Stu Ungar had it horribly, horrible wrong.

Today there’s a topic weighing heavily on my heart I feel compelled to talk to you about: Compassion.

Stu Ungar once famously said, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.”

I’m almost ashamed to admit I once used this quote as motivation to improve at playing cards.

So let me ask you a simple question:

Why is it so important to you to avoid the feeling of losing?

I’m convinced the answer is at the root of so much unbearable pain it hurts me to think about.

In my life experience, winning has always been my primary sense of self-worth. The only time I felt worthy as a child was whenever I won at sports.

I felt like my family paid more attention to me.

I felt more special than I did before.

I felt like my friends looked at me differently.

Winning was the one thing in my existence that made me feel worthy.

Losing meant just the opposite: Devastation.

Worthlessness. Failure.

“How could you lose?”

“Why do you so suck so bad?”

“You’re a waste of potential.”

My inner voice was unyielding and merciless. I created a wound so deep and raw it became unspeakably painful to cope with. The only option I felt I had was to avoid it at all costs.

This was done by winning.

Do you think this is a sustainable path that leads to happiness and fulfillment?

Failure and loss are unavoidable facts of existence. We’re just souls trying our best to navigate our humanity the best we can.

I know there’s a better way.

Imagine in your mind a 9-year-old version of yourself competing in something that meant the world to you. You lose in absolutely devastating fashion and you’re in so much anguish you can barely breath. Your face is dirty and dripping with tears.

How do you feel imagining this 9-year-old version of yourself?

I’d like to think you feel like your heart might burst open with compassion. That you’d feel compelled give them a tight hug, and reassure them that they’re safe. That they’re alright. They’re still worthy and they’re loved so so much.

So why is it that we struggle with feeling this same compassion for ourselves when we experience failure? Every time we lose and feel worthless?

I genuinely believe this is the path that will allow our wounds to heal.

So, really, I just wanted to reach out today and plant a seed that makes you consider your relationship with loss.

I also wanted to make sure you know that you’re worthy of love even when you fail.

Even if you sometimes don’t believe it yourself I want you to know that I hold love in my heart for you and your life.

I’m gonna close today by letting you know I’m putting together a team. It doesn’t even have a name yet (For now I’m calling it Surge but that’s likely to change).

The team will start training on October 1st.

The program is designed as a way to help professional poker players increase their monthly volume in a healthy and sustainable way. It’s going to be packed full of love and support and I fully expect lasting friendships with each and every member.

The price is going to be $500/month, there will be only 10 roster spots (Two are already taken by my current students), and you’ll have to apply to join.

Unfortunately not everyone will be accepted…

Only the folks I believe to be good fits for myself and the squad.

If you’re interested, here’s your link to apply:

Until tomorrow,

Coach Brad

P.S. The winner of the Sweet 16 #PokerGOAT giveaway is a guy by the name of Jimi who has already been contacted. Congrats Jimi!