The Life of a Gambler: Easy Come, Easy Go

Originally posted on Robert Turner Poker:

Poker Legends Doyle Brunson and Stu Ungar Poker Legends Doyle Brunson and Stu Ungar

Las Vegas is a town defined by big gambles, spectacular successes and lost opportunities. A dealer once told me he had taken out a loan on his house to play a progressive slot machine at the Hilton. He and his wife, a cocktail waitress, had worked so hard for years to pay off the mortgage.

He said, “Robert, it has to hit.” It did hit, but it only got them even for the month they played. What if it hadn’t hit? Did he have a back-up plan? Was the long-shot of hitting a jackpot worth the very real risk of losing his home? I had a difficult time understanding his reasoning. Then I realized, there was no logic involved.

In my years of visiting and living in Las Vegas, I have seen how gambling can conquer even those who seem to be in…

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Will Lamborghini Fans Accept a SUV?

Italian handcrafted car maker Lamborghini is preparing changes to its product line and production methods, aiming to build its first sport-utility with components borrowed from parent Volkswagen vehicles.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.wsj.com

‘Urus’

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Obesity Crisis and Importance of Pro-Exercising Friends (by Alex Lightman).

Friends;

I think one of the most profound contributions a friend can make to your quantity and quality of life is to get you to exercise more than you would otherwise.

If you have a friend who is obese, you are 57% more likely to become obese (see infographic below) which is why the obese will become a majority by 2025 in the U.S.

There’s no study, but I wouldn’t be surprised if having a friend who does 100 mile running races makes it 57% more likely that you will also run 100 miles. Unfortunately, while over 120 million Americans are obese, only 11,000 Americans a year finish ultramarathons, so they are only 1/10,000th as available as friends.

If you have an ultramarathoner friend, consider yourself blessed. I do.

Today I had a friend take me out for a 28 mile bike ride by the beach in the morning, and another take me to Malibu Creek State Park for a 15.2 mile run/walk up and down some beautiful mountains.

Both companions had many interesting things to say, and I think I burned something like 4,500 calories today without really thinking about it too much.

Over the last few years, I have lost 87 pounds, without a diet or pills or surgery. What I did have is high quality friends who encouraged me to exercise, and ran, walked, lifted, and rode with me, and ate only quality food with me.

Diets have a shockingly low success rate. I have seen statistics claiming 2% success for weight loss of 25% or more of body weight that stayed off, based solely on diet.

Scientists have evaluated the claims of the results of X minutes a week multipled by Y months for Bow-Flex and many other widely advertised claims, and found zero delivered as promised. Exercise delivers the body you want eventually, but not in as few minutes or as few months as TV ads claim.

I realized today that only one thing works reliably: active friends who keep you active as the basis of the relationship.

If you keep communicating a positive message about the importance of exercise and eating good clean food, eventually the friends who would invite you to get wasted or eat junk food or sit and just spectate disappear, and the friends who think a two hour bike ride and a three hour run up and down a mountain, including five miles in the dark, coming across multiple rabbits, deer, and scorpions (I swear!), is fun…magically appear.

I realized tonight that friends who enjoy my company for hours of vigorous and sweaty activity are the essential and irreplaceable aspects of my reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and a happy life.

I only wish I had figured that our sooner.

You can help me make up for lost time: if you find yourself in Santa Monica, please be a great friend and exercise with me. Thank you in advance!

• Alex Lightman​ •

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What are neat fundamentals of success?

Money is a small-byproduct of success. You never have to think about it once you are a successful person. And until you are a successful person, unfortunately, it's all you think about. 

All because of money. All because everytime I had money I made the same mistakes. Mistakes involving alcohol, women, gambling, going for too much, too far, too quickly. 

So what is success? 

Nothing. I have no expectations so I know all my expectations will be exceeded.

Answer by James Altucher:

My dad crushed my dream. I wanted to be a psychologist. He said don't do it. He said, if you become a psychologist you won't make any money.

I said, "It's not all about money."

He said, "You'll have a harder time meeting women." We were both ugly people. He knew that I needed other advantages to meet someone. At least, that was what we were both telling ourselves. For that moment in time, stuck in between youth and adulthood, it probably was true.

I said, "What if I don't want to meet a woman who just likes me because I have money?"

He said, "She won't like you because you have money. She'll like you because you're the kind of person who can make money."

I thought about that then. I didn't understand it. Now maybe I do. Now maybe I apply it. Not towards meeting women. Towards my encounters with anyone.

Money is a small byproduct of success. You never have to think about it once you are a successful person. And until you are a successful person, unfortunately, it's all you think about.

My apologies. It's all I thought about.

But the "kind of person who can" is the key to success.

What is success? Don't define it. But be "the kind of person who can".

How do you do that?

In the Fall of 1998 I sold a company for $15 million. In the summer of 2000 I lost a million dollars a week. Not stock but cash. By fall of 2001, when all of the horrible events happened just a few blocks from me, I lost the rest.

I thought I had won a lottery ticket in 1998 and that I would never get that lottery ticket again. I was wrong.

In 2004 I made a lot of money. In 2007 I made millions of dollars again. I was back. Along the way I had become a successful writer, businessman, hedge fund manager, and so on. I had totally created new careers for myself.

And then I lost it all again. I lost my home. I lost all my money. I lost my marriage. Most important, I lost the ability to be home at night when my daughters would wake up crying from a nightmare, as they often did.

