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Old 08-22-2011, 07:09 PM   #201
zepher06
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Not all the way through yet, but I really like your style of writing so far.

Keep it up!!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #202
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Keep em coming, it's awesome
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #203
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

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Lol who the heck makes up stories in which they are seduced by lesbians only to have a gay drug addict attempt to rape them?
This

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Triple range merging or just misunderstanding?
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:28 PM   #204
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

You are a great writer. As a fellow former degen/addict, I appreciate your honesty. The lesbo story is awesome and too ****ed up to be fake lol. Looking forward to more !!
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:16 AM   #205
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

This is the best thing i've read in BBV (and 2+2 for that matter) since I started lurking in 06...

Literally cannot wait for the next installment.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:32 AM   #206
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

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This is like when you start watching a series that has a few eps out, get really into it then have to wait a week for each new ep

This. Now please
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:55 AM   #207
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Vol.8: Becoming Sponsored Playing NL4


I had always been a humble kid. Most Finnish people who've read my blog won't believe this, but it's the truth. I was never one to brag about anything before I found poker. Sure, it was partially because before I took up poker and writing I wasn't particularly good at anything. But still, I was probably more down-to-earth than your average Joe.

By the autumn of 2008 I had become the opposite of down-to-earth. I had become the worst type of a wannabe baller imaginable. I had always liked to brag about my winnings in my blog. At first it was mostly just sympathetic: "Here's my monthly SNG graph, not bad for a month playing $22's, eh?". Towards the end it was more like: "Another 4-figs winning day, take that suckers, I'm off to the finest night club in the city where we have a table reserved and some chicks joining us. Livin' the life. HOLLA!".

I learned the word "balla" from Phil Galfond's well. It's funny, because Phil is a self-admitted anti-baller. I started admiring the balla lifestyle. Up until this point (approximately September 2008) I hadn't really wasted money on anything but gambling. I mostly ate at Subway despite taking $5k roulette flips. This is a quality the majority of my poker friends have - they gamble for absurd amounts of money, but are really cheap about everything.

When the idea of becoming the most balla grinder in Finland got into my head, I decided to start wasting money on stupid stuff, and naturally always blogging about it. At around the same time I met J, who I had been chatting to on and off of msn. He had been working in Malta for an affiliate site for a couple of years, and had just quit his job. We had never met in real life. When he came back, we decided to go out drinking.

Our trips to night clubs became a weekly habit. We always made sure to have our own table reserved, full of pre-ordered vodka. Our bar bills were sometimes into the four figures, despite neither of us making any serious money. We invited our friends to come along and bought them drinks too. I remember many occasions when our table had like 20 people around it drinking free booze. We didn't care, because we wanted to show off.

Around the same time I met a guy I'm going to call Z. He plays HSPLO and is up more than $2M from it. Back then he played upper mid-stakes. We had a party of three for some time. Every friday and saturday we'd go out drinking, spend a ton of money, and then make a huge thing about spending a ton money. We all had blogs, and we always posted pics and stories from our drunken nights out (highlight from this era: a story and possibly a picture that might even have been posted, where Z and J had a foursome and high-fived each other when doing doggy-style with their girls).

I was definitely the worst of us all when it came to bragging. Z was the most humble, and I think he temporarily became one of us wannabe ballers because he had just made new poker friends and wanted to tag along. I might be wrong. To his defence, he also actually had enough money to justify the lifestyle and brag a little bit. These days we've all grown up, and I'm pretty sure we all look back at it slightly embarrassed, me being red as a tomato.

Our wild nights out and the reports from those divided my readers in half. Some people thought the stories were great, and I got a lot of feedback where people said I was The Man. Many people said they envied it all, which was exactly what I wanted to hear. Many people that had been neutral by now also turned into haters, saying that all the **** I posted was incredibly stupid and that I had turned into an arrogant prick. They were right.

We organized a night out once where we welcomed everyone to join. We made a post saying that the only condition for joining us for an ultimate baller night out would be to wear a fake moustache. It was my idea. I thought it'd be awesome to have a table full of randoms wearing a fake moustache. It's such a shame that I accidentally overslept after a long morning of grinding and missed the whole thing, because one of the guys who showed up had gone to extremes. He had read the post so late that he didn't make it to the only store in Helsinki that sells fake moustache. He had just missed their closing time. He desperately wanted to join, so he shaved a bit of his dog's fur using a razor and then glued it to his face.

All of this balling slowly distracted me from what was important. I had spent most of my weekends grinding the soft weekend games, and now I was drinking every weekend. My winrates dropped significantly. I had been spending a lot of time with my girlfriend, now all she was getting was the weekday nights when I wasn't grinding or working or a quick lunch. Even my writing suffered, as the lifestyle started taking its toll on me and I started skipping some days at work. I was everyone's favourite at the office, because I had learned everything really quickly and everyone was amazed with my writing, so it wasn't a big deal. Yet.

Around the end of November my relationship hit the rocks. It wasn't anything too dramatic. We just weren't passionate about each other anymore, and I had become a pretty bad boyfriend. We had different priorities, and there wasn't much left for either of us in that relationship. So, we broke up.

Less than a week later I had a christmas party I was supposed to attend. It was held by the poker and sports betting site Unibet. I had become friends with their country manager on my Unibet Open trip, and I was on the must-invite list anyway because of my blogger status. The problem was that I had told them I'd take my girlfriend as my date, and now I had a plus one invitation. I thought it would've been embarassing for me to come alone (true ballers don't show up without a date), so I asked a girl I knew named Serena.

I had known her for a few years, and I had always had a bit of a crush on her. The time just had never been right. I was in Australia, then I got back and she was in a relationship, then she broke up with her boyfriend and I was in a relationship. I had also had a brief fling with her best friend when I got back from Australia, which she didn't particularly like. Both of us being single, I desperately wanted to ask her as my date, and I was beaming when she said yes.

Serena got me into a lot of trouble. I want to make it clear here; I blame her for absolutely nothing, and everything that happened was because of my bad judgement. Despite being on her list of blocked people on Facebook and not having spoken to her for over two years, I still have nothing but positive things to say about her character. But still, that girl got me into a lot of trouble.

The Unibet christmas party was great. They had an open bar, they hadn't invited too many people and the atmosphere was great. I met two new friends at the party: a mid-stakes grinder named Okko, who is the biggest drinker I have ever known. We'd have a lot of crazy nights out together, and we'd be together in the final table of Unibet Open Portugal just six months later. Less than a year later, we'd be in Thailand together. The other person was Ilari Tahkokallio, who was the EPT Berlin runner-up in 2010 for $813k. It was the EPT that got robbed, and he was the one who got famous for his great ethics and sportsmanship allowing his opponent to finish the hand where Ilari was drawing to three outs when the incident happened. After his score Pokerisivut wanted to make a story on him, which I wrote. It would end up being the last piece I ever wrote for the magazine.

I was really nervous, since this was my first date with Serena. I got drunk pretty quickly, and did my best getting her drunk too, so that she wouldn't notice my nervousness. After the party we ended up going to a student party somewhere, as Ilari's girlfriend was studying to become a veterinarian and they were holding a party. We got even more drunk, and then finally ended up going to a night club with Jasper, Ziigmund and some other grinders.

By this point it had become clear that Serena can drink. Or, from a different point of view; she can't drink at all. She was more drunk than I was. She was drinking like Charles Bukowski. I later learned that she had a huge problem with alcohol. She had been diagnosed with an ulcer at the age of 18, and her doctor had repedeately warned her that she'd have to stay away from alcohol or it could be fatal. I can't remember the entire story, but there was a hole inside her stomach and/or possibly her liver, and drinking alcohol made it expand. She suffered from terrible stomach aches almost every day, and it was because she drank so much, but still she never stopped. She never said she drank for the pain, but I think it was at least a part of the truth.

