Detox Files #1: Nick Howard Poker Career Consult

Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast: Detox Files Episode 001

What Are The Detox Files?

Founder and CEO of Poker Detox, Nick Howard, joins the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast to sit down with Coach Brad Wilson and share consults, advice, and poker guidance for players (current or aspiring) who are looking for a path forward in the game and striking a healthy balance with their overall life. Every poker player experiences anxiety, downswings, uncertainty, frustration, and doubt in their poker journey. The man who has helped countless players detoxify these elements from their poker mindset joins up with the CPG pod to share these enlightening sessions and consults.

Photo supplied.

Poker Detox on social media:

In today’s episode our guest is a passionate live player who’s very open about his insecurities from the start. Because of his openness, we’re able to find a clear answer to his (common) risk averse/bankroll issue.

We’re then able to move on to solving a common fear/misconception that horses have around being backed and after that we get to his core fear (which is extremely common).

All in all it’s a nice clean progression that cuts straight to the heart of the problem.

Click any of the icons below to find the CPG pod on the platform of your choice. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with Nick Howard from Poker Detox on the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast.

If this is your first time on the Chasing Poker Greatness website, be sure to check out our groundbreaking poker courses to help sharpen your strategy and profitably implement solid, data-proven solutions to your game today:

Transcription of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Presents: Detox Files #1: Nick Howard Poker Career Consult

For hearing impaired fans of CPG, or for those who simply want a good read instead of a listen, we're taking steps to transcribe as many episodes of the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast as we can. Watch this space for a transcription, and by all means, contact us using the form at the bottom of the page to make a request for an episode transcription and we will do our best to push it to the front of the queue.

Brad: What is happening my friend? Coach Brad here and I just wanted to let you know real fast that these episodes are experimental and a little different than what you’re used to. Their career consults Nick Howard did for free to aid folks along in their poker journey. They ended up turning out so chock full of value and dripping with greatness bombs, that he wanted to share them with as many folks as possible, so I gladly agreed to help him spread the word on Chasing Poker Greatness. If you love these episodes and find them especially valuable, please let me and Nick know and we will continue to collaborate in this format in the future. Also, as somewhat of a spinoff from Nick’s career console idea, I’ve created a similar offer for you in aspiring episodes of chasing poker greatness, where you and I have a heart to heart discussion on your specific poker situation. And we come up with a plan together so that you can progress and move forward with more clarity and purpose. If this sounds like something you desperately need, head to and book your poker career coaching session today. The price is $100 and this session will last one to 1.5 hours. One more time, that’s And now on with the show.

Poker’s legendary champions, next generation stars and tireless ambassadors of the game, sharing their wisdom and guiding your journey to high achievement on the green felt. This is chasing poker greatness with your host, Brad Wilson.

Brad: Nick, welcome to the show. How you doing, sir?

Nick: Sup bro, good to be back.

Brad: It’s great having you, it’s great having you. This is going to be a little different angle than what my listeners are used to. So, could you tell me about the next few episodes, clue them in on why we’re releasing these console’s publicly, and the value that they’re going to gain from them.

Nick: I think it was something that I never expected to turn into this format. This whole thing started with kind of a crazy tweet that I released while I was drinking a bottle of wine over in Italy over the holidays. It was right after New Year’s. I’m looking at the tweet now it said, I’m thinking about offering a free hour of career consulting to any player who signs a waiver stating that you, you’re actually interested in the truth. I’m guessing by the truth, I mean, like the truth of what’s going on in your career as to why you’re not getting the results you want. If you end up being full of shit, the session gets released to the public for others to learn from. So, I guess that was sort of my semi drunk, backhanded way of saying don’t waste my time. But I entered this with a place of sort of warm curiosity. I think in my heart, I remember sitting there like, you know, nobody’s doing this. Why isn’t anybody doing this? Is it because people think that they’re going to get taken advantage of by a ton of by a ton of users applying to it that don’t actually take this seriously. The feedback I got shortly after from some of the other big coaches in the community were like this is this is a slippery slope was Berkeley’s comment and looking at it now. I said slipped, slippery yet satisfying. A little Lion King reference. But yeah, it was, I don’t know if you could say it’s risky. I mean, as risky as my time is worth. But for me, it was more about let’s try a format that hasn’t really been tried and see what happens. So yeah, it started off just from, from total curiosity, I would say.

Brad: And what’s been the biggest surprise of these consoles?

Nick: For me, I would say twofold. It was how much I was forced to listen, which I definitely learned a lot from. It’s, it’s one thing to go into a session with a student where you have a training plan. It’s another thing to meet in a room with a total stranger and have to try to piece together an entry point. So, I think that would be the main thing is that I was speaking usually less than 20% of the time and most of these. The other thing that stood out to me was that you have to be very sensitive to where the person’s stress level is when they’re calling in. You don’t know these guys, they don’t know you. And the most important thing before you can make any progress is that everybody feels comfortable. So, I had to get very aware and sensitive to the emotional state that they were in, so that I could provide enough support for them to open up about something that they were actually struggling with. And some guys did that right off the bat. Some guys, it took a little bit more time. But for me that was a huge learning experience is realizing that if someone is super stressed out, they are trying to signal to you based on their emotions that they’re light years away from being reasoned with right now. And so those were the concepts where I had to just sort of be there as more of a support system as opposed to try to educate them on, you know, whatever that would they were dealing with. So, I think what you see, in the ones that I’ve picked out to share, were, these were the concepts that I thought had a very clear entry point where the, the listener was very receptive to being helped. And we actually made some real progress with patching together the confusion. So, I’ve selected those. There’s a few different topics that I think could potentially help a lot of people who might be in a similar position.

Brad: What I found most interesting for the listener, right now is that for all of these consoles that I listened to, there’s going to be something of value. For every single one of you, you’re going to be able to see yourself, struggling with the same exact thoughts that the folks who sought out contacts with Nick had, and the same exact emotions. And so, there’s just so much benefit in realizing that you’re not alone. You’re not alone in feeling the emotions of confusion with feeling fear and doubt about your future as it relates to poker. And really, as it relates to anything. And I thought you did a really great job of, you know, bridging the emotion and logic gap that most people struggle with. Because just by nature, when you have so much fear, you’re going to you know, you know, your logical brain is going to kind of switch off right, and get very well.

Nick: Thanks, man. And you’re hearing the ones that turned out good. So, what you’re not hearing is some of the ones where it was a rocky ride. And I was learning a lot. But yeah, my learning process definitely trended in the direction of more emotion or less reason over the course of these and I think that was a huge, a huge piece of value to me as a learner.

Brad: What do you think, this person who’s listening to these episodes, or who’s going to listen to these episodes, what do you think is the highest value thing they’re going to gain?

Nick: Probably realizing you’re not as different as you think you are. Though, you’re still very unique in your specific situation. The reason I’ve chosen these four concepts to start off with, that you guys will hear in the following episodes is because they, they come from players who are in radically different career situations, in terms of transitioning into poker, or some guys are playing live, some guys are playing online. And so, I’ve tried to take a variety that I think is going to really connect with a large portion of the listener base. So, if one of them is not really speaking to you, keep looking because I guarantee you one of these is close to your situation.

