Top 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Dream of Winning the PowerBall Lottery


, , , , ,

0000000 powerballDon’t get me wrong, it would sure be nice to win the PowerBall.  I would be stupid if I said I don’t want to win.  That’s not really what we are talking about here.  I am talking about if you should actually dream to win it.

It may be bold to say, but here are my top 3 reasons you shouldn’t dream of winning the PowerBall lottery.


1.  Money won’t buy you happiness – It sounds like a cliche I know.  And having millions would definitely alleviate most financial burdens.  In particular, your concerns about paying your bills every month would disappear like a magicians coin. Perhaps, more specifically, the thought of how you might escape that dreadful office cubicle also disappears.  But there are plenty of happy people who are poor and miserable people who are rich.  Much of the research I have read talks about a minimum threshold for happiness so your basic needs are taken care of.  I have heard it can be as low as $40,000 a year and as high as $70,000.  After that, it’s more of your own personal circumstances and attitude based on factors unrelated to money.

2. Dreams are aspirations – Dreams are things you want to do or achieve based on passions you have.  Often times the best dreams happen when your passion, skill, and concept of helping others collide.  Winning a lottery takes no effort.  And when is the last time you heard somebody proclaim, “I am passionate about winning the lottery?”  Well if they did say it, I am sure their tongue would be pressing a ditch in their cheek.

3. Small money small problems, big money big problems – I can hear in your head what you are thinking when you read this.  “Those are the problems I would love to be faced with.”  I am not going to try and convince you that you wouldn’t want to win the lottery.  I will say, there are a host of huge problems that come with having money that you can’t even imagine.  Do you I know from experience??  Absolutely not!  Do I know others who have had these experiences??  Absolutely!  With money comes freedom but freedom with strings attached like a marionette.

So there you have it.  My top 3 reasons why you shouldn’t dream of winning the PowerBall lottery.  I guess that gets us down to one last question which is probably swirling around in your head.  Did I put my money where my mouth was?  Well…. sort of.  I have not dreamed of winning the lottery but I did put $2 into an office pool.  Why would I do that you ask? Because having fun talking with my co-workers about what we would do with all that money is worth $2.  It’s also funny to think what my company would do if they lost a whole team of workers on a single day.  That’s right, $2 worth of wonderful and giddy entertainment.  Maybe next time I will just put $2 to flame and watch it burn away.  Cause after all, that sounds fun too.  Until next post… Smile Big and Dream Bigger!  Not about winning the lottery though.



My Turn, My Dream: Next Man Up


, , , , , , , , ,

00000 2014 wsop 2This past week I have been an observer of one man dream’s coming to fruition, and one team heading in the direction of their dreams. Who would have thought that a man which almost quit poker could become the World Series of Poker Main Event Champ? Who would have thought that one of the worst football franchises could be having a dream season with a backup quarterback and individuals severely injured or out at their positions.

I am talking about Martin Jacobson and I am also talking about the Arizona Cardinals. Martin Jacobson was the next man up for the Poker Championship and the Cardinals are relying on the Next Man Up philosophy to pave the way to be the first team ever to play in a Super Bowl in their own city.

I can’t help but get energized by these two stories. Thanks to my wife, who is an angel, I was lucky enough to be able to attend and watch the World Series of Poker Main Event final table in person. To see one man win $10 Million playing a game of cards is indescribable. Some would say its just dumb luck, but others who know better (I include myself in this category), realize that there is a reason some folks can make millions of dollars consistently beating the game while others can’t find a way to win under almost any circumstances.

