Talk about magic...
I wanted to give an update -- about me, but also about my daughter, Liliana, who is now about 20 months old. It's kind of challenging to write about, actually, because to be honest it is hard to put into words just how amazing it is to have Lili.
Ever since Lili was born, it's been nothing but a blessing. It's been incredible watching her develop and grow from this blob of flesh that just poops and cries all day to smiling and laughing and then start showing personality and walking and everything. Now she's at the point where she calls me "dada" and gets excited whenever I come home. She runs up and jumps on me screaming and hugging and it's just a feeling like I can't explain. It's better than winning any tournament, that's for sure.
With Lili I can have a bad day at the tables and as soon as I walk in the door it all goes away. Even if she's asleep I get to go in and look at her or hold her and all of those negative feelings associated with failure or losing just go away. The things she's capable of doing to uplift my spirits are just amazing.
Before Lili came along whenever things weren't going well poker-wise I'd often go play Magic with my friends and I always felt better. But it was a different feeling -- not at all like the pure love and positive feeling I get from Lili.
Speaking of Magic, I'm writing this from San Jose, California where I've been involved in a Magic tournament. There were about 600 teams competing. My team -- consisting of me and two of my friends with whom I've played forever -- played 20 rounds of Magic over two days and in the end we were the winners. It was my third teams victory, which actually gives me the all-time lead in teams tournament wins.
The prize for the team winning was $6,000, which in the poker economy is nothing. But the satisfaction of winning with my team was just as good as winning a poker tournament for millions of dollars. Poker is an individual game, but when you compete as a team there's a different feeling that comes from supporting others and having a common goal. It kind of goes back full circle to the family thing -- having other people with the same goal as you and people you care about and they care about you. It boils down to what life is all about -- relationships and people.
I definitely don't dedicate myself to Magic like I did in the past -- or as I do in poker -- mainly because I don't have the time, especially with a family. But it definitely feels good after a decade or so of being what you might call a "recreational pro" in Magic to still be able to win.
But not as good as coming home to Lili. Talk about magic!