Brad: Yeah, I sense that as well. You did a, did a really good job. Are you still doing these consults? Is this, was this just an experiment?

Nick: It was an experiment, at first that has sort of turned into, I think, the most effective way to open my services up to the community. Most of my time is spent running the Poker Detox company on the coaching for profit side. And to be honest, a lot of the concepts from this free batch that went well actually resulted in those players signing on to our team. So, it was just a weird synergy that occurred from it, where I was a combination of getting lucky with the types of applicants who were interested in the first wave, and then getting lucky and having a really awesome conversation unfold. And then them expressing interest in moving forward with a more structured path. So, at this point, I do a lot of consults with the members of the company, that’s where I direct most of my time and then this is sort of like my, my pro bono work that I feel really good about and sometimes that results in a huge win-win situation of, if someone wants to get on a more structured coaching path. So yeah, I am I am still doing them and you can reach out to me either on Instagram or Twitter, or you can hit Brad up through the pod and we’ll get you set up.

Brad: For the cynical listener here, was this year, was the idea to bring these guys on to detox when you tweeted it out? Or was it just something that kind of organically happen?

Nick: I think I can honestly say that I didn’t expect the quality of applicant to these free consults to be anywhere near the quality that I would look to sign a new recruit up with. So, I think I was pleasantly surprised that some of these guys who were taking the opportunity were actually like mature players, guys that were already playing semiprofessionally or professionally, guys that valued a scientific path. And yeah, I mentioned to you, I was like, wow, this feels weird, like, I started off doing something free. And then before, you know, like, these guys want to sign on to my team. If I wasn’t careful, I would almost have to backtrack and say I had false intentions behind doing this. But like I said, it started with a bottle of wine and, and a little bit of curiosity in Italy. And I think it’s those types of, it’s those type of intentions, those just really strange moments of curiosity that tend to lead to something that you didn’t expect. I’ve seen it happen over and over again, that when you just give from a place of curiosity, really, it can snowball into something way cooler.

Brad: And you created some natural little barriers to I think, by saying, you’re going to release these pods, if somebody wastes your time. This is some natural, there’s a natural fear there like, oh, God, I don’t want to, I’m not going to try to schedule one of these consoles, unless I’m actually serious about poker, right.

Nick: And I never did that. Just to be clear, like, I never put anybody on blast. In fact, the ones that you’re gonna hear are the ones that I thought went so well that I really feel like people need to hear it. Because, like I said, there’s value all across the board. Regardless of what position you find yourself in, one of these is going to resonate. So, we’ve bleeped out the names to protect the identity of the players, because there’s been some stuff that’s sensitive in terms of name, location, etc. But you’re going to basically hear the full consult for every single one of these that we go into.

Brad: Yeah, it’s a great experiment. And now it’s leading to some pretty cool podcast episodes that I feel, and that you feel are going to be very helpful for folks who are on the path to chasing poker greatness, who might be struggling, don’t know where to go. As a final question, before we jump into the episodes, if somebody’s listening to these consults, and they think, holy shit, that’s me. What’s the clear next step they should take to resolve this issue?

Nick: It depends on what the issue is. Some of these guys are in very different situations to others, if you find yourself being someone who I say on consult, has a ton of potential to go and direction x, y, or z, I would probably consider following that direction. I think each of these there’s a solution that we reach that both parties agreed upon. So, if you find yourself resonating with somebody, and you don’t find yourself resonating with a solution, I would say reach out and let us know what the difference is. So that we can sort of build off of that. That’s something I would be really interested in hearing. If you think that you are in a similar spot to somebody that is a color into one of these consults, but you don’t agree with the solution. Let us know why. And let’s talk about it.

Brad: If you’re listening right now, and you waste Nick’s time through this podcast, just, just know, we’re going to release it. We’re going to release it to the world. We’re probably not but either way. Just don’t be shy. Reach out to Nick. And yeah, let’s jump into the shows. Excited to see what happens next.

Nelson: I play mostly 1-2, and sometimes 2-5 live. No Limit Hold’em at a local casino. It’s *censored* out there, they’re relatively new, they’ve been open like 15, 16 months. I try to go and play as often as I can. The game plays pretty large. So, the binds are one to 500, 500 being a max. So, the game itself plays almost like a 2-5. Also, you’re allowed to straddle from any position as long as you’re not one of the blinds. So, you’ll see a lot of wrecks. They will often straddle so it plays like a 2-5 games. And I’ve been relatively consistent winner. I’ve mopped like I’d say 11,000. I got to take my number for him up like $10,000 over like 700 hours, which was like, close to 700 hours, it’s like, my win rate is probably like 16 bucks an hour or something like that. So just a couple of things I’m struggling with now. One is bankroll. Two is my work ethic. I think would be stronger, because I am playing against sort of weaker players. So, I think I’ve been kind of comfortable and haven’t really stepped out of my comfort zone haven’t really worked at my game too much. And I think my mental game is also really weak. I’m not very confident of a person outside of the table, which kind of reflects on the table. Sometimes I know what to do in a certain spot. But I don’t like pull the trigger, because I’m afraid to make a big mistake, that will cost me a lot of chips. And I’m a little bit insecure, because at some of these games, you know, I’m playing against a lot of retired people, people that have been successful outside of the game, who will have more money than me, have more assets. So sometimes I’m a bit insecure, and the money means a little more to me than it does to them. So, it gets a little uncomfortable.

Brad: Alright, Nick, what are you sensing from Nelson so far?

Nick: First two, two and a half minutes, just guys wearing his heart on his sleeve in terms of what his insecurities are. I think that’s probably the best approach you could take. You know, if you have a limited amount of time with someone who you think is going to be able to offer you some good advice, it’s smart to let them into your world, and be as vulnerable as possible early on. Because as you’ll see, what develops is he’s created a really nice entry point, for me to get to the, to the first route that we discover in terms of what his, what one of his core insecurities are. So, it makes my job a lot easier when someone leaves with, these are my insecurities. Here’s how I’m feeling instead of trying to protect that and, and use it, instead of trying to make me pry out it. It’s like you want to get your money’s worth in a free consult, bleed with insecurity first.

Brad: And not just your money’s worth, but also you want to be vulnerable. So that somebody who you’re talking to can react logically, and work through the distortion of the emotions that you feel yourself. It’s harder for that person if you don’t lay all the things on the line. And you know, lay yourself bare. Because if you don’t say these things, if you hold back, if you’re tentative, they don’t actually get to see the things that they can help you with.

Nick: That’s a good point. And there’s two, there’s two types of humility that Hans and I used to talk about when we are speaking in mindset terms, we would call it foe humility, or full vulnerability in this case would be, if we didn’t sense that the guy was coming from a genuine place with his vulnerability, if it just seems sort of like concocted to put on a front that he’s that he’s available to an upgrade that he may not actually be available to. That’s very hard to work with. What I sense from this guy is he’s got this innocence about him, where the vulnerability he’s sharing is very real. And I thought it created for a really nice soil, like a very fertile soil for a valuable mindset conversation to follow.

