Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First session with Jared

I've been bugging Jared for a while about coaching, but he's so popular in the coaching world that he was booked for months with students among other things I'm sure. Recently he got back to me with an email saying he'd freed some time up, that I'd been bumped up the waiting list and that he could squeeze in an assessment session at 4pm today.

Well we had that session, and I'm the most excited I've been in quite a while.

Without going on a huge rant, my current living conditions are a huge pain in the ass and I've been having a lot of trouble logging anything more than 30k hands in a month. I'd heard a lot about Jared, and although I didn't get much out of his videos because I didn't understand and apply them properly, I knew there was something there that could help tremendously. I made a goal at the beginning of this year to play 500k hands before 2010 rolls along, and that means I need to play an average of like 42k hands per month.

Last month I logged a solid (by my (previous (I think I use too many brackets (don't you think?))) standards) 24k hands, and profited $7k, the most I'd made since last September, my best month ever. So far this month, it's the 10th, and I've only played 1200 hands.

I guess you can say I'm a little off pace. I plan on fixing that, and in 1.5hrs of coaching we already essentially laid out a basic plan to do so. I tried to record the skype call but something fucked up which is unfortunate, and although I'd love to share everything he taught me with you, I both can't remember it all and I think it'd be too much for a blog post anyways.

What I do suggest though is watching his videos if you're a stoxpoker member. I watched them all months ago and they didn't stick unfortunately, but I rewatched a few of them before my session with him and for whatever reason they made perfect sense. So watch them, rewatch them, and take notes the whole time; I can almost guarantee they'll help if you're having any trouble with your mental game.

That said, here's some new stuff I'll be doing to help push myself down that road:

- I think he called them perspective cards or something, can't remember the term, but I'll be writing down ideal thought processes on cards for use when I'm playing. Things like my mental checklist that I go through before every hand, stuff to remind me of the long-term game, stuff to remind me to quit if I cross the tilt threshold, etc. When I actually write them down maybe I'll post them here word for word.

- Organizing my personal life and scheduling time during the day/week to play, something like having a real job.

- Buying noise-cancelling headphones for when I play so that I don't get distracted and therefore tilt.

- Write a mental checklist. Dusty made a video or two about this - what he goes through before each session and the list he follows. Stuff like the breathing exercizes, setting goals for the session, visualizing how I'll go about general situations, how I'll deal with tilt, how I'll pay attention to my emotional level, etc etc.

- And finally, writing in my blog more. Mostly he's referring to me keeping track of my mental state and my progress dealing with tilt and everything else, and I think it'll help tons. Expect a post at least once every other day from now on.

I'm sure there was more on the list, but like I mentioned, unfortunately I lost the whole session audio and can't remember it all. It'll come back to me, especially when I review his videos.

I jokingly told Jared that his 1.5 hours of coaching could change my life, but I really do think that's true. I felt like it was almost more life coaching than stuff relating to poker, and we'll see how it all works out in the coming months.

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