As for the Arizona Cardinals, there is not that much talent difference between the worst team and the best team in the NFL. Don’t believe me?? How can a team that has been so bad for so long bring in a coach and 2 years later be the best team in the league. It’s all about attitude and desire. The attitude to believe it can be done under any conditions and the desire to do it on a team level even with some bench players. It’s the next man up to play that has to deliver the effort of the starter so they can participate in a team effort to continue the win streak. It’s not about one individuals efforts, its about team wins under adverse conditions. This is the attitude that Bruce Arians has brought to the Valley of the Sun. If you ever wonder how coaches can be fired when they don’t play the game, the Cardinals are showing you why. A good coach creates a great team. Just ask Phil Jackson who teaches his team meditation and visualization. There is a reason he is thought of as one of the best coaches ever in the NBA.000000 Next Man Up

So as I see it, it’s my turn. It’s my dream that is due to be fulfilled with enough effort, attitude, and determination. I AM the Next Man Up. Smiling Big and Dreaming Bigger all the way to the Main Event Final Table. Look for me soon on an ESPN poker broadcast near you.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – The Dream Delayed


, , , , , , , , , , ,

000 arizona state poker championshipAfter going to Vegas this Summer for the World Series of Poker I was feeling that I had honed my tournament skills and was really excited about the possibility of playing in this years Arizona State Poker Championship. The buy in was $1,100 which I didn’t want to lay outright. So I decided to try and win my way in, first with a Mega-Satellite in which they give out 1 entry for every 10 people who play. I was doing great and playing great. In this one, they were giving out 14 entries since 140 people signed up. I was getting short stacked as we got down to 19 players and was feeling really nervous. Getting this far and not winning my entry would be crushing. I was short stacked to the point of needing to push all in with any hand that contained an Ace. So I was in early position and looked down and saw my ace; when I was about to say all in, I of coursed looked at the next card and wouldn’t you know it, another Ace. I quickly pushed All In and the guy after me who had a few more chips than I, thought about it for at least a minute and a half before calling with Jack-Nine suited. I won’t draw out the story since most people hate to hear bad beat stories. Basically, I got knocked out when he hit his straight on the river.

Was I extremely disappointed, absolutely! I did, however, decide I was going to enter a two win one table satellite the weekend before the tournament. This is a $200 buy in where they play down to 2 players who each get their entry. It was a grind and a battle but I won my entry. I was extremely excited and called my wife and plastered it all over Facebook to let the world know I had won my entry and would be playing in the event.

I got into the event and it played out very similar to the Mega-Satellite. I was playing great but seemed to be short stacked most of the day. After playing about 8 hours of tight yet aggressive play, which is a very solid strategy, I looked down and saw Ace – King. For those of you who are not poker players, this is the best hand which doesn’t contain a pair. So I raise because I have enough that I can play a couple of solid hands without having to go All-In. The aggressive professional poker player Matt Affleck decides to re-raise me in hopes to get me off the hand. It folds around to me and I think for a minute to decide whether I should make my stand here or try and play on with an extremely short stacked. For most players it would be a no brainer to go All-In but I happen to be a damn good short stack player. In the end, I decided to go All-In and risk it. Mostly because I figured Matt was being aggressive as usual and most likely had a worse hand than me or a small pair which would make it a coin flip. Turns out, he had Jack – Queen suited and I liked my chances. To make the story short once again, he hit a Jack on the flop and knocked me out. All any player can really do is get their money in with the best of it and hope the better hand holds up. In this case it didn’t and it took me a few weeks to get over this beat. To rub salt in the wound, Matt ended up placing 5th in the tourney and winning $82,000 dollars, with of course, some of my chips.

So I decided to dig deeper into Matt Affleck’s poker career. After watching some YouTube videos of his deep runs in back to back World Series Main Events, I felt good to be up against a real time pro with the best of it. Even better, I realized he took a really bad beat as well in the Main Event with much more money on the line and much deeper into the tourney. Not because I wanted to see my revenge feeling realized but because I knew he could empathize completely with what I experienced.

As they say all the time, two steps forward and one step back. Time to pick myself up and get prepared for the World Series of Poker Circuit Event which comes to Arizona in February. Until then, Smile Big and Dream Bigger.

One Baby Step Closer to Living My Dream


, , , , , , , , ,

0000 2014 wsopIn case you forgot, one of my main dreams is to become a professional poker player. Last weekend I traveled to Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker. Most individuals that don’t really know much about poker don’t realize, depending on the year, there can be up to 60 bracelet events. When the layman thinks of the World Series of Poker, the only event that usually comes to mind is the $10,000 Main Event. This year, there are actually 65 bracelet events. For almost all amateur poker players, winning a bracelet event is a lifelong dream. I went to Vegas hoping to fulfill this same dream although I knew it was quite a long shot.

