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Mendes Poker Blog

Winner of the time vault challenge 2013 Making the best of 2015
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Hallo there poker players!


It's been a long time I have posted anything, the last 6 months of 2014 have been marked by a lot of work and not a lot of time to dedicate myself to activities related to poker. 

This year has been tough. I have dedicated myself in 2013 to study poker and the results are not there yet, 2014 has been a year of trial and error- mostly error, bringing my bankroll, my mood and my will to play to levels way below what I have expected at the beginning. I have learned some valuable lessons and I intend to apply those lessons in order to progress and prosper. For now... take a deep breath and start over.

So in the spirit of Christmas, I would like to share with you what I consider to be some good advice:

1- Create healthy habits. 

Implementing diets, stop smoking suddenly, radically change the views or habits never really worked for me. I believe in gradually implementing new habits, so that they will naturally become a part of your routine and your life. It can be emotionally taxing to be assuming radical changes, to be falling into the bad habits again, to feel guilty about it and be part of a vicious cycle. Instead, it works much better for me to do it slowly and care free. That is how I managed to quit smoking, stopped drinking carbonated beverages such as coca cola, started exercising and learning music. We can slowly substitute unhealthy habits such as playing too many videogames with habits which will have a better long term effect. I have bought a set of juicer + mini blender for healthy shakes and got a boxing bag . That makes it easier to go and eat a healthier diet and exercise, as going to the gym takes a lot more energy in my case (lazyness to leave the house often wins hehe).

This is of course very true to poker, to find out what your unhealthy habits are and substitute them with better ones.

2- Organisation and structure

Time will pass whether you choose to organise your agenda carefully or not. Doing nothing- or acting at random is also a choice, but it will not bring the results you might expect. So make plans for the short, mid and long term, structure your life plans with a solid project management, leaving room for spontaneity and life will flow a lot easier.

In poker terms, if you go to the tournament and play each and every hand with a plan, it will be a lot better than basically playing your cards and position. Have a plan for every street. What do I do when the loose player calls? What if I get reraised? What cards do I want to see on the turn to proceed with the hand? Against which opponents can I make a move, and why? What do I do on each level with a small/avarage/big stack? These are all questions to consider, and many more. Specially when multitabling. Which brings me to the next topic.


3- Multitasking

It's very dangerous to assume we can easily perform several tasks at once, because we are used to them. It has been scientifically proven that we are much worse at multitasking than we think. So focusing on the present moment, the present task, the reality of facts... It can be very liberating. To do the one thing very well is a lot better than to do many things at once and none of them in your 'A game'.

It takes very careful planning to be able to multitask and it's not possible for everything. For example, when cooking, I like to start with getting all the ingredients ready, then start with things that take more time first, so the meals will be ready faster. I can cook while listening to music, which is a lot of multitasking already but if you add more activities, such as answering the mail or playing a videogame in between, there's a good chance we'll be burning that nice looking steak and having to order pizza.

I think ocupational therapies, meditation, jogging, cooking, drawing, are all very good ways to teach your mind to focus. We seem to live is a time where everything has to be in a hurry, they have to happen at the same time, and fast. It makes it difficult to read a book without stopping several times to check whatever on your smartphone. It's a different thing to play several poker tables, because we are still playing the same game with the same set of rules. Add watching a movie or playing another game to it and the quality of your poker game will decrease dramatically.


That's it for now, thanks for reading, have a great Christmas all and good luck at the tables!


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