Talking with Leszek Badurowicz about his Book ‘Mental Edge’


I was glad to be joined by Leszek Badurowicz for this podcast, where we discussed a variety of topics from beginning in poker, to the rarely spoken about dark sides of Poker.
Hope you enjoyed!
Fernando Habegger and the JNandez Poker team.


How’s it going guys Fernando here aka JNandez87 and we’re about to head into an amazing podcast with Leszek Badurowicz who wrote the mental edge book and is a high-stakes PLO player since many years.

There’s gonna be a new format for myself but I’ve noticed just recently that I’m holding these really great conversations over the stretch of one or two sometimes three or four hours and I wish I had recorded some of them so I decided to put out a couple of podcasts is the first one with Leszek and I hope you guys are going to enjoy it.

Where I’m gonna talk about obviously the mental game of poker success in poker and also outside of it and how to understand how to become successful playing poker full-time or even as a side job what kind of things you have to do to professionalize your game.

Obviously we also talk about life and all things important to us and so it would be appreciated if you guys leaving a comment if you like this kind of long-form conversation. you will also find more of my podcasts when you look for JNandezpoker on Spotify or on iTunes you can also head over to JNandez people to come and find podcasts and videos in a more organized structure there as well.

So I would say let’s head into the podcast so well welcome to the podcast and probably is the easiest if you just introduce yourself I do know some things about you and have done a little bit of research but I don’t necessarily want to put something out there that isn’t 100% true or it’s just an assumption of mine so maybe you just want to introduce yourself a little bit to whoever’s listening right now.

Hello welcome everybody my name is Leszek Badurowicz and author of de mental edge book I’m also rent once coach and professional PLO player playing high stakes and zone 500 as well yeah totally I mean we have been battling a little bit in the streets as well life and online in Prague we seen each other.

I think maybe for the it was that for the first time that we saw each other yeah yeah I think we have been playing like a two different tables in in Prague yeah yeah yeah totally and you are living right now in pole right yes yes I live in or so so and you also grew up in Poland yes I grew up in the in the north part of Poland but I met my amazing wife and I moved to Warsaw because she was living in a capital that’s for for the love right that’s yeah exactly that’s a good reason to move though.

So does that mean you been growing up in sort of like a smaller type of town yeah exactly and I was living nearby the sea so especially in the summer like almost like every second day I could go to the sea to be like no swimming Sun barking you know lying on the beach so I miss that a bit but Warsaw has its advantages as well.

I can imagine especially as a poker player we don’t we don’t get to go outside that much I guess in recent times like how much poker you’re playing because I’m reading you know you’re doing some coaching videos you’re doing writing a book which I would imagine is quite a challenge but you’re also playing poker at the same time like how is that split going right now in terms of how much do you play poker versus other things you’re pursuing that are potentially related poker now.

I would say that I’m playing about 20 hours per week and the other the other tasks that are related to poker and coaching’s take me other like 30 hours maybe that’s pretty heavy scheduled are 50 hours in there yeah the books are you are you planning to have kids yes of course so that’s so I guess that’s not yet on the way at least not officially I guess I don’t want to put something out there again no.

I guess you want to take advantage of the time you know she’s a to over you to just just put in the hours I guess yeah of course that’s kind of like the best years of off like my career and I want to make the best of it and then probably work less in next couple of years yeah yeah that makes at the same segment.

When did you start playing poker about ten years ago I used to be playing chess a lot house participating in many like polish championship Tournament and I was going for one it was like academic polish championship and friends of mine they were playing poker and they taught me how to play like No Limit Hold’em in like 10 minutes.

We’re going by train to another city and trip took seven hours and I was like playing all seven hours I was playing poker and like I fall in love in this game immediately because there’s seven hours it was like 1 minute for me so it’s like instantly falling off of this game.

That’s amazing that’s like that that’s a good way to convince someone if you have just seven hours in a space where they can’t move it’s kind of reminding me of like a plane a plane flight where you are just like lockdown for seven hours and it’s it’s hard to not focus essentially. Yeah exactly.

I’ve been on a plane flight recently going to to Vegas and it’s just like the best time for me to to read a book or whatever because I mean read a book for the most part essentially or listen to a podcast and be fully immerged it because there’s just no there’s no way to do really much else so I can I can definitely relate to that.

So when I think about Poland when I cite nothing more so I think there was like the Stars pro some years ago that was also called something with Warsaw you yes there was the guy his name Grzegorz Mikielewicz and he’s his nickname on Stars DaWarsaw but I don’t know him personally.

I think he was like a low-stakes grinder but because he was like tooting very very high volume on stars I’m pretty sure he was supernova elite or something he got a contract from PokerStars and he was like unbuttered for for a couple of years but i don’t know him personally.

Yeah when you start playing ten years ago i mean you you know you talked about this training experience like where did you go from there then.

Yeah so it’s interesting story because maybe let’s me let me start from the beginning because even at my university I started like trading doing some you know trading at forex market and I went on a couple of different courses I learned a lot about the strategy but I lost like almost all like 80% of my initial bankroll and the reason for that was mostly because I was making a lot of mental game related mistakes.

I like discipline and let’s call this I was playing too much we can compare this to let’s say playing seven four suited under the gun in NLHE I was old and trading right yeah that was trading and then I fallen off in poker and started playing poker and started winning some local tournament started playing online and the same happened.

So I tilted like half of my bankroll within one night that was nine years ago and that was so painful experience that at that time I said to myself okay it’s over it doesn’t matter if I will be trading or playing poker if I will not start taking my mental game seriously I will never be successful because I can always like just tilt half of my bankroll.

So either I’m I will take this mental game seriously or I will not do it at all and that was the time when I started really taking care of my mental game reading about psychology going to different kind of trainings coaching’s and really working really hard to improve my mental game until I got to the level where I’m really satisfied from it.

That’s that’s very interesting because I think when I think back about ten years ago ten years ago such a long time but yeah I guess when I think back about ten years ago the mental game was already sort of existing but it’s not like people were putting that much emphasis on it as today did you refer back then already to like the mental game of poker or did you more think of this is like an individual problem that you have personally and it’s not it’s not like poker specific.

I remember that I was listening to some Tommy Angelo I think that was podcast series eight five eight fold path to poker enlightenment and that really like helped me with my mental game when it comes to mental game of poker when the book has been released I was already at the at the level where I was understanding most of the things written in the book.

So I was mostly participating in kind of like outside outside poker trainings coaching’s looking for like different ways to solve some things that that I know that we’re disturbing in terms of playing poker.

So you’re trading and you realize you know like mentally making some pretty big mistakes there especially when money comes into into play and then the city experienced the same thing in poker is that like are you at that time still in school or in University or like what are you doing there professionally.

Yeah that was more or less the time when I was graduating University and after university I was working like one year and in big financial corporation and that was a time when I started like improving my mental game and so on and at some point I realized okay I’m quitting the job and I will start like professional poker career.

And it really helped me that my mental game improvement has been noticed at that time in the Polish poker community so I have been offered by Polish branch of poker strategy to get like a permanent job of poker coach and I was offered like $1,000 at that time for for this for one month and I was doing a couple of trainings and replying on forums and so on and that really helped me to make that decision because at least I had to know some some some expenses covered you know.

Yeah I think that’s actually that’s actually a great insight there that a lot of people can learn something from because there’s so much uncertainty in someone’s mind and also in practical reality when you’re moving from playing poker but not having to depend on it to the to the only source of income or main source of income you would think.

A lot of people are you know kind of scared getting into that remember my own situation there so it’s really helpful to have something on the side that at the same time is is sort of synergetic with with the poker career because a lot of players they have a side job or they have a main job but it takes away a lot of the focus from the actual playing poker and becoming better in the game.

So I guess when you were you know from like that strain experience where you started playing poker and in going to university like at what point did you decide to become active in forums and and did you start reaching out to other people and learning from other people sort of early in your career where you’re trying to mainly just you know do it by herself.