My plan for this trip was to win my way into Event #8, which is also known as the “Millionaire Maker Event.” As you can guess, it is titled this because the winner is guaranteed $1 Million. This is one of only three events that the winner will become a millionaire if they are not already. The other two are the “One Drop” which costs a Million Dollars just to enter and the Main Event. You must be thinking, who has a Million Dollars just to enter an event. The top 25 professional poker players in the world, that’s who. The buy in to Event #8 is $1,500. I could have just bought into it as anybody can, but I have not been playing as regularly as I should for somebody who wants to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. Because of this, winning my way in was the plan. Yes, as much as I hate to say it, life sometimes gets in the way of chasing our dreams. For me, this should only be temporary.

I flew into Vegas after work on Thursday night and by Friday evening the cash games were not treating me well. I was actually playing okay, but just wasn’t getting the cards and it is hard to bluff unwise amateurs in a low level cash game. So by about 9pm Friday night I only had a few hundred dollars in my bankroll and was worried I wouldn’t have enough funds to finish play a lot more hours without visiting the one machine in Vegas which always pays out… The ATM machine.

The Rio has daily deep stack tournaments and at about 9:30pm I decided to enter the 10pm tournament and figured at least I would get a few good hours of play without having to lose more than $135, since that was the entry fee. By 9:50pm I had my entry in hand and was getting prepared for the trite call to “shuffle up and deal.” So there are was, grinding it out and continuing my streak of almost no cards but picking up about 1 big hand every 1.5 hours. Pocket Aces, win a nice pot. Ace King, win a nice pot. Pocket Queens, win a nice pot. Almost 5 hours into the tournament I had a larger than average chip stack and all the players left (about 30) were getting closer to cashing in the event. The event had 204 entries and the top 21 got paid. I wont get into all the gory details but at about 5am, we were still playing and I was at the final table. There were no TV cameras, the poker room of over 200 tables was almost empty due to the late hour, and most of the people in the room were only the staff and a few cash game players. Despite that, to me this was important. I was already guaranteed to make money since the person out in 10th place would get $387 but I was shooting for the $5,306 first prize. This would guarantee my ability to enter the Millionaire Maker event. Like I was running all tournament, I was card dead except for 1 hand an hour. Despite being short stacked, I was able to outlast a few of the big stacks at the final table. Believe it or not, I can’t even remember how I was knocked out of the tournament. Maybe it had to do with the late hour or the multiple games I had played after the tournament since I was in Vegas until Monday afternoon. I was, however, proud to ultimately go out in 5th place and win $1,298.

This wasn’t really the big time but I did outlast 200 players. Nobody would know but me, my friends, and my family. The rest of the trip, the games went pretty similar but I did go deep in two other daily events I played. 37th out of 220 at the daily Aria tourney and 328 out of 1560 at the 3pm Rio Daily. So I cashed in 1 of 3 tournaments I entered and for the first time in awhile felt really good about my ability to play solid tournament poker.

Tuesday morning, I arrive at work feeling good about my game but realizing nobody else really knew that I cashed. With the exception, of course, of my friends and family. That is until a friend of mine at work, who also plays a lot of poker and knew about my cash, sent me a hyperlink starting with the important http://www.wsop. That’s right, they track and report who cashes in each of the three daily tournaments. And there I was, my 5th place finish listed on a PDF from the WSOP Site that shows the daily winners for May 30th. I felt like Navin R. Johnson from the movie “The Jerk” when he finds out his name is listed for the first time in the phone book. In the wide poker world, I was somebody. To everybody else in means nothing, but to me it definitely means something. It is the first of many upcoming cashes in my poker career. Its the first baby step to living my dream. The cherry on top was when “The Hendon Mob” site also reported out my tournament cash. The Hendon Mob is a group of professional poker players that decided a long time ago to create a poker database of all poker players that have cashed in reportable events. They also keep a running total of each poker players life long earnings. Here I was for the first time, listed on their site with my winning totals. In addition, their database will be tracking me for years to come. Assuming this isn’t my only cash… which it won’t be. I won’t let it be. I won’t stop until playing poker is my main job and I am smiling at the final table with a World Series of Poker bracelet in hand.

