For The Win

•October 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“I just want a shirt that says ‘NO CHOP’ on it…” ~ Keith ‘keithfolds2’ Evans, recent MiniFTOPS #28 winner and silver jersey recipient

I promised everyone that I’d write a post about what the creative process has been like creating my own brand and wanted to give some insight into just how exactly you can do the same thing.

For me it’s been incredibly challenging to overcome a few plateaus in innovative thinking but so much more fun that I ever could have imagined. The most imposing challenge has been acting to dissolve the fear that perfection is the only result that will bring success.

In the last 18 months myself and my colleagues have taken a moderately vague concept – wanting t-shirts that said ‘No Chop’ on them, an idea that sprouted from a long MTT session – and molding into a movement by creating an identity, one that is continuously changing as the goals of the budding company have grown.

From simply thinking that we could make awesome shirts, to wanting be our own team and wear our own gear, to creating a chance to represent the strengthening of a cause, we’ve never really had any real expectations or given ourselves a ceiling for the level of impact we can have, which I believe has been vital in the maturation of our original idea.

The forging of No Chop Poker’s identity has happened in the fires of time, after countless logo concepts and design ideas, brainstorming, and critical thinking. To have emerged from all of that heat with this idea to produce a quality poker clothing line that fights the battle against poor poker fashion and the never ending war towards cancer prevention is something that makes me personally, feel both incredibly proud and tremendously humbled.

To make all this happen, I first did quite a bit of research on our potential competition and the steps it takes to take an idea and transform it into something physical. It took quite a while to collect enough information to take the next steps necessary in the evolution from a thought to something digital, particularly since it was all coming out of my own pocket.

To make a long story short, I enlisted the help of quite a few different sources to help expand the brand into something I could reach out and touch, most recently which was @thelogocompany.

From what was once merely a doodle on the header of a piece of paper, soon became the icon for what will be the foundation for the company’s image. It may have taken longer than I expected, but I’m extremely satisfied with the results.

The photos below give some perspective into what the drafting process is like. Most of the changes that were made after we were clear on what we wanted are subtle, small details that we toyed back and forth with until it was decided on a finalization.

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Zune Top 5
1} These Days by The Black Keys on Brother
2} Black & Yellow by Wiz Khalifa
3} Deuces Remix by Chris Brown ft. Drake, T.I., Kanye West, Fabolous, & Andre 3000
4} 25 To Life By Eminem on Recovery
5} Runaway by Kanye West ft. Pusha T on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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Into The Light

•September 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been up in Chicago for a little over a week now and absolutely love it here. There’s so much I don’t know about the city itself and I’m eager to learn and experience all it has to offer. My efforts and evolution into becoming a more disciplined minimalist are truly starting to pay dividends. Walking everywhere is so much nicer than driving. You really appreciate and notice the small things you normally miss.

Unfortunately I’ll be headed back to Springfield sometime in the next couple days for the funeral proceedings for my late grandfather on my fathers’ side. It will however, be nice to see some family I haven’t seen in quite some time and share stories about all the amazing things he did in his life.

Everyday I wake up knowing that I’m making tremendous progress in my own personal development and that I’m passionate and energized to do the things I love most. Doing all the cool work in the past year and a half to really create and mold the No Chop Poker brand and it’s image has made me appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to transform an idea you love into something physically awesome. Also, I’ve learned more than anything that most of problems you will face will be a product of your own fear, and that even though things never go perfectly the way you planned, it’s still always easier than you make it out to be.

My first month of tutelage under @RishanB has come and gone and he has inspired some amazing insights within me. He is a truly wonderful coach and since I started under his wing, have made some monumental progress regarding my psyche and consciousness.

One of the reasons I’ve struggled lately with producing consistent, quality entries for this blog with valuable content is because I often contemplate just how exactly I should be expressing myself. Bruce Lee once said that martial arts means honestly expressing yourself, which is a very difficult thing to do. Sometimes I wonder what other people will think, if they will react negatively, etc…which is essentially a product of thinking to much, instead of just doing. It’s something I do my best to improve at every day.

