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Personal Trainers, Writing Books and Other Stuff People Make Big Claims About at New Years

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I for one have totally and utterly checked out for 2009, I did about 8 days ago in fairness but the whole Xmas thing got in the way of me updating things blogwise. I probably wont even bother playing again until 2010 brings that familiar surge of motivation that being the first day of a new year provides.

I havent mentioned this yet, but I am now because I do not want people to think this was spurred on by a post Xmas stint of guilt, but in November I started using a personal trainer at the gym. I have regularly gone to the gym for about 10 years now, but the last three I have turned up, coasted, done the bare minimum and done very little to progress that. In fact its quite scary to remind myself that I have been working hard to MAINTAIN my current hefty frame, so god knows what would happen if I had given up completely.

My PT is a power lifter called Ian Thistlewood and lifting weights is something I have always avoided/done the bare minimum. A month with this guy and I absolutely love it, the big difference maker has been the changes he has made to my technique, which was terrible before. Now I feel stronger, fitter and although I haven’t changed weight much my body shape is changing noticeably (Or at least the missus has been kind enough to pretend it has) and the biggest motivator is that I am already paid up for another bunch of sessions so I am locked into it. I even went as far as going to the gym during Xmas at my girlfriends parents town (The mighty Kings Lynn) - although running a marathon wouldn’t have changed the mince pie injection I have put my body through this last week.

The other big news which is very exciting (for me) in 2010 is I am working on a book. Jared Tendler (Referred to here as the sports psychology guy) is bringing out the book version of the groundbreaking mental game coaching he provides and I am helping him out with it. I will be very quick to point out that the content is NOT from my poker brain, it is 100% from the mind of Jared, who is a counselling therapist who works with poker players and athletes, I am just going to be helping edit it, doing a lot of the housekeeping work, marketing and helping to provide a poker players voice (Jared doesn’t play poker but he has been working with them for years). Jareds content is rock solid, as is his programme which many high stakes regulars swear by and I am really lucky to be on the ground floor with it all.

There are many many poker psychology books out there, but as far as I know Jared is the first person to write one who is actually a psychology professional and his work is from years of working with poker players and sports professionals. The book is based on genuine concepts in psychology and from field experience from a professional, rather than just observations from experienced players. Its nothing to do with metagame, sould reading, outhinking players, its not about putting people on tilt and its not about any of that 'visualise the ball going in the back of the net' crap that a lot of people associate with sports psychology. The book is all about getting to the route of all the things that stop you playing your very best all the time, about how to increase the number of tables you play, how long you can play, changing your attitude to things like money, winning, losing and how to teach yourself to be a much better learner and studier of the game. I can only draw on my own personal experiences with the guy and say that in just a few months he has cured a crippling risk aversion I developed, helped my increase from 4 tables to 12 and I am playing better overall to boot, turned what was set to be a huge losing year into a (small) winning year and changed my attitude to studying poker away from the table.

I'm obviously not (yet) the best example of his work, someone like Dusty Schmidt who has won $1 million each year the three years he has been working with him, but the changes he has made to my game and my life (I wouldn’t be going to a personal trainer if it wasn’t for him) have been massive. We hope to have the book out by May and I am taking a break from a few things to put my all into it. I wont be stopping playing or Pokernews in the interim, but I will be taking a break from magazine work for a while and also sleeping less to get this book looking great. If anyone wants to know any more about Jareds services then by all means drop me a line.

A lot of people who read the blog have asked me a couple of times about the G Casino in Sheffield, well I went to the VIP launch night earlier this month and have come back with mixed feelings. First of all, the 'VIP' night was a bit lol because we walked in to see an old lady eating the pastry off sausage rolls and put the meat back on the buffet, which felt almost like being at the playboy mansion. That said, the venue looks good and the card room is big. Unfortunately the tourneys are self deal, which I think is pretty awful for a G Casino, but I have been assured this is just a temp measure. I will probably play the cash games there this week and festivals, but I doubt I will be a reg for the time being.

Plans for 2010? Well the book is the big one, hopefully that will be out in May and then I will be going to Vegas with the missus in June/July for her birthday and to promote the book (And play poker and watch the World Cup). Nothing has changed with Pokernews and I am planning for that to be bigger and better next year. I also am looking forward to being a judge at the European Poker Awards in Feb and hopefully do a decent enough job for that to be an annual gig. Playing wise, no major goals, I have a financial goal (Not telling) and I am tempted to say I want to make it onto a sharkscope leader board in 2010. Not that many live events I consider a 'must attend' however I will almost certainly play the European Deepstacks, the DTD leg of the UKIPT and all the Sheffield based GUKPTs - thats probably about it really.

Other than that I plan on getting a weight lifting goal set up from my personal trainer and plan on teaching the dog the trick where you balance a biscuit on his nose.
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