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ASK Biblitz about Winning.

'... slugged and slugged again and again, and not going down, still trying to think, to feel, still trying to put the butterfly back together again'


WELCOME!

See also Gambling, Online Gambling, Gambling First Nations, The Horses and Monte.

More Roll 'n Shuffle, the PokerPulse Gambler's Guide to the Good Life. A discriminating player's guide to the art of gambling.

Nothing in my life ever goes right. What am I doing wrong?

Biblitz replies:

Friend, you pay too much attention to your critics! Think big, starting with music:

Vincero! Vincero! Vincero! (I will win!)



After evaluating interests and strengths, possibly with a professional adviser, prepare a strategy then take a bold step in previously uncharted territory:

New York Times Magazine

My Son's Gamble

Dan started playing online poker full time, made money and quit college. What's a mother to do?

By By Lucy Ferriss
June 28/09

See also Online Gambling

Dan's second year of college saw him losing out on things other than profits. His grades took another nose dive. Reinstated on the tennis team, he quit after a few months. Yet he was winning, consistently, at poker, amassing a big enough bankroll by December to fly himself and a friend to Aruba and have plenty left over to buy a car, support himself and start planning a life of international travel. Since he no longer valued being a scholar-athlete, the loss of grades and sports prowess were, from Dan's point of view, insignificant. In February, having paid spring tuition himself, he made the belated but rational decision to drop out of school. ...

He was no longer a college student or my dependent. He was, for the moment at least, not only self-supporting but looking at six months' earnings that were more than my annual salary. Yes, he was playing poker because he loved the competition, because it had a bad-boy appeal, because his peers looked up to his success. (From The Journal of Gambling Studies: 92 percent of college students agree that gambling makes a person look smart.) But he was also playing poker because the financial independence it could yield allowed him to separate. Here, then, was something I could seize on: a small benefit, a morsel of sanity in what had seemed a feast of madness. ...

Two weeks after withdrawing from school, Dan took off with a group of poker buddies for the European Poker Tournament in Germany, a face-to-face poker round leading up to the World Series of Poker. Some players at these tournaments have sponsors, their fees paid by companies or individuals in exchange for a percentage of their winnings; but like most of the 667 competitors - 31 of them from the United States - Dan paid the 5,300-euro buy-in himself, along with all the expenses of the trip.

On the second day of the tournament, I found a report online. A third of the entrants remained in the draw, only six from the U.S., and Dan was among them. I couldn't help feeling a flash of joy, knowing how happy he must be, how confident and eager for the next round. Twelve hours later, he had lost. "But my friend Jake won the $2K event," he said over the phone the day he flew back.

"You mean he won $2,000?"

"No, Mom. That's the buy-in. He won like $140,000." (-- pgs. 38- 43)

Why Teams Win

Nine Keys to Success in Business, Sport, and Beyond

Hardcover
By Dr. Saul L. Miller

Nine Team Insight Exercises

1. Team Reflection Action: A team-building exercise that I have found useful it sot review the nine keys to winning with an entire team, and then ask members to evaluate their team on a five-point scale in regard to each of these elements. ... The group can caucus and choose one or elements to work to improve in the next quarter or six months, and then prepare a plan of action to achieve that result. ...

2. What We Appreciate and What We Need More Of: ... One after another, team members share their perception and provide feedback regarding how the team member in the center impacts on the team. ...

3. The Logo Exercise: Who are we? What do we want to become?

4. Overcoming Inertia: The Power of All: ... asking individual team members to push or pull a large bus in order to get it moving. ...

5. Leadership for All: ...

Commitment

I am one of the hardest workers on the team.
I care passionately about the team's success.
I am a competitive person who wants to win/succeed every day.

Confidence

I believe in myself. I give my teammates confidence.
I love to perform in a pressure situation. Under pressure I get stronger.

I am a positive person. I bounce back quickly following mistakes and errors.

Composure

I stay composed in pressure situations ... positively focused ... anxiety, anger and frustration under control. ...

"... you cannot allow a bump in the road to divert you from your goal. ... If your goal is genuinely to be the best you can be, then whatever comes up, you have to use it. If you don't use it, it'll use you." I explained to John that he was letting this recent setback use him and erode his sense of purpose.

Whether someone has a strong internal drive to succeed, or is sparked to action by the team's leadership or by its history of past accomplishment, people motivated to excel by a meaningful goal will invest more of themselves in achieving it. (-- p. 19)

Feedback

I regularly encourage my teammates to do their best ... who seeks to unify the team and make us better ... communicate determination and optimism when the team is struggling ... constuctively confront my teammates when necessary.