I had been playing much more poker since my last entry, but my inflated passion to pursue MTT excellence is perhaps premature; I need to sharpen many of my skills and intend on doing so by focusing almost solely on SNGs, studying hand histories, watching videos, and polishing my fundamentals until further bettering my abilities in the coming months.

I had accumulated quite a large number of small and midstakes FT’s and wins recently, but the high variance involved with MTTs can certainly difficult to deal with. It makes you appreciate the dedication and discipline the grind takes that much more. The burn online poker gives you and the intense focus needed to succeed by it motivates me to be that much more dedicated to focus on strengthening my abilities.

The rest of the No Chop Poker clan had quite a bit of success in August, with @Brin1285 making the FT of the Brawl a few Sundays past. Gasol ended the month on a scorching heater the past couple weeks, after winning the $10k turbo rush 1r – which is fucking incredible – chopping the 28k HU, winning the 30k outright, and making several other FT’s including the 50/50 twice, 15k SS, 30cubed, 23k KO and the 10.5k 2r rush as well all on FTP.

In the meantime I’ve continue to progress with @thelogocompany who have done an excellent job shaping the identity of the NCP brand through several amounts of concepts and designs. I very much look forward to seeing the gear in print; it is something I’ve been wanting for a very long time and have dedicated much of my time and thought to the last 18 months or so.

One of the things that I think about endlessly is what I can do within my own power to help others fight for a cause that’s not my own. In ancient Japan, warriors called this ideology “borrowing the battlefield”. What I’ve concluded is a thought I had danced with for some time, and that’s making a significant, conscious effort to help strengthen the fight against preventing cancer.

After losing my own father to pancreatic cancer and enduring, even if only briefly, a lymphoma scare of my own, there’s no doubt in my mind I’d like to do whatever it takes to contribute to the cause.

All that being said, what I have planned I think will really benefit both the poker community and the front towards improving cancer prevention. I’ve been talking back and forth with the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Bad Beat on Cancer, and intend to donate {at least} 1% of all profits from No Chop Poker to BBoC.

At first glance it may seem like a small gesture, but it has so much potential to do wonderful things if embraced by both communities like I think it can and will be. Even though our goal would be to sell as much product as possible, if we could gain support from other prominent players and get them to donate 1% of their profits (or more) in tournaments than the cause could eventually swell to tremendous strength.

Anyway that’s all for now – I wanted to keep this pretty short since I hadn’t posted in a while and wanted to update everyone on what was going on. Peace.

Zune Top 5
1} Superstar by Wiz Khalifa on Deal Or No Deal
2} Greet Death by Explosions in the Sky on Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die,Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever
3} The Move on Tracks of Never-Ending Light by This Will Destroy You on R/T
4} Up All Night by Drake on Thank Me Later
5} To West Texas by Explosions in the Sky on Friday Night Lights soundtrack

New Realization

•August 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

Apologies for not posting sooner – my focus recently has entirely geared towards making some truly monumental changes in my life and to this blog as well.

That being said I’d like to formally welcome you to beerandpwning.com, the new home of Beer & Pwning in Las Vegas!!

For those of you who do not know who {the hell} I am, my name is Justin Timm and I’m a young entrepreneur and avid poker player. This blog is based off of my experiences living in Las Vegas during the 2oo9 & 2o1o World Series of Poker, and is obviously a spin off of the great Hunter S. Thomson’s ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas’, (which was also based on two recurring trips to Las Vegas) but with far less hallucinations and much more drunken randomness.

