Halaska, Shaks, Shoes, Freerolls, and Phils

I'm getting a little ahead of myself in preparation for the WSOP.  I'm writing in advance some more blogs for www.pokerblog.com and for the party poker blog that will be up in the coming weeks (check out those sites) because I hope I will have zero time to blog these stories because of all the playing I'm doing by going deep in Vegas.  Here's the topics, I'll be writing about and some bullet points for you to look for if you are interested.

*Congrats to Jeremy Halaska.  In one of the blogs I'm writing, I talk about a friend who I met on the circuit this year and his recent success.  On a greedy personal note (smiley face thing to let you know I'm only half serious) I hope it bodes well for me.  I know my recent upswing in poker was tied in large part to seeing my business partner Gene D go and dominate the IP tournament in November.  His triumphs gave me this huge bout of confidence, after a stretch of running bad, and I used his success as inspiration.  When I got there Gene and I shared a final table together, and then I took second in the Main.  I don't know if I do any of that and my subsequent final tables if not for Gene kicking ass for two weeks in Biloxi.

Hopefully, this is a case of history repeating itself.  Halaska went to the World Series for the first time, promptly cashed and after being chipleader for a long duration of the tournament finished in 18th for his second largest score of his nascent career.  I have a great respect for Jeremy's abilities, as I chronicle in the blog, (just as I do for Gene's) and I was so happy to have that Holy S$%t moment when I looked on the chip counts and saw he was first by a large margin.  Last year I saw Gene's success as evidence we could get over the hump and I seized the initiative.  I hope that Jeremy's success will equally steel me for success in Las Vegas as I take on similar gigantic fields.

Sidenote:  I've seen poker players get jealous of the success of their peers, and even their friends and I don't get it.  I'm psyched when somebody I know goes deep, and if I consider myself close to their ability I'm only more encouraged in my own potential.  Jealously is such a negative emotion that can only hurt your results.  Take pleasure in the success of your equals and even more so your friends, and use it to garner some success of your own.  Haters never win.  I think this is true in life too, and though it's hard not to constantly measure yourself by your friends and peers (and at a latent level be envious when you don't measure up), you'll be much happier when you don't let petty emotions get in the way.  Competition of course is a positive but don't let it devolve into a negative.

*The Shaks.  Dan Shak, Beth Shak, a secret Shoe Shack in a Manhattan apartment.  I write about this story that has crossed over from the poker pages to the gossip pages.  The story is about a high profile divorce, and perhaps some comeuppance for some ridiculously wealthy folks.  Us poker players are just as human as anybody else and are enjoying this tale, perhaps a little too much, as it unfolds.

*The Phils.  Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey just dominating the World Series.  So much for the Internet kids taking over the world.  It doesn't look like either Phil is slowing down, and now it looks like Phil Hellmuth is actually... gasp... getting better.

*Freerolls.  I'll be writing about freeroll strategy, proper mindsets and more on the party poker blog.  Look for it soon.

*The Top Five Live Tournament Players in the World Right now.  Pssst... I will mention the two Phils from above.

Pretty soon this blog will turn into a tournament tracker for my backers and my trip to Vegas.  So excited to get there and start playing #bracelethunting.  Tune in if you like.


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