The mental game podcast
Strengthening the Critical Part of Your Game
Join the many subscribers who enjoy the interviews with prominent authors, professionals, and poker players to gain insight into peak performance, learning, training, and how to solve emotional problems with tilt, fear, and confidence.
How to stop giving a f*ck with Mark Manson
Mark Manson is a successful author, blogger, self-development coach and dating expert. On the surface it appears he has his shit together, but as he says he starts everything he does as a form of ‘public therapy’ with himself, but with the reader in mind. His new book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is actually about finding out what your values are, what you give a fuck about. We had a really good discussion about how young people today in many ways have it better than ever, but are missing a clearly defined sense of meaning. So the onus of responsibility is on us to create our own.
How to Develop Talent with Daniel Coyle
Daniel Coyle is the author of The Talent Code, a fantastic book that deconstructs the idea of talent. Proving that while natural talent exists, what separates the winners and the losers is the amount of “deep practice” they are willing to do. We often seek to avoid failure, but Coyle has discovered a vast amount of research that proves that only when we push ourselves to the edges of our ability, that we are able to develop the skill needed to be an elite performer in our field.
Developing Resiliciency with Niels Feijen
Niels Feijen is a long-time client who has been phenomenal to work with because, besides being an all-around great guy, he is deeply committed to the process of mastering his craft. Niels is one of the top players in the world and his accolades include the 2008 World Straight Pool Championship, the 2014 World Nine Ball Championship, and four-time MVP for the Mosconi Cup. Not only is Niels dedicated to constantly improving mentally, he works incredibly hard on every aspect of the game. That’s why he is among the best in the world. Niels understands the nature of performing in the zone and how to pull himself out of a slump. He knows the only way to achieve consistency is through preparation and hard work, not natural talent. Where most people give up, Niels doubles down.
Christopher Chabris Highlights Everyday Illusions
Christopher Chabris is an Associate Professor of Psychology and co-director of the Neuroscience Program at Union College in Schenectady, and along with Daniel Simons wrote the fantastic book The Invisible Gorilla. He is also an accomplished poker and chess player, and writes a games column for the Wall Street Journal. Christopher’s work focuses on the many ways in which we fool ourselves everyday, and the illusions we create for ourselves. Think you don’t fall for some of these illusion? Think again, we all do it.
Learning to Learn with Terrence Chan
Terrence Chan has about as varied a CV as you can imagine. Terrence is a professional poker player, MMA fighter, former PokerStars employee, founder of Ultimate Poker and currently co-host of the 2+2 PokerCast. Because he has achieved so much in so many fields, I knew he would have a lot of insight about success and the learning process, but even I was surprised at just how educated he was on the topic of learning. If you want to take a sideways step from one career to another, Terrence is a brilliant example of someone who understands how to use what you already know to improve at something else.
Solving Perfectionism with Max Steinberg
I have been fortunate enough to have long time clients make the WSOP Main Event final table in the last two years. Jorryt Van Hoof finished 3rd last year, and this year Max Steinberg finished 4th. Max is a former WSOP bracelet winner and these days spends most of his time making a living at Daily Fantasy Sports. I don’t publicly share specific details about what my clients and I do when we work together, but Max graciously volunteered to discuss this in depth. In particular we went into great detail about how he overcame a perfectionism issue which could have really hurt his performance at the final table.
Mastery and Hard Work with David Tuchman
David Tuchman is an accomplished poker player, but an even more accomplished poker commentator. When you add up his work on Live at the Bike, Sky Poker, Twitch and, of course, the World Series of Poker, he may have commentated on more hours of high level poker than anyone in the world. He is also a broadcaster and big sports fan for a number of other sports. This episode has a surprisingly high level discussion about mastery. It is clear that Tuchman has learned a great deal from his time commenting with, and on, some of the best players in the world.
Create a Mental Edge with Martin Jacobson
I’m very happy to welcome reigning WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson to the show. Last year while watching the final table in person, I got to see Martin’s performance up close. I was obviously cheering for my client Jorryt von Hoof, but it was easy to be impressed with the composure, professionalism, focus, and resilience that Martin showed on his way to the title and $10 million first prize.
Constant Growth with Liv Boeree
There is an interesting theory that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. If you surround yourself successful people, you will strive to become more successful yourself. Liv Boeree is a testament to that. Liv never stops adding to her skillset. Whether it is poker, the guitar, presenting, or charity work she is a highly dynamic person with an incredible array of interests and skills. Liv is really focused on self-improvement and her mental game. This is a great interview for anyone who has a passion for learning and always striving for more.
Positive Thinking with Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu is one of the most famous and most successful poker players on the planet. It is always interesting to delve into the mind of an elite performer, but I am particularly interested in Daniel because in recent years he has made a public commitment to self-improvement. This seemingly has had a big positive correlation with his poker results. In particular I think you will learn a lot from our discussion about positive thinking. Daniel and I have different perspectives but we still found common ground.
Mastering Chess and Poker with Jennifer Shahade
Jennifer Shahade is a poker player and ambassador for PokerStars. She is also a chess champion and author, who recently presented a TED talk about understanding decision making in chess and poker. I’ve worked with elite performers in a variety of fields like poker, golf, billiards and trading. One discipline that I’ve always found fascinating is chess, for a number of reasons. First of all, when you study performance, chess comes up a lot, it is used a lot to prove points about the role of hard work vs talent. I also find chess very interesting because it is a strategic, mental game, like poker. But unlike poker, golf, and trading, luck is not a factor.
Staying in Championship Form with Chris Moneymaker
Without 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker, poker would not be the industry it is today. Not only did help spark the poker boom, he has been a tremendous ambassador for the game. What you may not know is that he is perhaps the first poker player to put me on tilt. Find out how he out-mental gamed this mental game coach on the golf course. Learn how Chris handled the pressures of becoming a world champion of a game he hardly knew anything about. Then, having to swallow his ego to ask other players to help him learn the game after he became a champion.
Avoiding Burnout with Vanessa Selbst
Is it possible to play in the zone all the time? Vanessa Selbst doesn’t think so, and nor should you. In the latest episode I get to speak with the most successful female poker player of all time fresh off the back of a $1.4 million winning trip at the PCA. We have a very high level discussion on how she manages her energy to make sure that rather than playing he zone all the time, she works hard to play in the zone at the most important time. We also discuss, how she manages mental energy, how to avoid burning out, and how she maintains her passion and enjoyment of poker through rough periods.