PCA Super High Roller Day One

Just wanted to share quickly about my first day at the PCA in 2015. For those following the poker news, PokerStars has decided to rethink the rake increases and have gone back, for the most part, to the old rake. That was really great news and I’m happy to see that the company is still dedicated to listening to it’s players. It was no surprise that players were not happy about the rake hikes and they voiced their opinion. In other good news, I was happy to see two new additions to PokerStars Team Pro, and both were firsts. One player hailing from Japan, Kosei Ichinose and the other out of India, Aditya Agarwal. While I don’t know either player, I think the important consideration is the promising markets they represent and what that could mean for the future of online poker.


I was really happy with my play today. I did misclick again, oops! but outside of that I played exactly how I wanted to. The misclick came with blinds just going up to 1500-3000 and I meant to make it 6800 but threw a green 25k into the mix as well! Mohsin Charania on my left only had 100k total and moved all in with AJ. I had to call now obviously, and he won his second raice against me. The other was my TT vs his AQ.

I really played in a flow. The last two years I’ve been playing consistently well and also posting results. Throughout my career I’ve always been quite streaky and I attribute that to my mental game progressing with age and personal growth.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, doing the course at ChoiceCenter on emotional intelligence two years ago was a really powerful experience for me, but the personal growth doesn’t stop there. The last couple months I’ve been meditating daily, doing a short yoga routine, doing some daily readings and also writing in my journal daily. The meditation has been helpful with my posture and also a sense of calm in stressful situations both at the WPT 5 Diamond at Bellagio, and also here so far on day one. I don’t know if it’s called oneness, mindfulness, tranquility, or whatever, but the daily routine of meditation seems to be of value.

It took me a while to feel that way. When I started I felt like I was doing it wrong, I think too much, and it was pointless. Then I watched a great 60 Minutes piece by Anderson Cooper on mindfulness and the scientifically backed value of meditation for the mind and body. After the piece I was more open to it, and about two months later I notice that I maintain better posture for longer periods of time, and am much calmer when bluffing or faced with high stress decisions at the poker table.

Nothing felt hard. I had one key hand late in the night with AK versus AT where he 4 bet me and I decided to just call rather than 5 bet. He ended up spiking a T so it cost me close to 200k in chips. Had I re-raised before the flop I would have likely won preflop, but that’s very results oriented thinking. Without knowing his exact hand, and not knowing anything about my opponents tendencies, it was the right, and safer play to just call.

It was an unlimited re-entry tournament and I was able to get through the day on my first bullet with 303k. Average is about 370k and I feel great about my chances. I’ve reached a level of consistency the last two years that I’ve never had in my life. In the past, after stretches of good results, I expected to lose and figured I was due. I think it subconsciously affected my play, but for the last two years virtually every time I play I feel like I’m going to succeed.

Your mindset may be a lot more important to your bottom line than you may realize, and I highly recommend looking into any kind of personal growth classes, or books that peak your interest. What is the worst thing that could happen, right?