Yeah that was pretty early in my career so after like tilting half of this behalf of my bankroll I I started really working hard on my mental game and that was more or less a time when I started to be also an active member or of poker community and at that time that was basically like in Poland it was basically poker strategy and that’s it.

Yeah so you’re saying the website right post strategy yeah they had like a Polish branch yeah yeah I guess yeah I mean at this point you’re I guess playing NL Hold’em and I playing cash games or tournaments.

I was trying a bit of everything but also like from the very beginning I felt so much passion for pot limit Omaha so when I got to know this game it was really hard to get get back to call them so pretty early on my poker career I decided that pot limit Omaha will be my main game and you as a PLO player you should understand that. You should understand this this passion as well.

Yeah I mean I I started playing poker quite seriously like in 2006 or so and at that point PLO was pretty much undiscovered but then in 2010 I I got into it and I was like alright I mean the main reason I got into is just kind of a painful experience in NLHE.

I was just I was playing Full Tilt rush poker which is the equivalent of zoom poker for old people oh listen it don’t know that era of Poker and I mean that was how some poker was invented essentially in on Full Tilt and a faulty poker platform I was playing full ring No Limit.

And in full ring No Limit you can just like my strategy sort of was I’m like if I have a set my opponent has top like I’m gonna win a stack that was that’s the simplified way of saying it but I mean anyone is listening that was like 2010 the games were very different and I was just like making a lot of money was studying on that full ring no limit and just waiting for great hands.

And then when Full Tilt got crashed down I had to move to stars and I played six max NL cash and that was a completely different level of competition and I just lost almost my entire role or maybe well I actually lost my entire role because the rest of my role was free stuff in Full Tilt.

And I started thinking well I’m not sure if I can make it in No Limit Hold’em it’s so tough and everyone is ahead of the curve and whatever and maybe I should start with this PLO thing because at that point Tom Chambers released like this massive book PLO Theory in practice and I felt like well if I would buy this book and she’s really study it and then be ahead of the curve maybe I can actually do maybe I can be ahead of the curve like people are in no limit at that point.

So it kind of resulted for me out of out of she’s sort of necessary at least I mean I could have pursued no limit hold’em but I’m not sure if I would have been successful because the market was already you know much more saturated or or tougher and I mean it’s just natural progression obviously.

Sure sure interesting story as well and you started pretty early 2006 I wish I started so early as well how old you are now thirty-four yeah so I guess you like what did you study in university then I studied finance and management but I studied at Technical University so we had a lot of like technical subjects as well related with engineering and so on.

Did that kind of I mean in which way influence I’d your approach to learning poker in the first place because it sounds like you are very like you’re very intrigued or very talented when it comes to this more logical or maybe math based side

To be honest I would say that University didn’t University itself didn’t affect me that much as other activities related with being at university I was a member of student organization I for exchange I was like working abroad each year and this this really like helped me a lot in terms of being more like going out of the comfort zone being more like enterpreneur being more confident and so on.

So that experience really really have been much more than then studied it studies itself I really like that also that an analogy that when you become a poker player I mean there’s so many open questions to solve a problem solving becomes your primary job.

And because you know you have to decide so many things where do you live how do you manage your expensive how much money does come in like that one can really to help you there’s no book about or there’s no there’s no like clear pathway to becoming a professional poker player so that you have to figure all these things out.

And you mentioned like the mental game was one of those obstacles that was sort of in your way like back then what was the sort of like the main thing that you have learned to overcome in these beginning stages that would cost you the most money essentially.

So basically it was typical let let’s call this bad beat tilts whenever I was losing during a session like three five buyins and was getting cooler and got a couple of bad beats I definitely started playing worse either I was going into the sort of like weak passive field or more like aggressive tilt when I would start raising too many hands and not just being two to aggro slope.

Yeah and I guess that would become worse and worse the more bad beats or more losing yeah sure experiences it would have them and I mean like how did you turn that around though.

So it wasn’t like one one real break for one thing that that changed everything it was more like a gradual process so let’s say I was going for a lot of different trainings and a lot of those trainings lasted for like one week.

So sometimes let’s say I had like 20 different small mental game problems so let’s say each week helped me to solve like one or two this you know small mental game problems so like progressing and progressing but I think that the big breakthrough in in my mental game was understanding the power of mental game preparation.

So let’s say that you can evaluate your mental game from 1 to 100 and let’s say from between 1 to 60 this is your C game from 60 to 90 this is your big game and from 90 to 100 this is your a game and let’s say that everybody beat makes you playing like three worse.

Ok so let’s say you’re playing 80 and you get a bad beat and you start playing 77 ok so in this case it really matters in what kind of emotional state are you starting the session because if you will start a session with the level of 95 even if you will get five bad beats you will still be playing 80 so it still will be like solid you know B+ game.

However if you will start your session from 65 then if you will get five bad beats you will be playing 50 so you will be already tilting so it showed me that the power of the mental game preparation and starting in a emotional kind of like mental game state in which it’s kind of like hard to start tilting you know.

So mental game preparation helped me to reduce the tilt I would say like 70-80 percent and that type of is that type of preparation sort of the the focus point of of your book no this kind of preparation is very individual and it should be tailored to once needs because everybody is playing his best in in different emotional emotional state.

The book is more about putting all small details like together and about like being professional the book is just about how to be a professional how to be professional poker player and in that preparation of you personally is is meditation also part of that.

I was trying meditation and but it didn’t work that that well for me but I’m doing breathing exercises as a part of my precession routine which some people compared to meditation because it’s also a form of kind of like being focused on your on your on your brief and clearing your mind.

Yeah is that like some is that related to the wim HOF type of breathing methods the breathing method that I’m using is three seconds like inhale then for 12 seconds I’m holding the breath and then six seconds exhale so this is a kind of like clearing relaxing type of breathing but that works for me and actually everybody is a bit different.

And some players tend to perform better when they’re calm confident and focus however another group of players I’m dividing this like for a simplification for two groups okay but I would say that one group is playing better when there are confident calm and focus and the second group of players is playing better when they are more like motivated need a bit more in their energy.

So this kind of group of players who will need completely different form of mental game preparation to the session yeah that makes sense I like that it sounds like there’s a lot of experimentation in there and room for individuality which I think makes makes a lot of sense I I talked a lot about so we have some live streams in the master mind and I talked a lot about optimization.

It’s basically just experimenting with how you optimize things around poker and also what input in your playing poker window but there’s so many it’s quite technical in a sense at least the way I do it is like I’m looking at these different pieces for example meditation or sleep or diet or workout and also the sequence of it.

When is a break like what comes after the other at what point of my day am i mentally mentally the most focused and then trying to experiment and take change the order and just be aware of exactly what you’re doing is is that sort of kind of quite technical process of holding these individual tasks sort of aligned in a row is that part of your thinking is that what you’re describing here.

Yeah so there are two subjects that you just mention here so first of all you talked about optimization of this precession routine so I would say I was optimizing it for like five six years you know of course not like every day but let’s say every every two three months I was improving something so it’s definitely a process.

And but you mentioned something very important as well that you’re looking whether you are tired at which time of a day are you performing your best and this is actually I would say the highest level of a mental game this is called awareness the how aware are you of your mental game and how different factors impact your mental game and how you can adjust your daily schedule and your activities and your strategies to exactly be at your best shape.

So for example if you know that you need to be playing you are playing your best when you are really calm confident and you need to have very clear head but you know that you had a big quarrel like with your friend or your girlfriend you know exactly that you need to doing to do some exercises to clear your head because this way you will not be playing your best.

Also if you know that results are affecting your mental game somehow and you just get to days where you lost a lot of money you also need some exercises that can help you to clear your mind and improve your confidence so in in like the highest level of mental game I would say you’re adjusting this every day and you are aware which kind of like different events could impact your mental game and you do a small you know adjustment to be playing your best.

