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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 12-31-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
0desmu1
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Finding myself through poker.

Hello,

This is my second PG&C thread and hopefully it will be as reflective for me as my last one. The purpose of this PG&C is to discuss ideas about the nature of poker and how it relates with our selves. No idea will be considered "cooky" and the more creative and esoteric it is, the better. We all know the mechanical aspect of poker, that's been discussed to death. I'd like to explore the metaphysical aspect of it and finding ways to improve in poker by gaining a better understanding abstract ideas surrounding the game.

Having said that, I'd like to take a quick moment to definitively list out my tangible personal goals for this year:

-Make 1.3 million dollars
-Learn and play PLO
-Successfully climb V6's.
-Travel to Europe
-Go to Burning Man


That's it. I feel like they're achievable goals and it'll be interesting what my subconscious cooks up to make them possible.

Cheers to the new year and everything it's destined to bring.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:19 AM   #2
Hek1or
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

GL, subbed
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:41 AM   #3
blakkman08
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Glgl sir
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
jdawg91
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

There he is, glgl this yr man, always enjoy reading your posts.

Probs cya sometime soon down in Rosa/TJ
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:41 PM   #5
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

gl man
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:32 AM   #6
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

I am me, and you are you, but we are not separate. We are all from the same consciousness and we all breathe the same breath. The challenge between us is never personal, it is not done to separate ourselves, but instead to bring us together in a moment of honest reflection. Whatever mental weaknesses I have you will show me, and whatever mental weaknesses you have I will show you. And thus we each take one take one step closer to the truth, if we choose to.

We all chose this path because there was simply none other. We all chose this path because it best expressed us. I thank you all for meeting me here at this focal point of total regard and total disregard for money. I thank you all for having the courage to put your lives on the line to discover the truth in numbers. To put faith in abstract ideas and express them in a game of wits where none of us are exactly sure what the true nature of the beast is, but are all willing to fight to tame it.

We are here to reflect on the nature of poker. Some write poems, other start wars, we are here to play poker.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
risk2Dupside
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

gl dude
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:29 AM   #8
TheDefiniteArticle
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Why 1.3M?

sub'd
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:37 AM   #9
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

The idea of nemesis is interesting. An opponent that simply cannot be beaten, the ultimate antagonist of the hero. We have a few of those in poker - I know I do.

But why? It is true that some of our opponent's strategies perfectly counteract ours, but why fit ourselves in a narrative with such oppressing energy? Is because we believe those archetypes simply have to exist in any story of triumph? I guess the resolution of conflict is only as satisfying as the conflict itself. So we build in our minds these mountains to climb because we think the satisfaction of climbing over the summit will be worth the struggle.

However, I have several problems accepting the notion that a nemesis narrative is necessary in my journey. One, it is simply not necessary. Two, it clouds my judgement to what is true. I may imagine aspects of my opponent that aren't there simply to smooth out the nemesis narrative. I may turn a hill into a mountain. Three, it puts too much emphasis on external factors preventing my personal growth. Even if it seen as a stepping stone toward my goal and a growing opportunity, the focus is put too much on the nemesis and not on myself.

Opponents are simply reflection tools. If an opponent is a "nemesis" it simply means that he reflects a strong weakness I need to overcome. But to agree to partake on a co-narrative paradigm past that is giving him too much power and certainly not the most efficient path I could to take.
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:40 AM   #10
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Conjecture 1 - We are only one thing - awareness

Conjecture 2 - Our thoughts are not our own, but the product of our environment.

Conjecture 3 - Every thought has a vibrational pattern


I believe we have a largely misinterpreted idea of identity. We are not our thoughts, we are not our actions. We are simply awareness. Although the level of awareness can vary from person to person or be molded through practices like meditation and mindfulness, awareness is always there. Our thoughts are not our "own", they are random noise created by circumstances. Certain circumstances lead to a higher probability of certain thoughts being produced. Thoughts come and go. The choice we have, however, the incredibly powerful choice we have, is WHICH thoughts we choose to attach ourselves to. And by attaching ourselves to our desired thoughts, we can then proceed to our intention, action and manifestations.

Every thought and every action (or group of actions that form into activity) has a vibrational frequency. We can become more aware of the subtle differences in frequencies by becoming in-tune with our own through mindfulness and meditation. The more we practice being in the Now, the more sensitive we are to these vibrational frequencies. Our actions are simply expressions of vibrational frequencies. It's not so much about, me as an individual, playing poker or chess, but it's more about, me LOSING myself as an individual, and BECOMING the action of playing poker or chess. It's not so much about consciously thinking out the best answers, it's about LETTING the answers come to me. Magnus Carlsen says that he almost immediately knows what the next best move in chess is, and that the rest of the time he uses thinking is to confirm that it is indeed the best move (which most often time it is). Without first being open to accept new frequencies, I can never accept new information - I can never learn. I must first be willing to accept whatever frequency best matches my desired outcome and then be mindful and aware of the thoughts that come along with that frequency. My mind is an antenna that I can adjust to pick up new information.

The ego tries to figure out everything for itself through force and effort. This may work for some people, especially if they're naturally talented at something, but if they do not have this natural talent, then there will be a lot of frustration and exhaustion. (Also,I feel like they would miss so much more what the world has to offer if only they would ease up on the ego and allowed themselves to tune to different frequencies.) When the ego runs into a wall and can no longer force and squirm itself further, it becomes extremely frustrated and insecure. I've seen this happen to a lot of poker players, and I've seen this happen to myself as well. Whenever I run into a wall where conscious effort seems to no longer progress me further, I take a breath and look for different frequencies, different ideas, different ways of thinking to attach to. And then the progress continues.

Last edited by 0desmu1; 01-11-2015 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:55 AM   #11
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

As a small extension to my previous post, cooperation will always triumph over isolation.

I was always the lone-wolf type who prided himself for being self-sufficient and reliant but that is such a inefficient way of doing things. I am now a huge believer of teamwork and community.

It only makes sense too. If we're talking about vibrational energy, one man can only produce so much. A team or a community that works in harmony can produce exponentially more.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:35 AM   #12
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

are you on any drugs? medical or recreational, lsd and/or mushrooms comes to mind
Because poker is a clinical game and about hard cold cash and having a clear mind while playing it i think.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:21 AM   #13
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Hello OP, subscribed. What r your sns? I think your goals are a bit unattainable. In fact I believe the only goal you'll achieve is the last, bc I believe going to burning man is the only thing you really really want. What in your opinion startled your "spiritual en-lightness"?
Best of luck to you OP
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:21 AM   #14
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petjax View Post
are you on any drugs? medical or recreational, lsd and/or mushrooms comes to mind
Because poker is a clinical game and about hard cold cash and having a clear mind while playing it i think.
From what I can tell from OP's posts, OP may have experimented with certain drugs at some points of his life and probably doesn't see anything morally wrong with them, but I doubt he abuses drugs. He just seems very idealistic, philosophic, introverted. It's a personality type, it can come off as arrogant/delusional/geeky or whatever sometimes to most others who do not understand this type of personality. However they only come off this way because they are really just curious about everything in the world, questioning everything, trying to come to the most rational solutions all the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by goezongomes View Post
Hello OP, subscribed. What r your sns? I think your goals are a bit unattainable. In fact I believe the only goal you'll achieve is the last, bc I believe going to burning man is the only thing you really really want. What in your opinion startled your "spiritual en-lightness"?
Best of luck to you OP
If you read his last PGC you'll see he made well over 70k in December last year which was a very low amount of volume compared to his other months, so I don't see how any of his goals are unnatainable.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:57 PM   #15
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petjax View Post
are you on any drugs? medical or recreational, lsd and/or mushrooms comes to mind
Because poker is a clinical game and about hard cold cash and having a clear mind while playing it i think.
What is a clear mind? A sober mind rarely entails a clear mind as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goezongomes View Post
Hello OP, subscribed. What r your sns? I think your goals are a bit unattainable. In fact I believe the only goal you'll achieve is the last, bc I believe going to burning man is the only thing you really really want. What in your opinion startled your "spiritual en-lightness"?
Best of luck to you OP

This is a solid read. It is true that going to Burning Man is what I want to do the most. As to the attainability of my other goals, we'll see what the year brings .

