I’m finally about ready to head to Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker tomorrow and play one of my favorite events, the 3000usd PLO 6 max event 🙂 I have a journey ahead of me to get to that point 🙂
About 45 days ago I asked people to send me emails for upcoming mailbags. They could contain any feedback, questions, comments, nude pictures….anything at all. I ended up getting over 50 containing all sorts of fun thing. Gracias to everyone who took the time to send in something 🙂
I was trying to think of a GTO (Optimal) way to organize these but I think I am going to pick some funny ones, some serious ones, some weird ones and then go from there…
In no particular order.
Q: Were there certain elements to your poker game that you consistently struggled with early on in your poker career, or even still to this day?
If so, what were/are some of the consistent mistakes or setbacks?
If not, why do you think you were able to play at a high enough level to always win/profit from the beginning?
Big fan of your stuff, keep it up!
~Alex– Aspiring PLO8 player
JI: Lets start off with a more serious question. There were many many many elements I struggled with early on in my poker career and still some I struggle with now. How to narrow down which ones to talk about? Lets start with one of the biggest, which I believe is known as “winners tilt”. Winners tilt is when you are up a certain amount during a session and then fall from that peak during the session and it starts to impact the way your mindset is and some of the plays you decide to make. From a GTO point of view playing cash games, it is all one big session. I grasp that idea and actually practice the thinking at a 9/10 level right now a majority of the time but there are certain time periods where that can fall to 6/10. I’ve noticed that when I play higher stakes, this feeling can become heightened, which makes sense when you think about it from a $$$ perspective rather than a Big Blind perspective. This is probably what I struggle with the most right now. Going from 9/10 to 6/10 has such a huge impact on winrate.
I could probably write 100000 words about what I struggled with early on in my career. The entire environment of online poker was so much different back then that with sheer hard work I was able to overcome them again and again and again. I think my biggest struggle was minimizing my losing sessions in terms of Buy-Ins. My ability to grind 10+ hour sessions mass tabling and be able to overcome really big losing sessions to get back even hurt me a ton for years but now is probably a very strong quality about my game and a strong quality that helps me out in life. Unfortunately back in the day, this would lead to many 20-30 buyin (YES 20-30 buyin losing sessions) and on the rare occasions 40-50 Buyin losing sessions. I would play so bad for periods and tilt so hard during these sessions and I’m pretty sure in most of the sessions I got back up to even or minimized losses for that session I still did the same.
I think the thing that set me back the most was my desire to shot take the next step above me. I knew I had the ability and the discipline to always drop back down if my shots didn’t go well but I would always shot take in such a stupid fucking way. I never played less than 24 tables of No Limit full ring (wtf) and when I would shot take I would tend to do the same or play as many games at that stake that ran. As you got up to 2/4 and 3/6 sometimes you couldn’t find 24, and I would end up mixing stakes (which was another terrible idea). I must have done this 100-500 times in my career. Move up, win some, keep moving up, lose a bunch at some point, drop back down, ALWAYS grind it back. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. I have no idea how but I always managed to do it. I certainly didn’t take the approach of 100 buyins and move up to the next level 🙂 SETBACK approach (I think).
I’m not sure what the exact reasons I was able to play at a high enough level to profit from the beginning. I think that my work ethic and ability to focus on poker and ONLY poker was world class from the beginning of my career. My ability to turn off every other part of my life entirely and EAT SLEEP
PLO Poker is sort of scary in retrospect. I think this might be the reason why I was able to play at a high enough level as I type it out. I don’t like advocating this approach to people these days but I don’t think I ever would have made it in poker had I not possessed this ability. I could deep dive into each of these questions so much and maybe some day I will 🙂
Q: Hello Joey,
I am an avid follower of your work. I don’t think there is really anyone else that is putting out quality content week in week out. So do keep it up! I think your interview formats are great; it’s like being part of enjoyable conversations rather than QnA interviews, which lack fun and character.
I am quite curious as to:
Where are you living now?
Are you still playing poker full time? Crushing it? Live? Stakes?
Are you looking to change career paths and try different things?
Any chance of travelling to Asia? Hitting up Macau, Philippines, Tokyo etc.?
