perfectionist when the stakes are that high, and STILL I always seem to miss something goofy, or I make some part awkward.

Once I’m done I feel like I have to get back to work, like I wasn’t at work before. I do enjoy making videos, but it’s hard work, all the pre-production, staying on point while you speak, making sure your spoken words are engaging, and then shipping the video out.

I feel guilty just going, “that’s all for today.” I know most poker players would do that. “Job well done,” they’d say. The amount some of these guys turn down leads me to believe it must be a monumental task for them to accomplish anything. And half of their videos are just them talking about some random shit while they’re watching a hand history.

Cardrunners desire for premium content really led me to them. I love all their classroom style videos. I am honored to contribute to that.

I want to just go play Call Of Duty. I want to lay down. But I have the house to myself for a while longer. You need the house to yourself to shoot the videos, rhyme, etc. I should go rhyme.

Not that I don’t practice for battles with people around me, but I prefer to have a lot of my bars ready for them by then. I don’t think having them watch me choke over and over, adding new lines.

I’m feeling much more comfortable this time, now that I know it’s something I can do. You can’t botch your audition, that’s the big one. If I went up and choked in front of The Saurus I’d never get a shot again. That’s the one most people would see. I completely blanked out during the battle a couple times, and still kept going, so I know I’m not a choker, and I can do it, and get through stumbles. Now, if I muck up a couple lines in Dallas it won’t end everything. I’ll have definitive proof I can do three 3-minute rounds.

But I’m not choking. I love the material I got so far. I can’t wait to spit.

I practice round one a few times, then write my finisher for it, and practice it a few more times. I don’t even have to check my notes once. I have the whole thing down.

I start writing my round two. After struggling a bit, I come up with something I’m really proud of. It seems like inspiration is coming to me today.

I practice it. To my surprise, I roughly go through it the first time. If this were the battle versus The Saurus I would have needed to memorize line by line. Now, if the bar really gets me, it’s just there, in front of me, ready to pop off.

I drink three glasses of water, back-to-back. Relieves the anxiety. Makes me feel relaxed.

I buy GoToMeeting for the year.

I listen to my wife and her friend singing. It sounds much more beautiful than my rhythmic screaming. I sign some documents for Twitch.TV, download them, upload them to a cloud drive, and save them in my email.

It’s officially 6:00 PM, and I am burned out.

I go to my chair and read the Washington Post. It seems Greece is going straight to hell. I read the Bible and Moorman’s new book.

My brother-in-law calls and confirms we’re going tomorrow with him to the shooting range, with his wife. I, of course, like an idiot, scheduled a lesson then which I now have to reschedule. I told him weeks ago I’d do this. I tell the student I’ll add some time onto the lesson.

While I’m in the Assassinato Coaching email I answer a few other emails. Maybe because I’m a work addict. Maybe because it will take me five minutes, but if my wife sends them to me and I have to send back and explain a couple things it will take fifteen.

I have to train her sometime. I know this.

My homie hits me up saying there’s a huge deal on flights to Central and South America. I freak out seeing the prices, automatically figuring I got some of these places up. But Vegas in the summer, Dallas in the coming weeks, LAPT: Panama…schedule’s already getting packed. I just want to fill up this map.

Countries I’ve visited.

visited_countries

 

31 in total. And actually 30, because I just realized Macau and Hong Kong are not part of China.

I probably could’ve fudged this and made it 40. I have transferred through about an additional 10 countries, gone outside of the airport, stayed the night, maybe had one meal, but I don’t count that as really knowing the country.

So dumb. I took three years of Japanese. Only spent a few hours in the city going between airports.

January 28th 2015:

Not in the greatest of all moods when I wake up today.

The power went out while we were watching Bates Motel the night before.

I was actually enjoying myself in the candlelight, getting ready for bed early, then all the power came back after I started sleeping. I didn’t notice it, so I slept rigid and off. I woke up earlier than I wanted to.

My wife and I went out to see her brother Julian, the cop. At Christmas time he was showing me a video of his SWAT training in the states. I told him it was daunting what he could do. He offered to take me out to the range sometime and show me how to operate small arms.

I obviously jumped at the opportunity. I shouldn’t say obviously, but I’ve made a commitment to try and learn more about any topic around me. Getting training from this guy certainly fit the bill.

He told me he’d wanted to show his wife how to operate a handgun too. I said let’s bring out all the wives to learn. Might as well do it at the same time.

After finding out the garage door wouldn’t open (the power was out again) I had to open the steel doors manually, which is no easy feat. When it was finally done we left, me in a pretty bitchy mood.

We went to some ravine in the ass end of no where. I grew up next to a gun range so the shots around me felt, in an odd way, like going home. In a country where people are generally crowded it was weird to see all the space. Also, they really try to downplay gun culture here, so seeing the police force training so cavalier was different.

We went to our part. First thing Julian did was just show us the different parts of the gun and how each one worked. He showed us how to hold it properly, and really hammered home the safety information. I wasn’t exactly keyed in at this point. I was tired. I paid attention to the safety information as much as possible, stopping for translations more often than I normally would.

Then he said, “I’m going to fire it.” Just to let us know what it sounded like. The girls put their ear protection on but I left mine off. I wanted to hear what a real handgun sounded like.

He fired that thing and I thought my ears would rupture. I oddly didn’t move, which is not normal. I’m jumpy.

I have seen dead bodies. Gun violence is not uncommon in the states. I’ve never heard a gun go off before.

I don’t know why, but it hit me then how fucking dangerous a gun is. All the thoughts that swell in your mind, every dream, the fluid nature of your best memories…all can be reduced to brain matter in less than a second.

I offered to go first. I wouldn’t say I got good on my first day, but I was able to hit my targets. When my brother-in-law had me ramping up the speed though I sucked.

We spent a few hours working, just basics, basics, basics. Repeat, attempt the shot, analyze, shoot again.

Eventually I was hitting the coffee cup and the intruder poster between the eyes. I started unloading clips. I’m convinced I could defend my family. Not very well, but at least I’m familiar with the tool now.

My wife seemed impervious to everything. She pronounced herself part-terrorist as she hit every target in sight.

The one safety rule I memorized was point the gun at the range. You can’t hit anyone if it’s not pointed at anyone.

At one point Julian had set up a laser sight with another weapon. He had me put it around my shoulder. I was pointing it at the range.

I don’t know what happened. We were both pointing at something near the trigger, and it went off. We didn’t load the ammunition or start training till everything was pointed somewhere safe, but just going through a run-down of the equipment… the thing had gone off. I still have no idea how.

When I saw people walking around with their guns swinging about, pointed at anyone and everything…after that gun went off…I almost lost it. “Point that fucking thing down!” I wanted to yell.

So much starts clicking in your mind. Why the military walks that way, does that this way. It’s all for safety, and so many people don’t even care.

They just can’t be bothered. I mean…I’ve gathered most people are checked out. They really are fine at being horrible at their jobs and complaining about everything. But I thought holding a firearm… I thought they might decide to focus in for a moment or two.

I could see myself going to a gun range and finding peace by myself, doing target practice. But being around others with guns had me on edge like few things have before.

I have so much more respect for the military now. When I connected distant memories with the sound of a Glock firing – it was rattling enough. To be surrounded by that and seeing your friends dying…Jesus Christ. And then to come back to a country that could only complain about how it doesn’t have free healthcare and education yet…I think I’d lose it.

