Saturday, February 18, 2012

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Matter. Anti. Matter.

I don’t think I want to leave here. Common sense is telling me that it’s time, but there’s nothing more chill in Costa Rica then walking down the mountain streets. The air is cold enough to remind me of Seattle. Below my street, the lights of San Jose spread out in every direction, everywhere you can look. It’s nice here, it’s relaxed. People wave to me when I go for my jog. The dirt roads are easy on the knees. The local soda (family diner) won’t let me tip them, and they always put a few extra plantains in my casado. I can see the internet tower from my backyard, and my service has never been cut off. Scratch that, it did once, and it was because I forgot to pay the bill.

That being said it’s starting to become necessary for me to move. I want to make the move to bigger monitors, more sites, more in buy-ins. I can’t be relying on one internet connection, however stable it’s been. In the city I can have two landlines and two network cards if I want, which is probably what I’ll end up doing. The one connection I’m working off is fast, but I don’t know if I trust it with five or six sites running, like back in the good ol’ days.

I like my place right now but I’m kind of far from everything, except for my girlfriend. That was attractive to me at first. The quiet of the country allowed me to undo ruin after Black Friday. I still paid off everything I’d invested in and kept investments alive when 90% of my net worth disappeared overnight, and I thank this place for that. It’s easy to keep your head together with clean air and a calm environment.

But I want to go to school in the city this place isn’t going to work. Taking the bus there or riding my scooter would take an hour back and forth, oftentimes more. San Jose traffic sucks. I don’t have hours to spare most weeks. It’s also becoming a little more crowded in here as I get more settled down.

The place is also falling apart and the owner has not helped me with anything. I spent four hours the other day fixing the hot water heaters on my showers, after not one but two of them broke. The water system has a bunch of leaks. I have to clean it out a lot because all the water can go bad places. I leaned on a wall here one time and it made a hole. A door came off a hinge. The owner never installed a few things she told me she would, never cleared my view of the city. The fence is full of holes so my dog can escape, and the fence is broken. Anyone could just come in through the fence and grab my dog, if they wanted a pure bred. When he hangs out inside unsupervised all day he makes all sorts of messes, which costs me more time to clean up every day. One or two of these things are fine, but I end up fixing this house up a lot.

I am happy to have lived here. I mean, it’s real nice wood, it’s like something a writer would rent, a hilltop escape.

After going broke I wanted to punish myself, so I pretty much rented a shack in San Jose. At first it was kind of a challenge, a grind hole to get some money together. As I got broke from things I couldn’t control, it became more of a necessity. It was crazy, going to the grocery store, counting my nickels and dimes again, something I hadn’t done since I found poker at 17. Then the money came in. I grew to really like the area. The people renting out the house to me were very nice people, and they helped me with getting me cable and a cheap refrigerator and things.

That annoyed me with Poker Hispano. I offhand said “yeah I had kind of a shitty apartment in San Jose”, which to me isn’t bad, just saying it wasn’t a great apartment. I didn’t think of how that would translate though. They had me saying “I lived in the apartment of shit.” It sounds bad in English, in Spanish it sounded much worse. I’m sure the owners read that, and I felt terrible about that, when they showed me so much kindness. I just meant to say the apartment wasn’t The Ritz, but I still liked it.

After a while I wasn’t loving that area. Every corner had a pizza place and a liquor store. I’m embarrassed by how many days I was faded, stuffing my face. When I moved to the country I just didn’t feel claustrophobic or anything. In the city, things are intense, pace of life is fast, the way people talk is more forceful. I feel rushed, closed in on, and I end up smoking and drinking, old habits. Clean air, mountains, dog always wanting to play…I pretty much stopped drinking completely, to the point now that when I have anything more than a beer my body goes “hey what is this” as opposed to “all right now where’s the other six?” I feel way more energetic in the mornings and throughout the day, and way calmer now that I don’t have a whiskey when I read at nights.

I think a lot of people like me just have a drink at nights or smoke a pack a day because it gives some relief to their ADD. I’d feel more occupied, and could sit down and read a bit. After nearly a year of just running a lot in the mornings and drinking a lot of water, I realize that makes you way more settled down.

I made a lot between my San Jose grindhole and my first three months here, which Full Tilt took most of. Eventually things have been working out however. I made a library, nice living room, love having my people over to watch a movie and chill.

This place is still really nice, and the internet’s never failed me. I’ve just outgrown it, the owner wants to charge me more, and I’m spending money fixing this up for her as it is. I can get a four bedroom in the city, have guest rooms, full office, library, place not falling apart, security guard, sick security system, a lawn for my dog to run around. It’d be nice to be 5 minutes from a school instead of an hour. I really need to start studying Spanish. I’m at that point I should really be speaking more. I can do the basics, pleasantries, asking basic questions, ordering food, guiding a taxi, making a few jokes with people…but I still get confused when people go rapid fire on me. Plus getting student status here would really help me legally. I’ve been here long enough that I’m at that point Costa Rica wants to know what the hell I’m doing here. Kind of hard to say you’re still on vacation when they open your passport to 22 different entry stamps.

