The Path of Most Resistance

During lockdown last year I couldn’t go to the gym. When Boris announced that the gyms would close, it seemed like a good excuse not to exercise.

That was until I started to feel a bit low, as I’m sure many people did during that first lockdown. And so I committed to running again.

The thing is…

I hate running!

I hated it in school when we were forced to run a couple of laps round the whole playing field as a warm-up before games. I hated the annual cross country race.

So why did I decide that I should go running during lockdown?

Well, to start with it’s free (fun) and it gets you outside. And this was a time when regular exercise and getting out of the house was important for mental health. It seemed like a no brainer.

A few years ago, my friend JonPaul returned from a few weeks in Thailand at some kind of kick boxing camp. He told me to listen to an audiobook by a former Navy seal turned motivator called David Goggins. We were sitting around my kitchen table enjoying a nice warm cup of tea while it chucked it down outside. Suddenly, JP went, what I now understand to be, full on Goggins-mode and said we should go for a 10k run right now.

Now I was at home, with a full complement of training shoes and kit to choose from.

JP, on the other hand, was wearing flip flops...

“Path of most resistance, my friend!”, he said.

“Callous the mind!”, he continued.

Callous the mind? WTF?

That weekend I listened to ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins and it made me embrace tough challenges. Face them head on. I highly recommend it as it will help you overcome obstacles in everyday life and in your poker game.

Fast forward then back to lockdown 1.0 and I committed to running 5k three times a week. And I hated it. But I was callousing my mind and taking the path of most resistance so it was all right… right?!

This year I decided to get in shape so I got a PT. He’s called Tom and he’s great, inspiring and motivating! In our first session he asked me what I liked and didn’t like when it came to exercise. I told him how much I hated running and he said, “So stop running!”

I must’ve looked at him funny because he started laughing.

“If you don’t like running, you’re not gonna find motivation to get out and get it done. You need to find some kind of exercise that you enjoy”, he went on.

And at that point I realised that maybe I’d been looking at exercise in the wrong way.

Another trainer at the gym, Matty, asked me how my training was going last week. Having now done 4 months of strength and conditioning training I told him I was loving it. He said, “Well that’s the main thing then, you’ve got to enjoy it!”

I told Matty that I subscribed to the David Goggins approach to exercise. That I went out running during lockdown because I was taking the path of most resistance. He said, “People think you have to do the stuff you hate, but it’s not true!”

Here were two personal trainers telling me that I need to make sure I enjoy my training.

So how does this link to poker?

I recently recorded Episode 125 of Poker On The Mind with Dr Tricia Cardner. I told her that I don’t like playing live poker and might not make it out to the WSOP in 2022. I find it slow and boring and if you don’t get any opportunities, it can be a fruitless endeavour.

I’m not one for trying to create something out of nothing Lionel Messi style. I’m not going to force it with the 92o and the 73o. I’m going to sit there and be patient and if no spots come up, then that’s the way it’s going to go.

In all honesty I’m not upset or frustrated, I’m bored. You see fewer hands when you play live poker. Everyone knows that, and everyone knows what they’re signing up to.

If I don’t enjoy it then I’m not going to force myself to sit through it.

Tricia believes this is a mental game leak.

I disagree.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t do anything out of choice that you don’t enjoy.

Life is too short* to choose to spend time doing anything that you don’t enjoy. Life is for having fun, making memories, and experiencing all the things that the world has to offer.

*even though it’s the longest thing you’ll ever do.

A few weekends ago I went to Manchester for the first ever MTT Poker Academy meetup. Shout out to Ed who organised the whole thing. Poker, beer, food, more beer, more food, more poker oh and an escape room! And shoutout to everyone else who came... Patrick, Declan, Martin, Jake, Dan, Paul (aka Rick/Ian) and Gary.

It was a great weekend and I enjoyed meeting some of our Academy members. I’ve known some of them ‘virtually’ for over two years, but never actually met in ‘reality’.

We played a live tournament on the Friday night and I really didn’t enjoy it. I slowly blinded down to 10bb when I picked up ATs in MP, shoved and ran into AA.


Thanks for coming.

Hope you had a nice time!

Then we had an Academy-only Sit n Go on Saturday afternoon and I really enjoyed the social aspect. The poker was miserable. For some reason the casino decided we should play the whole tournament with no antes.