Jonathan Little: Poker Coaching & Degeneracy

Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 220

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Today’s guest on CPG needs no introduction but he’s gonna get one anyway…

Jonathan Little has amassed $7.4 million in lifetime live MTT cashes (Including 2 WPT titles & the season 6 WPT Player of the Year award), has built an audience of more than 127,000 on YouTube, and runs one of the largest poker training platforms on the market PokerCoaching.com.

He’s also a collector… which makes a lot of sense considering his background in Magic: The Gathering & the sheer coaching talent he’s put together (Including yours truly) over at PokerCoaching.com.

And because of his unquenchable appetite for collecting all the things, he’s also recently launched an NFT project with *SHOCKER* actual real-world utility called “Deck of Degeneracy”.

The premise is simple enough that it makes sense even to an NFT noob like myself :

JL & his crew minted 50 decks of 54 playing cards (a whopping 2,700 total NFTs designed by artist Wes Henry) and, by owning an NFTs, you get access to a membership club.

Once you’re in, JL & his team have come up with fun challenges (like collecting a Royal Flush) so that you can earn additional perks like a 1% freeroll in the $50k Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open that’s worth ~$500.

If you’d like to learn more outside of this podcast episode, you can also head to DeckofDegeneracy.com.

Now, without any further ado, I bring to you the founder of PokerCoaching.com and great friend of the CPG podcast… the one and only Jonathan Little.

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 Jonathan Little 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 Episode 220: Jonathan Little

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Welcome my friend to another episode of the chasing poker greatness podcast. As always, this is your host, the founder of chasing poker greatness.com. Coach Brad Wilson, and today’s guest on CPG needs no introduction, but he’s going to get one anyway. Jonathan Littell has amassed $7.4 million in lifetime live in TT caches, including two WP T titles and the season six WP t a Player of the Year award. He’s built an audience of more than 127,000 on YouTube, and runs one of the largest poker training platforms on the market, poker coaching.com. He’s also a collector which makes a lot of sense considering his background in Magic the Gathering and the sheer coaching talent he’s put together including yours truly, over at poker coaching.com. And because of his unquenchable appetite for collecting all the things, he’s also recently launched an NFT project with shocker actual real world utility called deck of degeneracy. The premise is simple enough that it makes sense even to an NFT noob like yours truly, Jalen, his crew minted 50 decks of 54 playing cards, a whopping 2700 Total NF T’s designed by artist Wes Henry, and by owning one of the NF T’s you get access to a membership club. Once you’re in jail and his team have come up with fun challenges like collecting a royal flush, so that you can earn additional perks like a 1% free roll in the 50k Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open that’s worth around $500 If you would like to learn more outside of this podcast episode, you may also head to deck of degeneracy.com. And now without any further ado, I bring to you the founder of poker coaching.com, and great friend of the chasing poker greatness podcast, the one and only Jonathan little. Mr. Little, how you doing, sir? Welcome back to chasing poker greatness. 

 

Jonathan: I’m doing amazingly well. Life is full and busy and fun. And I’m happy to be back here with you. You’re always nice and chill. You’re nice chill voice. 

 

Brad: Yeah, we that’s how we do things. You could ask my wife though, and you may have different different opinions. She, our spouses are the ones who always see us at our worst, most frazzled state, unfortunately, 

 

Jonathan: I was gonna say that it’s interesting how everyone’s spouse inevitably doesn’t like them very much. Despite the fact that you know, you’re good 90 98% of the time, but that 2% You go off the deep end, it’s tough. It’s tough. 

 

Brad: Yes. And everybody has a tough time. You cannot, you cannot, 

 

Jonathan: Especially especially when you have a job like poker that kind of requires you to show up and play well all the time. Because if you don’t, you’ll lose a bunch of money. So I think inevitably, you end up going home and you kind of slacked off a little bit to some extent. I know I inevitably do sometimes, like I come back from a trip to Las Vegas, and I’ll just like sleep for a day because I’m tired. And I’m worn out. And my wife’s like, yeah, you might as well just stay in Vegas another day. But she doesn’t realize if I stay in Vegas another day, I’ll still just be tired.

 

Brad: That’s not the solution. The solution is like a day of recovery at home. We were just chatting in the pre interview. I went out of town for four days to Los Angeles and came back and I got back about a week ago and still catching up from missing those four days that the work. All the things just kind of pile up in our absence. And yeah, so anyway, you mentioned also in the pre conversation, you’re launching an NF t and I know you’ve been you’ve been pretty hardcore in the NFT space as far as it looks like you’re just buying every NFT that exists on the market. stumped me about where this love for NF TS has come from. 

 

Jonathan: I have always enjoyed collectibles. As a kid I played a bunch of Magic the Gathering and I made a decent amount of wealth as a child off of effectively $0 and turned it into you know, $100,000 or something as a kid playing Magic the Gathering and trading Magic the Gathering cards right? You find stuff people want, you trade them, you get what you want, and everybody’s happy. And you do that over and over and over again. And maybe you extract a little bit of value in exchange for giving them exactly what they want. And you take something that maybe you don’t necessarily want so much but you know a little bit more valuable. And next thing you know, you do that over and over again you have a bunch of wealth and NF T’s are similar except for NF T’s and we all sorts of things and if these are non fungible tokens, these are Although the way I view them is, to some extent, either a collectible or an internet collectible, except for the collectible, it has some utility kind of like a Magic the Gathering card has utility in the game, right? Some Magic, the Gathering cards are worthless, some are worth 1000s of dollars. And what makes one worthless and one worth $1,000. It’s, they have utility. So I’ve been really into NF T’s that provide utility to the holders. So I made a collection of 50 decks of 54 cards, they’re jokers. And essentially, every time I play a big tournament over the next year, I’m going to draw a card out of a physical deck. So say I draw the Eight of diamonds, okay, if you have the Eight of diamonds, you get 1% of me and the next tournament I play, which so far has worked out pretty well, I took second place in a $10,000 Buy in tournament recently 450k. We sent, you know, 51% to people 51%. Because there’s a gold card that rides two times utility. There’s some fun gamification in there. Yeah, I’ve also done stuff like buying pieces of other players, I bought a piece of Shannon shoring and $50,000 by attorney. So fifth place, cash for 100 100,000 bucks, we sent more money to the people who had a random card. And so essentially, if you hold these cards, I’m giving you back a ton of utility in the form of percentages of my action. Also things like bonus art, a lot of NF T’s or just straight up art by great artists, especially a lot of digital artists, who have now found a way to monetize digital art that was very difficult to monetize in the future, they can put out one piece of digital art, and say this is the real one kind of like the Mona Lisa, if you imagine the Mona Lisa, there’s one Mona Lisa, even though there’s a zillion replicas of the Mona Lisa. So why is the real one worth something. And the replica is not worth anything, right? Because one is legitimate and real. And the artist says this is the one. And the blockchain allows the artist to say that kind of thing. So anyway, I have a bunch of pieces of art, I’m going to be giving away from a lot of my favorite artists over the course of the next year, we’re having free roles for people who own a piece any one piece of my collection, where we’re giving away this month, I think we have six of theory and worth of giveaways lined up, which is you know, 20,000 bucks, give or take of just you know, poker freerolls, that’ll probably have 100 or 200 people in the tournaments and ends up being like a $50 Buy in tournament or $30, buy in tournament, something like that, that people can get on and play if they have the NFT, which acts as a membership card. Right. And I like the idea of NF T’s being a membership card that gives you a lot of stuff that you otherwise could not get. 

 

Brad: Yeah. Any plans on incorporating like poker coaching premium into the NF T. Because I know that there are already I think ape Stiles has his pocket snails were there, you know that NFT collection gives people folks access to like some behind the scenes. training content? 

 

Jonathan: Yeah, so we have considered all sorts of things. I’ve been in the NFT space for a while. And this is way more planned out. And you could possibly think it would be 

Brad: no no that was another question of how much time did you spend planning this out? Because I know that there’s a lot of thought that has to go into everything. 

