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Views: 1823
Date Posted: Sep. 9, 11:00am, 4 Comments

Profiling, Assumptions, reads and tells... outside of the poker world...


I thought this was a funny realisation about myself and about sales agents...


It is my gf's birthday this weekend and I've been thinking of various gifts that might be nice. On my way home from work yesterday I dropped into Tiffanies to see if there was anything nice there. I'm not a huge fan of expensive jewellery just because it has a name on it like Tiffany and Co, but sometimes you see something really nice... so what the hey...


Anyway, in I go and check out the first case of jewellery... I see the sales agent approaching me, a middle aged guy, smartly dressed, definitely knows his stuff. I wonder what he thinks of me as a potential client... I am wearing a Nike sports / athletic zip up jumper, jeans, runners and a have a backpack on... I guess I could represent anything really. Also, as I'm foreign I tend to be approached more vigourously as the general tendancy is to think foreigners have more money (in truth that is not the case, in this case lol). 


So, he tells me a little about what's what, what collections are where, where the gold is, where the diamonds are etc. Not a hard sell, actually much more accommodating than usual. Nothing I hate more than being pestered by staff when you tell them you are there just to take a look. Nevertheless he did follow me around somewhat discreetly, in case I had any questions or wanted to check out a piece in more detail.


As I was about 75% way around the store, (I was genuinely just looking that day, intending to return on the weekend if saw something I wanted to buy), I started to think like a poker player... I know what I have, I think I know what he has, does he know what I have, what are we both representing, what are our respective ranges lol.


I figured in his eyes I was probably a potential customer with a range of say $500 (barely buys you a paper bag) - $5000 (maybe a nice necklace or earings, definitely no diamonds) to spend, depending on his sales ability, his power to smoothly persuade me to towards a more expensive piece. In reality my range for the type of piece I had in mind was $300 - $1000. I wasn't looking for the huge wow factor, just a nice pair of earings or something like that to accompany a couple of other smaller things.


I wondered that as I moved through the store did his read on me change... I imagine so, actually he seemed pretty adept and through his own body language I read that he knew I was buying nothing today, that I a) wasn't particularly excited by any one piece and b) considered some things totally overpriced. Being the professional he is though he still offered assistance and help whenever needed. 


My own read on him improved too... by his actions and non invasive, non aggressive approach I grew to like him more and I knew he understood what I had in mind and had categorised me correctly.


As I was looking at the final counter I realised my own body language even more lol... I was looking with head down, never acknowledging that he was following me around the store ready to take pieces from the casings to show in more detail, never making eye contact and the biggest tell of all... I had my hands firmly inside my pockets the entire time (around 15 - 20 mins) in the store lolllll... I couldn't help but laugh at myself, what a dead giveaway, pretty much saying "hey I'm totally uncomfortable here, I'm not buying anything, I'm not buying anything, I'm not buying anything" hahahaha. Then I left the store while he was busy with another customer.


It left me thinking too if he had a different strategy for different customers, if he puts them in a category the moment they walk in the door and then adjusts his strategy depending on the next few minutes encounter with the customer. I imagine so. While he may have seemed unassuming I am thinking he read me like a book and played me perfectly lol... knowing exactly how mch push and pull to use, knowing that if he is effective and has read me right that I will return one day and will most likely seek him out. You know what, he's right! In poker terms he just gained a lot of +EV... it may have ended breakeven for him regarding me as a customer for that particular day but he made the right plays and he will see the results in the long run.



Random story but funny to think of poker parrallels to real world situations.


I still laugh every time I think about Zimba telling his wife she is too results orientated after she ordered something that would usually be good in a restaurant and it turned out bad in that particular instance (or something like that).


Roll on the weekend, hope everyone has a good one and hope I find inspiration for an awesome birthday present!



Views: 1620
Date Posted: Feb. 12, 9:32pm, 6 Comments

Had my first full page article published in Ireland's main newspaper, The Irish Times, this weekend... wooooo hooooo :)

Views: 1566
Date Posted: Jan. 6, 12:32pm, 0 Comments

So, if you have read some of my other blogs you will know that I absolutely love things that feel somewhat 'out of this world'. I.e. music, art, dramatic performances, awesome novels, sunsets etc etc, whatever it is that makes you feel naturally euphoric just by witnessing it.


