This first verse in this song I wrote back when I was working at Monarch Insurance during my sixth year with the company and a month or two after hitting my first six figure poker score in 2013. I wrote this mainly as a way to get my emotions I was feeling off my chest and out of my heart. I felt like I could make it in poker and insurance at the time was holding me back. After I finished writing it I then stumbled upon a great instrumental.
After that 100k score I went to get the tattoo I have across my chest “No weapon set forth shall prosper.” from my friend, Nick Smithee. Nick had just got the tattoo of the word “Sabali” across his neck. I didn’t know what the word meant until he explained to me that it meant “Patience” . Sabali is an African word that made up the chorus in the Nas & Damian Marley song titled “Patience”,Patience YouTube link . Once I heard the beat and chorus to this song I knew I had to get the instrumental for to put those words I wrote to it.
I recorded the verse in pretty much one shot and sent it to my boy Chad Daley. Thanks to Steve Jobs and the fabulous technology of the iphone I was able to send him the song by email. He uploaded it and recorded verse two. Chad and I used to rap and bust freestyles back in our King St Apartment Hotel days living in downtown Honolulu. I literally found two turntables, a mixer and a whole collection of 90s hip hop vinyl in the trash of the apartment we lived in. I took the equipment and had a ton of fun with it. I found an interesting talent. My first freestyle on the radio was dope! But I’ll save that one for another post.
My words and the song fit. It became my theme song as I started to travel to Vegas and California for poker tournaments. Patience is the biggest weapon we have in poker and listening to it reminds me to be patient. I feel listening to the song as I walk to my seat at the table after a break has helped me get in the zone on a couple of occasions. Ask any musician and they will tell you playing there music leads them to a state of “flow” aka being in the zone.
There is definitely an art to freestyling that allows you to get emotions out that is therapuetic to the mind. This is what Sabali did for me and I didn’t really realize this until looking back. It was this summer (2015) I was hanging out with Jeff Madsen (2006 WSOP Player of the Year and 4 time WSOP Bracelet winner) and seen him freestyling about a bad beat, that’s when the light bulb went off. I freestyled about a bad beat and felt the negativity of the loss lift off my shoulders. I can’t help but feel that this song helped manifest my poker destiny. The first lyric “I’d rather work on my own, make my own million…” came true, I didn’t know it at the time I was writing it but it was a positive affirmation that I heard every time in my head before I entered a poker tournament and chased my dream.
Music is powerful. I’m going to try and learn to play the harmonica. I figure its basic enough. Might lead to another post. Peace. Maluhia in hawaiian.