I lost the ability to comfort them. There's that syrupy feeling of comforting a crying, sleepy daughter. Did I lose that forever?

All because of money. All because everytime I had money I made the same mistakes. Mistakes involving alcohol, women, gambling, going for too much, too far, too quickly.

I wasn't, and I had never been, "the kind of person who can" no matter how much money or superficial definitions of success I had.

I didn't want to die. I wanted to live! I wanted to live!

I didn't know what that meant though. I was living off scraps, by myself in downtown NY. Everyone thought I still "had it" even though I didn't. So I hid in shame.

Every night I would drink myself to sleep. Every night I would sit in the same bar and I would start listing ideas for myself. Stupid ideas. Dumb stuff.

And then I started to do what I do now to this very day. I talk about it a lot so I hope the repetition is not boring.

I simply decided to just focus on health "RIGHT NOW". How else could I ever become "the kind of person who can". I had to start off first being "the kind of person who is".

Is what?

Physically healthy: Eat well, sleep well, move well.

Emotionally healthy: Only be around people who I love. Only be around people who love me. It's hard to do this. It's like trimming a bonsai tree. The artist knows exactly which branch to trim. But it takes a lot of practice to master this art.

Mentally healthy: Play with ideas. Write them down every day. Stupid ideas. Fun ideas. "10 ways to win at monopoly". "10 jokes for David Letterman". "10 ways to make more money". On and on every day.

Creativity spins like a thread out of the loom I call the "idea muscle". Like all muscles, the idea muscle atrophies quickly without exercise.

It took me a few months to build my idea muscle back up. And now, six years later, I can see my life change in remarkable ways every six months. Remarkable! It's like alchemy. It's like fantasy.

Spiritually healthy: The past always seductively whispers to us: "don't leave us. Don't forget us". The arguments, the fears, the regrets. But I had to stop time traveling to the past.

And I had to stop time traveling to the future: "You're going to go broke. Nobody will love you. You're going to die."

Instead, everytime I noticed I was doing that I had to remain present in the moment. I did that by counting all the things I was grateful for.

Instead of saying "I have to-" (I have to go to the dentist. I have to go to this meeting. I have to spend the summer writing a book. On and on) I would say, "I get to-" (I get to write a book! I get to be healthy! I get to meet new people!).

To be "the kind of person who can", every day you have to be "the kind of person who is".

There's nothing else. There's no goals because goals quickly turn on you and fan the flames of your fears.

"The kind of person who is" is TODAY is the successful person tomorrow.

So what is success?

Nothing. I have no expectations so I know all my expectations will be exceeded.

I just want to be the kind of person who is…today.

And I say with all sincerity and love: F***k you, Dad (R.I.P.)

What are neat fundamentals of success?

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Phil Hellmuth emcees (presenting (one of) his World Series of Poker (WSOP)) gold bracelet(s) to Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook). Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie • Scary Movie) nearly won the tournament, coming in ‪#‎2nd‬; while Dan Fleyshman is eliminated at the final table.

Phil Hellmuth emcees (presenting (one of) his World Series of Poker (WSOP)) gold bracelet(s) to Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook).

Players : (Investment Bankers) : David Einhorn and Justin Lepone (Greenlight Capital), Boaz Weinstein (Saba Capital), Paul Britton (Capstone), John Petry and Jae Hong (Sessa Capital), Whitney Tilson (Kase Capital), Osman Hussein (Tiger Global), Bobby Fallon (Tiger Global), Shavar Jeffries (Lowenstein Sandler), Kwane Thomas (Sanford C. Bernstein), Roy Behren (Westchester Capital Management), Ross Behren (The Cowen Group), Michael Sabat (Sanford Bernstein), Phil Hilal (Clearfield Capital Management) and Omar Saeed (Hutchin Hill Capital * Omar finished 37th in the 2012 WSOP main event). (Poker pros) : Andy Frankenberger (former J.P. Morgan trader), Erik SeidelLayne Flack, and Vanessa Selbst. (Former NBA stars) : Allan Houston, Charles Smith and John Starks.

Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie • Scary Movie) nearly won the tournament, coming in ‪#‎2nd‬; while Dan Fleyshman is eliminated at the final table.

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Game theory: what poker and finance have in common – MIT Sloan School of Management

Kevin Desmond believes the same strategic thinking used to win at poker can yield successful finance and investing decisions.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: mitsloan.mit.edu

A lot of very successful people in finance have a background in poker; coming into a career in finance already understanding risk-management on a personal-level is critical.  Poker and trading both require balancing expected-returns against associated-risks and in both activities the key to success is self-discipline.  The same strategic-thinking that can help you win the card game can yield sound-financial and investing decisions. • Kevin Desmond spent years as a stock and equities trader at Morgan Stanley and is an experienced online and live player at low, mid and high-stakes.

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Poker Theory and Analytics : MIT OpenCourseWare

This course takes a broad-based look at poker theory and applications of poker analytics to investment management and trading.

Poker Theory and Analytics : MIT OpenCourseWare • Instructor Kevin Desmond spent years as a stock and equities trader at Morgan Stanley and is experienced with live and online play for cash and in tournaments.  Kevin completed his Masters in Finance (MFin) degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2015.

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate-level university course material)

(Patricia Buckley and Lori Davenport also shared this)

ocw.mit.edu

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