These things are easily my greatest inspiration in life, they always pick me up when I am down, increase my feeling of oneness with the world and represent some of the true beauties of life.


I visited The National Art Gallery here in Dublin today to view an exhibition of J.M. William Turner's 'watercolours'. The exhibition was called 'Light into the Darkness' as his paintings show a change in his style from a quite dark (in terms of subject and colour, though still totally awesome) paintings to much more romantic, beautiful, colourful sytle. He was regarded as having a hugely positive effect on painting in general as he developed a style with watercolour that had not been produced previously, a way to create new shades of colours that clearly represented moods.


He is also said to have been almost like a poet by the way he painted with such romance / love in his later paintings.


The thing I found most engaging was that his later more colourful pieces almost seemed to have some sort of screen above them giving them a huge glow overall, when in fact it was simply his mastery of shades, tones and painting style. These paintings radiated positivity and were very uplifting.


Couple of samples of the paintings below, though they really need to be viewed in real life to see the glow I am speaking of and it is that glow that is the most uplifting part, for me at least.







I was visiting the exhibition with my auntie and at one point when remarking on the paintings she said "oh I don't really like those ones (older style of something like a field with people in it), sure anyone can do those" LOL. I couldn't help but be reminded of a funny story from my own childhood...


I was in that same Gallery on a school trip and during it we each had to pick our favourite painting and copy it (lol). So, I chose Paul Henry's 'The Potato Diggers', an iconic painting of a family digging for potatoes during the Irish Famine. Anyway, I got my drawing done and was very proud with myself bringing it home to show my family. It was duely framed and put up on the wall beside the dinner table (alongside many of mine, my brother and my sisters paintings from over the school years). Over dinner one evening we got to talking about my drawing and my mother said "Ross, how did you manage to get it so much like the real painting?", and I replied "Actually it was really easy, it's not a hard painting at all" LOL. My father made sure he was eating at the point I think so he didn't laugh out loud lol.




I will take a photo of my 'replica' and post here shortly too ;)



As a side note, I have been to quite a few of the larger galleries around Europe and imo nothing compares to Van Gogh musuem in Amsterdam. His works are truly phenomanal as is his story. He was the ultimate in terms of being able to master EVERY type of painting style, much to the frustration of his peers. At one point he was living in a retreat in the south of France and he used to invite other 'recognized' painters from around the world to visit him and gain inspiration from each other and the picturesque surroundings. However, he had an ulterior motive too lol, he would watch and learn from his guests and coming to the end of their stay he would produce a painting in exactly their brush style but hundreds of times better than anything they had ever produced LOL. Now you can see why so many of his 'friends' left the retreat feeling much worse than when they had arrived. Also, there is a new theory being discussed that Van Gogh did not actually sever his own ear off, that one of his visitors did!! makes sense I guess lol, having a goodbye drink of absinthe (insanely mental drink by the way) combined with the rage they felt having been totally outdone at their own area of expertise, I can definitely see one of them going overboard and thinking "F Van Gogh, I'll show him!" lol. Anyway, put this gallery on your list of places to visit, you won't regret it.



Continuing on from the feelings of natural euphoria and a general sense of well being I have been reading some books over the Christmas / New Year's holidays.


The first one I read was actually a gift I gave to my brother, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. It is an excellent in depth look at how some people become super successful where others fall short. It analyses the reasons in a way not previously done before and produces profound results. It also helps you to see 'success' in a different light. The crux of the book is that you need to put in at least 10,000 hours in your area of expertise before you really become an successful at your craft, whatever it may be. (We all know the story of Phil Ivey playing for days straight for years as he honed his skills in Atlantic City and he himself says that he simply puts in more hours than other people, not getting distracted by the circus around him, that's why he is the best). Once you have these hours logged and you then get a lucky break / opportunity to put this expertise to use is when you can accomplish abnormal levels of success. However, some people are more destined to achieve this success than others, due to their surroundings, their upbringing, their culture, their ancestors and many other factors that are completely out their hands and cannot be altered. It is an excellent read and definitely provides an interesting take on what is required for success.


It is also relieving in some ways I think too because in a lot of cultures there is a very set opinion of what success is and this can really distort what success actually means to you as an individual, often something completely different to what the general masses opinion would be. It is all too easy to fall into the sheep mentality and follow the herd. This actually leads me on to my next book that is bringing awakening to my life...



Eckhart Tolle's 'A New Earth'. My brother gave me this book as a gift and it is really excellent. I am only half way through it (as it is the type of book where you read a chapter then spend a couple of days digesting it). The general theme of the book is that there are two forms to each person, the ego and the real mind and when you can identify when the ego is speaking is when you can truly identify with who the real you is and what is important. It provides excellent insight into how to really live in the moment, as that is all that 'being' really is. How not to let the past distort your view of the present or upset it. How to be at one with the universe in a kind of spiritual way whereby you no longer think about 'My Life' but simply about life as a whole, that there is no such thing as 'My Life' as this is egoic thinking.


Tolle helps you to recognise what is important and unimportant in life, specifically to you as an individual, not in a dogma kind of way at all. the book brings excellent understanding, peace and positivity to the reader and I can't recommend it enough if you feel like you need help to see the bigger picture, the bigger world and your place within it. All too often we can become so engrossed in ourselves and our environment that it actually has a hugely negative distorting effect on reality. The book really helps you to step back, take a breath and see things as they really are. When you begin to do that in a regular way you can become a more satisfied person with a greater sense of 'being'.


I often used to say to a friend of mine that I feel like I am just existing, not living, not being and this book has brought greater understanding to these thoughts too.



When you can feel the power in truly 'being' you will feel completely alive, in touch with the universe and natural euphoria exudes from you on a continual basis. I know each of you reading this has felt those feelings at one time or another. Wouldn't it be great to feel that way all the time? I know I'd love it.


Below are a few of my favourite excerpts from the book:


'The past has no power to stop you from being present now'


'When you let go of the thought that you should or need to know who you are, what happens to confusion? Suddenly it is gone. When you fully accept that you don't know, you enter a state of peace and clarity that is closer to who you truly are than thought could ever be. Defining yourself through thought is limiting yourself'


'Those who do not attempt to appear more than they are but are simply themselves, stand out as remarkable...Their mere presence - simple, natural, unassuming - has a transformational effect on whoever they come into contact with'


'There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with now. You then realize that you don't live life but life lives you. Life is the dancer and you are the dance.'


'Your resentment of another person's success curtails your own chances of success. In order to attract success you need to welcome it wherever you see it.'


'We need to differentiate between positive emotions that are ego-generated and deeper emotions that emanate from your natural state of connectedness with Being.'




Not sure what else to say really other than I absolutely love the feeling of 'aliveness', natural euphoria, true Being. It can arise from something as simple as watching an awesome sunset, reading a beautiful poem, walking on fresh snow, partying in a super club etc... anything where you can feel this greater power, a type of aura, around you. There are some things in life that just have a certain magic about them and that magic is contagious as it exudes from them into the world. 


Anyway, so concludes my blog inspired by divinity, sublimity and Transcendency. 


I will leave you with a photo I found online of the sunset that we see here in Dublin every night, especially in Autumn.





What inspires and motivates you in life?


Peace and love,






P.S. Go and see Avatar 3D, such an awesome visual experience as well as ringing true with the theme of oneness with the world around you. 



P.P.S. I know that Zimba has said a few times of feeling not from this world at all, lol, I would love to hear his input on what gives him feelings of oneness, of natural euphoria etc.

Views: 809
Date Posted: Jul. 19, 8:07pm, 4 Comments

What's up folks! I'm back on home turf, i.e. Dublin, Ireland after spending the last week in Iceland on family vacation. Such a great trip and awesome destination. Epic blog below lol...




A bit of background.... my parents spent a few years living there in 1972 - 1975 and actuallly got married there. They had always wanted to take us 'kids' - bro, sister and myself - to visit and show us the beauty of the country. Unfortunately dad became to ill to go but we went in his memory this summer, as a treat from my mom. 


