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Jared Tendler's AMA

Jared Tendler’s AMA

On the First of May, the world’s foremost expert on the mental aspect of playing poker, Jared Tendler, joined FTR for an Ask Me Anything Interview, where our forum could ask him literally anything.

Our members took the chance to improve their mental game, and we saw some of the most detailed advice ever given in one of our AMAs. (Find out more about Jared Tendler or order his books at his website:

Jared started us off with a video welcome:

Jared: And it’s go time.

What up party people – I’m really not that cool, it’s just what came to mind.

FTR, great to be here. You already have a lot of solid questions, which I’m going to just get right to.

Game on!

Sick, the first book was great- and applicable way more broadly than just to poker.

Jared: Thanks! I’m always curious about this, how did it help you outside of poker.

I probably just broke the first rule of AMA, but I’m guessing that’s not like breaking the first rule of fight club.
(Forum Management: You’re Fired!)

What is the weight that emotional intelligence plays in your book?

Jared: I haven’t really thought about my book in those terms before, but thinking about it now, I’d say that my books help to raise your emotional IQ by helping you to understand the nature of emotion, the ways that hardwired believes affect emotions, and how you can resolve/solve them. Anger, fear, low motivation, and over- and underconfidence are the big ones that I address. I don’t have hard evidence for this, but anecdotally the people who really worked with the book are smarter in how the react and handle their emotions. Not a quick fix or instant knowledge. Although some things may immediately strike you.

How should I approach mentally warming up prior to playing?

Jared: Number one – have goals for the session or tournament. The clearer your goals, the more focused your mind, the better you’ll play. You can have goals that are based off of your LT goals. So the ones you set for the day are essentially what you can do today/in that session or tournament, to work toward your long-term goals. So for example, if you want to be playing longer hours, you could set a goal to recognize when you’re mind tends to get tired/tilted/other reason you would quit and then you push yourself to play 5-10% longer. If you want to be moving up in stakes, making more money, or eliminating tilt, then set a goal that improves you tactically or mentally so you can play better.

After that you want to be reviewing the specifics of how you’re going to improve tactically or mentally. I advise all my clients to have a clear understanding of their mental/tactical weaknesses and the ways they correct them. Then before sessions they review this strategy so it’s fresh in their mind and more easily accessible when they need it most – ie. When they’re about to make a dumb mistake, or have started to tilt.

Visualization is something that people talk a lot about, but you want to make sure it’s practical. And if you’re visualizing yourself being in control of tilt, for example, that you really have the skill to do it. Otherwise, it’s just a fantasy. Research has shown that visualization is most effective for people whom already have a high degree of skill. Too often it’s used by people with very little skill to accelerate their learning/performance. But it doesn’t work that way.

Hi! I haven’t read your books yet, but I did order copies of both of them moments ago. I’m wondering what led you to become a mental game coach and whether or not you ever offered your counseling services as part of a private practice. Also, can you recommend ways for a stressed out person to avoid panic attacks and/or shorten their lengths? My anonymous friend wanted me to ask that one… Thanks!

Jared: That’s great, I hope you enjoy them!

I wanted to become a mental game coach after struggling with my own mental hangups – specifically choking under pressure – as I was trying to become a professional golfer. Was a dream since I was a kid, and even though I was a 3-time All-american in college (DIII – Skidmore College), I kept choking on the biggest stages. First time happened trying to qualify for the US Open when I was 19. Played the best round of my life except with my putting. 3 putted 4 times and missed a playoff by a shot. I got into the field trying to find answers to my problems, bc sport psych at the time didn’t help me. I though counseling psych would help me find them.

I did work in a counseling office for 4 years. 2 years as an intern in grad school, and then 2 years post grad, to accrue 3200hrs of supervised practice to get licensed. The office provide home based therapy for kids and families in the social service system in Massachusetts. So I was working with kids with some pretty major issues, and doing counseling at their dinner table, on a couch in their living room, in my car, at school, a basketball court. I was really tough, but interesting and rewarding work. Goal all along was to take what I learned to bring into golf and sports, but I embraced the work and learned a ton.

Re: panic attacks – that’s not my expertise and I recommend going to see a therapist. There aren’t simple answers to complex probs like that. That’s not to say their impossible to solve, but it’s better taken seriously with a professional.

Jared, nowadays I am reading some minutes of your first book before each session. What kind of new stuff is included on the second one?

