Confessions of a Poker Writer: WSOP Diaries – A Tough Week

Confessions of a Poker Writer: The Magic of Number ‘222.'

Lee Davy continues his World Series of Poker diary with news of a wedding anniversary, advice from two of poker’s finest, and a review of one of the best shows in Vegas.

It’s been a tough week. It should have been golden, and at times it was, but I’m left with a feeling of negative emotion. I don’t like that. It’s draining, leaves me tired, and unenthusiastic.

Confessions of a Poker Writer: WSOP Diaries – A Tough WeekIt was my wedding anniversary this week. I have been married for two years. They haven’t been the easiest of years. I am a man with baggage. I have an ex wife, a teenage son, and I live in the UK. Everyone my wife loves lives in the US.

This can create a lot of stress, and a lot of confusion as to how the future will look. These little stresses, and concerns, are burrowed deep in our relationship. We love each other, and are committed to each other, but from time to time the little things turn into great big things.

I’m a shouter, always have been, and hopefully won’t always be. I work very hard at trying to suppress my anger. Meditation, and dietary changes have helped. I don’t lose it anywhere near as much as I used to. But it’s a part of my DNA and I don’t like it. I want to lose it like a mobile phone falling out of a pair of shorts during a taxi ride into town.

We got into a silly argument and I shouted at her. At the time the defenses were up and it was all about blame. Now the smoke has cleared I feel a sense of shame. It was an abuse of power. It’s affected me all week.

I got the opportunity to interview two pretty amazing people this week. Both of them have helped me deal with my transgression. When I interviewed Evan Jarvis I was struck by how much intention he put into everything. He told me that people wake up, roll out of bed, slam their food down their throats and start checking things off their to do list 100mph. This march down the High Street of life means that any minor issue becomes a major bump in the road.

That’s how I act. I believe I am highly efficient because of this behavior. I get more done that most. But Jarvis asked me an interesting question that brought everything into perspective.

“Do you feel fulfilled?”

I don’t.

So I started putting intention into every action. I keep forgetting, of course, but when I hit that nail, I feel this sense of euphoria. It’s almost as if I am one with the world. How can anger surface when you are in that state?

I also interviewed Daniel Negreanu this week. I spoke to him about my anger, and he reminded me that it will always be a part of who I am. He told me that it was part of my shadow, a part that I was trying desperately to hide from others. He told me that I needed to accept that anger as part of who I am. The next time it rises, accept it, and move on.

I also had a values clash this week. From a budgetary point of view, once I have saved 22% of my income for investing, saved 10% for exploring, saved 20% for taxes, and saved 3% for Raising for Effective Giving (REG), I don’t have anything left to play with.

But it was my wedding anniversary.

So I booked two seats in Mizumi at The Wynn, and two tickets to watch Absinthe at Caesars. I would go into debt to enjoy my wedding anniversary, something I had done all of my life.

I know that I shouldn’t do this, but I feel like a part of my manliness is being stripped from me if I don’t look after my wife. What does ‘looking after my wife’ look like? For me, it’s always been about spending money on people. I don’t know why. I know it’s not right. That’s the way it is. So I spend.

The other point here is one of values. I spent close to $200 in Mizumi. I could have eaten for a quarter of the cost in Spring Mountain, and ate better food. I could have donated $200 to the Against Malaria Foundation and bought 40 bed nets to protect children from dying. Instead, I bought overpriced food.

I didn’t mind the money I spent on Absinthe. You have to have fun. It can’t always be about everyone else. It was a disgustingly amazing show. The humor was crude. It was right up my street. It was made even funnier by the fact my wife was dragged on stage and had to sit through a series of three different lap dances. Everyone in Vegas should watch Absinthe.

I have decided that I am going to spend more time helping the Against Malaria Foundation. Over a million people die per year from malaria. Most of the dead are children under five and pregnant women. I have been in touch with the organization to offer my services on a voluntary basis.

They have asked me what it is I want to do? I am going to tell them that I want to visit countries like Malawi and Congo to see the problems first hand. This is the best way for me to get attuned to the problem. This is important because I need to spread the word through story. But I’m scared. I am shitting my pants about traveling to a third world country where a million people die each year because of a bug. I am feeling the fear, but I am going to do it anyway.

I played in the Monster Stack. I really did learn from the advice I have received from Jason Wheeler and Dominik Nitsche. I got through to Day 2 with 72,000, and I know that my game was respected. That was important to me. An old guy came up to me after the day had ended, shook my hand, and told me that it was a pleasure to play with me. I loved that feeling.

Day 2 was a nightmare. A fucking hellhole. I had Matas Cimbolas to my right, and Dan Heimiller to my left. Barry Greenstein was also on the table, but without any chips. I had more chips than anyone else, but didn’t play a hand for 45-minutes. Cimbolas was opening everything, so I thought it was a good spot to three-bet on the button with [Ks] [4s] – he was cutoff – and told myself I would call off a 16bb shove from the big blind if they moved all-in. They did, I called, and lost the race to her AQ.

After that I lost all-ins: A7 v A9, 66 v 98, before eventually losing 88 v JJ of Barry Greenstein. I wasn’t even after the book. It’s shame my own book isn’t out of the printers yet; otherwise I could have given him a copy.

After I lost I felt like shit. I wanted to do everything that I wasn’t supposed to. For most people that would consist of banging whores, snorting cocaine, and drinking expensive alcohol. For me it was buying tickets to watch Jurassic Park and eating Potato Tacos.


They are deep-fried.