I think that’s that’s great and self-awareness is extremely undervalued and also under exercise that I can notice it in myself like whenever I do have or take time to consciously think about these elements like where like what is my emotional sort of like where I’m at where I’m at in my emotional place right now is it more on the angry side more on the low confidence my confidence and is it and where’s my energy level at at any given moment.

And I can see there are some massive differences when you are changing up your routine or when there is some spontaneous act that takes place during the day.

You mentioned fight with another person or a discussion or a conflict I also just notice it when I go outside and go for grocery shopping not not that you shouldn’t go for grocery shopping but I realized that depending on what I when I do that it sort of absorbs a little bit of energy of mine just being in traffic or just being in a store with a lot of different people and making these decisions on different groceries.

It’s just it just does something to me that is that is going to make it a little bit more difficult to excel at the best level so by having – I’ll have awareness I realized that okay if I can actually understand these different triggers of emotional drain for example or energy drain then I can actually start planning a little bit around it.

And and and recently I found that waking up really early for me works very well and and my focus between like 5:00 a.m. in the morning and 10:00 a.m. in the morning is just the best and at like 3:00 4:00 p.m. I should stop working these days because I feel kind of stressed and unsatisfied you know having these responsibilities in my end.

And and I used to be much more irrational or spontaneous with those kinds of decisions where I would say well whatever is on my plate I’m going to deal with it and doesn’t matter what time of the day it is I’m just going to chuck a coffee and then see what happens but now having that stability and understanding myself a little bit better and being able to optimize it’s just so helpful not only from a performance standpoint but also just from an emotional stability standpoint.

Because I do know what triggers me what doesn’t what help me what doesn’t help me so how would you suggest like if someone is right now in this sort of kind of random schedule which I I do know and I know from my own experience a lot of poker players are in sometimes they’re just waking up playing and sometimes improving and sometimes working out sometimes meeting friends.

But they don’t really have that clear structure and when you ask them why they don’t they usually say you know I don’t I’m not that that type that is holding a schedule or planning ahead what would you or what are you saying to those guys and how would you help someone like that.

Yeah so here I could definitely refer to my book and in Chapter 1 chapter 1 is basically devoted to time management where I think a lot of books try to promote one specific type of time management and say okay this is the best one you need to follow this instead I’m kind of like proposing three four different types of time management depending on your personality.

Because actually some people need more freedom some people need a bit more more discipline and for some people fixed schedule having everything like plan day by day hour by hour will not work because they will feel like it limits their freedom and they will not perform really well in this circumstance circumstances.

However other people will perform very well when they have everything like planned from from the morning to then to the evening so it depends and I also would suggest you’re kind of like do some testing so try to make a fixed schedule try to not have scheduled at all and try to have like semi fixed schedule so you can for example plan to three different activities.

So let’s say you are going to the gym at 2:00 p.m. you’re working on your game at 5:00 p.m. and you are starting the session at 8:00 p.m. that up like free Act these are free activities that that you need to start exactly on time but other than that you you have a freedom to do whatever you want and this can also work for some people as well and can be one step you know ahead of not having a schedule at all.

Yeah I really like that because I’m I tried many times relentlessly just going for a completely fixed schedule which is very time-based and that idea of having the specific time attached to a certain task and not being able to decide in the moment which task I want to do first kind of really limits my well my feeling for freedom and choice that I have.

So kind of like my system right now is more sort of I’m lining up the tasks that I really wanna do and they’re quite first of all they’re not in order so I can still decide when I want to do what and and generally I have a good feel of what I should do first just because of my levels of focus and the focus is read that is required for a specific task.

But then also I look into these tasks and think about like how diverse are they actually like art is just all about poker or or they’re also about health and fitness and are they also about other aspects that are not that are not related to money at all or career is there also stuff in there that it’s just fun or it’s just relaxing that I’m also not necessary scheduling out but it’s part of my tasks that I do that day.

So I can look forward to those individual items so I’m working more with a task list that I can go through and sometimes I have a few too many tasks for today and I realize it after a couple of hours and I just think about okay like which tasks are actually we need to do today and which ones can I push over to tomorrow.

And and oftentimes you know that makes it easier also to understand what your priorities are and say okay I’m playing poker like that’s high priorities I’m gonna put that out there at the top of the list and and then I’m gonna think about the next best items that need to be done not only from a financial standpoint but also just from what makes this day a good day for me and what makes me excited to wake up tomorrow and then pursue that day.

So sort of more a wholesome experience at least that’s what I came around not focusing too much on only transactional tasks or it’s all about making money essentially yes exactly I also think that a big part of good time management is more about creating good habits not exactly to have like a fixed plan for for each activity.

Especially for poker players this shouldn’t work that good for most of us because we are very we are big individualist we don’t have a boss we value freedom we can play whenever we want we want to go for holidays and so on so for this kind of personality to create like a very fixed schedule like for each activity it’s kind of like you know a bit dangerous and a lot of people will perceive it as very limiting.

So it’s probably not the way to go but definitely the way to go is to create a good habits like for example as you said finding priorities focusing on priorities like poker working on your game like your health like maintaining important relationship in your life so really focusing on those the most important things in your life instead of just wasting time on some you know useless activities.

And the second thing that is very important is real focus when you’re working on something and not multitasking not doing a couple of things at the same time but just focusing on one task at the same time completing the task and starting another one.

I love that I mean it’s it’s it’s about simplicity it’s about focus and I and I realize I have been way over estimating some of these items for my own for my own sake for example just focus like these days and then I learned that also through psychological lectures because I’m also interested really in that subject and and I learned that just like aiming upwards is definitely good obviously we want to aim upwards.

But like aiming low is oftentimes just better than aiming really high because it just gives a better overall momentum and and makes you actually be an achiever of something so I realized for myself I have like four or five hours where I’m just in the zone.

Like in these four and five hours usually from my own schedule it’s like 5:30 in the morning until like the next four to five hours I can completely happily work on one task at a time there’s no disruption I’m completely in the zone and I’m super energetic and just and just enjoying the time to work something.

But then after that I want to switch it up I need some I need something different I am probably going to work out or go outside or talk to someone and do a little bit more of a sort of a work that is less intensive when it comes to my focus levels.

And that mix really it just makes me much happier instead of expecting all myself okay I’m going to be focused the entire day and be extremely efficient and effective in every single task that I do it’s not really about that it’s it’s more like in the 80/20 rule you pick your priorities and think I have this this window of focus today what do I want to attribute it.

And unrealistically I was just attaching it to almost every task and then realize that I’m not a machine that I cannot just focus on everything with a hundred percent intention that’s just not that’s not really how it works and since I’ve prioritized one task in the morning that I focus on for four five four to five hours I’m also looking for much more forward to the rest of the day because I know I can be a little bit more relaxed.

I can be a little bit more taking my time between switching from one task to the other I can be a little bit more free choosing what I want to do and and you mentioned a really important point there which is individuality and also different personalities.

I’ve done like a pretty extensive actually three pretty extensive personality tests lately and they have expressed or or or told me that I value individualism individualism and freedom very very highly and everyone has different values obviously but it just opens up more doors and a higher awareness and understanding of yourself knowing at least who you are and what you actually prefer and what your values lay.

And as I now know that I prefer freedom and individuality a lot I realized that I need to I need to really celebrate this individuality so like if I wake up at a point where most people don’t wake up I should celebrate that because it is part of my identity if I have a workspace that is very individually created.

I should be really taking time to create that workspace because it expresses my values and helps me to just celebrate my values more so have you have you because you’re extremely interested in this subject of psychology and personality it’s like have you done some personality test yourself.

Yeah I have done I have done some tests and from them it seems like but there were more like focused on my strengths so what are what are my strengths not exactly the values and it definitely showed that my biggest strengths are analytical analytical thinking rational thinking and a very big like detailed orientations I’m very oriented on small details.

