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Grind. Grow. Repeat.

Posted by Mithun Mahesh on 2019-03-06 at 1:46 PM

Hello everyone, I’m Mithun Mahesh and I play under the moniker Intuition/ThePokeRaja. I started playing poker full-time few months ago and recently joined PokerGuru staking under Intervention’s (Poker God of Aggression “Adi Agarwal”) coaching.

Today I will emphasize on “routine setting” because I had a major problem in this area. As we all know, poker is one of the most illusive and brutal game form created by mankind and in order to be good at it I believe we need to have exponential growth rate (technical/personal) which should be totally unbiased by the results. And to achieve that goal having a solid routine is must.

So I start my grinding session at 7.30 pm and it usually ends around 3 am but it might stretch until 7 am in the morning. I work on my game post session by reviewing my hand histories, working on poker related softwares or watch coaching videos. Doing it right before sleep gives a better retention and memory recall. Don’t blame me if you have poker hands replayed in your dreams though. Also, as a rule have at least 7 hours of sleep.

Unfortunately physical and mental fitness is the most neglected area in our poker community but undoubtedly it is the most significant one since we have decided to spend rest of our life on a gaming chair. I work-out at least 5 days a week mostly in the noon, a mix of strength and cardio exercises at a moderate intensity essentially with a proper diet which won’t dumb you down. I practice “mindfulness meditation” post work-out which helps improve in-game awareness and avoid mental fatigue during long grinds. I was able to reduce my massive caffeine intake and other stimulants following this practices.

Beside poker I am a huge fan of Behavioral psychology and Neuroscience hence I try to read related books for at least 30 minutes a day. Whenever I’ve that irresistible urge of Instagram scrolling, I read a page. If you are not familiar with the term “Priming Effect”, google it up after this read. It has a significant impact on the in-game decisions we make. Before I start my grinding session I make sure I’ve gone through a priming session. I use “Primed Mind” application for the same, a company founded by Poker Pro Fedor Holz and the content is recorded by Elliot Roe, who is one of the best mind coaches in the market currently. Try it out and let me know how it impacted your game.

I take a mandatory off on Saturday, where I go out to an isolated beach nearby with friends (or maybe alone lol #IntrovertedAF) and maybe grab a beer. This step is very important since it is when I’ve the “Release Phase”. Release phase is one of the phases from “Flow State Cycle” which goes something like this “Struggle Phase–Release Phase–Flow State Phase–Recovery Phase“. In case you are wondering what a “Flow State” is, it’s an optimal state of consciousness where we are able to achieve ultimate human performance naturally without any stimulant or nootropics. You are so focused in this state that brain shuts down some parts of the pre-frontal cortex, experiencing immense clarity, timelessness and something like ego-death (psychedelic enthusiasts can relate to this term). Whenever you hear some top poker pro saying “I was in zone” after shipping a tournament, they were knowingly/unknowingly referring to the “flow state”. I think the blog got too long, so maybe I’ll discuss more on it in the next blog.

Lastly, having a solid routine might sound impossible but it is definitely achievable. Don’t go all-in at it, start one routine and try to follow it for the next 21 days (that’s the time required to form a habit). If you break the streak, restart. Do not give up, it took me about one year to set up my first routine. I initiated this process when I hit my rock bottom while I was binge watching two series simultaneously on two screens (entire Breaking bad and GOT in a week, khud-ke nazro mein aur nahi girr sakta tha lol). All I’m saying is, it is 100% achievable. Once you mastered a routine add another one and so on. Use applications like “HabitBull” to track your routines. The grit you show forming a proper routine will impact your game as well as in life in an unimaginable way, you’ll notice the difference once you embark your journey. As our beloved Vivek Bhai said in his last blog, “Trust the process”. Wishing you all the best. Signing off. #MaxEVLife

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Mithun Mahesh

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