Robbie Strazynski: Living The Dream In A World Of Cards
Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 002
Robbie Strazynski on social media:
Today I’m speaking with Robbie Strazynski, founder of Cardplayer Lifestyle.
Robbie has made immeasurable contributions to the beautiful game of poker through his own blog as well as other poker media since he got started around 2009. He’s a well-respected member of the community who is admired by both the players and the fans.
Robbie knows and is known by many people in the poker world. He’s interviewed greats in the game like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Helmuth, and Phil Ivey.
Cardplayer Lifestyle is considered to be one of the top poker entertainment websites on the Internet. Robbie himself is the main writer and also acts as editor for all of the contributed content that he also publishes. The site delivers in-depth interviews with some of the most well-known industry faces, exciting news about happenings and invents, must-read strategy articles, and, of course, all kinds of articles about living the poker lifestyle.
In today’s episode you’ll get Robbie’s insights on what it means to reach the the level of high achievement—at poker or anything else, the players he considers to be truly great, and why.
He speaks on the benefits of keeping your brain active by playing poker as well as other ways that the game can benefit you when you’re away from the table.
He explains how he learned to stop thinking about the money and just play the game as he tells an amazing comeback story that starts with him losing all of the money he took with him to the WSOP.
Robbie also relates two quite personal stories, one about Daniel Negreanu and another about Phil Hellmuth, that will show you exactly why you shouldn’t always believe everything you see on TV.
I don’t want to give too much away here, so go ahead and subscribe and download the show and dive into my conversation with Robbie Strazynski.
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Coach Brad Wilson: Well, hello there, my friend and welcome to Chasing Poker Greatness. I’m your host, Coach Brad Wilson, founder of poker training site, enhanceyouredge.com, and I am super thrilled to have you with me here today. On today’s show, I’m speaking with Robbie Strazynski, founder of Cardplayer Lifestyle. Although he’s not a professional poker player, Robbie Strazynski describes himself as a very serious recreational player. He works hard to learn and improve his own game, while keeping up with some of the world’s top poker talent. Robbie Strazynski’s made immeasurable contributions to the game through his own blog, cardplayerlifestyle.com, as well as other media since he got started around 2009. He’s a well-respected member of the community, admired by both the players and the fans. Robbie Strazynski knows and is known by many people in the poker world. He’s interviewed some of the greats in the game like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey. Cardplayer lifestyle is considered to be one of the top poker entertainment websites on the internet. Robbie Strazynski himself is the main writer and also acts as editor for all of the contributed content that he publishes. The site delivers in-depth interviews with some of the most well-known industry faces, exciting news about happenings and events, must-read strategy articles, and, of course, all kinds of things about the poker lifestyle. In today’s episode, you’ll get Robbie Strazynski’s insights on what it means to reach the levels of high achievement at poker or anything else, the players he considers to be truly great and why. He speaks on the benefits of keeping the brain active by playing poker, as well as other ways that the game can benefit you when you’re away from the table. He tells a story about how he was pretty much forced to learn to stop thinking about the money and just play the game. As he tells an amazing comeback story that starts with him, basically losing all of the money that he took with him to Las Vegas. He also relates to brilliant and quite personal stories, one about Daniel Negreanu, and another about Phil Hellmuth, that will show you exactly why you shouldn’t always believe everything you see on TV. Robbie Strazynski also has some very interesting ideas about what kind of advice he would share with himself if he could go back in time and set his 20-year-old-self up on a different path. I don’t want to give too much away here. So maybe we should just get right into it and you can hear it all for yourself. And so, my loyal listeners without any further ado, Robbie Strazynski.
Robbie Strazynski, what’s happening my man? How you doing?
Robbie Strazynski: Hey, nice to meet you, friend finally. All that virtual talk back and forth, great to put a face and a voice with the name. How you doing?
Coach Brad Wilson: I’m doing very well. Same goes for me. Super pumped to have you on the show. Interested in hearing your story. I know the audience is gonna love it.
Robbie Strazynski: I hope so.
Coach Brad Wilson: So, let’s start out by just telling the audience how you got started playing cards, how’d you get in this niche?
Robbie Strazynski: I started playing cards when I was about eight years old. My dad taught me. You know, he always loved playing cards, and he loved playing poker specifically. You know, it’s, this is a you know, a much more innocent time, I guess. You know, I had one of those little video poker machines, you know, draw poker, that sort of thing. You know, anytime I could get my hands on, like, you know, Nintendo or Gameboy, like a Caesar’s Palace game, or I could do the gambling type of stuff. I always had like a pension. I was like that sort of thing. We lived in LA growing up. And, you know, it’s four and a half, four-hour drive to Las Vegas. And this was you know, mid 90s, early 90s. When that was the family vacation capital of America, the universe that, you know, my parents, though, they said we go for the weekends four or five times a year, we’d go play in the arcades. My mom would go play slots, my dad would go play poker. And you know, we would just play you know, 25 cents, you know, amongst ourselves, myself, my brothers, you know, five-card draw. And then my dad taught me style, that sort of stuff. So, he originally taught me when, I was a he taught me when I was eight years old. We just play for fun, no stakes or anything like that. But I was always drawn to it. I loved it. You know, a little kid, put a little kid in Las Vegas, you know, pure Vegas before the whole corporate stuff kind of went in and it really was, you know, a playground and I loved it. My dad used to come back and say, hey, look at this wallet, a bunch of $100 bills, I learned later that it wasn’t always wins. Sometimes it was an ATM. But this poker thing is so cool, I love it. And that’s how I got into it. Industry, industry wise was significantly lighter, you could say like, product of the moneymaker boom that, you know, like a lot of people out there, in terms of me starting to play in my own home game with my buddies. And, you know, fast forward just a little bit because you know, sort of busy having a life getting married, and you know, kids, all that sort of stuff. But in 2009, so really, almost 10 years ago, I just, you know, on a whim with a buddy of mine started this blog called the cardplayerlifestyle.com. We liked the name, it wasn’t taken, the domain was free. And he was like, well, I know, web mastering and you know how to how to write and you know, how about poker. So, let’s just put it out there. This was, you know, a lot of blogs were going out at the time. You know, I don’t want to get the whole story just yet. And you may have some questions about it. But that’s sort of how I, you know, I dipped my toe into what, you know, what you call the poker industry in the poker world beyond just sort of little home games you know, for the first time.
Coach Brad Wilson: I, I certainly do have questions. And I want to say too, that the 90s going to Vegas, for the family vacation of pure version, it was at least pet post mafia version, right?
Robbie Strazynski: Yes, it was. Very sanitized, we used to get a lot of like, brochures in the mail, like, you know, come to the Mirage, come to Treasure Island, and my parents play, you know, so that comes to state, you know, they’re very happy to just get you there. And then you know, and they treated you a lot more nicely, it was much easier to get these cups, breakfast compass, and just to make sure you were there. And it was just a really affordable, cheap family vacation destination. You know, circus, circus was in its heyday, they had the brand new adventure dome at the time, you know, the Treasure Island was much more about pirates, rather than the sirens, you know, a very different time. And, you know, I gotta say, like the those who did that, I don’t know, if it’s the same people doing the marketing today. Or, you know, their successors, but the people who are going today and spending all the money at the clubs, and in the pools and all that other sort of stuff. It’s the same. It’s, mean, you know, it’s the kids who are growing up in the 90s, and got used to this idea of going to Vegas. So, you know, we just grew up little. Dare I say, you heard it here first, maybe 10 years from now, something like that. When all of us grew up a little bit more and have our own kids. Maybe we’ll see the marketing message change once again, for Las Vegas. We’ll see.