I got my first kiss from Serena, and the second and the third. We were all over each other by the end of the night. I was thinking of taking her home at four in the morning when I lost her outside the night club. We had done so called last minute shots, drinking 5 shots of tequila just before the club's closing time (this had nothing to do with me trying to get laid or anything, I'm definitely not like that all. It's just a habit of mine and it's an incredibly stupid one: every time when I'm in a night club near its closing time, I make a huge order that no one has enough time to drink). I can't recall what exactly happened as I was really drunk from the shots, all I know is that all of a sudden she wasn't there. I tried calling her, and her mobile was off. It was -20c outside. One of the guys who'd been at the club with us said that they had seen her walking outside the club, and she'd been so drunk that she had fallen on her face.

I started to panic. In Finland deaths due to freezing after passing out drunk are really common in the winter (later in the story, I'll come pretty close to this myself after being drugged in a night club by a hater). She was 18, skinny, and it was me who had got her drunk. These were the thoughts in my head, but at the same time I was struggling to think clearly, because the five shots of tequila on top of the 15-20 other drinks I had had that night started kicking in.

I searched around the city for her for two hours. I remember being so cold myself, I had lost my gloves and after some time out there I couldn't move my fingers. I didn't know any of her friends, so I didn't have anyone to call to make sure she'd got home safe. I kept searching. After two hours I was so cold and tired I had to give up. Helsinki is a big city, and since the club was close to centre the chances of her actually not being noticed in time if she passed out were really slim, but in my drunken state the situation felt much more dramatic than it was.

When I decided to give up, I became angry. I've never been the angry type when I'm drunk. Sure, I've been to some drunken fights, but I'm never the one activily trying to start a fight. If anything, alcohol makes me happy. But for some reason this entire case made me enraged. I went to get food from some fast food restaurant, and after generally behaving bad the people working there demanded to call the cops on me. I refused to move, so they called them.

When the cops came I was still sitting in my chair, yelling something about human rights. They made me leave and almost locked me up, but finally let me go. I remember getting just more enraged about this, although I don't know why. I started walking around without knowing where I was going. At some stage I needed to take a leak, and I thought it'd be a great idea to pee on a car. I opened my crotch and started urinating on a large, black car. In the middle of the procedure the driver angrily honked the car's horn. I was standing at the traffic lights and there was someone inside the car. I've never ran that fast.

I finally got home, and when I logged online to see if Serena had been to Facebook or something, it turned out she was online on msn. She had got home safely, and she apologized for what had happened. She said she was actually thrown out just before the club closed and her phone had ran out of battery. She said she was sorry, and we made plans to meet later in the week.

I went to sleep, and just before falling asleep I realized I really cared about her. After just one date I was worried about anything happening to her, and desperately wanted to protect her. I had heard from friends that she was a bit of a crash course, and on that night I decided to become the man who'd save her. This would turn out to be an extremely bad idea. If anyone needed saving it was me, as my life had already spiraled a bit out of control, and I was about to become a walking disaster. If I hadn't hooked up with Serena, there's a decent chance that a lot of bad things wouldn't have happened. But then again, if I wouldn't have hooked up with Serena, I probably wouldn't have got together with my next girlfriend, and if that hadn't happened I would never have met Minttu - the only girl who's got me even more worried about her well-being and made my heart beat faster than Serena. But let's not go there yet.

Becoming an item with Serena had immediate negative effects on my life. To start, basically all of our dates included drinking. I knew it wasn't good for her, but I was so worried about making her like me that I didn't want to bore her with anything she didn't like. I was desperate to make her want to be with me, so I'd drink seven days a week if it was necessary. We partied during the week too, and I was starting to miss deadlines at work. When I was supposed to show up at the office I was hungover at home. When I was supposed to be grinding or writing, I was out partying. I spent more than $3k on partying within a couple of weeks.I didn't even care. I loved my new lifestyle. Everyone thought I was the man, I had a hot girlfriend who everyone I knew wanted to shag, and I still thought the poker games were so easy I could grind tens of thousands whenever I wanted to. Both me and Serena shared a careless, "you only live once" kind of attitude towards life, and we made it our priority to get wasted and enjoy life as much as possible.