Jared: The new one is all new material entirely that advances your best. The first book was all about eliminating the worst areas of your mental game: tilt, fear and confidence and motivation problems. The new book informs you on how to make your best even better. Meaning how to get in the zone consistently, learn more efficiently, improve focus, mental endurance, discipline and decision making.

Here’s a link to the excerpt of the first chapter – if you want to read a bit more: (Scroll down a page)

Have you ever played Poker and be able to avoid tilt and manage all the things you teach others??


Jared: Poker isn’t my profession and I don’t take it that seriously when I play. Tilt/anger isn’t generally a problem for me. I mentioned in an earlier question that I choked under pressure in golf, so my weakness is more in the nerves/fear side of things. Whether in golf, or playing big pots in casinos, or coaching big named players, I’ve learned a ton on how to control/resolve my nerves and I feel them, but they rarely cause my game to break down. Nerves at that level generally fuels me to play great/perform great. Although, I’m human too and there are times where my decision making/shot making isn’t as high as ti could be. Always learning and finding new ways to improve. That challenge is something I love to do for myself and help my clients to do as well.

Brian Boyko
Jared, forgive me on this, but I haven’t read the first book yet. Still, I hope you don’t mind if I ask a question:

I have a serious block when it comes to playing in casinos. I regularly play in home games against very tough players – players who crush 1/2 and 2/5 NLHE and PLO, and play in bracelet events (though they’ve never won one, they have cashed…)

It’s a $0.25/0.50 mixed game that includes rounds of $5/10 limit games and there are often straddles, double straddles, and occasionally triple straddles when we’re all sitting on stacks of $300-400. And 5-card PLO/8 is in the mix as well…

But when I try to play even 1/2 NLHE in the casino, I get Scared Money Syndrome. Something about buying in for $200 and the possibility of losing it all to a poor play or a suckout bugs me, even though losing $200 in two buy-ins doesn’t bug me at all. And before you ask, yeah, I’m properly rolled – even though I don’t make my living from poker, I keep my poker funds separate and have 20 buy-ins for $1/2.

Some contributing factors are that the nearest casino is 6 hours away by bus/car, so if I end up going to the casino, and lose a buy-in or two, I feel like I not only pissed away money, but also pissed away a heck of a lot of time.

Am I just doomed to be stuck playing 50PLO and 100NL? Or maybe I should just switch to LHE/LO8 instead?

Jared: That’s a tough question. I think you have to ask yourself whether you want to drive 6 hours home from the casino playing as well as you can, making the decisions you know are right – win or lose – or if you want to focus mostly on whether or not you won or lost.

I don’t expect that answer to immediately change the pressure/fear you have when you play, so you have prepare yourself ahead of time. Remind yourself that what you can’t control isn’t where you’re going to focus. You’re going to focus on decision making. The cards will play out how they play out.

When you’re playing, keep reminding yourself of this – or other thoughts you have that are close to it. Reducing fear doesn’t happen all at once, you have to inject these thoughts into instances where the fear shows up and push/force yourself to think/feel that way. Over time the fear will drop steadily. Some days may be worse than others, but if you keep at it, you should see some solid progress in 3-6 weeks. It may not be gone entirely, but much more in control so you can make the right decisions even easier.

The Bean Counter
Hey Jared, thanks for doing this and I’m looking forward to buying the new book. Three questions from me if I may:

1) Sometimes I start a session a bit too “pumped up” and donk off a few buy-ins by being far too aggressive and assuming everybody is bluffing me – can you provide me with any tips for recognising when I’m in this frame of mind please or how to snap out of it quickly?

Jared: Take notes and study your own pattern of being “pumped up” for 5-7 days or 5-7x. Look for the thoughts, emotion, sensation in your body, actions, behaviors, etc that indicate to you that you’re too pumped up. Recognition is HUGE and it’s not automatic. It’s learned. So study your own pattern and you’ll be able to spot it.

Snapping out of it quickly is harder the more pumped up you are. Think of your energy level more like the a volume button on an old stereo than an on/off switch. The higher the volume, the more you have to work to turn the noise/energy level down. So being able to snap out of it is easiest, when you recognize the earliest sign that your energy is starting to rise too high.

The Bean Counter
2) One other problem I have is being unable to profitably play a session length longer than 60-75 minutes without going into a passive frame of mind and making too many bad calls. Could you provide me with some advice on how to maintain my A-game for a longer, continuous period please?

