Progression in Poker [PLO Mastermind Q&A]


In this Q&A I discuss progressing in poker and the things that are likely holding you back from progressing, such as skills, tactics, mindset and optimising yourself. I focus in on each area and breakdown the things you can improve on, in order to achieve better results longterm.
Hope you enjoyed!
Fernando Habegger and the JNandez Poker team.


I’m gonna have slides from for about an hour that’s pretty much what I’m aiming for if you guys have more questions we’re gonna go on into overtime it’s really about your needs and we’re gonna get started here pretty much right now.

Thanks for everybody to tune in here I know it’s not it’s definitely a commitment you know on Saturday evening or a Saturday midday for some of the us guys to tune in here thank you very much we’re gonna get started here right away.

And today I wanna talk first of all about you know sort of like what is holding you back most likely the way you should think about progression within poker I’m gonna use this whiteboard for it and talk a little bit about your poker career which we’re gonna label as PC that’s your poker career and you can apply these ideas to basically all fields of expertise.

Wherever you were trying to excel and get us something accomplished there are a few sort of like milestones as you have a few corner points that you want to focus on in order to actually get your career going and those are skills like you need to skills we’ll talk about what kind of skills in a moment.

You need some tactics you need the mindset and you also need to optimize yourself those are like the four key pillars that you need to work on when it comes to improving your current situation when it comes to getting better results and from talking to a lot of you guys right now everyone has its eye on or her eye on this specific topic so a lot of you guys are thinking about how can I add more strategy at something on top of my strategic knowledge in order to improve my results.

But this is only one pillar out of these four pillars right and today I want to talk just quickly before heading into your questions and before heading into the in calls about these other pillars that you should definitely pay attention to in order to improve your results so strategy is pretty obvious right and I actually played a low-stakes session today and PLO 50 that I want to head into.

In this session and we could probably do that at the end or put it to wednesday but the thing is strategically it’s really not a big challenge you know like the guys at these tables if you apply the strategies learned in the mastermind it just works you’re gonna be holding a high edge over these opponents if you understand how to apply tactics correctly.

How do you have the right mindset and optimize yourself that you can actually put your a-game to the table in a consistent manner but the strategy behind it it’s not that difficult like your opponent’s they don’t know that much about the game it’s just the truth especially if you show up at the right time and table select properly.

But the games that I was playing and were just incredibly weak in terms of strategy and when I see that and I see how advanced your questions are and how deep you are into strategy right is one pillar the only thing that comes into my mind is something else is lacking right something else is holding you guys back from the ultimate success and from breaking through and moving up in stakes.

And it’s these other pillars essentially so let’s talk about these other pillars and what is sort of behind it today are in a more superficial manner and then we’re gonna sort of go in depth on the next livestream and step by step into some of these pillars essentially tactics what is the difference between tactic and strategy next.

Strategy is how you play a hand tactics is where you play the hand when do you play the hand how long are your sessions how long are your breaks what do you do in order to prep work preparation yourself for the session what is your cooldown method like what is your process when it comes to trying to apply the strategy right.

So this is like process oriented and has a lot more to do with structure where do you play for what reason what kind of tables do you play how long are your sessions and on what kind of pillars are you basing these assumptions or these decisions on essentially so that’s not to do with strategy at the end of the day.

But I think a lot of you guys have sort of like not really put in the time to understand the best tactics right so for my own sake for example I had this question a few times now and multiple different video sections and that is you know why do you play such so late because I play currently from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 to 3:00 a.m. in the morning.

And the answer is because I’m adjusting my tactics so that it can actually improve my results very easily you know so some of you guys are really battling it out there with the wrong guys and because you’re all obsessed over strategy without realizing you can make much easier gains in terms of your overall results in bottom-line if you were adjusting your tactics better.

If you were to be playing a different side if you would play a different format if you would stick to one stack size if you would play a different hour if you would change the length of your sessions if you would take breaks during their sessions if you would change the way you are approaching improvement.

One simple change in tactics can be 10 times as valuable as learning something additional in your strategy Department right so you’re sort of the CEO right here in the middle of your poker career and you have to think about these four sort of departments or for employment employers employees.

And one of these employees is working in strategy and it seems like you’re putting all the effort into him and you don’t really care about these other employees or departments of your business and I want you guys to pay more attention to these other sectors because most likely your level of expertise and of optimization within those departments is so low that you can easily have some very solid gains for your bottom line.

So what I mean by that is in order for a lot of you guys to become much better strategically you have to put in let’s say 10 hours at least to make a substantial gain and that’s the only given that you actually understand what to do with the table so let’s say you are spending 3 hours watching mastermind videos and then you recap dose ideas and concepts and write them down like this makes sense.

And then you are looking into your own hands to see if you can actually solve them and sort of interact with the community in post hands in order to make sure that you understood the concepts from these three hours of material right that takes you ten hours then it’s going to give you a jump in terms of strategy understanding sure.