I wish I had that last one because there’s a small details part I think it is also something that can help poker players yeah a lot essentially now let me ask you this before writing this book or even while you were writing this book have you also been coaching like people.

Yeah if Fernando if I might to just to refer to the last 40 last last big like a couple of sentences that you make yes you were speaking about about waking up very early and being focused for like four or five hours and then being more like relaxed during a day I think it’s it’s really important to do you know why is that do you know why are you like focused for like four or five hours and and then you can’t.

Well I could actually and I had that type of schedule but I think that I it’s just my I think deep down I just don’t want to be I just don’t want to be how do I call this I think when I’m focused for a set amount of time that it’s not the entire day I have this inner feeling that I’m still free to do what I want to do at any given point and that is probably one of my highest values.

And taking that away and taking it away intentionally myself is still sort of enslaving me in not having that type of freedom on a daily basis it makes a lot of sense there is also like very important concept right now in psychology and it came a thinking within the last couple of years so actually according to the most current research we know that we can compare discipline to a muscle and we know that every muscle can be trained and can become stronger but muscle can be also can get tired.

So we already know that we cannot be like very disability because the activities that you are taking part and they definitely require a lot of discipline discipline in terms of focus in terms of being focused on priorities in terms of picking that the right things to do and so on so when you are involved in this kind of activities for like five hours it may be the case that you also your discipline level is is going a bit lower so then it’s harder to like keep the discipline for longer time.

So that’s why for example it’s good idea for many poker players to look for ways to outsource this discipline to somebody else so for example for very long time when I was living alone I was using catering companies so that they can bring me a food every day so I don’t have to lose my discipline for making food planning meals and shopping.

And I’m using personal trainer so I’m going to the gym and instead of like planning all exercises and like executing all the plan he is doing that for me so I’m outsourcing a part of discipline that is needed you know during a day and this way I can have more discipline for the other activities during today.

Yeah that’s so you’re talking about like depleting depleting the how it called well depleting the muscle of discipline of course I thought there was a specific expression but I just lost it right now the willpower yeah like the pleadian willpower essentially right throughout these activities.

And and I think that makes that makes a ton of sense and it probably also depends a lot of like what exactly are is the job or or is are the daily activities like my own sake a lot of the stuff that I doing after in the afternoon so when my main focus hours are sort of depleted for that day is very much based on like social stuff and based on creativity.

So for from out and say that means I’m planning meetings with the with the other MT members in the afternoon I have discussions and creative discussions with them or just with myself and trying to figure out what are the next steps what could we do what could we do to make a better product or have a better company in itself so like more the creative type of free mind comes out of me in the afternoon.

Where I can like take my laptop and sit outside and be a little bit more macro you can say my thinking a little bit broader a little bit relaxed err and I think that actually caters to that sort of type of work or if you play poker if you do what I do in the morning which is men doing research for poker and putting together presentations and videos and and trying to understand difficult concepts and simplifying those.

Like that type of work is obviously not a moment where you want to be sort of like really relaxed and just and more creative it’s it’s it’s much more based on unfocused and Russian rationality and I guess that is also true for playing poker where it really pays off to be quite rational and not to be disturbed in your emotional balance.

And now going back to that question when you start coaching people it was that like based on on mental game coaching or is that PLO coaching.

Yeah I was doing both in the past I was doing some PLO coaching’s I’m not doing that anymore and after the mental my book the mental edge has been released initially in in Polish language I got a lot of a lot of coaching like requests from from many players.

So then for like two years I was I was working with many players now I’m more also working with professional traders but I kept actually at some point I got to the level where I understood that it’s impossible to be continuing longer like both poker and coaching career at like high level.

And in order to make a progress I need to really decide and to go one way or another and at that put that was more or less like beginning of last year end of end of end of last year like it was basically 2018 and at some point I decided that at least for a couple of years I would like to now focus a bit more on poker.

Because if I would focus now more on coaching’s I cannot go back to poker in five years because you know the level of players goes up so quickly that you know they’ll be crushing me however if I will focus on poker for a couple of years I can still go back to coaching’s because then in this field the concepts are basically stable that knowledge doesn’t change so drastically.

For sure and then you’ll come back a little bit more wisdom under your under your belt anyway which is always appreciated in coaching how much how much coaching did you do in that two-year stretch comparatively to playing poker.

Oh at that time was doing a lot of coaching sigh I have somewhere I don’t know coach probably about 50 players 40-50 players in terms of like mental game mostly polish players but also some foreign players as well.

And in terms of hours like how many hours per week did you put into into coaching clients think it was like I’m not sure to be honest but but definitely like at least two coaching like two coaching’s a day something like this oh wow wow that’s a lot.

I mean it’s it’s sometimes hard to truly empathize with that I think because when I got into coaching make the difference between just coaching someone and doing that on the side while playing poker and like making coaching quite a career is that you’re gonna talk with a lot of people on a daily basis and the entire focus of the conversation is like what is their problem and how can you help them of course.

And when I did that extensively like one-on-one coaching in 2015 at the end of 2015 I did a lot of one-on-one coaching and I would do also like two a day or so I after like even just a month I was so depleted and energy because I was so focused on everyone else’s problems but it I was coming around a specific what about my problems I put.

What you know because like you’re so focused on other people and and if you do that multiple times today and you have these long conversations that are all about someone else’s personality which I’m generally very interested in but they’re doing in that capacity made me realize that if you have an exchange and I on a sort of like a helping base or someone trying to help someone and you do that in that capacity it also it’s very energy draining of course.

So I mean you’re coming out of that after two years like how did you feel during that two-year stretch mmm it depends because if I’m working with somebody who is really willing to change and who has like very high motivation then it’s it’s really it gives me a lot of satisfaction.

And it was like still I was finding a lot of passion inside even though it was sometimes quite exhausting as as you know for him from your own experience however whenever I was working with people who were kind of like pushed by somebody else to participate in coaching.

So that was the case let’s say a trading company said sending a trader or like staking team is sending a guy okay this guy is doing pretty bad and we don’t know what to do with him we think this is a mental game and you know I’m talking with this guy and he says okay it’s not a mental game it’s it’s just a variance and so on then it’s kind of like really really exhausting and not giving that much satisfaction.

Where you have to like be trying for for that person I’m not doing that anymore so when I don’t see somebody like stronk motivation for to be working to be to be to make a change I’m not working now with this kind of players.

I think that’s there’s a lot of wisdom there coming from that statement and working with people that you can shape and can influence and that have potential and that are willing to change I think is as extremely important I I have used the help of many different people in different areas to coach me.

And some of the best statements were usually in the beginning when they would tell me I’d look this is only gonna work if you want to change if you don’t want to changed and it’s gonna be a very very tough situation and experience for both of them and a huge waste of time.

So we really have to examine first of all are you willing to change or not and if the answer is maybe or probably there’s a high chance that that person is not ready yet or is maybe not the best fit for that precise situation.

Yeah sure if somebody wants to really is willing to change then sooner or later you should be making some progress with this person because then everything comes down to just defining his goal then defining his current situation so once you know his present situation and know what he’s aiming to achieve then all comes down to finding the right technique the right strategy to like move him from the place where he is to the place where he wants to be.

And how would you approach these these coaching’s with people like how how would you start off in general so now ok I’m not like taking any more players for coaching’s but now when I was working with people I usually start with a questionnaire so a big like questionnaire with many different questions.

About about their motivation about their daily routine about daily schedule about their mental game problems about their strengths weaknesses and so on.

And starting from because sometimes if you engage in that conversation with somebody you may not notice some some things that they may like you know skip or they can like try to change the subject while in this kind of questionnaire you can like you you can have a big idea of of somebody’s like problems and you can start even connecting some dots like from the questionnaire.

And see okay this is probably the place where I will need to really push this guy because it seems like here might be the problem of course it may appear that the you know problem might be somewhere else but you know you already have a big idea after after like a questionnaire so always start with a questionnaire and then take it from there.

Yeah that makes a ton of sense now what were some of these common problem areas that you were reading out of the question area like what are some of these issues that most of them would come up with.

So I think the most surprising thing is that there are not that many common things I would say that almost everybody was kind of like very individual and like few problems were really like repeating that frequently.

Of course I would find some like repeating problems where like we have some you know focus motivation or or tilt but I think I was working the most frequently with things related with time management planning and and discipline so stuff that can help you just to be more professional and better organized player.

Yeah so under that umbrella right professionalism and you may have that’s sort of one of the aims and focus points of the book what do you what is your definition or like what do you think about when you when you say professional poker.

Yeah because right now the level of players is really much higher the average level plays much higher than a couple of years ago now what really matters is his small edges and being more professional than others can be definitely one of those small edges so being professional for me means to be organized a good time management skills to have a good planning skills to be disciplined to have a good positive positive attitude but you are also attitude that is focused on growing on developing and also being professional about your lifestyle.

So about your sleep diet supplementation sports and also being professional about working on your game because if you study a lot and I know that you do in Monker you know that you can put some time in the Monker and really like discover something that that really can contribute to improving your game.

But you can also just watch random videos talk with your friends about some bad beats and this way you will not achieve anything so being professional about working on your game and having like specific goals topics to cover it’s also very important.

Yeah I told I totally agree also with organizational skills like something I struggle still to this day but I mean not as much anymore because as I’m working now with with like a lot of people in JNandezpoker it’s just a requirement to be organized otherwise not yourself is in trouble but everyone is in trouble.

But as a poker player I can imagine and I and I’ve seen it in myself that organization is something highly undervalued were it’s it’s mostly focused on okay I need to play I need to study and that’s it but I haven’t me personally I haven’t and I think a lot of people can probably relate don’t really spend a like a consistent amount of time on a frequent basis on just structure organization and just trying to look at it from a more process-oriented standpoint.

What am i doing actually this week like what am i trying to accomplished why am I actually doing it how am i studying and is that the best way to do it and how long am i studying when am i playing just like stepping back a little bit and organizing stuff a organizing the things ahead of you.

And I guess it makes sense that you’re teaching that because you’re also that your natural talent is detail orientation and and having you know and having that having that understanding of it I think a lot of people that are more chaotic myself included like we we have to learn that really we have to learn how to be organized and how to think about an organizational schedule or lifestyle in the first place.

Maybe do you have some sort of like tricks or routines in order to actually become more organized and structured.

So it depends if you’re talking on the like big idea level because I think you need to start from Big Idea from some from some big ideas in order to change your mindset change your attitude because a lot of players I worked with like a big part of being being more organized it’s actually a mental game work on convincing this player that this will not limited his freedom.

And this is more a way of organizing his freedom so a lot of players can perceive discipline and organization as a form of a limitation and actually when you get into that you will see a paradox inside it.

So let’s say you are completely disorganized person and you have no organizational skills at all actually this is increasing the chances that you will not be successful as a poker player and it’s increasing the chances that you will have to get to the normal job and when you get the normal job you will actually your freedom will be very limited.

So you can see products inside that if you will let yourself to be if you will have like total freedom it can actually limit your freedom in the future so in order to have a freedom you have to actually have to organize yourself be discipline so we have to like limit your freedom a bit and there’s a big paradox here and understanding that is like a first first step in this in this process.

And the second step is also understanding that the discipline is basically a choice of the pleasure of today and the profits of tomorrow so very often whenever you are deciding let’s say if you would like to wake up and go running or stay one hour longer in the bed just browsing your phone I’m not talking about sleep sleep can be very important that lets say you will be just browsing in your phone.

Or you decide whether to just drink a couple of beers and eat snacks and and and watch TV or or do something more productive in the in the evening you are deciding between a pleasure of easy easy choice a pleasure of of here and now because it’s definitely browsing your phone of or drinking a couple of beers and watching TV can be very pleasant but different choices can contribute better to your benefits in the future.

So understanding that and having more like future-oriented long-term oriented thinking can be like the first step to change your mindset in terms of in terms of being more organized.

Yeah totally I think a lot of the people are not so organized they immediately correlate organization to limitation as you say things are predictable things are boring things are limiting yourself and your freedom individualism.

Like all these items but that energy day success is also I mean success is really sacrifice on one end but on the other side if you do have the success then it also is actually making you less limited because you have choices and you have more time you have more freedom because you’re actually pursuing the things that you want to do you also end up having more happiness.

So it’s like really that long-term thinking I think that a lot of people understandably struggle with it’s like I I’ve seen it also my most common sort of down or like most common ground where I’m losing some willpower is the diet for example where it’s like okay I can eat this and the short-term pleasure is obviously extremely obvious to me and I understand it and I really want it.

But then long-term it’s really just dragging me down in multiple ways what would help me with that on a site that is just to build a pretty easy system around it of things that I can eat and not eat or just having like a specific path to following and also organizing things organizing your diet organizing relationships organizing your improvement in poker and playing in poker.

Yes enables at the end of the day ultimate freedom I personally these days I’m I’m keeping all this or track of all these areas or areas in in a software called Trello and and what I do in there essentially is I’m just making sure that I keep track of where I’m actually trying to go what I’m trying to pursue or achieve in all these different areas.

What am I trying to achieve in health like what is one of my general values in principle and health and how can I actually lift them on a day-by-day basis do I need systems do I need some planning.

And it obviously sounds extremely intimidating first but again I’m I’m going quite loose and at the same time have a pretty clear mind about what I’m actually doing because there is some organization so I think what’s the missing key here for some people at least is to introduce the idea of structure or of planning in the first place even if it doesn’t have to be a very sophisticated plan.

Just starting off and developing that skill is probably the first point really of doing that yes exactly and as always in your life balance is very important and here it’s very important to find a balance between maintaining your freedom and still being discipline and organized in some form I think that’s one of the biggest challenges for every poker player.

To like from one side to be disciplined and organized and from other side to maintain a freedom so finding a balance in this area kind of like the most important thing that poker player can do yeah what are you doing and in general for balance what are you most balancing act.

So I’m very aware that my discipline works like I’m like a muscle and because of that I use it also let’s say when I’m playing poker when I’m working on my game and I know when I’m doing some coaching’s I know that I’m using a lot of my discipline muscle so I know that I don’t have it that much for other activities so then I’m trying to use look for some simplifications.

So as I told you before for example when I’m going to the gym I work with personal trainers so that he’s doing all the older organization stuff for me when when it comes to when it comes to the diet I met with like a very good dietician and and she like gave me all the supplementation so at least I have like a very good supplementation.

And she told me okay at least at this a bit of this products at a bit of this products and you know try to avoid this product so I’m not like eating super super healthy but I added a lot of like healthy products to my diet so it’s still like much higher than on a much higher level than it was before but I’m absolutely aware that I don’t have enough like discipline.

And my discipline level is kind of like depleted by other activities and I have to make a choice and I choose then poker I choose coaching’s I choose organization I choose to working on my game and here if like diet can that doesn’t have to be ten out of ten okay I don’t have to be professional sportsman it can be like seven or eight out of ten it still will be good.

Because for many players it’s like one out of ten you going around the WSOP which I have just been in a week ago I can definitely tell that I mean understandably poker is is this it’s not a sport and you’re sitting a lot so a lot of poker players are definitely not in the best shape.

On the other side some of the very best poker players are in excellent shape they they understand the value of that as well diet and exercise in general but my question was more so like what are you doing that is I can put it like that it’s just like outside of work that you are enjoying and it’s sort of I don’t know I guess recharging these batteries with discipline.

Yeah so that’s that’s really important to recharge those batteries so I’m a big food lover so I like to be testing good restaurants so each each weekend and and actually were so in terms of like restaurants quality is absolutely amazing so we have some amazing like Thai Hindu Indian restaurant or like Vietnamese and and some other cuisine so I like testing restaurants on weekends.

