I made my final donation yesterday. The $75,000 is now all accounted for. I sent $20,000 to charity: water for building water wells in rural Pakistan, and $15,000 to GiveDirectly (matched by another $15,000 by Good Ventures), which will be distributed through Kenya and Uganda. I’ll be updating the original post where I announce I’m starting over with more information and the receipts once I get them. The print edition...
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(For those of you who don’t know what’s going on with me right now, read this post first.) Christmas has come and gone. It’s never been a big day for me and my family. We don’t celebrate Christmas. So mostly Christmas is a day when everything is closed, my friends are busy, and everything is dim and quiet. For me, it’s a lonely time of year. Two days before Christmas,...
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So I’m starting over. I’ve decided to give away all of my money. Two years after retiring from poker, I have left about half a million dollars. I’m giving some of it to charity, and the rest to my family to go toward my parents’ retirement. I’m leaving myself $10,000 to live off—you know, in case I’m an idiot and everything goes horribly wrong. Oh, and I just finished the...
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This is a glossary of common poker terms. Suggest additions or changes in the comments below. [#](#num) [A](#a) [B](#b) [C](#c) [D](#d) [E](#e) [F](#f) [G](#g) [H](#h) [I](#i) [J](#j) [K](#k) [L](#l) [M](#m) [N](#n) [O](#o) [P](#p) [Q](#q) [R](#r) [S](#s) [T](#t) [U](#u) [V](#v) [W](#w) [X](#x) [Y](#y) [Z](#z) #### # $1/$2, $5/$10, $10/$20 A way of notating the size of the blinds in the stakes being played. $10/$20 means a $10 small blind, and a...
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Dec 2013

I had been thinking some about the aesthetics of poker lately, and someone reminded me of an article I wrote in 2009, back when I was 19. I’ve decided to reprise it here with a little editing; it didn’t need that much, to my surprise. It’s one of the pieces I wrote about poker that I’m really proud of, so I wanted to have it here as well. I hope...
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Nov 2013

It’s fall now, and just starting to get cold in Texas. I haven’t written in a while. The book, The Philosophy of Poker, I will collate and edit from the pieces written on this blog. I’ll release it within the next couple of months as an e-book. There will be extensive editing, some additional material I’ve thought of in the interim while writing the book, and some revisions of ideas...
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Oct 2013

In the first two parts of this article, I gave much advice on structuring your poker career, and the proper roles of health, ego, and obsession. But what I have not yet discussed are the spiritual and philosophical aspects of life as a poker player. How should we live our lives away from poker? What relationship should we have with the game? How can we become happy, and still be...
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Aug 2013

We concluded the first part of this article series with a discussion on structuring your poker life and career. But being a poker player is about more than merely playing poker—it is also in how you conduct your life around it. It is no secret that poker is an unwieldy horse. It is stubborn, unpredictable, and will happily buck anyone who can’t hold on. Most can’t. You likely know someone...
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Jul 2013

Nobody teaches us how to be poker players. Poker culture teaches us how to slowplay, how to setmine, how to manage our bankroll. It teaches us how to think, how to talk, what is cool and what is not. We absorb these teachings eagerly. But when was it going to teach us how to be poker players? What to think of ourselves? How to thrive in a culture that is...
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Jul 2013

Poker cannot be played alone. For a game to be dealt, you must have other players to battle, to deceive, to outmaneuver, to control. And yet, every hand of poker you are ever dealt you will play alone. No one else is in your corner. You may find sympathy in others, encouragement, words of wisdom. But you know they have no stake in your success. You are the only one...
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Jun 2013

“Poker theory” is inherently seductive. In a game full of chaos and uncertainty, poker theory beckons to us, promising comprehensibility and control. But while theory is powerful, it is not a panacea. That’s not to say that theory in and of itself is flawed—rather, that we are. Human beings are only boundedly rational. We are merely approximations of logical thinkers. And yet, we often take it for granted that in...
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Jun 2013

We all come to poker with a blank slate. No one arrives knowing how to identify a SA/WB, read a flop texture, or spot a cooler. We learn these things through the feedback that poker provides us. And yet, though poker gives us all essentially the same feedback, some of us become proficient and others do not. One of the strongest determinants of how good a player will become is...
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Apr 2013

There is a vague and shadowy mythology surrounding the Feel Player. He is a genius of mysterious origins. No one can explain how or why he is good at poker—not even the Feel Player himself. He is like a mathematical prodigy hailing from a tiny, illiterate village in India, or a low-born squire who pulls a mythical sword from its pedestal. He is a fluke, an exception. He is not...
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Apr 2013

What is learning? How does it work? How can we learn better? These questions might seem naïve on first glance. Learning is fundamental to how humans negotiate the world, and yet it feels strange and reductive to take it aside and interrogate it. But if you are a poker player, learning is an essential part of your vocation. To really improve at poker, it is imperative to optimize the process...
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Mar 2013
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