Brad: Yeah, he’s very genuine. I sense the same, same genuineness. Let’s jump back into the interview and hear about Nelson strengths.

Nelson: That’s all I got for now. I think some of my strengths are my discipline, my patience. You know, I can sit there for hours and wait for hands, you know, top 10% hands or whatever, like I’m pretty disciplined preflop. My pulse flop game isn’t great. It isn’t terrible. I just think I there’s spots where I could be aggressive. And a lot of regulars know me too, and they know my game. So, I think, at least against certain opponents, I could definitely be more aggressive. And yeah, I really love poker, like I’m not great at it, but I definitely can beat the game I’m currently playing. For sure, I like, I, 90% of the time I sit out of 1-2 table at this casino, I like, I feel like I’m the best player, if not the second best player. It’s pretty soft game. A lot of regulars who are not very good. But they’re all fun to play with. And I enjoy playing with them. My goals like, I want to become a 2-5 player consistently. I think I can beat that game as well, because I’ve occasionally, like once a month, will go and play 2-5, and I’ve done pretty well in a short sample size. So, I think that’s something I want to do. Like, I think if I could be the best version of myself at 2-5, I can maybe make like 50 bucks an hour. I know poker is not, you know, it’s not like a for sure thing. I could also, you know, get stuck 10 times and be broke. What I think I can definitely beat the game. I love playing poker like this something I really want to do. I enjoy it. But I’m just stuck, if you will. A lot of it is also my bankroll, you know. I can’t really make moves if I don’t have money. But I mostly play cash games. I don’t play too many tournaments, not because I don’t think I’m any good at tournaments. I just haven’t really done it. And that’s pretty much all I have for now.

Nick: That’s cool. That’s enough to work with. Okay. So, if we start with your discipline, as your strength, your patience, and your discipline, it seems to be getting hijacked by failure to execute. So, these two things, we need to sort of look at side by side. If you’re a disciplined person who is not executing, because you have some sort of risk aversion around executing, then discipline isn’t really worth all that much. Because your win rate is suffering. Also, so what we need to find out is, is the reason that you’re not executing, we need to find out what the reason is. Is it because it’s the money and it feels like it’s too much to risk at any given time? Is it the social pressure coming from the more powerful businessmen in the game? Or is it something just entirely different, like maybe just the fact that it’s hard to pull a trigger? In general, I don’t know. It could just be, it could be like a simple fix. Where it’s just like something we can talk about in two minutes and realize that, you know, it’s, it’s not logical to keep passing on spots, when you know that that spot should be taken. It could be a deeper belief that takes more time to uproot. We have time to do that. But first, we need to identify what the main things are that are causing you not to do the thing that you think is the correct thing to do in game when it comes up.

Nelson: Okay, I would say, thinking about it more, I’d say it’s a combination of being afraid because the money means too much. Like for example, I can give you a quick hand where I think this kind of illuminates everything that I’m struggling with. So, one, I’d say it’s a, the money means a lot to me right now, unfortunately. And also, sometimes I feel, I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes I feel like I’m making a play with like a draw. And I feel like I don’t deserve to win. I don’t know if it’s psychological. Or if it’s like deeper than just poker. It’s like, sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve, I don’t know how to explain it. But let me get back to that. So, like quick example, I have ace jack suited, middle position, folding table 1-2. We’re playing like 400 effective. I raised to 12. Older gentleman who’s on the tighter side, three bets to 25 which is really low, but I know in my opinion he has like jacks or better there. I have ace jack suited to people cold call and then I complete. So, we got 100 on the pot. The flop comes out ten, eight, seven. The eight and seven are spades. So, I have a nut flush draw with the gut shot. I think the 10 was diamond. And it checks around to the guy who three bet. He puts in about a $75 and it feels to me like, in my opinion, in that moment, I know, I don’t know if this is correct, but I believed in that moment. The right play was to shove because I think he has like queen jacks or better like I said. It’s going to put them in a tough spot and I have a ton of draws that I felt like I’m almost flipping with some of those hands. And I was so afraid to lose my whole stack and kind of like walk out of there. I didn’t have another bullet to reload with. So, I think had I lost, you know, I had I made the move there and the turnover went blank, blank and I just got lost my whole stack. Like I would have just felt horrible by myself and just sort of walk away at home and felt like a shame. You know, that walk of shame, if you will. So

Brad: Alright, Nick, so this is gold to me. Tell me when you’re listening to him, describe the situation tell this story. What are the thoughts going through your head?

Nick: I think it’s a, it’s a spot where you have a guy who has enough understanding of the game, to be able to get in touch with what his intuition is telling him like you said. He’s like, I’ve really believed that the right play here was the jam that hand and he actually gave very simple sound reasons for that, that I thought were accurate. What he exposes shortly after is that the real conflict is coming from risk aversion he’s talking about. He alludes to the fact that he only had one buy-in in his pocket, which at first like was confusing to me to hear. And I kind of needed to get more detail on that, as you’ll hear as the recording continues. But signals of risk aversion, you know, those bells are starting to go off in my head that this is what we’re really dealing with here. And that, this is a guy who sometimes knows the right answer, but can’t pull the trigger, because he doesn’t have enough money in his pocket to do it.

Brad: What about the cognitive dissonance? The, have the quote here, making, making a play with a draw, and he feels like he doesn’t deserve to win? What do you make of that, that story?

Nick: Could be a couple things. Could be just a fundamental misunderstanding of the pot odds model, which is that when there’s already so much money in the pot, you can semi bluff and not even have to win anywhere near half the time to still make the play profitable. Could also just be a signal of a deeper insecurity, sense of unworthiness, that he’s just not a winning player, doesn’t deserve to be. So, hard to tell. But neither of those things are traits of a winning player. So, whether it’s structural or mental, it’s definitely not good.

Brad: I’ll give my opinion. I think, because he only has one buy in, because he’s so risk averse. What’s happening is he understands the right play. But then when he doesn’t pull the trigger, he’s making up a story that aligns with him not making that play. He’s trying to find a why, as to why he’s not pulling the trigger. And what he’s kind of coming up with is that he’s making a play with a draw and feels like he doesn’t deserve to win. But that’s just my opinion. And yeah, let’s

Nick: I think that, I think that makes sense that it could be the most convenient way for him to explain why he’s not doing something that he thinks he should do, or whatnot. There’s a technique coming up. I think shortly after this. I sort of call it an isolation technique in mindset work, where you’ll hear me call out the risk aversion. And I’d say that would you have made this play if you were playing much smaller stakes? That’s a way to find out if it’s actually the amount of money that he’s required to invest in a spot that’s causing him to become risk averse? Or if it’s some other mindset belief that isn’t connected to money?

Brad: Yeah, let’s see. Let’s see how he reacts to that.

Nick: Oh, dude, this is this is just textbook bankroll risk aversion. We can solve this in five minutes. Because I truly believe you would make that jam if it were in a $20 game.

Nelson: I think so too. Yeah.

