At the beginning of this year I decided I was going to travel more to play live tournaments, I´m really aiming to add some titles and big wins to my poker career. I've had some nice results along the way including a runner-up at LAPT Punta del Este back in May and a LAPT Medellin High Roller win, some final tables in Europe and multiple cashes in EPT Main Events.
Something different about this year is that I have been able to share the experience of traveling with my girlfriend, Lynn. I got very lucky with her given how much she understands what poker is all about. To be honest, I've had relationships in the past -- mostly from Mexico-- who even when they knew a bit about poker they never understood what being a poker pro really meant. And really, in Mexico, being a poker player isn't necessarily thought of as the greatest thing. There's that idea that you can lose it all, or you're a gambler or not well. And so understandably that can have an effect on relationships. I never really had a chance to share with someone what it meant to be a poker player.
Meanwhile with Lynn it has been super easy. She's in the poker world, she knows what it is, and even though she doesn't play professionally, she understands the mental challenges that come with poker and helps me with that a lot.
For the past few years, before I met her, I would say my life was lacking balance. Playing poker can be very exhausting mentally. And even though I've had friends in the poker world and had traveled with some before, it wasn't the same sort of connection or support that you have with a partner.
I know a lot of players/friends whom could use the same sort of balance. In my case, finding a partner like Lynn was very important and helped me achieve that, I´m not saying having a girlfriend/boyfriend is the key to stability, in the past having one for me was quite the opposite, it is more about finding the right person for you, someone you are willing to share the emotional swings of both your wins and your losses. When sharing your weaknesses, it helps to put the thoughts around them into perspective, overcome fears you may have, and help you to become stronger, emotionally. I think the same thing applies for friends, having real friendships in your life helps massively. It is important to be surrounded by healthy relationships. We are alone in this world, but then again we are not. Sharing is happiness.
I think that balance has been reflected in my play this year. I've felt a lot more content with my game in general as well as with my expectations and larger life plan.
I´m writing this blog from Melbourne, Australia where I will be playing the ANZPT Main Event in a couple of days. After that, I will be heading to the massive ACOP in Macau, which is due to set history being the biggest buy in Main Event seen in Asia. From there, I go to LAPT Lima where I'll be trying to close the deal on the LAPT Season 5 Player of the Year, as I´m currently first on that leader board. So, I have plenty of opportunities ahead to win those titles I´ve been looking for!