 

Jonathan: Yeah, a lot of the planning is just okay, what do we think about this idea? Where could this fail, we’re gonna succeed amazingly well, initially, we thought about making the NF T’s cost one theory meet, which is about $3,000. Now, and that would give you all sorts of stuff like lifetime access to poker coaching premium, and then you could trade it or sell it to somebody else. And then they would have the access and you would lose the access. But how many people are really going to spend $3,000 on a Jonathan Malena fee just to get access to the training site. So I thought instead, what can I do that is way more accessible that lets a lot of people get in. So we initially sold these NF T’s for point one Etherium, which is 300 bucks give or take, currently, you have to pay about $600 to get one because they’ve gone up in value. But first, you have to ask what can I actually give for $300, I cannot give lifetime access to poker coaching premium for $300, because it cost $100 A month roughly. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to draw a card out of the deck a few times over the course of the next year. And if you have that card, we’re going to give you poker coaching premium for some amount of time, not not lifetime access, but you know, maybe a year or something like that. So everyone’s not going to get it but some people will get it. And the thing about this is I can draw a card, let’s say a draw the jack of spades. I can draw that today. Let’s say it’s April 4, just to pretend, let’s say it’s April 4, and I draw a card and I say alright, whoever has this card on April 10 gets the prize. So if you don’t want it, you can sell it. If you want it, you can buy it right? 

 

Brad: Yeah, that’s good.  

 

Jonathan: Every time that happens, there is a transaction and there’s a 10% fee that goes back to the deck of degeneracy boss me. And then all of those fees. I’m gonna get back about 80% of them to continue funding this project as long as we continue having secondary sales. So we brought in, call it 750k, and I’m going to get back like five or 600 of it in the form of equity. And various you know, Jonathan will action other people action. For example, She enjoys playing a 50k in Florida in two days, and people have some percent point 4% of them. First bullet and second bullet, right and that cost money to buy. Sometimes he’s gonna win, sometimes you’re going to lose, but that’s a lot of fun. That’s part of being a degenerate.

 

Brad: Yeah, Yeah, that’s a gamble.

 

Jonathan: And that’s okay. And I’m going to make a point to, you know, by accident, people who I think have a decent edge, and they know I’m gonna go out and play and hopefully have a decent edge, and maybe they’ll win and maybe they’ll lose. 

 

Brad: Right? seems fun. 

 

Jonathan: Essentially, we’re trying to figure out a way to make this thing sustained indefinitely. Um, something else we did is if you have a royal flush, you know what a royal flush as people here probably know, the royal flushes. Apparently, they’re like it was a royal flush. Three, four or five hearts like no, that’s not a royal flush. So anyway, I if you have a royal flush, I think on May May something early May. I’m going to take a snapshot of the blockchain and see who has those, right. And then I’m gonna have a party in Vegas on May, June 30. We’re gonna have like an all day long party, maybe we go to top golf, we go to dinner somewhere we go play poker somewhere, we go to the club for like an all day thing. And funny enough, I thought there’d be like, 20 people in the party so far about 50 people of ours. So this is gonna be a costly party for me, but I don’t care such as life. You only live once, right? 

 

Brad: Yeah!

 

Jonathan: But like that’s. So now the face cards are trading for a higher multiple than the non face cards. But the neat thing is, I can change that at any point in time, something I did yesterday, I said, if you collect 22 fourths, I will send you 1.111 eath, which is about 4000 bucks, 3000 bucks, whatever it is, if I would take somebody I gave people like a week to do it, somebody did it in about 12 hours 22 of the forest. And there’s only 200 forest, since they collected 10% of the force in that amount of time. And I’m sure they were thinking, I’m going to buy these forest pay a bit of a premium, but out the door, I’ll still profit off of that, because they’re getting $3,000 back, 

 

Brad: Right. 

 

Jonathan: And they probably did. And then they can now they’re sitting there were 22 fours I don’t really want 22 fours. So they’re going to sell them that’s going to result in more transactions. And that’s going to continue to sustain the project. Right? 

 

Brad: Very clever. 

 

Jonathan: Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. We also have art by a well known NFT artist in West Henry, he’s got a lot of work in making a beautiful deck of cards. And I don’t know it’s a it’s a passion project, right? When you do things that you really love, it does not feel like work. I mean, this these last few days, I’ve been lining up a bunch of artists to give back art and I had about 35 artists who were just going to give us are either free or cheap, that I can in turn give away to the holders. And that’s gonna make a great art collection. Maybe that ends up being what this project is known for. I mean, I don’t know. Who knows, I don’t know where it’s gonna go. And I can change the rules whenever I feel like it and iterate whenever I feel like it. And I don’t really know where we’re going to go. 

 

Brad: Yeah, I mean,all of this makes a lot of sense, has a lot of utility and is quite fun, right? Like just the collecting of the Royal Flush cards. How? How do you do the drawings? By the way, is that like RNG? Do you have a physical deck? What is the what are the drawings looks like, 

 

Jonathan: Whatever, the people initially bought the cards, they would buy a random card, and once they were sold, it would tell them what they have. So that’s how they initially got the cards. But the way I’m doing the drawing currently, is I have a deck of cards, whoever it is, it’s right back here behind me, I have a deck of cards, I make a video with the camera up top right, looking down, spread the deck shuffle, the cards are there shuffle the cards, say what we’re drawing for, like a card. And that’s it. There’s a piece of art that’s coming out in about a week by a well known generative artist who makes art using algorithms. And there’s one piece it’s like bright and shiny, and it says winner always says it’s like really, really bright and shiny says winner. And the other piece is just a black background and it says loser. So we’re gonna play war. For that one, I’m gonna, you know, shuffle the deck, take one card off the top thing to another card off the top, the highest card gets the winner, the lowest card gets a loser, everybody else is really a loser and they get nothing. So that’ll be fun. We’ll see how that goes. And, you know, it’s fun, fun stuff. It’s fun. I like having fun and also kind of like poker coaching.com, where I made the training site, I wish that existed. I’m making the NF T series that I wish exist. Because a lot of NF T’s do stuff like give away a free shirt. Like I don’t really want a free shirt. I want gambling action, and I want cool art that you cannot get anywhere else, right? Like I like exclusive stuff that actually has good value. And I’m fine with losing but whenever I do need to pay attention, I want to pay attention. Like if you have 1% of somebody and a $50,000 Buy in tournament $500 in equity, I will probably pay attention even being Jonathan Little with you know, decent amount of money. I’ll still pay attention when that player gets deep and makes the final table right. Sure. So I want to make sure that people actually care about what we’re doing when when they need to care, but at the same time I don’t want them to have to sit on Discord all day grinding nonsense games try to win a t shirt. So yeah, of course, you know, I made the project that I wish somebody else would have made. But right, that’s why did. 

 

Brad: And it makes a lot of sense. You know, just because you’ve played games, your whole life, I presume. And I presume that you’re pretty good at gamifying things. And so you’ve gamified your NFT collection, which, in my mind, and probably to your core audience is quite fun, and quite an interesting thing to be a part of.

 

Jonathan: Yeah, so I don’t know if I’ve actually gamified it so much, as opposed to just giving it a lot of utility and letting people trade utility back and forth, which I suppose is a game. You can go really deep making games, I if I have one area where I’m really not good at as programming. And so that was my challenge with this project was figuring out how to actually make the cards random how to actually send the cards to people how to collect the funds, how to send out the funds, right? Like there was a lot that I had to either hire somebody or learn in the process. But whenever you hire somebody for something you don’t really know, inevitably, it may end up being perfectly great, right. But everything went well enough, I had a lot of people who liked me in the NFT and crypto space because either I’ve helped them or bought a bunch of their art or whatever. And it all went well enough. But at the same time, I can’t be paying a ton of money to design a game that may or may not work. Like I know everything that I already had lined up. Even if we did not sell out the project, it would be fine. Like instead of giving out 51% of my action, we’d get out 20% If we sold 40% of the cards, but fortunately sold out pretty quickly and everything, everything will work out nicely.

Brad: Can you give like a you’ve been in the NFT space for a while. And for 38 year olds like myself, you know, I just got my first NFT maybe a week ago for 

 

Jonathan: Oh No, you’re doomed? 

 

Brad: Yeah, for helping you know, helping a project that is creates avatars that will have utility on poker sites in the future.

 

Jonathan: What am I up to you? If you want you want one of my NFTs? 

Sure, of course. 

All right. Give me your address, I’ll send you one. 

 

Brad: Yeah, I just set up I open see my wife walked me through the process of setting up an open C account and Metamask and get it getting everything kind of going. 

 

Jonathan: But but your wife has all the NF T’s 

 

Brad: Oh, yeah, she’s she’s way more educated in the space than me. i I’m one of those people that are like, Oh, it’s like a digital png that, you know, with no utility and a lot of cases, right? Which is kind of questionable to me, right? It’s like, oh, it’s like all these like, digital JPEGs? Where’s the value? And where’s the utility? I understand, like, you know, your NFT that has very specific utility and other ones that have utility, I do wonder about, you know, the projects that just kind of randomize 100 times 100 times 100 different, like little accessories for the little thing and spit them out and then kind of sell them individually. I don’t know. I guess if people will pay for them, they have value. That’s sort of how we track value in the world.