Nick: So, what we actually need to sit down and figure out is do you have enough money in your bankroll to be able to handle the volatility of this game? I do think that you should be buying in for deep, especially if the games are playing weak and the pots are bloated like they are. Because your edges is going to be higher if you do verse fish especially.

Nelson: Gotcha.

Nick: So, do we have enough, like what are you usually buying and you said it’s about 500 would be if you bought in 500 that would technically be 500 BBs.

Nelson: So like right now, I have a, I was doing, I was playing poker I was playing. I know that sounds crazy, but I was playing 1-2 and had a part time job and that was like my only two streams of income. So, I didn’t quote unquote, have an actual bankroll, like, I don’t have 10, $20,000 set aside. But I usually bind with 500 unless I don’t, if I have like 600 on me, I’ll do, I’ll attempt to do like two bullets of 300 each. But generally speaking, I tried to bind with 500. Just because I don’t know why, I just play better with more chips in front of me too. I just feel more confident. I feel like if I do lose a small part, like it’s not the end of the world, I just, I don’t know, I usually try to buy in with a max. So

Nick: The interesting thing is that, from your story, you play better until all your chips have to go into the pot at which point you become risk averse.


Nelson: Yes.

Nick: So, so let’s do it this way. Do you still have a part time job?

Nelson: Yes.

Nick: Okay, cool. Keep the job.

Nelson: Okay.

Nick: Set aside three months life expenses. And completely separate that money from your poker bankroll. Any money that you make, any money that you make from your work goes towards your living expense fund. You have three months cushion, and you keep putting everything that you make from work into that fund. Everything leftover is what you have to work with on the poker side. So now you have a clear delegation of finances.

Nelson: Gotcha.

Nick: And what’s good about that is that it should take away the stress, largely of you feeling like the walk of shame actually threatens your, your life, you know what I mean?


Nelson: Yeah. And just one little quick thing I wanted to add, like, I’m a regular, I know this is kind of like, well, I, you know, I need to get over myself. But like, I’m a regular here. So, I play all the time. A lot of the staff, I know all the dealers, I know all the floor. Like, I know all the food runners, like, they know me as a quote unquote, solid players. So, it’s like, I have like, quote, unquote, image to live up to and it kind of just kills my ego when I have to, like, get stacked, and have to like walk home. But what I need to understand is, I’m killing my edge if I’m not making the right play when I need to. And it’s really frustrating. Like for that hand. I know results on that over that hand, I would have, I rivered the draw. And then when I bet it, he folded. Had I made the play before the draw out there, then we would have got all the money in but, yeah. I definitely like okay, so you said three months? Three months of life expenses, right?

Nick: Yeah. And my real question is, why are you not bringing more than one bullet? Or do you literally have not have it? Or is it just like in the bank and you didn’t, you didn’t withdraw it for the day?

Nelson: Most of times I, I either don’t have it, or I have it, but I you know, I need to go towards like upcoming bill, you know, whether it’s like water bills. So, like, I’m afraid to touch it, because then I don’t want to fall behind on bills. So, it’s, but I’d say most of the time I do have it. I just don’t want to like use it. I say 50-50. Yeah.

Nick: All right. So, so if we set aside three months’ rent, do you even have that to begin with to set aside? Or are you that strapped right now? It’s important that

Nelson: I’m that dropped, but I want to do it.

Nick: Okay. Cool.

Nelson: I think, I think I, I this very simple, but I think my game is going to get so much better if I’m not worried about like, paying the mortgage, you know?

Nick: Right. Right. Now, as of right now, you don’t really have three months living expenses to set aside up front, correct?

Nelson: Unfortunately, no.

Nick: Okay, cool. So, you, you have to accept that at this moment, you don’t actually have the bankroll to be playing in this game. And it’s showing up as you having to be risk averse, because you actually only have one bullet road. Do you know how stressful that is?

Nelson: Yep.

Nick: So

Nelson: Yeah, I feel it every time I’m at the table, and it stops me from definitely playing my best game. And it’s, but it’s like, I love poker. I’m not like, I’m not really a degenerate. But I love the game so much, that when I do have the ability to have that one bullet, like my first thought isn’t to build off this bullet and save two or three bullets. My first thought is to go and play and sit down. Just because I have a quote unquote edge. Even though it’s very high volatility. I just love the game so much that I hate when I’m not able to play but got to sacrifice.

Nick: Well, yeah, that would work if you weren’t becoming risk averse by only having one bullet, but, so it’s causing you just massive. This is like massive stress that you’re putting on yourself by having to uphold an image in the poker room, as the guy who only comes with one bullet. You’re setting yourself up for, for disaster here.

Nelson: Gotcha.

Nick: Like, it’s just that you have, you have ridiculous expectations for how this could be working out. Like you’re going to have sessions where you swing, a couple binds, and then end up six binds if you just play through. The fact that you have to stand up and walk out after losing a bullet or two. It’s putting a real, it’s not just reckless, it’s actually putting a real damper on your volume because now you have to leave the casino and wait to come back till next time. You know, you’d be, you’d be much better off having a bankroll and playing through and I get that you don’t have that. So now we have to figure out how you get that. There’s two options, you either save up for as long as it takes to have a 10 or 20 buy in bankroll, which could be your case if you, if you’re not able to save that much, or you’ve got to find a backer. And I think the second one is the actual way to go, especially since it’s going to challenge your ego, because your ego has this image of being a reputable player. And now you’re going to have to actually go seek out a backer so you can have a bankroll so you can make correct plays at the table when they come up without being risk averse. So, what are your options for backing?

Nelson: I haven’t explored them. But I do have a have a, he actually was, which is pretty cool. But he actually he told me, he got, he got training from you at some point. His name is *censored* I can’t pronounce his last name. But he got training from me a couple years ago. I don’t know if you had like a consulting team. Or was it, I don’t know. But anyways, he’s a good mentor of mine. He’s been, he plays 2-5 and 2-2 PLO there. Sometimes 5-10 and then eight. He made like 80 to 90 grand last year, he didn’t have a losing month. And he’s like a good mentor to me. He has taken me in the past. Like, it was like, seven, eight months ago. It didn’t go well. But it was like, I got stacked with like, really, really strong hands. And we went over the hands. And he was really proud of the way I played them. And it’s funny, I actually played more. What is it? I can’t, I played less risk averse with his money than with mine, which was interesting. I thought it’d be the other way around. But, yeah, he could, he would definitely be willing to back me. I mean, to what degree, I don’t know, you know. I may have to put him in percentage. But as he

Nick: Does he play at this casino?

Nelson: Yes, he does. He’s, he to me is the best mind I’ve come across there.

Nick: Does he play in these games?

Nelson: Yes, he does. He plays he plays at the local games. He plays the biggest games.

Nick: So, he’s not in your game?

Nelson: No, no. He, well, he like, you know, there’s not enough seats for 2-5 or 5-10. He’ll sit down to 1-2, but not really.

Nick: Okay. Yeah. I mean, that sounds like your ploy to, like you just see this from a larger perspective, you’re, you got to agree with me that you don’t have the bankroll to be playing this the way that you want to play it. It’s causing you to be risk averse, and, you know, the walk of shame and all this. It’s, it’s a reckless position to put yourself in.