Has there ever been another time in history when a civilization stopped a war because the people at home no longer wanted it? I’m thinking of Vietnam and Iraq. Where was the liberal rage when 2,000,000 were slaughtered in Southeast Asia after the US withdrawal? The Vietnamese have openly admitted that every pretense for war was true and worse, despite proclamations that the imperial US was creating it.

The US is weak now. Is the world better off?

I’m not saying, I’m asking. I’m authentically thinking.

There’s no such thing as a vacuum. I’d rather the USA be strong than Russia or China. Could you imagine what those countries would do to the typical US protester?

This puts me in a lonely position. I love the states, but I hate many Americans, particularly all the ones who seem to rise to power. I believe people should have a right to their firearm, but I’m also convinced many of the people who own one can’t operate it safely.

I would love to go to Switzerland and see how they go about a gun range. I bet someone would throw a cup of hot coffee at the face of somebody who’d been waving around a gun.

I’ve seen that shit so many times in the states, and had no idea how scared I should have been.

Maybe I’m just older now. I’m really, really glad I didn’t try to learn about any of this till I turned 27. 21-year-old me could have gotten cocky and killed somebody.

Unfortunately, I think much of the Peter Pan syndrome world around me is trying to become who I was at 21…someone who I learned at 25 was a bag of hot air.

After the class we all went to Rosti Pollo’s. I paid for time at the range and the lunch. I ate too much, but you can’t put chicken in front of me and expect I don’t eat. You can’t put coffee and dessert on my table, and not expect me to partake.

Getting home, I downed my Serolux with Alka Seltzer, and got to my class with a Uruguayan. It was a very informative lesson, a little more formal than I’m used to, but we got a lot done. It was fun. He was very polite and open to the review.

Afterward, I answer emails, then not feeling great I lay down to read. There’s been so many scheduling problems lately. My wife has a concert coming up. I forgot she had a practice tomorrow, so I have to get up and move my Oneouter appointment. I have one more lesson to finish before the lesson weeks are up. I also need to get all my articles done. So far I have two Cardrunners videos, eight personal lessons (totaling 16 hours), and a webinar for this coaching week. Need to get the Oneouter podcast done and a bunch of articles.

One of the luxuries of my job is everybody writing me their business ideas. Some are great and help me a ton. Some are well-meaning, but I can’t do anything with them. But I haven’t found a way to say, “I can’t do anything with this,” without offending the person. I also only have so much time between everything. And we still answer every email that comes in. That takes time.

I feel like I ate a brick today.

My wife is cooking pasta while singing Mummer’s Dance. Her way of studying. She’ll hear the song three times than sing it verbatim live this Monday.

Accordions sound really bad ass when used correctly. Unfortunately, someone created the polka.

My wife gets mad when I brag about her, but she really does spook me sometimes. Today with the guns she hit everything she aimed at practically. She never seems to practice that much for her music performances and they always come off as incredibly well done.

She’s performing at the jazz cafe. My dream one day is to rent the place out and do the first Costa Rican battle rap event. I could do a one-rounder in Spanish.

I read the rest of the night. I seem to feel much better after eating my wife’s home cooking.

January 29th 2015:

Wake up. Scrambled eggs. Coffee. News.

Feed the dogs. Clean up their poop.

Shit. Shower. Shave.

I was feeling on a high the last couple days. I knew that couldn’t last. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want it to go on.

I wake up and every thought is scattered. My coffee doesn’t seem to help. Shaving and taking care of myself doesn’t seem to do it.

I try to get my lesson today earlier. Focusing on hands and situations for someone else will stop my mind from racing.

He’s still at work. Not a go.

I’m going to use the mania for my advantage. Drink some coffee. Work on this list of things I was on.

Put Lecrae on. New album is fire. Most underrated according to Hip Hop DX is a Christian cat.

I keep putting this track on. Guy just gets it man.

I send my new menu of consulting options for backing houses to new stables in Russia and Italy, and also an existing one I’ve been working with, based out of the United States.

I tell Plan Nein my second is going to end his life. I talk to my fans a bit on Twitter. One guy just had a huge result, and he said the One Outer podcasts helped. Messages like that make it all worth it.

More coffee. I feel more stable.

I subscribe to this notion: 80-90% perfect beats 100% perfect in your head. Get it out there. Soon your B game will trump their A game.

I go to check out this HUD a friend has created with a ton of new features. The instructions for installing are about 20 steps long. I realize if this mucks up my Hold’em Manager my lesson later today is going to be pretty messed up. I talk with him a bit about how we could make sure it works, feature it in upcoming videos, brand it, and sell it.

I talk to Jack Welch and Evan Jarvis. Jack can wax poetically on just about anything, and Evan’s energy is infectious.

I negotiate with a student whose had work matters combat his ability to do more lessons.

Send money out for a swap. Realize I sent 400 too much.

Both of my internet connections are slow as molasses today.

I just realized that’s because I’m still uploading a video to one student.

I write a letter to send out to future affiliates. I’m going to start networking pretty heavily, endorsing several products I like through my revamped website, on my podcast at oneouter.com, in my Cardrunners videos, through my personal lessons with 1,000+ students, and hopefully through my Twitch.TV channel.

I don’t really have a choice but to endorse the products. I use them all the time. I’m sure I’m driving tons of sales to these people anyway, but I could drive more to them if we worked together, I became more educated about the product, etc.

My wife has her band over, or who is her band this week for a performance. They practice in another room while I do a session with a student from Malta. We have a great time, mostly because we have a country to joke about. He has the sense of humor I really liked about Maltese when I was there. Somehow we get through all the topics I wanted to work with. It’s a great time.

I feel relieved once it’s done. I did 20+ hours of live in-person lessons the last week or so. I know call center employees do 40 hours but it’s not like I get the same script. I have to always have the answers, process them faster than anybody, and always be ready. Between all the meetings I did it was another 30 hours.

I’m glad I get to do this. Part of being an entrepreneur is selling. If you can sell you have a job anywhere on Earth (arguably…if you speak English). I would never have learned how to do it without all this interaction.

The next few weeks it’s Super Bowl, actually playing poker, writing, and battle rapping. I gotta shut it down once in a while. Can’t always be interacting, on the phone. I lose it.

I’m feeling good now. Relaxed.

Sometimes my mind just races. I can’t control it.

Process the lesson video. Eat lunch with my wife and her band. MMM…chicken burritos.

I call my mother up. I find out that the fixes I bought the materials for and scheduled with the maid worked out. She got her groceries. It’s amazing what you can do with the internet now. Helps a guy like me who has to be out of the country from his Mom. We talk about the family, movies, books, and everything else we nerdy Seattle-ites love.

The handyman comes to my house to fix my washing machine. He’s four days late, but whatever, I’m on Tico time these days. And by Tico time I mean I got so much other shit going on that if you come within a five-day time frame I probably won’t notice how late you are.

I start trying to print some documents out for a mail run. My printer is out of black ink. I research how to make it work with one cartridge. It turns out there isn’t a setting. I have to physically remove the empty cartridge or it will keep trying to use it. That’s why a passport copy looked so bad.

I print out documents for my tax returns and for a new Euro bank account. While it’s printing and I’m filling docs out I start going through my rounds again and again. I’m adding to second one. I know sections I want to put in, but I gotta bridge them.

Turns out the handyman, after four minutes of trying to fix the washing machine, can’t do it. Sweet. Still gotta keep outsourcing.

Hire anyone. Be disappointed.

Except my assistant. I’m rapping near him.

I’m out of energy. I keep going. I might feel like shit in Dallas. I might feel sick. I might be jet lagged. I gotta be prepared to go through it.

I add bars. I like them, but I don’t love them. Then again, I’ve loved my first 50 or so. I can’t love every bar. It’s hard to fill 9+ minutes that way with two weeks. They’re compotent. They’re funny. Maybe I just don’t like them because I’ve been around them so long.

I start doing more research, and there it is: I finally have an angle I didn’t see before.

I am close to finishing round 2. I have it memorized, but I’m exhausted repeating it. It’s not connecting the way the other bars were. It needs work.

I see an uber fact that says vikings used to engage in rap battles. I knew Che Guevra’s army used to have poetic battles, but this is the first I’ve heard of vikings. The article on it in Wikipedia is fascinating. Check it out! My (sort of) people the Inuit did it too! (And not that this means anything, but I’m part Norwegian and Scottish too, booya! )

Exhausted now. I wrote my round 2, did a lesson, prepared some taxes, prepared for a bank account, answered emails with about a dozen companies, called my mother…why do I feel like I gotta keep going?

I call my stepfather, shoot the shit with him for a minute. I buy the tickets to Dallas. My wife comes home. She says she still wants to go to the gym, even though she’s tired. I’m psyched.

We show up. I jog three kilometers and change. I work out arms, legs, and do 40 sit-ups.

At home she makes dinner. I read after we watch Bates Motel. She plays Threes on her cell phone. We both half watch Switched At Birth, because we’re suburban like that.

January 30th 2015:

I wake up at 7:30 in the morning. I feel good, so I decide to try something new. I cook four eggs, two whole eggs with two egg yolks. I put onion in the pan, cook it first with the oil, put in the eggs, then when it’s fluffy I mix in tomato sauce. I put the whole mix in tortillas. It tastes delicious with coffee and juice.

I feel chill, not stuffed. I feel like my body has been starved for protein my whole life. I have become a lot thicker since I moved to Costa Rica. I’ve put on 40 pounds, but my gut isn’t huge. Obviously, I could lose a few pounds there, lol, but the rest of it has just gone to my frame, my legs, my shoulders, etc. It feels great. I feel strong.

I have to quit eating sweets three times a day if I want to lose this gut. I’m not prepared to do that 😛

Javier comes over to my house at around 9:00. I’m doing some paperwork for him which we need to discuss. I practice my bars with him. I make him stand there like he was Plan Nein, so I get practice delivering to a person, since The Saurus and I were just standing side by side.

We go to the post office near here after picking up Naty’s grandmother. She transfers her PO box to me after she receives an envelope from her niece in the states.

The paperwork takes thirty minutes. I then mail in forms to put my wife on my taxes, and then also my taxes.

Javier and I take Naty’s grandmother for lunch. I buy lunch for the PO Box and the ride. Naty’s grandma wants Burger King. I say the hell with it, I want bad food to.

Naty’s grandma orders a meal, take three bites of the burger, four french fries, and announces she’s defeated. I can’t see food go to waste.

Naty’s grandma says, “can you eat all that-“

“Yes,” Javier says solemnly. “Yes, he can.”

After dropping Naty’s grandma off we go to Jetbox. I pay 36 fucking dollars to pick up a package. It’s a birthday gift from my mom. It’s a beautiful Seahawks sweatshirt. Honestly, one of my favorite sweatshirts now in my collection (and I have 50+). BUT 36 DOLLARS? Guess that’s why I got the PO Box. Such estafadores.

I speak in only halting Spanish the whole time we’re with Naty’s grandma, but after we drop her off I brief Javi on the plan from here on out.

It hits me. This is supposed to be my day off.

I come home and try to get some work done. I start tricking out my Twitch channel. I update a few things for the site. I write a bit.

I lay down to read. My wife tells me minutes later she wants to go to the mall, to look for something to wear for her concert. Seems like a totally normal request, so I have to lug my ass off the couch and actually put on some decent clothes.

We go to Lincoln Plaza. She goes to the stores and I read outside. I’m really getting into Tony Robbin’s new book about money. I like how he says, “this isn’t my book.” He repeats the wisdom that some of the best financial managers in the states told him. He’s probably the only guy who could have brought the 20 together. He seems to only post the stuff they all have a quote agreeing about.

He’s obviously hawking a few companies he’s working with, but I can’t imagine if any of them tanked he’d really be happy about it. I’m sure I have a ton more to learn, but it’s an excellent first primer.

We go for a coffee at Kaffa’s. I love how cell phones don’t get reception in then cafe, because it’s technically underground. My wife and I actually get a good talk in about life. I love how I’m still embarrassingly and overtly attracted to her, but I can still build with her over a coffee.

We come up with an idea on some back taxes from my less-than-intelligent beginning days in poker. It’s actually a fantastically simple one, and I don’t know why I didn’t come up with it earlier. I’m delighted the interest and penalties will stop compounding soon.

At home, we do our usual suburban routine. I read Moorman’s Book Of Poker with The Dark Road. I’m almost finished with the former.

January 31st 2015:

Wake up at 8:00 AM. Make scrambled eggs with tomato. I’m out of onion. Lame.

I lay down and read The Washington Post and the Bible. I get up to my computer to do some work before my podcast. It crashes on me. That’s like the fifth time it’s crashed on start-up the last week. It doesn’t restart automatically. I have to power it off and on.

I debate buying a new computer, for backup, because I’m essentially completely fucked if this desktop goes down. The idea sounds so stupid at first, but a day off of work would easily cost me half of the computer’s price.

My wife leaves. She’s got practice with her bands all day today. She has the performance on Monday and she still has to work with her main band.

Barry and I meet to do the Oneouter podcast. It goes great. We touch on a bunch of topics. At the end my plugs take seemingly 10 minutes, but God, there’s so much going on now.

After I’m done I shower. I put some decent clothes on and come outside. I’m foggy, but I figure that’s a good time to practice my battle as any. I might be jet lagged in Dallas; this is the best way to simulate that.

My recall is great after one run-through. Obviously, I have no idea what will happen in front of a real crowd, so I’m trying to go through this as much as possible. Never depend on talent. It’s likely you have way less than you think you do. Just work.

I have Round 1 done and half of round 2. I run through it again without looking at my notes. I feel like I got it.

I start writing more for round two but my writing’s shit. I watch Bigg K  vs. Arsonal for inspiration. Arsonal has an angle on a word I was trying to rhyme that’s fucking brilliant, and makes me pissed…I can’t believe I missed it. Well, better I missed it and never memorized it, then wrote it, memorized it, and had to drop it.

The good thing about actually trying to battle is you grow a ton of respect for the art. You really hear what is so difficult to do, and these guys just make it light work.

Since my wife’s out of the house I feel a civic duty to play games and albums loudly, but how many days am I going to get to practice, for sure, before this battle in two weeks?

I get most of my round two done. Going through it is tough, but I stop a second to realize the bars that were tripping me up before I know got down pat.

I’m trying to play to my strengths. I wanted this judged, because I didn’t want there to be no competition. That’s bullshit. I want to go for the jugular with this guy.

I know my strength right now. It’s my writing. So I’m trying to write non-stop. Every crazy ass bar I can think of and memorize I’m putting in.

