Look, being a coach to over 500 students in two years is not easy. Everyone has their ups and downs and a few people even threw it into my face that they thought that my coaching will get them to win constantly every session, which no one clearly does over an extended stretch of time. Some of them got discouraged and quit even though I told them that they should foresee swings in the future, and these swings will not only go upwards, and I warned every single one of them that at some point, poker is going to
really, really suck. And this is what I’m telling you. At some point in time, if you keep playing and grinding, there will be one day/week/month that is going to make you try to quit. It will ravage your entire confidence and get into your bones until you’ll be screaming like a little child “No more, no more!”.
That is when the true poker players rise among the people who will not succeed at this game as long as they keep their mental game under
such frailness. This is where my advice comes in, never give up. This is the domain where you will get the most satisfaction if you invest time and effort into your game. You literally get paid as well as you play! Where else in the world do your aptitudes grant you the exact pay that you deserve? You work and you get paid for how much you work and how well you do it! You are your own boss, you decide when and what to work(play!), and if you can afford it, take a 3 month vacation and go somewhere that you like and be tied to absolutely nothing! THIS is the way of the poker professional.
Remember that when you are investing time into your game that you are basically selling this time that is your free time, for skill. You are investing this time into your future, you are fighting for financial safety, so that you can get whatever you need and make money for the rest of your life, and make a living for the rest of your life, and you are fighting for your freedom ultimately, so that you can have free time and free weeks where you can invest massive time into your hobbies and do the things that you want
You should not look at poker as a constant grind, though, it’s more like an uphill climb.
If you start this machine and learn the things that you have to learn and understand them better than the other guys and acquire more things in your playbook than other people, you will be able to beat a limit. And then you grind bankroll to move to the higher limit and the battle starts again, this time versus tougher opponents and you’re going to have to be more radical with yourself. Go fast or go slow, your own pace matters, but just do as much as you can each day so that you can get to the apogee of your playing skill and then grind as much as you can, as high as you can. Don’t turn your life into a grind, because you’ll turn into a man who doesn’t go out often, you’ll lose most of your friends and your life will transform into a grind.
The second thing that I wanted to tell you is that, when you DO hit rock bottom and you WILL get hit really hard at some point, it’s good to keep some extra bank aside for the black days. Remember that you earn money over a long marathon of hands, not a series of sessions. This means that your overall winrate will get a tough hit at some point and that 20k that you made will turn into 10 or 15k. But you already spent 18k and are now playing on scared money and forced to go down in limits because you
didn’t plan ahead.
Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail. The future can give you many surprises and you need to hold on to that mental fortitude. I never withdrew money from a limit that I haven’t beaten for at least 50 full buyins profit. It’s safer and you need to always prevent yourself from playing on scared money. Explain to me how you can play a super aggressive and variance-inducing style and make the correct marginal calls if you have 20 buyins. Oops, you just lost 5, oh you won 7 back, oops
another 12 down. Now you’re feeling scared that you’re going to lose all your bankroll, and you’ve tightened up and restricted your ranges heavily even though you really don’t need to because you are playing well but the variance ate up your tiny bankroll.
This is where you come in. This is your time. Your time to shine. This is your time to bust your ass off and prove to everyone that they were wrong. This is where you win your self respect. This is where the long and hard nights and all the work pays off. This is you. This is your limit. It’s time to reach it and then break it every day. Use your brain at 100%. Be limitless. Be now. All the glory will follow. And when you find yourself in a hard place, don’t stop dreaming and don’t stop believing.