The Joey Del Experience: Puzz And A Balanced Lifestyle

Posted at 12:19 2009-05-08
So as you know by now I have basically quit life in an attempt to become an online Multi Table Tournament Balla. Now after being about one month in all I can say is... WOW... this is tough.
I had a stint of about 6 months a couple of years ago where I played 6-max cash games full time, I was playing at $1/$2 and playing about 6 tables at a time, I was profitable without making a sick amount of money and I stopped as I got offered a job which at the time I thought was too good to resist. So far I have found one major difference between playing tournaments full time and cash games full time. The difference is that when you are playing cash games more often than not you have mostly winning sessions however when you are playing tournaments full time by their sheer nature you have mostly losing sessions with the occasional good day thrown in there which makes up for the losing days.
This has been such a strange thing to try and get used to. I think it has been fair to say that this last month has been one of the most confidence-shattering, brain tearing experiences of my life because as you all know, losing is not fun!
Now one month has past so I sat down and had a look at my life and how I was going and decided to see if there were any changes that I needed to make. In the same way that when you go to the gym (people have told me - I obviously don’t know from personal experience) they give you a fitness assessment, I think that it is important to do a ‘personal check up’ once a month or so and see if what you are doing is correct for the goals that you are setting out to achieve. When I looked at my life over the past month I found that I was missing one thing that I believe really is key to success... BALANCE! My life has basically gone like this... get up in the morning, play poker until I am hungry, go and eat, play more poker, go out, come home, play poker, go to sleep. This turns into a very monotonous and I believe dangerous cycle. Say for example, I would go out to dinner, come home at around 10pm, play tournaments until around 3 am, go to sleep and wake up whenever I did and as soon as I got up turn on the computer and start playing again. I had no balance or structure in my life. I found that I was constantly tired and not mentally prepared for the brutally sick life that is tournament poker. As my mental state was downtrodden from the start you can guess what happened whenever I got the inevitable bad beat - instant tilt!
I have learnt that the most important thing with playing something as consistently brutal as tournament poker is mental stability. The Poker Gods will do their best to put you on tilt and you need to be ready to combat that. Now many people will attest that the best way to combat this is drugs and alcohol, to those people I say good luck, however that isn’t for me. So I spent a little bit of time yesterday putting together a weekly schedule that I could run to which would ensure that I had a good balance in my life and that would ensure that I was mentally fresh before each session. A summary of that schedule is as follows.
Poker - I have decided to play some intense poker sessions but to ensure that I have had plenty of rest in between them. So I have chosen three days that I will play (Monday, Thursday and Saturday) and I will play for about 10 hours each day. I believe I will still be able to get in substantial volume in these periods as well as having the days off so that my brain doesn’t become (too) fried and stale.
Radio/Writing - As you may or may not be able to tell from these articles that you read, I do a little bit of freelance media work on the side. I of course do PokerNetwork Radio (which I will talk to you about in more detail later) as well as some writing in a few various poker publications and I am also writing a book. I will be dedicating about 3 days a week to these things as well. By alternating between poker and writing/radio I feel that I will be able to keep fresh whilst doing both things.
Family/Friends - I have found that over the past month that my poker play has consumed my entire life and I have seen less and less of my friends and my family. This is silly. Fun and relaxation are a vital part in success I believe. It is important to keep in touch with other people, especially those outside of the poker world. This helps as it keeps everything in perspective and helps to clarify that poker is just a game. There is no point getting upset about it no matter how many times people crack your aces.
Sleep/Exercise - I put these two together as they are what I neglect the most. I am lucky to average about 3 hours sleep a night which is obviously not in line with playing optimal poker. I have tried to set in a minimum of 6 hours  sleep each night as well as walking my fat ass around the block a couple of times each week.
This is just a snippet of it, but you get the idea. Balance is the key! I still have a lot to improve on my actual poker game but I feel that if I am at least living life like a member of the human race then maybe I have a fighting chance!
In other news the newest episode of PokerNetwork Radio is now available. We have a different feel to the show this week. We have a chat with 2009 ANZPT Champion Paren “Puzz” Arzoomanian. He talks us through the three day tournament and runs through some significant hands and also takes part in our brand new Hand Analysis section where pro poker players come onto the show and discuss hands that they have played and go through their thought process in each part. It is a must for anyone wanting to improve their poker game.
Basically since this episode has been downloaded people have been telling me that is the best one. I find that interesting considering this is the one that I do the least talking in... Oh well, have a listen and tell me what you think.
Until next time, have fun and win something!
- JoeyDel


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The Joey Del Experience:  Puzz and a Balanced Lifestyle The Joey Del Experience: Puzz and a Balanced Lifestyle

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