How to Perform at your Highest Level in Poker


Playing poker is highly demanding task. It requires focus, determination and a high level of emotional control. In this video from the JNandez Poker PLO Mastermind, I break down how to perform better on and off the tables.
Hope you enjoyed!
Fernando Habegger and the JNandez Poker team.


Poker is or playing poker being a poker professional is like being an athlete so much is dependent on the performance that you’re able to put down in any given session I’m gonna call you from the big blinds which means you know sometimes we think if we’re just willing to put in the effort.

If we’re just willing to grind long hours and play more tables and we’ll ourselves through getting the results it is not necessarily the best way to do it or even a way to do it because so much is dependent on the quality of the volume you put in.

So much is dependent on how you are performing but in that window where you’re actually playing poker now don’t get me wrong when you are working on poker outside of playing you’re able to perform on a lower level it’s not as performance heavy as when you are playing.

But when you are playing so much is dependent on that cognitive ability that you’re able to either bring to the table or not to perform on your a-game to be focused to be patient to take notice of all the relevant details at a table and that is true as much as for live poker as for online poker.

And the way I approached the first day of going to Amsterdam in comparison to the second day was completely different anyway in the first day or on the first day I was traveling to Amsterdam and then playing the same day I would not do that anymore because I realized in the process how important performance really is.

Now when you think about at 3k PLO tournament then you will see some good faces out there and the Dutch community is a very strong community in terms of the PLO players there are some very high profile players out there that are coming from Holland and that were at this event.

And when you look around the table and you realize they’re like these are some pretty good players here like these guys they know how to play PLO the question really becomes well are able to also execute four four six eight twelve hours every single day in stay on their a-game they surely understand how to play very strong and very good.

But the question is at what point do they get bored at what point to become frustrated or distracted which is very easy in a live setting because there’s the social element and you can interact with other people and especially if it’s in your home country it’s a big event in your home countries easier to start you know the interaction with like-minded people.

What I became to realize is that when I went to bed after day one then I was actually in a good chip position but it’s very very tired and sort of like worn out I realized that I need to like approach this from a different angle I need to really think about my performance at the table like an athlete.

Like sitting down and being in the state of mind that would allow me to stay focused for a couple of hours for like eight to ten to twelve hours and really play my a game which is specifically important when you play a tournament because you’re on twenty thirty forty big blinds all the time and every single part is incredibly important.

Whether you are limping open racing calling a three-bet defending the big blind at 20 big blinds could be the last hand of the tournament very very easily so you have to make these decisions very smart and the the way I did that is by just you know sleeping enough hours taking a shower like dressing in a good way where I feel comfortable but not sluggish.

But I just feel like I’m taking this seriously and then also putting on my headphones and using focus music in order to get into the zone so to speak and from that point on it was really smooth sailing that was completely lasered and I was just completely focused in.

And you know when I stream sometimes on Twitch I’m listening to certain playlists that we have created to create a fun environment on Twitch but that’s not at all what I would recommend you guys are listening to while you are playing and approaching this like a performance.

I highly recommend to check out focus music starting music they have like these alpha beats that you can look for it on YouTube that really put you in the different state of mind that was very important for in combination with broody control.

Breathing control basically means I was just sequentially every hour or so focusing for around five to ten minutes just on my breathing and that would allow me to just sort of that in combination with self-talk would allow me to be more patient so that means I will just breathe in and breathe out focus on that and tell myself you know I’m here to win this tournament.

I’m here to win this tournament I can’t win it in the next hand I can’t win it in the next hour and also only a few hands are able to decide whether or not I’m gonna win this tournament like most of the hands are gonna be folds most of the hands I’m gonna be losing because I’m folding preflop and it will really will come down to this very crucial couple of spots like a handful of spots most likely.

And by recognizing that I was select more willing and relaxed to also await the situation and be patient and I found myself on day three that was already after a tournament in the cash game session very similar situation now in a cash game I’m generally more social but I would still sequentially put on my headphones and just focus on myself.

Focus on my strategy and focus on the the awareness that in this cash game session a handful of hands will decide whether or not this is going to be a profitable situation whether or not I’m going to come out come out as a winner and although most hands will seem trivial in order to make a fold here make a call there.

Some of the hands are going to be very important and you need to make sure to really be piled into when when these hands are coming in front of you and you do that by always being in a certain base level focus and not getting distracted now talking about patient patience.

Patience is very important obviously in live games because you will get a lot less interest in hands in situations and what in the span of an hour than online but patience also exists online in a in a sense that when you play multiple tables right you feel bored you want to add more tables.

That’s also patience to not add more tables and just completely focus in and try and you perform on your a-game on the tables that you have in front of you anyhow patience exist online as well and I would just really think of it as all these players on the table.

Here like all these regulars and you you know I see these names here every single day when I play PL or 500 at the end of the day they’re all human beings and they have their good moments and their bad moments within their sessions as moments of more focus and less focus and when you think about how your edge gets generated.

Of course you can do and should do all the stuff away from the table wash your mastermind videos go to the retreat of shards review hands and and start learning about concepts at the end of the day you know that is only one part.

The other part is the performance you know are you able to follow up and put that thing into action and apply the knowledge that you have gained over the last couple of weeks months and years in that very moment and I would just put more priority on that.

And I think it will become even more important down the road as poker and every form of Poker will always become more and more competitive and professional it will become more and more performance oriented so what that means for me is you know before I head into this session today for example you know getting back into the groove so to speak.

I just took a shower and although I haven’t worked out today yet I’m gonna work out after this session I already recognize that I want to take a shower I want to just like you know dress in a way where I feel professional where I feel and focus start off at one table make sure that I get into a good flow of things in the beginning first 30 minutes or so.

And then add a second table so I can actually follow up on that that build it up momentum and focus so I encourage you guys to think more of it as a performance to have some sort of a ritual before you actually play think of it as you know going to the racetrack and just getting ready getting in the state of mind mentally and also physically that allows you to perform on your top level.

And then put in some rules you know like every 45 minutes are gonna take a break and what are you gonna do in that product in order to make sure your performance stays on a high level it’s a very physical thing but also a very mental thing right there are some physical exercises that help.

And you know standing up stretching at going for a couple push-ups that really helps to just get the blood flowing but then also some mental exercises we can do just like visualize focus calm down listen to focus music like these kind of things basically.

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