NO LIMIT: THE EXTREMELY SHORT STORY OF MY POKER CAREER
I was a smart
kid. Everybody always said, “You’ll achieve whatever you set your mind to
do. The sky’s the limit!”
And I believed them.
I dreamed of playing football in the NFL, designing skyscrapers, skiing in
the Winter Olympics, and making Hollywood movies. But skip ahead twenty
years and my dreams are still on hold. In fact, due to my inborn lack of
skills like multi-tasking, short-term memory, and quick decision-making, I
couldn’t even hold my job as a waiter at the Something Fishy seafood
restaurant. After quote/unquote “putting in my resignation,” I began
quote/unquote “looking for a job full-time,” which is how I found myself
glued to the couch every day watching reruns of Celebrity Poker Showdown
It wasn’t long before I was saying things like, “I could beat that Doogie
Howser shmuck any day of the week!” and spending my leftover tip-money on
Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book about how to win at poker. Then I met a
guy named Ron, who invited me to a winner-take-all No Limit Hold’em game
that could fund my newfound unemployed lifestyle for at least another
month. The problem was, after rent and cable and Netflix and Phil’s book,
I only had just enough cash to either buy into Ron’s game or to buy
The choice was easy. But poker, I quickly discovered, is much harder than
it looks on TV… maybe even harder than waiting tables.
Today in this waiting room, after telling a complete stranger the
extremely short story of my poker career, I find myself listening to her
radical ideas about success and the fulfillment of my dreams. So what if
I’ll never play in the NFL, build a skyscraper, ski in the Olympics, or
make a Hollywood movie? She says success is defined not by how high I’m
able to reach, but by whether or not I’m reaching at all and whether or
not I’m doing what I was born to do.
Well, I wasn’t born to wait tables or play poker, that’s for sure.