Two more things happened in December 2008. One, the most ****ed-up trip in my life. It exceeded everything I had experienced, and it's still by far the craziest three days I've ever been through. It was the Unibet Open Warsaw 2008, where I took Serena with me. Two, I bought her a dog. I'll get back to these in Vol.9, as it'd take me all morning to write about them now. So, before getting there, let me fast forward a few weeks.

I ended up going entirely broke in Warsaw, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. A few nights after the trip I got an interesting phone call from someone from Pokerisivut. They had been doing affiliate business with a company named TowerGaming. They were looking for a sponsored player. Pokerisivut had suggested me. I think they wanted to thank me for everything, because up until this point I had been nothing but a bless for them. My blog had got them over a million clicks, and I had helped them with their magazine. TowerGaming wanted publicity, and they agreed that sponsoring the person with the most read blog in Finland, who also wrote for a magazine would be a great idea. In public everyone still thought I was a succesful grinder who had a lot of money. No one knew about my gambling habits that wasted bankroll after another. They chose me.

I couldn't believe the deal they were offering me. I'd get a budget of $60k or $70k (I can't remember), and I could spend it on any live tournament buy-ins and traveling options I'd like. I'd get to keep all of the winnings. The only condition would be that I'd have their logo in my avatar every time I posted, and that I'd include them in my editorials. I'd write a four-page story for every issue of Pokerisivut magazine from my trips (the gonzo series), where I'd be playing poker under their sponsorship. At the same time I had just busted my entire roll, and I was grinding it up from $0,02/$0,04. I had just enough money for living, but I couldn't deposit a cent. There was a site that allowed a mobile deposit up to 5 euros, so I sent the text message, deposited the maximum and grinded it up from 5 euros. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in the history of poker who's scored a $70k sponsorship deal grinding NL4.

That 5 euros turned into one of the most epic upswings of my life. I turned it into five figures in less than three weeks, and by the time I left for PCA 2009 in January I had a decent bankroll again. It was such a shame I couldn't blog about it - there was no way I could risk my sponsorship letting people know how broke I actually was. I started by playing two tables of NL4 with 50BB, and when I had $30 or something I moved up to six NL10 tables with 50BB, and ended up with a decent roll for NL400.

Last edited by fidstar-poker; 06-23-2016 at 07:43 AM. Reason: name change
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:00 AM   #208
Chuck Bass
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

(Sorry, I know I promised the juicy stuff would start from part 8, I really thought I'd get into the Warsaw part and then all of my travels from there. I have no idea how I always end up rambling this much. I promise to get into it in the next piece.)
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:14 AM   #209
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Serious question: Are you getting paid to post this here?
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:18 AM   #210
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

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Serious question: Are you getting paid to post this here?
Serious answer: No. I'm finding it hard to think why someone would pay for such a thing.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:26 AM   #211
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Epic story is ****in epic
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:26 AM   #212
Chuck Bass
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

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Do you think your life would be worse / better / the same if u had completely avoided the -ev games? Obviously you'd have more money but do u consider the lessons learned worth the losses you suffered? If you hadn't beaten this impulse would it have ended you? I read the whole thing at the bar while slowly getting hammered and as a pro player that grew up with english teachers as parents, the way you relate poker and life experience through professional writing style is both fresh and highly addictive. No wonder your blog is so successful. Eagerly awaiting the rest of this story

Hmmm. I assume you mean if I had avoided them since I started playing poker?

I'm pretty sure I'd be pretty rich and have my own house, so in that sense it'd be better. I don't know how much I've lost on -ev games (counting anything above 10/20 as -ev shots along with roulette and blackjack) but it's more than $100k. Still, you can't really say I'd have $100k more, because I've had to grind from 0 so many times and I've wasted a lot of time doing that. So yeah, I'd have a lot more money than I have now (and I still have some ). But regarding everything else it's hard to say. I know I'd be a worse person, because coming to terms with my gambling addiction and learning to control it has also helped me come to terms with a lot of other things and grow up. And it's impossible to say if I would've met my girlfriend and all the other people who've made me become a better person. I think being to an extremely low point has made me who I am today. So at least I can say I wouldn't change even the gambling part, just the parts where I've made other people miserable because of it.