So that’s really been stealing my focus the last couple weeks, budgeting how much I want to spend on my new office, then realizing I need new internet hook ups and real estate. I’ve been making pretty decent money on Stars and Merge, so I’ve gotten lazy about getting onto Party. Well, I also just don’t have much screen space. I’m debating getting two 30″s, just because Naza114 has been bragging about his dual 27″s and I want to shut his Portuguese ass up. I don’t know if that’d be excessive however, and paying the taxes for electronics here is annoying as hell. Two 24″s would probably work, or one 30″. I think I should just spring for a ton of screen space, because I think I could manage a ton of different sites then…just being able to read the stats really fast and everything. Then my dream grind pad would be complete. I could justify grinding at home 99% of the time, since most live buy-ins wouldn’t come close to my online hourly.

I don’t know why that’s so important to me. I love to be in different places, but I’m sick of travelling. I know, rich white people problems, but when you just broke yourself for four years playing so many live events, only to finish like 13th through 7th five or six different times , you grow to hate them. I’d rather go to a country and not play cards at all, just walk around and take the city in. I still love PCA, and I’m sure I’ll be out for the Main Event, but otherwise I’d rather chill at home, with my music, my podcasts, all the stats in the world, and tournaments upon tournaments to outdo the variance.

The last 20 sessions or so I’ve played, I think 70% of them have been profitable. Of course, I’m running well, but I can fine tune my game really well with huge HEM databases. I can fold A-Jo to a cutoff open with 17x and I know when to shove 7-4 suited for 26 BBs. I’ve done the math, I have 1k hands on you, it’s done. Live….uhhhhh, well hell, I’ve played fifty hands with you, I think you’re doing this but…uhhhh…well…we’ll see.

I like being able to go to my girlfriend’s place after I’m done working and just hang out, talk with her family a little, watch a movie, eat a home cooked meal. I feel almost normal, not like some guy who blows or wins thousands every day. On the road, you’re kind of always out of sorts. I don’t trust myself to really drink or anything anymore, so I just walk around, or work at nights on my laptop. You’re laying around some crap hotel (or I am because I’m cheap as hell). I love live tournaments, and seeing different places, but it costs so much, and there’s so much variance. I want to make more bread and butter bets, every day.

So yeah, been focusing on becoming a student, getting a new place, ramping up a new office, and then getting on a bunch more sites. Until then the Stars grind has been good to me. Also enjoying getting a lot of lessons in. Got three hours in today, and got three more lined up on Monday. If you want to get your hour or two done hit me up at I have some extra time on Monday, would be nice to fill out the day a little more.

I just realized one of the guys who physically threatened me in an email for publishing too much in my videos and articles is actually…a huge player. A guy I used to talk to every day. I didn’t recognize his real name. It makes me sad, I hadn’t hit him up in a long time, but I thought him and I were friends. The guy’s done strategy podcasts and videos himself. I don’t like public crap, so I’m not going to say who he is or anything, I just thought you guys should know…Pocketfives Training puts everything out there. This guy’s training site, he obviously holds a lot back, and he’s one of their premiere pros.

Yeah he said if I didn’t stop giving out info he’d mess me up good at some live event. Hope he doesn’t read the Bluff article I just sent in. (See how I shamelessly plugged Pocketfives Training again there?)

But for real, I don’t know if he was out at PCA, but that’s kind of stupid shit to be saying. Phil Galfond made videos (well…before his site kicked him off without telling him. Is that what happened? I think that’s what I saw him Tweet), and I’m not 1/10th the player that guy is…I mean sure we’re making the games harder but there’s always guys who rise above all of them. For all I think I know hundreds of cash regs could probably hand me my ass in a bunch of different spots. If I want to get over that I have to study those spots, seek out specific instances where I’m getting owned, I have to carve out the time in my week. I don’t just watch a vid and get it, I have to watch 20 vids and then consciously note the situations, and then maybe I’ll get it. The people who are going to get a lot from training videos were going to get it from somewhere.

Being in business for yourself means diversifying your bets. I start with sure things most days, paid hours, paid programming, paid writing. Then I move into the smaller bets with small returns, work them every day. Once every few months I make a big investment for potentially a huge payoff. Doyle Brunson wrote Super System, you going to go after him? He started it. Where would 99% of regulars be without training videos and forums? It’s just the new era, you can profit from it, or privately not like it. What you can’t do is stop it.

Anyways, I’ve wasted a good hour writing here. Was nice to separate my thoughts again. I had a year or so there it was really difficult for me to blog. It’s nice to feel like everything’s rolling right now. Enjoying playing, making money, having good sessions with my students that teach me too, hanging out with my fam here…I feel real blessed to have my work and good people to hang out with.

I’m probably not going to play much this week, if at all. I’ve been feeling real good all year, and I think that’s shown in my play, but man…I just felt exhausted the other day mentally. I’m kind of weird about work, I don’t consider it work, I just want to work on something from the moment I wake up to when I go to sleep, so it’s really easy for me to log 60-80 hours each week. Once every month or two it just really comes down on me. So, I don’t take time off really…I’m uploading videos as I write this…but I focus on low-stress things for a few days, just getting my things in order.

I did get a chance to get out to a volanco here on Valentine’s day with my girl. City was really in the country, there were nothing that wasn’t family-owned. It’s funny to me thinking that the world’s best poker player could live here in 20 years, this hidden little pueblo. Poker doesn’t care about skin color, where you grew up, sexuality, religion, anything. It’s like a sci fi novel, anyone with a internet connection can compete.

It was real windy at the top, but fun to walk around this crater. Actually caught The Walking Dead at night too.

All right, I’ve spew written for an hour or so, this was fun, talk to y’all later.

My Plugs: Check out my vids at Pocketfives Training, hit me up for lessons at, see other stuff I write with my friends at, and follow my Twitter at TheAssassinato


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