Connecting Hockey, Big Brother, Poker and Life
I guess my life has always been anything but normal.... I mean I had a pretty normal family, a pretty normal upbringing, but the paths I chose to pursue were always against the norm. My parents stressed my whole life about the importance of education, having a job with benefits, and having a pension to retire with. This was always high on their priority list. And although I always did well in school, I knew that school wasn't exactly for me, nor was paperwork and sitting at a fucking desk for hours a day.
I wanted to be a hockey player. I didn't want anything else and it took up the majority of my time. I put FAR more focus into hockey than anything else. I missed out on social gatherings, snowboarding weekends with friends, time with my family and definitely skipped out on homework more often than not. I chased this dream for as long as I could imagine, with my fair share of doubters. And I guess rightfully so. The odds of me ACTUALLY making a living ( or a living that was acceptable to my family and society) was going to be slim to none. The amount of kids... Shit in Canada ALONE that want this dream is astronomical . My view on it though was always " someone has to get there right?" I tried to do everything I could to give myself the best chance at success. I prepared mentally and physically EVERY day, poured my heart into the gym, and always left it all on the ice. AND was honestly pretty good at the sport! Looking back, I'm not sure how much more I could have done.... I gave myself the best shot I could have, it just didn't work out.
After my hockey career ended, along came reality TV. I was a hockey player from Newfoundland, so I didn't know what the hell reality TV was all about. Especially Big Brother with it being a newer show in Canada ( 2nd Season) . Again, I had no clue. My little sister was the one who wanted me to try out, so I did. I got on ( obviously), but against the wishes of my father. AND AGAIN, rightfully so. One wrong word, one wrong action, one slip up on a national stage, and your life is fucked. My father also knew how impulsive I was, and although I rarely crossed the line, I flirted with it daily. I like to have fun, I like to make jokes, and I love to do things that may make some people go " WTF". So I understood where he was coming from. Hell I wouldn't want my kid going on a national TV show like that ( because well he'd be my son... and probably a nut case haha). Against his wishes, I decided to go on. I was in school at the time and fucking hated it. I told myself when I went in the house, that it was BUSINESS. I was there for NOTHING but the win and the $$$. I didn't take one second off in that game… for 71 days I worked my ass off and I was conscious of EVERY word that came out of my mouth. I was aware, adaptive, and motivated to take this home. I gave it my all, fuck I even cut my closest ally at finale night... I gave myself the best shot I could have, and it worked out.
After Big Brother, came poker. Jesus... I really didn't do anything with stability or security..... I wonder why??.. Aww that’s probably a topic for another blog... imma write that down..... ANYWAY yea poker. I was intrigued with this game after meeting with, and living with Arlie Shaban. We played for hours but I never really took it seriously. I never initially saw it for anything more than just a hobby, and it wasn't until Kevin Martin and twitch that it really stole my heart. I fell in love with entertaining while on big brother, and I loved the competitive aspect of poker. SO what better thing for me to be doing than battling it out in the poker streets LIVE on twitch. I was hooked. I (along with many other people) didn't realize, or just underestimated the complexity of this game, and the amount of work required to win. Most just look at poker as gambling, and to be honest I did too. I just enjoyed it. BUT after joining the thirst lounge, being around amazing poker minds and resources, I've realized that there is a reason PRO poker players exist. A reason there are players that always seem to be running deep in tournaments. What I've found out is, they put in the work. They know the ins and outs of this game, and they have spent numerous hours studying theory, math, table reads, STUDYING EVERYTHING. I have seen players who study 8 hours a day, and then play 8 hours a day. I have seen players who have hired mental coaches JUST to give them an edge over anyone else. Personal trainers, nutritionists, poker coaches, ANYTHING. It's the people who search for every edge over their opponents that are successful in this game. With the amount of resources I have been blessed with through the Thirst Lounge, I’m going to attack poker with the same mindset I did Hockey or Big Brother. I am going to give myself the best shot I can, and see if it works out.
I guess the reason I wrote this blog, is because I've been thinking about the things I have done in my past. I've been thinking about the road I have traveled, and what I've went through to get to the point I am at now. I've realized that not everything is going to work out. That even if you give yourself the best shot at succeeding, you may fail. And that's ok. Hockey was ended because of shoulder injury, Big Brother was one of the highlights of my life, and now poker I’m having a blast playing and learning this beautiful game. You need to enjoy the process, the journey. That's what it's all about. it's all about finding something you are passionate about or motivated for, and giving it everything you have. You can only control what you can control. ( that sounds fucked but you know what I mean). You can control how hard you work, you can control the hours you put into mastering a craft, you can control the people you surround yourself with. You can't control however your shoulders dislocating, you can't control the luck needed to win Big Brother, and you can't control your AA losing to KK all in pre..... My advice is to enjoy the journey of reaching your goals, and give it everything you've got. Expect nothing, and accept everything. When you enjoy the process, do you ever really lose? If my life is any indication, It’s that the old saying is true, with hard work -“When one door closes, another always opens.”