We departed Dublin at 6am and arrived in iceland about 5pm, due to having to fly through London and a 4 hour delay until connecting flight. London to Iceland takes a lil less than 3 hours. We arrived anyway safe and sound and found our hotel / apartment on the main shopping street of Reykjavik - a place called Room With a View. It was very slick, 2 big bedrooms, 4 beds, big living room / kitchen and bathroom. Right outside the door was the main terrace with top of the range hot tub - something that would be used every day lol.


So Friday night we cruised around town, went out to eat, saw the old and new parts of the city and had a few drinks. My mom also found her old apartment which was cool to see. A really nice spot in the old town. Cool to see where parents lived.




Around 11 my sister and mom crashed out but myself and my bro hit the town. Reykjavik has some strange activites lol... all the young people cruise the main square continously from around 10pm till 6 am lol, literally going around in circles (yes I know I said it's a square lol) all night hollering out the window to anyone who will pay attention lol. pretty strange to say the least! Anyway we hit a few bars and clubs, struck up some conversations with the locals and danced and drank the night away.


NB: Totally awesome note - there is 24 hour daylight there at this time of year! So at 4am it looks like 4pm lol.


Icelanders definitely drink heavily and I would even say I have never seen people more drunk lol, and I live in Dublin!!! It was crazy lol, total rampage on the streets with drunken debauchery lol - though maybe it is because it is still so bright that you can actually see everything going on - as opposed to things being hidden in the dark!


The bars and clubs are fun and everyone is super friendly - particularly welcoming actually. Myself and my bro represented Ireland well, maintaining pace with the beers, shots and vodka tonics and rolled home about 4 or so.


The next morning we got up and just chilled, lay in the hot tub, cruised the city some more, ate, drank and soaked up the city - this was to be the quietest day of the trip.


Saturday night was complete mayhem. We hit the sports bar for the UFC 100 (awesome, go Brock lol) and met up with some Icelanders. We then hit a club and partied our asses off. Wisely my sister went home around 1 or so as we had a big excurssion planned for Sunday 8am! Lol! The club was a night filled with dancing, partying with locals, drinking very very heavily lol. Around 6:30 my bro was occupied with one girl and I got a moment of clarity - I need to go home and sleep for one hour before we go on the day trip!!! I got home, drunkenly chatted to mom and sister, explaining that I was entirely sober and that bro would be home shortly too, then collapsed into my wardrobe, er um I mean into bed lol. Bro arrived home about half hour later, surprisingly sober lol.


Woke up an hour later, manged to shower and dress somehow and got on the bus tour - taking us around the Golden Circle of southern Iceland. It would be a day filled with a lot of time sleeping during the bus ride and being woken for the various awesome stops. Thankfully I did not feel sick or anything like that, just exhausted and somewhat delirious lol.




We visted and stood on the edge of tectonic plates, drove over volcanic grounds, visited geysers, stunning powerful waterfalls and a lot of countryside land. really stunning scenery and very cool to see this side of nature that is not visible in many other places in the world.








Got back home in the evening and chilled out, went for nice dinner (actually all the restaurants in Iceland are very good quality, even the regular burger joints) and took it easy. 


On Monday we had another trip planned - whale watching!!! Awesome, I was really looking forward to this and it did not dissappoint. We saw multiple minke whales and sperm whales - the closest being about 15 metres away, though most being about 50 metres away. Very cool to see them in their natural habitat, coming up to surface for food, blowing water into the air and taking deep dives again - just like tv with their tail popping upright before they disappear unerwater for another 5 minutes. We also saw Puffin and multiple other bird species. The trip lasted about 4 hours before we were back on dry land. The whole family enjoyed this one as it was a truely unique experience.


We spent the afternoon just lazing around and chilling out, a bit of shopping, a few afternoon beers and of course some people watching. Throw in a power nap or two there too lol. In the evening we went to a Tapas bar for dinner and sampled local dishes such as whale and puffin lol! Felt like we had to at least try it! The Puffin was a little like game, or duck - chewy and stringy, though not particularly tasty. The whale was disgusting in my opinion lol - it tastes very much like liver. I also tried kangaroo (very strange that it would be on the menu so far from Australia lol but hey I'll try anything twice) - it tasted like steak and was actually quite nice.




