You probably haven’t seen me around at the tables much lately. Maybe I would play a little Spin & Go or a small tournament but that’s been about it pokerwise. If you are watching Poker streams on you may also have noticed that my stream hasn’t been running at all and that my YouTube channel was lacking the weekly VLOG updates already.

The reason is I had a health incident to recover from in hospital. In light of my blog topic today I would like to call it a little “life bad beat”, but before going into further detail about what happened I would like to point you to my Team Pro Online movie clip from last year which already describes the history and pre-setting for what happened to me on September 30th this year:

To sum it up in 2004 I was diagnosed with a rare chronic bowel motility disorder and struggled for a couple of years to get my life and health graphs back in the green. The docs set me up with a colostomy to ease the symptoms of the disease and year after year I started to get better, healthier, stronger. Eventually I turned out to become the even happier and much more life-affirming guy you may have met on Twitch or YouTube.

I lived happily with it for the next 10 years until today, when the whole thing started to collapse all of a sudden. Well to be honest it didn’t just collapse out of nowhere, but time had taken its toll on it and the docs already said to me that the likelihood of something like that happening was to be expected at some point into my life with a colostomy – just like your aces getting cracked by kings.

If you are not into reading about bloody details or hospital stories, please skip this next paragraph.

On that September night the docs performed a medical emergency surgery, proceeded to cut me open one more time, put that bowel back inside and set up a new colostomy by plugging the end out on the left side of my belly this time. The next two weeks were then all about recovering from both my surgery wounds and my bowel disorder which had kicked in again due to my damaged colon. Eating and drinking became problems again as did the handling of this “new old” organ of mine.

Felix_Schneiders_16oct15.jpgFelix Schneiders during his recovery
Now after two weeks I am starting to feel better. I have been released from the hospital for now to focus on recovering back home, work on nurturing myself, and getting back to full strength.

What does this have to do with poker? Well, I already put a couple of comparisons into the above text to indicate what my perception of life is like by now. I feel like poker is the real game of life and it has done two great things for me:

1. It gave me something to distract my worn-down mind from, to put my energies into and to learn from. Eventually it even turned into my passion and profession – truly the game of my life.

2. It humbled me time and time again, showing me that beats are just bound to happen. You have to accept them as part of the game, you cannot allow yourself to dwell on them and you have to constantly put yourself out there again to make all the good things in life happen to you too.

Of course there were times when I would curse on my “fate”, rage at my disorder symptoms or even get disgusted about my colostomy. But I simply cannot allow this negative energy to occupy my mind if I want to grow healthy, strong and successful again. Cards will be dealt to all of us at any given point in our lives. Poker has taught me that all I need to focus my energies on is how to make the best possible decisions with them.

So don’t worry, even though I’m taking things slow now expect me to be back soon enough at the tables, on Twitch or on YouTube when we will be having a good laugh together about the next poker beats!

Felix Schneiders is a member of PokerStars Team Online.

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