But like you can change your results by just thinking a little bit more tactically about when to play where to play and how long to play you know you can make that decision in this 30 minutes researching 30 minutes and adjusting your schedule it’s adjusting risk tactics and have the same output as you have over here in ten hours so it’s 20x the result.

Obviously those are just random numbers that I’m inventing but I hope the idea is clear so some of you guys are exhausted and you feel exhausted because you’re like hammering down on this one employee.

And telling him like why are you not working hard or why you’re not working more efficient why you’re not destroying all these other players and opponents while these other employees of yours are just like chilling out over here and they’re just totally unqualified.

So it’s time for you to step up your game aka your company which is gonna lead to better results in a bottom line by training and improving those other does these other employees in your company tactics mindset and optimizations.

So let’s go back you have here you’re the CEO of your business and that applies to any business but we’re going to talk about poker today obviously we got strategy Department you have been hammering at that employee for way too long now don’t worry about strategy at the moment then we have tactics we got mindset and we got optimization.

So let’s talk about mindset mindset is obviously very deep it has different layers but one of the number one reasons why your mindset is probably lacking is because you don’t have a vision you don’t actually understand what you want out of poker like subconsciously you know why you play it maybe it’s an escapism maybe you really enjoy it you like to think strategically you like to be competitive.

Like those are subconscious reasons of why you play it but you need to create a vision and you shouldn’t just randomly be in poker because if you’re randomly in poker guess what your output is also quite randomly and you don’t want to random output right you want to have a goal in mind and then hit that goal and then improve your standard.

Or change the goal or an objective and then hit that again that’s called a vision D Boris says yeah I think a lot of PA 1515 I played these regular tables and I could tell you man this is it’s crazy what I saw there and let me just bring up hold the manager actually played the session in my office not here but I played some PL or 500 yesterday.

But was crazy it was just insane I’m gonna show you some sick hands here but the thing is you know I’m optimizing all these areas all these departments right I’m thinking about tactics a ton now when you change your tactics and that change might lead to some uncomfort in your data routine.

For example in my case I have to play quote-unquote have to play from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the morning you have to really optimize your life in order to be able to perform at an ATM level at this point of the day if I played before at midday or 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and suddenly I’m playing at nighttime.

I have to adjust all my stuff here in order to actually make this work but let’s talk about mindset first so you need a vision in order to understand what you’re actually trying to accomplish so the way you’re thinking about the vision is you have to really think about like why are you actually playing poker like what is the actual objective here and what a lot of people do wrong here is that they are afraid myself included.

Afraid let’s see if I can pull this off afraid okay I cannot pull it off huh I’ll failure okay what does that mean that means when I talk to someone on in a personal basis which I do a lot and I asked them if I like what is your goal what is her objective what is your evasion in poker like nine out of ten times that person it’s even more than a ten times that person is going to aim very low right.

They’re gonna say something like well you know I don’t really like I’m not really like you you know I don’t really I don’t really am that obsessed that I want to get some nice results I want to get a good life you know that’s kind of like what I want out of poker.

And I think the reason why you might think that is because if you were to admit that you’re trying to crush this game and be at the top and if you were to admit that you could be that guy then you’re putting yourself out there to become vulnerable right.

And you could hurt yourself emotionally by actually putting yourself to the test and admitting that you’re actually trying to accomplish something substantial and that you’re putting that you’re betting on yourself and that might disappoint you in the image you have about yourself a ton.

So when you think about vision then try to really see yourself ten times as big as you think you might are and the thing with that is is no one around you like no one in your environment will encourage you to such a high degree that you will create a vision for yourself that is actually representing what you could accomplish that is actually representing your true potential.

No one will do that because they have no idea what you’re capable of because you don’t even believe it and if you don’t believe it no one else can so and what I’m trying to do here is not telling you that you should be some spiritual self believer and think positively all the time.

But I’m trying to tell you is that getting foreign poker isn’t that difficult but the people who did it they also tried to do it you know and if you don’t even have the objective of getting foreign poker there’s no chance you’re gonna get there because you have no vision.

You need a vision you need to see where you are going in order to take on the right steps to get there so the first thing that really is going to sabotage your mindset is if you don’t have a vision you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re actually doing then you will see that most people are approaching their entire life like this you know.

Like why do you go to work why do you have kids why do you are like wired together with that with it with that a partner don’t really know why exactly they are doing that and I want you to really rethink why are you in poker and what are you trying to accomplish and once you have that vision you can start optimizing these other areas to actually accomplish that vision and goal.

So make sure that your mindset is fueled with the right vision otherwise it’s very difficult to be productive it’s very difficult to be energized it’s very difficult to prioritize decisions in your life if you don’t exactly know what you want right because you will have to make a lot of decisions on a daily basis.