Nelson: Okay.

Nick: Okay. So, from there, we have two options. You got to either save up 20 buy ins. So that you can actually play this game correctly. And reload when you get stuck, as opposed to having to walk out of the casino.

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: Or you got to get backing. If you can’t get a loan, or if you don’t have that 20 binds up front, which it doesn’t sound like you have, you’re looking at probably a year to save that up through your part time job I would guess, if you can even do it, because it sounds like it’s hard to even make bills with your part time job. So now, what you’re looking at is a potential long time that it takes you to save up 20 buy ins. Or you go talk to this guy *censored* tomorrow and let them know that you’re dead serious about making money in this game and say what can we, what can we do immediately, and he gets you on your feet. And now you have an hourly rate like tomorrow at this game. So, like the backing seems like it’s the no brainer here, even though you’re going to be giving up substantial equity, as opposed to having 100% of your own action. The amount of time that it’s going to take you to take your own action makes this a no brainer, you got to get the backing deal. You’re not even close to being at a place where you can take your own action in this game.

Nelson: Right.

Nick: A 100% of your own action. And that’s okay, we just have to actually look at it realistically so you can make the best decision from where you’re currently at.

Nelson: Yeah, it’s almost like I tried to, to have like the poker kind of feed the rest of my life when it should be the other way around, at least initially. Because, you know, with my short binds, I was doing pretty well. So, I kind of got caught away in thought that this was like sustainable, but then, you know, all it takes is one or two bad weeks and you’re back to square one. So definitely.

Nick: Well, that’s why I’m saying this is an unrealistic model that you’re setting up for yourself.

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: Because it’s just a model that’s just not operating from an accurate view of what variants is going to do to you. And then since you have this image you’re trying to uphold on top of that, you’re just like setting yourself up for a fucking bumpy ride dude.

Nelson: I know.

Nick: Alright, so there’s like clear solution here, which is the good thing is like, once we see that the current model doesn’t work, the backing model just looks way, way better. It allows you to not be risk averse at the table. It allows you to actually reload and play your entire session so your volume goes up to developing a relationship with this guy *censored* when he can probably mentor you a little bit. So, you’re probably getting better that way. And you got money in your pocket, like immediately, because you’re back in the games, like next week, if you set this up right.

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: Like honestly, honestly, you can probably you can probably end up playing poker more hours under the backing, depending on how much he’s willing to back you. So, you can actually do the thing you like more, I’m assuming, if you like playing more than you like working your part time job. Like, it’s all good things in the direction of securing backing. What’s your resistance to it, if any?

Nelson: To being backed?

Nick: Yeah. Besides the fact that it sucks to give up some of your action and your ego might take a hit, because you have to actually ask for help.

Nelson: I think for me, it would be just so I can’t say I’m a winning player in the sense that I’ve only, like I’ve only taken the game serious in the last probably eight months or so. And yeah, I did well, in that short period of time, but I, I guess I would be a little bit afraid to quote unquote, lose someone else’s money. You know. I know how hard he’s worked at his game. And for me to even, you know, it’s I guess that would be my only fear, like, burning quote unquote, someone else’s money.

Nick: Are you burning it though or are you investing it intelligently?

Nelson: I would say invest. Yes, investing intelligently, but I guess. First, I guess my track, I don’t have much of a track record to go by. I just have a belief and a short sample size to go by. But I do feel like I’m capable, I guess. Yeah, I guess it’s not too bad.

Nick: I don’t believe you yet. You don’t sound, you don’t sound too convicted in the fact that you’re going to invest this.

Nelson: Like if were, I know if I just run bad for a week. Like, I don’t know what he’s going to think. You know, I think more of that kind of like, what is he going to, I’m thinking like, is he going to think oh, this guy’s not very good, or,

Nick: Well, what happened last time?

Nelson: Last time. He’s taking me twice and I, I got, I got it all in to with aces. I three bet, it’s some dude. And he called my three bet with like pocket fours. And he flopped quad fours and we got the money in on the turn. And

Nick: Alright, so it was like two hands that, that he stayed

Nelson: Yeah, yeah. It was, it what he did back me for very long. He backed me like on two different occasions.

Nick: Alright.

Nelson: So, because the 2-5 game was juicy at that time. Yeah. So

Nick: If this is going to work between you two, you guys have to have realistic expectations.

Nelson: And I think he does. I think his expectations are more realistic than mine would be for sure, at least initially. Because I mean, he’s played longer. He understands the swings, he understands variants much better than I do.

Nick: Suppose, so it’s not him that’s going to be disappointed in you. If you drop five binds. He understands the variance. Let’s see.

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: I think it’s you too. So, what is it about your lack of self-trust? That doesn’t believe that you’re worthy of losing five buy ins without being dropped by your backer?

Nelson: Wow, that’s deep. Ah.

Nick: Do you not trust that you’re going to invest that money well? Or do you think that you can do it?

Nelson: I think if it doesn’t go well, early, I might get a little nervous and start to you know, doubt mind start to creep in. It’s almost like I’m afraid to succeed. I know that sounds ridiculous. But it’s like, how do I explain it? I don’t know. I just, I think this will work. I just, I feel like it’s a little bit discomfort of feeling that, I guess he’ll be just more added. Hey, what am I, I’m just talking to circles. Sorry.

Nick: No, I mean, it’s because you’re beating around the bush of something that you actually really should take the time to discover like, you’re right there. You’re about to actually hit the nail on the head of the thing that’s causing you to not trust yourself. So why don’t you just take a few minutes?

Nelson: Okay.

Nick: We got some time. Actually, just sense into what you believe is going to happen to you after you lose. So, let’s pretend you lose three binds on the stake, right?

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: And you start to feel like, like, what is that feeling that’s developing, like, oh, fuck, this is going downhill again, what’s the fear? Is it that he’s going to drop you? Is it that you’re not alone? Is that you’re going to tilt the rest of his money if he doesn’t drop you? What’s going on? Because I doubt you would have an issue if you felt like, no matter how many binds you lost, you had 100% confidence that you still had edge in that game that you are investing well. I don’t think you would have any doubts. If you knew that you had permanent edge, no matter how much of a downswing you went on.


Nelson: I think if, if, if it doesn’t, if it didn’t go, like if I burned a couple by burn is not the right word. If I lose a few binds, and I play well, I am afraid of potentially tilting, and having my game suffer because of it. And now I’m making worse decisions at the table. And now this quote unquote dream that I wanted for myself. I guess I’m afraid of ruin, just kind of just becoming one of many players who I seen. They’re all excited for the first year. And then once it goes south, they’re just a less lesser version of themselves. And they don’t really, I guess I’m afraid of becoming worse. If that’s possible.

Nick: Yeah, that’s fine. And, and see how far ahead you just jumped? Like, there’s a fear of potentially starting to tilt. And then your mind is going straight to the real fear, which is like, I don’t want to be ruined and end up as one of these you know, loser.

