Daniel Negreanu played in a big poker tournament last week, which was on the Eureka Poker Tour.
Such a occurrence normally wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. This is especially true for Daniel — who travels all over the world playing poker and speaking out as the game’s premier ambassador. The news from Europe probably wouldn’t have caught my attention at all, except for one rather significant fact.
The poker tournament was held in Bucharest, Romania — a fascinating city where Daniel and I share some common bonds and a very different set of roots. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that, in contrasting ways, Romania was and shall always be an impressionable part of our lives. To some degree, that faraway place in Eastern Europe made us into what we are today.
Sports betting is one of two things. It’s either fool’s gold or the holy grail. In reality, it’s likely both, depending on how you’re running at the moment.
Anyone with that ill-advised delusion of trying to beat the oddsmaker will at some point certain as the night is long find sports gambling to be a most humbling, even a humiliating experience. It doesn’t care about our feelings. At least in this regard, the beats we’re dealt are indiscriminate. It’s nothing personal. Indeed, I’ve been humbled. I’ve been humiliated. And yes, I’ve even gone broke a few times — once right here on these confessional pages in front of your very eyes.
I’m not what you’d call a baseball fan. Hell, I don’t even like baseball.
However, I do bet on baseball games. I bet on lots of baseball games.
Having no rooting interest in any of the major league teams — nor any desire to watch games, either in person or on television — this somehow keeps me on a much more even keel emotionally than watching pro football, which for me is a severe mental and emotional strain. Yes, I’ll admit to having serious difficulty dealing with adversity when betting on football. That’s because so much of the final outcome depends on motivation and is influenced by mistakes…a fumble here, an interception there. By comparison, I have much less of a “tilt factor” when betting on baseball games, because fundamentally it’s a sport predicated on two things — (1) statistics and (2) percentages. Remaining dispassionate about baseball comes easy because I don’t give a shit about any of the teams, except that I usually cheer against any team from New York, Boston, or Los Angeles. I simply make my wagers, then check the final scores at the end of the night. If only the rest of life were that simple.
That said, this week has been an emotional and financial roller coaster. For the first time, I’ve decided to chronicle my wins and losses over several days. Hopefully, those of you who bet on sports will enjoy the ride.
Now, my glass screen looks like the front windshield after a fatal car crash. If you’ve received any text messages from me lately, and you’re puzzled as to why there were so many typos, it’s because I couldn’t see my texting through all the cracks.