NB: I am against whaling and put my name to a form in Iceland to stop whaling but felt like I should taste it anyway to be more informed and experience everything.


Tuesday was the real tough day and one we had joked about on Sunday, saying Tuesday would certainly not be a day for softies! It would be a 16 hour trip all around the south of the country but incredibly worthwhile and interesting. We travelled through beautiful green countryside, roudning mountains, alongside the stunning ocean and over volcanic desert land. It is a beautful clear blue (though extremely cold). We visited a waterfall first then drove on to what would be my favourite part of the trip - the largest glacier outside of the arctic. This glacier was incredible and visible from so far away... we saw it up on the mountains but still took at least another hour to reach it.




The sheer size and power of it is spectacularly enthralling, just absolutely monstrous, dividing the mountains, running down into multiple waterfalls etc and you can even see where it has retreated from over the past few hundred years. There were many times where our guide pointed out remains of previous bridges that had been collapsed by it lol - as we drove over equally weak looking bridges lol. We arrived at the mouth of the glacier and took a boat ride around the lagoon - where the mountain ice has melted into multiple icebergs and lakes -very cool. We even got to hold a piece of the ice that was over 1000 years old! Awesome. I love that type of powerful nature that has been there long before you and will be there long after!




We then drove back the way we came and made a few more stops - one where we got to walk behind a big waterfall which was pretty cool - kinda like that scene near the end of Last of the Mohicans.




We arrived home to Reykjavik about 16 hours after we left but it was entirely worthwhile daytrip. The natural beauty of Iceland really stuck with me. It is compeltey untouched but for one or two farmhouses and the landscape is just spectactular and incredibly relaxing. We hit the hot tub, had a beer or two and crashed out. We would all sleep well that night, regardless of anyones snoring!


On Wednesday my sister, bro and myself went on a white water rafting trip while my mom stayed behind to take care of some business. Again it was a 90 minute or so journey to our destination. As usual we were collected at our hotel, by a couple of young Icelandic guys and driven in their 4x4 while listening to local reggae lol - a chilled out journey through the countryside and up into the mountains. We thought it was just going to be the 3 of us but when we arrived at base camp we were met by about 30 elderly Americans lol (70-90 yr olds). They were all really nice and were on a tour of Iceland too - it seemed many of them had white water rafting on their 'bucket list' lol. I won't lie - I looked at my sister and said 'I told you we shoud have went for at least level 2 difficulty' hahaha all in good teasing spirits. 


So we did our initiation, hopped in the rafts and hit the rapids like no tomorrow lol. We stopped midway for a quick series of cliff jumps (of the 40 people only my bro and myself did it lol). The water was surprisingly warm actually. Then back on the raft and continue the journey. MUltiple times the guide would ask 'do you want to continue the relaxed ride or do you want more action?'... the elderly ladies would quickly reply oh relax for sure, though thankfully my voice was lounder, 'ACTION PLEASE' hahah, so we did a few spins and hit the rapids at weird angles to make it slightly more intense lol. All good fun though and great craic with the Americans. I admire their sense of enthusaism, unsqueemishness and lust for life. I hope to be that active at that age!


Back to basecamp, sauna, steam room and shower then hop back in the 4x4 and ride home, arriving back around 6pm -  in time to meet mom, chill a lil and head out for another gourmet dinner to regale the stories from the day lol and prepare for the last full day of the trip the next day.


Thursday around noon we got on our last tour bus - a trip the The Blue Lagoon - a natural hot spring spa. It is basically a huge natural swimming ppol that has been slightly converted so that it is a spa, with natural hot springs, mud masks, saunas, steam rooms, in-water massage therapy and all that kind of thing. A very nice relaxing place and a great way to wind down the holiday. Not to mention the weather was spectactular. We chilled there for about 4 hours and left feeling revitalised and refreshed.