Coach Brad Wilson: Yeah, it seems to be something that changes every, every few decades or so. Yeah.
Robbie Strazynski: Now, you got to reinvent themselves. Sure.
Coach Brad Wilson: Yeah, we got the DJs, and all the club atmosphere and all that stuff. Right. Which is not me, by the way.
Robbie Strazynski: These things apply today to a club in my life, believe it or not.
Coach Brad Wilson: Unfortunately, I have, in my opinion, you’re not missing very much. I’m not a club goer. I’m not a big drinker. And the heat crushes me, so Vegas, I haven’t spent a ton of time in Vegas personally. I’m an LA person you grew up in the right place for poker rooms.
Robbie Strazynski: Yes.
Coach Brad Wilson: I love LA.
Robbie Strazynski: Absolutely. That’s been awesome. You know, weather wise, it’s also perfect as well. As one thing, and I live in Israel now, for the last, you know, 21 years. I left, you know, when I was 16. So, I never you know, if I was still living there and be like, oh, it’s the poker capital of the world, even more so than Las Vegas to an extent. So, I sort of missed out on that. I was never a grown up in LA but you know, hearing stories from my dad, it’s oh, yeah, I used to, you know, get off work, you know, and, or finish work and just go for a couple hours to the bike or to commerce. And it’s like, oh, that sounds like I’m romanticizing it, but it really was just cool. That was you know, with a place to play and you know, I say well, that’s one of the, one of the things I kind of miss or regret that I don’t live there, but I’m happy where I am.
Coach Brad Wilson: Yeah, it’s, I do love it for poker, but definitely other places to live. So, the name of the podcast is Chasing Poker Greatness, which, to me is, it can be abstract greatness can be an abstract word. So, I would like to ask you, what does poker greatness mean to you?
Robbie Strazynski: I think just sort of like, it can be compared to any other sort of pursuit. You know, whether it’s an athletic pursuit, tennis, golf, like an individual pursuit of that nature, or, you know, being a musician or any of the arts, so to speak, or even just being a great chess player. It’s something that you sort of rely on, you know, for a mind sport, whatever it is, or even, you know, an athletic sport that requires you know, physical training and stuff. The single minded, dedicated focus to being the absolute best, first and foremost, that you can be. And then you know, if there’s competition in that direct competition, you obviously have got to beat your competitors. You know, I always think of the Kobe Bryant example of you know, he didn’t just rely on his God-given talents, he also went to the gym three, four or five in the morning. And he had his people, his team has image Lakers, whenever they made tapes for him in advance of the opponents so that he could individually scout what their tendencies were like, that was the extent that this man was, you know, plenty of money, and he don’t count all the fans and everything, but he was still till his last game, you know..
Coach Brad Wilson: Possessed.
Robbie Strazynski: Yes, exactly. Obsessed. Possessed. And, you know, just driven to be the absolute, you know, to, to make them squeeze every ounce of everything out of his body, out of his brain, and out of his teammates, and just, just to be the best. So, again, what was the phrase he used in? The question was, you know, chasing greatness? I think, you know, that’s what it means. It’s never ever, ever resting on your laurels, and always striving to improve, even if you’re already number one, you know, it’s up and say, looking over your shoulder necessarily, but saying, okay, how do I even get better? How do I, you know, for poker? How do I examine my plan? What mistakes did I make? And you know, okay, even if I played perfectly, did I maximize? Could I have made even more money? And, you know, what are the newest theories? And how, you know, so all that sort of stuff. I think those are the essential ingredients of what it means to chase greatness.
Coach Brad Wilson: That is a great answer, sir. And you’ve given me a softball here.
Robbie Strazynski: Oh sure.
Coach Brad Wilson: Instead of Kobe Bryant, when you think of greatness in a poker player, who’s the first person that comes to mind?
Robbie Strazynski: Well, the sentimental choice is Chip Reese, but I was never exposed to him, and of pleasant memory. I was ever exposed to him. Personally, I didn’t know him. But it’s all from what I’ve heard from people secondhand, both players as well as other media that I’ve read about him. And what they always said is that his, his B-game, his C-game, his D-game was the same as his A-game. And, you know, I don’t know if it’s possible to define greatness more than that. And it’s like, he knew when he wasn’t running, well, he knew he’s not going to tell he’ll never get, you know, he’ll ever just sort of stay there and try to dig himself out of the hole. He’ll just get up and leave. And sometimes people didn’t, he didn’t even notice he was gone. So that is part of it. And also, part of the reason I would choose him is because he was a master in every single poker discipline. And I think it sort of branches a little bit into a different topic. You know, who’s the greatest poker player, whatever it is, but so many people I look at the, you know, the, the GTO wizards, and I respect them, and they do tremendous stuff. And they’re playing nosebleeds, high stakes, everything, but they’re only playing Texas Hold’em. There are, so there are dozens of versions and variants of poker, and in my opinion, you know, not everyone’s opinion, in my opinion, to be considered even in the conversation of the greatest, you have to be a master at all different variants of the game. You know, Matt just told them that to short that matches PLO, so you know, that that’s the first that you know, he’s no longer with us, but that’s who I would choose immediately, who put me on the spot for who’s still active alive and doing that sort of thing. You know, again, I kind of want to say Phil Ivey for the same reasons, you know, maybe he doesn’t have the, the 50k bracelet, or anything like that, but I still do think that there’s that Ivey Mystique, you know, even at Texas Hold’em at the 25k and up by in tournament levels, certainly in the cash games. And again, they’re not playing but Dougie, but they see, seven stuck with him. He can, he’s still, you know, a master at those games and so many of his contemporaries, and still even newer players today, you know, they’re saying, well, you know, he’s still the man. So, I think that’s the best answer I could give you. The most educated answer based on everything that I’ve read and people that I’ve spoken with.
Coach Brad Wilson: Well, I think not just you but you know, Doyle’s word carries a lot of weight with me, Doyle’s opinion. And he said a lot of the same things about Chip Reese. I mean the 50k horse is named after Chip Reese in his memory
Robbie Strazynski: Yes.
Coach Brad Wilson: The all the players seem to respect him especially the, the high stakes players and that goes a long way as well. So, it’s very hard to, very hard to make a counter argument to this too. And Phil Ivey, of course is just a beast and it feels like he’s been around forever busy playing in all the games.
Robbie Strazynski: Sure. And I believe the story was, you know, when chip Reese first saw Phil Ivey playing, he’s, you know, whispered in Doyle’s ear, you know, watch that guy, he’s gonna be great someday or it was almost like a virtual passing of the torch, as it were. I will mention one thing, and it’s important, you know, you didn’t mention go out Brunson. You know. He’s also in the conversation for the same reasons. But also, one additional reason is, you know, he’s been doing this since his 20s. And he’s in his mid-80s and still doing it. And it’s one of those criteria to be a member and inducted into the poker Hall of Fame is the one of the coolest, what do you call it?
Coach Brad Wilson: The longevity.