Poker is what started by "spiritual enlightenment" although I wouldn't call it enlightenment since it's mostly just a constant act of searching within myself for the answers. I wanted to start winning at poker and wanted to improve my mental game, and well, here we are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xptboy View Post
It's a personality type, it can come off as arrogant/delusional/geeky or whatever sometimes to most others who do not understand this type of personality.
I am definitely all those things . It's okay though, I understand that I have to be a bit arrogant/delusional/geeky to be able to explore and discuss these ideas, and if that's the price to pay, then I'm okay with that.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:25 PM   #16
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

you shall post graphs along the way?? =)

gl
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:43 PM   #17
Xptboy
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0desmu1 View Post
I am definitely all those things . It's okay though, I understand that I have to be a bit arrogant/delusional/geeky to be able to explore and discuss these ideas, and if that's the price to pay, then I'm okay with that.
Yeah nothing wrong with being those things at all tbh. I feel the same way a lot and can associate to some of the things you write.

I bet if you took the Myers Briggs test you'd come out INTJ. Only 2% of the population have this personality type but it's actually quite common amongst professional online poker players and also on internet forums such as here or reddit around 30ish% of people would be INTJ.

If you haven't already checked out your personality type,
Check this out if you got any free-time. I bet you'd find it interesting. http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:16 PM   #18
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

The Click and Running Toward Anomalies for Answers

It is common practice in stats and science to disregard anomalies. Data that doesn't fit with the current trend is chalked up as a fluke and dismissed with a shrug. This is a dangerous and sloppy way to view anomalies as I believe they hold the answers to understanding how the underlying function of patterns work. Mastery in any subject is not knowing all the rules, but being able to hold and understand seemingly contradictory ideas to the so-called rules. As Pablo Picasso said "learn the rules like the pro, so you can break them like an artist."

As I study poker, I've run to a lot of ideas that seem contradictory to how I believe the game should be played. I used to get frustrated with these ideas, and sometimes dismissed them without taking a closer look. I've come to embrace these moments as I now view them as golden opportunities to grow as a player. After the headaches, after the struggles, after running my head to the wall time and time again trying to fit them in with my current intuition, comes the aha moment - the Click. I can say with certainty that after every "Click" my game changes dramatically. Not in a big fashion, but in a million subtle ways. When something changes, no matter how small, EVERYTHING changes. That's something I've come to love about no-limit hold'em. Minute changes in ranges that seem inconsequential lead to completely transformed strategies.

The Click is important. Someone can understand and regurgitate an abstract idea, but if they haven't internalized it in a way where their intuition is transformed by it, they truly haven't made it their own. This Click also applies to people in hard sciences. Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich was an astrophysicist who codesigned the Russian Hydrogen bomb. Although he gave the idea of Hawkins radiations to Hawking himself, he couldn't intuitively understand how it worked. One day he visited Kip Thorne, another astrophysicist, and threw up his hands and said, "I understand! I give up. Hawkins was right." He had finally understood it intuitively.

Do not be discouraged by the struggle, do not run away from the frustration and the cognitive dissonance. Bask in them and know that this is how you grow. Do not be discouraged by repeated failures, it is only a matter of time and persistent. And don't be so forceful with the answers, let them come to you in a moment of surrender.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:31 AM   #19
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

"You wind up having this infinite growth. It never ends. It never ends. You just keep growing growing and growing.."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXQWLrTZQCw

Psyched for this documentary.
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:10 PM   #20
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

I played a 24+ hour session yesterday and it was a interesting experience. I went through my whole spectrum of performance and was able to compare and contrast all the levels. At the worst end of the spectrum, my concentration was dispersed due to multi-tasking. I would be chatting on skype, finding something to eat, or listening to music. Although this did not have an obvious adverse effect in my play, I found myself making small mistakes I wouldn't have otherwise.