 

Jonathan: So you have to ask, what does this what separates this project from any other project? Whenever you look at any project, because I don’t like trading cards, most trading cards are worth nothing. Almost all collections of trading cards are all collection of trading card games, almost all of them are worth nothing.

 

Brad: Yes, I have probably 10,000 In my grandparents garage that are collectively worth about nothing,

 

Jonathan: You could probably get about 15 cents for your 10,000 cards. Because that will provide someone something to burn to make a fire. 

 

Brad: There you go. 

 

Jonathan: So but But seriously, that’s what’s kind of happened with the NFT space. And multiple projects come out every day, and they sell almost none and then some of them come out and they sell okay, but then they eventually become worthless, because perhaps the the team does not stick around a big selling point of any NF TS who is involved and have they provided value in the future, or I’m sorry, in the past, because if they provided a lot of value in the past, or they have a real reputation, they will not want to ruin and kind of count on them to do the work. Right? Like people know, I have a poker training site, and I’m not gonna do anything to screw that up. So you can have it on me.

 

Brad: You haven’t set up to not not rug them, right? Like 

 

Jonathan: yeah, 

 

Brad: instead of to be a man of your word. Whereas like, a lot of people come out of nowhere with really minimal downside into like, scamming a bunch of people. Right?

 

Jonathan: Right. And a lot of people in this space are just straight up anonymous for, you know, either nefarious reasons or security reasons, right. I mean, I get the idea of being anonymous if you have tons of value. One of my main mentors in the NFT space is anonymous. I mean, I’ve met him in person is not anonymous to me. He knew me from poker, he likes me and he’s happy to help me with stuff, 

 

Brad: right!

 

Jonathan: But he’s anonymous because he you know, has 100 million dollars worth of NF T’s and doesn’t want to get robbed. So I get why some people are anonymous, but at the same time, most people are anonymous because they want downside protection or maybe they want to be able to disappear if they feel inclined. But look, I’m not disappearing. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve committed to making put If you’re coaching content for a long time, and I’m committed this NFT project for one year, which is important, a lot of people present grand claims about what they’re going to do indefinitely. But I knew from the initial funding of this, I could give out five or $600,000 worth of action over the course of a year. And if we don’t have any secondary sales, we’ll have no money to continue doing this, and people get it. And that’s fine. If it had been worst case, we just stop. Best case, secondary sales. Do well, I mean, imagine the cards become worth one ether to each and they’re flipping five or 10 times a day as to where we’re making three or 5000 bucks a day, we can survive indefinitely. Or maybe we make a new deck and we like receive, right, we make a new deck with different arcs, and do season two. So like, there’s three very clear options for me, depending on what I want to do, because for all I know, maybe I won’t even want to do the project in a year. I’ll do it for a year. But you know, you got to make sure that whenever you sign up for anything that it is something you can actually do and people know that I do what I say I’m going to do and I will deliver no problem. So your question was about the the nonsense enough these the profile pictures. So you have to look at which profile pictures have done well, and why have they done well, once they’ve done well, are crypto punks, crypto punks are one of the first and fts. And they I think they were the first profile NFT. And they were initially given away for free, like four or five years ago. And there’s a lot of value in being the first were close enough to the first, right. And that’s kind of neat. Another one that’s done well are the board at Yacht Club, which was one of also one of the first profile pictures even though it came out about a year ago only. I mean, they came out after I got in the space, and I ended up having a few of them at one point not anymore. I sold them all. But they’ve done a really good job of creating a community of people who are like minded, like to chill, like to study and empty projects, et cetera, et cetera. A lot of the profile picture concepts, though, are based around a community. What do you mean by the profile picture? Like, like, like a profile picture for Twitter, right? Like, you know, you put most people put a picture of their face on Twitter? Correct? Some people put a picture of a crypto punk or bored ape or right,

 

Brad: How does that happen? I’ve kind of been curious.

 

Jonathan: You can just take a screenshot screenshot it simple as that. Twitter actually has a way now where if you pay them some amount of money per month, like $5 a month, you can take one of your NF T’s and verify that you own it. If you see people where they think a hexagon profile instead of a circle, it means that is an NF t that they own. But it’s kind of silly to do that because you have to put your NFT in a meta mask account that is not secure. Not so it’s not as secure as being on a hardware wallet like a ledger or a treasure or something like that. While it makes it really hard for anyone to access your stuff, like all my NF T’s are sitting on hardware wallets, nobody can access them. You want to make sure you don’t get hacked, and the crypto space is very unforgiving. So please, please, please everybody, make sure you do not get scammed. That’s a big disaster. So blunder the bill is 12 word phrase ever if they do, they’re trying to scam you.

 

Brad: Right, Bitcoin and Aetherium are especially hardcore in the unforgiving nature of using them, right, like you lose your hardware wallet, you keep you keep an account on exchange. Like that’s not yours, technically, and it can disappear, you can get hacked, a lot of points of failure.

 

Jonathan: That will also also I’ll say that, when my project started, I had nobody trying to copy what we were doing or like nefariously but once we got over 100 Aetherium in trades. Weeks, people started trying to like direct message people who are in our Discord with enter this giveaway to win a special golden card and you know, $20,000 and some people went I’m sure some people went there, click the link and enter their address because they want to get entered into this giveaway to win $20,000 or whatever. And that’s just somebody straight scamming, right, right. And when your project gets think people will literally copy your exact website, they’ll try to hide the like the the URL and they’ll just straight up clone your account. And it’s important to make sure that you do your best to educate all of your holders to not get scammed. And I mean, we we’ve done a decent, decent amount of work to try to ensure that 

 

Brad: Yeah, 

 

Jonathan: So far, I know a few people who’ve already been scammed by just being complete newbies and trusting things that they should not trust. And that’s that’s unfortunate, but you’ll learn real quick, and that’s why it’s important to start small. And then you know, don’t don’t go all in on something you’re clueless about.

 

Brad: Right and for the CPG listener please don’t send bitcoin to somebody saying they’ll send you back to or click on links in a discord that are from someone that you have no idea who they are or even a lot of times if you know if you think you know who they are because you’ve interacted with them previously. Still be quite careful about all those shenanigans because human beings when incentivized to scam, will scam. Like that’s, that’s just the nature of 

 

Jonathan: You got to protect yourself before you wreck yourself, you know?

 

Brad: Exactly, exactly and where there’s a lot of instead of financially, people will just do whatever, you know, there’s a lot of the shenanigans that go down like just in the poker space, right? As it relates to like RTA or multi counting and TTS, just where people have incentive to do such a thing, they’re most likely going to do it.

 

Jonathan: Yeah, you should not trust most people with your money, you’ll find out you’ll find real quick that you can trust with your money, who you cannot even then you never really know. So, you know, in my mind, if you like never need a loan, don’t give a loan if you don’t need to play on illegal poker sites don’t play on the illegal poker sites, you know? So that’s what you have to realize just because a game or an opportunity exists does not mean you have to take it. And and that was an interesting question with me with these NF T’s do I need to make these NF T’s? And the answer is no. But I thought it’d be fun. And I think it’s actually kind of where the future is going.

 

Brad: We don’t need to do anything, right. Like,

 

Jonathan: I don’t really need to do anything. But I want to be fun, right? And I like having fun. I like doing things that I’m excited to get up and do in the morning. And this is what does it for me. 

 

Brad: Yeah, I mean, we only have one life to live and engaging and committing to projects that are fun and get you motivated, and fulfill those needs is important. I think everybody should have a vision and do things that move you towards that vision. And it’s going to change like I’m sure, probably three years ago, you had no idea you’re going to be launching an NF T project 

 

Jonathan: 2 years ago I thought NF T’s were absurd. I remember when the Top Shot came out, I’m like, Why in the world? Would anybody want a video of people playing basketball makes literally no sense to me to be fair enough, still kind of makes no sense to me. But it’s like a digital trading card. Right? So the question is, should digital trading cards maintain a value? And I guess in theory, they should. I mean, I played Magic the Gathering Online, I have a $5,000 Magic the Gathering Online account with just random JPEGs sitting in there to let me play a game. And you know, I get that that’s valuable. I could literally sell it right now if I wanted to cash on my account in 20 minutes. And that’s been around for 20 years, right? So I get the idea of game pieces being valuable, I get the idea of collectibles being valuable. And I don’t see much of a difference at the end of the day, besides one is on the internet where all of the kids are living nowadays. And one is in the real world. I mean, a nice thing about your stuff in the digital world is it can’t get caught in a fire or you can’t lose it if you know how to retrieve it, right. Also, like with digital art, I live in a tiny min Manhattan apartment and there’s no room in my house for art. But I have a giant Art Gallery online, you know, is a really, really good one. And so there’s a way to express yourself to some extent at the end of the day as well. What are the questions you have about NF T’s or talk about poker?