My memory game is crazy now. My mind was so lazy before. I’m addicted to this – feeling my mind expand for the growing opportunities presented to it. It’s a rush.

I’ve downed a pot of coffee by 2:30, practiced 10 times the rounds. I gotta time it again.

I take a Serolux. Fade. It’s a good practice in case I’m tired.

I keep going for hours longer than I should. I don’t know where the time went. And I’m not coming up with shit.

I go to the bathroom and an idea goes through my head. In front of my computer, the flow stops. Practicing, the flow stops. I go to play Call Of Duty, I get an idea.

There’s so much to structuring the rounds. You really shouldn’t start memorizing till you have them down.

I’m on my second pot of coffee. I gotta take a minute off.

I go to my bathroom and do some much needed manscaping while I listen to Adam Carolla and Dennis Miller‘s new podcast. Since I feel like a bitter old white guy most the time I figure the show is right up my alley.

Adam Carolla said something I’ve never thought about. “If you’re hypervigilant everything is pissing you off constantly…but when I’m in that car racing for thirty minutes, it’s the only time in my life I don’t think about anything.”

Dennis Miller related it to meditation.

I know it’s possible to be thinking and up in your head at a major final table. That just doesn’t happen maybe when you’re battling. Maybe that’s why I seek it out.

I need to pick up paintball, drag racing, mountain biking, or a million other things now, now that I can relate it to a high.

I realize I do my best writing when I am doing other things and just thinking aloud. I go to vacuum my house because one of the dogs dragged in something. I started going through round one. It was just a little too short before. It needed more. I didn’t know what.

I added a scheme I was thinking about to it. It flows nicely. I like it. It fleshes out the round.

It’s hard timing them. Obviously when you go rapid fire through them it’s shorter than the round’s three minutes. You don’t know if the crowd will have you repeating anything.

It’s hard to practice for. I guess I could just randomly stop myself, but that sounds arbitrary. I was thinking of getting a random number generator and just having somebody stop me on a random punchline. Then make myself wind up and go again.

It’s nice just to have a new challenge. I really don’t have as much money as people seem to think I have, but I’m comfortable. I like my job, and I do it enough to make a good living. But this is just something to challenge myself with. I’m too slow for Call Of Duty, so I guess it’s gotta be this 😛

Going through the rounds I think I’ve almost got one and two done. I guess if I could that and third written/somewhat memorized today I’ll be way ahead of schedule. I want the last week to just go through the rounds again and again.

I come up with one idea while I’m working on something else in the else. It’s so simple – I can’t believe no one’s ever come up with it. I run a lyric search for it. It’s not on any song, or any battle. It blows my mind. It’s a simple connection. I probably wouldn’t have made it if I wasn’t doing something else.

Things are going way better now that I’m…uh…not focused? Solely on it.

I finished cleaning the house. I have two solid rounds. I have breathing room. I like how they’re confused.

They took longer than I expected. Way longer, but I guess it’s good I started working on them early.

It really is about hard work, whatever you do. Everything sucked, and it sucked worse, and nothing was going, and I was stressing, and I didn’t have it…and now I feel way better.

I don’t know where they day went. How the hell is it 7:00?

It’s like when I started with poker. Just pure learning.

It’s the opposite poker. You keep everything in with poker. This is all about shitting on fools loudly.

I send my web designer some photos to post. Only real work I’ve done all day.

I can’t remember the last time I was this tired.

I read The Washington Post, laying down, falling asleep, ranting to people on Whatsapp, which is weird because I never really look at my smart phone.

I put Chilla Jones vs. Cee Major.

It gets me inspired. I don’t even finish round one.

I get up and do my first two. There’s a relaxed nature that wasn’t there before. I love writing this shit. I don’t care if I lose. I just want to fucking rap. I don’t want think about a million things pissing me off at work. I don’t want to think about my thousand responsibilities at home. I don’t want to smoke weed or drink anything. I just want to spit.

I feel like a clown writing this shit, but fuck it, if I’m gonna fail, I’m gonna fail hard. I’ve never done it any other way. The kids I went to high school with would be impressed with me if they heard I was working at a Jiffy Lube. So fuck it. I’ve been freerolling for a long time. They dream it, I do it, and I’m going to keep doing that.

My wife comes home around 10:00 PM with Quizno’s. We watch Bates Motel then she literally asks to see 8 Mile (lol). We watch thirty minutes, then drop off to bed.

February 1st, 2015:

Wake up. Cook egg burritos for wifey and I. Read the newspaper, the Bible, Moorman’s book of poker. I feel like playing today. I think I’ll test out my Twitch.TV.

The test lasts for almost two hours. People report that it looks horrible, but that they love the content. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but there’s definitely going to be a ton of trolls. Already weird ass questions all over the place.

My friend Scott Simmons does tech support with me for about 15 minutes afterward. The stream looks way better when it’s done.

I take a break for lunch, and eat half a wrap. I do my opening two rounds again. I’m making little changes but I feel like they’re done. Now I have round three roughly written but I can’t stand trying to write and rap today after yesterday’s marathon session. I might put some bars to paper and whatnot, but I don’t know about practicing.

I drink coffee, eat brownies, and play the Nigeria level on Call Of Duty

I eat a soup, because I’m still hungry, and manage to burn the roof of my mouth.

I go back to my computer to test out the new broadcasting software my friend Scott Simmons helped me put together. When you put the stream on “source” it looks much better. The guy is a miracle worker.

So there I have it. My own online “TV” channel. Ready Player One exists now.

In my first one-tabling boring ass blurry Twitch session I lost $457.33 in 430 hands. The next four tabling session with improved visuals has me winning $351.29 in 736 hands.

I sit down and watch the Super Bowl after the broadcast. My cable box goes out. I hook it up to a stream on my internet. My father-in-law shows up with his wife.

Him and I are great friends, but he makes me laugh out loud sometimes how he speaks his mind. He’s a big guy, so I get the idea people don’t ever give him a hard time about it. Since I know it’s really just something like an allergic reaction for him I don’t say anything to:

“This stream looks horrible.”

I connect the cable directly into the TV.

“This cable is horrible. The channels are not grouped together.”

I find the channel.

“This channel looks terrible.”

Pretty much everyone in my wife’s family is a genius who just talks whilst thinking, so I’ve grown used to this.

Keep in mind, as they’re talking about this, they’re handing me drinks, making me coffee, and serving me heated cinnamon rolls…in my house. They’re beyond kind, it’s just their direct way of speaking.

The Super Bowl is an incredible game. I’m screaming and running around the house like my Dad would when I was a kid.

The Seahawks played amazing. I can halfway understand their logic to throw, given they only had one timeout left, but God…with Lynch, it feels gross.

But that’s the thing with Brady. It’s just hard to beat the best.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised a city with a $15 minimum wage can’t win unless it’s handed to them.

After the game my wife sings her songs for the next day’s performance, all while I sit there stunned.

I do my first two rounds again. They sound clean. I’m getting way better at smoothing over small mistakes, to the point my degree-carrying opera singer wife didn’t catch them (she catches everything).

It’s just going to be fun to compete in something different.

We watch Bates Motel. There’s a gunfight in the show. Now that I know what a glock sounds and feels like I can feel the hairs sticking up on my neck.

February 2nd 2015:

My Notes From The Field post is going to be longer than a week, seeing as Pokerheadrush.com is getting rebooted as I write this.