Of course I’m when I can I like traveling a lot and also whenever I have a chance I’m doing scuba diving so I have a couple of different hobbies that helped me to like clear my mind and clear this discipline level but even on a daily basis there is a so called attention restoration Theory.

According to this theory you can restore your attention level even by spending a couple of minutes a day on the contact with a nature so every day before I’m starting a session and I’m having a walk and I’m living like almost outside the war zone nearby there is a river forest so I have very nice walking walking spots where I can be like inside the forest and really nearby the into nature and I can really clear my head be before the session.

I love that I mean I’m also living in the land side I lived in the city for many many years and being able to sit on the balcony and just have no house in front of me and just having this this nature in front of me it is just so calming it’s a real piece of quality of life for me personally and then I added in under on the behalf of my girlfriend I added in two cats and I never had a pet before.

I mean I had turtles when I was really young but not really a real pet and I gotta tell you like the the impact it can have on balance and just being able to reduce stress is it’s actually really significant as you mentioned it’s just like engaging with with nature engaging with animals and engaging with just elements of frequencies that have no stress level really and the actual EDX opposite.

Sometimes I just stand in my garden without socks just barefoot and it’s just it’s just refreshing to feel the ground on your feet and so different to being on your computer and playing poker so it’s a really it’s a really good recharging method as you mentioned going into nature.

Yeah sure because we are living in the cities for like how long 100 years 200 years in the history of mankind like most of our in the history of humanity most of for the most of history we were living like in the village we were living close to the nature so we are used to be having a rest in the contact with nature with the sea with mountains with forest with trees.

So that’s why it’s it’s so important to have at least a short contact with that every day of course not everybody is living close to the mountains or the sea but everybody is having at least a park short distance from his flat.

Yeah again one of those areas that I think is highly highly undervalued these days at just everyone living in a city and so many people living close to each other it’s just also dida sound I mean there’s so much noise as well on the city that I I never recognized before I move to the language side that there’s that much noise just like cars and people and whatnot.

You mentioned that you’re also like travelling are you travelling more privately or like for pleasure or more for poker I mean both especially last year I was going for a couple of poker trips but I don’t consider this that much as the trouble it’s more like I’ll say business trip then when I’m going for for poker right I don’t treat it that much as I said trouble.

But I even last year I’ve been I’ve been to Vegas like for pleasure with my friend we spend there like seven days just no playing okay we are playing poker for a couple of hours I want to know I want to know limit you know and I was just we were just having fun in Vegas.

This year I’ve been written in Rio de Janeiro now we are going with my wife to to Greece so every like traveling and I would like to be traveling more to Asian countries I’d fall in love with Thailand so much it’s so amazing countries I would definitely like to be back and the cuisine there is you know great.

Yes I’ve been twice in Thailand the first time it was two and a half week and second time 1/2 sounds like I spent like in total for four weeks in Thailand and it’s absolutely great yeah I’ve been traveling Asia for like six to seven weeks a few years ago and we did we did like a cooking class in Bangkok I was ready that was really interesting and and also extremely delicious obviously.

There the food in Thailand is extremely good one of the countries that I enjoyed the most is what is what is the name it is well Thanh was definitely like my number two out of the countries that I went there and Malaysia is the name Malaysia is a beautiful country with very they have like very nice hills and in a very interesting weather as well it’s like not too too hot but at the same time it’s a great wetter.

So I definitely enjoyed Asia as well more so than I mean the US has also their advantages but it’s it’s so similar in many ways to to Europe it’s it doesn’t feel as much as a vacation I guess so for the most part for me I’ve been to Greece also multiple times it’s just great because it’s on the beach and and they have great they have great hotels and whatever over there.

So I can definitely I can definitely relate to that so you are you’re going to another trip did you say to to talent no no no I’ve been twice so now it’s time for another another Asian countries probably like Vietnam will be the next the next position on me and my wife’s list.

And you’ve actually been have you been in Rio in February for the free carnival I know I have been in January so that was before that before the carnival the carnival started in late March okay it’s a little bit later I just remember I was early in I was early there in the year like a couple years ago and I was there for I was there for the carnival.

It’s a it’s definitely I mean at that point specifically a very crowded city a lot of crazies yeah in Rio for sure now let me ask you this here too to move a little bit to your side of things because you mentioned you’ve been coaching a lot you know writing a book in Polish now it’s being translated into English what is it anybody were in English is the same name.

It’s the same much it did the same name as actually could be de mental edge or mental edge it doesn’t matter that much I spoke with like the woman who was like super good in in English like a native speaker and she said that actually it should be like de mental edge but right once told me okay we’ll just make it simple mental edge.

And it’s that book already available yeah it’s it’s available on both front ones and at Amazon as well that’s interesting like only ones have other books as well or no that that was actually they told me that that’s their first step into let’s call this publishing publication market so they would like to do a publication of my book and then in the future they might be considering then publishing another and other books as well so we’ll see we’ll see how it goes.

Yeah see that and so again that’s on running once you guys get the mental edge or mental edge as its called and since you’ve been finishing this book and then and the coaching afterwards you mentioned you want to focus that more in your poker career like what are some of your ambitions when it when it comes to that.

Yeah now I would like to definitely focus more on the poker career for next couple of years so I think I would like to I would like to get to like top I’m not sure what’s like possible what like top 20 top 30 in the world in terms of PLO and and also to be the best Polish PLO player that would be my like ambition for next couple of years.

Is there something is there someone up there in the Polish group that is that he’s seen or you think he’s above you in that on that I’m I’m not sure there are a couple of players that are it’s possibly similar level like definitely I would say that MDU I’m sure have been playing with him his life zoom 500 regular and he was like he made it like from low stakes up to high stakes like one year or two years.

He’s like super talented now he has like two kids he’s more focused on his family so like he’s the guy that I’m pretty sure if you like put all his energy into poker he will be he will be like top five in the world within like a short period period of time but since he’s more focused on the on the family actually I I think I have a serious chance to to like be baby then number one.

But as I said I hugely respect his game and if you like decide to focus on poker it will be really hard to compete with this guy he’s like so talented and so good yeah definitely you’re also putting into hours that seem so so often at the at the zoom 500 games definitely a a true grinder and definitely passionate about the game.

So what would that would that mmm what would that look like to you like at what point do you know for yourself that you’re at that top 30 level to be honest it’s really I think it’s a bit hard to like measure this because you don’t know exactly all the guys there’s a lot of like nicknames.

It’s I think it’s very very like subjective and it depends on your like personal like perceiving of the of the situation and I’m pretty sure that probably like 40 guys can perceive themselves being like in top 20 right because everybody every yeah everybody’s overestimating you know a bit he’s his skills.

But I’m trying to be you know as rational as as I can and if I’ll like feel like okay I’m in this in this top 30 20 like I would be like really really satisfied that would be probably the level that I can achieve and because I have some other other responsibilities and we are like building like renovating new flat with my wife and you know we want to have a family you know and so on.

So I know that it will be very hard to compete with young 25 years old players who have more energy who have more focus and who even doesn’t matter that much the talent but they can just have more clear head they can have they they don’t have all those responsibilities so they have a natural edge like over me because of that.

So I’m aware that like getting more than that might be might be too tough but this is like probably quite realistic yeah I mean one thing not to forget is that they need to keep their mental game in check that’s you know there’s young guys or they don’t have the wisdom at least not yet necessarily I mean experience yeah wisdom and experience yeah.

Well so is that is that aim specifically for like six max online or do you like mix it all together life online heads up like how do you or is your focus right there

Yeah six max online definitely and then would you be willing to let’s say like you’re moving up the limits and and you know you feel really confident in your ability you think you have an edge stepping into this game but you’d be willing to like fire these like these really high buy-in cash games as well and experience swings like there are six figures.

Depending you know if I would be selling action then yes of course without selling action probably probably not I’m actually quite conservative when it comes to bankroll management so when well and I’m taking like big shots I I really try to like sell some action in in this case.

