In this episode, Brad Wilson, a professional live and online cash-game player, coach, and podcaster, reveals how he improved his negative self-talk and criticism. He shares why he believes emotions should be felt – not suppressed – when playing poker and what he does to manage them. Elliot and Brad open up about the reality of failure in poker, the different tells online, and why knowing when to quit may possibly be the best skill to learn.
Listen in to hear Brad share tips for becoming a successful player – and listen to what he has to say about the future of poker.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
[01:30] – Introducing Brad, a 15-year cash-game player
02:00 – He was hit hard by Black Friday and got back into poker by playing live home games then 60-hours a week at a casino
04:00 – He’s very comfortable sitting at the table and doesn’t get nervous or stressed; he analyzes spots later and realizes big moments of the game after-the-fact
05:45 – He shares a story of having played with most of his money in front of him; he ended up taking the pot with a sense that the other guy was bluffing
[07:15] – On feeling emotions in the game
07:30 – Brad believes players must feel and be aware of their emotions; he reflects on his games and assesses whether he gave anything away through tells
[08:20] – On failure as a part of poker
08:40 – Expect failure when playing poker; there’s always a variance so there will always be loss09:05 – On how Brad has succeeded in poker
09:10 – He has deductive reasoning, awareness, and knows when to quit; he is able to let things go and remove criticism and negative self-talk
11:00 – While he was learning and growing, self-criticism was good and the obsession helped him succeed
[12:00] – On going back to online
12:15 – Timing and betting pattern tells can be studied; it’s a puzzle in a different way online
[15:00] – Tips for players
15:15 – Find someone that is where you want to be and pay money to be coached/mentored
15:45 – Follow a model that’s proven to work; you don’t need to be a pioneer to be successful
[17:20] – On the evolution of poker
17:25 – Moving towards a GTO model
20:45 – The business model of poker needs tweaking so it can grow; he finds it a shame that it’s falling short of its potential
[22:00] – Brad’s podcast
[26:50] – On finding success
27:00 – Think of the long-game; you have to play lots of hands to get the variance
28:15 – Post-performance depression is a real thing
3 Key Points
It’s fine to feel emotions, just be aware of them and don’t let them control your game.
There’s always an element of failure in poker.
Keep going to battle until you find the success you seek.