Thursday night we hit dinner then hit the town again (though bars and clubs close around 1am midweek) and hit the hay around 2am, semi drunk lol. A fun night to end the holiday.


Friday we chilled out in the morning and surprised my mom with a trip to the botanic gardens for her birthday. We brought a picnic, checked out the fauna and wildlife and took a nice walk - just the sort of thing she loves. A very relaxing morning overall.


Back on the plane in the afternoon around 4pm and arrived back home in Dublin around 10pm.


Overall it was a brilliant trip and one I will not forget. It was really cool and special to see my parents history (as we had heard so many stories and seen so many photos of it growing up) and a great way to remember dad.


It was also surprisingly great how many easily accessible activities were on offer - and ones that appeal to all family members. I can' think of a single other holiday I have been on like that. We were also lucky to visit during a heat wave so that added to the pleasure, as well as the 24 hour daylight! I guess we were lucky too that the Icelandic currency was in a time of turmoil too as it made things a lot cheaper than it would have been a few years ago... now things are almost identical prices to Dublin (where they were previously double, e.g. pint of beer was previously €10, now its €4). We learned a lot about the country and its history as well as its current economic climate. But all Icelanders are naturally very positive people so it didn't seem to have afected their general mood at all which was great to see.


It was a truly memorable family va'ca and I will definitely be returning! I strongly adivse you to visit too, there is something there for all age groups and noone will be disappointed!







Views: 679
Date Posted: May. 11, 12:29pm, 0 Comments

Hi All,


Today is the start of an exciting week for us here at Poker Curious. We are finally officially launching to the public, after over 12 months work and a beta testing period. We are very excited about releasing the Poker Curious website into the internet poker realm!


A little background about myself if you are interested to know more about the people behind Poker Curious...


I am 27 years old and based in Dublin, Ireland. I have been working in the online poker industry for the past 6+years and can genuinely still say I thoroughly enjoy it. I used to reguarly read the CardRunners blogs and was often intrigued by Bill 'Zimba' Seiberts entries. One day he said on his blog that he was looking for assistants with a new project... I contacted him and our working relationship was born.


I worked on / off for a few months but then in January of this year fully committed to the project as I had more time on my hands. My official title became Business Development Manager. I was and still am excited to work with the site as I believe it has huge potential and is way ahead of most other resource / community sites. I have worked with many companies over my career so far and the key for me for enjoying what I do is always heavily related to the people I am working with. Bill is a top notch guy and I speak with himevery day. He has done a great job leading the team and project and his committment is second to none. He's also great fun too. Further to that there are a bunch of others involved that I have often liased with and found all to be very excited and determined about the site as well as excellent to work with. I am sure you will get ot know each of them in greater detail the more time you spend on the site. The main guys I worked with were Mark, Kevin and Jack.


Now, today, Monday 11th may 2009 represents an exciting step forward. From this day forward the website will really come to life as we market it and attract new members. We have a range of excellent prizes to giveaway as part of our referral contest over the next 60 days and there will be many spot prizes too, e.g. most entertaining blog, best photo, best forum entry etc.


Poker Curious is going to be a great place to hang out and meet other poker enthusiasts whether it be for fun or learning purposes. 


I hope you all enjoy using the site for all your poker needs from here on out. My favourite element is the My Favourites part of the My Community as it allows me to see all blogs from a range of sites updated in one place, so I no longer need to surf through multiple pages just to check if there has been an update entered.


Please feel free to add me as friend and I'll always be happy to meet new members and shoot the breeze.


Go Poker Curious!





Views: 740
Date Posted: Mar. 22, 10:57pm, 0 Comments

Hello All,


My name is Ross Glacken and I am part of the PokerCurious team. I am very excited for the launch of the site and really proud of what the site represents - the most innovative poker resource and social networking tool for poker players.


I live in Dublin, Ireland but really enjoy working with an international team, all focused on the same goal.


So if anyone wants to add me as a friend please feel free. I'm always excited to meet new people, share stories, discuss poker + business etc etc.


So, finally, a huge welcome to every new PokerCurious member! I hope you enjoy using the site as much as we have enjoyed building it!


May your cards be live and your pots be monsters!





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