Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lucky for a reason

There are reminders that surround me daily of who I am, and what I wish to become.  Sure, the tedious studying of the human anatomy is better left to those like Dr. Chako who I'm certain could rattle off the names of the 8 cranial bones and 14 facial bones with no issue and his patients are better off with such expertise.  Sitting across the desk from myself however, I doubt once I gather up my bachelor's degree and hope to continue on to a CPA certification that you would care if I know the three layers of skin and their function beyond recommending a lotion with the cold weather turning your hide into something found at a leather store.

Well-rounded student I GET IT.  Trust me, yes I enjoy learning about the human body (ya'll got some gross stuff going on in there) but is it necessary that a 36 year old married guy with two kids to spend time on electives.  Its not like I'm looking to change majors, rush a different frat house, or have a change in heart about what I want to do in life.  Accounting is where I want to be, spreadsheets and databases get the blood flowing in the right places.  I need to move positions and quickly as currently the walls are closing in on me, feeling like wasted talent that could be doing more but instead forced to listen my career dying like my co-worker's persistent cough.

Phil Mackey, a local sports radio show host, co-creator of the Minnesota State Poker Tour (MSPT) and Minnesota Poker Magazine (where I was left off the recent top online players in the state list despite owning the 91st best player the state ranking by PocketFives HUZZAH!), and someone I had the pleasure of helping out on their poker blog for a bit (until I decided to return to school, still hope to cover an event the right way online) gets a lot of guff for having strong opinions and "getting lucky" to be in the position he is in at such a young age (read his recent post on the matter).  What these rubes don't see is how hard the man worked to get there and gave himself a chance to "get lucky".  Working in sports, getting to travel to the different venues on the company dime, seems like a great gig and it probably is but Mackey had a vision on getting there and went for it. 

Much like the very popular MSPT which is now going online at Bodog for qualifers (see the Minnesota Poker Magazine link above for details) it started with hard work and not much reward.  Look at Otis or Pauly, think they started their poker blogs with grandeur visions of cross-country tripping around the world being paid to watch and record millions of dollars sliding verticial along a poker table?  It's possible.  But it started with a love for the game, the they went out and made the connections to various people and sites and their given talents did the rest.

I was fortunate enough to meet Otis early on at the WPBT tournaments, chat on Yahoo, and share the experience of becoming a newly branded father and continue with parenting stories for years to come.  With some luck, I am able to call the final stretch for the Sunday Warm-up at the PokerStarsBlog and get tapped for SCOOP and the World Championship of Online Poker along side real writers like Shamus, defending PCA Women's Event Champ Change100 (hoping to peek at the screenplay before Universal snaps it up), Otis himself, Dr. Pauly, Writer Jen, F-Train.

Lucky?  Like a (insert worn out poker cliche involving river card here).

My co-worker constantly bitches about her life and her health but does nothing but stare at the retirement clock sitting on top of her PC while browsing thru homes online that she'll never buy.  Think I would be in this position if I'd stayed on the couch after my head injury?  Happy with a revived married life, two kids who can't wait to see their dad, and a side job that I love?  People like Phil Mackey, Otis, Pauly, successful writer John Hartness who despite working a full-time job is cranking out some kick ass novels, and even myself on a much lesser scale get there because they took extra shot, got out of bed when the floor was ice cold and fired up the laptop instead of giving up.

There's saying you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and you may miss nine out of ten times, but live to hit that tenth attempt.  And if the tenth shot is fouled off your shin, you walk it off and get back in the box for number eleven.  Because no one is going to hand you the career/life you're looking for.  Maybe this is why learning the functions of cilia and endoplasmic reticulum are worth a few hours at night. 


DrChako said...

Okay, when I read "endoplasmic reticulum" I got a little stiffy. Hey - we all have our things.

I had the same thoughts during school. Why they hell do I need to know the Krebs Cycle?! Some professor or old doctor then tells you how you'll be surprised how useful it is after you get out and start your practice, but you know what? It's total bullshit. Still, since I'm a fairly positive guy, I thought that maybe it was the ACT of learning the information that created new pathways in my brain that would make it easier to learn the important stuff. Still total BS, but it helped me get to sleep at night. Plus, it puts me in the club of other schmucks who can say, yes, I suffered through biochem and came out alive. Then we all chuckle and grab a scotch.


PS. I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes. "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." --Thomas A. Edison

Maudie said...

Thanks. I needed that. More than I can express.

(and FYI, I get a little moist myself when it comes to spreadsheets...)

Drizztdj said...

And you those comments are the reason why I love my friends.

Cheers to hoping our next meet is ASAP.