Modeling

... I model success in my thoughts and actions. ...

6. Team Identity: ... qualities that characterize a healthy, functional family ... Responsible ... Hard-working and Self- Sacrificing ... Respectful ... Caring ... Supporting ... Trusting ... Loyal ... Communicating ... Burying the Past ... He had an assistant write their remarks on a large piece of paper. He then had the players accompany him outside ... poured lighter fluid on it, and set it aflame. ... When they went back inside, the coach told the team, "We've buried the past. Now, let's create a new self-image." ... asked the players to come up with a new positive mission statement for the team." ...

7. Personal Identity ... "I am a good -----." (Fill in the blank with whatever it is you do - ... then complete the following.) When I perform at my best I:

Fill in the blanks with six to eight specific actions that highlight you performing well and are clear enough that you can actually picture being or doing them.

8. Personal Power: How we feel affects how we perform. It also affects team confidence and chemistry. One aide to managing emotions and feeling more confident and in control is learning how to breathe consciously. ... Focusing on breathing brings one back to the present ... where the power is. Whatever the challenge, it is best dealt with in the present. ...

9. The Power of the Circle: ... have the team form a tight circle, facing outward with hands and arms firmly joined. One individual ... is outside the circle. The group is then instructed to keep the outsider out ... The outsider is told to try to penetrate the circle. ... (-- pgs. 170-186)

National Geographic Traveler

Everyday Survival

Most survival guides fail to consider some very useful tools: an individual's character, wits, and worldview. The tips assembled here will change the way you approach each and every day - and help you survive a particularly bad one.

By Laurence Gonzales
August, 2008

... Although I still believe that equipment and training are good to have, most survival writing leaves out the essential human element in the equation. That's why I've concentrated my efforts on learning about the hearts and minds of survivors. You can start developing these tools of survival now. It takes time and deliberate practice to change. But new research shows that if we adjust our everyday routines even slightly, we do indeed change. The chemical makeup of the brain even shifts. To make these lessons useful, you have to engage in learning long before you need it - it's too late when you're in the middle of a crisis. Presented here are 14 concepts that have proved helpful to survivors in extreme situations, as well as to people trying to meet the challenges of daily life.

Do the Next Right Thing

"Debriefings of survivors show repeatedly that they possess the capacity to break down the event they are faced with into small, manageable tasks," writes John Leach, a psychology professor at Lancaster University who has conducted some of the only research on the mental, emotional, and psychological elements of survival. "Each step, each chunk must be as simple as possible.... Simple directed action is the key to regaining normal psychological functioning." This approach can sometimes seem counterintuitive. And yet almost any organized action can help you recover the ability to think clearly and aid in your survival. ... Forcing your brain to think sequentially - in times of crisis and in day-to-day life - can quiet dangerous emotions. ...

Control Your Destiny

Julian Rotter, a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut, developed the concept of what he calls "locus of control." Some people, he says, view themselves as essentially in control of the good and bad things they experience - i.e., they have an internal locus of control. Others believe that things are done to them by outside forces or happen by chance: an external locus. These worldviews are not absolutes. Most people combine the two. But research shows that those with a strong internal locus are better off. In general, they're less likely to find everyday activities distressing. They don't often complain, whine, or blame. And they take compliments and criticism in stride. The importance of this mentality is evidenced by tornado statistics. In the past two decades Illinois has had about 50 percent more twisters than Alabama but far fewer fatalities. The discrepancy can be explained, in part, by a study in the journal Science, which found that Alabama residents believed their fate was controlled by God, not by them. The people of Illinois, meanwhile, were more inclined to have confidence in their own abilities and to take action. This doesn't mean we should be overconfident. Rather, we should balance confidence with reasonable doubt, self-esteem with self-criticism. And we should do this each day. As Al Siebert put it in his book The Survivor Personality, "Your habitual way of reacting to everyday events influences your chances of being a survivor in a crisis."

Deny Denial

... Take getting lost. A hiker in denial will continue walking even after losing the trail, assuming he'll regain it eventually. He'll press on - and become increasingly lost - even as doubt slowly creeps in. Learn to recognize your tendency to see things not as they are but how you wish them to be and you'll be better able to avoid such crises.

