"Taking the Road Less Traveled"




    It's hard to believe almost 17 years have passed since I first stepped foot on this road. I could tell you so many stories of great accomplishments, but then I would also have to tell you all the ways I failed to make them count. I could blame it all on a day and event poker players know as "Black Friday", but those days are behind me. I've had my chances since then. The fact I am standing here back at the crossroads at 39 is simply my own fault. The way I see it I have to choose between 2 roads I can take now.

     I could take the safe road that the majority of people take in life. Just go on to live the "normal" life for the rest of my time. It's the safest less lonely choice. The problem with this road is it leads to regret. I think about that fact very often.

     I wonder how many people have come to the end of this road to pass on wishing they traveled the opposite road. Wishing they had at least given the road to their own dreams everything they could have to get there. Imagining myself in this scenario brings a sadness upon me I can't explain. I know if I travel this road that day will surely come, and I don't want to know what that level of regret truly feels like.

     I know the other is a much more perilous and lonely road to take, but I can avoid the ultimate regret with the opportunity to reach my dreams by taking it. Why wouldn't I take this road instead? I owe at least that much to myself for the time and effort invested. So for me the choice is very simple to take the road less traveled for one last chance.

    I've learned from the past decade of experiences to forget about shortcuts. On this road taking shortcuts leads only to setbacks and dead ends. If there is a brightside to the past it's that it better prepared me for this moment by showing me the process I need to follow if I want to have a chance. For the first time I will be following this map from start to finish.

    I know there is the very real chance it doesn't end the way I want it to. There is a chance that everyone (including family) that has doubted me was always right. Wayne Gretzky once said you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. With all the negative that could happen there is still the chance I prove them wrong. The chance is there I find my way to what I believe can be achieved.

   To the others chasing dreams I would never recommend you draw a line as I am. Failure IS part of success. My suggestion is to learn from your failure, make the improvements, and get back to work. DON'T try to take the easy path it will often set you further back like it did me.EMBRACE the grind, WELCOME the pain, and TRUST IN the process that will lead you to that/those dreams. Remember that there has never been 1 person that achieved their success without what they considered massive failure along the way!

   This is just what I believe is the best option for me personally at 39. I am motivated the most when people doubt me and I feel like it's do or die. I need to have myself in a spot where I am "chasing a 1 outter" as we say in poker. While that term is a very bleak spot to find yourself in during a poker game I am giving myself a comfortable cushion to achieve my goals if I stick to the process. 

    I am Matt "Bama" Tidwell, and I'd like to welcome you to my poker journal titled "Life on the Wire". I wanted to write this for my own memory of the journey along with giving others an inside look at the life of a card player. Then I realized it could have a much bigger purpose. It's also written for those who have a dream they have not yet started chasing, or for those who have started yet find themselves struggling like I have. I now also hope this inspires just 1 other to start pursuing their dream or to keep pushing through the storm to achieve it.

   You may have seen movies like "Rounders" or "Mavrick", but the contents of this documentary aren't scripted. I will be doing my best to give you an open an unedited look into the life of an aspiring professional card player.I will be adding entries to it regularly starting today. Like you I don't know how this story will end, but I do know where it will end. Let the road to Vegas begin.

https://youtu.be/gPoehzAEVWk  (virtual soundtrack link)



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