Hey everybody, this week on Poker Head Rush we have Tommy Angelo taking over all of our columns except for my blog. I’ve been reading Tommy Angelo’s articles since I was 17 in my high school’s computer lab, devouring ten at a time when I should have been doing homework. I’ve always felt he has more insight and soul in his writing than any other poker writer. I am honored to say that he has decided to work with us here for a brief time. At Poker Head Rush this week you can check out a wide variety of his entertaining and informative articles, listen to his music, and even enter a contest to win one of his new books. Read Jack Welch’s blog for details.
Also, you can read this article on its own, but if you would like to check out the last article in the Take A Step Back series you can find it here:
Last time I wrote a general list of things I wanted to work on each week. In this entry I will try to convert all of them into realistic goals I can achieve each week.
The first one I listed was time with my girlfriend, friends, and family. So around two days of the week I should take off to relax, and see my people.
Second was keeping my dog in shape and happy, so he needs some daily runs.
I also wanted to see three hours of training videos per week. That seems like a pretty lofty goal, but if I run with my dog for twenty minutes each day, and then come home and do another thirty minutes of running on a machine while watching a training video, I can combine these two goals.
I also wanted to get lessons done each week. I’ll aim for four each week. Good review, good people, and constantly challenging myself to think through situations. It seems like a smart commitment to make.
Playing poker. I should go for two full days every week at minimum. When I put together some winning sessions and feel better I should determine whether I want to add a day or two. Again, two full days doesn’t seem like much, but my general session length is ten to fifteen hours and I really can’t do much else during the days I grind.
A lot of people will wonder if it’s really wise to play that long of sessions, but to get in any kind of volume during one day of poker I think you’re easily going at least 8 to 10 hours, and I usually feel good enough to go the whole night as long as I don’t do it every single day. I don’t want to tire myself doing anything else on a day I play poker usually, so I want to get in as many poker hours as possible.
Exercise. I’m going to start consistent but attainable. 20 minutes of running a day, six times per week. 50 push-ups and 50 sit-ups per day. Pretty much every time I jog, I go sixty to eighty minutes but lately I’ve been lazy about push-ups and sit-ups. So I’m going to start small and build up. Also, 20 minutes is a good goal when I feel like crap but my dog has a ton of energy that needs to be spent.
Creative writing. This one is a little trickier. I tried doing it by a word limit like Stephen King suggests to do, but then I found myself stretching sections just to hit my quota, and I also found myself putting in half-assed work just to get my portion finished. I think now I just need to commit to a certain number of hours. I think four a week would be a good start. I also need to give myself the chance to write more if something is really taking off (this part is very similar to poker), so I have to work that into my goal setting.
I also think the days I write I need to not be playing, even for a late night session. I find when I have the grind on my mind it’s really hard to take my time and flesh out something that’s just in my right mind’s imagination. The left brain is already getting warmed up, and its thinking of dollars and cents, percentages, pot size bets, etc. It’s not thinking of character development.
I should get two blogs/articles done weekly. This won’t take that long, and it helps me drum up support with some other projects.
Learning Spanish. I think I’m going to start with four hours a week on this one, too. An hour of study four days a week would be miles ahead of what I’m doing now, which is picking up words the thirtieth time I see them translated in subtitles.
I’m also just very lucky to live in a country that speaks a language I would like to know. Speaking even basic Spanish has helped me meet so many great people, and I think in general it will help me in business and life. Many people spend a lot of money to get an exchange year. All around me is a rich culture and I’m not doing my best to learn from it.
I can also combine goals a bit here. While I enjoy running through the forest and thinking about nothing in particular, I could use that time more wisely. I could be listening to a Pimsleur CD on Spanish while I run, or even make some voice recordings of sentences I’m trying to get down, and just listen to that while I run. 30 minutes of running and listening to a Spanish course six times a week is three hours right there.
I’m not trying to start with more rigid goals because it’s less likely I’m going to do them. If I say “I want to learn 25 new words per week” that might not be how fast my mind studies. I might be tempted to cut my learning short at two hours if I just race through and barely get down 25 words, or I might get frustrated I learned five words in a day and say “f this” the next day.
I just want to put in solid hours and enjoy my studies and endeavors. I want to work enough to challenge myself and move forward, but not enough to kill myself. I want to be working on enough different things that I feel like each day is a little different and challenging, but I don’t want to spread myself so thin I’m dying.
Next blog I’m going to try and see if I can actually work out a schedule with these goals, and come up with some strategies for achieving them.
My Plugs: Check out my vids at Pocketfives Training, hit me up for lessons at email@example.com, see other stuff I write with my friends at www.pokerheadrush.com, and follow my Twitter at TheAssassinato
Also, check out some strategy articles I can’t publish legally on Pocketfives. There’s this one on raise/folding from the short stack:
And this one about playing the turn. Nick Schulman and Andrew Lichtenberger also contributed: