Road Trip

Unlike most online poker pros, I love live poker. I love it for all the reasons many hate it. The people. The pace of the game. The sound of the chips clacking together. The feel of dragging a big pot and stacking my winnings into massive pyramids. Well, everyone loves that last part.

The pace is what kills most online players. We see so many fewer hands per hour. Patience, which was once paramount in poker, can almost be sidestepped online by adding more tables, or playing this aberration they call RUSH. I like to do everything fast, unless it's worth doing slow. But the best life advice I can offer is this: don't rush.

So I'm going back to where patience is at a premium. I'm heading down to the Borgata in Atlantic City tonight. I'll be there until the sun comes up. If anyone's in the neighborhood, feel free to drop by and say hi. I'll be getting my live poker reps in, taking my time, warming up for the WSOP.

Way of the Poker Warrior

It turns out that writing a book is both difficult and time consuming. It's also a hell of a lot of fun. I am proud to announce that I have spent the past six weeks writing and revising my first book, titled Way of the Poker Warrior: A black belt's guide to conquering the tables. Better yet, it will be published by Imagine Media and available on my new website and elsewhere within the next few weeks.

This is not the first book I have written, but it is the first book I have finished. They say that writing is rewriting, and that's the difference between a completed book and a finished book. Completed first drafts of a novel and a screenplay sit on my shelves, but I never got around to sanding the edges and making them the best they can be. I only spent six weeks doing that for Way of the Poker Warrior, but I had two huge advantages: an editor and a deadline.

Writing for a deadline is tough. Harnessing creativity on command is not simple. But being on a mission can be inspiring in its own way. Knowing that I had a deadline to make and that this was actually getting published provided the drive to push through to 4 PM on days when I had to. 4 PM may sound like an early quitting time to some, but when you begin work at 8 PM the night before, it has a different feel.

Writing for an editor is easy. Well, writing for a good editor is easy. Criticism can be hard to take, but when it's constructive criticism attached to intelligent suggestions, it makes the process more efficient and productive. While I did all of my own writing for this book, Scott Brown made sure to get the most out of my poker, teaching, and writing abilities.

I'd like to thank Scott for helping me write the best first book I could. I'd also like to thank my teacher, Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, legendary grinder Dusty Schmidt, and DragTheBar CEO Hunter Bick for contributing awesome forewords and afterwords on my behalf.

So what's this book about? It's about martial arts and poker; learning and teaching; and a way of life. There is blood and sweat; peace and discipline; and sexy river check/raises. I do my best to be honest, introspective, and informative while switching gears from entertaining narrative to broad poker lessons to in-depth hand analysis, with the pride of a samurai and the humility of a monk. Or some crap like that.

You can read it soon enough and let me know if I hit my marks.