095 – Wayne Yap – From Financial Adversity to the Top

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In this episode, Wayne Yap, high-stakes poker professional and advisor, reveals how he made his way to the top despite severe financial adversity – and a two-year stint in the army. Elliot and Wayne discuss the importance of studying and building a network within the poker community. Listen in to hear an expert share his strategic thinking, practical game theory, and mindset mastery tips so you can jump stakes and play bigger.

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Time Stamped Show Notes:

[00:50] – Introducing Wayne, his journey, and direction

[01:20] – His started by playing small games in Singapore; his parent’s business was failing and he went into the army for two years at that time

[02:00] – He didn’t have the money to practice his game so he downloaded poker videos and would watch them while out in the jungle while in the army

[02:40] – The importance of studying

[02:57] – Learning is important in any field if you want to improve and succeed

[03:07] – The learner’s mindset is the most important thing

[03:25] – How he ensured his improvement and success

[03:32] – He had financial pressure so he felt like he had to get good

[03:55] – After the army he went to Macau with some good high-stakes poker players and because he studies math and statistics he was helpful to them

[04:10] – He learned from them and was valuable to them; this helped set up his network

[06:05] – How long it took him to support himself through poker

[06:22] – He got into high-stakes in about six years

[07:05] – He didn’t appreciate it then, but does now looking back

[07:42] – The mindset needed for the system used in Macau

[07:53] – He said it was lucrative but killed brain cells

[08:30] – Sessions run 24 – 30 hours and some do doubles to play longer with VIPs

[09:33] – It’s not professional; after 20 hours, they are delirious and need to release awkward energy

[10:50] – He knows only 5-10 people who like it to some degree; most of the time they’re miserable and tired and are doing it for the money

[11:55] – He got very bonded with the people he played with; everyone became friends

[12:38] – How the VIPs play in Macau

[12:48] – The ones that come back to play want to be good players but don’t care about losing money

[13:20] – They don’t care about the game but get to make friends with pros

[13:50] – Advice for player who want to get to high-stakes

[13:55] – Decide whether you want to be good at poker or be good at poker and make money

[14:20] – Poker is dynamic; GTO is not the angle

[15:37] – You can’t ever practically apply the exact solver outputs; you work on assumptions that can be wrong

[16:30] – Don’t get stuck on the theory part

[17:20] – Things Wayne sees around mindset

[17:35] – The biggest mindset flaw is that people take things too seriously

[18:25] – Letting emotions get to you has a negative compounding effect at the table

[19:10] –The money you have is more valuable than the money you earn; find your threshold and know how much money you need and what you can afford losing

[20:50] – Know your emotional limitations around losses

[21:13] – What Wayne would’ve done differently

[21:50] – Strategy-wise, zoom out a few levels from where you are

[23:10] – Wayne’s next steps

[23:25] – He explored block chain and made investments

[23:45] – He wants to educate, train, and empower others

[24:05] – He plans on doing cryptocurrency education and feels he brings a fresh perspective

[24:33] – He’s teaching people how to play and make money playing poker; it’s important to build soft skills



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