I set out to write a response to naturalborn's comment
and quickly realized that I might as well be trying to write a novel in swahili. I cannot express how distant, foreign and irrelevant poker now seems to me.
Still, that doesn't mean I've become incapable of appreciating this particular genius (h/t rafe
, and I think that's my first "h/t" ever, usually I let people suffer in obscurity but I feel bad about it, so...)
"Return to the Sacred" by Jonathan Ellerby is an amazing book! In March, 2008 I was feeling super stressed out, and super burned out, by the dual pressures of trying to be one of the greatest poker players in history, and dealing with the fame factor that drives so many celebs over the edge. I was starting to melt down and it was affecting my health (a little bit), and I couldn't figure out why. I mean, I had the poker records, the fortune, the fame, the wonderful wife, the great kids, the 12 million "Milwaukee's Best" beer cans coming with my picture and likeness, the NYT bestselling book ("Play Poker like the Pros"), one million subscribers on my "Phil Hellmuth's Texas Hold'em" cell phone game, a column in 40 newspapers, a piece of 18 different companies, I was on television every day, and I had much, much more. So what was the problem? Why do so many celebs with so much wealth and success melt down?
Well, first my wife convinced me to go to "Canyon Ranch" in Tuscon with her, which is the world's leading health spa, for one week. Then I called my friends at Taser and borrowed their jet for the ride down there. My wife and I joined the "Life enhancement" program, although I insisted on renting one of the best houses on campus. I thought, "If we were going to spend $18,000 for the week, then why not spend $30,000 and go in luxurious style?" Since I was starting to feel horrible around my chest and stomach (just for three or four days, thank god!), I ordered every test under the sun, and when my health scores came back "Perfect" (across the board, yes!), I knew that this physical unrest was all related to the mental side of the coin.
Believe it or not, it goes on from there. I wonder how thrilled this Ellerby fellow is to have obtained such an endorsement. Were I him, it'd be lawsuit time.