Nelson: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Nick: Alright, so but actually do it step by step, dude. Like, we lose three binds, we start to have some doubt

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: Of potentially tilting, and instead of going straight to the core fear of like, I don’t want to end up being a homeless degenerate. Why don’t we actually just identify what the thing is that is causing you to tilt there? Is actually the fear that that you’re going to end up homeless? Or, or, you know, not homeless, but like that you’re going to end up as one of the worst players in the casino? That’s a big leap to make from just losing three buy ins.

Nelson: Yeah, right.

Nick: So, you have to actually sit with that and see like, what is going on at that point in your imagination. We lose three buy ins, *censored* understands, or maybe we even made one mistake, we talked about it with him, he corrects us, he knows we still have edge. We go back in, why would you not be able to continue to play well, after losing that three binds. Because you’re almost doing this to yourself almost like shit. Like, if I lose three, I’m that much closer to ruin. And then that’s going to make me play worse, but it shouldn’t. Because you’re in complete control of your next buy in. And that’s all *censored* wants to see. That’s all any backer wants to see is that you’re going to invest the next buy in appropriately because he understands variance.

Nelson: I think part of it too, is letting my parents down. So, my parents are like, they don’t really know anything about poker. They came from the Dominican Republic and they know how much I love poker. I tell them all the time, I’ve told them for years. You know, I wasn’t, I wasn’t a great player or I wasn’t a good player back then. But I enjoyed the game. And I guess I’m afraid of letting them down and then no longer being proud of me because I, I’m like, I’m the quote unquote like example in my in my household like I was the first one to go to college. The first one to get my bachelor’s degree in my family. Like people view me in my family as this person and I’m afraid of becoming the person that they tell me I am going to become because they all tell me gambling is bad for you. You shouldn’t play poker all the time. Don’t look at it as a career. Just look at it as entertainment. You can never win. You know, they kind of, they don’t know the game so they put what they view, what they view poker and gambling as a kind of projected onto me. And I just feel like if I lose three buy ins with someone else’s money who’s backing me, I am going to become the person that my parents don’t want me to become.

Nick: That’s the core. So, congratulations first because you actually figured it out. But now we got to work through it.

Nelson: Like I, I, I’m, I’m, usually if my mom calls me and I’m happy to be playing poker, like sometimes I don’t pick up the call because I’m afraid to tell her where I’m at, because I’m afraid of what she’s going to think about her son. Like, her son’s always at the casino, the new casino opened, you know, over a year ago, it’s five minutes from my house. Like, I just don’t want to let my parents down. And I know that this is something I want. This is not something they want for me. And my whole life. I’ve been doing what they want for me. And now, the last couple years, I’ve at least tried out poker, you know. I’m not, I have only taken it really serious last few months. But, yeah, I would say I’m just afraid to let them down. I think it might be that simple. I don’t know.

Nick: Do you ever pray

Nelson: I’m afraid to become the person that they think I’m going to if I keep playing.

Nick: Do you trust that you see poker more clearly than they do in terms of it being like, an actual investment opportunity and not just degeneracy?

Nelson: I had, I had it until recently, where like, even though it was only 600 something hours, it was a small sample size. But it’s the first time in my life that I thought, okay, I can beat this game. Like, I’m good enough to beat this game. Before I was playing like local phone games. I was probably a breakeven player at best, like, at best. You know, and it was a high rate game, like almost no one was beating the game. But I think until recently I’ve, before that I, I thought, similar to what they thought because I never proved it to myself. I was never, you know, I don’t have a track record. I’ve never done it. Yeah, I could think about it, watch videos, study, learn all these fundamentals. But at the end of the day, until I actually do it. And until I prove to myself with a deep, decent live sample size that I can beat a certain game. Like until that point, I’m still thinking kind of along the lines, as my parents, like maybe gambling is not a game you can win, quote, unquote.

Nick: How much money do you need to make? How many hours do you need to play? And how much money do you didn’t make before you believe you have actual edge? Did you reach that point already? Probably, not right?

Nelson: No. I know, I think I got a little closer. But no, no, definitely not.

Nick: Need number. This is this is so key, bro. Any number that you give me right now where you would say this is the number that I need to reach before I can feel like what my parents say doesn’t matter. And I don’t need to worry about letting them down anymore. Because I’ve proved myself. Any number

Nelson: If I can play. This is guessing ,guess what if I can play this year. And again, I’m going to need a backer early on in the year at least until I make enough money to back myself. But if I could play adult 1500 to 2000 hours in one year, and make like 40,000, then I feel like that’s enough of a sample size where I feel like alright, I can really, really do this. Like, I don’t think it’s much. I mean, maybe even less than that. I don’t know. But that would be my guess if I could, if I could bang out 12 months straight and have like 10 winning months, or something like that. And maybe one or two losing months or breakeven month in there, something like that, then I feel like I could really do this. And now my belief that the game is beatable is going to be more clear I think, because now I proved to myself that I could do it. Like the only person that I’ve ever met that’s consistently beating these games was just recently, which was my friend *censored* I told you about before that. I just knew all my friends were just like, average to below average players. So, none of them were even, maybe some of them were breakeven players. Some of them were losing players. So, I didn’t really have like, anyone, you know, I’m not even living in through me, but at least I can live it through someone else quote unquote. And the only person, I’ve only met one person that’s actually beating the game because there’s very few people beating the games out there, you know, and I’m not very social. So, like, shit. I don’t know.

Nick: Alright, listen. The problem with the model that you just laid out of needing to play X hands with why win rate before you can feel like you’ve proven yourself and you no longer have to worry about letting your parents down. The problem with that is that even if it could work, you’re never going to get to that landmark under this belief system. Because it’s going to self-sabotage you. It’s putting too much pressure on you for you to perform well. This is the only thing you need to see. So, I know it would be great to be able to have that big sample with those winnings. You’re never going to be able to get there under this belief. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself. You already know this. It’s this feeling you’re getting when you’re having to take the walk of shame. It’s the feeling you’re getting when your mom calls you on the phone, you don’t want to pick up. It’s guilt.

Nelson: Oh my God. This is not really tilt. I’m sorry to cut you off. It’s not really like when we were talking earlier about fear of tilting, it’s not really that. I don’t think I’m going to play much worse over that for maybe if I take a day off, and I lose one or two binds, and I come back the next day, I don’t think I’m going to play much worse being down money, I don’t. I think it’s, it’s kind of this. Maybe I can approach it, like, just having an open communication with my parents and say, hey, listen, I don’t know for sure if I have a clear edge in this game. But I want to try it. And maybe, maybe that’ll relieve a little pressure with them knowing like, I’m being honest with myself, and they can see that I, I’m having trouble. I’m feeling confident that I actually can beat these games consistently. Maybe, I don’t know,

Nick: Maybe that could work. Maybe. And maybe they don’t even give a fuck, right? Maybe they don’t even give a fuck how good of an argument you make, because their belief systems about this are already so secure.

Nelson: Okay.

