Thursday, April 30, 2009

30 Day Experiment: Goal Board

I have made an effort to perform a new task approximately each month in order to better myself. In March, I listed 10 things a day that I was thankful for in order to illicit a feeling of abundance. I stopped that process after approximately 3 weeks as I accomplished my goal prior to the ending of the month.

My process for the month of April has been to implement a goal board. It’s an approximately 9x14in dry erase board where I make a list of daily goals I want to accomplish in order to make that day successful. The goals should be micro versions of long term goals. The idea is that by attacking facets daily I slowly build toward the end goal of achievement. Out of all my goals this has probably been the most rewarding in terms of productivity. I am trying to move toward a life of more organization and accomplishment and the goal board actually helps me achieve this. Here is a list of recurring goals that I am currently undertaking and below how they fit into my long term plans.

1) Meditation
2) Reading
3) Reading Course
4) Workout

Meditation as mentioned in an earlier post is something that I am undertaking in order to explore more deeply my inner thoughts and feelings. I have recently moved this time to the mornings as I have found it more effective after a week long experiment. The long term goal I hope to achieve is to become more in tune with my life goals, passions and desires. Also I want to allow my mind time to process and access life as it stands now.

Right now my current reading material revolves around entrepreneurship and financial planning. Finances and accounting are my background and by becoming more knowledgeable in this area I know that I can help others achieve their goals and desires financially. My hope to help others maximize the use of money for themselves and be able to accomplish and pursue their dreams in doing so. I know that my end goal and passion revolves around running a Company for myself. I know that to do that I need both experience and knowledge. By reading I at least get a cheap introduction to the knowledge necessary to achieve my goal.

The reading course is a current project I am undertaking to increase my reading speed. Right now I use the Ace Reader Pro program on my computer. My current tested speed is around 390 wpm or so. I currently utilize the technique when reading material that is light and where I want to retain main points. I wouldn’t use this for fiction since some of the detail will not be fully processed.
Your body is your vessel and going into the massive benefits of regular exercise is worth a post in itself. This month I have been regularly flakey due to laziness resulting from 10+ hour work days. Long term goals are pro longed life, happiness and flexibility.

Obviously, if I have any other specific day goals I do those as well. One technique I have found effective was something that I read about on known as timeboxing. What you do is take something that you don’t want to do (for me that is cleaning) and do that task for an allotted amount of time without a focus on outcome. So when I have to clean I set a goal of clean x for 15 minutes. One of the tasks was cleaning my room and I figured it would take me a week, but really it took about 30 minutes. By turning on some music and timeboxing I accomplished my goal much faster.

One thing I have not been able to fully vet is the lack of goal setting on weekends. I have explored this and think that it derives from my frustration in my current state (ie. 10+ hour work days). I’m not unhappy per se because I know at the end of the day I am in control. I just want change now even though I know that it may not be time. I am learning patience. Often I leave the weekend feeling that I have wasted it. I want to change that mindset.

As with all my experiments the task is always to try and see the results. Don’t be like the old me and just say, “that doesn’t work.” See someone who is being successful and attempt to model things that person does to find out what works for you. I think you will be surprised at some small things actually have big time results. I am so far from perfect, but hopefully by looking at life in incremental steps I will see myself as a better person at the end of it all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Studying for the CPA

On Thursday I officially got my CPA license in the mail. It’s a flimsy plastic card that states I’m a Certified Public Accountant. It’s weird almost since so much value is placed into something so seemingly insignificant. Society at large now considers me somewhat at a financial expert. As this thing essentially took me 2 years of test taking and 6 years of schooling I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on it.

Studying Strategy

At Texas A&M they made us study the parts as follows: BEC (business law), REG (tax and ethics), AUD (audit), FIN (everything ridiculous thing you can think of) I think. See I don’t know for sure because I dropped the class after the first series was complete. The classroom program I took (Becker CPA) sucked. We all filed into a room twice a week where a three hour video was placed into a dvd player and played. No additional instruction was given. I didn’t personally pay for the class so I wasn’t dramatically upset, but man what a waste a time. A much better way to study is at your own pace in chunks. You’ll retain more.

Order I Would Take the Test

In difficulty I think it goes as follows: FINC, REG, AUD, and super easy BEC. If I was studying on my own I would take the test in the following order FINC, REG, BEC, AUD. Financial is voluminous in information covered and ridiculously long. It takes the most study time and is the least appetizing material. I would get this one out of the way as opposed to doing it at the end when you are about studied out. I would save audit for the end since if you are going in to auditing as a career field, your entry level training will cover some of the material.

