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Like a (rack of) lamb to the slaughter

It's been a while since I've written any sort of blog post so before I properly re-start the ol' blogging machine I want to recap the year so far for me. Succinctly put: it started off with a bang then fizzled out real quick. Upon returning from PCA, I hit the ground running and put in more volume in the two months that followed than I had ever done in a two-month period in my career - and it wasn't even close. March was a fantastic month for me. I put in more volume than ever and played better than ever. My monthly graph reflected that:

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That's sustainable, right?

So what went wrong? Simply put, I burned out. It started slowly but come mid-late April I was struggling to put in volume and by mid-May the volume I was putting in was of horrible quality. The timing couldn't have been worse for during that very time period Jared Tendler's fantastic book 'The Mental Game of Poker 2' was released. "What does that have to do with anything", you say? Well, for those who haven't read it, there just happens to be a section on burnout with a client story discussing how they successfully overcame the issue. The problem is that the client is me and I clearly have not completely overcome my burnout woes.

I knew what I should have done to avoid burnout; I knew the signs to look out for and the precautions to take and all the theory involved. I'll put my failure down to a lack of willingness to adhere to my own rules, such as taking regular breaks, spending time away from poker and leading a balanced life. Excellent tips that if followed wouldn't have led me to where I am right now - which is finding poker a chore.

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Grin and bear it

So the last couple of months have been spent in quasi-holiday mode. I've been playing some poker but not nearly as much as I would like to be playing. Instead I've been in essence 'unwinding'. I've been playing video games, travelling, hanging out with friends, and catching up on TV shows and movies I have been meaning to watch. It's been fun. But it's time to get back to work. While I've had a good time I find myself feeling more and more lazy and lacking the drive that once inspired me to work so hard and want to be the best player that I can be. I miss that. So this is me saying I'm about to get my grind on.

My goal is to complete SNE by the start of October, which would be far sooner than I have ever achieved it in the past. I'm getting married in India in early November and will be leaving a few weeks beforehand, and with the honeymoon afterwards there really won't be much time or desire to be playing poker in the latter months of the year. The one thing I don't want to do though is make the same mistakes I have done before and get burned out again before being able to achieve SNE. I feel that would be nothing short of a disaster and I would be greatly letting myself down.

In order to avoid this happening, I intend to take at least one day a week away from poker and focus on the lighter things in life; reading a good book, cooking a nice meal, hanging out with my fiancé or spending time outdoors in wonderful Sydney. On top of this I'll be hitting the gym in an effort to get back into shape as physical fitness and mental fortitude go hand in hand. I'm looking forward to the next few months. Hopefully my next blog post will be more exciting and perhaps have an interesting PLO hand or two that I can share with everyone. I'll also definitely get back to blogging about my cooking escapades, of which I've had many great ones lately. In the meantime I'll sign this post off with a photo of last night's dinner: a herb crusted rack of lamb. Yum!

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Roy 'GodlikeRoy' Bhasin is a member of Team PokerStars Online

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