Jared: Starting a session too pumped up is definitely one cause of this problem. When you’re energy is that high you’re wasting energy. Think of it like sprinting at the start of a long race – eventually that runner will fatique and slow down. Instead, most successful runners work their way into a long race and don’t go out to quick. See how long you can play your A-game when you start slower. Then, like a runner trying to run farther and faster, push yourself in successive sessions to go a little longer while maintaining your A/A-/B+ game.

The Bean Counter
2) 3) Finally, which player (either online or live) would you say has the strongest poker mindset?

Jared: Phil Ivey

Do you have a favorite story about someone tilting in a very outrageous fashion?

Jared: I wish I had cool stories like this. Aside from punching holes in walls, throwing laptops out 3 story windows, and losing 50k in a session. My stories are all pretty standard. Or maybe I just think they’re standard.

Hello Very excited about this AMA. Your work is amazing Congratulations

Jared: Thanks very much!

Do you think you could take a total newbie in poker and make him a solid winner?

Jared: Not without a great tactical coach also working with that player. The mental game is critical, but it’s not enough to make me a winning player in most of the games that you all play. Tactical knowledge is what matters most. The mental game is what helps a player utilize all their tactical knowledge more often.

I know it’s your book but would you recommended it to every single poker player out there?

Jared: The book can really only help those willing to work with it. So I wouldn’t recommend it to people looking for a quick fix. Only to people who were looking for real solutions to their mental game problems. Plus, there’s no way that my book could help 100% of poker players. People are too different.

I’m starting to read your book and I must say it is quite interesting. Really unique I must add! Here are my questions to you Jared

In your opinion what is the worst problem a player can show at the table (lack of…Focus, Confidence, Motivation)?

Do you still play golf?

Besides poker, do you use psychology in other games or situations in your life?

Jared: Thanks, great to hear that!

Worst mental game problem is in confidence. It’s the one that can create anger, focus, motivation, fear, and other problems. Confidence issues are often hidden so they’re harder to spot, plus people often think that it’s okay to be overconfident – which is not true at all. Overconfidence can cause a player to play in games they’re not rolled for, become complacent and not work on their game (think of the online poker millionaires in 2007/2008 who are broke), and handle bad variance much worse. Ideally you want your confidence to be based in reality – and that’s a tough thing in poker I realize, but it’s something that many poker players need to consider working on.

I do still play golf, although not as much, nor as well as I’d like to. I think those are both related. I always played better when I played more. Generally now it take me three days to knock enough rust off to make it enjoyable.

I use it everyday for myself in my approach to my work – writing/coaching/developing. Aside from that, I use it where it makes sense – but I need to turn it off and just relax. Otherwise I’ll burn out.

Hi Jared,

Just picked up your first book and if you dont mind I am gonna type some stuff out here as an exercise. And if you have any comments on the below I’d appreciate.

I can lose pots for a lot of money and smile and just not care as I realize that’s just a part of poker. And unless 5 happen in a row and my bankroll takes a huge swing it wont really affect my emotional level to any serious degree. This has been achieved thru a lot of experience and not playing significantly out of my bankroll.

Recently a situation happened that got my emotion levels higher then they should be. As you note tilt is not sudden its a gradual process so I would like to explain the lead up to my heightened level of emotions—

First scenario: I opened MP, bunch of callers, kid squeezes, I call being deep after almost considering 4betting, someone behind me who originally called repops we all fold. (note: surprise squeezer was doing this light)
how i felt: was annoyed putting so much $$ into pot and not even getting to see a flop. slight tilt. I almost 4bet myself thinking he was squeezing light, but didnt and then someone behind me (who I am friends with) later told me they repopped it up light cuz they thought the squeezer was light. Had I made the right play, it would have been much better and as played this was the worst result I could of asked for.

injecting logic: There are 2 issues at work that I see 1) not going with your read/making a mistake and 2) being annoyed that someone squeezed light. (getting super annoyed with how the action goes down –usually stemming from a player doing something that doesn’t fit my criteria).

1) mistakes gonna happen, sometimes out of the blue, especially as you play more and more poker going without mistakes is not possible. Make note and learn from it. You need to learn to deal with mistakes and dismiss them without letting them bother your emotional levels to much (see section in book on why perfectionism is impossible).