On the other end of the spectrum, where I was performing optimally, I was solely concentrating on poker. I let nothing else enter my consciousness and I was simply performing. The correct decisions came naturally. It was as if I had found the balance point of thinking and not thinking.
When performing at my optimal level, some anxieties became pronounced. Although I believe these anxieties have always existed, I do a good job distracting myself from them. I keep them in the backburner, letting them hum quietly. When I'm concentrating on a sole activity and let these distractions slip away, I am forced to face these anxieties. Although they are impossible to analyse at a cognitive level, I have several beliefs in why they exist.

One is that with the realization that I can achieve almost anything if I simply concentrate, I am confronted with the fact that failure is my choice. It's interesting to understand that failure is a choice, because realistically, who wants to fail? I believe that most of us, although we don't necessarily want to fail, choose to fail for many reasons - including having a deep fear of the unknown that success might bring. Knowing that we are incredibly powerful brings about great responsibilities. I don't mean responsibility in the Spiderman sense where we are obligated to do good; I mean responsibility in the sense that our fate and circumstances are entirely in our hands. We revoke our right to blame others and place the responsibility in our hands.

I'm not saying success becomes easy when we realize it's a choice, but the hard decisions we put off that we know are holding us back can no longer can be dismissed with small excuses. If we want to succeed, we must do what's necessary.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:05 PM   #21
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

Going to a 10-day meditation retreat. Been hitting a pretty sweet groove the past few days so I'm glad I'm going there with a positive momentum.

Not hoping or expecting anything, but I am sure it'll be a good experience.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:20 PM   #22
MelloHype
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

subbed, good luck with your goals! You seem very zen, you'll be fine either way
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:23 PM   #23
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

It was an awesome experience and would recommend it to everyone. I won't go too much into detail of it because I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone as it's highly experiential, but I will sum up my experience as best as possible.

Basically, the meditation technique I learned is called Vipassana meditation. It focuses on two things - awareness of the body sensations and equanimity. You spend ten days meditating in complete silence. No talking is allowed. The point is that you become more and more sensitive to your body sensations. As soon as any sensation arise, whether it is from anger, passion or craving, your body picks up on it. The more you meditate, the more you are able to observe the subtler sensations. This is the awareness part of the meditation. The second, and more important part is learning to become equanimous when these sensations arise. To not react in any way to them, but to simply observe them. This is extremely important because acting on an emotion creates more of that emotion. So if you react with anger, you will become more angry. If you react to craving, you will start craving more. What you put out, comes back to you in double. I always heard this before, understood it at an rational and level, but never at an EXPERIENTIAL level (which is the most important), until this course.

Anyway, I've learned a lot about myself and where a lot of my unhappiness comes from. I'm definitely going to take the courses a few more times and carry on with the practice throughout my life. For anyone dealing with any kind of struggles in life, I highly highly recommend it. Here is a link for the program:

https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index

Last edited by 0desmu1; 02-08-2015 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 02-13-2015, 02:54 PM   #24
0desmu1
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

I'm not really sure what the point of this post is, but we'll see what comes out the other end :

Currently, I'm having some doubts my poker game and goals. I suppose everyone has moments of doubts in all walks of lives of life that we all deal in our own ways. Personally, I have let this feeling of doubt overtake me and I've been simply observing it. I think there's no use fighting with it, arguing with it, or overcompensating by "getting tougher when the going gets tough." I think the feeling will always come, but it will also always go. Instead of condemning it and viewing it as a sign of weakness, I should respect what it has to say and wait for it to move on. These moments of doubts will soon go away and there will be moments of utmost confidence as well. The point is to remain equanimous in both situations and not let them affect me adversely in both situations.

Accept the doubt and move on.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:47 PM   #25
TheTender31
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Re: Finding myself through poker.

My favourite thread to follow in PG&C ATM.

That last post really resonated w/ me/how I've felt of late and I think you nailed it - that feeling is going to come and go and it's best to just observe it and let it pass instead of engaging w/ it.

Best of luck in all aspects of poker/life/awareness this year, 0desmu1. I look forward to more insightful/thought-provoking posts throughout the year!
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