I am very happy that 2013 has begun, because 2012 was pretty much a tough year for me, as far as poker is concerned. But I'm very positive going forward, and with the new year I think of myself starting to write a new story.
One change that I've already made is to quit smoking cigarettes. It's going to be tough, I know, because I've been smoking for about three years. But I'm realizing there are a lot of the same qualities you use in poker that are needed to stop smoking, such as being disciplined, having patience, and above all, staying determined. Just like succeeding in poker, you have to be confident you can do it.
I'm also interested in doing more activities that involve competition and meeting challenges, and again I'm thinking about how doing those activities can help me remain competitive at the tables.
For one, I have registered with a martial arts group, and am looking forward to getting some exercise as well as learning about martial arts.
I also began about six months ago working on getting a license to fly ultra-light planes, and I plan on returning to that in 2013. It's a lot of fun, but it's also hard work studying everything involved with flying a plane. It will take a lot of time, too, because you have to put in a certain number of hours flying before you can take the test for the license.
Starting with the second lesson, the instructor lets you essentially fly the plane, so I've already been able to do that a few times. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Truthfully it beats anything I've experienced, including winning poker tournaments.
It's kind of funny, actually. When I tell people I am learning how to fly a plane, they sometimes remind me of the story of how way back in 2006 I was able to cash in FPPs for a new Porsche, but didn't have my driver's license! Well, I'm glad to report I did get my driver's license a couple of years ago, and am now working on getting a license to fly, too.
All of these other activities are related to my wanting to train myself to compete, in a way, and thus help with my determination and confidence at the poker tables. And like I say, I can't wait to get started and see what I can do. The sky's the limit... literally!
Dario Minieri is a member of Team PokerStars Pro.