2) Why cant a player choose to play however he wants and why does it have to fit your criteria? Stop being self entitled and so illogical! Occasionally hands like this going to happen and ideally they shouldn’t trigger your emotions at all if you want to truly master the mental game.

Second scenario: I open CO, SB calls and same player squezes BB light and c/fs a flop . I end up winning an inflated pot thanks to the BB against the SB.

how i felt: indifferent/slightly happy as I won the pot but just thinking wtf this kid is 3betting in my head almost everytime I open.

fix: Although my emotions weren’t changed, its pretty funny that I violate rule #2 once again. Thinking a player isn’t entitled to take whatever option he wants in poker and even when I win profit from his mistakes I still think he isn’t wise for choosing to target me like this in a live setting (as I am not the fish) but the fact is he can do whatever he wants and it shouldn’t bother me one bit. As when I get position on him (being a much more experienced player then him can make his life just as much more hell once I get position on him). But the fact I want to get position on him and just own the shit out of him in future sessions might show my competitive drive (which I think is needed) or might show a leak in taking shit to personal. What do you think?

So when someone is 3betting me a lot IP in a live setting its a clear leak that I need to work on. I know some adjustments that I can make and hands that I can/cant defend but I more need to focus on my emotional tolerance for this. For some reason it really bothers me when I am going to constantly face light 3bets IP against light ranges.I’ve read sameoulus quote, and I think i just need to constantly monitor my emotions with this spot and examine it at a later time and keep injecting logic.

Third scenario: I open utg, he squeezes me in MP. I play back at him postflop. As for my post session analysis I am fine with cr flop light (was better for my range, and I think hes on a short bankroll) but should of c/f the specific turn card that came (okay to cr flop and barrel 90% turns but not this specific one). He ends up winning big pot with a rather speculative hand that he 3 blled.

how i felt: So overall during this time, I am thinking why is he 3betting me with this shit from these positions. Does he not realize I am better then him and I can make his life hell if he wants to really play me like this next time I am at the table. How dare he!!! Also I am very hard on myself for making a mistake and betting turn. ‘I shouldnt of bet the turn, I therefore lost $XXX, do you know what I could of bought with XXX had I just played better.’

logic— same as first one. 1) Mistakes going to happen, learn from them. 2) People can play however they want.

In a later session I see this player lose a lot and play bad, so its awakening to realize the money he wins he will most likely give it back. Do not be self entitled and do not think you can win every session because that’s why poker is poker.

Lots of mental game leaks above . Did not realize it was soooo long, but any comments/advice you have on how I am approaching the mental side and my new journey to improve it.

Would you mind giving a brief summary of your books and how important you feel the mental game to be when it comes to poker? I think most people just think of tilt control when it comes to the mental side, but there is much more.

Jared: And not only do they just think of tilt control, they also think tilt means anything less than playing your best. Defining tilt that broadly is a huge problem when you’re trying to solve problems. Tilt often can mean being bored, drunk, spewy, steaming, and risk averse. But every one of those problems has a different solution. So the first major thing I did in the first book was to narrow the definition of tilt down to bad play only caused by anger. The reason is that in the three years that I had work with poker players and studied the game over 80% of the time poker players were talking about tilt, they were referring to be frustrated, raging, or some form of anger. With anger being = to tilt, I could then narrow down the main reasons poker player get angry and came up with 7 major types of tilt:

Running Bad Tilt
Injustice Tilt
Hate-losing Tilt
Mistake Tilt
Entitlement Tilt (think Hellmuth)
Revenge Tilt
Desperation Tilt.

Then with tilt defined, that made room for the three other major mental game problems: fear, poor motivation and under/overconfidence. The other thing I did in the first book was to show how errors in understanding the learning process cause mental game problems. If you have expectations to learn/progress faster, or if you think you’ve learned something and didn’t, you can experience any of those mental game problems, or make them worse. So I provided three theories on learning to help players understand the realities of learning better.

The second book I’ve mentioned a bit about already. But I’ll also add that player that don’t have major mental game issues don’t need to read the first book in order to read the second. It’s not like a sequel to a movie. And more like a entirely separate book that compliements the first.

