091 – Kevin Martin – Leveling Up Your Success

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In this episode, Kevin Martin, former Big Brother winner, Twitch streamer, and professional poker player, reveals how his studying to get cast on the show helped the way he studies the complexities of poker. Elliot and Kevin discuss why having a healthy body and mind is critical to success – especially during multi-day tournaments. Listen in to hear a young and successful expert of the game share how he boosts his confidence, when he sits out of a game, and why his girlfriend’s support might just be his deadliest weapon.

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Time Stamped Show Notes:

[00:50] – Introducing Kevin Martin, former Big Brother, Twitch streamer, and successful live MTT player

[01:25] – Kevin is a 25-year-old poker professional in Canada

[01:55] – Kevin won the Big Brother show in Canada; he used to love reality TV so he studied the casting process to get cast on the show

[03:00] – He relates studying the casting process to studying the complex systems in poker to find an edge

[04:00] – Kevin’s view on self-development

[04:15] – It’s always necessary, in poker it’s easy to say “I’m running bad” when you really need to improve your game

[05:00] – Kevin’s accomplishments

[05:10] – This past summer he went on a crazy live run; he won three tournaments and placed 2nd in two tournaments  

[06:10] – He sees the wins as a testament to his hard work and wants to keep it going

[06:55] – Kevin’s game plan to get an edge

[07:07] – You must set yourself up for success before the tournament; it’s important to eat well and take care of your body

[07:45] – Optimizing breaks, meditation, and disconnecting while at the table

[08:30] – If you miss a showdown, you lose money; treat the game like the most important thing in your life at the moment

[09:10] – Tournament professionalism

[09:25] – At the $1,000, $2,500, and $600 buy-in level, no one has the intensity required to get to higher stakes  

[10:12] – How confidence impacts his playing

[10:22] – He plays more aggressively when he’s confident; he advises not to play if you don’t feel confident

[10:40] – Take a break if you’re on a downswing to study and boost your confidence; players will play differently against you when you are confident

[11:28] – Kevin’s buy-ins: He was in a tournament for six bullets because he was within his bankroll management and it was still a profitable decision

[12:10] – He feels comfortable playing bigger buy-ins now; he’s excited to play at a $25,000 buy-in this year

[13:30] – Tournaments where PokerStars use it as marketing

[13:51] – There will be a lot of dead money at the tournament, so it’s a good one to participate in when increasing your buy-in

[14:00] – Seeing people break down at tournaments

[14:38] – People that aren’t taking care of themselves fall apart in long tournaments; this is an advantage for pros

[15:55] – Recreational players can study, commit to improving, and still win tournaments

[17:20] – Kevin’s Twitch streaming

[17:27] – He’s moved up stakes and started firing up mix games; his community has been very supportive and has set him up for success

[18:02] – They play small, medium, and some high stakes

[18:33] – Some people from Big Brother support him and got into poker

[19:23] –Kevin’s goal list

[19:40] – “To become a super-killer” poker player

[20:23] – Kevin studies his mistakes and surrounds himself with smart people so he can improve

[21:45] – Ego can get in the way, but you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable

[22:14] – The best players always question themselves and always look to improve

[22:54] – A moment from 2018 that sticks out

[23:17] – It was the final 22 at Run It Up Reno and there was $70,000 up top, his girlfriend was there

[23:50] – He wasn’t himself so she told him to workout, shower, and meditate, and he came back after the dinner break 100% and ready to play

[24:25] – She is a supportive partner and gives him an edge

[25:00] – A message for listeners

[25:00] – Poker is accessible to anyone who is willing to commit to the game; there’s still the opportunity to follow the poker dream

[27:10] – Play sober and study; following the game plan pays off

3 Key Points

  1. Optimize breaks, meditate, and stay healthy to perform at your best.
  2. Always question yourself and look for ways to improve.
  3. Play sober, rested, and confident – or don’t play at all.   



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About the Author Elliot Roe

Hi, I'm Elliot Roe... And I Help Poker Players Squeeze Every Ounce Of EV From Their Poker Skills and Abilities. Over 7500 poker players have downloaded my Mindset MP3s to boost their focus on the table and to relax and recover post-session. I have personally worked with hundreds more on mastering their emotions and the tabling and developing the “Pro-Athlete Mindset” needed to be successful into today’s games. Creating a strong poker mindset has been the “secret weapon” of the high stakes elite for years now, and I started this site to bring that edge to any player willing to work on that area of their game.

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