I slept in today for the first time in ages. When I did get up I ate an apple, drank a glass of water, and went to the gym. The caffeine pill I took in lieu of coffee must have really helped, because I was banging out the reps today. I got three kilometers in running, then hit everything for the back and arms. It felt good to be putting in work.

I’m definitely lifting before my battle in a couple weeks. I was so stressed yesterday, even watching a damn football game. I feel so relaxed now.

I get on the computer for the first time in weeks. My wife has been working on her show and I’ve been working on my battle, my website, and launching my Twitch account. We haven’t had much time to get to the email accounts.

There’s about 40 emails. There’s a great, but long, one asking strategy questions. These are always tough. I want to help them, but if I’m not getting paid or promoted through it, it’s hard to justify the time investment with everything else going on. That’s why I’m launching the Twitch. We’ll have question and answer sessions, where people can ask whatever.

I make a new form email to send out for these kind of emails.

The 40 emails take me a while and a bunch of my energy.

I can just tell this is going to be an off day. I don’t know why. I don’t feel the greatest I’ve ever felt.

I do another test run on Twitch.TV for about thirty minutes using America’s Cardroom. It seems to go swimmingly. I even learn how to clip off part of the screen. I think I’m ready to do a full Sunday.

Afterward, my wife and I go pick up her grandma and aunt, to go to Jazz cafe Escazu. My wife is playing with her band there. We’re a couple hours early, so I read while they gossip. I really get through a lot of books. I love reading in a jazz cafe. No computer anywhere. Just chilling with my coffee.

We get a pretty full crowd for a Monday, which means not really that full. About 20 people who told me they would go give me some excuse.

My wife and her band sound amazing. Like one of the best performances I’ve ever heard from her. I’m sad more people don’t get to see it.

But hey, they have more shows coming.

Feburary 3rd, 2015:

Every thought scattered. A lot going on today.

Eggs, onion, tomato sauce, tortillas.

I just gotta put ink on this page. I have to do things, that’s all.

I take care of my dogs early in the morning. The Maltese has been super spoiled lately. I pretty much drag her plump pregnant self everywhere. Mayo seems to be playing by himself with toy dogs a lot. Guess Chani doesn’t want to paw fight as much now that she’s got one in the oven.

I get to my emails early. I file a long report with my accountant. I talk to my old assistant about some ends we left loose, and just to see how he is.

I realize I sent a check for my taxes to the wrong address. Smooth Alex.

I write a proposal email to a colleague.

I get the new radio ad done for Oneouter’s newest podcast.

My wife is answering emails on the business account. My friend/assistant Felix is cleaning my house. I’m working too. When am I going to get to play poker if I need three people to do my business’s work?

I try and do negotiations with myself, two others, a translator, and a bank.

I feel old.

I send information to the web designer, telling him what to put in. We’re almost live.

Around 1:00 I am having lunch, about to down my Serolux, and play a session on Twitch.

I’m a little deflated today, but too often I hide. If every time I don’t feel 100% I didn’t play, I’d rarely, if ever, grace the felt.

I get onto my new Twitch channel and start announcing every decision while I play MTTs. My fans come out, and it turns into a really good time. Everybody’s cracking wise and bullshitting, there’s MTTs on, and I’m making with the strategy content. We don’t have a particularly good run at first, so after some tournaments clear I play cash. I feel like I’m stacking, but results later will show I lost a little. It’s probably a little because my connection timed out at a certain point everywhere.

While I’m playing cash I put on Tool. I didn’t think about it till just now but that will probably make the whole broadcast not have audio on Twitch.TV. Oh well, it gives something for the guys to buy. I’m planning on packaging everything for the month of February and selling it.

I final tabled the $50.00 rebuy. I ran above expectation, but couldn’t win the last “flip.” I got it in with a flush draw versus top pair top kicker. It didn’t pan out. I finished fourth.

Afterward I got some money on BOFA. I cut a check to my friend’s charity, not remembering I just wrote a check for the IRS. Genius me. Blessedly, my friends helped me avoid the overdraft charge.

I watched Bates Motel with my wife. That shit makes me nervous.

Afterward I read. So suburban, but so relaxing.

February 4th 2015:

Wake up. Eggs, tomato, onion, coffee. I gel my hair and wash my face. I’m not showering till after the gym.

Someone had the barbaric idea of sending my wife a video of what they’re doing to Christians in Syria. She turns it on, not realizing what it is, then turns it away: Right toward me. So I see it right at the second the sword comes down and chops of a man’s head.

I’m not going to get too much into my views. Since they’re correct, and not politically correct, they’re sure to infuriate a good deal of people.

I’m fine with anyone who wants to leave others alone. We should leave them alone. One of the best parts of a free country is everyone of differing views being able to peacefully coexist.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not worried. The Qur’an worries me. I’ve read a good deal of it. The violent sections are not like the Old Testament, where there seems to be a time in history the killings were meant for. There’s no savior that comes down and tells you to turn the other cheek, and those who live by the sword die by the sword. There are calls to action in the Qur’an. There is over a hundred of them, calling for violence to establish Islamic rule, not to mention to put hands on your wife if need be.

If I wrote a book like this

I get on Skype with a friend of mine who works with Hold’em Manager 2. He’s building these bad ass HUDs. They’re still in the beta stage, but I’m testing them for him. I’m hoping I can start featuring them on my Twitch.

We end up having to do 45 minutes of tech support to figure something out, which is good…I’d rather we figure out these problems myself than have people who buy the package deal with it.

My wife’s father comes over for an appointment. After they’re done we give him a ride back to his house. We eat casados for lunch and pick up some groceries. Afterward, we go to the gym. I somehow have a better work out than last time, going with my own program. I get biceps and triceps in. My order of exercises seems to building off the last. When I’m done I feel so solid and relaxed.

At home I start a Twitch broadcast, trying out my new HUD. I don’t know what I did, but I auto-regged for too many things. I’m 16-tabling without much warning. It’s smaller stakes but I’m still overwhelmed. It’s hard to announce.

I somehow get heads-up in a $55 freezeout with The Saurus and win. I final table the $109 2R1A and finish 6th. I called off half my chips and folded with 6X at one point. It was pretty gross.

It turned into a good session. I made money somehow, despite firing up too many tables with a new HUD. The Twitch.Tv sessions went real well. We almost had 200 people watching at one point.

I’m going to have to develop a mean ban trigger though. People bring up and say some stupid shit when they don’t have to pay.

I never pay attention to chat on any site because it’s a zero win game. It never really does anything for me, but there’s ton of irritating comments.

99% people are really supportive and fun to help, so that’s been cool. It makes things much more interesting.

I watch Bates Motel with my wife at night.

February 5th 2015:

I don’t know why my site isn’t up yet, but at least I can still write here.

I wake up late. I went to bad in a bad state. Some things came up I didn’t like thinking about. At least it doesn’t effect me more.

I wake up feeling out of it. I walk to go get eggs. Cook breakfast. Realize I’m late for the Oneouter podcast. Do an energetic and angry one. Answer emails.  Eat lunch with my wife.

I write down all the notes I have for round three with Plan Nein, deciding it’s never going to be perfect like I wanted it, but I just have to start editing.

I get all my notes down. To my surprise it sounds way better. I get some new ideas.

I start rapid fire memorizing after my wife leaves, because I don’t have as much time alone.