The mental game is critical now because the edges are so small. And it’s the thing that can make all of your work on your tactical game go to shit. What’s the point of spending hours to improve tactically, if you just get pissed up or lock up while playing and make the same mistakes. Those errors are not going to get solved just by improving your game tactically. In that regard I often think of the mental game like an insurance policy on your tactical game bc it’s what makes it possible to avoid your biggest tactical errors.

But speaking on tilt, that is one problem almost everyone can relate with. This subject has been discussed over and over with the same very general advice given, but what would you say to someone who says they have an issue controlling their tilt?

Jared: I would pepper them with questions, such as:

What are the situations where it happens? What are other spots where it doesn’t? What’s the difference? What’s the first sign that you’re on tilt? What cause it? Why do you think that thing is causing you to react that way?

The reality is that tilt happens for predictable reasons. The problem is that many people/players don’t know those reasons and all they here is “don’t tilt.” Well no shit, thank you for that amazing advice. If you’re going to solve a problem – any problem not just mental and not just a temporary fix but a permanent one – you need to understand the cause of it. Most people don’t take the time to really think about why they’re reacting in the way that they are, and only think it’s stupid to be getting pissed off. Sure it may be stupid, but it’s happening and thinking it shouldn’t bother you, or that you shouldn’t react that way, doesn’t change the reality THAT IT DID. So stop fucking around thinking you’re going to wake up one day a zen master and suck outs, mistakes, or running bad don’t bother you any more and get to work on really solving the problem.


I’m not like most therapist – and more like a coach. I’m understanding because it helps solve problems, but I also am not going to let people just live in a fantasy world.

What is the single best piece of advice you’ve been given or read that had the most impact on your poker game?

Jared: Well since I suck at poker – the best advice came when I met the crew from Stoxpoker back in 2008 in Vegas around the WSOP. In so many words I realized that I either need to take learning poker seriously or just keep it a hobby. I chose the later and decided to focus my time on getting better at what I do best.

Have you ever given advice to a famous poker pro?

Jared: On my mental game of poker podcast Phil Hellmuth was thinking about taking Adderall. Mike Matusow suggested he try it and I challenged him a bit on why that may not be the best decision he could make. Here’s a link to the podcast:…il-hellmuth-2/. At the WSOP last year Phil talked about how he tried Adderall once during his first final table and it totally messed with him. He credited his bracelet win on not taking it.

Havwhich of the existing poker pros you think should read your book to improve their game? (who needs it desperately!)

Jared: Victor Blom could use a little help with tilt…

How important is one’s health to be mentally sharp while playing poker? Do you think diet/exercise may be a leak that is often overlooked?

Jared: Important, but in terms of performance I think some people have overblown it’s importance. There is research that proves exercise and a better diet can increase energy levels. But it’s important for people to realize that if they make a change to either, there’s an adjustment period where they could actually play worse. But it’s a short-term investment to have more energy – which can allow them to play better/longer/recover faster/handle more mental crap/etc – in the long run.

Speaking of mental warming… I am studying a foreign language and I have seen that I need to relate to the language before I start my class, do you think this is something we all should do when wanting to play poker? Maybe sit out for a while and evaluate our competition can be considered warming?

Jared: Not for a while right before you play. A warm-up is designed to get you ready to play and shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes, and likely closer to 10-15 minutes for most players. But yes definitely do this, just don’t do it for that long.

I have a lot of trouble on focusing while playing poker, what’s the best advice you can give me to not lose my focus and lose money while doing it? I have seen banners and just general chat keep me distracted sometimes and make me lose. Any exercise?

Jared: Set clear goals for the session, including working hard to recognize when your focus has slipped, and work hard to refocus each time. Focus can be a bit like a muscle. If you’re too relaxed with it, it gets weaker. If you push yourself to maintain focus at times that it’s hard, focus get stronger. Yes this is challenging, but so is building muscle in the gym.

Hi Jared,
1) What do you think about personality types (introvert/extrovert) and their effect on people’s poker game?

Jared: Hi Tommy, I’m not really sure. I haven’t studied or noticed this much. I do think in general, the more people play in ways that are most congruent with their natural style, the better they play.

2) On the topic of books, having become a successful writer do read very much these days? If so what is your favourite novel?

Jared: I haven’t read much recently (last 6 months), and when I do I tend to read a lot of non-fiction. Last novel I read was Ender’s Game. Entertaining and enjoyed it. Favorite novel is either The Alchemist, or Sidhartha.