Anyway, I’m turning 24 tomorrow!! Pretty hard to believe, but I don’t got anything too crazy planned – although I might go down to St. Louis later this week. I think me and a bunch of the No Chop crew might just get fucked up and gamble on mini golf at Knights Action Park…should be a good time!! Pretty sure last time I went putt putt there I ended up with 12 stitches…

The adventures proceeding my last entry have been quite interesting. I’ve been playing a decent amount of live poker lately, dabbling in some local mid-stakes tournys as well as some cash games both in town and at Lumiere Place in St. Louis, with relatively mild results. While I feel I’ve been playing relatively solid, making excellent calls and folds, I cant seem to get much going in between the two. While variance is an obvious factor, there’s also clearly room for vast improvement. Over the next few days I’ll be reviewing lots of HH’s and working hard to continue sharpening my game.

My coaching sessions with @rishanb have been tremendously progressive and I look forward to continue working with him. It’s great to have someone to talk to about all the random shit that goes on in my life and know I’m going to get sound advice back.

Aside from that I’ve been working with @thelogocompany polishing some No Chop Poker concepts that, so far, have turned out really sharp. I’m really excited to get some samples made in the next week or two. When they print I’ll be posting the pics on here as soon as possible as well as more upcoming and exciting news on that front, so stay tuned!

This week marks a bit of a new beginning for myself and this site as well, and I will be doing everything I can to provide the most informative, hilarious, valuable information as I can, as often as I can!

Before you leave be sure to check out the links inside the right sidebar to some of my favorite sites on the internet, who just happen to be run by some of my awesome friends!!

Zune Top 5
1} Vegas Skies by The Cab on Whisper War
2} True Love Waits(Live) by Radiohead The Best of
3} Free Mason by Rick Ross feat. Jay-Z on Teflon Don
4} Not Afraid by Eminem on Recovery
5} Maybach Music III by Rick Ross on Teflon Don

Be What’s Next

•July 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s been almost two weeks since I got back to my hometown of Springfield, IL. Haven’t done anything too crazy since, after electing to not go camping last weekend. Just didn’t feel like living in dirt for a few days right after making a transition into another different house. I still haven’t figured out just what all of the light switches do.

Since my last entry I’ve got to hang out with the handful of close friends I hadn’t chilled with in probably two months, which has been cool. Being in Vegas is awesome, especially when you have a couple of homies with you, but not having a deep team for support there definitely takes it toll.

There’s been some very exciting developments in my life since returning home. I recently hired former high stakes cash game player, successful self-help blogger and creator of AllTooSimple.com @RishanB for the next three months as a life coach of sorts, to help me hammer out and shape all of the goals and ideas I have regarding my future. After what was supposed to be a 15 minute trial phone call turned into a nearly hour long discussion, it really just felt like natural, solid decision.

My first official coaching call was this past Thursday, and it helped tremendously with both mapping out a path to achieving my most personal goals and addressing some of my weaknesses with my writing and this blog in particular.

When I first started this blog in the spring of o9, my reasoning was relatively simple: I wanted to keep people updated on my progress & happenings while in Las Vegas for the summer and the rest of my travels. More than anything I wanted to create some form of channel where I could write about whatever the hell I wanted to and have someplace for people, whether it be friends or family or the occasional internet passer-by, to read it.

With that being said, only recently have I begun to appreciate just exactly what I’ve been able to do with Beer & Pwning, and the seemingly limitless potential and upside it has as a blog from a viral self-marketing and branding standpoint.

I’m committed to making this blog a much more receptive and transparent channel for everything that’s happening in my life, and am very eager to continue making improvements.

For a while I had only been posting maybe once or twice a month, which I absolutely loathed myself for. I want to be posting valuable content on here every couple of days or so, including an increasingly vast amount of digital media i.e. pictures, video, etc. I am also going to start selling ‘Beer & Pwning in Las Vegas’ t-shirts here on the site, and frankly am pretty damn excited about the idea because I think they will be awesome.

Translating my feelings onto paper (or in this case, WordPress) has always come relatively easy to me. Writing is a hobby I enjoy thoroughly and I’m extremely motivated to develop my talents as such. Hopefully this site well continue to showcase my growth and desire to do so.