Use a Mantra

In a long and trying survival situation, most people need a mantra. Ask: What will keep me focused on getting home alive? Then learn your mantra before you need it. For Steve Callahan, adrift in a raft for 76 days, his mantra was simply the word "survival." Over and over during the ordeal, he d say things like "Concentrate on now, on survival." Yossi Ghinsberg, a hiker who was lost in the Bolivian jungle for three weeks, repeatedly used the mantra "Man of action" to motivate himself. Often, a mantra hints at some deeper meaning. Ghinsberg, for example, explained it this way: "A man of action does whatever he must, isn't afraid, and doesn't worry." ...

Think Positive

Viktor Frankl in his book Man's Search for Meaning recounts the story of Jerry Long, who was 17 years old when he broke his neck in a diving accident. Long was completely paralyzed and had to use a stick held between his teeth to type. Long wrote, "I view my life as being abundant with meaning and purpose. The attitude that I adopted on that fateful day has become my personal credo for life: I broke my neck; it didn't break me." Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, would agree with this sentiment. Dweck studies individual learning habits, specifically how people grapple with difficult problems. According to her research, individuals with a "growth mindset" - those who are not discouraged in the face of a challenge, who think positively, and who are not afraid to make or admit mistakes - are able to learn and adjust faster and more easily overcome obstacles. ...

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Every new challenge you face actually causes your brain to rewire itself and to become more adaptable. A study at University College London showed that the city's cab drivers possessed unusually large hippocampi, the part of the brain that makes mental maps of our surroundings. The fact that London has very strict requirements for cab drivers forced them to create good mental maps, which caused their hippocampi to grow. For most of us, a normal routine at work, home, and play will provide plenty of opportunities for simple mind-expanding exercises. For example, if you're right-handed, use your left hand. Learning to write with your nondominant hand can be extremely challenging and builds a part of your brain that you don't use much. Learn a new mental skill, such as chess or counting cards for blackjack. Learn a musical instrument or a foreign language. A recent study suggests that Chinese uses entirely different parts of the brain than Western languages. Take tasks that require no thought and re-invent them so that you have to think. This bears repeating: Survival is not about equipment and training alone. It's about what's in your mind and your emotional system. Living in a low-risk environment dulls our abilities. We must make a conscious effort to learn new things, to force ourselves out of our comfort zones. ...

When formulating a bailout plan, it's important to establish parameters by which to make the decision. For example, if you aren't on the summit by three o'clock, you must turn back. Or if you have lost $100 million, you must end the project. Whatever the criterion, make sure it's specific. Then, when your brain's not working well because of stress or exhaustion, you'll still make the right decision.

Help Others

In a survival situation, tending to others transforms you from a victim into a rescuer and improves your chances. Psychology professor John Leach writes in his book Survival Psychology that in disasters, natural and otherwise, doctors and nurses have a better survival rate because they have a job to do and a responsibility to others. This same phenomenon was documented in the Nazi death camps, where people who helped those around them stood a far better chance of surviving. Practice being selfless in daily life and it will become second nature when disaster strikes.

Be Cool

Acting cool is not the same as being cool. As the head of training for the Navy SEALs once said, "The Rambo types are the first to go." Siebert wrote in his book The Survivor Personality that "combat survivors . . . have a relaxed awareness." People who are destined to be good at survival will get upset when something bad happens, but they will quickly regain emotional balance and immediately begin figuring out what the new reality looks like, what the new rules are, and what they can do about it. In the past few decades, technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have allowed researchers such as Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University to demonstrate that stress changes the shape and chemistry of the brain, resulting in trouble remembering, difficulty completing tasks, and altered behavior. In effect, losing your cool makes you stupid. Examine the way you handle yourself under pressure: Do you blow up when you're stuck in traffic or when someone cuts you off? Are you able to accept failure philosophically and move on with resolve to do better next time? If you're rejected - in love, in business, in sports - do you stew over it? Practice being calm in the face of small emergencies and you'll be more prepared to deal with large ones.

Surrender, but Don't Give Up
teaman90
The concept of surrender is at the heart of the survival journey. While that may sound paradoxical, it starts to make sense when you realize your limitations. If you are terrified, for example, you are more vulnerable in a hazardous situation. ... Once you surrender and let go of the outcome, it frees you to act much more sensibly. It actually puts you in a better position to survive, to retain that core inside of you that will never give up. A good survivor says: "I may die. I'll probably die. But I'm going to keep going anyway." (-- pgs. 66-74)

cardHand

The Post-American World

Hardcover
By Fareed Zakaria


... America's edge in innovation is overwhelmingly a product of immigration. Foreign students and immigrants account for 50 percent of the science researchers in the country and, in 2006, received 40 percent of the doctorates in science and engineering and 65 percent of the doctorates in computer science. By 2010, foreign students will get more than 50 percent of all Ph.D.s awarded in every subject in the United States. In the sciences, that figure will be closer to 75 percent. Half of all Silicon Valley start-ups have one founder who is an immigrant or first-generation American. America's potential new burst of pruductivity, its edge in nanotechnology, biotechnology, its ability to invent the future - all rest on its immigration policies. If America can keep the people it educates in the country, the innovation will happen here. If they go back home, the innovation will travel with them.