Hi Jared! I find strategy articles very useful, but sometimes very overwhelming. Is it possible for one to read and instruct by only reading one author? For example many online articles are written by different people and the approach is always different, I think this is what gets me confused. Do you think variety is good or should I stick to only reading strategy articles and advice from one author?

Jared: I’m of the belief that people should do what works. Sometimes that’s hard to know. In this case, it sounds like reading multiple authors isn’t working, so try the other approach and see what happens.

do you think your book also can apply to any other mental and strategy game or only to Poker?

Jared: It applies elsewhere as long as that person is willing to do some work. I’ve heard from golfers, day-traders, pool players, chess players, and magic the gathering players who have all read and loved the book.

do Do you think Poker is a game that can be taught (and learned by anyone), or requires some natural talent?

Jared: Anyone can learn, but not anyone can become winning poker players. Talent is definitely a factor.

I have a habit with getting annoyed with other people’s behavior when I’m playing poker. For instance, it drives me nuts when someone chews with his/her mouth open. Can you recommend some sort of meditation or something that can help me to politely ignore people whose habits annoy the crap out of me?

Jared: Why don’t you ask them politely to chew with their mouth closed?

The other side of this is why does it bother you? Do you think it’s rude? Is it just the sound? Understanding this can help you to come up with a phase that can help to keep you calm. There are often reasons why things bother us. Understand that and you might find some hidden expectations, or wishes that people would do what you want. By letting go of things you can’t control – or by actually speaking up, you may find some inner peace with this even in the face of something annoying.

Hey Jared,

One of the things I enjoyed most about your book is that the concepts you present, although you do a great job tying them to poker, are applicable way more broadly than that – obviously to sport and the like but really any area of your life that you’re trying to improve has a mental game aspect. Have you considered writing for a broader audience or do you feel like you’ve found your niche with poker?

Thanks for the first book and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the second

Jared: Thanks Mark – appreciate the feedback! I love working in poker and will be around for the foreseeable future. But I have considered writing for a broader audience and am excited about the prospects of this. Haven’t set a time frame for it, but I am beginning to research/brainstorm ideas for what it would look like. I’m not going to write a “Mental Game of Life” kind of book. I want it to be more broadly applicable and think I need an angle/hook that would resonate with people who may be skeptical about the value of my work.

Look forward to hearing what you think of the new book!

Hey Jared,

I’ve managed to get my hands on a copy of your second book (thanks Barry), and I’m trying to find time to read it, as I’m sure it’s as good as the first one.
I write a daily article on Viktor Blom’s high stakes action, and I’ve noticed he seems to have some issues with his mental game.
He seems to spiral out of control when he loses, and has been known to try and “play through the pain” and ends up losing massive amounts.
The thing is, his “A” game is amongst the best in the world at the games he has been playing. I think he may be chasing the respect of the poker community at large, as he has been getting negative comments from them for as long as he has been on the scene.
Do you have any advice I can pass on to Viktor, or any suggestions of the chapters in either book that may be worth him reading? I think his mental game may be the only thing stopping Viktor from being unstoppable, when he wins, he tends to win a lot, when he loses, he loses a lot. If he was to learn when to pull the plug (when’s not on his “A” game) I think his earnings would jump accordingly.
I’d appreciate your opinion.

Jared: Hey Hippy!

That’s great – hope you enjoy the new one.

Actually, I’d say if Viktor could learn to keep his emotions from spiraling that would be the ideal. There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the reasons he is so successful is the intensity that he brings to the game. The problem is that intensity can also have a darker side which can cause difficulty. Intensity at that level exaggerates any hidden flaws within his mind. You’re suspecting that he’s chasing respect – without speaking to him I’m won’t speculate about what it is. But it also could be as simple as being ultra competitive and not being able to handle losing well enough.

I would suggest he reads chapter 3 of TMGP as he might benefit immediately just from knowing more about the reality of Emotions. Then to read the opening sections to each type of tilt to figure out what flaws are blowing up. The key to a good solution is a good assessment of the problem. Aside from that, have him contact me for coaching

1) Who would you say was the most interesting guest ever at your podcast?

Jared: I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of great guests. My interview with Krantz a few weeks ago was awesome – I really enjoyed talking with him. Can’t really say who was the most interesting – most were so for different reasons.

2) What was your longest ever online session?