Some people I know took it as follows REG, BEC, FINC, AUD to go from least likely to most likely to be used in their career as an auditor. It’s just a matter of preference. I think it’s good to stick BEC in the middle somewhere as it is significantly easier than the others and almost like taking break.

When You Have No Time

Let’s say you’re like me and have not been able to study as much as you would have liked. You have just a few days to study and need to get through the material. I have developed the slacker study plan to hopefully enable you to pass. Utilizing this plan I was able to pass FINC with roughly 16 hours of study time (I did watch a lot of the videos before hand, but they didn’t really help).

First and foremost understand the test. The test is going to be comprised of around 100 or so multiple choice questions. A LOT of people waste too much time learning how to calculate some weird and difficult accounting material. If you don’t have a lot of a time, don’t waste your time on something like this. The workout questions will make up about 20% at the very most of your test, but can take up 80% of your study time. Learn the hard stuff last.

Slacker Study Plan for Becker Material

Do these from top to bottom as you have time. The farther down the list you go the more likely you are to pass. Note most of my examples will be for Financial because it is the most difficult.

1) Do easy questions a lot until you get at least 90 % for all major sections. When you miss a question read the section in the book that corresponds to the question missed so you can understand why you missed it.

2) Do questions for minor sections until you get 90% (an exception would be in financial when you are reviewing really hard material for very few points e.g. Benefits, difficult bonds sections etc.)

3) Take a practice test (skip the simulations) and see which sections you still have trouble with.

4) Watch video for things that you are very unfamiliar with (not for profit and governmental; you MUST know these sections as there tend to be tons of questions to come out of here)

5) Take a practice test again and re-troubleshoot areas you still are having trouble with.

6) Watch the rest of the videos.

7) Do the difficult and hard to understand workout problems.

8) Go through the simulation examples by reading the answers and seeing how the problem is worked.

I never did a simulation example the entire time I was studying for the CPA, and I always got a better score on my simulations than I did my multiple choice test. The simulations always have a way to at least get some points relatively easily, and studying for your multiple choice section will carry over to the simulation. That said if you get incredibly nervous or are terrible at writing then I would take a practice test.
I don’t study well at all. It’s just not something I excel at. Though by the end of the process I had refined my process to the point where I was able to confidently execute a study plan and see success. At the end of the day you know how you study best. Make sure and do it your way and use the practice test to gauge your results.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vas and Lori's Wedding

I’ve now been to weddings of two close friends. Each one has had a unique way of doing things and reflected the personalities of the people involved extremely well. Vas and Lori’s was no exception.

I was surprised when I found out that Lori would be planning most of the wedding alone. She did an excellent job too. Just in my task alone (cooking for the wedding) there was no stone unturned and no fact overlooked. I couldn’t do much of the prep because I was busy with work, and Lori arranged for her bridesmaids (thanks Chanelle) to do all of the prep. That’s not an easy undertaking and I’m extremely thankful they helped out. Cooking was just one small part so multiply this by every single task and it’s extremely daunting. Lori and Vas did an excellent job.

I remember sitting there with Vas in Dallas as he looked at the weather and saying, “man I think it’s going to rain.” That was really the extent of the worry and it almost seemed planned with how well everything was taken care of in the way of tents and tarps. All the groomsman, bridesmaids, and Vas and Lori worked together to get everything set up. It looked really great. The bamboo gazebo was a little shaky after the initial downpour, but Chris held it up during the ceremony and it really added to the tropical atmosphere.

The rain seemed to stop just at the right moment and allow for everyone to comfortably get to and from the ceremony. May did an awesome job of leading it and Sean’s solo was exceptional. I don’t think that anyone could have asked for anything more perfect. Lori wore a dress that was totally unique and looked beautiful going down the aisle. The sincerity and love that they showed during the vow exchange was moving.

Right after the ceremony ended I ran as hard as I could to the tent through the light drizzle. When grilling with charcoal the set up time to cook time takes the longest. I had set up two chimney stacks, two charcoal pyramids, and was ready to start as soon as I walked in. The humidity was extremely high and the paper that I had for kindling for the chimney stacks was already slightly damp. The paper barely lit and immediately I knew that I would need to go with lighter fluid. I doused the two pyramids and the chimney stacks and after much coercing they finally started to light up.

