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playing poker and teaching science: Life's little victories
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Life's little victories

This blog is mostly about poker, but there are other things in life more important and being a Dad is at the top of the list.

Over the weekend my wrestling team competed in the sectional tournament and it has been my son’s goal all year to advance to the regionals. In order to accomplish this feat, he would need to place in the top four and also face at least two or three wrestlers he had lost to earlier in the season. Those early loses brought him into the tournament seeded 6th, which means that he was expected to finish sixth out of the 11 teams.

His first match was in the pigtail round and a loss there meant your season was over. He faced a strong, unseeded wrestler and won by pin. Whew! At least he made it to the wrestleback round where a loss means you can still place as high as 3rd.

His second match was with a strong wrestler seeded third (who was the eventual winner) and TJ lost a close 3-2 decision.

Looking at the brackets I was a little sick. The loss meant TJ would go to the lower bracket and have to win two matches in order to qualify for regional. To make things worse, both the number one and number two seeds, supposedly the top two wrestlers in the weight class, had lost their first round matches and TJ would have to wrestle BOTH of them to advance and BOTH had beat him before. Oy Veh.

The next two matches came and went very quickly. TJ faced the number one seed and took him down in overtime to win. The number two seed gassed (wrestling talk for got tired) and TJ beat him 4-2 to advance to the regionals. His goal accomplished!

Then came the match for third or forth place. A win here would be nice because the fourth place finisher will advance to the regional and be immediately beaten by an undefeated, two-time state champion. TJ faced a strong wrestler who got an early lead but, like earlier in the day, gasses toward the end and superior conditioning from hard work (and weight cutting) paid off when TJ, who was trailing by four points with less than 30 seconds in the match, threw him to his back to win at the buzzer.

It was a very exciting day. There is no greater pleasure in life for a parent than watching a child succeed and be happy.

Thanks for reading.


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