If you have not noticed already, essentially every individual post is generally named after a song title that represents how I’m feeling at the time or what I feel best describes the contents of each entry. I’ve received a fair amount of compliments on this element of my writing and feel it does add a unique touch to each post, and is something I will continue to do.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading the last two weeks, finishing ‘Making Ideas Happen’ by Scott Belsky rather quickly and skimming through a variety of other books on economics, philosophy, martial arts, and also started the ‘Bourne’ novel series.

Other than that I’ve been working out every other day, mixing in free weights, cardio, and more simulated shadow sparring. It’s amazing how much more comfortable I feel in my body since I first started studying MMA. If you ever have the chance to give it a shot, I can tell you first hand that you will probably learn more about yourself in the first half an hour of instruction than you had previously known in your life.

The past few days I’ve been reviewing some of Brin1285’s hand histories on Universal HH Replayer from some recent victories and deep runs to improve my MTT skills. As I start to put in more volume this tutelage will undoubtedly help me obtain better results. He’s a world class player and I not only respect his poker opinion but that of a great friend. I know that most players can be pretty protective of their HH’s or coaching other players, so I’m very fortunate enough to have someone I happen to live with who I can learn so much from.

Neither of us did much this past weekend, except go to a few bars on Saturday and get mildly drunk. I wish the details of it all were more glamorous as you do.

Monday provided the epic Midwest thunderstorms you only hear about during a Las Vegas summer, which obviously explains the sand. Our power went out for like 3 hours in the early afternoon, and me & Brin got bored without wifi in about 7 minutes. The cure, you ask? Plant shopping. And Sonic. In reverse order. We then attempted to pot a plant on the front porch in the wrong kind of pot that was too small, shaping it with a plastic butter knife and narrowly preventing its complete destruction.

I’ve been spending the rest of my time the past day or two taking care of some business on NC’s behalf and figuring out what sort of furniture and other things are absolutely necessary for me to buy. Right now my bedroom looks like a comfortable solitary confinement cell. I’ve looked at a few different low rise beds I’m just not sure I found the right one. Also been making some arrangements to sell my car after reading a few different articles about similar subjects. At this point I realize just how stupid they really are, both from a practical and environmental standpoint.

For instance, I bought my car for like $10k in the middle of o6, have probably spent between $10-15k on it between gas, insurance, maintenance, upgrades, etc. However, it’s only worth probably a little under $6k, which doesn’t really make any sense at all. Besides, if I’m going to start traveling more it would be a pretty pointless possession to keep. People have cars because it’s convenient to take around the corner to the grocery store and get to work, but don’t really consider how huge of a hassle they are or can be.

I have my second full coaching session here shortly and once it is completed plan on writing all evening after I finish some additional errands I have to attend to. Check back for my next post here before the weekend!!

Zune Top 5
1} Aston Martin Music by Rick Ross on Teflon Don
2} We’re Done by Wiz Khalifa on Kush & Orange Juice
3} The Precipice by Mogwai on The Hawk Is Howling
4} Roots of Creation by Sublime on Everything Under The Sun Disc 1
5} I Want You by Kings of Leon on Only By The Night

In A Late Style Of Fire

•July 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Back home at the new crib safe and sound. After getting one last breakfast buffet at the nearby Green Valley Ranch early Tuesday morning, Brin & I took off towards Arizona around 11ish while Gasol staying behind for another day. Shortly after exiting Henderson however, we realized traffic was backed up at Hoover Dam and that we would be forced to be at a near standstill for several hours. So much for getting off to a quick start.

Instead of snailing through the ubertilt-inducing jam, we decided on a complete whim to turn around, and go the entire 1700+ miles on a route we had never traveled before, through the Rocky Mountain west, and down through Missouri and back into Illinois. The southwest is fucking boring anyway. No big deal.

After about 800 miles, an afternoon visit to a friendly gas station Taco Bell & one early morning excursion to Denny’s later, we ended up staying in some bumfuck Super 8 in Georgetown, CO, where I would forget my pillow the next morning. Sick life.

