5th January 2019


Originally Posted by dg4 very brave of you to post all that don, wishing you well for the coming year and of course if you ever want to talk about anything you know where to reach me. our recent discussions have been way too poker related hopefully see you soon

Thanks man


Originally Posted by gotgot123 Big props for typing all that out. Hope you get better!

Keep on reminding yourself that people close to you always want to help and be there for you so you dont end up secluding yourself.

Ty, definitely good advice – read through my olds journals from the recovery last time around – my level of social contact is the single best predictor of my mood when i’m having a rough stretch, definitely keeping that in mind incase things go south at some point this year.


Originally Posted by Don Melchor lots of love dude, Iam a firm believer in that whatever happens needed to happen in order for you to learn a lesson, to keep keeping on like you say, what ever the lesson is. MEditation is great exercise for us to learn how to control our thoughts.
I think most of us who have suffered a “mental episode” can relate on having to learn how live with it. Recognizing the triggers and what can be done to overcome an episode. its obv easy to say that when you start to have this thoughts to not pay attention to them or w/e. it is doable, but sure enough an everyday grind.
have a solid an healthy year dude!! if you ever wanna make a trip to CR you have a place to stay and relax.

“Everyone who has ever built anywhere a new heaven first found the power thereto in his own hell.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Thanks Roberto – it’s actually kinda interesting I was on my biggest meditation streak ever when I was admitted – think I had 14 days on headspace. My nurse took me through a ‘staying well plan’ where I had to write out warning signs, it’s kinda tricky because for me it was things like ‘feeling really good’, ‘hitting all my goals’, ‘seeing everything as an opportunity’ etc.. basically how I am when I’m manic is pretty close to how I’d choose to be, so idk. I kinda feel like while I’m doped up the chance of a relapse is way lower, I’d guess that if/when I get off the meds is when I’ll need to be most alert, and for sure it will be easy to pretend everything’s fine. But as I wrote out last night – I’m happy to take a small step back if I need to, I’m hoping I won’t be so reluctant to take medication if the need ever arises again.


Originally Posted by Fatboy54 Kudos for the post. I’m no mental health expert, but I’ll share something with you anyway.

Being Ex-Military, and being a dinosaur compared to you guys, I’ve been a heavy drinker all my life, without ever really feeling in any way addicted (and I’m self-aware enough to know that’s just not a case of denial).

Recently (very recently) I’ve discovered that life is better in every way without alcohol in it…nothing spiritual here…I’m a cynical atheist.

Life is just healthier (obviously) more productive (no more red wine/whiskey hangovers keeping me out the gym at 6 am), more convenient (no more taxis) and – biggest revelation of all – just as enjoyable and sociable.

Consider punting the booze in total fella…take it on as a challenge and it could be a win/win.

Thanks for sharing – I actually drink pretty occasionally – not unusual for me to go 2-3 weeks with no booze, the problem is when I do it tends to be a be a big night out/stag do or whatever, so yeah I guess I’m an occasional binge drinker

I never drink just in the house myself. Actually a pretty significant side effect of these meds – I’ve noticed the 2/3 times I’ve taken them after big nights out I’ve felt suuuuuuper nauseous for like an hour or two after, kinda sucks but no harm in another nudge towards drinking less.


Originally Posted by jAkDAriPAaa Big Love D7.

Do you currently have someone you see weekly like a counsellor/therapist? I have had two experiences I didn’t get much out of but have had two that really helped. I would super recommend If its not something you are currently doing.

Hope to see you soon lad

Cheers Jackeeeee – I don’t see a therapist, no – I’ve tried 2 and didn’t get much out of either, always felt like talking to family members is way better/easier. I think I’ll actually get prescribed one at some point, IIRC they don’t think I need CBT but there was some other form.. I’ll ask again at some point and see what they’re saying.


