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Mental Game & Life Strategy

The ability to set goals and the discipline it takes to achieve those goals without letting the rest of your life suffer are two of the most important things you need to master in order to improve as a poker player and begin getting serious about becoming a pro. One of the best parts of playing poker is getting out into the real world, playing in person, meeting new people and going on crazy adventures. This is also the riskiest part of the game because it takes you away from your comfort zone, and leaves you playing without your safety net. The solid footing of any healthy lifestyle depends balance and control, and a thriving poker lifestyle is no exception. Set realistic goals and learn to govern yourself so that you’re always working towards achieving your goals without letting the other, more glamorous things hinder your success. 

Table strategy is great to know, but you'll also need to understand how to manage yourself off the table to maximize your edge - and here’s where things get personal. I invite you to keep up-to date on my life and times as a poker player, and learn from my experiences so that you can learn from my triumphs and avoid my mistakes.  Any pro poker player will tell you your  mind is your most powerful weapon. Sharpen it, nurture it, rest it and give it peace so you can take to the tables - and your life - with killer confidence. 

I Have A Dream: Let's Be Champions Team

Evan Jarvis

What's good Team Gripsed. This week we're gonna talk about the importance of follow through, how execution is worshiped, while talk on the other hand, is real cheap. It's time to identify what's holding you back.

So first, it's time to check in. It's time to assess our progress:

1. Who went out and bought a journal? I personally got 3.

2. Who's been pausing to think about what's good? I strive to make this the first thing I do everyday.

3. Who attempted to master the mental game by setting a 2 week goal? Ready for a 30 day now? For those people who made an action plan, who's going to take time over the next couple of days to evaluate their success with said goals? I set monthly ones at the beginning of Jan (watch the video for that review).

4. Who asked themselves "what's the value in having this thought", and started cutting out the bad ones? I can't say I was on top of this, but after a couple years of the practice I'd say that my thoughts are about 90% positive or I at least find the productive aspect to them.

5. And lastly who has picked a practice to commit to for the month of February (be it a physical practice? a poker practice? or both!)? I'm starting with Strength Camp Monday, and will be sprinkling in other ones as my energy supplies allow.


Revelation of the week: SYNERGY BETWEEN THE RIGHT PEOPLE LEADS TO EXPONENTIAL GROWTH & OUTPUT. 

I did an interview with xflixx from PokerStars last friday (video here), and it just felt so good to interact with someone who's on the same path as me, someone who's got a similar vision and similar values.

Tune into twitch.tv/gripsed for plenty more synergistic shows over the upcoming weeks and months where I'll be having on guests (both pro's and up and coming Gripsters).

I've also been fortunate enough to be around people this month who helped me reach my goals and kept me motivated. I hope that over the upcoming weeks and months that the Team Gripsed Training camp can give you that too!

I was also lucky enough to do a BREATHE this month. God I love Breathes, even though they can be extremely painful and challenging. I cleared out my system, bad thoughts, bad feelings, bad food, you name it. So much of that stuff got dropped because every once in a while you just need a good old fashion purge to move forward.

If you wanna know more about what I'm referring to, search "holotropic breathing", BUT DON'T TRY IT AT HOME, SERIOUSLY, ITS DANGEROUS. You cannot do this stuff without having an experienced guide...like seriously, I'm not fucking around. Breathework, exercise, yoga, martial arts, all practices involving movement can help you achieve the same benefits so, don't feel like you have to take the route I did.

Did you pick the discipline you want to pursue? I definitely did!

To make room for the new version of me that I want to be, I needed to let go of some old things to create room for those new elements and new habits. I realized that I've got to kick the Sunday habit and start looking at poker the right way again. Not as the quick fix, get a big score mindset that it's easy to fall into when playing MTTs exclusively - and especially when playing very infrequently. When I was getting my results last year it's because I was playing consistently and spending lots of time around the game. These days I spend most of my time making calls or in business meetings and my head is not so much in the poker game. So I can't just show up, register all the Sunday majors and expect to win like I did before (given that my mind isn't calibrated for multi-tabling). I need to be honest with myself that I'm in a different stage in my evolution right now which requires adjustments and different tactics, but this version of myself has much greater potential than the previous one did. I just need to learn to work within it.

My goal as you now is to win the main event and I thought that practicing winning the Sunday Million was the closest thing... but online poker and live poker are very different. Wearing myself out with marathon sessions (I am almost 30 after all) is not my next step to prepping for the main. I've already done that. The next step is bringing together the bright minds that have what it takes to take down this title, and spending as much time with them as possible. So that's what i'm focusing on.

What's my priority? Creating world champions. I want to win the main event, but just in case I can't beat the odds, I'll be happy to see a teammate ship the beast for $8 million. So let's up the odds by giving you guys the tools, so that you can be world champions too if the cards cooperate. Being on the rail, front row centre of the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table was by far the coolest experience I've ever had, and if I can get back there I'll be almost as hype as I would be if I was out there on the felt.