I started off behind the wheel Wednesday, as Brin had the day before, crushed 2+ states worth of interstate and all of the sudden we were in Mizzou and what felt like a stone’s throw away from Springfield. Somewhere in between we decided there was no way in hell we were staying the night somewhere again and pushed through the rain on into the Midwestern night until we were home at last.

Feels awesome to be back in Illinois. Yesterday I did a great deal of reading and writing over coffee. Needless to say the only book I haven’t finished from my 2oo9 checklist is ‘Andrew Carnegie’ by David Nasaw, and I probably won’t anytime soon. As for the 12 books in 12 months goal I had set for myself earlier in the year, it’s looking something like this so far:

January – A Brief History of the Paradox: Philosophy & the Labyrinths of the Mind by Roy Sorenson
February – Outstanding by John G. Miller
March – A World of Ideas by Chris Rohman
April – This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men & Women by Jay Allison & Dan Gediman
May – All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
June – Secret Tactics by Kazumi Tabata {reread}
July – Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

The most recent is a great book I would recommend to anyone who has awesome ideas that routinely never materialize. It really breaks down the steps you need to take to make shit happen. If that sounds like you or you think it might be interesting, than be sure to check out this website.

Not sure what’s in store for this weekend, probably just taking it easy and catch up with a few friends I haven’t seen in a while. I’m going to be running around quite a bit getting stuff for the house and making sure NC is picking up momentum. If you’re around and wanna chill hit me up.

Zune Top 5
1} No Love by Eminem & Lil Wayne on Recovery
2} Seconds to Shine by Versus The World on self titled
3} Thinking Of You by Radiohead on Pablo Honey
4} The Man Who Sold The World by Nirvana
5} Shutterbug by Big Boi on Sir Lucious Left Foot

Tides of Time

•July 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Our time here in Vegas has flown by yet again. We’re preparing to take off tomorrow, a couple days earlier than originally planned or expected. I think all of us wish the last month could have gone more gloriously and are extremely excited to make it back home to see friends & family. Like Brin said in his most recent blog entry, it’s really easy to get ‘Vegas’d out’. However, having no expectations this summer helped me enjoy the last 6 weeks much more so than I did last year. I met some really cool people and enjoyed quite a few of some of the most fun nights in recent memory.

Since my last entry we’ve been doing a steady mix of relaxing and returning to form. Gasol made it into the money in event 54 despite being short stacked for the majority of the tournament time after getting cooler’d on the river for a 10k pot in one of the early levels. He deserved better after enduring poor variance in a number of Venetian Deepstacks, but I suppose there’s little justice in poker. If anything, it’s just more motivation to continue improving to return next year a vastly more skilled player.

Brin has snapped out of his first half of the year funk the past two weeks, securing a number of large wins online and absorbing from them, certainly, a renewed level of confidence. Seeing my roommates have this type of success pushes me to realize the areas I need to improve in to match both their results and bankroll, which is humbling.

I’ve been doing a much better job focusing on my diet & making sure I meditate a little bit when I wake up every day, get a good workout mix in or work on my katas. I’m so excited to get home and start training with a bow staff, I think it’s like the coolest thing ever to the point of nerdum {new word?}. Plus it gives me that much more incentive to continue enhancing my knowledge of MMA.

Aside from that I’ve been doing a decent amount of reading and working on improving both this blog & the upcoming No Chop website, which is now about one year in the making. I’ve learned so much since last summer about what it will take for this company to be successful, and feel like I’ve finally reached the point where everything has come together nicely for it all to work, albeit numerous setbacks. I look around the industry at the products that come out routinely and basically think they all suck and are unappealing. I really think we can change the game quite a bit.

I’m more than ready to start devoting all of my time to poker, in one way or another {whether that means putting in an greatly increased volume both online & live and/or through No Chop}, my study of martial arts, and my writing. I will now be posting twice a week here on Beer&Pwning, most like on Monday & Thursday or Friday as those seem like the days where I’ll have the most to write about.