Originally Posted by Derp! Most people are open until they reach a low-point or **** hits the fan. Props to you for being open about your experience. Health is paramount. Best of luck in 2019!

Thanks brother!


Originally Posted by Rapidesh123 Wow, sick story, man. I hope things get better.

Btw, lots of people from the poker world are showing up with that kind of stuff, do you think there is a correlation? Like finland22 from the p&g thread and horveech (which suicided) both used drugs too.

After I read about diazepam, I think I got into one kind of episode like that, but way smaller, so small I haven’t considered I was in a psychotic attack: I smoked weed and ate sushi, then couldn’t sleep and was paranoid that I had a mushroom stuck in my throat, went to the doctor and he gave me diazepam. I thought the doctor was tricking me into believe I was just imagining things and didn’t have the mushroom stuck into my throat. After that everything became normal and never had something similar happening to me again.

Haha, actually there was something kinda similar with an old Big Lad housemate – he smoked a bunch before bed, then woke up convinced his grinder was lodged in his throat

Yeah I’ve learned that diazepam is prescribed in a bunch of situations – my mum was saying doctors even give it to people grieving who need to just get through a few days/funeral or whatever. The lorazepam (quicker/stronger acting but shorter duration) was actually pretty intense, hits you like a toooooooooon of bricks and it’s just GG next couple hours, they glide by. Diazepam way less intense, I was actually being given it twice a day, morning and night, so for a few days they were actually waking me up to give me diazepam, pretty stupid state of affairs lol. They gave me 6 to take away and take as required, needed one the first day I was home but no more since then. It’s absolutely incredible how quickly they take a hold of you – you build decent tolerance in 2/3 days and coming off them is kinda grim.

Re: poker and mental health problems – I’m kinda skeptical on the whole leatherass, poker leading to mental health problems thing. There’s obv a bunch of guys who have difficulties (Klaric for the old school FR guys

), but I feel like any cross-section of mainly young dudes is going to throw up a bunch of positives – I’d be surprised if poker players as a population had a significantly higher rate/proven causation or w/e, though obv good chance I’m wrong.

Reading the HorVeech thing actually hit me super hard. Though I never met him, we kinda locked horns back in the day (for a brief while we were negotiating a HU grudge match at 10/20). Basically his path felt terrifyingly similar to mine – IIRC he’d had two or three hospital admissions before he ended his life. For a short while one doctor was using the term ‘schizo-affective disorder’ (which is like schizophrenia lite) while I was in hospital, but they backed off that term pretty quickly (something about the shortness of the time I was psychotic.. or the order of my symptoms.. can’t really remember). The strange thing about all this is that there’s some amount of it/variables that seems to be outwith my (or anyone’s) control. So while reading about Veech and finland and stuff (with greatest respect to both of them) reads somewhat like a warning to me, I have to accept that there’s some things I can’t just avoid via force of will. No idea if that makes any sense


Originally Posted by beet Takes a lot to share such a personal ordeal. Massive respect for sharing, it definitely helps others to see that you can still be successful in life with mental health issues. Best of luck on your recovery.

Appreciate that man, GL to you too.


Originally Posted by DivineGlory 101% agree! Based off of personal experience. Don’t hesitate to get started soon. If you do not click and feel comfortable with one. Keep switching until you find one that you do connect with!

Rare to see. I respect the transparency. It also potentially helps others.


Thanks fella!


Originally Posted by SmbSmbSmb


Originally Posted by _jimbo_ Fair play man. Takes a lot of courage to be that open. Wish you all the best going forward.

Thanks, best to you too.


Originally Posted by ggbruuce Lots of respect for writing about this on the forums, you always seemed like a good guy at the tables to me (and also from what I heard through mutual friends).. I have a really good book recommendation which probably could be very useful for you https://www.amazon.com/Real-Happy-Pi…/dp/B071Z9VP38

I hope you get better!