 

Brad: Nah, I think I think that’s all my NF T questions for now. You know, I think it’s it’s an interesting space and Kryptos directly connected to poker, for various reasons that the major being the utility of crypto as it relates to liquidity. And so yeah, I think it’s something that I will, for better or worse be investing energy into over the next few years.

 

Jonathan: Yeah, I mean, I would say one, one problem with NF T’s is sometimes they become very illiquid, right? It’s not like Aetherium or Bitcoin that’s very liquid, right? If you can sell whatever you want, to some extent, not always, but whenever you want to sell it for the most part. Whereas any collectible, especially in a downward market becomes very difficult to sell. You can always sell stuff for you know, 20% below what anybody else is willing to sell it for, but then you’re usually taking a decent loss on it. So you know, only play with money, you can afford to lose it with stuff like art, buy art that you like. That way, if it fails, then you know, whenever you have a piece of art that you like, or with supporting content creators like myself, if you would not mind giving Jonathan little $300 Then you know, it’s not so bad at the end of the day. So you want to try to make it to where if it fails, it’s not a big deal and don’t think you’re gonna get in this immediately turn no money into a lot of money. That’s what a lot of people try to do with all sorts of games, like poker, like trading, etc. And if that is your goal, you will usually not do so well.

 

Brad: Get rich quick is like not really a thing. 

 

Jonathan: Sometimes you do but you 

 

Brad: Sometimes rarely, it’s rare, very rarely a thing.

 

Brad: Now we can segue into poker. How’s poker been treating you? You know, I see that. You know, I watched your final table at the USPO when you were down to three handed I believe I was doing a poker coaching plane explain while you were doing that and I was like watching it off to the side. House poker been treating you,

 

Jonathan: Poker is fine enough. I mean, I don’t really play a ton of poker anymore, which is a bit of a problem. I mostly just play Sundays online and I play big series, and I reckon go play big series, which really ends up only being about four or five times a year, I tried to make a point to play a lot in a short period of time and the poker go tournaments usually allow you to play decently I buy ends and decent games in a short period of time, so I like those series a lot. I haven’t really played a ton. So it seems like every every series or so ago, they’re all play six or eight or 10 tournament, final table, something maybe if your final table is not as grand as it may sound, because it’s only 100 People in the tournament or whatever. 

 

Brad: Right Yeah, 

Jonathan: You should final table, something that one out of every 10 times. So it’s fine, okay. And it’s not like I’m sorry, I’m smashing. It’s not like I’m losing. So it’s, it’s okay. Okay,

 

Brad: Do you still enjoy, enjoy the game.

 

Jonathan: I enjoy the game when the environment is good, right. And the pokergo Studio provides a great environment, it’s a nice, well lit place, they give you free food, that’s it’s, they have great tournaments, great dealers, great for people, etc. So it’s a nice good time. If I’m if I’m not having a good time, I don’t think I enjoy it quite so much. I think the days of going to grind cash games all day and an environment I don’t like just because the game is good or behind me. But you know, if the environment is good, I’m happy to play.

 

Brad: Yeah, so it’s heavily influenced by by the environment. And it’s no longer just like, you know, for love of the game.

 

Jonathan: Well, I mean, it’s like, there’s only so many hours in the day, right. And I have a lot of stuff going on. I mean, most of my time is spent running poker coaching.com, because that is a business that takes a lot of effort. And that’s fine. So I realized I don’t actually have a ton of time to go play. I also have a wife and two kids, and they take a ton of time, I have a business, it takes a lot of time, a family takes a lot of time. And that leaves me with, you know, whatever, for a lot of time, or six or eight weeks a year to go play poker, right. So when I do go play poker, I tried to play a lot of poker, but it’s not like I’m going to grind determined all day, then grind cash games all night and sleep and wake up and do it all over again, I’m going to play my tournaments try to be as well rested as I can and still maintain everything else I have going on. Because you know, poker coaching doesn’t stop whenever I’m traveling. So there’s inevitably stuff I have to wake up and do in the morning before I go to play. And I guess I guess I’m a business person to some extent, and not a professional poker player who only plays poker anymore, but I think that’s okay. There’s a lot of a lot of value in diversification. 

 

Brad: Yeah, I am not a professional poker player who plays poker anymore, either.

 

Jonathan: Good, you graduated. Congratulations. 

 

Brad: I have graduated to now chasing around business and building things out for the long term future of CPG all the time, instead of being on the grind. But

 

Jonathan: I think there’s a lot of people whenever they get into poker, all they want to do is play poker, because they don’t actually get to play all that much poker whenever they have a job, right? Most people get to play poker on the weekends, and they’ll go play poker 24 hours over the course of one weekend, and they love it. And then they go back to work for the next week. And then they’re ready to play again. But once you lose that job, or get rid of your job, and you start playing poker all the time, you will realize, okay, I don’t really need this anymore. And you don’t want to play poker all day, every day. I mean, whenever I was 18 to 21, I played sitting goes literally 12 hours a day, every day. So three years of that straight. And then whenever I lived in Vegas, I would play 510 and 1020 at Bellagio 12 hours a day, no problem, right? I did that for a few years straight. And that was enough for me. So I’ve already accumulated a pretty big bankroll. And I did not need to do that anymore. Right. And at some point, you realize, okay, I’m doing okay, on money. And now I’d like to explore other opportunities.

 

Brad: Yeah, I think it’s a natural part of the progression in the poker journey for most people. I mean, there are some guys that I believe genuinely love playing poker and will probably just play poker every day until the end of their days. 

 

Jonathan: I mean, do what you want to do at the end of the day, right? 

 

Brad: Exactly. Right, if that’s what resonates with you. 

 

Jonathan: Yeah. 

 

Brad: So speaking of poker coaching, I wanted to ask you, you know, what projects you’re working on, that you’re excited about at poker coaching. And you know what, what your vision is for, I guess, maybe the next two to three years, it’s hard to project beyond that. I think. 

 

Jonathan: I don’t project very far in advance in general, I just show up and try to do good work. I’m always working to improve the site in general to just make it more user friendly and prettier. I think there’s a lot of value in user experience and user interface. Also, currently, I’m working on go went through a bunch of content from the US Poker Open that I just want to play at, or the poker masters, one of two, I don’t know what they call the thing, the poker Go Tournament, they have a few of them. And we’re gonna be going through a ton of hands that either I played or some of my coaches played out there. And that’s going to do a good job of showing people how to play in tough tournaments, where most of the players are really good. But also, some of the players are not so good, or how to play against players who are pretty good, but will likely make general mistakes that people like good regulars make, right? Like a lot of people don’t, unless they don’t check raise the river often enough as a bluff. So that allows you to value that a little bit thinner, perhaps and also allows you to fold the check raises way more often. And um, that’s, that’s a project I’m working on. Currently, we also have a few of those players who play the super high roller tournaments lined up to start making content for poker coaching, I’m not going to announce that till they actually have stuff turned in, I learned to not announce stuff unless it’s actually done in my hands. But we have a few of the biggest winners in the game lined up to make content for us that will hopefully be out towards the end of the year. And I don’t know how much of my time that’s going to require because maybe they just show up and do great work. Or maybe I have to help them a little bit with it. But that’s exciting, too. So we have we have a lot lined up in terms of many years in advance, I don’t know, man show up and do the work. And so far we show up, we do the work, we continue putting out off the line content, and people seem to enjoy it. 

 

Brad: Do you know how many coaches you have that make regular content on a monthly basis?

Jonathan: I don’t know, man 10 or 12, something like that. 

 

Brad: Yeah. It’s a lot. 

 

Jonathan: I mean, sometimes coaches make content on a month, and they’ll take a month off or I mean, I really realize that poker players have a lot of stuff going on. And especially tournament players who have a schedule of sometimes jam packed, and sometimes completely empty. I tried to be very mean, I let the coaches do whatever they want. To some extent I let them make the type of content they want, I let them turn in content when they want. And I found that that generally keeps coaches happy. I know a lot of the other training sites out there make people sign contracts that are long, and they may require them to turn in X amount of stuff every month. And a lot of coaches come to me disgruntled, I’m like, Oh, come work for me. And they say they can’t because they signed a contract this after they quit this one place. They can’t make content for a year for any other site, etc, etc. Like I don’t do any of that stuff. I mean, I guess I started as a content creator myself. And I realized I just kind of want to do whatever I want to do within reason. And all my coaches Zack Well, within reason and they turn in great content, because I think I let them do generally whatever they want to do.

 

Brad: I can verify on all of these things from personal experience in each one of them. I have signed contracts, I have gone through that whole thing. And obviously I’ve worked with you now for well over a year on the cash game side for poker coaching and will confirm that. Yeah, very chill very lacks, like, let’s

 

Jonathan: Once we do the work. We’re nice and lacks and you do the work, no problem. And fortunately, I usually only work with people who I know or people who have been vouched very highly warming by other people who I know. And I’ve had no real problems. And, you know, sometimes we stop working with people for one reason or another. And that’s fine, right? I mean, 

 

Brad: Sure. 

 

Jonathan: Usually, usually they break up with me, I don’t break up with too many people for whatever reason, because I, I guess I’ve been lucky in that I hire pretty good people to begin with. But you know, sometimes people’s priorities changes or they don’t want to make content anymore. Maybe they don’t like it right and fine, not a problem. But I found that a great way to keep employees happy is to kind of let them do whatever they want, while also ensuring they’re generally motivated people to begin with. And someone’s kind of lazy actually is not motivated, then there’s not much you can do. But pretty much everybody I hire is a self starter and are very motivated to do their work and add value.

 

Brad: Yeah, the poker player makeup is not one that likes to be caged in and bound and told what to do. I think it’s just kind of kind of part of the gig that poker players want autonomy and freedom. And they especially want to fill that if they’re making content for a training platform. And

Jonathan: Yeah! you tell me what you want to do, and I’ll see if we can make it work. Right, 

 

Brad: Right. 

 

Jonathan: And and it’s, I feel like it’s almost my job to make the coach’s life as easy as I possibly can. So that they want to show up and do the work. Because if it’s ever difficult, you’re just gonna want to stop. I remember I used to make content for a company and the backend to actually upload the content was incredibly difficult, incredibly tedious. And making the video would take or making the content would take an hour, let’s say but uploading it and putting it on the site would take another hour. Like I’m just not doing this. I mean, I’d like to help you, but your program is broken. So I tried to do everything I can to just make it as absolutely easy as possible for anyone who works with me to do what I need them to do, right? Like I don’t need a coach to be uploading stuff on the back end if it’s anything more than just drag the file to this place. And that’s it. I mean, it’s my job to have somebody else enter in all the relevant information and tag the thing and all that so I found that if you let people do what they are expert in, they’re usually going to be pretty happy if you make them A lot of stuff they are not expert in or don’t want to be doing any wet.

 

Brad: Yeah, it filters you know, the coaches experience filters to the users experience, it filters into the growth of the business, I can tell you that, like, you get locked in a contract that you don’t want to be in and everything is difficult. Yeah, you’re probably not all gung ho about promoting that platform, you’re going to do the bare minimum, turn your work in and move on. Right, like so. It just makes good business sense. And also, I think, yeah, just the quality of content goes up. I’ll never forget, one of my one of my students watched the video that I had published somewhere and said, like, wow, you know, I’ve watched a lot of your like, playing explainer videos, Brad. And this was like the most phoned in one that I’ve ever seen, like, it was obvious that you weren’t, you just weren’t feeling it, you know. And to me, it wasn’t obvious when I made it. But that was how I was feeling. And that was the result of that. I’m not proud of submitting work that wasn’t 100% to my capability, but it was reflective of how I was feeling at the time. And so like, there’s just all these, you know, consequences that stem from making the coach’s life more difficult, and not having like a smooth, streamlined process, where people can just do the thing they’re really good at, turn it in, and then just kind of move on and have the autonomy to come up with curriculum or ideas or that sort of thing, right?

 

Jonathan: Yeah. And well, I don’t wanna make it sound like I’m hating on the other poker training sites, because I’m not I realized, though, that my poker training site is ran by me and a few very, very good poker players who understand poker very well and understand poker players very well, right. Whereas a lot of the other training sites are ran by marketing people who know poker a little bit. And as you know, less than less about the thing you’re trying to do, like run a poker training site, right? As opposed to like run a marketing platform. You need to have a lot of rules in place, because otherwise, how are you going to know if this guy is going to show up and do good work, right, there’s like, no way you can really know it. But if I’ve played poker with you for 20 minutes, I can probably tell you if you’re going to be somebody who’s actually there doing your best work, which may sound egotistical on my part, but you’ll learn a lot about people from how they play poker. But if somebody is not a poker player doesn’t even know what to look for, you will not know if someone is a self starter and surprisingly motivated, and someone who will show up on time and do their job appropriately. But you can learn a lot by just knowing the space really, really well. And fortunately, know the space well enough to where I can take good coaches. So I’m very fortunate in that we have a few people like that who work with us.

 

Brad: Yeah, it’s great stuff. And speaking of like the content creation side, what’s that look like? For YouTube? I see, you know, you’ve well eclipsed over 100k subscribers on YouTube. I don’t think your morning coffee. I guess it’s brain fuel these days, right?

 

Jonathan: Yeah, we did that this morning. We just so we I don’t do whenever I’m traveling. Because that’s not easy. For me. I don’t want to wake up at 6am pacific time when I have to play a tournament at noon to do that show. So I don’t do it. Right. Kind of like let the coaches do what they want to do. If I don’t want to do it, I don’t do it. But whenever I’m at home, I wake up at 6am and my kids I do my kids, I get him out of the house and then then it’s 9am and I have nothing to do. So we’ll sit down on Mondays and do that show. Today we talked about how to crush your poker home game, various tactics to do that, such as Make sure you know the random games are gonna play. Make sure you figure out exactly what your opponents do, make sure you’re not going to get crushed by rake etc, etc. So anyway, were robbed or taken advantage of and paid out all of these, we talked about all these things. That’s exactly accurate. But so my YouTube content creation is changed a ton over the last few years. I used to do it all myself and now I do almost none of it by myself. And the the product has become way better now. It’s it’s about as easy as it can be. I get sent a document of a video and listing relevant things to talk about listening key poker points to make sure I talked about it. listing things like important keywords, make sure you say and then I make the video. And then I upload the video and then I don’t touch it. And then a week later it comes out on YouTube, like magic, fully edited everything so but like that, that’s comes from being in business a long time and struggling and learning to do it myself and hiring people who can do it better than I can do it. Because I’m not an editor, right? I don’t I don’t know how to do much besides play poker. And so I know how to discuss poker concepts. So let me do that. I’ll give the editor their job. I’ll give you know, poker strategist also, like really make sure I talk about these particular points, or these very high level points. So you only know if you ran the spot through a solver and you know, blocked from various scenarios, et cetera, et cetera. And nice and easy.

 

Brad: It seems like one of your superpowers is due developing very sound processes for things, learning from pain points and streamlining those processes over time, right? It’s like, I think this is a very useful skill for poker players or professional poker players of doing something. And then thinking about what happened, the process in which they arrived at their decision, and then trying to upgrade that process over time, and just iterate and iterate and iterate, and just try to get a little bit better day in and day out. And it seems like you’ve transferred you transfer those skills to the business world as well. 

 

Jonathan: I mean, whenever you’re running a business by yourself, or mostly by yourself, a long time, it was just me and a marketing partner, who would deal with emails and making websites, he would do all the website marketing stuff, I would do all the poker related stuff. And I realized, I don’t really like managing coaches, right, that’s not something I necessarily want to be doing. Right. For the most part, most my coaches are grayed out, I want to make sure they turned in all their content, I don’t want to send out payments to everybody. I used to do that all the time, they would take me, you know, many, many hours to send now payments, the various affiliates and stuff like that. So I don’t like editing videos, right? But I could do it. Okay, right. And as you have a little bit of success, you never really have some funds to spend to have somebody else do those things. So I essentially just outsource everything, I don’t really want to be doing things I’m not particularly good at to people who like to do those things. I think a lot of people don’t realize that. A lot of stuff that you don’t want to do does not necessarily mean that that’s something that everybody doesn’t want to like some people love editing videos, like that’s all they want to do all day. So great. Let them do it. Right. Some people like interacting with the coaches and talking to the coaches, great, let them do it, right. So find people who want to do the things that you don’t want to be doing who can do it better than you. And it’s, it’s tough to fail if you do that.

 

Brad: Yeah, I have a guy in my Slack community shout out to Renee who makes the ads for the podcast and he’s an audio engineer by trade and does a lot of the setup a lot of the sound for like the Dallas Mavericks in Texas and just other giant productions exceptionally professional, and he loves making the ads for CPG. And like he’s incentivized to do so by getting, you know, some free coaching or free content, you know, behind the scenes and like, to him it’s like a fair and fun and to me, it’s it’s an easy trade, right? So there’s always people and and if you would put a gun to my head and said, Brad, you need to make a podcast ad I would do it. But I wouldn’t do it willingly. It’s not something I would enjoy spending my time doing. And He’s way better at it than me. So yeah, it’s like, there’s always somebody, somebody in the world that’s really good at a thing that you don’t want to do. That you can outsource if you can make sure that the incentives are in alignment, right. Like I know, there are plenty of marketers and copywriters that enjoy writing every single day and enjoy honing their craft on a daily basis. And by the way, like copywriting is a craft, and it is something that you need to hone in practice and invest a lot of energy into perfecting over time. And I just don’t have the bandwidth to do said activity. But there are people that do it at a very high level. And yeah, 

 

Jonathan: Did you write your email every day?

 

Brad: I don’t. So I haven’t 

 

Jonathan: Last time I was here, you still did it. And I said, you know, maybe we should maybe take it off. 

 

Brad: I don’t I don’t write. I haven’t written an email in a while. And I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you why. Most most everything for me has gone on pause. While I’ve been building my coaching for profit operation over the last six to eight months. So I haven’t prioritized selling courses, I now have a private coach who I refer people to instead of myself, so I don’t even offer private coaching publicly anymore. Because of you know, the the CPG wolf program. And when I do start writing daily emails, most of them will be about the wolf program when I have it fully fleshed out and streamlined and in the in the place where I know it needs to be in order to start onboarding many more people.

 

Jonathan: How would it feel when you stopped writing an email every day? 

 

Brad: It’s not good. I’m not gonna lie, 

 

Jonathan: You probably didn’t think it would feel good. You probably thought about like, oh, no,

 

Brad: Yeah, there is this like anxiety in the pit of my stomach by not doing it. But I could rationalize like the building the CFP was ultimately the most valuable thing that I could do. And, you know, I can just take off a year, year and a half from right writing the emails. 

 

Jonathan: Yeah, I mean, I think we talked about last time about how I was like locked into some stuff that I didn’t necessarily want to be doing. But I felt like I needed to do it. And you gotta be careful locking yourself into stuff that takes a lot of time that you feel like you have to do even though you don’t actually have to do it. 

 

Brad: Yeah, it’s like 

 

Jonathan: I’m good. You’re focusing on the things that are probably more high value, right. They seem to enjoy more Right, right? I mean, you can still enjoy writing email. But maybe that’s not what you should be doing right, 

 

Brad: Tying it back into poker, right? Like, whenever you’re thinking through decision, your thought process involves prioritizing different data points, and you’re going to prioritize one over the others. And like businesses the same, right, where there’s many things in a day, there’s an unlimited amount of things I could spend my time doing on a daily basis, but it’s up to me to prioritize what I think is most important, and then do that thing. And that’s just something that, you know, you learn, I’m learning Mr. Little, I’m learning.

 

Jonathan: Yeah, I found that making sure I have these priorities, at least pretty clearly laid out is pretty beneficial for me. So every day, I’ll have some thing that I really need to do. Whatever that is, make, make a make a training video, make make multiple training videos, outline a course, write a book, whatever it is, like some I have some big project to do every day. And I wake up and I make a point to spend a decent amount of time doing it. If I don’t get it done. I’ll do it the next day. And I think what happens to a lot of people is they just have a bunch of stuff to do. And they inevitably kind of flounder because they don’t, then they get lost on Twitter or whatever. And then next thing you know, it’s four o’clock, and like, oh, man, I need to probably do some work than they weren’t for two hours, and they’re done. And they don’t get anything done. At the end of the day. I mean, people ask me how I get so much done. I mean, I outsource all the stuff I don’t necessarily want to do, they’re not good at. But also I sit in this office for about 10 hours a day, every day. Well, every day, Monday to Friday, five days a week. That’s it only 50 hours a week, it’s all it takes, you can get a lot of stuff done. If you actually sit here and do the work. Yeah, most people get this. I mean, I make a point to like not get distracted. If I do get distracted as for 30 minutes a lunch, remember, I went for about 30 minutes on yourself, do whatever I want. I mean Too bad about it. I’m happy about it 

 

Brad: 10 hours a day. That’s a long time. You know, I think 50 hours a week, that is quite a quite a load. And I think 

 

Jonathan: Most people work 50 hours a week.

 

Brad: I know, I know. And I spent probably I was laughing because I have my my Apple Watch now that tracks my metrics on a daily basis. And me and me and John, my tactical Tuesday, co host we’re laughing about their days where you know, we get in like 350 Step days that are basically just walking to the computer, using the bathroom a few times and then laying on the couch and going going to sleep right.

 

Jonathan: Yeah! And that’s a problem. That’s probably what I’m doing. Right? 

 

Brad: Yeah, it’s not good. It’s not good. But I think that if the listener would spend just a few hours targeted doing their highest priority thing, they could get way more done than they think they could get done. You know, 

 

Jonathan: And to be fair, maybe your highest priority priority thing needs to be getting the gym. 

 

Brad: Yeah, 

 

Jonathan: If you’re putting into shipping. So one of my things and I write it myself an email at the end of the night, stuff we got to do the morning, one of them is get in the gym. So I get in the gym, I have myself to do now that I can make more than 350 steps now, thten 380 steps.

 

Brad: Exactly you’re making that’s 20% improvement, right or 10% improvement. While I was in California, you know, I have my settings. And I have been like closing my rings closing my circles on my Apple watch. So that’s nice. We walk seven miles one day. So yeah, I have been prioritizing more of physical health because, you know, your your brain goes where your body takes you. And it’s amazing. And also nutrition too, right? Just like eating the right things, putting the right thing in your body. Making sure to consume like plenty of greens on a daily basis, I think is like very, very valuable and important. So all these things sort of feed into you doing the one thing that you’re prioritizing, whatever that thing may be. And just you mentioned distractions, eliminating distractions, I think can change people’s lives, silencing your phone, putting your phone in another room, putting up mechanisms to stop you from like surfing the web or get notifications. Like I’m I actually went when the app I’m not gonna lie, when the Apple Watch came out. I thought it was kind of dumb. I was like, I don’t understand. It’s kind of dumb. But now that I have it, what I realize is like, I get a message and I look at it on my phone or on my on my watch. I don’t look at it on the phone. And then I don’t spend 30 minutes surfing Twitter or whatever it was that I got sucked into after picking up the phone. So just putting these.

 

Jonathan: I don’t even get the notifications because I do not have an Apple Watch. I have no watch anymore. And that’s by design. And my phone’s just usually on silence and my wife will come anywhere every once in awhile. Like why don’t you answer my texts? Because I can only get into 

 

Brad: Airplane mode, right? 

 

Jonathan: Yeah. So it’s like it might as well be in airplane mode. And I don’t even look at stuff whenever I’m in the office grind. I mean, I’ll look at it whenever I you know, meeting my lunch or if I have to go outside to do something, but I like I don’t even see it. I used to get notifications all the time for like every email that came in hundreds of emails Today, so like, I don’t need that I need. Another good example is like emails. So I’ll answer my emails two times a day in the morning, and before I’m done for the day, and that’s it, like, I’m not replying to emails in the middle of the day or anything like that. And I think that that is valuable, because it lets you focus on the stuff that you want to be focusing on. It’s really easy to get distracted with stuff, I mean, going back to the NF T’s, maybe that’s just a big distraction for me, because it’s it’s eaten up many weeks of my life at this point. And maybe it’s a distraction. But I would recommend that people find stuff that they enjoy doing, where they are building something and adding value to other people. And if you do that, like even if it doesn’t, necessarily doesn’t necessarily end up being monetarily rewarding, you’ll know that you have helped people and other people have enjoyed their selves more because of you. So I would recommend people be careful making the priority of playing video games and get to x level today. Like that’s probably not a good use of time, or maybe even grind poker 12 hours in a day, that’s probably not a great use of time, you want to make sure that you are doing stuff to set yourself up long term. And certainly you have to work hard to develop any skill. But you want to make sure that you’re doing things that are actually beneficial at the end of the day.

And speaking of minimizing distractions, what would you say is the thing that folks who pursue poker at a medium to high level get distracted by that they, they can feel like they’re actually doing work, but they’re not actually really doing very much

social media, you know, do people view that as work? I don’t know. I mean, I know I sit there and play high stakes poker tournaments, I watch some of these people grind on Twitter all day, and I don’t know what they’re doing. Maybe they think they’re goofing off, maybe they think they have to do it. Maybe they have to keep up with all these people that don’t think about social media, it’s it’s pretty easy to click the Follow button and kind of difficult to click the unfollow button. And so inevitably, you have a following list of 1000s of people. And a lot of people feel like they must be a completionist they have to read, everything becomes finished. I have like three lists that have something like 20 people on each list. And I just go through those three lists, I’m reading what 20 People put out each day, or 60 people put out each day on three different topics. And that’s it. And it doesn’t take much time at all. And sure you don’t see everything but who cares, it doesn’t make a difference. Because to be fair, most stuff that most people do does not make a difference to your life whatsoever. And that’s okay. So that’s something people end up spending a lot of time on playing other games, right? I a lot of poker players play nonsense games, I say nonsense games games that you don’t really play for money play for fun, right? Or for entertainment, you know, myself included, I inevitably volunteer Magic the Gathering every once in a while. And next thing you know, I’ve spent 20 hours a week on it. I’m like, oh, man, that was that was an error. Sure, I had fun. Maybe even I made a few bucks. But like for enjoyment is a hobby. And the question is, is do you have time in your life right now for a hobby that takes 20 or 30 hours a week? Maybe the answer is yes. And if the answer is no, it depends on what you have going on. But whenever you have a business and poker, and then if T series and wife and two kids in this podcast to do here, you don’t have a lot of time to be doing other stuff. And that’s okay, that that is something you’d like to be doing. But something you have to push to the side for now. And and that you just have to be okay with that and not feel bad about that. Like, I used to feel bad about not being able to do some things like it was always one of my goals to learn to speak other languages. But it wasn’t really a goal, I wasn’t actually going to try that hard. And I wasn’t really gonna put that much effort into it. And for like, six months, were like, oh, I should really be spending more time on this. And I just kind of feel bad about myself for not doing this thing. But then I realized, like, I don’t have the time and energy to put into this right now. So I’ll put it off. Maybe we’ll return there later in the future. But I’m not gonna feel bad about it. It’s gone. It’s done. I’m not doing it. In my mind completely.

 

Brad: It’s like, there’s an infinite amount of amazing books to read. Yeah, it’s impossible to read them all before our deaths. Right. 

 

Jonathan: I have, I have probably 30 books to read. And whenever I go on a trip, I’ll take one or whenever I have a little bit of time, I’ll sit there and read for an hour or two. But I’ve, I’m not going to get through all of them. And I fully realize that and I’m cool with that, right? Yeah, a lot of people get into their minds that they must complete everything they start. And that’s a real big problem, especially with things that are never ending, like read all the books that I’m recommended or play various video games, especially ones that are open ended and lasts forever. There’s a Mario Kart game on the i iPhone with my my kid lights. And so I inevitably started playing it for fun to level up the character you love with the characters and definitely next thing you know, and spending 30 minutes a day playing Mario Kart on my phone. Like this is the dumbest thing ever. Because I don’t need to play Mario Kart on my phone. And I gotta get rid of it right? I mean, sure. I had a very high level high level account and it’s just done. And I’m okay with it. It’s not a problem, right? So I’m always looking out for things that I’m doing that are not either like things i I’m gonna be adding values what amounts to me either to my bank account or to other people one of the two there You’re already making a bunch of money or helping a bunch of people. And if you’re doing things that either make you a bunch of money or help a bunch of people, then you’ll probably end up being okay. But if you’re doing stuff that’s pretty much only for you, if it doesn’t make any money, then maybe something you need to be doing differently. Probably health is also something you should focus on, like getting in the gym is something you kind of do only for you, or kind of do for other people, like, you know, your family and stuff and others or whatever. But, you know, health is important as well.

 

Brad: It is for sure. And I think Jonathan’s wife just handed him look like a some sort of

 

Jonathan: A baby monitor, I guess I fly, my wife go, 

 

Brad: I see. So it’s not a switch at all. It’s, it’s more important that, I’ve gotten, I’ve had to get okay with reading 10 or 15 pages of a book and realizing like, Okay, I just don’t need to finish this book. Like, for a long time, I wanted to finish every one that I started. And now it’s like, all right, like a lot of people highly recommended. It’s not resonating with me, I gotta move on to something else.Because…

 

Jonathan: I think there’s a program that Alex Fitzgerald recommended to me a long time ago called Blinkist. I think it’s what it’s called, basically, it’s a bunch of book summaries. It’s like five pages long. And if you get a book and you want to read the book, but then you just kind of hate the book, but you want to have some idea what people are doing, maybe you need to maybe look at something like that.

 

Brad: Yeah, there’s lucid, it’s an app that I pay for that gives like, you know, the biggest ideas, bite size and Cliff Notes. And you can go through a book and you know, 20 minutes or something like that with a full with visual illustrations and nice built built in mechanisms to help you retain the information. And I find that that’s quite quite nice for getting the high level concepts out of, you know, some of the more popular books in pop culture, or that folks are recommending, although… 

 

Jonathan: Kind of that you want to people need to look at, where are they spending their time, and where they’re spending their money? Both of those things, right? I mean, a lot of people to spend a lot of time watching TV each day. And, you know, like, sounds fine, but you got to ask it, Could I could I? Or should I be using my time better, especially during the COVID period, he very easily could have learned a ton of things. Or you could have watched a ton of Netflix, and it was up to you. And some people learned a ton of skills during that period of time. And some people did not ask 

 

Brad: And some people worked like 80 hours on their business every single week. Wow. 

Yeah, probably being you. Right? Good. Now we have something to show for it. Whereas we could have done nothing and add Well, we could watch TV and we could have known all of the loss of all the TV shows,

 

Jonathan: I could have gone to the gym more I think my body fat percentage definitely went up in the COVID era.

I could have gone to the gym more today. Actually, I have I have a gym in my building, but they closed it during COVID. And I use that as an excuse to not get up and go outside or anything. Right. And that was a problem. But whatever, we’re back and we’re back on it, right? Just because you stopped doing something because you start to fail at something doesn’t mean that you have to be done with it forever, especially if you want to be doing it or No, you need to be doing it right. Volker say he took took poker off for studying poker for a little while. But you want to play poker you want to you don’t want to lose? Well get back into it, right? I mean, you’re not always going to do perfectly all the time. And all you can do is show up and do your best, right, we have to make a point to change things that you do not like about your current situation. And if you don’t like the way your body feels, then changing.

 

Brad: And going back to you playing poker before, before we wrap up here. What do you do as someone with a bunch of different priorities, who wears a bunch of different hats and has limited time to keep up with the poker strategy? You know, as it evolves? Like how do you? How do you fit in poker growth into your just daily routine.

 

Jonathan: So I go through a lot of the content that comes in to poker coaching.com, I watch a decent amount of the videos, not all of them, but I watch a decent amount of them. We have other people who watch them all as well to make sure they’re good quality. And what it amounts to is I made the training site that I wish that I had both whenever I started playing poker and today, a lot of the coaches I hired are literally the best players in the world who are the best at their area of expertise. And I hired them because I want to learn from them. And then everybody else gets to learn from them too. So I go through a lot of other people’s content. I’ve always been somebody who learned from other people pretty well compared to figure it out on my own. And so that’s been very beneficial. Also, Justin Saliba good strong world class player works with me anytime he learned something, he sends it to me. And that helps me stay and at least decent at poker. So I make a point to spend a lot of time going through other people’s content and learning new skills. We also have the poker coaching and study sessions that take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There’s a guy Louie Philippe who runs it and he’s really good with the GTO solver and he goes through and finds all of these spots and he finds he basically summer As it’s common spots, and there’s all that information, I mean, I just get like spoon fed good information on a regular basis like good, consolidated information that other people are spending a ton of time learning. I mean, I guess that’s just the benefit of being being me to some extent where it just falls in my lap, but it just falls in my lap is what it amounts to. And if enough stuff falls in your lap, you’ll at least be okay.

 

Brad: Yeah, hilariously. Silybus has my contact with poker coaching and ended up in the beginning, I thought that he was just like the, like some kind of Jonathan little assistant who interface interface with me and since emails back and forth, and then like somebody sent me a message at one point, and they’re like, oh, yeah, he’s like battling in the 50k. Like, this dude, he’s finally…

 

Jonathan: Just started off just being my Instagram guy to some extent, but he, he helped me with Instagram. I helped him with poker. He was playing tiny stakes poker and he worked hard. grinded hard, did literally everything I said to do. And now he has a World Series bracelet and a bunch of caches, and he plays the highest stakes. So good. So we’re trying for the only problem is he may get too rich and quit on me. But well, I don’t think that’ll probably quit anytime soon.

 

Brad: It’s a good problem to have, you know, your guys…

 

Jonathan: He makes a bunch of deep runs. And then he just took like a place in that tournament in Texas, the 5k. They’re not all the people and only a matter of time before he wins all the money. I guess he already did win a decent amount of money. But yeah, he played high stakes throughout big swings. He’s playing in the highest six games against the best players in the world.

 

Brad: Yeah, believe it was Nick, Petra Angelo, who is saying that like just how, you know, the variance affects things in the world of MTTs, where, you know, he goes on, like a big run, where he’s highly considered as like one of the best MTD players in the world, and then doesn’t do anything for like a year. Right? And it’s like, and then once again, goes on this, like torrid run. And it’s like, he was just like, yeah, like, I feel like I’m not doing anything different than what I was doing when I wasn’t winning anything. It’s just that sometimes everything aligns, and the results start coming. And that’s just the nature of the game.

 

Jonathan: Yeah, I mean, you got to realize you’re playing tournaments, sometimes you just lose the most important flip and every tournament, like imagine, you get it all in four times in a tournament, but one of them is going to be for all your chips. And if you lose it, well, sorry, you lose. I mean, the other day, when I made the final table, I had a nice chip lead for 500, whatever it was, and I just lost like seven all ends in a row, sometimes they’re gonna lose seven wins in a row, you’re not going to win, right. And like, if I had won any of them, I just would have won the tournament had an extra, whatever, $100,000 or $70,000, whatever it is in my pocket, but instead, we don’t, and probably could have lost the flip Merlijn day one, or whatever it is, right. And you’re gonna have a lot of swings in tournaments. And you have to be well prepared for that. And if you look at the highest stakes, tournaments, at any point in time, there’s many players who are down like, um, you know, minus 50% ROI for the year. But they’re like the best player in the world, right? It’s just it’s variance. Sometimes you’re on poorly, you have to accept that the general public doesn’t seem to like that, though. They think that if you’re winning, you must be good. And if you’re losing, you must be bad. And sometimes it’s true, but oftentimes, it’s not true.

 

Brad: Yeah, it’s not as binary as that. How do you feel about the Hendon mob? And this was just something that was on my mind about how the picture painted by Hendon mob is, let’s say, not accurate, simply because like we have the caches, but then we don’t have like the downside. And like, should that even be a thing that is published? Is it private information? Like how do you feel about like, oh, player X has been playing for 20 years, and they have 4 million and cashes. 

 

Jonathan: Oh that’s not good!

 

Brad: But yeah, it’s not it’s not a good thing, right?

 

Jonathan: I hate the rhythm. 

 

Brad: The man doesn’t add up, 

Jonathan: I remember looking at the Global poker index a while back, and I think I was like, number 18, or something. And I was, like, down, somebody’s gonna do I need to be number 23. 

 

Brad: They’re getting scratched..

 

Jonathan: The other number on this list , right? So it’s a tough thing. I think that if we were trying to make poker a legitimate sport, you probably want to make it very clear who the winners and losers are. But I don’t think it’s in the game’s best interest to make it a clear sport. Because a lot of the funding for poker comes from the players who are losing, and you don’t want it well, all the money, all the money comes from players who are losing, and you don’t want to do anything to discourage the players who are losing from playing your games, right? Like imagine every cash game player cooperated every time they lost the pot. Well, the losers may get annoyed, maybe would quit kind of quickly, right? And posting on the internet that someone is a big loser at poker is bad for them because they’re, they’re not gonna want to play but also can be bad for their life. Right? Maybe they’re a finance professional or something. And it’s their job to make good investment decisions yet they’re bad at poker. And to be fair, maybe poker is where they blow off steam, right? You make $5 million a year and you lose $100,000 You’re playing poker, probably a okay. And you don’t want to do anything to make those players not want to play poker. So I would not be opposed to like a theories that made it clear we’re going to post wins and losses. But I don’t think they need to necessarily change anything at this point in time for the mob, because that’s how it has been done. That doesn’t mean it should always have been done that way. But I think it is wise to not do anything to turn off the players who are losing in the game. 

 

Brad: Yeah, that’s something that I actually didn’t consider is pulling up somebody’s hand involved, who is just like recreationally playing MTTs. And it’s like, oh, minus $3 billion. That’s probably not information that that anybody wants publicly available? 

 

Jonathan: Not well, it’s tough because maybe they need to do they can get in good cash games or whatever, you know. But it is a tough thing. Because most high level professionals want to be viewed as competent, right? And most high level professionals are the people who are getting paid good money. So if you’re, if you really want to be viewed as competent in your job, the last thing you wanted something online saying you’re really bad at something. And you know, being down a ton of money in poker, we definitely do that. So I think as long as everyone agrees to that, being the case like that, that a presentation being the case of wins and losses, I think it’s fine, but maybe end up being a pretty tough series.

 

Brad: Yeah. And maybe it’s just like, people who opt in for one reason or another for a specific like year long tour experiment, something like that.

 

Jonathan: I mean, imagine cash games. Imagine every time you won or lost it was published on the Internet,right? 

 

Brad: We’re just every time I won. 

Jonathan: Yeah. You’re a lot of money. 

 

Brad: Yeah, I would be like number one on hinted mob if every time I one was posted, and every time I lost was never posted.

 

Jonathan: Yeah. So when the DECA degeneracy discord, they were talking about various poker players, and somebody just like pulled up a spreadsheet, they made themselves of everyone wins and losses from the hustler casino show recently. And they said like everybody’s wins or losses for how much they’re up or down in cash names. Some people aren’t a lot, some people are down a lot. And obviously, it’s still short term variants. But imagine they run that game for five years, you’re gonna get a very clear picture of who is winning and losing if it’s all mostly regulars, right? Yeah.

 

Brad: And they also played after the stream to, like five or 10 hours, like when the stream dies. So ..

 

Jonathan: Yeah, you never know what happens after the game. I

 

Brad: I  mean, we have no idea.

 

Jonathan: I remember one game I played, I won like a ton of money. And then shortly after, it just got like, set over set free times lost all my money socked but everybody thought, yeah, congrats on your big win. Like, yeah, thank you. But yeah, so I don’t think it’s necessarily good to publish the results. Unless you’re trying to make it a sport. Are we trying to make legitimate sport? Probably not. Maybe, but probably not. So I’m not so turned off by I mean, as a cash game player, you realize you really want to play with the bad players? Right? And you don’t want to turn them off? 

Exactly. So shutting down today, it’s been great having you on the show, always a pleasure. Where do you want to direct folks who are listening right now?

Hopefully go over coaching member head over to poker coaching.com/free. Maybe Brad has an affiliate code. So you’re filling voted me out?

 

Brad: I have one but embarrassingly, I don’t know what it is off.

 

Jonathan: Come on. Come on. You got to put a link below in the description. Go go use that one. So Brad gets the money. Yeah, we’ll put it on the show page. I’m happy to pay Brad for sending all of you to poker goshen.com If he doesn’t put it there, go to poker coaching.com/free Give it a try. If you want ask a masterclass Turner masterclass, we have a lot of content at poker coaching.com/premium Follow me on YouTube youtube.com/poker coaching we have a lot of content there. Brad has some content there and it’s a lot of fun. We did we did a few joint videos this summer the World Series maybe we’ll do it again. Next time and those end up being a lot of fun people enjoyed us.

 

Brad: And the deck of degeneracy aswell. 

 

Jonathan: Oh yeah. Yeah. deck of degeneracy.com. Check that out. Give them the discord. You enjoy having some of the action.

 

Brad: Alright, man, it’s been great having you on check out all of Jonathan littles projects. And yeah, we’ll I’m sure do this again in the near future, man. Take care.

 

Jonathan: Thank you. Thank you for being here. Good luck. Have fun. Enjoy yourself.

Thanks for reading this transcript of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 220: Jonathan Little

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