Nick: Beliefs about, their beliefs about poker and gambling. So, like, I think what you might have to actually accept that it’s very, very likely that your parents not wanting you to take this shot, is because they don’t want to be responsible for your failure. So, they’ve conditioned you to not let them down. This is so common dude, like, this is a very, very common belief system that you say

Nelson: Could you say that again, please. Or try to, because that kind of, I just want to hear that, again, you said

Nick: Your parents have very likely conditioned you to have a belief that it’s important to not let them down. Because they don’t want to be responsible for your failure if you take a shot. Because your failure becomes their failure. And they probably never took shots, big shots. So, their success barrier has become your successfully, your success variable.

Brad: Bingo. Again, we hear the excitement in Nelson’s voice. What do you make of that, Nick?

Nick: It’s kind of like a confused excitement. This is like that jackpot phrase that if you do mindset work, you start to associate this moment with I just hit a blind spot in the student’s way of thinking. And it’s extremely valuable if you can dismantle it and present it in a way that they can digest. So anytime someone says Can you say that again? It usually means that whatever you just said, was immediately chewed up and spit out by their current ego or their current way of thinking as a defense mechanism to not let that nugget of truth. And as soon as you hear that, if your goal is to have the most impact possible, you have to sort of inject enough emotional support with the wisdom of what you just exposed to be able to sort of reward them towards the solution. So, it’s, we’re in delicate territory right now for sure.

Brad: When you say, can you expand for the listener right now on exactly what you mean by blind spot?

Nick: Yeah, so I would say a blind spot is something that is true about the way that you operate and what you believe. But you’re not aware that your motivations are caused by that belief. And so, when it’s exposed to you, it doesn’t seem like it makes sense. Because it’s so hidden to you. It’s such a hidden motivational route, that it takes a little while for you to be acquainted with it, I would say.

Brad: Yeah, that’s beautiful. And one tell that I just kind of came up with after listening to you talk is, sometimes I’ll be watching a YouTube video or listening to a podcast. And I’ll have that same thought. Wait. Let me hear that again. And I’ll rewind it and listen to it again. And so, if you want to tell that something hit a blind spot, look for that in your behavior. When you think to yourself, wait, let me listen to that, again. I think you should, you should engage in that curiosity. And really meditate on what you’re listening to, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why this is impactful for you.

Nick: And pay attention to, this will happen all the time, like, you’ll be listening to something, and your mind will keep drifting at this one part. And you might think it’s because you know, you’re just thinking about something else that’s important that you need to figure out for that day. But like, actually, what I found in my experience is it’s not a coincidence that your mind drifts at that part, your mind is drifting at that one part over and over again, because whatever is being said, there is something that your ego doesn’t want to hear. And so, I think that curiosity is huge. If you can reframe that moment, as, oh, that’s actually the biggest signal that I should tune in again, there and take the time to rewind that and listen and ponder on it. I think that’s a huge upgrade.

Brad: And if you need help, I know, in my life, if I want a blind spot exposed, I could just ask my wife. She can, she’ll let me know, my blind spot straightaway. So, your best friends, the people who are close to you who know you very well, maybe ask them if you have a blind spot, so that they can, they can point it out. Because a lot of times, folks who are very close to you see things in your behavior interactions that you may not see, or you may not have awareness of.

Nick: Sure. And if you don’t have two or three friends that you really trust their judgment, ask 10 people who you kind of trust and what starts to happen. And you can start to triangulate their feedback and say, okay, with eight out of ten people see this thing in me. That’s pretty good evidence that that’s going on in my system.

Brad: Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. So, let’s jump back into Nelson, and see how he deals with this realization and what happens next.

Nelson: So that’s like, so eye opening for me, because my parents in nature are very conservative, right? They work hard, they save their money, they don’t really go out and make crazy big investments, they don’t like to travel too much. My dad doesn’t really like being on planes, like, they’re, they, that’s how they were raised, you know, their, their parents, they came from a poor country, their parents are very strict. So, some of that influence has kind of, yeah, you nailed it right on the head. So, I just need to be okay with the fact that their belief system is what it is. And if down the line, it changes fine. But if it doesn’t, then I got to just accept that and, and be okay with taking a shot because I want to, like, I just do. I just love the game I love, I love what it like, it just brings out so much greatness in me in the sense like, I’m more patient, like, it teaches me life lessons like to be patient in life, to be disciplined, to not, you know, go out of line like to be aggressive. You know, if I like a girl, be aggressive, like aggressive and pays off, sometimes. There’s a lot of things in poker just, have helped me with my life, and I don’t want to let it go. And even if my parents are not okay with it, I’m just going to keep going. I really,

Nick: Because what’s your alternative, bro? You’re going to give up the thing that you love so you don’t potentially let your parents down. When really, they want you to actually succeed. They just don’t want to be responsible for the chance that you fail. And because you don’t want to let them down. Now you’re increasing that the chance that you’re going to fail, because you’re either not going to try in the first place, or you’re going to sabotage yourself when you’re trying. So, your solution does not make any sense right now. Like caring about what they think is killing your chances of actually making them proud of you. Because they do want you to succeed. They just don’t want you to succeed at their own risk. And they think this is a really risky thing that you’re doing. And now you have to decide, am I going to stand on my own two feet and do the thing that I love and give myself the best chance to succeed? Or am I going to just succumb to this bullshit belief system that is designed to keep me small, like it is literally designed, the thing that they’re doing to you out of love, or what they think is love, is designed to keep you from not trying. Because if you try something, something outside of the norm, and fail, it reflects poorly on them, and they probably have to pick you back up financially. So, they become responsible.

Brad: Wow, this is very powerful stuff. And like you said, we’re in delicate territory here. You literally just said, your parents, that their dynamic is designed to keep him small. Can you tell me how, you know, your plan for navigating this situation?

Nick: Yeah, this is, this was a risky move. It’s, I guess its sort of one of those gamble moments in mindset where it’s like, you have an opportunity to empty the clip on someone. And all you’re trying to decide is whether or not there’s enough trust. And enough safety created. Enough non-judgement between the two of you that, that you can do that in a very reasonable way without, without causing them to shut down. Because if he shuts down, the intelligence that I’m dropping is worth nothing. And what I’m saying is true. And it’s the reason I’ve included this recording is that a lot of people are dealing with the same cycle of parents who are trying to keep them small, so that they don’t have to take on the loss from a child who takes risk. It’s all true. But it’s not worth anything if it causes someone to emotionally shut down in the delivery. So, I’ve made a judgment call. I thought that there was going to be enough receptivity, even if I went kind of hard at him to be able to, to digest what I was saying. And I guess, in the back of my mind, if, if it went over his head again, I could always send him the recording. But this is, this is something that I’m constantly trying to calibrate. Because the real risk is not that he just doesn’t understand what I’m saying. It’s that he feels attacked and judged, and then he shuts down. And that’s what I would consider to be a failure in mindset console territory. So, a good example of one of those risky moments where you just have to kind of calibrate.

Brad: I think it’s awesome. And you know, those words, just strike a chord with me, designed to keep you small. I think that resonates with listeners. And I think a lot of times, we can even be the people who are keeping ourselves small. There can be people who expect bigger things than we think we’re capable of. And we’re the ones who are trying to minimize the risk not be bold, and keeping ourselves small. And so, having awareness of, you know, the incentives, the paradigm that you’re in, is just so, so, so key to breaking through.