Getting home later this week will be a welcome event. Driving across the country, though it’s smooth sailing aside from the occasional speeding ticket, is a mix of mild amusement and cruel torture. I can’t wait to see the rest of my friends and family, as well as play lots of golf and soak in a many Cardinal games. The Las Vegas desert is such a dead and desolate place, particularly during the daytime. I miss the color green in general. Running through the park, the smell of fresh cut grass, and the absence of infinite dust. It will be very calming to settle into the new house and get off to another new beginning. Also, I have all of my old entries moved over to here, feel free to check em out! Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!!

Zune Top 5
1} Strange & Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You) by Aqualung on Strange & Beautiful
2} Light Up by Drake on Thank Me Later
3} Space Bound by Eminem on Recovery
4} No Surprises by Radiohead on OK Computers
5} This Plane by Wiz Khalifa on Deal Or No Deal

Inside It All Feels The Same

•June 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The last couple weeks have been awesome. Even though today is the first day of Summer, it feels like it’s almost over already. I miss golfing back home & all my friends and siblings. We’ll probably be heading out of here in 3 weeks or so and I’ve only posted one short entry, the reason for which still eludes me.

I’ve had all the material & the motivation, as well as the desire to write, I just haven’t been able to put something down I feel like posting. I think it definitely has something to do with FB/Twitter, since everything I’m thinking or doing at any given moment I usually just put on one or the other or both.

I guess I’m in good company tho…Brin & Jee haven’t updated their respective blogs in months haha. Get your levels up guys!

It was another less than spectacular week on the grind here, although we all shipped one tourny or another. Gasol managed to ship the Turbo Fiddy in his sleep somehow. MBFN to run like PBabe. Nothing major that we always play for tho. One day, No Chop, one day.

We’ve been watching a lot of the World Cup since at least two of us are usually up at the normal 4 am kickoff lol. Nothing new there. Also seen quite a few new movies, if only from the comfort of my own computer.

I went and saw Get Him To The Greek with this girl I met @ VooDoo one night – it was funny but far from great; The Karate Kid was really solid I thought, far superior than the original in terms of martial arts knowledge, and obviously acting prowess; A-Team was fuckingggg awesome…it was both hilarious & action packed, be sure to check that out! Still waiting to corral a hot date for Toy Story 3 haha.

A few of our boys from back home were here for a week which lead to more than a few wild nights. Mostly there was just a lot of poolside boozing and degenerate banter as we watched the ‘Hawks take the Stanley Cup over the course of their stay. Shippp ittt.

When we return back to the Midwest we’ll be hittin up Huzzah Valley, MO for some camping and an alcohol-infused version of Men vs. Wild. I actually haven’t drank in a week or so, let alone even gone down to the Strip. I just don’t really enjoy it all that much anymore, and at this point am pretty turned off by light beer in particular. Gimme a few Sam Adams or a Stella Artois and I’m perfectly content.

Besides, it doesn’t really help the cause of improving my physical condition/physique every day. I already worked out this morning, ran 1 mile then practiced some katas{mma forms}, and after sweating that much slamming a many drinks later in the day doesn’t seem like that fantastic of an idea. I still very much enjoy drinking, hell it’s in my genes and lineage, but I guess when you grow up around a bar and are constantly surrounded by alcoholics, it can be a bit of a turnoff.

Anyway it’s time for my post second World Cup match mid-morning siesta. If anyone is looking to come out and visit shoot me a message, we do our best to keep an open schedule around here! PEACE

Zune Top 5
1} The Light by The Album Lead on Into The Blue Again
2} Else by Built to Spill on Keep It Like A Secret
3} In The Cut by Wiz Khalifa on Kush & Orange Juice
4} Pretty Boy Swag Remix by Soulja Boy & Gucci Mane
5} Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue on Theater Of Pain

 
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