Somehow, some way, I feel on. I chug coffee to get through my Serolux. I just repeat, repeat, and repeat. I use acronyms to remember the lines. I get it. It’s rough, but within an hour and a half I have 2:30 memorized.

So I have one and two solid, and round three 85%. I’m feeling good with 10 days to go. I want the last week to just memorize, refine, and repeat.

I get on the phone with a start-up that’s looking into poker coaching. I’m not sure why I’m assisting them, as they might be my competition coming up, but I figure they’re going to learn everything I have to tell them anyway. Besides, if they want to work with anyone in poker coaching, they have to work with me. There could be great deals in us working together.

I’ve been approached by a number of start-ups. Honestly, I think the talent pool is really small for proper poker consultation. There’s usually washed up grinders who get into it begrudgingly, who clearly hate their students. Then there’s new kids who nobody trusts because they’ve only had one or two solid wins. Then, very rarely, there’s a whiz kid communicator like Tri Ngyuen or Jonathan Little.

I meet with the HEM designer and we implement some fixes. It’s better to do it now than when you have tons of customers with problematic copies. Always do the troubleshooting yourself if you have the time.

My wife comes home. We have a coffee time, complete with baked treats I shouldn’t be eating. She tries to sleep while I read, but Mayo goes spastic.

I feel spent, and really dehydrated. I make myself an Ensure shake. My nutritionist brother-in-law recommended it for after a work out. I can’t believe how well it replenishes me.

Feeling better, I make an espresso and go to play Call Of Duty.

I feel dehydrated with the coffee, so I down the rest of my shake. I feel so relaxed and nourished. I normally can’t play a first-person shooter for more than an hour. I just get drained too quickly. But this day I played four hours, just straight through six levels. I start thinking about possibilities that this opens up.

My wife finishes practicing songs for an upcoming performance and we finish watching Bates Motel, Season 1. I was surprised by the quality of the show. It’s really creepy. I figured it’d be another cash-in, as a precursor to the events of Psycho, but the mix of old film cliches, dated television, antique English, and iPhones, manga, and other newer elements is really dope. The acting is spot-on too; it’s hard to believe it’s television. Delightfully jarring.

February 6th 2015:

I sleep later while my wife wakes up early to pick up the other singer in the band she’s playing with next Wednesday. I get up and make four eggs with tomato sauce and chile. I eat them in wrap form with tortillas while drinking coffee. I read the Washington Post. Wonderful to know Obama is trying that moral equivalence bullshit again now that ISIS is frying Muslims alive and hacking off Christians heads, at a prayer breakfast no less.

I read about whoever that NBC newscaster was who lied. The only thing that is surprising to me is how surprised people are a leftist exaggerated.

I do not like Republicans. I do not like Democrats. I hated Republicans greatly growing up with Bush. But now that the Left is in control I am about to lose my mind. I cannot believe the shit these people pull that no one calls them on. Could you imagine the uproar and instant firing if this was a Fox News broadcaster?

It’s just how left the country has gone blows my mind. If you think pot legalization isn’t the greatest idea in the world you’re a Reefer Madness-toting gun-loving Republican. If you think people should need to present an ID to vote you’re a racist and “suppressing voters.” I CAN’T GO TO AN R RATED MOVIE WITHOUT SHOWING MY ID, but I’m an asshole if I think you should have to be a citizen to vote for who leads this country?

Like none of these words mean anything anymore. This is the greatest time ever for an actual racist or misogynist. If Ben Affleck can call Bill Maher racist and no one laughs, then we’ve all officially become racists.

But whatever. After reading the paper and getting thoroughly pissed off I call Javi. We were supposed to go to the Portuguese consulate today to get some paperwork verified for bank accounts we’re opening. Well, Javi, doing due diligence, calls the consulate (which is only open from 1:00 to 2:30 today…holy shit) and asks what we need to bring to get our paperwork done. They tell us THEY DO NOT SPEAK PORTUGUESE AT THE PORTUGUESE CONSULATE, SO FIRST WE HAVE TO SEND OUR PAPERWORK TO A TRANSLATOR.

I mean…we Americans are supposedly evil because we don’t teach in Spanish, but the consulate doesn’t speak their country’s language?!

Thoroughly infuriated I decide to start practicing for my battle. I get my pages out. Ten pages of scribbles, margin, key words I thought could lead somewhere, which lead to eight printed pages. My Saurus battle was ten, but I had denser wordplay in that one for the later rounds. Why I wanted to barrage him with multis about what a shit poker player he is…is beyond me, but I’m pretty sure it would have killed if the WSOP didn’t send away the crowd. But hey, I’ll have no choice but to try to win over a crowd this time.

My rounds one and two are solid, as they have been. I keep choking going through the third I first wrote. I revisit my notes and get it more solid. I write the finisher. It doesn’t even register that I have the whole thing written down.

It’s embarrassing how much work I’ve put into this, but I guess this is my culture’s equivalent of practicing for a concert, or for a local play.

I have some crazy bars this time, but I’m taking some real risks. If I flop I’m going to do it on my terms. But if nothing else this should be a good time.

I drink a protein shake for lunch, feel amazing. My belly is as small as it’s been in a long time. I don’t care about building muscle mass, although I’m doing a little of that: I love feeling strong. I love eating a good amount, having energy, and not gaining a belly. I feel on point.

My web designer lets me know that the website is almost done. I take a look at it and give him my feedback. There was probably a little more of it than he wanted, but it’s my site, and I want it to look great. It already looks really good but I want people to feel really comfortable. It already brings all my projects together, and that was the main point, so I’m very grateful to him for that.

I outsource Spanish translation work to confer with my new Portuguese translator.  I find a notary. I talk to America’s Cardroom about my Twitch work. I pick up some new skin care products for my wife’s practice. I talk to Jack Welch about the new site, after I gave a plug for his. I respond to comments on my blog. I pay the maid who is helping my mother out. I send two new articles to the America’s Cardroom blog.

This is supposed to be my day off. My wife isn’t here. I could play Playstation again. But without work I feel useless. I feel so scattered sometimes, uncomfortable in my own skin. Working at least adds up to something. When I can’t relax it’s a (poor) form of therapy.

 My wife tells me she’s coming home. I feel better. I clean up the house and put on some decent clothes, have a coffee. When my wife is getting ready at home I do a financial plan I’ve been meaning to. Take a look at that. I can retire at 44!

My wife and I go to the Premium Cinema to see Birdman, because it just came out here. I really enjoyed the film. It’s one of those movies you have to see at some point. It’s just too different and creative to not be taken seriously. Some of the monologues were classics, and could be quoted endlessly, which is no doubt why nerd critics fell in love with it. However, the fractured nature of the film is a little much, and I suspect many people laud this film just because it’s uncool not to. It was definitely flawed, albeit charmingly so. Highly recommended viewing, but not worth the hype.

 February 7th 2015:

I don’t know why but this day just seemed to breeze past.

My grandmother-in-law had a birthday, which I went to. My father-in-law seemed to be just like me – very tired. He was dozing off during it. We ate, talked, and had a great time. I was struck by how many of us were on our cell phones, but the flier for my upcoming rap battle just came out:

unnamed (4)

 Haha, main event. Also, my newest podcast comes out on Oneouter, came out, whatever. It’s a good one. I’m following that.

When I get home I watch Blackout day one. Eurgh’s performance was fire. 100 Bulletz won versus Chilla Jones, and honestly I’m not a Bulletz fan at all, and I’m a huge fan of Chilla.