So let’s imagine you like win a big peel or tournament or you’re just like doing really well in the games you’re playing and you’re building up this massive role that you would consider to be the correct role to play a big game like do you want or are willing slash to have these financial swings for yourself like if the bankroll is big enough or you are you like willing to lose $80,000 in a session yourself if you think the bankroll is the correct one.

Mm I’m not in this kind of like position right now but to be honest I don’t think so I think I’m like too much on the conservative level and that’s actually also one thing that can like you know I probably stop me from being like in in top 10 or something but I’m absolutely okay with that.

And that’s not something that that I would like to change that much because I also value as you said that you value a lot freedom you value being independent I value also a lot kind of like feeling of safety and and secure and that’s not that you know and I’m not sure if everything that this important value for all of the poker players.

But that’s something that if you know I’m having a wife will we soon want to like you know have a kid and so on so in this kind of situation you are not only thinking about myself because if I would be thinking only about myself I can I can do it but if you are thinking about your family you have to be also responsible for them and then I don’t think that you can take that big swings.

Yeah I think that’s a really honest and also clever look at it I mean some of the players who are at the very highest stakes not all of them you know they got there by putting it all on the line essentially and I guess the older you become and the more responsibilities like in a positive way also you know like having kids having a family and building a house or having these bigger goals outside of poker are obviously also great precious responsibilities to have.

Like when they come into play the utility of actually money it becomes much more present in your life so like when you were 25 years old like the difference between a hundred thousand dollars and five hundred thousand dollars like it’s not really that big unless you leave a huge baller life but for the most part people that got to this level when they’re 25 they are like not that much focused on on expanding the money they just want to get to the top of poker.

But as you grow up you start realizing you know that’s real money and you can utilize it for your actual life or for your for your family for actually utility in in pursuing goals outside of poker and I think at that point it does make a ton of sense to limit your downside as well of losing a substantial amount of money that you could utilize for the happiness of your family for example.

So I think that makes it a lot of sense yeah that was yes exactly and then are you also planning to go on to these live trips continuously and mix that into your pursuit yeah sure last year I’ve I’ve done quite a lot of those trips I mean as for me I’ve been to Monaco yeah like us a bit and then Barcelona.

And practice year I’m going to faintly to Barcelona and I will see about the other trips I realized at some you know at some level it’s hard to make those cash games like cash games more profitable than online they have to be really really big and for example it’s hard to find this kind of games.

Let’s say during EPT Monaco Brussels it’s usually very very good so I’m definitely gonna play there hopefully we’ll meet there if you so I mean I’m think you’re absolutely right it’s it’s not that easy to justify like these life trips because you know the expenses are going through the roof the lifestyle goes through the roof.

And sometimes it really fits into someone’s life’s plan and it’s great to be moving a lot and going to different places and playing poker but also sometimes it’s not it’s not the best thing to do and from multiple ways of looking at it or multiple layers.

Like how do we approach these kind of life trips can you talk a little bit about like how long do you generally go like where do you generally stay what is your approach to how much you’re playing on these kind of life trips there’s some sort of specific strategy behind it because I can imagine especially with you who is very structured and takes those things into account you would probably come with like a sort of like a plan.

Yeah sure so last year I I kind of like when I went to for EPT Barcelona I was playing really really a lot of cash games and I was I was playing probably like at least ten hours a day the games the games were were really good but I felt like so tired after after one one week of playing and we didn’t stay in that good apartment because we started like me and my friends looking for it too late.

So there wasn’t that much choice when when when to come when it came to booking so now I’m planning this much more in advance so I know that before life festival I need to take a couple of days of break a couple of days of vacation to prepare my mind and really prepare my body to be like well rested for this like 7 or 10 days let’s go this marathon.

Because really drink life days you can be playing very long hours you never know exactly when will you finish a session because sometimes the game can be so good that you actually so-called have to say of course you don’t have to stay but if the game is so profitable it can it can almost like force you to stay longer hours so you really have to be prepared.

And this year I’m like booking much better hotel I’m paying like I paid so much attention like to to to like even the choice of hotel this year and all those small details I’m taking much more supplements with me small like healthy snacks chocolates everything to make sure that like especially my body will be really prepared for for this trip.

I also took a hotel with like swimming pool so that each day I can go to relax before I will go to the casino yeah I think it’s there’s a ton of there’s none of thinking that you should do at a time because mostly when you’re in a place you don’t know that well like there’s a lot of uncertainty I don’t know where to go you don’t know where to eat you don’t know what to do you don’t know where to rest and where the games are.

So there’s already enough decision-making in mental capacity just taking by the fact that you’re in an unknown environment or at least not so well known environments or like planning ahead and having certain sort of anchor points that you can go back to.

Like your own room and good room knowing where the gym is knowing where to get good food or bring your own food so that you always have that stability with you I think it really really pays off and I sometimes spend like two days finding the stuff locally that I was looking forward to just be better prepared and it was obviously too late at this point or I mean at least it cost me two days that that were unnecessary essentially.

So like planning ahead is definitely definitely something that is undervalued and national so like even do more myself essentially are you going to mainly for a week or you mentioned now you were exhausted after week but you’re trying to say like even longer for the whole festival.

Yeah this year I will be going for like basically all festival I’m going on 21st and I will stay till the end of the festival yeah and then at home like how is that comparatively your to your home schedule like you mention when you go out there you’re obviously really battling playing ten hours plus a day how is that comparative to to how you navigate at home.

Yeah it’s completely completely different schedule that and the one that I have when I’m at my home because at home I’m having some other responsibilities some you know either book related or coaching related or like poker education related projects and having usually one session a day and I play for hours or with some break or without it it depends.

But basically it’s about four hours a day and here I have to be be ready to be just focused only on poker and playing like ten hours a day so also like finding a good food is it’s important being sleeping well is important being rested is important also taking all necessary things with you that you might need during a trip is important.

Even like in some casinos you know there are different temperatures so taking in you know the right clothes with you yeah yeah for example it’s so cold in casinos in Vegas that you need to take different clothes then for the casino in European.

And at home like are you are you more of a morning person and and wake up kind of early and played in or like how do you how do you plan your day there no no I’m actually right now I’m waking quite late so usually I’m waking like at 10:00 or 11:00 but I’m also going sleep quite late like usually about 2 a.m.

Because because I’m playing usually like from 8 p.m. to midnight something like this and these are more or less the best almost the best possible hours to play of course you can play a bit better hours if you’re play later but then it will really affect so much the sleep cycle that is probably you know not not worth it.

So I was looking like for kind of balance between as you said utility of time so so finding like the best games from one side and also maintaining you know kind of like my sleep cycle and change and I found this as a as the best possible balance I was also testing a lot of different solutions and that’s probably the best one for me.

Yeah that makes a lot of sense I looked recently a lot into circadian rhythms and trying to understand what is my best when I went on my best hours and how much am i sacrificing of my energy level and Happiness by different times I was waking up.

And I mean there were times in my life where I wake up at 2:00 p.m. or at or at lunch time and it was just affecting it was affecting many things I mean one of the things that I’m actually struggling and I’m wondering like what your opinion is about that is when you have when you play at a much later point than you woke up.

So like your schedule you wake up in the in the morning or mid daytime but then you play like eight nine ten hours later at 8 p.m. 9 p.m. 10 p.m. how do you manage to be on point with your energy levels when it is that late into your day.

That’s a good question and actually I would say that most of the the best players that I met are having similar a schedule so really just switch off okay so a lot of high stakes players that that I met they actually also wake up quite late and they also play a session like nine ten hours later.

And I think it is important to understand that during a day we can either like build our resources or use our resources so then during a day they use a lot of what we can call like building their resources so they relax a lot they can go to the gym they can go like running like chillin you know in the park or in the beach also they’re working on their game.