If I hadn't managed to quit gambling, I have no idea where I'd be now, if anywhere. That's a question I've thought about a lot, but I don't have an answer to it. I'm sure a some kind of massive turn-around would've been required, like an intervention and rehab or something. I'm lucky to have one extremely loving parent, so I kind of think I would have somehow survived. But it would've meant I would've had to give up poker for good too, and I'm pretty sure my life would suck now tremendously.

/ramble

Thanks for the kind words!
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:37 AM   #213
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

weeee new part, makes work so much easier very good read so far!
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:39 AM   #214
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

OP, the way you write is like a magnet, when I start reading any of your posts I cannot do anything but finish it. I don't know if you're a good poker player (I guess you are ), but I'm 100% sure you would be a very successful professional writer, and a proof of that is the number of followers of your blog/posts, PLEASE finish your autobiography in english, or write a novel, and PLEASE let us know.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:37 AM   #215
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

The rubberband effect: The more one pulls it back, the further it flys.

I too, as lots of other people here, can relate to most of the stuff here, so I realy enjoy it.
Ecxept of having some massive heaters, or hitting an MTT, with the last $ on the account or any other forms of miracle moneymaking .
Did even go to Asutralia after high-school

Keep up the good work!
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:01 AM   #216
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Yea def go into writing.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:08 AM   #217
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Man this is great. Just spent all my morning reading this, but it was worth it. Keep it coming !
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:17 AM   #218
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

God damn this is good
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:18 AM   #219
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

I know you've mentioned how you were a worse person back then, but of all the things you did (from the story so far) continually going out drinking with a girl who was advised that drinking could be fatal for her seems pretty horrendous to me, i'm surprised you don't seem to regret that more.

Not hating though, I love this thread so far and can't wait for the next instalment.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:47 AM   #220
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Oh my freaking God!

Can I have more now please?
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:09 AM   #221
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

MOOOOOOOORREE!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:12 AM   #222
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

[ ] tl;dr

Awesome stuff.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:52 AM   #223
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

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I know you've mentioned how you were a worse person back then, but of all the things you did (from the story so far) continually going out drinking with a girl who was advised that drinking could be fatal for her seems pretty horrendous to me, i'm surprised you don't seem to regret that more.

Not hating though, I love this thread so far and can't wait for the next instalment.
I hadn't learnt about the fatality back then. All I knew, if even that, when we first started meeting that a doctor had advised her not to drink and I didn't think it was a big deal since that's a pretty common peace of advice among doctors. When I learned about the whole thing I first tried to stop drinking with her altogether (which would lead into her going without me, leading into fights) and then finally we'd try to reach a solution where we don't do this as much (which led into fights and us eventually breaking up). More on this in the next part(s).
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:54 AM   #224
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

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OP, the way you write is like a magnet, when I start reading any of your posts I cannot do anything but finish it. I don't know if you're a good poker player (I guess you are ), but I'm 100% sure you would be a very successful professional writer, and a proof of that is the number of followers of your blog/posts, PLEASE finish your autobiography in english, or write a novel, and PLEASE let us know.
Yeah it's great to have writing as a back-up plan if online poker goes south for us europeans too or something like that. The truth is that I love playing and I'm making so much more money than I could ever learn writing, so I don't have any plans to stop in the near future. But sure, in the distant future if I sometimes end up having a family or something, it'd be great to play less poker and write for a more steady income. I don't see that happening for the next 5-10 years though.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #225
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Re: My somewhat different poker story (extremely tl;dr)

Great read, have read first few parts, definitely going to read the rest later. You write amazingly well in English imo considering it's not your native language.

Quote:
It was warm even at night, so I had no problem sleeping outside. I had a favourite park where I slept, and I remember feeling strangely happy looking at the stars before falling asleep. The stars are so bright in Australia, that's one of the things I miss the most from there. Just looking at the sky at night.
I liked this part a lot. Very evocative.
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