I missed Kid Twist’s battle, but caught the finale. Hitman Holla is one of my favorites. I didn’t feel like DNA or Chilla put on, but Hitman came to fucking rap. And the boy somehow doesn’t compromise for new leagues but still gets heard.

Shotty brought it though man. Guy’s such a comfortable emcee. Hitman looked on edge about his KOTD debut, but that adds fuel to his style. Honestly, a classic for the culture. I’m glad I saw it live. It’s also great to see these mega-events finally going off with some poise.

I missed Kid Twist’s battle because my wife came in and looked like she wanted to hang. I can’t be one of those dudes who needs three hours off at night. Really, I’m so isolated at work, and around people who want to take my money, or undercut me if they can’t, I really want to be around her at night.

We watch two episodes of How To Get Away With Murder. I’m glad the show is starting up again, although it’s more commercially hilarious every time. Still, just love that actress…who for the longest time I thought was Michonne.

February 8th 2015:

I tell the world I am going to Twitch my entire Sunday. It’s not something I really planned out, but it felt like something worthy to go after.

I wake up at 6:45 AM, make a big breakfast, read The Bible and The Washington Post, and then go for a run. I feel anxious so I go for 5+ miles, finishing the last 2 miles on a slow uphill.

I get home tired, shower, and then put on am tank top. I figure I’m going to sweat 16-tabling and commentating, so I dress accordingly.

The beginning of the stream goes fine, although I’m running horrible. Eventually, I decide to rest for a moment, and put on shuffle on my Amazon music. A lot of people like the random tracks, but some people hate the death metal. I laugh and keep it on.

When I get back on we’re doing well in some tournaments. I keep my shit together…mostly because I’d be embarrassed to be sloppy on a feed.

Despite my best efforts I seem to make some preflop folds and opens that make no sense. I’m a little rushed with the commentating and playing, which made me feel good about stopping the commentary.

My wife makes me lunch and dinner. People start going “the dream” when they hear it.

I end up getting deep in a few tournaments, and then things really start rolling in The Sunday Major. I seem to win every flip. I’m having fun. People supporting is affecting the RNG, ha! 😛

I start the final table second in chips but I take the chip lead quickly. I get down to heads-up, with a 2-to-1 chip disadvantage. I double up at one point on a flip, but a failed fourbet bluff and just some run bad later I lost another flip.

I’m not going to go through the intricacies of the tournament, because there’s a video record of every hand. Write us at Assassinatocoaching@gmail.com if you want to get a hold of it.

 The Portuguese kid I lost to played fantastic. Like flawlessly. He deserved to win.

I made some laydowns people on the stream were surprised by, but if you thought about it my hands were bluff catchers. The kid I was playing against had never, in the 500+ hands I’d played with him, bluffed a river. I’d never seen it. If he bluffed me he deserved to win. He changed his game up fundamentally when it mattered most.

You can second guess yourself constantly with heads-up, but really, your edge is never that huge. I think me being the known player put me at a slight disadvantage, but I have some tricks that evened it out. It just didn’t work out for me.

I went into the chat afterward to thank everyone. We got thousands of viewers over the day. It was really incredible.

There were some people shit talking…seems to be something that happens when you pay nothing. But I love the Twitch thing. Bug me once, banned. Bye. My stream. Fuck off.

It’s the same with my Facebook. Some kid gave me a really backhanded comment this morning. Just banned him.

It doesn’t make me irate like it used to be. I mean, the immature part of me does get annoyed, but then I sit down to my wife’s dinner, chill on my couch, and realize I’m being silly.

My patience has just worn thin. Ever since I started I’ve been hearing why I’m bad or whatever. It’s part of the territory. It’s just bizarre. Other pros do it too. Like talking about how shit someone else is going to bring them happiness.

I don’t even want to talk to these kind of people. There’s no point. You’re the source of all their pain, because they can’t internalize. You’re lucky. You’re dumb. You’re don’t deserve it. Nothing you say will change that.

And I don’t care man. Act up, get blocked. That’s all. I don’t have time. I got shit to do. People to see. Money to earn. History to make.

And it was history. That was the largest score on Twitch.TV to date.

January 9th 2015:

Wake up. I guess today’s a slow day. I don’t really have days off. I enjoy my work, so I don’t need a vacation as much.

I got into it with some Greeks on the stream, or somewhere. I try to always read up on what’s going on in the world. As far as I could tell, the Che Guevara-worshiping new leader of Greece announced he doesn’t want to pay back these debts to Germany, you know, the way they agreed to pay them off. That’s not fair, he says, because they did bad things when they were Nazis.

I understand the whole, “please give us a new deal because this is crushing our economy.” I don’t get the whole drag up World War II thing. These are the people who bailed your ass out. If you had no objections to their history before they gave you the money you shouldn’t have objections now.

I cannot tell you how many people owe me money. It’s literally in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there’s no chance I’ll ever see a cent of it. When I have tried to confront people about paying me back I’ve gotten the, “I don’t feel I owe you this money, because you were a bad person when you were an addict.”

Who gives a fuck what you think? A debt is a debt. Gravity doesn’t care how you feel about it. It just is. The same can be said about money.

But if they were really responsible enough for a loan in the first place, they probably wouldn’t need the loan. Thus, the paradox.

But I legitimately just asked. I asked. “Is anyone Greek in the crowd? Please…this is how it’s been presented to me.” Then I gave the crude caricature explanation. Obviously, it was taken that that was my opinion, and people went off.

It just blows my mind how so many Europeans feel about work, and now, people from my part of the states. I was taught work was ennobling. Doing it well, doing it with love, deriving contentment from it, and doing it right…that was what made you a man. Investing time in your passions is what kept you young in old age.

Now it’s “let’s avoid work at all costs.” Countries get into debt because people stop working at 50. People who worked their ass off every day get told at the young age of 52 they’re supposed to be golfing and enjoying life. They can’t turn their mind off.

But whatever. I get up. Protein shake. Espresso shot. Gym.

My body is exhausted from the road work yesterday, but I manage to run three kilometers, and work out my back. I do a shorter work out then usual, then focus on stretching.

I come home, feeling like a truck hit me. I eat lunch with the wife after some writing.

 

I go through my bars again, and on the first try hit every one, even the small adjustments I’ve made. I’m surprised. This is what bugs me. I could nail it today then practice tomorrow and forget half of my shit. I think you just have to keep practicing so even when you’re off the bars keep coming to you, and you can get back on track after a stumble.

I watch Charron vs. Pat Stay on the pay-per-view.

I can see why some people thought Charron won, but you can’t leave it in the hands of the judges when you’re going for the champ’s spot. And make no mistake, Pat Stay is the fucking champion. There’s never been one like him before.

Charron apparently caught the memo that it looks like he’s trying too hard when he battles some people, and he tried a more laidback approach in the first. I thought that, and bars that aren’t his usual iron caliber, lost him round one.

I think that really cost him the match. If he came out swinging, like every geek wannabe battle rapper wanted, his “I’m autistic” finisher would have been fire. I wanted to see that Charron. The one we all saw on URL. I thought with Pat clipping round three it would have been no contest. But he left it, and he couldn’t out style Pat, and the rebuttals were great but couldn’t out deck the personals.