I got called in for pictures so I had to run back to the sight of the wedding with my shirt back on and then come back. Almost right as the ceremony and subsequent pictures were over the rain started coming down in torrents and the tent begun to fill up with 20 or more people who were escaping the down pour. It actually worked out well cause then I had a crowd to talk to a little bit. I was just starting to get some food on as people walked in. Slowly yet surely as the grills heated up we started getting off kabobs. After about 30 minutes the kabobs started finishing in droves and we began pouring through them.

Once the rain died down for a moment everyone left the tent and headed to the cabins, but David and I. Periodically people would come in and out and bring back trays of food (thanks Stayten and Mike and whoever else ran for me). We finished most of the kabobs; then I ran in for cake cutting and ran back to cook the fajitas. At this point the grills were well heated and the coals were roaring with spares in the chimney so this went much faster. I owe a huge thanks to John, Chris, and Lindsey for stepping in at this moment. I had to cut most of the steak as I wanted to do it London Broil style to make it as tender as possible (you cut the meat against the grain and at an angle to shorten the meat fibers and make the meat more tender). Lindsey took out most of the chicken and Chris developed a genius spice station to ensure flavor quality was maintained (another trick to tenderizing fajitas is to add lime juice as it causes the mouth to release additional enzymes making the meat appear more tender). John came in and asked if we needed any help. I asked if he had any grilling experience he said, “no” so I briefly explained how to cook chicken on a grill and put him in charge of cooking chicken on all three. He did an excellent job and made sure to temp check each one prior to serving to ensure it was properly cooked.

Not thanked above is David (my brother) who helped me out in a huge way and did a substantial portion of the work and monitoring. He brought some things that were severely needed from home (cutting boards, a change of clothes for me, knives, etc.) and sat through the hellacious weather to make sure the job got done. The success of the event is in large part thanks to his efforts.

All in all we cooked around 100 shrimp kabobs and I would guess about 30 pounds of meat. I was impressed by the quality given the circumstances. I would have liked to have more consistency on my shrimp kabobs, but the three grills not being fully heated when we began prevented that. If I were to do it over again I would have started the grills before the ceremony. That was my mistake.

During this whole process the weather was at times extreme. The wind direction constantly changed and sometimes rain was coming into the opening of the tent. At one point the tent was floating in the air and being held by stakes in the ground. The tent was large enough though as to prevent the food and grills from getting wet. It was exciting really to be in that environment and grilling.

The other memorable moments for me were the bands and Horn’s speech. There are just certain songs that connect our crew and that serve as a soundtrack to our friendship and it was awesome to get to hear those (H20- Thicker Than Water, Get Up Kids- Action + Action, Saves the Day- Holly Hox and Forget Me Nots). I don’t remember rocking out that hard since the party at Jack Sananikone’s in 2001. Horn’s speech while unprepared was very moving and at least for me made my eyes teary. I think this was most poignant (paraphrased):

“There’s a real short list of people that you would drive this far and tolerate this weather for. And all of you are here because Vas and Lori are one of those people for you.”
So true.

Vas and Lori have always done things in a unique and often exciting way. Their wedding was no different. It perfectly reflected their hearts and desires for the experience and allowed their friends to give of themselves what they really would have wanted too all along. Their time, their laughter, their sweat, and most importantly their love. I personally loved the challenge and the excitement of testing myself and will never forget this experience. I had so much fun. I couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday and I hope they feel the same.

To a happy and healthy life together!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm going into business... maybe - part 2

See part 1 below...

I schedule a meeting with my uncle. We see eachother on holidays and family gatherings. He isn’t married and has no kids, so in some ways we have developed a closer relationship than one normally would. I tell him about the idea, and without much effort on my part he likes the idea. Really? All I had to do was just briefly pitch the potential?

I then see my grandfather while on vacation he likes the idea. He not only is willing to invest, but tells me if I have any more ideas he wants in. He’s most interested in real estate among other things. It’s odd because my family is SO conservative. They save and save and save.

And then; I realized something. We often are hardest on ourselves when it comes to understanding our talents; furthermore, passion rubs off on others. You constantly hear about doing the things that you love and pursuing them. It’s for one simple fact. We inspire others and put out our best when we do exactly what it is we want to do. My pitches weren’t hard sales because I believe in the product and the business. More importantly they trust my financial background and my professional credentials (CPA very shortly).