Appreciate the 1st post! I’m back in the habit of starting each day with a 30-40m workout (10m skipping, pullups, pushups, stretching and rolling), definitely shakes the cobwebs off and gives some early momentum in the day


Originally Posted by doctor877 <3

f0ck off NASA


Originally Posted by blakkman08 Can only inagine what it took to go through all that again and actually write it down and then share it too. Mad props for that and gl going forward bro. Hope you manage to make the best of it and you know you have people to lean on always.

Thanks brother – gotta get myself out to Vienna at some point this year


Originally Posted by ShellysAshes All the best Donald. As so many have already said, it deserves reiterating that it’s very brave to write all this. It sounds like you have a loving family and support network around you and that is something to be thankful for because a battle against a serious mental-health disorder cannot be fought alone, as tempting as it is to believe you can fight this battle alone. Having people there who want the best for you is key and you have that. It can’t be understated just how important that is.

Yeah, I’m very lucky to have a family that basically went to war for me as soon as all this popped off. My dad spent as much time in the hospital as I did the first few days, even though I was mostly wrestling him and a few nurses trying to get out and kinda bringing him into my delusions.. must’ve been horrendous for him. My mum was in Japan and cut her trip short to come see me aswel


Originally Posted by Barry Urinstein Tough reading this. I hope you’re feeling better. Miss you, Don.

I miss you too man. Hope we see each other again one day soon


Originally Posted by TimStone Most interesting read on 2+2 probably in the last decade.
I think most pokerplayers have some form of manic depressive disorder which is probably normal in this line of work.
However i cant contribute much apart from this bc while i find what you described superfacinating it’s also so far outside of my own reality…

Best of luck anyways and hope for no new episodes in 2019

High praise! Thanks man, that’s my 1 and only goal for this year tbh.


Originally Posted by HU4hoes Was great meeting you a few weeks ago, wishing you all the best D7

Cheers Jason, appreciate it


Originally Posted by megalomaniac23 +1 on this also, going to psychotherapy regulary can def help. Also, switch/try different therapists until you find the right match. Hope you are and will be doing better!

Thanks dude


Originally Posted by z0mgtiltz It must have taken a lot to write this. I hope you get better Donald.

Cheers Ted


Originally Posted by PlasticElephant Huge respect for writing this. This year my perspective on mental health has taken a complete u-turn and the more we speak about it openly the better. It’s hard to switch off our ‘it can never happen to me’ narrative but so so important in my opinion.

Yeah, 100% this. Before anything happened I was completely in the ‘could happen to anyone… but obv not me’ camp. I do still find it hard to accept that in some ways it’s outwith my control.. I’m a big believer in personal responsibility, so I guess all I can do is take the advice I get and give myself the best chance possible to stay healthy.


Originally Posted by Kangal_ Man, this was kinda tough to read, so I can’t even imagine what it was like living and re-living it. Thanks for being brave enough to write it all down and put it out there. I’m sure you have a long line of people close to you who you can talk to, but if you ever wanna chat to someone non-partisan, then don’t be a stranger.

I wish you a healthy and happy 2019 and beyond

Much appreciated man


Originally Posted by Jaznin GL Donald.

Stay strong.

Captain Zeebo had a similar experience, it might be worth checking that out.

Thanks man, the more you look the more you find circumstances like this. Shoutout my boy Valen aswel, hope he’s doing well.


Originally Posted by BenaBadBeat Huge love D. I’m super happy that you felt able to write and share the entire experience. See you soon (sun) <3

Cheers kidder, let’s sort this trip!


Originally Posted by psek1 Awesome that you were able to share this, mad props and extremely interesting read. Hope all improves going forward

Thanks Patrick, here’s hoping


Originally Posted by Slugant Gl donald, unfortunately very common among poker players

Ty dude


Originally Posted by LOLCh1pPorn Hey man, I also just want to say that it’s very admirable for you to type out that experience and can’t imagine how tough it must be to go through that. It was nice to meet you when you were in Vienna and I hope you have a great year both healthwise and in poker, best of luck!

