Positives: Timothy Adams, Charlie Carell, and Mark Seif
Craig Tapscott: What were the best “Ah-Ha” moments in your career taking risks that really made a difference to your results?
Timothy Adams: There weren’t really any ah-ha moments. Only through your poker journey do you learn ways to approach how to approach the game. In the end, it’s a game. You must enjoy it.
It’s easy to get down when playing poker if things aren’t going well but doing so only hurts your future chances. The future could be the next minute or the next month. It is important to stay present and ready for the next hand. There is always a hand coming in.
With all the crazy things going on in the world today, if you’re sitting at a poker table, you’re in very good luck. It is important to have this perspective and to remember that it is just a game and games should be enjoyed.
Charlie Carell: I would say that when I learned that scope analysis was first and foremost the thing to think about across all sites, my game changed.
There were also a few other moments, like when I broke hands that seemed obvious, but actually turned out to be complete hymns. Or when I count the groups. The combo count really broke down some of my misconceptions about the game.
Also, my game took to a new level when I took the time to think and study the living tales. In that moment, everything about poker changed for me.
Mark Seif: I would say that my first “ah ha” moment came in May 2001. It was then that I quit law practice full time to dedicate myself to playing poker for a living. But I wasn’t remotely prepared for this change. Even though I was playing high stakes cash games at Commerce Casino, I was still investing heavily in the stock market almost on a daily basis and sitting on many fences overall. I lacked focus, to say the least.
I knew I had to stick and focus if I was going to do it like a pro. I took a closer look at my poker results and found that I was doing much better at $80-160 than I did in the Max Hold’em or Max Bet Hold’em games. I made the decision to play for only $80-160, even though I was playing against Phil Ivy, Chad Brown, Danny Robson, and Eric Dash, among other horse stars. I also decided to play some tournaments if I was running well.
I also felt like I was a lot sharper in the morning, so I focused on playing during the day mostly. I was lucky to be able to choose when to play because this particular game runs 24/7/365 for years without interruption. I’ve developed a routine where I get up around 6 a.m. and get out of the house by 6:30 a.m. to beat traffic in Los Angeles from Pasadena to trade. Most days, I’m out of the game anywhere from 1pm to 3pm. Only, on a few occasions I played late at night.
I’ve proven to myself that I can make a living playing poker, but only if I practice an uncharacteristically high level of discipline and focus. I later learned that this was the biggest factor for me to succeed at poker.
Craig Tapscott: Please share some of the ways you took a deeper study of the game?
Timothy Adams: Basically a lot of solution work, studying Preflop ranges, using stock calculators. This kind of thing. The most important thing is not to copy or copy the strategies but to understand them. Knowledge is power and there is a lot of information out there to help gain knowledge.
Charlie Carell: I only watched other people play, thought of poker, and talked about poker with friends around me. I never studied GTObut it came intuitively when I was playing and I became more experienced.
Mark Seif: I have always been a student of the game from a perspective GTO Playing, of course, with a strict statistical/probability-based approach as well. GTO It is basically a defensive gameplay designed to make you less likely to be exploited by your opponents since you are playing very predictably. I defended for a long time, in my country WSOP . World Series of Poker Academic courses and WPT Boot Camps, one has to mix up their playing so that they make a variety of plays when they have the same hand/same position.
Craig Tapscott: What are some ways to get your mind and body ready for crushing hours MTT game?
Timothy Adams: I usually try to stay active through a combination of gym (weightlifting, functional movements), sports (hockey, soccer, racket tennis) or low-impact activity (walking long distances or taking a lot of steps in general).
I don’t have a set routine before I play, but I just try to listen to my body or my energy levels (it just takes training to pay attention to these things). I might get ready one day by exercising before a session or maybe go for a long walk. One of my good poker friends prepares for his sessions by doing cardio or lifting weights. In my experience, this kind of activity drained my energy reserves for the rest of the day. Everyone is different.
I make sure I’m well nourished and eating the things that make me feel good. I just try to eat clean food and have a good combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. I know I’ll be making a lot of decisions when I’m playing a poker session, so I’ll cut back on screen time before I play and do something like go for a nature walk to clear my mind. It’s basically just stuff that makes me feel good. It is up to the individual to discover it for himself.
Charlie Carell: If I played a poker streak, I would eat as clean as possible, meditate for an hour before playing, and meditate on every break. I will surround myself with a good environment, whether it is an office space or the right people.
Mark Seif: To be honest, I’m not the best at being able to ‘prepare’ per se for a tournament other than obviously getting some sleep the night before, and having a clear mind that morning by taking care of whatever I need to do so I don’t I think about it while playing. When I’m comfortable and able to focus, I generally know that and I’ll decide to play that day.
I try to be on time or even a little early. I like to be there for every party that is dealt with whether I’m on it or not. I try to pay close attention to every player and every game they play. I try to stay away from my phone as much as possible. I never wear headphones and try to keep myself “engaged” in the game by guessing what my opponent is likely to catch during a hand and then comparing that to what appears at the end. I pay close attention to the bet sizes (actual and related to the bet size of course) and the pressure points of each opponent. I also pay close attention to stack sizes and how each opponent adjusts their playing style when the stack changes dramatically.
Other than that, I never drink alcohol while gaming and never eat a big meal at dinner. I try to monitor my caffeine intake throughout the day. Basically I try to relax both physically and mentally as the day comes to an end, which is important to get enough rest between days on a long streak. ♠
Timothy Adams is one of the most successful tournament players of all time, generating over $26 million in live tournament earnings. That’s fine for 19th on the all-time money list and second in Canada behind only Daniel Negriano. The WSOP . World Series of Poker The winner recently won the bracelet EPT Prague High Roller March. Follow him on Twitter @Tim0theeAdams.
Charlie Carell is one of the top tournament pros from England with nearly $10 million in professional tournament earnings. The famous YouTuber won an award EPT Grand Final High Roller for $1.2 million and Triton Super High Roller London for $1.6 million. He also closed a page on the Internet WPT High Roller for $600,000. It can be found @Charlie_Carrel.
Mark Seif is a former attorney who has earned nearly $3 million in live tournament money. The Californian has two WSOP . World Series of Poker The bracelets he won in 2005. He has 18 wins on his résumé including trophies from the American Series of Poker, Venetian DeepStack, World Poker Open, Legends Of Poker, and most recently Wynn Millions. Sif is markseif.