The Follow Up
The Company sent me their franchise agreement and I read through basically all of it. All 185 pages in several hours; as with most legal documents it’s very long, wordy and full of a bunch of cover your butt crap. I came out with a list of questions. My main goal is to develop a pro forma set of financials based on how I think the business is run, determine a break even point, etc. I don’t have the information yet to do that and that is where we are in the process. In a few days I may or may not hear back. Even if things don’t work out and I don’t get the franchise just the process has grown me and made me more confident. With franchises you have to always be willing to walk away if the numbers don’t work. ALWAYS
So to be continued….

The Crossroads
I sat in bed for two and a half hours last night after talking with my uncle over the phone and going over what I have basically documented above with a little more detail. He’s still interested, and I’m real nervous. I want it so bad, but I mean let’s face the facts. If I go down this path it is risky, exciting, adventuresome, and UNKNOWN. I have no idea at the end of the day if this will work; regardless of how confident I am in my projections they are just that… projections. No guarantees or certainties lie in entrepreneurship. And more importantly I know that I can never go back to corporate america and allow someone else to profit off of me. From the day I dive in going forward I create value and then reap the rewards. No more no less.

So this path has permanence it means that the safe, corporate, high paying, comfortable job is gone forever. I’m going on a much more challenging, difficult path, but the rewards are o so sweet. It’s scary, exciting, and down right crazy. What will happen? Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm going into business... maybe- part 1

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

I don’t really get nervous. When I do I tend to excel, and the nervousness doesn’t set in until I’m in the moment or immediately before it. That has all changed, and in spurts I find myself in deep thought quite a bit about problems that are unforseen or challenges that haven’t presented themselves. It’s part excitement, part challenge and part fear.
If you know me, you know that my dream is for entrepreneurship. I long to try and do something on my own. In fact, most of my hobbies revolve around self improvement with the core goal of making myself a better person and thus a better business owner. As I’ve said previously I’m in a “good” career from the sense of monetary gains, but I’m not challenged and I’m not passionate; and so I’ve always dreamed of moving on and taking on the world.

Placing Intention
My first step was started probably about 2 years ago, but really began in determined earnest within the last 6 months. I realized that no one is going to drop a business opportunity in my lap. I have to intend for this to happen through my own actions. So I started reading, writing, and joining organizations that helped me network, develop what I considered essential skillsets, and see what the marketplace was like.

Second I told family and friends about my intentions. This did several things. It kept me accountable, because those around me periodically ask me where I am at in my process. I can be confident in the fact that I am pursuing things that directly benefit my end goal. Additionally, it has made my world know that if they have business ideas that I would be one to talk too. This puts the intention out in the Universe that I am seeking to start my own business.

So I read and in one of his posts he challenges you to state your intention during meditation. So I did that. And within a day I was talking to a financial planner who was a PFS which is a designation reserved for CPA’s as well as having a CFP/Series 6, and several other certifications. In fact he came from the same graduate program I did. He responded to my email almost immediately and gave me the path that I needed to take. It’s long (approx. 5 years), but I currently work with Crown Financial Ministries and at the very worst I am better able to help others. Which is really what a business should be, adding VALUE to the lives of others. This is one idea that I am excited about. (Ps. If you have financial questions or need advice holla at me it’s free and helps me out with getting my certifications/increasing my knowledge)

I’m selfish though, I don’t want one business. I want several. Financial Planning is something that I can do, among other things. So the second idea came to me while out and about on Smokin’ Sunday. We came upon a business that was just excellent. The product was what I considered exceptional and the price was reasonable. I had to know more. So I went to the website and checked them out. They are a franchise based in the Dallas area… interesting. I could open one of these I think it could work. So I email them just to test the waters. They get back to me promptly and I fill out their initial questionnaire. The Houston Area is full would I be interested in College Station? Hell yes I would I love Texas A&M sports (haven’t missed a football game in 2 years) and have constantly thought of ways of getting back there.

They read my questionnaire are not discouraged, but concerned that a 26 year old with minimal assets is interested in hoping a franchise that requires between 100k and 250k in capital. Good point.

Part 2 to come on Sunday April 16th...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Meditation (Achieve a New Level of Consiciousness)

Recently I've been pushing my spirituality to new limits in order to better search for truth and connect with the universe around me. That's weird to say coming from me. A few months ago I would have laughed at that statement. I'm a logical guy I don't do spirituality. Recently though I have tried something. I asked myself what do successful people do, and then I've slowly started trying those things to see if they suit me or not.

Meditation is something that I have heard from several sources as something to do on a daily basis. I've done prayer for awhile, but to be perfectly honest it got kind of stagnant. I said the same things, in the same ways, and didn't really get involved. Meditation derives from the fact that there is a belief system that we are all connected and the Universe is there for us because in some way it is of us. We can essentially summon into our lives the situations we want. I have a Christian faith and my first reaction was this doesn't mesh you can't just ask for what you want. Then I thought about it and remembered an often quoted verse:

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.- Matthew 7:7

The Point of Change
I think that for me personally I have always wanted to play the victim. It's not my fault that my life is this way. I can blame my parents for getting a divorce, a girl for breaking my heart, or whatever. Assigning blame is easy and I was really good at it. The hard part is taking responsibility and seeing reality. Everything happening in my life is my fault. The good and the bad. Everything that my heart desires I can have.

When you change the way you look at things. The things you look at change.
-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Once you have this realization you can start to change the things you want to change. For example I've spent alot of time during my meditation finding my passion and direction. It's actually worked too. I found a mentor in one day of searching and am started on a path for a career I wasn't even thinking about one month ago. All brought me to me by this powerful tool. That said I'm still a newbie, and have much to learn about the process. Let me share with you my current favorite technique:

Future Projection
First as always make sure you are in a quiet space. Focus on breathing very deeply from your gut and wait until your mind is empty of distractions. Now imagine yourself in a room with two chairs and across from you is yourself from 5 years ago. Talk to him what does he want to know about how you are today. What questions does he ask? After you have exhausted this relationship adjust your picture and envision you sitting across from yourself five years from now. What does he look like. Ask him what you want to know about your future.

My First Experience
When I first did this future projection it took awhile to get in the moment, but once I did it was such an awesome experience. My future self encouraged me to keep following my goals and told me how proud he was of me because he couldn't exist without me. I had said the same thing to myself from five years ago. This actually made me tear up (which is something very rare for me) and when I awoke I was empowered and refreshed.

If you're me a few months ago you are laughing right now and call this bs. It took me reading blogs and books by alot of different people to give it a try. Try it for three days and see if you have results. I think you'll surprise yourself.

PS: if anyone else has been doing this longer or has any great techniques please share them with me. I would love to gain more insight.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Smoking Sunday #6

This week I decided to venture back into Asia and try out a Jang Guem a Korean Restaurant. It's located down Bellaire and is one of many many asian food places along the street. Jang Guem is a Korean Tofu and BBQ house that originally became popular in California and has slowly moved eastward.

I was excited about eating here as asian barbecued food is generally a treat. When we went in the decor was modest except for the floor which was very nicely made out of wood and stone.

Upon sitting down we were presented with a simple salad. The salad was dressed with a rice vinegar type dressing and was actually very pleasant. As David isn't big on salads I ate mine and most of his.

The menu is rather small and mostly consist of you guessed it korean style barbecue dishes and tofu soups. We ordered our entrees. David ordered BBQ pork with cold noodles and I ordered Korean BBQ with Seafood Tofu Soup.

Almost immediately six dishes of various pickled dishes were set in front of us (from bottom left to top right: tofu, seaweed, cucumber, bean sprouts, cabbage and a chili like paste) and then a whole fried mackerel was set in front of us. As we were the only diners in the restaurant at this time we had no idea what to do. The soup bowl we were each given really knocked me off guard and my initial inclination was that this would be used for the soup I had ordered.

When the waitress came over I asked her what this was for and she gave me a stupid look and said, "Eat". O yes how simple it is. The fish was ok but not great. The meat was good but there were a ton of bones to sort through and as the fish was whole you had to sort through alot of the undesirable parts (entrails and the like). As far as the pickled dishes were concerned we both really liked the tofu. It had almost a sweet and salty flavor and was the best of the six by far. The seaweed was average and the same could be said for the bean sprouts and cabbage. The main difference in flavor was mostly textural and none of them were very memorable good or bad. The cucumber was something I was disappointed in as you could tell they had been sliced way in advance and perhaps overnight as they were soggy and not very palatable. I enjoyed the chili paste though could not find a good use for it during my meal aside from eating it with some of my korean barbecue.

The tofu soup was brought out in a hot stone bowl and was literally at a rapid boil when it hit the table. It was filled with a hefty portion of tofu and seafood. Though oddly the shrimp was not shelled so you had to pick them out and eat them. I found this annoying and cumbersome. Not to mention they were about 200 degrees. I have to say though that the soup was very very good and easily the highlight of the entire meal.

David got cold noodles which was a bunch of dark colored (buckwheat) noodles that you poured an almost ice cold broth on top of .

I had no taste for this dish whatsoever. The noodles were gooey and the flavor was bland. The absence of any flavor profile and the extremely undesirable texture discouraged me from eating much of it. Maybe David could give a better description. All I know is he didn't even come close to finishing it.

The Korean barbecue was good. It had a nice char on the outside and was very lightly glazed in a sweet sauce (I believe Housin). I enjoyed it, but again there was nothing memorable about it that separated it from food at low budget Asian restaurants.

David's BBQ pork was good as well. It was marinated in a chili sauce and then cooked with green onions, onions, and chili sauce. We ordered that and the soup "extra spicy" and neither was mouth burning. I was actually disappointed as one of our missions has been to find something extremely spicy to the point where we can't eat it (weird I know).

Our total bill was 33.70 and I was disappointed overall. The amount of food when taken into account everything we received was alot; the only problem was that nothing was memorable or very tasty (aside from the seafood soup). There definitely was some appeal in the uniqueness of the dining experience though I can't say that it was worth the amount we paid. I wouldn't recommend this restaurant as I feel that it is too expensive given that the food is average.

Value: 5 out of 10
Taste: 5.5 out of 10
Overall: 5.5 out of 10
Ambiance: Moderately decorated though really liked the floor.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Revisiting an Old Mistress (Poker) Part 2

As the Dunn game grew in popularity kids started identifying who the players were and this led to several games in the common area. These games were generally cash games run at a table. Most of the games were no limit though toward the end of the run Kevin B. and me started cycling in Omaha in order to make easier money. This was finally ended when one of the guys flipped out over a hand and broke a window.

Probably one of the largest off campus tournaments was a 20 buy in tourney every wednesday at a guys house about 4 miles from campus. I only played in this tournament four times, but played my best poker ever at this place. The tourney was roughly about 20 people big and I just did not hit hands all night. I'm talking that I think I had one winning hand the whole night. I advanced to the top 6 and finished with my buy in having showed down 1 hand. The rest of the time I didn't even have a pair. That's not easy in a home game where you have to be on point with your play and in guys heads. I still look at this as my greatest victory even though I won $20 I really won so much more in terms of confidence and know how.

There was actually an illegal poker hall run in an abandoned garage right off of Texas near the Dairy Queen. A few guys played there, and I knew a few of them that got busted. I never played in this game because the smallest limit was $5/ 10 and I wouldn't play a game unless my roll was at least 500 times the small blind. I was operating with about $1500. More importantly, was that there were alot of soft games around town that were easier.

The last tournament I ever played at was a tournamnet I got invited too at a guys house after placing 6th in the tourney above. It was at a guys house and was a $40 tourney with about 10 guys. At this point I was paying out of my mind poker and didn't even really have to play cards. A guy that was known as a "good player" showed up with his glasses, hat, and card players magazine. These guys are usually never good because they are advertising too much. They try to make alot of moves and often the small fries will relent to them out of intimidation. I used these guys to make lots of money. This day it was the same way as he tried alot of post oak bluffs (betting less than the pot in hopes of taking it) and playing hard on the button (the guy to bet last in most rounds). I got a solid read on his mannerisms and just started taking pots from him over and over. He eventually lost after playing into one too many hit hands and I hadn't helped the situation either by taking him out.

I lost a few hands to a guy that just was hitting all day and the finally three were me, some other guy, and the chip leader. The chip leader had more than the two of us combined. At this point "good player" offers to pay $100 for the chip leaders stack. He owed him some money or something and takes it. We start playing and the "good player" is doing a decent job of forcing us on hands. I have just enough to make an all in a risky adventure and buy a few pots when I can tell he has crap. The other guy eventually blinds himself out more or less and I'm now heads up with the "good player". I now have about half of his stack. I start making plays off my reads and he starts getting more and more angry. He asks me "Dude, what the hell I can't hit anything this is buls***t." I hadn't hit anything either. He starts assuming I'm making hands since I'm buying pots and that means I've already won the tournament. I eventually win and he is really angry and he has now paid $140 bucks and walked away with about $80. I wasn't asked to play in that tournament again.

A week later I would get accepted into the professional program and abandoned playing poker. It didn't matter much as the game got boring because I felt I always made the right play and it wasn't very mentally challenging anymore. Fast forward to today and that tournament at the casino was only the second game I have played in 4 years. For a brief second I thought about where I would be if I had stuck with and perhaps getting back into it. I can't though, I've got too much I want to acccomplish. And o ya the Coushatta tournament. I didn't win. I made one bad play costing me about $4000 in chips and then walked into a KK on the button. It was fun though and brought back some good memories.