STACKING THE ODDS IN OUR FAVOR. You know that's been the gripsed philosophy since day 1.


I get the questions from the masses: Why aren't you making cash game videos anymore Gripsed? Why aren't you streaming everyday?

Because I've done that, and that's not what you guys need from me right now. It's not what I need from me. The people who will unsubscribe from this channel because I'm not 'entertaining' them anymore: adios amigo. I'm in the business of building champions (I've already done it once before with Greg Merson), and those of you who want to become champions will stick around, and you are the people I WANT to have on my team.

If you think you could make entertaining and educational cash or tournament videos, I'd love to give you an audition and provide you with the how-to's for recording top shelf quality videos. Just remember the key ingredient at Gripsed.com is passion. If there isn't energy and excitement in your voice, then you don't want to be a video producer for Team Gripsed. As for the haters and complainers, I just silence those empty voices that try to get at me. They are basically saying "please entertain me, but please don't try to enhance me" and I just don't need to hear that crap because the only voice I need to listen to is the one in my heart.

So let's talk business: poker practice can be a transformative practice when it's approached properly. As a process of self improvement, accepting mistakes and taking the time to learn how to not make those same mistakes again. Not as a quick thrill, an excitement of winning or losing a little money. That's kiddie shit, and kiddie's don't win titles. Men do. Now, if you need help growing up, just grow with me, I'm going through the exact same process you are, and I'm always going to share my methods and my material so that you can save time on research and instead focus your time on personal development. I'm not in the business of holding things back and trying to exploit my followers.

Want more liability? Want to step up?

As the Gripsed site gets bigger and better I'm going to need help, so GET AT ME! Do you know how to moderate a forum? A chat room? Are you good with Photoshop? Good with audio enhancement? Good with video editing? Good with something I'm going to need that I haven't thought of yet? Let Me Know!

Like I've always said, everyone has a best strength, and what will take the expert 10 minutes to do will take the amateur (aka me) 10 hours. So let's get efficient so that we can continue to have the best content, and I can spend my hours most efficiently on getting you the information to keep you ahead of the curve and to keep you motivated. If you want to help me out just email evan@gripsed.com, I will be happy to have you on board. But please don't feel obligated, it's just an open offer, and you don't owe me anything. So only get at me if it's because your heart's really in it.

And if you just want to take your game more seriously and aren't sure where to start, well make sure you're on the Gripsed.com mailing list because soon I'm going to send out a step by step process you can go through so you can start building that bankroll the right way, and stop going busto on the regular. That outline and program is my main focus for now and as soon as it's ready it's coming to your guys inbox's.


Bringing it back to the key revelation, synergy. Which is why I talked about the importance of having a great teacher in whatever discipline you choose to practice. Once you start really giving your all in an activity, you will attract other people who are doing the same (it may not happen right away, but it'll happen faster than you expect if you're actually giving it your best shot and not just 'going through the motions' because you're trying to attract a mentor). If you're doing that, or if you're just giving your all to being lazy, or acting disempowered, then those are the groups you're going to find yourself in, a bunch of people who think they can't achieve anything. Honestly ask yourself, what kind of group do you want to be surrounded by? For some people it IS a commiserating group. And you know what? If that's where you're at in your life, that's ok! Just don't try to bring us down to that environment because Team Gripsed is riding that upward spiral, and we don't have the slightest bit of interest in turning around. If what you want is what we've got going on here, then just commit to the actions I prescribe.

In case you missed it last Sunday, Charlie did his first ever stream cashing for over $7k (including a 5th place finish in a 2 day event, final table bubbling the $162 Sunday Six Max, and streaming for 11 hours). Charlie is an example of the kind of person who's come into my orbit because I've been obsessed with success for past 3 years now. There were also some epic shenanigans on the stream: including a literal robbery. But, despite getting scammed for $1000 mid-session and having to spend 30 minutes on the phone with support whilst 12 tabling (including a final table), Charlie did not tilt one bit and got shit done.

Boss Charlie, super boss, a truly flawless display of the level of emotional control we should all strive for when playing poker.

So this month commit to that discipline you chose last week, whatever it is, and by the end of the month I'm sure you'll find yourself surrounding by a strong, uplifting team, that helps keep you on the path to where you want to be going. And if that discipline is poker, truly commit yourself to it...GET THAT JOURNAL, start a blog, create a challenge thread, and really take the time to look back and review your play. Please, don't just be a button clicker looking for sympathy when you lose an all-in pot.

Oh and we had a bonus stream from someone who did just that and committed to success. I'll be doing a hand history review of BigggTymeR's $14k win in the PokerStars Bigger $11. Shoutouts to Team Gripsed India Division. You can catch the video on my Twitch past broadcasts.


2015. It's My Year. And in late honor of Martin Luther King Day, let's add one more mantra to our daily vocabulary:

"I Have a Dream", happy stackin' ya'll!