Until you see me on ESPN… Smile Big and Dream Bigger!

Love Inc.


, , , , , , , , ,

I Love My JobSome people don’t love entrepreneurship so they seek out their dream job at a corporation. If you are cubicle averse, this idea probably makes little sense to you. It does exist, however, and there ARE people who work for a corporation they love.

A great example is If you walk into their headquarters you would notice that the cubes tend to resemble a kindergarten classroom more than a corporation. Zappos understands the importance fun can play in allowing their employees to provide an exceptional service experience to their customers.

In most corporate settings, love is a forbidden word at worst, and not spoken about at best. But there are companies that infuse love into their culture. Starbucks is a good example. I was recently reading, at work, the book Onward by Starbucks CEO and Founder Howard Schultz. Chapter 2 is titled “A Love Story” and discusses his love for espresso and the associated coffee house experience. When one of my co-workers looked over my shoulder and just saw the chapter heading on each page, he said…. “awwwww, a love story.” And then I turned over the cover and said… “a love story about Starbucks.” As you can imagine, his mouth dropped and was gaping wide open. That’s because we don’t associate love with a company and definitely not the corporate world.

One company, Southwest Airlines, believes so much in the importance of love that they used the concept to create one of their logos. Yes, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Even if the shape is a cubicle and that size is a corporate monster. Or should I say, a corporate teddy bear. So if entrepreneurship isn’t your thing, find that dream job at a corporation so you can Smile Big and Dream Bigger!

Why I Have Been So Quiet Recently


, , , , , , , ,

00000 quiet phaseI know it has been awhile since I have had a blog post. To be honest, at times I have struggled to come up with a new idea about following your dreams. I have, however, not given up on blogging. I have a second blog with no particular topic in which I blog about anything. No topic restraints. This is actually part of gaining some of the skills required to ultimately achieve my dream. See one of the key requirements for a potential business idea I have is to be a good writer. I wish I had the content to post a blog a couple times a week about following your dreams. Unfortunately, I am finding much difficulty in being successful at this task. This does, however, teach me an important lesson about having to be persistent.

Please bear with me as I go through this period of pause. I know that practicing my writing on another blog without constraints will lead to better and more frequent posts on this blog. Dreams take practice, learning, and patience. I am learning about this the hard way but I won’t let this deter me from smiling big and dreaming bigger.

You Read the Dictionary??


, , , , , , , , , , ,

LarryBookWhen I started reading the dictionary it was more about learning new words and taking on a knowledge quest. All I would need to do to complete the task, in just over a year, is read two pages a day… everyday. On the surface that seems really easy but it is actually quite difficult. It has taken me over two years to get through half and has become much more challenging than I expected. Early on I realized that many of the new words I was learning I would not remember. I do, however, still see the value that this project is teaching me. Now I am doing it just to learn about overcoming key obstacles to reaching a difficult goal.

To this day I remember reading long ago A.J. Jacobs’ book “The Know-It-All“. In this book he discusses trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in 1 year. He was able to achieve, what may seem to be, an impossible feat. My impossible feat of reading the dictionary is something I will never give up on until I ultimately succeed. If nothing else, this experience will teach me what it takes to achieve those seemingly impossible dreams. What is your impossible dream? Don’t give up! Go after it! Smile Big and Dream Bigger!

The Dream, Dream Team


, , , , , , , , , ,

Dream-TeamI have many authors and invididuals that inspire me daily and help me towards achieving my dreams. I call this group my dream, dream team. While the list is far short of being all inclusive, these are some of the key individuals that have recently inspired me to continue my dream quest.

1. Chris Guillebeau – Travel hacker and author of “The Art of Non-Conformity” he is the epitome of living life unconventionally. Chris hasn’t worked for anybody in the last 10 years and has taught thousands how to find their life’s passion. He sets goals and achieves them like visiting all 193 by the time he was 30.