How you’re going to spend your time for example and if you don’t know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish in life in general it’s gonna be very difficult then you can be torn between different options every single day which is exactly what I encounter when I talk to people on a one-on-one basis they usually tell me that they don’t exactly know.

They do a lot of stuff because they don’t want to make a final decision of what they actually are trying to accomplish and that is usually because of lack of self esteem and it’s usually because people are afraid to admit that they actually could have more potential than others think and that they’re going to prove it.

So the first thing I want you guys to do is to think about why are you thinking of yourself so little why do you think you’re only able to accomplish this when it could be here because it’s not that difficult you know it’s not that difficult if you’re on the right path and you optimize your life for it it really isn’t it’s just very difficult.

If you don’t even have that objective in your mind and you don’t give yourself enough credit to accomplish it’s tough so create a vision for yourself and mindset and then once you have that you want to think about optimization over here like optimization essentially means that you need energy right.

You need focus you need to have a strong mind that can make decisions that’s usually based on these two things how do you get energy you know by having proper sleep for example by eating the right nutrients no but having the right diet like those kind of things how do you have focus by working on your focus by not being distracted.

By making sure that you implement tactics into your life that are gonna make you distract free that it could focus on the things that are actually important to you so we’re gonna head right here into the content of the actual strategy before starting that I just want to recapture here one more time the picture.

This is your poker career we have strategy which we’re going to talk about it in a moment then we have tactics we have the mindset and the optimization and I want you guys to think about why you haven’t put enough emphasis on these other employees or departments of your business.

And how that is related to your lack of success and how much more you could accomplish if the amount of effort you put in into strategy gets more intelligently distributed towards these fields and how much more you could accomplish if you optimize your energy levels and focus levels and spread it out to all those fields.

Instead of only to strategy so where you could actually end up being is right now you might be operating under like a 30% sort of operating system power like that’s the RAM that you have right now and that is because you’re not optimized you don’t have clarity over your vision you have maybe poor habits the strategy is not optimal.

Like all these things are in place and in order to get to 90% to 100% you need to balance these things out and you need to optimize your mindset you need to optimize your body you need to optimize your energy levels in order to fuel those different departments sufficiently right so when you think about these different areas.

Here’s what I want you guys to do I want you to use a journal I want you to write down on a daily basis how you’re going to fuel those departments in your life or in your career which means I have a pretty simple journal right over here and basically what I’ve read down into this journal is you can see it right there.

I’m sure where they see if you can see it there so basically what I’ve read down here two columns right here and here on one of them I write down the key learnings of today which is like this full page right there on the other one I write down daily planning and the idea here is once you write down what you learn every day.

The first realization you make is that you actually don’t learn that much you know and that is a bad and also sad statement especially as you get older you will realize that you don’t really learn that much unless you really are trying to most days are quite similar.

And if the key learnings that you’re trying to extract on a daily basis are just consistent of you know like reviewing a hand or something or watching a video you’re going to learn very very little but if you think about those four departments here and you’re trying to really track down good information on an individual Department.

For example how do you create a vision what is your vision what are you goals what tactics could you employ in order to improve your results then you start actually researching and searching for information to learn and then you can write that down but I want you to try to learn something and improve that situation here in daily basis.

And if you’re trying to just hammer down the strategy Department you’re not gonna have a success you’re looking for on the other side of the schedule I have my daily planning and in there I just trying to make sure that the things that I know what I want to do on a 30 minute base and also that I have a tracking system that allows me to understand whether I’m optimized to hit those targets.

So what that means is you know for example if I say hey I’m going to review 90 minutes of hands at 2:00 p.m. right and we all had these plans before and I don’t miss it I don’t make it because let’s say 30 minutes before I realized oh actually need food because I haven’t eaten so far.

I’m pretty hungry and that distracts me all right I got to cook something oh wait a moment I don’t have any food at home I need to go to the grocery store I go to the grocery store end up in traffic jam in the grocery store I have to decide what to buy.

Back to cope in something the 90 minutes are over and I haven’t been proved on my game now what went wrong well I’m not optimized in a way that can actually accomplish my goals because like all this bs came into my way which wasn’t optimized yet aka my scheduling that I couldn’t accomplish my goal.

And think about how sad this this is like a lot of people don’t accomplish our goals because there were grocery shopping or because they haven’t fought in advanced and how to optimize certain situations in life so they can actually do the things they want to do like.

A lot of people end up in situations for hours at a time in their daily lives that are gonna hinder them every single day from accomplishing what they’re actually trying to accomplish so by just being more self-aware.

And understanding whether or not you’re pursuing the things professionally but also privately in getting them done and experiencing those things we’re trying to experience effectively only by creating this feedback loop you will understand in which ways you’re not optimized yet.

So when I talk about optimization I don’t only talk about like how do you make more money or how do you become a better poker player I just talk about actually doing what you want to do successfully without being distracted and that is became very very difficult these days.

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