Immigration also gives America a quality rare for a rich country - hunger and energy. As countries become wealthy, the drive to move up and succeed weakens. But America has found a way to keep itself constantly revitalized by streams of people who are looking to make a new life in a new world. These are the people who work long hours picking fruit in searing heat, washing dishes, building houses, working night shifts, and cleaning waste dumps. They come to the United States under terrible conditions, leave family and community, only because they want to work and get ahead in life. Americans have almost always worried about such immigrants - whether from Ireland or Italy, China or Mexico. But these immigrants have gone on to become the backbone of the American working class, and their children or grandchildren have entered the American mainstream. America has been able to tap this energy, manage diversity, assimilate newcomers,a dn move ahead economically. Ultimately, this is what sets the country apart from the experience of Britain and all other historical examples of great economic powers that grow fat and lazy and slip behind as they face the rise of leaner, hungrier nations. (-- pgs. 198-199)

The War Symphonies

Shostakovich Against Stalin

Directed by Harvey Weinstein
Featuring the Netherlands Radio Philarmonic, conducted by Valery Gergiev
DVD


7th Symphony, 1941




Dmitri Shostakovich, the people's composer: My 7th Symphony was inspired by the tragic events of 1941. To our struggle against Fascism, to our future victory over the enemy and to native city of Leningrad, I dedicate this piece.

Ksenia Matus (oboeist): I grabbed my instrument and when I opened the case it also turned out to have dystrophy. All the pads had turned green. The oboe wouldn't play but I took it as it was. And when I got to the hall, I became frightened. Those I had known before the war were so emaciated. Some were covered in soot, their faces blackened with smoke. They were hungry, and all dressed in I don't know what. But they came. Eliasberg stood up at the podium. He lifted his hands and they were trembling and to my imagination, he was a wounded bird, whose wings are hurt, and is about to fall. But he didn't fall.

Tatiana Vasilyeva (Leningrad Siege survivor): I came for the 7th Symphony, and I had this same seat. When I entered the hall, tears came to my eyes because there were many people, all elated. We listened with such emotion because we had lived for this moment, to come and hear this music. This was a real symphony which we lived. This was our symphony, Leningrad's.

Dmitri Tolstoy (composer): They performed in the Philarmonic, and outside bombs and shells were exploding. It was incredible! This proved that the spirit prevails over matter. The spirit is more important than matter.

Tatiana: It was so meaningful for all of us. We realized that the concert might be the last thing we'd do in our lives.

Ksenia: Music was everything. Never mind the kasha, or that we were hungry. No one could feed us, but music inspired us and brought us back to life. In this way, this day was our feast.

THROB

Number Two
Summer-Fall, 1971

a magazine of suppurating poetry edited by F.A. Nettelbeck and published whenever there is some money on the table - hopefully quarterly by The Horseheard Nebula Press, mailing address: 15930 Kings Creek Rd., Boulder Creek, Calif. 95006 - 75 cents a copy, $2.50 per year's subscription, (be a patron for $50.00, fucker!) ...

5. How come you're so ugly?



I presume you're talking more about my face than about my writing. Well, the face is the product of 2 things: what you were born with and what has happened to you since you were born. My life has hardly been pretty - the hospitals, the jails, the jobs, the women, the drinking. Some of my critics claim that I have deliberately inflicted myself with pain. I wish that some of my critics had been along with me for the journey. It's true that I haven't always chosen easy situations but that's a hell of a long ways from saying that I leaped into the oven and locked the door. Hangover, the electric needle, bad booze, bad women, madness in small rooms, starvation in the land of plenty, god knows how I got so ugly, I guess it just comes from being slugged and slugged again and again, and not going down, still trying to think, to feel, still trying to put the butterfly back together again... it's written a map on my face that nobody would ever want to hang on their wall.