Robbie Strazynski: The longevity, playing against the highest stakes competition for you know, just a really super-duper long time. You know, like the Babe Ruth style of like, he just, he just did it for his entire career until his last act, you know. So, there is, of course, something to be said, you know, he’s, and he would also admit, he’s not a player. He wasn’t necessarily in his 30s and 40s. But half a step slower, a step slower. You know, he’s he could still beat the pants off you and me, I imagine, in any game, any high stakes, so he’s certainly merits a mention as well.
Coach Brad Wilson: And shockingly, I know this is gonna shock you, you’re not the first person to mention Doyle and his longevity.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah, absolutely.
Coach Brad Wilson: But it does mean a lot. And apparently poker players aged much better than other activities. Doyle is successful in his 80s going hard to find some NFL quarterbacks that are successful in their 80s.
Robbie Strazynski: True.
Coach Brad Wilson: Throwing, chunking around the pigskin.
Robbie Strazynski: I mean it is a mind sport at the end of the day. And, and I think even studies have been done that, you know, continuing to play poker, or just the game itself, it activates parts of the brain, it prevents Alzheimer’s, you know, or that, that sort of thing. And when you’re just doing it day in and day out, and you’re so used to doing and, you know, imagine the, the equivalent, physically speaking would be just, you know, running every single day. And when your body is so used to doing that sort of thing, it’s almost second nature, you know. He thankfully is, you know, continues to be well of sound mind, and you know, your body may betray you. But if your mind doesn’t, then you know, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to play, you know, your optimal level.
Coach Brad Wilson: Right. And there’s also a lot of study on reading, as well as activating the brain, keeping the brain active and engaged. I would imagine poker with its problem solving, and the analytical side, does some pretty good things to the brain. Tell me about a time in poker that you failed, or that you felt super low about yourself as a player? And what did you do? What happened to overcome that?
Robbie Strazynski: Well, as a player, there’s this one particular instance that comes to mind. It was last year. I was in Las Vegas. It was for the World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions. I was there to do media coverage. And then I’ll just say, you know, for those who may not know, in the audience, I’m not a professional player, I’m a serious recreational player. You know, I’m not studying math charts or things like that, but I take the game seriously. I want to win. And, you know, I, I tried to learn from play and from watching, and all that sort of stuff. So, you know, when I wasn’t, you know, working, I’m self-employed, so I’m not on the clock or anything when I decided, okay, I’ve had enough work for the day. I went ahead and played. And, you know, for, I don’t know, must have been four days in a row. And you know, these were anywhere from six to eight-hour sessions in the evenings. Every single session was a loser. And, you know, I was, I played, you know, there, one to no limit hold’em, no, nothing super snazzy or anything like that. Even that, though, you know, it may sound funny is slightly higher stakes than I normally play. I live in Israel, and we use a different currency called the Shekel. And we normally play one two checkouts here. So, it’s about a third of the value. So, it takes me that much longer to build up the bankroll, and again, I’m not playing every single day. So, it’s, I’ll get a game once a week in the home game, so it takes me that much longer. So, I don’t feel intimidated or out of my league or anything, but just the stakes are higher than I’m used to. And you know, my bankroll has to be adjusted accordingly, accordingly. Four straight losing sessions, you know, a few $100 each time isn’t fun, especially when you know how long it’s taken you to earn those many hundreds, a little over 1000 bucks, that sort of thing. And it was the last day of the trip. And I found myself like, well, here I am 7500 miles away from home in Israel, and like, I want to play but I just can’t. I can’t I can’t lose anymore. I’ve exhausted the big part of the bankroll that I have brought with me. And you know, what I did is I just sort of like, you know, lock myself up in my room all day and work. You know, it’s just like the most pathetic sounding thing. I was staying at the West Gate. And like, you know, here the city of Las Vegas and all of its poker magnanimity, and the World Series is starting and I’m not sitting and playing poker. I’m sitting and working in a hotel room, and, you know, my flight is, you know, early tomorrow morning. This just sucks. It’s horrible. And you know, that was really, you know, it wasn’t like sitting curled in a ball by a fireplace or anything like that. But as a player, it certainly felt like a failure. And with all that I knew about, you know, there’s short term variants and things like that. It’s not a fun place to be. And frankly, I just didn’t know that I was willing to risk more of the bankroll knowing that if I do lose. How would I feel? I tried to think in advance and be self-conscious and aware of that reality. You know, it’s never good to chase your losses. And it’s hard for me to separate necessarily from one session to the next one, you know. One time fine, two times five, for four in a row. It’s, it’s rough. So, what happened is a friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas, he was saying, hey, isn’t that the Golden Knights were playing? I think it was there. It was the championship. It was game one or two or something like that. And he’s like, you know, after the Golden Knights, can you want to go out for dinner? So, I was like, you know what, that’s exactly what I needed. It’s a great excuse to, to get out of the hotel room. Stop working. I was like, oh, that’s all right. Okay, great. You’re sitting, we’re talking in the restaurant, and you know, he’s gonna, how’s it going, Robbie Strazynski? Well, you know, you’re good enough. And I can tell you the truth. He says, lay it on, buddy. And I told him everything that was going on. You know, he lives in Las Vegas. He’s a professional player. And, you know, he was kind of definitely empathizing with what I was going through. And at the same time, you know, he’s seen it all before. You know, he knows what it’s like, and I was just so grateful to be there with him in that moment, like you, I’m alone when I’m when I’m there working, you know, my family’s very far away. And it’s just good to have a friend. Especially one who understands everything about poker in a situation like that. And he’s like, okay, so here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna go to the Bellagio after this. I’m like, the Bellagio. You kidding me? I’m scared. I’m scared. That’s all the pros are. He said, Robbie Strazynski. 1213 is the same 1213 wherever you’re playing it. You just said the Bellagio. Okay, fine. I’ll play my game. You play your game. I’ll stake you. Pretend the money’s gone. And just play. If it goes, okay, no big deal. It’s fine. And I’m just sitting there. I’m like, wow. Like it was it was almost a turning point. I’m changing, you know, going a little longer into your question, then, then perhaps you had anticipated. But you know, that failure here is, you know, a glimmer of love not, not like a legion of like, okay, I need to get an action, that sort of thing. But like, hey, someone believes in me after everything I said. He’s given me a tip. And, you know, he doesn’t care about the money. He’s telling me I shouldn’t care about the money, just focus on the game. And, okay, let’s give it a shot. He gave me $500. And, you know, I said, okay, you know, split it into two 250 is just in case. And I took the two first 250. And within an hour, it was gone. Just a second net flush to the nut flush, you know, on the one hour.
Coach Brad Wilson: Sayonara.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah, exactly. And I’m just like, okay, what do I do now? And I went up, I went to him, he’s playing this game. And I said, you should take this back. He says, I gave you the money. To me, I lost 500 already. You go and you just hit it. Do your best. I’m telling you, Coach Brad Wilson, I got down to $22. That’s all I had left. And then, variants shifted. At that moment. I was like, okay, I’m all in and I literally, you know, the typical pack up your bag, get ready to go, it wasn’t meant to be. This was you know, after another hour to two and a half hours into the set. I’m down to 22 out of $500, doubled up. Hmm, interesting. Okay. So back down, control yourself. managed to double up again, a couple heads later. I’m like, wait a minute, I got 88 bucks. 86 bucks. Let’s play poker. I work that thing back to $503. Okay, over the next couple hours, I could do no wrong. I wasn’t playing differently, mind you. And it’s just this incredible adrenaline rush. I paused. I walked away from the table, and I’m just like, feeling. I’m like, this is the most incredible. I’ve never had anything like this happen before. Like, just the rush of being so low and being uplifted so suddenly, but you’re not doing anything different. It’s really just the variants and the cards that are changing. And all of a sudden you feel unstoppable again, I was like, I think I should stop. He says are you kidding me? Your flight is in the morning buddy. You play all night. You run this rush. As long as it takes until you’re tired and you can’t play anymore. I’m like, are you serious? Because I told you already. The $500 for me is gone. I kept playing. I ran it up all the way to $807 and other you know, couple hours later. And I was like okay, my flight’s in three hours. I gotta go pack up and yeah, you know, I gave him back his 500. He says no, no no. 50/50. And we split everything. It was just really, really nice, you know. And I mean, it’s, I love that story, because it shows that, to me at least, that sometimes failure happens for a reason. You know, again, other times here, I’ll lose the 500. But that one really gave me faith, because you know, lows will happen, failures certainly will happen, whether it’s as a player or in other areas of life. But you really have to realize that sometimes those failures do happen for a reason. And you could really learn lessons from it. And don’t say embrace the failure because you don’t want it to happen. But should, it then you should sort of welcome it and say, okay, don’t get down on yourself. How can you learn from this? What can you do about it, maybe something good will come of it. So, there you go. That’s my failure story. I guess, as a player,
Coach Brad Wilson: I love that story. There’re so many things to unpack for me, a couple of things. Number one, the first thing is how valuable relationships, community, friendship, friendships are.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah.
Coach Brad Wilson: As, as a poker player, people that will pick you up, when you’re down. People that will give you confidence, when you’re lacking confidence. I think that is.
Robbie Strazynski: Its huge.
Coach Brad Wilson: Those are two of the very most important things that every player, no matter recreational, professional, at every level, you need those people to help you. And plus, you know, we talked a little before we started the show about me living at commerce, playing high stakes poker 60 hours a week. And I do have some fond memories of giant winning days and winning massive pots. Most of my memories revolve around my friends, going to play basketball at commerce, going to UCLA to play ball, meeting, meeting up with them going to eat Korean barbecue. All of these different things, the fellowship, and those friendships were 100%, the most valuable thing that, that I earned in my time in LA. So, for those of you out there that are missing those relationships, I highly suggest take some actions towards you know, beginning them. Put yourself out there. The world as they say, it’s full of lonely people waiting to make the first move. Make the first move. I think that just, it, there’s untold value in it from just a life perspective and a poker perspective as well.
Robbie Strazynski: The best ROI you’ll ever get from an investment, that’s for sure.
Coach Brad Wilson: For sure. And the second thing I want to unpack too, is all those emotions that you dealt with. Those, that’s those are the things that Chip Reese was able to keep, keep in control, right? That whole emotional roller coaster, feeling horrible about yourself and then feeling on top of the world. Feeling like a loser when you’re stuck and feeling like a giant winner or invincible monster when you’re crushing it. I think that those are the things that he, he was able to dial back, you know. That that’s part of his greatness and a very..
Robbie Strazynski: Some traits to emulate it. And I will say it’s in a book that I read a long time ago, it’s still you know, stands the tempo. That’s what it is, Stands the Test of Time. That’s the other criteria for all of it. But it certainly does that is The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler. And he talks about this concept of inchworm. And basically, the idea of like every new thing that you learn. It’s hard the first time but then it becomes second nature. And you move on to the next hard thing to learn. That lesson learning at that time, and I feel like that inchworm was moving forward for me. And it’s that much easier for me next time to hopefully, hopefully it shouldn’t happen. But when it happens, to control those emotions at Chip Reese, you know, like you said they mastered that as well.
Coach Brad Wilson: Exposure is a big part of the process. How can you control your emotions, if you never, like how can you control your anger, if you never experience anger? How can you, how can you deal with these emotions if you never experienced them? And yeah, but you know, the first time you play you sit down in life table, at least in my experience. Your heart is pounding out of your chest. You’re nervous, you’re shaking, you’re scared. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, an environment that’s different, you know, than what you’re used to. And you just keep exposing yourself to that environment. It gets more comfortable. And then, you know, all of a sudden, I feel very comfortable walking into any poker room in the world. Grabbing me by and sitting down and playing cards with people. You just, you have to expose yourself to these sort of things.
What is up, you, future star of poker, you. Coach Coach Brad Wilson 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 Coach Brad Wilson 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 fact can mean the difference between a meh year and an amazing family vacation in Hawaii 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 at 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 love 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.
Coach Brad Wilson: And so, I heard, I heard through the grapevine, that you being in the media side of card playing and reporting and all these sorts of things that you have a story about one Daniel Negreanu could we?
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah.
Coach Brad Wilson: Expand a little bit. Yeah.
Robbie Strazynski: Well, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a, it’s a personal story, actually. It’s not necessarily to do with poker at the tables, but something that he did for me. He basically convinced me that pursuing this dream of doing what you know, of this poker media career was possible.
Coach Brad Wilson: How? How do you do that?
Robbie Strazynski: I know how to believe it. Well, he was going, you know, like he’s made very famous in over time. He went to this choice center, and enrolled them and learned a lot from it. And part of his process of learning was life coaching, and or learning how to be a life coach. And, I, you know, I asked him at the time was like, what is it? What does it mean to coach somebody? And you know, just like from a chat that we were having with digital on Facebook, Messenger and stuff. He’s like, okay, I’ll show you. And then he started sort of guiding me through this process of like, you know, what worries you? What’s your anxieties? That sort of thing. And at the time, this is, I guess, 2015 or ‘16 or so, something like that. And I said, well, there, you know, what I would really love to do is, you know, go on a couple of few trips each year and be in this poke. I mean, Israel is like an island when it comes to poker. There’re no poker rooms here. You can’t play online. There’s nothing. You know, that’s one of the hardest., I love living here. But it’s one of the hardest things about living here is the poker, everything is so far away. You know, it’s not like, you know, you just get in your car and you can drive two hours or three hours or seven hours this, there’s nothing here.
Coach Brad Wilson: Right.
Robbie Strazynski: And this idea of me being involved and being ensconced in this poker industry, seemed impossible to me just for logistical reasons and verbal, how would I make a living? Who would employ me if I don’t live there, like that sort of thing. Over a period of, and I’m not exaggerating Coach Brad Wilson, over two hours of just chatting back and forth on messenger is Daniel Agrawal. He’s got a lot of better things to do with his time.
Coach Brad Wilson: I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t. I got no, no, no, I’m not. This is no, I think that helping people when they’re struggling in life is one of the most valuable things that we can do. And in the instance of Daniel Negreanu there, he has an opportunity to help somebody out and serve, serve someone else. And I think that’s very, very valuable. So, I wouldn’t.
Robbie Strazynski: That I agree. I don’t know about wasting time on me though.
Coach Brad Wilson: Oh, come on. We got to, we got to kill this negative self-talk.
Robbie Strazynski: Oh, No, no. Just self-deprecating. That’s all.
Coach Brad Wilson: Yeah. It’s not what I saw.
Robbie Strazynski: I’m not one of the positive guys you would meet.
Coach Brad Wilson: Oh, no, no, it’s not negative self-talk. It’s self-deprecating.
Robbie Strazynski: Well, there you go.
Coach Brad Wilson: Is it the same? Right?
Robbie Strazynski: Well, it was like, 10 in the morning or something. And that means midnight in Las Vegas.
Coach Brad Wilson: Yeah.
Robbie Strazynski: That’s when we started the conversation.
Coach Brad Wilson: Right.
Robbie Strazynski: And what I mean, it’s like, you know, he’s got a lot going on.
Coach Brad Wilson: Of course.
Robbie Strazynski: And for him for stop that we’re saying, and, you know, make me the center of his, you know, two hours and quite literally, not answer all my questions at the end, you know, I have to answer these questions for myself, but legitimately, and very, very, really make me believe that the dreams that I really wanted, my dream life was possible. That was what I still consider today. The launching point of me working towards becoming independent, self-employed and doing what I’m doing today full time. And I had it all going on the side and I had the desire, the passion, the enthusiasm, but I didn’t know if I could put that together. And he convinced me it was possible. And I have him to thank for it. So
Coach Brad Wilson: That’s, that is an awesome story. And I have no personal communication with Daniel Negreanu. I’ve always watched from afar. I got into poker, you know, 15 years ago, and he’s had his blog, and he’s been big since then. So, I have I have read his stuff. I followed him. I’ve always liked him and been a fan of him. But that’s very personal. That’s an awesome story. And I would, I would, I would say to, as somebody who’s dished out my fair share of solicited and unsolicited life advice to people, I would say that taking-action and moving forward based on him helping you, is also a rare thing. And I think that says a lot about you, as a person. Lots of people want feedback, and they get it, and they never take-action. They just fall asleep at the wheel, which is kind of a waste of time. So, I would say that, it’s likely that Daniel Negreanu also sensed that you were an action taker. You were somebody that was worthy of investing those two hours in, and think about it, he spent two hours talking to you that one night. Look at what you’ve done for the poker community, the poker world over the ensuing years. So that time was actually very, very well spent, in my mind.
Robbie Strazynski: Oh, thanks for saying that. But I really do appreciate that. And, you know, I used to not tell too many people that story, I’d do it privately, but, you know, I, you know, it’s something in Hebrew, you know, something called how haratah, it is recognizing and being grateful for kindness that someone has done to you, and giving, you know, giving very, very due credit where it’s due. You know, you said the importance of having friends I do, I do believe I can consider him a friend. And he’s just a wonderful person. And the fact that it was him, you know, saying that it’s not pies in the sky. It’s not, you know, my brother or a friend from high school or something like that someone who I know, a friend who doesn’t know poker. This is someone who’s been there, done that gone, broke, you know, done everything there is to do in poker. And I knew I didn’t want to become a pro player or anything, but just pursue that sort of dream. And for him to basically say, well, I believe you could do it. Now it’s up for you to believe that you can do it. It was a huge boost in confidence. And, you know, till today, it still motivates me when I’m down once in a while. I was like, well, you know, other people think that I can do this sort of thing. Keep on plowing forward.
Coach Brad Wilson: That’s true.
Robbie Strazynski: So better to say what you said, I appreciate it.
Coach Brad Wilson: My pleasure, my man. And there is some you know, the word of Daniel Negreanu does probably carry more weight than the word. Let’s just put that out there on record on my show.
Robbie Strazynski: He’s a good guy. He does a lot of things behind the scenes that people are not aware of and just, you know, more power to him. And no, really, he’s a force for good in general in the world.
Coach Brad Wilson: Okay, let’s go from force to good. Let’s segue. You also have a story about Phil Hellmuth. I don’t know.
Robbie Strazynski: Yes.
Coach Brad Wilson: I have no idea where this is gonna go. Whether it’s force of good or force of evil or force of whatever, but let’s hear this story as well. I’m very curious.
Robbie Strazynski: Okay, so this one has more to do directly with poker. And you know, let’s you know, use exactly what you said. He’s somewhat of a polarizing figure. Someone would, some would say and you know, for all you guys out there who watched all the videos on YouTube, and watch the World Series know his nickname is the Poker Brat for good reason. With all of that, that persona, that larger than life persona, that he is, the man it’s very, very, very much a class act. A tremendous human being. And I’ll illustrate with this particular story. I was given the chance to interview him, you know, just ahead of the release of the Poker Prep book, the publishers D&B Poker shout out to them actually. Just released an article about their story, the D&B poker, just listen on the side. So, Dan and Byron, they reached out to me and said, hey, Robbie Strazynski, you know, we’ve got this book coming out. Would you like to interview Phil Hellmuth? And I was like, well, yeah, that’d be amazing says, Okay, we’ll put him in touch with you via email. And right away, I started getting to work. And, you know, this guy that interviewed, you know, interviewed hundreds of times, how do I interview this guy, make it new, refreshing, interesting to him, you know. I don’t want it to seem that just that he’s doing me a favor. I want to try to honor him and, you know, produce something good that he enjoys working on. So, I spent a really long time probably, you know, good week, you know, listening to all the podcasts and watching the interviews and reading everything I could. Coming together with a good script prepared, like, you know, way too many questions. I’m like, whatever I can get from him. I’ll get sent in the email. And within three days, every single question was answered. And these were not one-word answers, Coach Brad Wilson. These were just like, I mean, I have it up in my interview with Phil Hellmuth on cardplayerlifestyle.com. You could read it. These are lengthy answers. He sent me pictures. He sent me everything to make this an outstanding interview piece of content. And he did it. You know, he was like, I’ll get to it soon. Don’t worry. And you know, he wasn’t BSN, like he was just, he cared. And it was just so awesome to see that side. I didn’t know who he was, you know. It was just like, well, I got to meet Phil this way. Amazing. Right? Great. We published the article. And a couple months later, some, you know, for their for the World Series of Poker and you know, at the D&B booth, you know, with all the folks. So, he’s doing the autograph session. So, I’m standing in line and I want to go ahead and you know, buy a book and get an autograph. So, I said, hi, Phil. Robbie Strazynski’s Strazynski. Robbie Strazynski Strazynski. He stands up, he shakes my hands, and we’re giving this guy for free says, may start spotted and I’m like, wow, he remembered. Like, I’m legitimately strut. It’s amazing. And it was just a really cool thrill as a fan, someone you know, I’m a fan, just like anyone else. And, you know, he says, I like your style, like your interview style. It’s like, wow. But, you know, he didn’t just, it wasn’t just another interview for him. It just, you know, he made me feel like the center of his world again, also. Very, very cool thing. Great. Okay, that you think the story may end there. And here’s where the aha. This summer. So, this is now two years after the fact that you know that we’ve done the interview. It’s not like, you know, we became buddy buddy, or we’re in close touch or anything. But you know, like, I guess maybe you knew who I was, whatever it may be. So, this summer, I played for the first time in my first bracelet event, and I wrote, you know, just before, you know, a couple days before, I played the $1500 dealer’s choice at the World Series. I wrote the article basically like, trying to hype myself up Rocky style, and like, you know, I’m gonna get this and really, like, I was so emotional. Everything just sort of poured forth, it’s time to play. For the first time after all these years, you know that my first race little bit. I’m standing in the Rio hallways, you know, this is going to be a day before the event happens. And I’m on the phone, out of the Amazon room. Walks through how many of them. The hallways weren’t so crowded, and maybe he’s you know, 50-60 feet away from me. He happens to you know, catch my eye. He was going the other direction. But he walks over to me as I’m on the phone. And I’m like, hold on, hold on one second. So he goes, Robbie Strazynski, I read your article. I think that’s really, really cool that you’re playing your first bracelet event. Good for you. Good luck. And I was standing there like, oh, wow. It’s like the guy who performs in the coffee shop. And then like, you know, Elvis Presley walks up to him says, oh, good for you. Like, it’s just, it’s unbelievable. Like, he could have recognized me and walk the other way. He keeps all of those things to do something like that. And I say these things that because it’s a story about me and stuff that I’ve gone through. But I say this to illustrate what kind, you know, genuinely nice person, Phil Hellmuth is. And it’s important to me at least to spread stories like that, because what you see on camera is never ever, ever the whole story and unfortunately, sometimes only that bratty side of him comes out because he’s just such a fierce competitor. But you know, beneath that exterior, whatever you want to call it, the man is just, you know, a tremendously nice individual to have to have done that for me, and I very much love that. Like, what, what does he have to gain from doing something like that, you know? It’s just an amazing gesture that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Coach Brad Wilson: Again, that is incredible story. And I’ve heard a lot of good things about Phil Hellmuth myself. I haven’t had any direct interactions with the man. But all the stories that I’ve heard away from the poker table, genuinely good guy. That illustrates the level of thoughtfulness that he gave in answering all of your questions. The fact that he remembered you and also is a fan of the cardplayer lifestyle, right? He’s gotta be.
Robbie Strazynski: He’s gotta be. It shows. There’s the plug for lifestyle.
Coach Brad Wilson: He’s a fan. He reads the articles or, you know, he gets the emails or something. Yeah, that’s an incredible story.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah, it’s it’s a great feeling. It’s very, very cool. The first thing I did was I called my dad, I’m like, Dad, you’re not gonna believe what happened.
Coach Brad Wilson: I was halfway hoping that, you know, you played in the $1500, dealer choice, and he threw some cards at you and yelled at you. But, you know, I’ll accept the happy ending as well. Yeah.
Robbie Strazynski: That was good. Hopefully, one day, we’ll get to a stage where we get to play at the same table, maybe heads up for a bracelet, and I’ll be that guy who denies a number 17 or 16, or whatever it is.
Coach Brad Wilson: That would be a good story. Probably a good article on cardplayer lifestyle. I would get
Robbie Strazynski: At least one I’ll tell you that. At least one more.
Coach Brad Wilson: See how long you can drag this out? Let’s, let’s make this story last like five or 10 years?
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah, sure.
Coach Brad Wilson: So, if you were to gift the chasing poker greatness audience one book, what would it be? And why?
Robbie Strazynski: To gift the book to them?
Coach Brad Wilson: Yes.
Robbie Strazynski: Okay, well, I don’t know, if you purposely set it up like this. I happen to have a copy right here. So, there’s the book called Pulling the Trigger. Madman is Eli Elezra, right? So, this is the story of his autobiography. The reason I happen to have it is because if you turn it around, see that to me, I translated the book from Hebrew into English, right?
Coach Brad Wilson: Because he’s Israeli, right?
Robbie Strazynski: You know, very proud Israeli. And he grew up here in Israel and moved, chased his dreams in America and lives in Vegas for the last 30 years. So yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m biased. But what can I say. Like, it’s not a strategy. But you know, I like telling stories, as you hear, you know, all the audience hears, I’m a storyteller, and that’s what I do on my site as well. This is just a great story. That’s the story of his of his life. And you know, how he got born in 1960, in Jerusalem prior to the Six Day War, you know. Fought in the Golani brigade bravely. Got injured in battle by to Alaska. And, you know, to try and earn money on the fishing boats there. Some incredible stories there; found poker, fell in love with it, decided to pursue it at the expense of his business, found Las Vegas. It’s an incredible story, just you know, I always said, wow, this ought to be a movie, that sort of a thing. It really is just an incredibly rich story with a lot of little cool stories that are poker related, and not interspersed in between. Also, it’s relatively new. It only came out in January in English. So, you know, it’s one that people are likely not to necessarily have read before you can buy it on Amazon. But if I’m gifting it to you, I guess I’m gifting it to you. So that’s, I would say. Definitely not a strategy book. He does go through some of the, you know, more meaningful hands, it is big. You know, WPT, the Mirage Poker Showdown in 2004, when he won. And other hands that he played against some, you know, incredible players and legends in their own right. But it’s much more in my opinion, at least a book about, you know, the stories and his poker life, his poker career, the ups, the downs, and they were, you know, some tremendous ups and tremendous downs. I think you’d find it very interesting. And you know, as a story book, I think that’s the one to get for the time being.
Coach Brad Wilson: Sir, I had no idea. I could not see your desk. I don’t know. It was a softball. The people listening are like, I don’t trust this question.
Robbie Strazynski: Oh, really? I didn’t know. But I hadn’t here to promote it at any point. But yeah, it worked out so well with.
Coach Brad Wilson: If you could go back in time, and give your say, 20 year old self some poker wisdom? What would it be?
Robbie Strazynski: Start playing online poker now. That’s 17 years ago, that’s what you’re going with. That’s when the going was really, really good. If I could impart everything I know about poker to that 20-year-old guy, I’d be doing a lot better fight.
Coach Brad Wilson: What’s worse, like actions taking, right? It’s more like a, you know, there’s a carbon copy version of yourself who’s 20 years old. Right now, what would you tell them? They’re just starting their poker career. What advice would you give them? What wisdom would you share?
Robbie Strazynski: Again, as a player, right?
Coach Brad Wilson: As a player. Actually, as a player and or a member of the community? Maybe not everybody in the audience has ambitions to be one of the best to ever play the game. Maybe their ambitions lie more on the editorial side. Maybe it lies on the story side or some other facet of the game. So.
Robbie Strazynski: Okay.
Coach Brad Wilson: Just speak your wisdom.
Robbie Strazynski: As a player, I would say, get in as much experience as you can. Again, I’m assuming that this is a 20-year-old, you know, 17 years ago. Not, you know, in 2019, it’s a much, much, much steeper curve. And I know, you know, I’m still true to myself. I know what I was like at 20. There’s certain things I wouldn’t necessarily be willing to do. I wouldn’t, you know, get with solvers and start memorizing math charts and stuff. But knowing what I know now of how that was the golden age for so many people, and so many people I know contemporaries of mine are saying, it wasn’t professionals at all, never word, but they said all the going was so good at that point in time. You know, just from a purely financial standpoint, that wasn’t the best time to be playing. I think in the history of poker, you know, online and offline. And I’d say, you know, for these, you know, whatever it was five or six years, do whatever you can, you know, before the golden goose stops laying the eggs. You know, it’s just, it’s the kind of, you know, the Marty McFly finds the almanac, right? And back to the future, too. It’s like, that’s where I would have wanted to be, you know. From a purely poker standpoint is make yourself, you know, make sure you’re in Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, for all of these big events. You have all of that knowledge that you have now as a 37 year old, and just get in while the getting’s good before everyone starts getting better. And you know, you’re not willing to put in the time in the lab, necessarily. This is the time and then save that money and do big things with it. And it sounds a little bit of a cop out type of an answer, but that is what I would do. I’m just being consistent with myself, right on the head. On the editorial side, it’s something very different.
Coach Brad Wilson: So, I agree with a lot of what you said, because I played. I was one of the people that were playing during throughout the golden age of poker. And I will say, that before the golden age of poker, before the information boom, because there is certainly been an information boom, in the 90s, in the 80s. The games were likely to be off the charts super amazingly good, because there are so little information that existed. So, I do think those games were really good. And as a player today, I do think that if you choose well, where you play, you can play in some really good games as well. So, games, there are games that rival the golden age of poker. And a very wise acquaintance of mine, who, I believe it was 2013 or 2014 was the biggest winner in the world track by high stakes db. For the first six months he you know, we’re discussing poker in general and strategy and how, you know, the common narrative is that all you had to do is show up in 2004. And everybody just gave you money, right? Everybody gave you money. Like, basically, we were done back then too, right? Like we should have that even the pros that we knew a lot less. As poker progresses and evolves and grows, there’s always money to be made. However, what has changed is, the money is made deeper into decision trees nowadays than it was back then. Back then, it was made in the earlier the three bets, the preflop strategy, that was where you could you could maximize your edge. And it was relatively easy.
Robbie Strazynski: Enhance your edge.
Coach Brad Wilson: Enhance your edge. There you go. It was relatively easy back then. And there’s always going to be room to profit and poker. The more you grow is just deeper and the decision trees is where you’re going to be able to maximize your wins. So, I will add that on top.
Robbie Strazynski: Sure. I’ll agree with that. On the editorial side, can I give that answer?
Coach Brad Wilson: Yes. Of course.
Robbie Strazynski: Right. So, on that it’s a funny thing. It’s so you’ve ever seen the movie sliding doors?
Coach Brad Wilson: I had a.
Robbie Strazynski: I think it’s with the Hugh Grant and Gwyneth Paltrow. And it’s this idea of like, two alternate histories; what happens if, you know you do make that subway train or if you don’t, door slide in front of you.
Coach Brad Wilson: Butterfly effect.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah, exactly similar type of thing. So, on the one hand, you know, I see now at 37, the way things have gone for me career wise, and everything that happened leading up to this point, making me who I am. And I say I wouldn’t change a thing, right? And you know, you got to accept it and embrace it. And it’s great to realize that everything happened in a certain time and for reasons to make me who I am right now. I would be interested in terms of like a sliding door effect to sort of see an alternate history if at age 20 already then, I was saying you know, I would be one of those people who put up, you know, even the blog that I have now. Like the blogs that didn’t look good that I statically speaking. The media then was very different and you know, anyone who you know, it’s a matter of you know, the right place right time to an extent you know, you happen to be the right age and in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and started a media outlet then. There was also just ridiculous amounts of money to be made and reputation to be earned. You know, in terms of historically, you know, people who’ve been around for 15, 16, 17 years, they’re few and far between that they’re still involved now. But just the fact that you were there then just gives you so much more credibility. You know when Twitter begins, then, you know, immediately get that many more followers just to start out. It’s the, basically, the snowball that you have to start out with, you know. I started in 2009. And, you know, in much more in earnest a couple years later, and then when I became self-employed two and a half years ago, I had to pack them together. Again, it almost parallels the poker thing, like the earlier you were there, the getting was good at the time. If I was doing that already, at age 20, and had a website and had a domain, which was, you know, now, whatever it is, you know, 19 years old, instead of 10 years old, something like that. I would be interested to see, so where would I be career wise, and financially speaking, and what would my brand be? And you know, how many more people would I know? I just be curious to sort of see that alternate history, not necessarily advice that I’d give myself but, you know, I also realized very, very much that even then, you know, you said, you know, what does greatness mean, you have to be fully involved. The reason I wasn’t able to is because I was doing all the family stuff. I got married, you know, 17 and a half years ago, I was 20, right? Had I started the career in the professional path. I don’t know that that necessarily would have happened when it did, because I wouldn’t have the headspace and the ability to, you know, share my life with another person who start having kids and all that other sort of stuff. So, it’s more of like the sliding doors of like, I possibly still would be single if that happened, which is not that not necessarily a bad thing.
Coach Brad Wilson: Don’t let your wife listen to this podcast by the way. This is not for Robbie Strazynski’s wife to listen.
Robbie Strazynski: That’s fine.
Coach Brad Wilson: He’s saying some things right now. He’s saying some things.
Robbie Strazynski: I told you. I said I wouldn’t change anything. I really wouldn’t.
Coach Brad Wilson: You literally just said, I would probably be single, and that would be fine.
Robbie Strazynski: No. I’m saying is that it’s okay to be single when I want to get married.
Coach Brad Wilson: Oh, of course.
Robbie Strazynski: But it’s just like looking through that mirror into the alternate dimension, the bizarre world of life. You know, I would probably for sure never have moved to Israel, like or moved back to LA like, because that’s what this stuff is. All that sort of alternate history would be sort of interesting for me to sort of say.
Coach Brad Wilson: Absolutely. And my parallel in the poker sense would be that I’ve always preferred cash games versus tournaments. And cash game players tend to go under the radar.
Robbie Strazynski: Yes.
Coach Brad Wilson: They don’t get you know, cash game victories don’t get publicized. Let lesser chance of playing interviews, or getting interviews, especially, you know, if you’re not playing the nosebleeds like Phil Ivey. People, you know, cash game players go under the radar. I would like to see, had I fully invested myself in a tournament over my career, what that would have been, right? I am still, you know, we’re 35, I’m 35, your 37. We’re not super old men, there’s still time, still time for me to invest myself in tournaments. And.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah.
Coach Brad Wilson: But I would be curious to see my lifetime results. And, you know, the level of, I guess, influence and authority that I would have been able to generate over the last 10 to 15 years.
Robbie Strazynski: It’s the effect of compound interest, you know, and in a very real sense for both of those things here.
Coach Brad Wilson: Right. And yeah, so anyway, I try, one of the quirks we’ll call it of my personality is, I’m naturally an introverted person. And
Robbie Strazynski: Really?
Coach Brad Wilson: Yeah.
Robbie Strazynski: I’m shocked. Anyone who hosts a podcast like, how is that even possible? Really? Well, good for you, you’ve fooled me. Nice bluff.
Coach Brad Wilson: There is so. Introversion is actually not that you don’t want to speak to people or that you don’t want to communicate and that sort of thing. It’s, you know, one to one, this is actually the perfect spot for an introvert because it’s a one to one conversation about something that I’m passionate about. And that is a perfect setup. Getting out. Get me in front of a room with 150 people. Actually, just take me out to dinner with 12 people that I don’t know. And, you know, I’ll be completely invisible, like I you know, I’ll, maybe there’s one person that I connect with, and then I can have a genuine conversation. But I’ll never be like the center of attention type person.
Robbie Strazynski: Interesting.
Coach Brad Wilson: That’s sort of how my personality works. And so, there is some avoidance there as far as you do get attention when you win a poker tournament.
Robbie Strazynski: Yeah.
Coach Brad Wilson: So maybe that, maybe that aspect of my personality is one of the reasons why I have enjoyed cash games that ledger anonymity over the years. Alright, moving on. What’s a project you’re working on now that is near and dear to your heart? It doesn’t have to be poker.
Robbie Strazynski: Oh, well, I mean, it’s for a very long time and actually was this, you know, and I’ve been, I don’t need that plug, plug, plug. But, you know, this was something I was working on sort of behind the scenes. You know, when he came up to me and Ellie came up to me, and you know, the Hebrew book was released. You know, that was my first really big project in poker. And I was, you know, always having to balance that with, you know, the regular stuff that I was doing media wise, and, you know, compartmentalize and take the time to do that. Once that finished, you know, it’s sort of morphed into, you know, doing marketing for him and all that stuff. But I wouldn’t necessarily call that a project. To be honest with you, I don’t really have anything actively. That is a project right now. It’s a, you know, the content game when you’re doing media, you know, basically, no one wants to see the same newspaper, one day after the next. No one wants to log in to CNN, it’s the same articles over and over. It’s just constantly feeding the content beast, and it very much, I don’t want to use the word grind, because in a sense, that may imply that I don’t enjoy it, I do. I’m not doing, I’m not the only one doing the writing, you know, you have plenty of fantastic contributors. But I function as the editor for my site. So that really is a first and foremost, and always at the front of my mind, ongoing project, for lack of a better word. There is one project, it’s, I wouldn’t say on the back burner, because I really, really do want to do it. Its I believe I have my own poker book in me, just so many stories of the storyteller, that I could tell over the last few years that I’ve been involved, you know, the travels that I’ve done around the world, and tournaments that I’ve covered, and things that have happened to me individually. And again, that tied into my own personal background, as someone who’s Orthodox, Jewish, and living in Israel, and a family man, that’s just sort of my perspective on it, I think that I could leave a nice yarn. I think that the stories would be interesting to people. But I can’t unfortunately, say, you know, maybe it’s a little failure on my part for now, that I’m not actively working on it. It’s just there’s, you gotta keep on hitting those base hits, you know, and then getting on base with the, you know, with the podcasts, with the other forms of media that I’m constantly producing. So, something I need to do, something I want to do. And I’ve told myself I’ve done it, and I have some building blocks in place, like a table of contents. And I know more or less the stories I want to tell, it’s just I got to get around to it. So, I can’t reveal the title. But, you know, hopefully, when it does come a year, two, three years, whatever it is from now, it’s another great marketing tool to have, hey, here’s my book.
Coach Brad Wilson: Do we have like a like a Daniel Negreanu bad signal that we can we can flare up and get him on your ass but another two hours to get this book done? Hey Jean Daniel, Negreanu, contact Robbie Strazynski and make him write this book. No more procrastinating.
Robbie Strazynski: I will say that there’s a difference between procrastinating and taking one’s foot off the gas pedal. And I don’t think it’s an important distinction to make. Because not that I’m not as hungry as I used to be. But, you know, I feel now that you know, this media gig that I’m doing is the full-time job and I have a responsibility to sort of support you know, my family. from it, I need to be focused on that. I need to, just as a matter of circumstance, whereas up until two and a half years ago, it was always the side gig and I quote unquote, had more drive because I was staying up till ridiculous hours because I only got home at 6:30 and then had dinner and the kids all that stuff. And you know, between midnight and two was the only time I had. So now it’s just you know, a matter of like, you know, kind of kicking myself a little bit, and making sure that okay, it is 10 o’clock, it is 11 o’clock at night. You know, get a chapter written. Do it. You know, so I don’t want to say I’m lazy, it just after a whole day of doing that, you know it, it’s hard to consider it something different. It’s like continuing to work for another two hours.
Coach Brad Wilson: So, I will say that like when something’s inside of you, it is a good thing to get it out. It means that you want to, that your body’s telling you hey, get this out of me. And Neil Gaiman, I listened to an interview with Neil Gaiman, who has you know, written Neverwhere, American Gods, Good Omens, are just a bunch of really incredible amazing books. I love Neil Gaiman and I have, you know, had this journal right here because of Neil Gaiman. And when he was writing Coraline, he had a lot of things going on. And it was something that he wanted to, he wanted to write a kid’s book for his daughters, and he didn’t have enough time, or he had so many projects that he was juggling. And he decided that instead of reading a few pages every night before bed, he would write a line. He wrote one line a night, right before bed. And that just that, wow, that just created momentum and it built up, built up. And then after six months, you know, he said he had some chapters going.
Robbie Strazynski: That’s incredible.
Coach Brad Wilson: And then like that, just that small little one line a day, added up over time. And then eventually, you know, he finished Coraline, and it got made into a movie, and it’s this huge, massive success thing. And it wouldn’t happen had he not just written that one line. So.
Robbie Strazynski: You’re so absolutely right.
Coach Brad Wilson: I’m gonna challenge you, you guys. If you got time to write one line of your book, and in six months, you’ll be further along than you think. Right? And maybe you write a paragraph, right? Maybe you don’t write three lines a night, but just making that a practice and getting in there. Because I want you to write your book. I want to promote your book. I would be interested in reading your book. I love poker stories. So, there you go.
Robbie Strazynski: Thank you. I think I really appreciate that. And now I’m dropping knowledge bombs, but that’s a real good one. Thank you. I really do mean that and I hope I left them
Coach Brad Wilson: My pleasure man. And you know worse comes to worse. I’ll get in touch with Daniel Negreanu, and crack the whip, and he’ll make you do it. So final question. Where can the Chasing Poker Greatness audience find you on the inter webs.
Robbie Strazynski: Sure. So the main place where I’m very publicly active is on Twitter it’s @cardplayerlife That’s just you know, I can directly engage with you guys. I have no problem giving out my email address. It’s Robbie Strazynski, Robbie Strazynski@cardplayerlifestyle.com. If there’s anything you’re interested in, in terms of stuff that I write, again on my website, cardplayerlifestyle.com. I’m always you know, actively pushing out, you know, new content that way. I have a podcast it’s called the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast that’s syndicated on the poker news Podcast Network. You can listen to me there. Facebook, you know there aren’t that many Robbie Strazynski Strazynski out there so, R-o-b-b-i-e S-t-r-a-z-y-n-s-k-i and always happy to make new friends and broaden my horizons. And hopefully once in a while it’ll certainly the World Series of Poker from there. Feel free to you know if you see me say hello, Phil Hellmuth style and anywhere else in the world you know. I’ve always announced on social media where it is that I’m going next. Whatever next tournament I’m covering so you know that’s basically it.
Coach Brad Wilson: Sir, if I’m at WSOP next year, hope to meet up.
Robbie Strazynski: Yes.
Coach Brad Wilson: Have a beer or glass of water. I don’t really drink beer but
Robbie Strazynski: Same here. Diet Coke man. Way to go.
Coach Brad Wilson: Right? Water for me. I don’t drink diet coke either. But just or maybe a very berry hibiscus from Starbucks that works. Alright, man, I love the conversation. Can’t wait to share it and promote it with the world. Thank you for coming on. It was very, very much a pleasure.
Robbie Strazynski: Well, it’s so enjoyable. I mean, there’s nothing more fun than talking about oneself, but much more fun when someone’s actually taking an interest. I really appreciate it and it’s really, really great, Coach Brad Wilson. Thank you. Thanks so much.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Chasing Poker Greatness. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please take a moment to do so on Apple podcast or wherever your favorite place to listen to podcasts may be. And once again I also wanted to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re on the lookout for a new platform where the games are safe and secure and the action is amazing, head to enhanceyouredge.com/PKC to get your code and jump into the games. You must have a code to play, as well as be 21 years of age or older. One final time that’s enhanceyouredge.com/PKC. Thank you so much, and I’ll see you next time on Chasing Poker Greatness.
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