And then you know when it like late evening comes they they they they start a session so I’m trying to follow the similar routine sort like 100% possible to apply it in my life because I have another another responsibilities but I try to also have this mindset and have this like thinking in my head from the early morning that my peak has to come about like 8:00 p.m.

And it actually like so I kind of like structure my day so that try to make all activities so that try to plan all the activities the way that I will be at my best like no 8:00 p.m. for example.

Yeah that makes a lot of sense I I recall situations where I decided to have dinner before my session like right right before it and it was a huge mistake I mean depends on what you’re eating and how much of it obviously what are some of these planning’s that you do in order to recover or maintain that energy.

Yeah so first of all you drink during a day I’ll definitely do like have some time to like chill out or or relax you need to have it like during the day other other than that there is no way that you can have like eight hours of effective work and then play a very good session it’s it’s you know physically not possible.

I will also have some physical you know activities or exercises during a day or at least a walk usually I will have like at least half an hour walk before the session I’m also planning the meals so that I think like big dinner let’s say 4 p.m. 5 p.m. so that 8 p.m. you know it’s already it has already been digested.

Because if you eat let’s say a lot of beef and start playing a session after that you’re your body energy will be mostly used for digesting that meat and your thinking may not be as effective as if you have eaten that a couple of hours ago.

Yeah that makes so much sense I I moved my I moved my eating window to a different place where it’s like much further away from when I go to sleep because it’s also affected like the sleep quality that I have and now it’s it’s just like I’m perfectly I’m in the right place basically physically to sleep at the right time.

Also because of when I have drank my last cup of coffee when I have eaten dinner and so on so I think that’s that’s hugely important now you mentioned 8 or 9 p.m. and another challenge that I face sometimes or when I play when I play around that schedule is that my girlfriend who I live together with you know like she usually her first to spend time at 7 8 9 p.m. 10 p.m. like that window is sort of her favorite window which I could imagine a lot of a lot of people’s favorite window for socializing is so how do you manage that then.

Yeah that’s that’s actually a big issue and I would say that I have amazing quiet but that she understands completely my my work and the thing is that she also works from from home so we can spend some time during a day but she totally understands that I need to I need to be working in in that time.

Of course it affects a bit our social life that for example we cannot meet with friends and I think that’s actually one of the things that people when they start playing poker they don’t think about this most of people will think about the legal situation you know the variance maybe what they will tell their friends or their parents or if they’ll be able to make money at poker.

But very few people think about playing hours that you actually usually have to be play during your evening when most of people are having free time and that can hugely affect your social life and really very few people think about this when they start poker career.

So of course you need to take care about about your relationship so we usually spend weekends together from time to time you know even during a week I’ll make a day off and go for date with her then maybe I’ll play let’s say on Sunday or something so I really also have to be aware on her needs and her mood and so on.

And it’s like if you put a lot of effort and you spend a lot of time together then for sometime okay you can you can be playing sessions in the evening and that would be okay but if you will be working like this for two weeks straight then you really need to spend a couple of days with your girlfriend otherwise you know it can end up with a quarrel or something.

Yeah for sure it’s communication and balance guys out there don’t don’t overdo it for sure and and I think what’s interesting about your statement there is also how people not think about that timing issue or when they should when they are going to be playing for the most part at the window is a lot of poker players they also feel but disconnected to the real world.

I can just tell from my own from my own experience you know like everyone has a different schedule and myself most people are working throughout the day they wake up at a certain time I wake up at a different time live a different lifestyle work in a different place so it kind of makes you feel a bit disconnected and you have to be emotionally stable to actually handle that.

And still make an effort to meet up with people because they cannot shift their window off social interaction most of the time like most of the friends are not playing poker they are going to work until 7 p.m. or on till 5 p.m. and and then they have time and they don’t have time at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday so you have to you have to also take that into account as you say when you’re moving towards poker full time for sure.

I think it’s often underestimated essentially well maybe you had to to wrap it up for this podcast and I have really enjoyed the conversation with you on a side note and you seem to be someone that is very interested in the psychology.

I mean you tell me are you like how would you refer to that I mean are you just like really interested in psychology in general like of yourself for their people and how did you attain that when you mentioned you went to some certain seminars and whatever but like how do you how did you entertain that sort of skill when it comes to the human mind.

I think it’s kind of like a passion and craving that I felt like in myself even like many many years ago I was always interested about about myself about other people about motives of their actions and it’s been really interesting to me and once I started earning money I could afford on attending some seminars which are sometimes quite quite expensive or very you know special istic trainings dedicated to some very very specific narrow area.

Like working with stress or work working with procrastination and stuff like that and I started you know enjoying that more and more and also sometimes you know I read some interesting book that will lead me to another book and another book and you know start to research on topic and because I really like to be you know detailed oriented.

Sometimes I like really dig into you know some some research and some some findings to find out you know what will be what will be like the best solution what will be the answer on the questions that are interesting for me.

So I was very very curious about for example how we can be more effective in terms of time management how we can be more discipline how we can be planning better what is the most effective way of planning and and like really I was looking for those answers and actually I include those answers in in the mental edge.

And in the first couple couple of chapters because I thought it’s it’s very often in in poker we and I know it’s not me that a lot of people like this feeling of contribution to the society that we are doing something but we are not really like building bridges we are not curing people we are not helping other people actually we are taking their money you know in the in the long run on average.

So it’s really great and it brings a lot of satisfaction at least from time to time to be able to do something that contributes to people’s life in a in a positive way yeah I think that’s that’s not only noble but that’s also really smart because especially for the two of us like it once you reach your 30s and you’ve been playing poker for a long time you know different questions are rising up you know.

Like well what are other fields of interest a time that I’m that I could learn more about and how can I contribute or build a connection or help someone and I think that emotion and that idea is just going to increase more and more when you become older most people that are 50 or 60 they are in they are like really interested in helping mentoring someone.

And usually the best way to help someone is to also pick up some skills along the way so I think that’s that’s a good one are there some specific authors or books that you that you find specifically fascinating or people within that realm of time management or within the realm of psychology.

I would say definitely when it comes to coaching there was a book and its name is the seven secrets of successful coaches so the title is kind of like you know secret or something in her that doesn’t seem like very very professional but it’s actually amazing book I’ve never read a book like this in my life.

It’s it’s the book that I was like reading like two pages and then for like three days I had to think about these two pages because I couldn’t move you know forward it’s a book about how being a coach and being a trainer it’s more about building the right attitude than the right skills.

And it’s it shows that the best American coaches in different areas American football basketball hockey and so on and they showed that they share one thing in common they have amazing attitude and they spend so much time on building the right attitude.

So it’s not technical knowledge or specific skills that make them different from other coaches that finish exactly the same training but their way of communicating with others they being like congruence their attitude to their life and their attitude to other people so I found this book like a huge breakthrough also as a coach.

And I must say I was reading this book like I don’t know four months probably like two three pages and I spent a couple of days thinking about what they have just amazing very very deep awards the name again of the book this.

The seven secrets of successful coaches okay there there you heard it and also on another note on the same note I think that a lot of people can actually benefit from from reading about coaching because it teaches them fundamental life skills about communication and relationships as well.

I read a book that’s called the coaching habits and sort of the essence of this book is just listen and and I think listening and really being genuinely interested in what and what someone else has to say and how someone else is feeling and what their point of view is it’s extremely valuable.

Not only when you’re coaching or trying to help someone but also just when you’re building relationships with other people and books like these ones that are talking about coaching in the first place or in actuality talking also a lot about relationships and social interaction certainly something poker players can pick up on their way to become a better human in general.

I want really want to thank you for joining this podcast I think we had a great conversation with a variety of different topics I’m going to leave the ending words to you and again guys you can hop over to run it once and check out or the book mental edge in the book section and order it now in English or in Polish for the guys that not overhead of it and their last words are to you.

Thank you so much for the podcast Fernando thank you for the invitation I really enjoyed our conversation as well and good thank you everybody for listening and good luck for all of you at the tables and all so good luck in your lives.

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