Thanks man – was a pleasure meeting you also! It wasn’t an ideal thing to happen, but god knows it could’ve been much worse. So glad no one got hurt. Best of luck to you too!


Originally Posted by WCGRider glad you are doing better man, wish you the best of luck

Cheers Doug, all the best for 2019


Originally Posted by GazzyB123 Can only echo the above posts. Immense bravery to relive that and share it with us.

Wish you the best brother

Cheers Gazzy! Hyped for your bet with the kid


Originally Posted by meale Thank you for sharing this… Has only reinforced to me how important health is and how glad I am to have made this a priority of mine this year. All the best, I hope you get everything back on track ASAP!

Cheers dude!


Originally Posted by BigAisaOK Emotional read that brother.

Hope 2019 you can avoid any further episodes as I know first hand mental health issues are crippling and debilitating at times.

Thanks for your bravery writing that and all the best moving forward.

Thanks man – obv I’m hoping that’s what happens, but I’m also not going to fall to pieces if it were to happen again. Honestly the suffering for me is whatever, I don’t really gaf that much, I just really don’t want to put my friends/family through it again.


Originally Posted by sirin Best of luck and huge respect for writing what must have been a very difficult post.

Thanks man


Originally Posted by SmbSmbSmb way too much love in here so i’m gonna berate you for being an overly stationy poker player, octopus-dancing beers lord and no-left-foot footballer.

Guilty on all 3 charges

My toe-punting skill more than make up though


Originally Posted by GazzyB123 Coming from the guy that has two? Really?



Originally Posted by SmbSmbSmb I feel a left-footed penalty bet brewing.


Originally Posted by TimStone He got a point though. Once too many british people poasting in a row a thread often gets too polite and friendly, esp when alot of those brits gay as well


Originally Posted by theproksa Thank you for sharing that D7 and glgl going forward.


Originally Posted by cluelesss just wauw.

Hope 2k19 is gonna be your best year ever.

gl !

Thanks guys

================================================== =

Thanks very much again to everyone who posted – I’m basically always surprised at how positive people are and I do appreciate the support. I don’t wanna dwell on it too much but obv I’ll keep y’all posted with how I’m doing here and there.

Anyway – this is a poker forum right?

2018 Summary

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Graph says about it all really – things were going unreal smooth basically until Cyprus in mid-May, I then proceeded to have around a 40evBI downer from there till September. Took around 3 months off, won a little cash in December, that’s about it. I failed my volume goal, played a little higher on average than I expected to. I didn’t hit 4bb, though if I filter out 3 and 4 handed play (47k hands, where I lost at 1evbb, 90%+ reg battling) then I just scrapped it. Going to continue starting all my games this year, though I understand there’s a pretty high chance there’s drastic changes to the lobby this year (all zoom or a blind lobby) so we’ll just have to see how it goes. Pretty sure all previous years I’ve won at some rate while starting tables, but even if -1bb is accurate, it cost me 4 or 5 stacks to have the lobby basically whenever I sit it – that’s cheaper than a script, plus it forces me to play more hands vs the better regs which is useful for study.

One things I haven’t mentioned so far is the army – BitB Cash. I really enjoy working with the guys and sharing in their journey, they keep me sharp and I love to see the hardest working guys eventually rise to the top (as they always do). We’ve improved a lot of our marketing stuff a ton recently so we’re starting to see many more applicants, which is translating into better student numbers. I’m also pretty delighted with the new website (which I rebuilt from scratch in August/September), I’m confident it’s the most secure poker video platform on the internet and I’ll continue to make additions/ improvements this year – starting with a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of the most commonly occurring spots, which I’ve started, with the aim of it functioning as the intro for our new players.

That’s it for now, been typing way too long – may bump the thread with some goals for the month/year but I need to think about how best to approach this.

GL out there!

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