2. Tim Ferriss – The master of learning anything with profound efficiency and greatness. He is author of “The 4 Hour Work Week” and teaches you how to achieve more with less. From facing his fear of swimming to mastering languages after years of struggling, he will inspire you to try to achieve what feels like it is un-achievable.

3. James Altucher – Reading Altucher’s books and blogs is like riding on an emotional roller coaster. He is, however, willing to reveal all and uses his mistakes to teach you how to succeed. James is not afraid to explain how he became a multimillionaire, lost it all, then became a multimillionaire again, only to lose it all again. Like I said, his life and work is an emotional roller coaster. He wrote the book “Choose Yourself” and believed in the message so deeply that he was willing to give the book away for free for the first 3 months of publication.

4. Leo Babauta – One of the top bloggers in the world he focuses on living life more deeply through simplification. His blog Zen Habits is read by millions. Leo went from a hyper stressed, unhealthy, overworked individual male to a clear headed peaceful individual. He feels that people sharing his message serves him and his readers much more than protecting it through copyrighting. If you are blogger yourself I encourage you to share his message with your readers.

5. Shawn Achor – He will show you how to be happier through 5 different things you can do every day. While it sounds too simple to be true, he is a Harvard Grad in Positive Psychology and has countless studies to back up his claims. The proof is in the pudding and he has lots of pudding.

6. Jonathan Fields – He’s a career renegade that wrote a book by the same name. Jonathan gave up a high profile NYC lawyer job to pursue multiple business opportunities including starting his own yoga studio. He now teaches others how to be their own career renegade.

7. Scott Dinsmore – Scott believes you can do what you love while simultaneously changing the world. He believes in the concept of living your legend and runs a web site by the same name.

There are plenty of others that inspire me but these are the ones I am most focused on currently and impacted me over the last few months. If you are looking to fulfill your dreams, the individuals above will provide a great spring board.

Smile Big and Dream Bigger.

Your Dream Doesn’t Have an Expiration Date


, , , , , ,

old dreamsAs I celebrated my 42nd birthday this month I couldn’t help but be a little sad that I have not accomplished more in my lifetime. I quickly realized, however, that I still have time to make all my dreams come true. That’s because my dream and your dream too, do not have an expiration date. As long as your heart still beats and your brain still functions, you still have time. So with the passing of another birthday I am increasing my focus on achieving my dreams and you should too. Use your next birthday as a springboard into the pool of accomplishment.

Everywhere you turn there are examples of individuals fulfilling their dreams late in life. There is Lucille Singleton from Harlem who started running at 67 and finished her first marathon when she was 75. There is Diana Nyad who after decades of not swimming decided to tackle the extremely challenging swim from Cuba to Florida. After 4 failed attempts, at the age of 64, she successfully swam the route. And there is Genevie Kocourek who was interested in medicine early in life but didn’t have the financial means to pay for med school. She decided to switch career paths much later in her career progression and ultimately achieved her dream of becoming a doctor at the age of 53. These are just a few of the endless examples of ordinary people succeeding at their extraordinary dreams much later in their lifetime. Want a taste of even more examples? Then here is a list of the 25 Oldest People to Accomplish Amazing Feats.

So whether you are 5 or 95, it’s not too early and it’s definitely not too late. Dreams are the milk that does not spoil. The milk does, however, very slowly evaporate. Don’t let your age be a barrier to your dreams. There already are way too many barriers. At 95 or 105, you still have some time to smile big and dream bigger.

Ride the 2014 Horse to the Promised Land


, , , ,

Horse YearI feel, more than ever, that this is the year. It’s time for all the building blocks to come together and create the master puzzle that are my dreams. When the necessary innings come to a close I will score a dream home run. The year of the horse is the year I plan on riding into the Promised Land. Where I spend every day doing what I love and make money from it. Not rich money but money enough to live on. Since I am busy doing rather than writing about doing, that’s all for now.

Smile Big and Dream Bigger!