Sometimes I'll see myself somewhere ... suddenly ... say in a large mirror in a supermarket ... eyes like little mean bugs ... face scarred, twisted, yes, I look insane, demented, what a mess...spilled vomit of skin...yet, when I see the "handsome" men, I think, my god my god, I'm glad I'm not them. (From Charles Bukowski Answers Ten Easy Questions, p. 57)

Wodehouse on Wodehouse

Hardcover

In an armchair in the corner there is sitting a man in shirtsleeves, chewing an enormous (unlighted) cigar. He is fifty-five years old and for twenty-five of those years he has been an impresario of musical comedy. Lending to the discussion the authority of long experience and uttering the slogan which he probably learned at his mother's knee, he says, 'Bring on the girls!'

It is the panacea that never fails. It dates back, according to the great Bert Williams, to the days of ancient Egypt.

'When one of those Pharaohs died,' he used to explain to his partner Walker, 'they'd bring in wine - finest wine in the country - and they'd put it beside him. Then they'd bring in rich food that smelled just beautiful an' put that on the other side of him. Then they'd bring on the girls, an' those girls would do the veil-dance. An' if that ole Pharaoh didn't sit right up and take notice then ... brother, he was dead.'

The impresario has his way. The girls are brought on.

And how wonderful those girls always were. They did not spare themselves. You might get the impression that they were afflicted by some form of chorea, but the dullest eye could see that they were giving of their best. Actors might walk through their parts, singers save their voices, but the personnel of the ensemble never failed to go all out, full of pep, energy and the will to win. A hundred shows have been pushed by them over the thin line that divides the floperoo from the socko.

It is for this reason that Bolton (Guy) and Wodehouse (P.G.), looking back over their years of toil in the musical comedy salt-mines, raise their glasses and without hesitation or heel-taps drink this toast: To the Girls!

And they feel that the least they can do in gratitude for all their hard work is to honour them in the title of this book. (From Bring on the Girls!, pgs. 9-10)

The Anarchists' Convention

and Other Stories

Hardcover
By John Sayles

She lights up when she sees me. That smile, after all these years, that smile and my knees are water. She hasn't gone the Mother Jones route, Sophie, no shawls and spectacles, she's nobody's granny on the candy box. She's thin, a strong thin, not like Diamond, and her eyes, they still stop your breath from across the room. Always there was a such a crowd, such a crowd around Sophie. And always she made each one think he was at the head of the line.
mother90
"Leo, you came! I was afraid you'd be shy again." She hugs me, tells Baker I'm like a brother.

Sophie who always rallied us after a beating, who bound our wounds, who built our pride back up from shambles and never faltered a step. The iron she had! In Portland they're shaving her head, but no wig for Sophie, she wore it like a badge. And the fire! Toe-to-toe with a fat Biloxi deputy, head-to-head with a Hoboken wharf boss, starting a near-riot from her soapbox in Columbus Circle, but shaping it, turning it, stampeding all that anger and energy in the right direction.

Still the iron, still the fire, and still it's Leo you're like a brother. (-- pgs. 25-26)

Full Moon

Paperback
By P.G. Wodehouse

In the bearing of Tipton Plimsoll, as some quarter of an hour later he took up station at the tryst, there was no trace of the old diffidence and lack of spirit. He was jaunty and confident. The elixir, coursing through his veins, had given his system just that fillip which a lover's system needs when he is planning to seize girls in his arms and say, 'My woman!' to them. You could have described Tipton at this moment as the dominant male with the comfortable certainty of having found the mot juste. He exuded the will to win.



He looked at the sky sternly, as if daring it to start something. In the quick glance which he gave at the rhododendrons there was the implication that they knew what they might expect if they tried any funny business. He straightened his tie. He flicked a speck of dust off his coat sleeve. He toyed with the idea of substituting 'My mate!' for 'My woman!' but discarded it as having too nautical a ring.

A caveman, testing the heft of his club before revealing his love to the girl of his choice, would have shaken hands with Tipton in his present mood and recognized him as a member of the lodge. (-- pgs. 120-121)

Sonnets to Orpheus

Bilingual Edition

Hardcover
By Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Edward Snow

23

Not till that day when flight
no longer for its own sake
climbs into the silent skies
propelled by sheer bravura,

so that in shining profiles,
means to its own end,
it plays the wind's favorite,
slender, sure, agile, --



not till a pure "out there"
dispels boyish pride
in the power of instruments,

will one breathless from winning
and closing in on distances
be what his solo flight attains.

(From First Part, pgs. 50-51)