Read about all the cool places I go, the lessons I learn, and how sweet I am at poker Follow my Instagram if you wanna see how much I like avocados.
After 7 (or, if Canadian Immigration is reading, 6) months in Canada, I took a long overdue trip back to good ‘ol Murica to spend time with my friends and family. I drove down through Washington and Oregon and stopped to party in Chico with my boy Kelsey (FulTip777 – named for his … yeah.) I then headed through Cali into Vegas where I chilled with friends, caught up, and went out a few times. Had a pretty baller dinner at Picasso @ The Bellagio, faded a $1700 roulette heads-up vs my CCR nemesis WCGRider. All in all was a solid trip, albeit much too short.
My travel to the East Coast got held up b/c of snow, so a friend and I headed out West to Santa Barbara, LA and Beverly Hills for some much needed sunshine after the dreary skies of Vancouver. I also got to have dinner with one of the few celebrities I follow on Twitter, UFC octagon girl Britney Palmer and her fiancee Aaron. That was really cool for me, as both were awesome people who grew up in places that very much feel like homes to me, Las Vegas and the Australian Gold Coast respectively. We talked about those places a lot, as “where am I going to end up living” is one of those questions I try not to worry about but always seem to be thinking about. That said, I’m very lucky to always seem to meet the people I need to meet and end up in the places I have wanted to be. It’s as if my life is absurdly random, yet at the same time perfectly planned.
At about 9:53pm PST on 12/30/12 I reached my goal of Supernova Elite on PokerStars. It was pretty anticlimactic; I had about 23 hours to spare, and since I use Table Ninja to auto-close popups, I just glanced over at the lobby and saw that my status-bar had ticked over from red to black. I remember my first thought clearly “I’m done. Now what?”
I had envisioned pushing away from my computer in a blaze of glory, pouring shots, calling up my friends to find out where we were partying that night, getting ready to celebrate. Sadly, that’s not exactly how it happened. Apparently the world somehow doesn’t revolve around me, and Sunday night before NYE isn’t exactly a great night to party, especially if it’s the first night you’ve called up friends for a night out in months. I had one table left on my screen and I drastically needed something to do when it finished.
As I sat there clicking through seemingly the longest Heads Up match with a fish in $500 6max SNG history I was trying to figure out my night with not much luck. I went into settings and flicked on “display my VIP stars” and boom, the 6 black stars I’d worked so hard for appeared across my little DrunkLife avatar, a sight I probably pictured for the first time while one-tabling a $5 reg-speed 9man back in 2008. I hoped this would make me feel some overwhelming sense of satisfaction, like my life would just immediately become a joy to breathe, no such luck.
As I get ready to spend my second consecutive Christmas away from home, just me and my sitngoes, something my mom said to me recently has been bouncing around my thoughts. She said:
“James, you know you sacrifice a lot for poker. Most people wouldn’t give up the things that you have.”
I guess I always knew I sacrifice a lot, after all it’s the mindset I learned from wrestling. If you wanna be the best, you gotta do more than all the people you’re competing against. It’s just weird to hear someone point it out like it’s so unusual. Honestly, I don’t know any other way to be. To want something and to not sacrifice whatever need be to make it happen just doesn’t make sense to me.
It’s been almost one full year since I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. That decision was to pack up and sell off basically all of my worldly possessions, leave my home in Las Vegas where I had 7 roommates and was constantly surrounded by some of my best friends, and travel to Australia, where I knew no one, in the hopes of continuing my career as an online poker player. It’s a very strange feeling to get to a point in life where you think you’re secure, you think the hardest times are behind you, you’ll never have to worry about money again, and then you find yourself couch-surfing off the coast of Australia. Less than one year ago, October 2011, I was sleeping in a stranger’s living room on another continent bigger than the US in which I knew literally one person. I swear October 2010 I was getting bottle service at Surrender while dressed as Justin Bieber’s BFF for Halloween. What a difference a year makes.