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Tuesday 4th August 2020

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We went to the beach early and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We were even able to set up a 50m race track without coming close to impeding on anyone else’s space. It was great to enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about viruses.
When we arrived the sea was a long way out, but the kids wanted to go in straight away, so I walked them down there and paddled around. The water wasn’t even over our toes, so I thought I was safe in my shorts. But as we headed back perhaps the sea had come back in a bit, but we passed through a little lagoon that had formed up the beach and suddenly the water was much higher and there was something squidgy and unpleasant at the bottom that we had to squelch through and which seemed to be sucking us downwards a little like quick sand. Not only was it an unpleasant sensation, but the water was soaking my shorts and underwear and (arguably worse) coming up to the kids’s chest and neck. It was a mildly dicey moment, out of nowhere and I was quite a way from my daughter, but we got out of it OK and I didn’t really want to investigate what we might have just waded through.
The races were fun. I am still at the point where I have to let my daughter win at running, but it’s really not going to be long before she can take me at my best. She will only get faster and I will only get slower. She was definitely better than me when we decided to race on all fours.
Holidays used to mean reading a book a day, but now I am lucky to get through a chapter. I am not complaining as I like playing stupid games with my kids - my favourite today was where I had to pretend to be 5 and my daughter was an elf and my son was a demented Santa who kept turning up and throwing soft toys at me. I did manage to get a bit further into “The Biggest Bluff” by Maria Konnikova (who will hopefully be a guest on RHLSTP quite soon).
It’s not unlike the book that I was commissioned to write about poker about 15 years ago in that Maria is a novice who decides to see if she can play professional level poker within a few months. But she actually did it and wrote the book (unlike me) and also comes at it from a psychological perspective to examine how we perceive luck and bad luck and how that affects us in our actual non-poker lives too. It’s true that one of the keys to being a proper poker player is to get over it when you’ve done the right thing, but the cards are against you. It’s something that many people, including me, struggle with. Bad beats are part of the game and you shouldn’t complain when someone else comes in on a hand that you are more likely to win. They might win it, but most of the time they won’t, so you have to accept the bad beats as part of the statistics.
I don’t think I will ever be a great poker player, but it’s interesting to see how Maria gets on, as well as to get an insight into the mind of some of the great poker players who teach her. You can get it here.
It’s a pretty short book, but not so short that it won’t take me the whole holiday to get through half of it. Bloody kids. Bloody wonderful kids.


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