Jared: An hour…? Honestly don’t remember it was over 2 years ago now. I never really played much. But I do regularly grind 10-14 hour work days.


I think it might have been mentioned already, but I also struggle to maintain focus for long periods of time, for me approx 45-60 mins online multitabling and I start to lose focus.

What can I do to extend the time I can play for and secondly reduce the time it takes me to recover, which us currently approx 30 mins.


Jared: #1 eliminate your current C-game. May sound strange to say, but a major reason that players can’t play very long is because they have to think to hard. Every decision you make burns energy and the harder the decision the more you burn. So if you want to be energy efficient, you have to be able to make the easy decisions even easier. Beyond that – push yourself like you’re in the gym trying increase speed, strength or endurance.

What kind of impact do you think events like the Boston Marathon bombing and school/theater shootings have on children? Do you have any advice re how subjects like these should be discussed with youngsters so that they’re not afraid and don’t become desensitized?

Jared: Depends on the age of the child – but PTSD can happen to children/adults of any age. I do think a big part of how kids react is a function of how the adults in their lives react – especially younger kids. How much they’re discussed with a child is something that has to be determined by that child’s parent. They know them best and have a sense of what they can handle. This an immensely important area and honestly not one I’ve studied that much. Plus I don’t have kids yet, so I lack that perspective as well.

Can you briefly touch on how your career developed into what it is today? I’m interested in the journey. Was mental health counseling something you were into before you discovered the poker niche, or was it poker itself that pushed you in that direction to begin with?
I really feel your area of expertise can and should be applied to all aspects of life, have you considered diversifying and trying to help people with other areas of their life?

Jared: Poker was pretty random. I don’t know if I would have thought about it on my own. I was working with golfers, after getting a license in mental health counseling when I met Dusty Schmidt on the golf course. He was the one that opened the door for me in poker. I didn’t dive right in, but the more I hung around the bigger the opportunity I saw and the more poker clients that I started to work with.

I have thoughts of diversifying, but nothing immediate. I’m 34 and plan on working for another 40-50 years, so I have some time…

If you won millions in the lottery, would you continue to work?

Jared: Absolutely. I could(not ,ed) be a 30 year old retirey. Retirement it seems isn’t great for your health and longevity:…place-podcast/

I need to be challenged/interested/motivated and winning the lottery wouldn’t give me anything other than opportunities to be challenged in different ways. I probably would do a lot more work with people who can’t afford my hourly since I wouldn’t be concerned with money. But honestly what I would do if I won the lottery isn’t something I think about anymore.

Who has been your favorite professional player to coach?

Jared: My client list is confidential and I can only mention the people who have already made it known that I work with them. So, sort of a small list. But I’ve had a lot of fun working with Lex Veldhuis and Dusty Schmidt. The Steinberg bros also we’re alright to coach too

Do you have any memorable coaching moments?

Jared: Many. Favorite thing is that moment in a session when a client “gets it.” Although I’m not 100% at that time that they’re mental game will be fundamentally different from that point forward, I suspect that it will – as do they and it’s pretty damn cool.

What exactly is counseling psychology?

Jared: I’m assuming your wondering about my degree. Basically it’s the educational and practical experience needed to be capable of doing one-one, group, or family therapy or counseling. Clinical psychology is another type of degree, but it’s a bit more research based, in terms of education. I wanted more practical. Did I answer what you were asking?

Just wanted to mention that ftrs own Danny Steinberg has a two page section in Jared’s new book.

– Max

Jared: Hey Max!

And a great section it turned out to be. Basically ties the theory about the zone all together and includes stuff from his WSOPE final table

And also that you should get TMGoP 2 on audio book cause Jared’s voice is better than Barry Whites

Jared: Lol, but I can’t quite score like Barry White. Actually TMGP2 isn’t on audio yet…but I think I’ll be laying the tracks down in Vegas during the WSOP. Hopefully the dry air doesn’t f with my pipes.

Hey Jared, this is from a friend who says your books are the most helpful he’s read:

“One of the things that i struggle with is maintaining my “whole” game. What I mean by “whole” is the cadre of thought process’ that are required while multitabing to play a solid /or at least my C+ game. I’m curious how you reccomend using mental stickies while playing? Is it mostly just repetition, practice?”

With this, Jared’s time with us was at an end, but I want to thank him for his amazing  work in the field, and taking so much time out of his busy day to come and visit us on FTR.