Nelson: So, they’re afraid of letting, they’re afraid of me failing, because it means more responsibility on their end, because if I fail, then they’re going to have to support me for a short period of time, or even a long period of time. Depends, okay?

Nick: It could be a financial responsibility that they don’t want to assume. Or it could just be that, like, they don’t want to have to tell their friends that their son took a shot as a gambler and lost, it could be either of those.

Nelson: Or, both right?

Nick: Or both. Okay. But the important thing is to see that neither of those apply to you, or your potential. And the only real chance you have at realizing your potential and moving towards your potential is to stop believing that that shit is even worth considering. It only plant, it only gives you one thing if you believe in that. Gives you failure 100% of the time, you’re either not going to try or you’re going to try under so much pressure that you’re going to self-sabotage eventually. Or burn out. So, like that, that ends in failure 100% of the time. So, you think you’re fighting against that and like proving yourself, but actually you’re headed down a one-way street towards failure under that belief system. That’s why I said originally, you can have this idea in your head that you’d love to play 40,000 hands with, you know, a win rate of x, but you’re never going to actually get there if you feel this way during the process. It’s going to drag you down. You’re either going to burn out or pointy rolls them out. So, the only real decision that you have to make is, do I care enough about following this dream of the thing that I actually think I might be good at, to put my money where my mouth is and actually do it regardless of what they think? Because caring about what they think is what’s been holding you back so far. It’s literally holding you in like this paralysis. And you think that you’re actually like, slowly getting out of it. But you’re actually not. You’re actually just slowly burning yourself out under the illusion that you’re going to continue to put one buy in on the table and hopefully run it up. This is, that’s a fucking pipe dream, dude. You got to get backing, you got to actually sit and fire bullets and execute the way that you know that you need to execute, so you can put in volume

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: And obtain the edge that you actually have when you play well. You’re sort of like, your current process, it’s just sort of like you’re dancing around the truth, which is that you’re not handling this professionally right now.

Nelson: Got it.

Nick: You’re going on, you’re going to the casino with one bullet, sort of like tiptoeing around the issue that you’re massively afraid to actually make this a career. So, like, yeah, it’s fun when you run it up. And it’s like, this could be sort of the next step toward the dream. And then when you, when you bust your roll, it’s like the walk of shame and the entire other end of the spectrum. You’re living such a high variance bullshit, unprofessional lifestyle right now.

Nelson: Hmm.

Nick: So, the solution to that is to get on a professional path. I think that starts with getting backing.

Nelson: Yeah.

Nick: And what you’re going to see from that is, you’re going to feel more responsible, which is going to alleviate some of the guilt that you feel about potentially letting your parents down. And you’re on your path. Because a lot of why you feel like you’re going to let them down is because you deep down know that you’re not doing this responsibly.

Nelson: Wow. Right. Yeah, absolutely. I think if I was doing it responsibly, with the role, playing my best, playing every day, there would be no worries. There would, why would I worry about because at that point, I think I will be on the right path to actually accomplishing what I want to, quote unquote, accomplish.

Brad: Final thoughts on this console with Nelson.

Nick: I thought this one was just a beautiful progression that was enabled by him being so open and innocent upfront with his insecurities that allowed us to get to that first entry point, which seemed to be just general risk aversion, in his strategy and his poker strategy. But then as we keep going, we find that his poker risk aversion is actually just a microcosm of his life risk aversion, and that that is being caused by the relationship that he has with his parents. So, sort of just follow suit with as in poker is in life. We see it happen again, here where someone’s technical, technical personality actually mimics something that’s much closer to their, to their archetype or their character.

Brad: Let me ask you a question. Do you think him bringing one buy in to play poker with, do you think he’s just self-sabotaging there, and that this is a result of the macro paradigm that he’s living in?

Nick: Could be, totally could be. Tough to say, like with certainty. You know, it goes back to the other thing about maybe he just doesn’t realize he could play smaller stakes, maybe he has a fundamental misunderstanding of how much variance there is in poker. But yeah, it could also be that. In fact, I would say it’s much more likely that it is something about him wanting to confirm that he’s not actually able to make it as a professional that allows him to stay small, because then at least he’s not in defiance of his parents, etc. So this is the, this is how sabotage would work in that case, and I think it’s a pretty high likelihood that’s part of what’s going on at least, is that he shows up under rolled, giving himself a very high likelihood of having to take the walk of shame, like he says. Because deep down the walk of shame is safer than breaking out of his parents. Rip. Shout out to those guy though, because I think of all the consult, he was the most open and willing to work through stuff and you can hear that genuine curiosity in his voice of like, that he really wants to understand what’s going on. And that’s the type of thing that I’d find myself just having infinite patience and passion for with this type of work

Brad: And respect.

Nick: For sure. Somebody,

Brad: It’s not easy to lay yourself bare, and put yourself out there in order to potentially gain understanding of what’s going on, especially after all the things that we’ve talked about, and all the emotional turmoil that Nelson faces dealing with his family and dealing with all of these things regarding his poker career, that are tough, you know. They’re just tough emotions to deal with. Tough thoughts. So

Nick: I remember dude, like when this was happening, I was so excited that he was willing to go there. Because this was a topic that I had been discussing with players sort of up to this point, but I had never had such a nice progression were led into it in such a profound way, it was somebody who was so willing to sit there and look at it. So literally, while it was happening, like I was, I remember thinking like holy shit, like this could help so many people. If this gets out there, if people can see that this is common, and other guys are dealing with this and to have it broken down piece by piece. I have a feeling that this one might be the one that really sets a lot of, a lot of players free.

Brad: I agree. Nelson’s biggest fear is that he’s unworthy of being successful at poker. And that’s what he’s so afraid of. That’s why he doesn’t commit fully. That’s why you know, you bring one buy in to the to the poker room, you lose, without ever really taking a shot, without ever really having a bankroll, without ever really investing yourself. You never realize the true fear of being unworthy, of being a poker player. So, this is his way of sort of bypassing it. And, you know, I think the first step for anybody that feels like this is exactly what Nelson did. All credit in the world because there are plenty of people who live their entire lives without confronting these fears and without confronting the issues behind what they’re doing. And that is a surefire way to keep yourself small.

Thanks for reading this transcript of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Presents: Detox Files #1: Nick Howard Poker Career Consult

Click the icon above to be taken to the main hub podcast page to view all episodes of the CPG Pod. If you have a request for a transcript of any other Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast episodes, just use the contact form below to let us know!

nurrle poker course

Join the Chasing Poker Greatness Mailing List and get a FREE poker training course!

Intel in your inbox! Sign up and receive not only CPG updates, poker strategy, and performance insights emailed to you -- but also get access to NURRLE: Neutralize River Leads for FREE 😃!

How can we help you on your chase for poker greatness? Contact us below.

Questions about the courses? Wondering where to start? Looking for advice? Hit us up with anything you want to discuss and we're here to help. Either Brad or one of his staff will get back to you shortly to set you up with anything you need out of CPG. Don't hesitate to ask!

Chasing Poker Greatness often posts about podcast episode releases, poker strategy, poker course offerings, and poker as an industry on social media: