Q: Harnessing Vulnerability To Power Your Poker Career

Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 004

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Today I’m speaking with one of the most fun and animated women to ever mix it up on the green felt. Known simply as “Q”, she recently began publishing a chronicle of her own poker plays and thoughts through the ”P’s and Q’s Poker Vlog” on YouTube and it has skyrocketed in popularity.

She’s a well-established cash game player who admittedly likes to take advantage of the men at the table who underestimate her simply because she’s a woman. By the time you get to the end of this episode you’ll understand what a big mistake it really is to underestimate Q.

To say that Q is determined to reach her goals and dreams would be a gross understatement. I don’t want to spoil anything ahead. As we move through the conversation, though, you’ll learn not only how she’s already far along the path to poker greatness, but also how she’s willing to push it all to the side, start over, and do it again.

You’ll get her views on what it means to be great in the world of poker, how she’s been able to keep growing consistently, and her somewhat unusual ideas on how to find and utilize coaches. She’ll even share her best advice on what to do if you can’t find a coach to help you with your own game.

In what has become a sort of regular theme that many guests seem to talk about naturally, Q goes into quite a bit of detail about how the things we learn from playing poker can affect our lives away from the game and vice versa.

She’s got opinions on just about every facet of the game and the people who play it and she’s not afraid to express them. She also has a very special quality of always speaking in a way that gets her point across with respect, and very often with humor. Q is such a delight to listen to and I had such a blast talking with her. Can’t wait for Round 2 in the future! So without any further ado, download my conversation with Q and don’t forget to subscribe!

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Transcription of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 004: Q

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Brad: Welcome my friend to another episode of Chasing Poker Greatness. I’m your host, founder of enhanceyouredge.com, Brad Wilson, and I am so happy you’re joining me here today as I speak with the game’s best players and ambassadors, who will reveal in their own words the wisdom, guidance and techniques that push them forward on their journey to poker greatness. Today, I’m speaking with one of the most fun and animated women to ever mix it up on the green felt. Known simply as Q, she recently began publishing a chronicle of her own poker play, and thoughts through The P’s and Q’s Poker Vlog on YouTube. She’s a well-established cash game player who admittedly likes to take advantage of the men at the table who underestimate her simply because she’s a woman. By the time you get to the end of this podcast, you’ll understand what a big mistake it really is to underestimate cue to say that she’s determined to reach her goals and dreams would be a gross understatement. I don’t want to spoil anything ahead. As we move through the conversation, though, you’ll learn not only how she’s already far along the path to poker greatness, but also how she’s willing to push it all to the side. If necessary, start over and do it again. You will get her views on what it means to be great in the world of poker, how she has been able to keep growing consistently, and are somewhat unusual ideas on how to find and utilize coaches. She’ll even share her best advice on what to do if you can’t find a coach to help you with your own game. And what has become sort of a regular theme that many guests seem to talk about naturally, q goes into quite a bit of detail about how things we learned from playing poker can affect your lives away from the tables and vice versa. She’s got opinions on just about every facet of the game, and the people who play it. And she’s not afraid to express them. She also has a very special quality of always speaking in a way that gets her point across with respect, and very often with humor. She really is a delight to listen to, and I had an absolute blast talking with her. I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation as much as I did. With that being said, I present to you, Q.


Brad: All right. Q Welcome to the show. How are we doing this evening?


Q: Thanks, Brad. 


Brad: I guess it’s not evening.


Q: It’s afternoon.


Brad: It’s afternoon.


Q: Yeah. All the same?


Brad: Well, I was gonna say, I was up at six at the gym. So, maybe I’m just a little confused about the topic now.


Q: You’re showing off now, huh.


Brad: I had to get prepared for today. Today’s a big day. Doing podcast interviews and all sorts of things. I like being prepared.


Q: I’m with you on that.


Brad: So, the name of the show is Chasing Poker Greatness, which can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. So, I’d like to know first, what does chasing poker greatness mean to you?


Q: Well, to me chasing poker greatness means chasing your best version of yourself. As you know, as a poker player, it’s a solo sport. And your success is really determined by your ability to master yourself. And that’s the greatest greatness that will achieve your poker greatness.


Brad: Ah, you’re taking words out of my mouth. I tell my students, I tell my guys all the time that you know, don’t compare yourself to Phil Ivey. Compare yourself to you, every day.


Q: Yes.


Brad: And just try to be the best version of you.


Q: Agreed.


Brad: And eventually, eventually you reach the greatness, right?


Q: Yep. Yep.


Brad: So, tell us the story about how you got into playing cards.


Q: Oh, wow. So back in like 2007. I worked at MySpace. Everybody knows MySpace, right? 


Brad: This is an old story.


Q: It’s an old story, an oldie but a goodie.


Brad: Yeah.


Q: And my friends and I on Tuesdays, we go to Carol’s house, and Carol would make all this wonderful food. And we’d have all these dreams. And we’d sit there and have a single table, sit and go. And initially, I was like, I don’t know. I don’t want to go here. I’m gonna be there. They’re gonna kick my ass. And then over time, because you have the ability to talk about things to your friends, hey, why did you check raise me? Or why did you call my bluff? Or how, what is this statistical mathematics thing you’re doing? And eventually got pretty good. And I started winning these single tables set and goes.


Brad: What was the buy in?


Q: Oh, it was like $40.


Brad: Nice.


Q: $40. And then third place gets money back. First place gets 60% or 65%, I think. And then second place got 30.


Brad: You started beating them down.


Q: I started whooping them. Whooping up on them. And it became consistent. And then I started taking it to the casino, which was also another level of uncomfortability, you know, vulnerability, like, I’m this young girl in a casino.


Brad: Yeah. Tell me Tell me about that being a young girl in a casino, because I shudder to think.


Q: You know, I still get underestimated because I probably still look like a young girl in the casino. So.


Brad: Well, all the poker players there are like 80. So.


Q:  Exactly. I’m this young woman of color, sitting at a table with a lot of old, white males. And they’re like, Oh, look, she’s so cute. She wants to play the poker. And actually, back in the day, that Mirage used to have single table sitting girls as well. And I used to go to Vegas a lot. And so, I would go to the Mirage and play the $70 single table sitting though, because I felt safe. Like, either I’m gonna win a shit ton, or I’m gonna lose $70 like, I can take that risk. And the same thing happened. You know, at first I got my ass handed to me, and up on a plate. And then over time, I started windmill $70 sitting goes and I moved up to $150 sitting goes. And then eventually I moved to the, to the floor and started playing cash games and huh, started reading more super systems was my second book that I read. My first book was actually a Daniel Negreanu book. I love Daniel Negreanu. And watching him, as I began learning, he was everywhere on television, and I felt like we had similar poker personalities. I’m jovial. I’m friendly. I like to talk and gather information at the table. But so many other poker players at that time were just completely opposite. You know, poker was just like a solo, solo sport. And I loved how Daniel approach the game. And I still do and so like read his book, and then I read super systems, and it was off to the races.


Brad: Is that what led you to making the jump from getting crushed in the sitting goes, in the brick and mortars, to being a favorite?


Q: Yeah, that was a big deal. Because I was using my learnings from my friends. And they could only take me so far.


Brad: Sure.


Q: Right. We’re sitting in a living room. And I’m utilizing a lot of the information that they’ve learned but to be the best, you have to learn from the best. And poker is an ever-evolving sport. You must, it up your game. And I wasn’t using, you know, hand odds versus pot odds and really understanding the strategy and the mathematics involved in the game and statistics. And I love math. And so, once I got into that it was like, what? This whole new world like, hey, yeah, I can do this.


Brad: Things started opening up.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: I know that you said before, like poker is a solo sport, in that you’re by yourself at the table, but it does take, you know, my poker journey, specifically. I had a friend who pushed me. And you know, he was very ambitious. He was very skilled and very good. And like iron sharpens iron.


Q: Yes.


Brad: Neither one of us would have been successful had it not been for the other. And so.


Q: Yes.


Brad: You know, even though it’s a solo sport, even reading supersystem, right? You kind of got dole in your corner. Reading Daniel Negreanu.


Q: Exactly.


Brad: You got him in your corner, right?


Q: Well, you have coaches. And I think that’s really important to have a community of people that you can share information with and learn and grow together, and they become your coaches. But when you’re on the phone, you have to take all of that knowledge, all of that information, all that experience and apply it yourself and try not to


Brad: Screw it up.


Q: Yeah. 


Brad: Try not to drop the ball.


Q: Exactly.


Brad: Who is your coach right now? Who do you go to for poker wisdom and growth?


Q: Right now, I’ve been taking a lot of master classes. I took the Daniel Negreanu master class. I took the Phil Ivey master class. And I was, I read. Right now, I’m reading an incredible book that I think every poker player should read. It’s called the Mental Game of Poker, by Jared Tendler. Are you familiar with that?


Brad: Yep. Oh, yes.


Q: It’s incredible. It’s, it’s interesting, because it’s not just about poker, to me. It’s a life book. It’s all about mastering yourself. And then on the side, I have so many friends that play poker, and we all coach each other. And it’s really great. One of my great friends, her name’s M. She’s all over the blog. She’s actually one of the reasons I started the blog. She’s a huge encourager. She, she really pushed me over the edge to just hey, stop thinking about it. Just do it.


Brad: How did you meet M?


Q: M and Is I met at a poker table. Of course.


Brad: That jolly personality pays off.


Q: Exactly, yeah, we were playing in a private game. We were the only two ladies there. And by the end of it, it was like, I had to leave. But there was no way I was leaving without knowing this goddess at the other side of the table. And we, we stayed in touch, and we just grew into this beautiful, beautiful friendship. She’s like my sister.


Brad: That’s awesome.


Q: Yeah, and she’s one of my coaches. She’s a bad ass poker player.


Brad: Yeah, it’s good. when your coach it coach is a badass poker player, I’ve heard the bad back. If you want to coach, typically, they need to be pretty good.


Q:  They need to be bad ass.


Brad: They need to be bad ass for sure. So, what would you consider your biggest poker failure?


Q: You know, I think my biggest poker failure was thinking that I had all the information. There was a period of time where I wasn’t studying. And I wasn’t growing. And I was just thinking that I was going to figure it out through experience. I wasn’t talking enough to other players. I wasn’t reading enough. I wasn’t studying. I was just thinking like, oh, the more I play, the better I’ll get. And that’s a factor. But the training is critical. I have made leaps and bounds. Since I’m really dug down and took my training and my courseload. And my reading, and my learning, and my studying more seriously. I have really dedicated the time.


Brad: How do you go about, for people listening, that maybe don’t have any friends that play poker or want to, you know, be more jovial, meet people playing live that they can discuss poker with, what advice or wisdom would you give to them?


Q: I’d say get in the community. One way to just study that I think is very effective is actually just watching videos of other people playing poker. We have YouTube, it’s all over the place. You got PokerGo, and so many resources to watch. And you can see what people are doing. So, it’s almost like coaching as well. Hey, why did this guy do that? And look at the results. And then in terms of the real live action, in person with people, get out of your comfort zone. Breakthrough that see someone, say hello. It’s pretty easy. They’ll probably say hello back. And poker players love to talk about poker.


Brad: Yes, they do.


Q: Oh, yeah.


Brad: I was watching a movie the other day. I can’t remember what it is. But there was a quote that said the world’s full of lonely people, waiting for somebody else to make the first move.


Q: Exactly.


Brad: And I think at the poker table, it definitely applies. And I was at Cherokee at a tournament a few weeks ago. And I’ve been an online guy for a number of years. I haven’t played live in probably four or five years. And so, I met Cherokee, and I’m growing enhanceyouredge.com. I’m growing my thing. And I was having this thought of like, you know, we’re like poker conventions, where it’s just like poker people, you know. Are there any poker conventions, and it’s two in the morning. I’m standing in line getting some food of course, like this is so contrary to me normally, but I make day two of a tournament it ends at like 12:30 I’m like, I need some food.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: And this guy just starts talking to me about poker like right behind me, about a scaling in like raising preflop, and strategy and all this stuff and I’m like, okay, yeah, this is the convention, like the tournament exam tournament series is. This is where the people that love poker go.


Q: I was gonna say the World Series of Poker.


Brad: Yeah, yeah, that was the I was thinking more like an expo. I don’t know.


Q: But it is an expo.


Brad: That’s true.


Q: There are poker players from wall to wall who can’t wait to talk about poker. And would love to talk more about poker?


Brad: Yeah, they can’t talk enough. I know that when I’ve been there. There’s like just groups of like, hundreds of players. And if you just sit there and listen, you just hear like float, check raise reel, tilt, donkey.


Q:  Music to my ears.


Brad: Yeah, all the poker lingo.


Q: Literally any tournament, you go to any poker floor you go, to those are conventions. And that’s where you’ll find your coaches, your mentors, your allies, like the people who are going to help you get through that, that slump when you’re on a downswing and help you understand why you made that bad decision, so you don’t make it again.


Brad: And humility matters. And just take the first step. Just talk to people. Try to be humble. 


Q: Yes.


Brad: Let go.


Q: Be humble.


Brad: Poker is very interesting to me. It’s a game where you got to be humble, but you also have to be assured.


Q: Aggressive and rash.


Brad: You just you need to have self-assurance. But you also need to question things as well. Like, there’s lots that come up where you need certainty, to pull the trigger.


Q: Yes.


Brad: But then you also need to have humility to look at spots to see where you can improve in the future. So yeah, toeing that line is, it’s a tough thing, your ego can spin out of control. And when I was 22, or 23, God helped me. It’s, I’m embarrassed to even think about myself.


Q: Really? Were you one of those guys?


Brad: I don’t think like, I don’t know. Let’s not get into it. I don’t know. I wasn’t, I think I’ve always been gregarious, jovial at the poker’s table. But when I was younger, my brain wasn’t fully mature. Sometimes I didn’t like people. And if I don’t like somebody, then I come after him.


Q: You take it out on them on the table.


Brad: I mean, I take it out. I would take it out on them. Just however I could. If a guy talks bad about a recreational player, then me and that guy are at war. And when he loses a pot, I’m gonna talk trash, then that’s just yeah. I, over time, I’ve mellowed.


Q: Look at you now.


Brad: Look at me now.


Q: Yeah. We’re all a work in progress. And the fact that you were able to look within and decide, hey, I want to be a better brand. I want to be a different type of brand. That is a choice that you only can make. And you did.


Brad: Well, 22 man, that’s 13 years ago. I find, I find that every, every decade, every five years to go by, I’m like a brand-new person. Like I don’t even recognize my 22-year-old self.


Q: Yeah. What about you on that?


Brad: Yeah.


Q: Yeah, you know, I feel, I feel that way, in so many ways. I think we should always be re-inventing ourselves. We should be evolving. I’m very similar, in a lot of ways to who I was growing up. I’m silly. I love to laugh. I talk to everyone in the room. I try my best to consider others, and how my impact on them will affect them in the long term. That’s something that I think I got growing up at home. My parents are very like that. We wiggle. When we will be out when I was a kid, they would be so kind and gracious to everyone around. And I think that’s where I got that from. But I really do see myself even growing into a bigger, brighter start.


Brad: How do you marry those two attributes of being giving, caring, all those things and then being cutthroat and ruthless, playing cash games at a poker table?


Q: Well, you know, that’s what they came to sit down and do. And that’s why I tell my friends. Yo, don’t sit at this table with me. Because I love you. And when we leave here, I’ll give you my last dollar. But I’m coming for you. And that’s just the game we play. So, there is a line. But I’m not a trash talker per se at the table. I keep it pretty chill. In terms of like shit talk, unless somebody is coming from me, yeah, I know pump. You know, but I’m not going to start no shit. I’ll start shit by stacking somebody.


Brad: Yeah. I like to think that now, nowadays for the last decade or so. Me neither


Q:  It’s true.


Brad: If somebody does pick on a fish or a recreational player, then I will say something. And actually, now that I’ve gotten older and more mature if anybody, you know, there’s a lot of you being a woman, I’m sure, you know. The inappropriate comments and stuff like that, I’ve made it.


Q: Oh, yeah.


Brad: I’ve made it a point to stand up. And in that scenario as well, where


Q: I think that’s important to, to use our voices to protect those who may not have them.


Brad: 100%. And the thing is, I’ve just seen so many, been a part of so many cringe worthy situations, played in games with people that have threatened to shoot a dealer.


Q: What?


Brad: A female dealer, and just it’s like, it’s because you know, we’re playing for big stakes and lots of money. And people just think they can treat other people however they want to, and


Q: They need to read this book.


Brad: Over time, like, I’ve just learned that I don’t want to be a part of that. And if I don’t say anything, then nobody’s going to say anything. So, somebody’s got to stand up and do the right thing at a poker table. Just because you’re playing cards, doesn’t give you the right to disrespect somebody else.


Q:  Agreed.


Brad: And especially, especially women who are typically out-numbered nine, nine to one at the poker table.


Q: Exactly. I was playing in a casino once. And a man actually said to this lady, she was such a nice lady. She was visiting from out of town, I’d already gotten the scoop on her. She was happy to be there. Such a nice lady. And he said, that’s why women shouldn’t play poker. I don’t even know why you’re here. You shouldn’t be allowed to be here. Oh, and I’d actually move tables, and M was at the table and she went off.


Brad: What did she say?


Q: She said, I cannot believe that you think it’s okay to disrespect anyone in this manner. And she called the floor. And she was like, you need to apologize, or you need to get the fuck out. I love her.


Brad: I’m guessing he didn’t apologize.


Q: Though he didn’t, he didn’t. But the floor made him. Like, give them a warning like, hey, this is inappropriate is not going to stand if you continue along this path, we will remove. And I appreciate that as well.


Brad: People like that need to be called out for their behavior. I mean, we’re playing a game. People are playing the game. We’re trying to have fun. Just there’s not really room to disrespect other people at a poker table.


Q: I agree.


Brad: Let’s, let’s segue, segue a little. What would you consider your biggest poker success, so far?


Q: My biggest poker success so far? I have, I have a few. So, to narrow it down to one.


Brad: Okay, two or three.


Q: Okay, I started off as a cash player, as you know. And I recently made the transition to really becoming a serious tournament player. And as similar as the game is, it’s the same game structure wise. But strategically, and mentally, it is a completely different game. And it took me, I’m still in the process of becoming the best that I can be. And during that, that’s why I started the vlog to document it. So, I broke out of my comfort zone. To start this vlog. I broke out of my comfort zone to become the best tournament player I can be. I’m going to be the first woman to win the main. And through this transition, I had to become a homie. I had to do this reinvention thing. I had to start studying all over again. Everything I thought I knew was no longer true. It did not apply. And I’m proud of myself for taking the initiative to do things that make me uncomfortable. Taking the initiative to grow into the best me that I can be. I’m still on the path and the journey, but I’m seeing the fruits of my labor. Finally.


Brad: It’s commendable. I’m always super impressed by people that break out of their comfort zone and put themselves out there


Q: Thanks, Brad.


Brad: In a public way. Because I’m sure you know by now anonymous online trolls can be very mean. Those, those negative comments tend to stick with us more than the positive ones.


Q: They really can. I must say, I got to give a shout out to all the subscribers and viewers for the P’s and Q’s poker blog. I have the most inspiring, encouraging, kind, and they give me great critical feedback. But not to just be mean. I did have one troll, like literally, I have one troll, which, I mean, I got about 30, 40,000 views right now.


Brad: Yeah.


Q: And I really have one serious troll. Like he said, this is where I’m at. This is where I’m wearing. You should come and see me kind of thing.


Brad: Oh, God, what?!


Q: But I have the ratio of how many incredible comments I have. I’ll take it.


Brad: Yeah.


Q: And I replied to him, and I said, I’m wishing you more hugs and kisses in your life. Left it at that.


Brad: Kill him with kindness.


Q: Yeah, I mean, he obviously needs them.


Brad: Need something? I don’t know. I don’t know what he needs. But it I think that’s good, though. I think it’s a testament to you and your personality and who you are and the content that you create that facilitates the building of that type of community. Because at the end of the day, that your community is a reflection of you.


Q: So true. Well, I’m, wow, that’s a compliment. I’m honored.


Brad: Your vibe attracts your tribe. Right?


Q: That’s right. That’s true.


Brad: Tell me what led to you know, what’s your why from switching to cash to tournaments, what led to that?


Q: I made a goal. Way back in the day, MySpace days at Carol’s house, to be the first woman when the main event. Barbara Enright, who’s a great friend of mine, and a mentor, and one of my coaches, is the only woman to have ever made it to the final table in the main event. That was the 1995. And we’re in 2019. No one’s ever gotten close since then. And you can’t win if you ain’t in the game. And me sitting on a cash table does not move me forward to that goal. And I’d almost like yeah, I’ll do it. I’ll do it. I’ll get it done. And Carol, put me on blast. She was like, yo, what’s up with that? You’re not even playing tournaments. She’d be inviting me to tournaments. I’m like, oh, no, I’m gonna play cash. And she’s like, well, remember that goal you made? I didn’t forget it. Did you?


Brad: Why, why that goal? Why? Why did you make that goal?


Q: I made it because my spirit told me that that was for me. And I trust my spirit. I don’t think it’s by accident. There’s some reason that I’m supposed to be on this path. And on this journey. And it’s interesting, because when I made it, I felt it as if it was true, but I didn’t take the actions to accomplish it. And now I’m really, I’ve got my heels dug in. I am going for the glory. And wherever this takes me, I know that it’s intentional. And I’m intended to be on this path.


Brad: Well, I think you’re the perfect person for the show. Chasing poker greatness this. This


Q: Exactly.


Brad: Perfect sense.


Q: Exactly.


Brad: What is the process look like? When you say you got your hills dug in? What is the process for daily improving your game? What does that look like to you?


Q: So, In one of my poker episodes, I interviewed Andrew Neeme. I think it’s episode four. And at the end of it, I asked him for three poker tips to really maximize your game. And one of the tips he gave was prioritize the grind. And I love that tip. Because you know, we schedule everything in our lives, like, hey, I’m going to the gym on Monday to Friday at 8am or I’m going to spend this time with my family or whatever those things are important to you. And for me, poker wasn’t in my schedule at the time. And I said you know what, he’s right. I scheduled my poker time. I make sure that I get in the certain amount of hours per week. I make sure that I get in a certain amount of hours of reading off the felt. I take notes of all of my sessions and I review them. Find the holes fill the holes. I keep great track of my bankroll now, which was definitely a growth. I’m a numbers girl, but sometimes, looking at those red numbers, they hurt.


Brad: They don’t feel good.


Q: But they’re important


Brad: Unless it’s tax time.


Q: Actually, exactly.


Brad: On tax time, I look back at my results. And I’m like, ooh, boy, that’s a minus 11k day. That’s nice.


Q: Uncle Sam, please. Have mercy on me.


Brad: I need some more of these minus 12 and 15k days, less than this, right?


Q: Exactly, exactly. But that’s important. We have to see the numbers. How do you know where you are? You can’t just make that shit up.


Brad: What did you do?


Q: I think a lot of people do. I was doing it for a very long time.


Brad: What is your process for note taking look like? Is it trouble spots? How do you discover what you ought to be studying and growing?


Q: So, when I’m at the table, and I have questionable hands, where it runs out in a way, where either I recognize I made a huge football, I take notes. I put them in my phone. I actually have a folder in my notes on my iPhone called Poker. And then for each session, I make a note and I log everything that occurs. I think some people actually do it in other apps, which is also effective. And I study those notes to understand, hey, in the future, when I’m in a similar situation, I should probably make a different decision. And all of that information kind of floods back to you. They say, when you write things down, I’m a visual person, as well. So, I can kind of recall it a lot easier than trying to remember everything. And it gives me the opportunity to reflect. And I read some old notes. I go back into old sessions, reread them say, ah, I don’t do that stupid thing anymore. Look at me grow.


Brad: That’s great.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: I love the power of notetaking. You get to look at your older self. Read your notes and be like, it’s a tangible thing that shows your growth, which I think


Q: Exactly


Brad: It is. That’s awesome. I think everybody should be taking notes, especially while they’re playing live. And in spots where, typically I tell my students and my guys, spots where multiple decisions points look similar. You can’t figure out which one is better than the other. Those are typically spots that you ought to be analyzing. And also choose the spots early in the decision tree. Because


Q: Yes.


Brad: It’s easy to get bogged down in a spot that happens like once every four lifetimes, and have a super long discussion and spend a lot of energy, but it doesn’t really move the needle.


Q: Right.


Brad: The spots where you know, you’re going to you’re going to face a similar spot 10, 20 times


Q: Consistent.


Brad: Session consistently. Those are the spots.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: The fundamentals that you got to just knock out of the park. And those can make the difference between like a small winner and a big winner.


Q: Yes, that’s really good advice.


What is up you, future star of poker. You. Coach Brad here and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re sitting there wondering, why? Why is coach Brad promoting this PKC poker app thing? Allow me a moment to explain my why. Battling in cash games has been my livelihood for the past 15 years. It’s how I survive and put food on the table, which makes it imperative that I either test out or seek qualified opinions on all the poker platforms on the market. One juicy find can mean the difference between a meh year and an amazing family vacation and why kind of year. With that said, I’ve tried almost all the major poker apps on the market to date. And despite the hype about amazingly juicy games, I’ve come away from the experience unsatisfied. I was just never able to find amazing success against seemingly weak competition, and in one specific case was getting outright destroyed by passive villains playing more than 50% of their hands. What the heck was going on? After many evenings, sitting in the bathtub, wondering if I had lost it, I finally dug into the data and learn something that shouldn’t have been too surprising to you. These dudes were colluding and super using their pants off. So, I swore off those free money, decentralized, devil apps and decided to go back to my more familiar streets of ignition. It was then that I was contacted by a good friend of mine who turned out to be the Vice President of Worldwide Operations in PKC. Him and I had a long in-depth conversation about security, the ecosystem and the future direction of PKC. And he managed to convince me to give it a shot. That shot turned into an incredible six months with an hourly rate that’s about five times what it would have been playing on any other US platform. As it turns out, I didn’t forget how to play. I just needed a level playing field to return to my crushing whites. I have no doubt, that you, my community, my audience is going to play poker somewhere. And I want to be damn sure that you don’t go through the pain and frustration I felt by messing around with any poker app besides PKC. This is why promoting PKC is a no brainer. I love my community. And I want to put you in the best position to succeed at this game that we both loved so much. So, if you’d like to join me in the streets of PKC, simply head to enhanceyouredge.com/PKC and get your invite code to play. You must have an invite code and you must be 21 years of age or older. One more time that’s enhanceyouredge.com/PKC. Best of luck. And now on with the show.


Brad: What some, what some common poker advice you hear that you completely disagree with?


Q: That I disagree with? Hmm. I don’t really get that much bad advice, because I try not to talk to it.


Brad: It could be just over hearing somebody else saying to somebody else.


Q: I think that there’s a culture that’s growing, that thinks that just being aggressive is the only way. Just beat them over the head, just for bet them no matter what. And just barrel on every, every, you know, cart that comes and I think over the short term that can be effective. But I think in the long term, you are really transparent and easy to manipulate.


Brad: Yeah, for sure. They’re unbalanced. You need some finesse to your game.


Q: Yes.


Brad: Friend of mine, who’s he, he’s like that person you just described. He, he, you might have actually know him. And you are describing him exactly. But he, he said a quote in our discord the other day that if brute force isn’t working, you’re not trying hard enough.


Q: Oh, sounds like that guy.


Brad: That’s the guy.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: With every action that you take in poker, you’re looking at goals and what you want to accomplish, and a lot of times checking or calling, accomplish a lot more than just betting. You need to look at your priorities, what you’re trying to get done. And choose based on that. I think


Q: Exactly.


Brad: People just get afraid. They don’t know what to do if they check. So, they just bet. And the bet doesn’t accomplish anything. But they just bet anyway, because that’s their comfort zone. Right?


Q: Right.


Brad: Circling back.


Q: And that’s not balanced.


Brad: Oh, for sure. It’s not balanced. So then when they check, of course, you know, they pretty much never have anything, because they just always bet so.


Q: Exactly.


Brad: So, what’s something you feel folks who are chasing their poker dreams don’t spend enough time thinking about?


Q: I think it’s really important to understand your why. Which is a great question that you asked me, what’s the, what’s the drive? What’s behind it? And what you’re going to do when you get it? And how are you moving along this path along the way? You know, you said something to me earlier today. And I think we all have this thing like when I die, how will people remember me? And I think the type of player you are the poker table, the energy that you bring to the game is really important. We’ve seen, we’ve all seen the players who, you know, lose it all trying to go somewhere. When really, maybe their why, was I want to provide for my family. But then you’ve put them in a dire strait. So, keeping your why at the forefront, I think will help a lot of people to determine how they move along their path.


Brad: And, you know, like Stu Ungar is a perfect example of somebody that wins the main multiple times, wins and loses millions of dollars, ends up broke, and then in Vegas and achieved OACD Oasis motel. You know, there’s nobody that would argue that Stu Unger is great at poker. But.


Q: Yes.


Brad: That’s not the kind of greatness you want to chase, right?


Q: Exactly.


Brad: I think living a good life, at the end of the day happiness, providing for your people living a good life. That to me, is its own form of greatness outside of winning the main, and winning WSOP bracelets and all those other accolades


Q: I agree. And it’s like, I look forward to getting that bracelet, and all of that money. That’s gonna be fantastic. But, what I really love doing is helping people. And along my poker journey, as we talked about earlier, sometimes helping someone is just greeting them with a smile, when they were having a shit day. Sometimes helping someone is monetary. Sometimes helping someone is giving them some great advice. And I look forward to being able to exponential eyes. So that’s part of my underlying why. So that’s what’s going to guide me when I get that big, big, big, giant bag of money.


Brad: Just be like Scrooge McDuck. Have your swimming pool, diving in, swimming through it.

Q: Exactly, everyone. Scrooge wouldn’t say that, but I would.


Brad: Another thing, too, is giving kindness when people don’t deserve it. It can be at the poker table, too. This is a lesson that 22-year-old Brad didn’t really understand that, that the way people act on the outside is almost always a reflection of how they feel on the inside.


Q: Correct.


Brad: So being kind to people, even when you know, they’re dicks, even when they’re assholes, that can make just a giant difference to those people. Because they realize


Q: Yes.


Brad: They know they don’t deserve kindness, right? Like


Q: Right


Brad: Kill somebody with kindness, they understand. And then they reflect. And I think that can make a giant impact as well.


Q: I agree. And that’s on and off the thought.


Brad: Oh, yeah. 100%. What do you think people who are chasing their poker dreams, what do you think they spend too much time thinking about?


Q: I think they spend too much time thinking about where they are now. And not where they’re going. And it’s easy to do you know, you have a good day poker, you’re like, yes, I’m no shit. You have a bad day of poker. You’re like, oh, man, maybe I should quit.


Brad: I am shit, right?


Q:  I am shit, right?


Brad: You just remove the V.


Q: Exactly. Versus understanding the variance and the flow and seeing, hey, this is just a part of the path. But it’s not. It’s not everything. Because where I’m going, it’s over there. It’s not about where I am right now.


Brad: It’s really hard to think long term. And


Q: Yeah.


Brad: Especially when you’re in the middle of a downswing. When things are not going well for you. You feel like the world is ending, that you’re never going to win at poker again. You have all these questions. That’s where you know, Jared Tendler comes into play with the Mental Game of Poker. And it’s something that, it’s hard. And anybody that says they don’t struggle with that aspect of the game, I will say they’re a liar. Like.


Q: Yeah. Or they’re just not aware enough to understand that everyone is.


Brad: Everyone is struggling. Like, you know, I, I’ve struggled. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled, how many times I’ve gone to sleep at night and just wondered like, did I lose it? Have I?


Q: Yeah.


Brad: Did I ever have it? Like, what am I doing?


Q: Yeah. Oh, man.


Brad: Like am I ever gonna win again? And yeah, it’s very common. And I think it’s, I think people ought to speak about it publicly more, so that people realize, oh, that’s normal. This is the norm to feel this way. Don’t


Q: Yes.


Brad: You don’t need to repress those feelings, just feel them. And then kind of let it go and just accept that, yeah, this is part of the process of poker, this is what you sign up for, you know, nothing is straight, straight up.


Q: You are right about that. That is so true. And I love what you said about people talking about it more, so that other people listening, recognize that they’re not alone. And it’s not abnormal. It’s actually the norm.


Brad: And I interviewed a guy about a year ago who, he gave me some wisdom that has always stuck with me. And that was that people look at vulnerability, as a thing to be ashamed of. They don’t want to be vulnerable. But really, when you are vulnerable, nobody, you know, everything that you have is out there for people to see. You’re not hiding anything. There’s no fear of anybody finding anything out. It’s just out there. Everybody can see it. So, it’s actually being vulnerable. It’s a very empowering place to be.


Q: Yes. Tell it.


Brad: So that’s always stuck with me. After that conversation, like look, yeah, I struggle, you know. Right now. This month. I’m doing a challenge, 30k in 30 days, where


Q: Are you?


Brad: Yeah. I’m documenting, documenting a goal of making 30k this month


Q: Way to go.


Brad: After five days I’m stuck, like 8k. I released some, some raw footage of the videos in like two days ago. I lose 10k I’m like, okay, great. I got to put this raw footage on my website of me just getting my ass handed to me.


Q: You got it, you got to put it out there. I gotta go check that out, though.


Brad: Then today, I get smashed to get it. I’m like, great. Like now I’m stuck, 7k and I just have to, like people get to watch my mistakes that I know are mistakes, and things that I didn’t think about, and that that is a very vulnerable feeling. But you know, that’s life, right? You 


Q: That is.


Brad: Professional poker player. Nobody always wins. Everybody struggles. Watched Patrick Antonius the other day on Instagram, basically almost crying because he went broke.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: At the WSOP like, with the money that he brought. And


Q: Yeah.


Brad: You know, Patrick Antonius. This is a stoic Dude, this is a dude.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: That’s been through some shit, right? So, if it bothers him, it’s probably gonna bother anybody. 


Q: Anyone.


Brad: Except for maybe Victor Blum. But I don’t know if he’s human.


Q: He might be bionics.


Brad: He’s, he might be an alien or something. I don’t know. Something’s weird with that guy.


Q: That’s so funny. But that is really true. And that is one of the most interesting things about my blog, that I’ve been so vulnerable. And everyone’s seeing me go through this transition and get my ass handed to me. And I’m, I’m honest. I’m like, hey, I played that terribly. I definitely should have made a different decision on the turn. Or, you know, just being really vulnerable and really transparent. But through that, like you said, it’s it is very empowering. Because I’m not delusional. I know where I am. I know where I’m going. And I’m taking the steps to get there. And everyone watching is in the same, it’s in the same place, maybe in a different area of their journey. But we’re all doing this. And I get really good advice and feedback from other players who are really great. And like, hey, yeah, well, maybe you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Because when you look at it this way, this and this and that. Or in another situation like, yeah, actually, you’re right. That was a terrible play.


Brad: How does it make you feel good in that feedback from your community, when you’re vulnerable?


Q: I love it. I’m so grateful for it. It’s like what we talked about earlier, it’s so important to talk to your community, to get that feedback. And now I have a whole thousands of other people that I didn’t meet at the World Series, or some of them, yeah. But a whole new community of people to talk to, and learn from and grow with. I love it.


Brad: Vulnerabilities empowering. It’s a very brilliant empowering state. And you serve your audience very well.


Q: Thank you, Brad.


Brad: You’re very welcome. So, if you were to gift, the Chasing Poker Greatness audience, one book, what would it be and why?


Q: Well, I think I already answered that.


Brad: Come on, let’s look. Another book.


Q: A different book.


Brad: Yeah.


Q: This book is so revolutionary right now. Man, it’s my it’s my everything right now. It’s like helping my entire life.


Brad: Oh, Jared Tendler is gonna love you. Will tag him in this podcast video.


Q: We have to tag Jared. I want to meet him one day.


Brad: All right, well, plug the book then.


Q: Okie dokie. Well, I’ve mentioned it earlier. But I’m listening to this book on audio book. I also have the tangible book. And actually, M is the one who exposed me to this book. It’s called the Mental Game of Poker, Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance and more, by Jared Tendler, with Barry Carter. And I got notes all over my wall about this book. I mean, it’s just incredible. The insights to your human existence, and the tools that it gives you to really balance all of the things that are going on inside of you. I mean, we’ve talked about so many things just in this conversation; variants, and balance, and just being a nice person, the understanding tilt and what happens when you’re running bad and, and your motivation, and all of those things are outlined in this book. Like literally we, we’ve been promoting the book without even knowing it. I highly recommended to every single poker player, but even just being a person and understanding we all go through these grand shifts of emotions, and being able to recognize them, and have the tools to get back to level.


Brad: Those are


Q: So, yes.


Brad: Those are my favorite kind of poker books. The books that aren’t just all X’s and O’s, but give you wisdom and advice and actionable goals that you can apply in all areas of life. Yes, I agree.


Q: What’s your favorite book?


Brad: I don’t know. No. My favorite, my favorite poker book. It’s actually a book that’s not related to poker at all that I’ve, I’ve talked about multiple times, but it’s called Rock Breaks Scissors. And I think it’s by a guy named William Poundstone. And it’s about randomness and humanity, what drives decision making in certain spots, and spoiler alert, human beings are not good at being random at all. Which


Q: What?


Brad: We’re pretty much the worst at being random, random number generators, we just can’t do it.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: And in a poker context, that’s really good news. It means that we can predict what our opponents are going to do, the actions they’re going to take with their hands. And then we can exploit that, with you know, it’s basically pattern matching, finding the patterns, trusting your abilities, and then taking a counter action to what they’re trying to do.


Q: Wow, that sounds great. I wrote that down. I’m gonna go check it out.


Brad: It’s a good one. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but it’s a really, really good book. And then otherwise, for poker books. I’m, I’m kind of weird. I like poker stories. I like poker stories. I like The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King is a book that I really love. I just enjoyed the story of it.


Q: Oh, I don’t know that one.


Brad: It’s about the corporation. The battle, the Andy Beal. And they were playing like if something stupid like 50,000/100,000 heads up limit poker.


Q: Oh, that’s all.


Brad: Maybe. Yeah, that’s it. It’s like 15 or 20 years ago now. But it’s a really good book too.


Q: Cool. Thanks for sharing


Brad: No problem. What’s something they used to strongly believe about poker that you’ve changed your mind about?


Q: I used to think that I had to get lucky to be profitable. And yes, luck is very important. I love lady luck, shine down upon me. But to be a winning player, consistently down that road we’re looking at, it’s much, much more than that. And that’s why I study.


Brad: What, why did it change? When did that dawning realization come to you?


Q: I think, as I really started studying more, and understanding the mathematics involved in the game. And the people element, I’ve always been good at innately, but really honing it in and recognizing some of the things that you said, about patterns and being able to pick up on those things. And now I recognize, yes, luck is a factor. And I can recognize better from the start, how, look, it’s going to affect the outcome of this hand specifically, and the outcome of that session. But don’t use it as a measure. You know, I get lucky in hand, hey, that’s great. But recognize, hey, I got lucky.


Brad: True.


Q: I sucked out of this person.


Brad: Yeah. And it’s like we talked about before. It’s not, we’re not playing a single game of cards. We’re playing cards for the rest of our life. And


Q: Yeah.


Brad: I just look at it as the things that happen to me that are unlucky, I’m going to get lucky, an equal amount over the course of my life, it’ll all even out. So, all you can really do in each moment is make the best possible decision you can make with the information that you have. And maybe you need to improve the way that you gather information. Maybe you need to improve the way that you that you think about hands, but those are the controllable. When the money gets in, and they got a gutter and they get there, that’s an uncontrollable. That’s


Q: Right.


Brad: These are things that happen. And you just have to dust yourself off and move on.


Q: Exactly. And I can’t even say that’s unlucky. Like statistically, one in five times, they’re going to get there. That’s just numbers. That’s not, that’s not unlucky. That’s actual math.


Brad: You feel unlucky, though.


Q: You do. You do. But once you recognize that, that’s just a statistical result.


Brad: Right. 20% is 20%. It means it’s going to happen. Like and sometimes it’s going to happen three times in a row.


Q: Exactly.


Brad: And that’s just life.


Q: Yes. Tell it.


Brad: So, what’s a project you’re working on, that’s near and dear to your heart?


Q: My vlog. It is really near and dear to my heart. I


Brad: Why? Why is near and dear to your heart? Why does it matter?


Q: It matters to me. Because I, I hope to be an inspiration to anyone else who wants to do something. But it’s holding themselves back for whatever reasons we tell our stories in our heads, about, I told M all these things. No one cares about me playing poker. No one wants to see me on this journey. I can just go it alone. I don’t know how to edit. I have never shot a video, or any of those things, pushing past the fear. Feel it. Recognize it. Hello, I see you fear. Do it anyway. And I’m proud of myself. And seeing the way it’s growing. I mean, my second episode, I interviewed Brad Olin. And if I had not started shooting, when I had the opportunity to meet Brian, asked him just on the spot. Hey, can I interview you? Him say yes. I wouldn’t have been in the position to even get that done, if I hadn’t pushed past that moment.


Brad: Yeah, he probably wasn’t gonna ask you to interview him.


Q: No, I doubt it. I’m cute. No. But I don’t know.


Brad: Excuse me? Could you interview me? Like that’s a weird way to approach somebody. 


Q: Yeah, exactly. But I wouldn’t have been in the position to get that done if I hadn’t pushed past. And I, I communicate that with my viewers. And even with just my friends and family around me. I think it really is just a testament to do those things that you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t wait. For what? I could die tomorrow.


Brad: And there’s a quote that I’ve put a lot of thought into, it’s by Marianne Williamson, that says that our greatest fear isn’t that we’re not strong enough. Our greatest fear is that we’re powerful beyond measure. And


Q: Yes, I love that. quote.


Brad: I thought about that, quote, so much, and thought, and I’ve asked myself, like, what does she mean? And I’m finally coming to the conclusion that what she means is that at the end of the day, like you said, you could die tomorrow, I could die tomorrow. At the end of our life experience. One day, we could have the realization that you know what, I could have done so much more. I just didn’t push through that fear.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: I didn’t I was capable, but I am. And what a tragedy that would be for


Q: What a tragedy.


Brad: For people out there, that that thing. You know, I don’t know, I’m afraid. I’m scared. I realized this, like, like I mentioned going to the gym earlier today. Earlier in this conversation, went to the gym at about 6:30. And there are days where I don’t, sometimes I don’t sleep well. And I don’t want to go to the gym. My mind is saying you’re tired. You don’t feel like it. Don’t do it. What are you doing? Don’t go to the gym, you’re too tired.


Q: Don’t do it. 


Brad: But then when I get there, I realize my body is capable. My body is fine. It’s my mind, that’s telling me. that that’s telling me this lie that I can’t do it. So


Q: It is a lie.


Brad: Whenever you reach those decision points where you’re like, I don’t know how to edit something, peep nobody cares about my story. Like this is a lie your mind is telling yourself that you got to break through, and you have to say you know what, screw it, I’m gonna do it anyway. And look what’s happened. You’ve


Q: And look


Brad: You know, you’re your rising star. You’re, it’s incredible.


Q: Thank you. And I could just be playing poker somewhere comes in some casino without sharing. I actually went to play. Over the weekend I played a tournament. I cashed in the tournament. I went to play some cash after. And a guy came up to me and say, hey, aren’t you that YouTube girl for poker? Aren’t you Q? I’m learning from you. And I stopped, I hugged him. Really? From me? Well, we got to get you some bucks, buddy. No, just kidding. But the messages I get from people, and one ripple creates more ripples, right? And when we use our gifts, it empowers others. We push past that fear. Like the quote, you said, we are immensely powerful. And we’re the only ones holding ourselves back. And now I edit like a mother. I got Final Cut. Anything I don’t know, I go on Google. There’s like a video of a person telling me how to do exactly what I’m trying to do. We have no excuses.


Brad: Not anymore. We have zero excuses. There’s a YouTuber telling us how to do everything.


Q: Literally. And that’s how I edit my videos. I literally shoot them all myself. I edit them all myself. My last episode is the first episode where I actually had another editor. And it’s someone who emailed me quote, unquote, out of the blue. I don’t believe in coincidences and things. I know that that’s intentional, just like you emailed me, he e-mailed me. And he kills it. So now I’m going to be able to create more content, more consistently. So instead of every other week, I’m pushing every Wednesday now. Because I have that. But it took me doing the work. Now I know my style. Now I have the information when I talk to him about editing. I actually know what I’m talking about.


Brad: And he had the passive fear threshold to write, to reach out to you, to ask


Q: To send that email. Yep, exactly. He could have been sitting in his living room like, well, she won’t want to work with me or giving himself all sorts of excuses and believing them.


Brad: I mean, I might be biased here, because I’m a content creator. But for those of you out there listening, that love consuming content there, you have your favorite people. It’s really easy not to comment, not to send them an email, a thank you, or something like that. But if you take five minutes to do it, you would be amazed at how it makes that person that you love so much feel.


Q: Yeah, that is so true.


Brad: Like just one person that acknowledges that says, you know, I love what you’re doing. It’s great. I mean, that is like, it’s like fuel. You know, now. Yeah, we’re gonna make more, you know, we’re getting better. We’re gonna up production value. Like, yeah, it’s, it’s a big deal.


Q: It really is. And I gotta say, my, my peeps out there that, they comment. And I reply to all the comments. And they mean so much, especially when I’ve just dip my toe in the water. I’m this vulnerable person putting myself out there for the first time. And for the first comment I got, hey, this is great. Thanks for making it. What? Whoa, Mind blown.


Brad: Yeah, that’s a that’s a part of it. Community. They’ll love your content creators.


Q: Yes. We need you.


Brad: We do. We definitely do. Mike, I wouldn’t. I would not have made any more poker content, had some random human stumbled across a YouTube video that I made. And left a kind comment.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: That was what made me want to make more poker content. Just one


Q: Exactly.


Brad: Just one human being saying one kind thing.


Q: Yeah.


Brad: So, let’s end here. Q


Q: No!


Brad: We can we can do another one. It’s a


Q: This has been really great, Brad.


Brad: Thank you. I appreciate it. You’ve been awesome. And where can the Chasing Poker Greatness audience find you on the worldwide webs?


Q: Yes, please visit me at my YouTube channel. It is youtube.com/psandqspokervlog.


Brad: That’ll of course, be in the show notes as well. As well as your social media and your website too.


Q:  Yes, please.


Brad: Gotta get the website in there as well.


Q: My website is psandqspoker.com


Brad: Check it out, guys.


Q: Sweet.


Brad: Thank you so much for your time your energy. Really loved this conversation. And


Q: Me too.


Brad: We’ll keep in touch.


Q: I love it. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for looking me up. I really appreciate it. I love your vibe. I love the energy. I love conversations like this. I think they’re important for our community. And I appreciate that you’re doing this, Brad.


Brad: My pleasure.


Q: All right. Talk soon.

Thanks for reading this transcript of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 004: Q

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