This is why I don’t know if you can grade battle rap on round to round. Round 1 Charron lost, round 2 is debatable, and round three he took. But even if you give Charron one and two,Pat was the emcee man. He moved the crowd. You can bitch about it being his hometown, but that’s what an emcee is supposed to do…connect with his people. His flow was crazy, his personals cut, and he had some wild punches. It’s a battle to see who was the champion. Pat conducted himself like the champ.

The round one stunned me to be honest. For how long Charron had been calling out for this match I was so psyched. I thought he was going to come out like he did on URL, and just pummel the shit out of Pat with clever punches, and that awesome “white boy lost his fucking mind” flow he has. Imagine he came out that bloodthirsty, then admitted he is on the autistic spectrum. That’d be a startling ending after a great build-up.

But he didn’t move them in round one, and I felt like the rest of the performance he was trying to get out of this hole.

I answer some emails. Well, a ton of emails. My wife’s band comes over. They can drink the coffee I made hours ago because this Cuisinart keeps it fresh.

I watch to Dumbfoundead vs. Conceited. I’m using rap battles to reward myself for getting work done.

I hold my pregnant Maltese while I watch. She’s so spoiled.

Last night she was walking through the gate door in my house and her fat ass got caught. She started panic running, her hind legs sticking in the air, till she face planted Looney Tunes style into the window. I almost lost it while I was Twitch streaming.

I’m watching in the office because my wife’s band abducted the laptop.

Conceited was solid as always, but Dumbfoundead blew me away, how he adapted his writing style for the current trends, like he hadn’t taken a day off, and yet he still had me laughing more than any other battler could.

I respond to another 20 emails in my business email. I don’t normally respond to them personally, but my wife’s busy with her project, and I haven’t hired anyone new.

It takes me an hour or so to balance the books and respond. I go, “wow this is easy,” but combined with my personal email account that was two hours a day.

If I spent that coaching it’d be $420.

But I don’t get the lessons unless I talk to these kids.

But at the end of the day, when someone asks what I did with my day, if a good portion of it is emails, I want to reply, “goose egg.”

I watch Soul vs. Osa. I was honestly hoping for way more from these two. I liked Soul’s comedic angle, but wanted to see him present it more confidently. His multis are sick, but sometimes I feel like these kids are afraid to step out from that rapid fire.

Not that I know shit, but writing for another battle I realize it’s really comfortable to just barrage. If a bar doesn’t hit you’re in the next one a second later.

But to be fair what Osa and Soul do is complicated and hard as hell. Soul isn’t stumbling ever in Toronto. That’s a good look for Don’t Flop.

I’m geeked up on coffee. I want to be in the action. I want to watch anime. I put metal on. I want to battle right now. I want to watch more Bates Motel. I want to read Dark Road.

I’m tired. I’m old. I used to run 8 miles a day and play literally 12+ hours. I’d do that six days a week when I was 19. I played 13 hours yesterday and ran 5 miles, maybe. I feel like I got clipped by a bus.

It’s weird the day after a battle. Everyone expects me to be elated. With the buy-ins…it’s honestly like your salary coming in for the year. You blow it, you’re an idiot. You could go months without another score like this. Or you could get another one tomorrow.

What am I doing today? Responding to emails. Trying to get my site up. Working out so much back doesn’t throw out from sitting in the same chair so much of the week.

I’m on a Charlie Parker record fool.

The only difference the day after I have a big score is I realize all of this is worth a shit. Normally, I just grind, because that’s what I do.

I get on my Twitch site and start adding all the information that’s been spammed into the chat box the last few sessions. I make nine separate advertisements. I talk to my web designer about the relaunch of Poker Head Rush. I talk to my graphic designer about creating a new ad for an email campaign.

I feel busy reading these pages, and I’m writing down like the half of it.

I talk to one of the companies I’m doing affiliate relationships with and realize I forgot a few others.

Answer my Facebook and Pocketfives messages. I can’t believe I hired someone to do this for so long. Because, you know, I’d assume he’d want to kill me.

I feel like I kicked the shit out of my job today, so I guess at 7:00 PM it’s time to shut it down.

While every other MTTer was “laxing” today I sold another three webinars.

I pass out on the couch and watch Bates Motel.

February 10th, 2015:

I really should upload those photos. Next post I guess.

Curiosity is good enough for me.

I wake early to read and eat my eggs. I start practicing my bars. I feel good. I go through all of them without checking my papers or anything. I recorded my bars for Saurus but I don’t really need it this time. I will still do it, just to be sure, but I feel like it’s really there.

I get on Twitch.TV again, for a Tuesday broadcast. It ends up being another profitable one. I finish 7th in the Benjamin, 7th in the $320 6-max, and I cash in the Super Tuesday. I can feel the audience making me livelier. Less bored, I don’t eat the whole day like I’d typically do during a session. It’s a great time.

We get a thousand viewers again. When people start acting up I just indiscriminately ban them, and put them on “time out” like the kids they’re acting as. I don’t give a shit. I either start charging for the stream or I keep it free and just knock out the dumbasses. People act up when they’re paying nothing, so I keep the banhammer trigger ready.

At night I eat a great soup and watch Law and Order, then read. I don’t know how Ma Jian does it, but he repeatedly horrifies me with Chinese life every page during The Dark Road.

Stuff That Was Merely Done In 2015 (and yes I know some of these were technically in 2014. I also know I don’t care):

Accomplishments For 2015:

  • Won my second PCA package (December 28th, 2014)
  • Visited Panama City, Panama for the first time
  • Learned how to use a handgun
  • Launched my Twitch.TV Channel
  • Final tabled the Sunday Major on Full Tilt (February 8th 2015, 2nd)
  • Got the largest score in Twitch.TV history on my first Sunday streaming 😛

Check out this link to read about Assassinato and Apestyles’s new joint webinar, “Why Apestyles Is Right!” Learn all about how Jonathan Van Fleet makes more money than anyone with trash hands out of position, and see how he bluffs regulars at all stakes! Video of webinar now available for IMMEDIATE download!

I have a deal for my fans where they can get 80%+ off the price to join CardrunnersWith bonus code FREEMONTH, you’ll get two months of access to CardRunners for just $30, a $130.00 discount! That is more than 80% off of what you’d usually pay to see over 2,000 training videos from the best minds in poker today! Use that sign-up code when you, uh, sign up, or if you have an expired account at Cardrunners write them with FREEMONTH in the title at support@cardrunners.com. They’ll set you up. 

Join the poker room I endorse too, America’s Cardroom. It’s backed by a great, solid company. I know all the people personally. For years they’ve been doing fast deposits and cash outs. They have huge tournaments, million dollar prize pools even, easy satellites to live events in exotic locales, and the softest cash games. I love the software too – it’s not where it needs to be yet, but my friends play 40+ tables on it without a hitch, so you can say they’ve done a pretty good job. They’re also one of the few sites left that’s decent enough to still give their players rakeback. Sign up through this link to get 27% rakeback. That’s as much as you’ll get anywhere.

In addition, don’t miss the recordings of my private webinars You Flat Too Much and Why Pessagno Is Right.

The hardcore should also be sure to check out my live sweat series, where I recorded every hand of my recent WCOOP with live commentary. See every hand of my $215 Second Chance Win!

To receive every new article of Alex’s as they come out, please write in to assassinatocoaching@gmail.com and ask to subscribe to our mailing list. For private lessons, consult this link. Listen to Alex’s free podcast at Oneouter.com, and follow me on Twitter @TheAssassinato and Facebook.