I’m currently in Barcelona where I’ll be shooting Pokerstars commercials for the next week. This is something I’m extremely excited about because I had a blast the last time I was involved in such projects a couple years back! It should be a really fun week in Barcelona as I’m going to get to hang out with some of my fellow Team Pokerstars Pros. It’s so rare that we get to hang out without having to, well, play poker. It will be awesome to spend some quality time with friends like Daniel Negreanu (who just won World Series of Poker Player of the Year- congrats!), Liv Boeree, Jonathon Duhamel, David Williams, and Elky! I’m sure there will be plenty of poker to be talked about, but I’m really looking forward to catching up with them about what’s going on in their lives outside of poker! Today, I had an amazing conversation with Andre Aakari (Team Pro Brazil) about his businesses, how to manage money, and our families. Andre and I became close in 2008 before I was even with Pokerstars. He was one of only two people that had a piece of me when I won the EPT London High Roller event that year, 5%, which got him about $50,000.
Speaking of what’s going on outside of poker, I’m currently in the process of getting my life organized! This process has sparked an interest in me to do many things that I didn’t think I wanted to do, and also didn’t even think were possible. In just the last 3 months since leaving Las Vegas at the end of the World Series of Poker, I sold my house in South Florida and bought a new condo, opened a business (future blogpost), and most importantly- regained my faith in God.
One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m a Christian. It’s not something that I’ve been very open about over the last 6 years since coming into the limelight. To be honest, I was too scared of what people might think of me, and didn’t feel strong enough in my faith to be open about it. These past few months I have had some major changes happen in my way of thinking about life. There have been some bumps in the road that have helped me refocus on what is truly important, and have taught me invaluable life lessons. I hope to share these feelings and experiences with all of you over time. I have realized that there is so much more in this life that I want to accomplish, professionally and personally!
One thing I hope to accomplish in the upcoming years is to write a book about my life. I hope to start this project VERY soon as I feel like I am ready to take on the task. It’s something that I knew I always wanted to do, but 2013 really sealed the deal for me. I have already started to formulate my ideas for the book and have a very good “outline,” at least in my head, for the direction I want to go with the book. I’m hoping to start the project early next year, but there are some important steps that need to be taken before it can begin. I know the process will be very time consuming, however the idea of it alone is incredibly motivating to me!
I think that it’s finally time for me to start really showing the public who I am as a person, not just what I can do at the poker table. I’ve been, in my opinion, very quiet and somewhat reserved on television, in interviews, and with social media. I want to everyone to see who I truly am!
On that note, I’d like to publicly thank my family and friends for standing by me through these first 9 years of my career in becoming and being a professional poker player. It has been a roller coaster in many ways. I remember being 10 years old and happy as a clam, when my oldest brother got his first job, because that meant I could negotiate with him to pay me small change to do his chores. I have realized over time that there is more to life than the pursuit of wealth and “fame”. Every decision I have made, whether good or bad, has led me to where I am RIGHT NOW! I have undergone many changes this year, all for the better. It’s time to make the most of this life! I’m hoping to help change the world, to make it a better place! #innovate #educate
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13