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Mental Game & Life Strategy

The ability to set goals and the discipline it takes to achieve those goals without letting the rest of your life suffer are two of the most important things you need to master in order to improve as a poker player and begin getting serious about becoming a pro. One of the best parts of playing poker is getting out into the real world, playing in person, meeting new people and going on crazy adventures. This is also the riskiest part of the game because it takes you away from your comfort zone, and leaves you playing without your safety net. The solid footing of any healthy lifestyle depends balance and control, and a thriving poker lifestyle is no exception. Set realistic goals and learn to govern yourself so that you’re always working towards achieving your goals without letting the other, more glamorous things hinder your success. 

Table strategy is great to know, but you'll also need to understand how to manage yourself off the table to maximize your edge - and here’s where things get personal. I invite you to keep up-to date on my life and times as a poker player, and learn from my experiences so that you can learn from my triumphs and avoid my mistakes.  Any pro poker player will tell you your  mind is your most powerful weapon. Sharpen it, nurture it, rest it and give it peace so you can take to the tables - and your life - with killer confidence. 

My Story Pt. 2 - Greg Merson and "The Secret"

Evan Jarvis

In Spring of 2012, I was introduced to something that would forever change my life. For that year, I lived with Greg Merson and it was during this time that I saw what hard work really looks like. I witnessed the levels of success which are awarded to someone with that a hardcore work ethic. Working closely with a my chiropractor and good friend Greg Bell taught me how to get into my body, how to feel what was going on and the importance of taking care of myself through exercise, nutrition and proper rest. Both of these characters played a major role in that which would change my life forever, but neither of them was the thing itself.

That thing which changed my life forever - that magic something - was a little known concept called “The Secret”. “The Secret” is that your thoughts determine your reality and that your most dominant thought is what you are most likely to achieve/obtain over your life. I’m sharing this personal story of mine not to prove scientifically the merits of the secret, or to convince you that it is the secret to success - that’s for you to decide on your own. I’m simply sharing this story because “The Secret” profoundly changed my life for the better and has allowed me to bring my dreams into the physical world of reality. It’s enabled me to become truly happy.

In March of 2012, Greg Bell told me that he had a set of audiobooks which he felt I would really enjoy. These books were called “Your Wish is Your Command” by Kevin Trudeau. He gave me the Coles Notes on the program and my first thought was “Wow… that sounds like such a scam!” and that’s where the name “Scam Tapes” was born. But, having benefited from listening to other audio programs like Tony Robbins’ Personal Power and Unleash the Giant Within, I was willing to give this a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? I lose a few hours of my life and learn a lesson that the next time I hear about a similar program it should be avoided? Seemed like a no-brainer to me, given that I could apply my ‘stacking’ techniques and get benefit while listening be it by stretching while listening to tapes, walking, or exercising vigorously. In my eyes, all I was giving up was a chance to listen to my music while otherwise doing those activities, and given the bold claims from this program and even the 1% chance that they might be real, I felt it was worth a shot. What’s life for but to experiment and learn, right?

So I started the program and learned that my wish was my command, and that all I had to do was set my intention on a specific outcome or item that I wanted, to think about it relentlessly, ceaselessly and as often as possible; to vividly experience the vision in my mind as if it was completely real. I was taught that if I did this, listened to the messages from my mind, acted on what my intuition was telling me and applied the great virtue of patience that I would receive exactly what it was that I desired. It sounded too good to be true, and I wanted to test this ‘scam’ to it’s maximum so I decided “Alright. I wanna win the Main Event”

As I learned repetition was key and that charging the thought with emotion would increase it’s power in my mind and the significance of it to my subconscious mind, I went all-in on winning the main event. I would walk around our penthouse apartment saying “I’m gonna win the Event” “I’m gonna win the Event” “I’m gonna win the Event” over and over and over again. I’d say it while I was exercising, I’d say it while I was preparing my meals, and most importantly I’d say it before bed so that my dreams would be flush with the experience, and I’d say it first thing in the morning (when the mind is most suggestible) to let myself know that winning the main event was my top priority.

It was quite funny because Greggy would be grinding away playing thousand of hands every day and laughing at me saying “Dude. If you wanna win the Main Event, you should probably be putting in volume like me”. But the truth was, strategically, I felt like I knew enough already and what my body needed to prepare itself for the seven day marathon was rest, nutrition, relaxation and anything that would help me cultivate more energy for this challenge ahead. The ironic thing is, that despite Greggy saying how ridiculous it was that I could expect to win the Main Event by simply walking around life thinking it and repeating it incessantly, Greg Merson too was applying the secret without being aware that that’s what he was doing. At the beginning of the year Greggy told me that he wanted to win the $10k 6-Max at the World Series of Poker. He told me this was the “Pro-Bowl” of poker tournaments, and he felt it was the most prestigious No-Limit Hold’em event. Since he was on a mission to prove to the world how good he was at this game, and to show them that the path through sobriety and hard work were that which breeds a champion, THIS was the event that he wanted to win.

We both prepared for the WSOP our unique ways, and both went into the summer feeling more confident than we ever had in our entire lives. And this confidence is another of the secret ingredients to success. To achieve the results that I wanted, I had to believe deep down that A) it was possible to get this result and B) that I was deserving of receiving this result.

Now the funny thing about The Secret, is that you get what you want but, not necessarily in the way that you think you’ll get it, and not necessarily in the time frame that you desire it. The secret to using The Secret to your advantage is to surrender to your intuition to follow it joyfully as it guides you towards your destination and to trust that if you keep listening to it, and keep following its guidance, that you will ultimately reach your destination.

Interest sufficiently piqued? Good. Because we’re going into to details next week.

Read My Story Part 1!