Is the infamous Tom Dwan going to feature some time down the line? I also did ask about throwing in Bill Perkins, Dan Bilz and Vlad Troyanovskiy down the line on your Busquet video. Any chance of that?
I hope this helps!
–ChatrboxCB from YouTube
Gracias papi ChatrboxCB aka XXXXX 🙂
My main headquarters of operation is a condo near where I grew up in Indiana/Illinois, close to my family and little brother 22andrewcool (aka big dawg aka yardstick aka stallion aka lil bro). I think one of the biggest reasons I’ve chosen to continue to live in this area, in the suburbs as opposed to downtown Chicago or someplace else are that it is much easier to focus on what you want to accomplish in an area with less distractions. After thinking about this idea the past couple months in much more detail, I don’t actually believe this to be 100% accurate anymore. I think the pros/cons for suburb vs city living balance themselves out to the point that either option can be very GTO if you embrace the different lifestyles presented to you. I’ve always used the same answers for this question over time when people have asked me. I want to be closer to my family and little brother, I want to be near my 24 hour gym to always be able to play basketball, I like the cheaper cost of living, no distractions (almost none :)), easier to maintain this and then travel without feeling like I am spending that much extra money. Ultimately I don’t really think any of these are deep down the truth. I think the truth is that it is much much much easier to stay where I am and embrace it rather then stressing out over it and looking for a new situation for myself. Its some sort of anxiety type mental block that also impacts me when it comes to doing many things. I’m not sure anxiety type mental block is the accurate description for it but I really have no other idea how to explain the feeling I have when it comes to thinking about relocating (but I think I am at the point where I might force myself to do it.)
I still play poker as my main source of income and have for the past many years. I’ve primarily played 5/10 and 10/20 PLO online cash games (American/Untracked Euro sites) over the past year with my results in 2015 being exceptional and in 2016 really good when I am actually focused on playing but pretty up/down outside of those times. I’ve found myself trying to diversify my thoughts much more in 2016 and it really has e/affected my ability to be all in on poker thereby e/affecting my results when I do play. I’ve never been the type who can be 60% focused on poker and still do well at the highest levels. When I say diversify my thoughts, I mean it from the standpoint of that when I was younger, I thought about poker 24/7. This year for the first couple months it was my relationship 24/7, with working out/dieting/basketball, my podcast, and poker thrown in there. There was a one week time period in February where I locked myself in a hotel room in San Diego on the beach and made 100k and then I resumed my regular life approach. A big part of me wants to be able to have poker be my 24/7 with my podcast/website/youtube be closely behind and working together in tandem but I have too many other interests and things I enjoy doing now to be able to do that. I worked really hard the past couple years of turning myself into a person who wasn’t POKER POKER POKER 24/7 and actually learn about new things the world has to offer and pickup new hobbies I really enjoy. I also enjoy women very much and enjoying women and being able to really put your focus into poker at the highest level has never been an easy thing for me to be able to do. My last few months I tried to actively play less poker and try to build some GTO diet/workout habits and GTO productivity habits when it comes to building up my podcast/networking/website/etc things. I’ve succeeded to some degree with it but its certainly nowhere near the degree that I excel at when it comes to poker. This approach has obviously taken its toll on my poker results and I think the amount I am up is something small since February, its been a very swingy swingy couple of months. I think when I am really in my groove, I am really able to roll with the 20k+ downswings that happen but when my focus isn’t as strong, these type of downswings can really have an e/affect on my mindset and then end up setting me back weeks sometimes whereas when I am really focused I can overcome these type of moments in days.
You could probably say that me typing out this mailbag is me trying different things 🙂 I’ve found that I really love to create poker content and I love the feedback that I get from people all the time about how much they love it. I think my biggest love in the world is the great game of PLO and poker in general. Not taking into account the ecosystem, rake, bots, bad things that happen. I feel like I have 500-2000 ideas for pieces of written or video content that are poker related that people would really really enjoy/love. My desire to want to actually make these ideas a reality grows and grows each day. My desire to also make the type of money you make playing 10/20 PLO stays pretty high each day as well. Unfortunatly I don’t think I can excel trying to do both. It reminds me of the time I tried to get better at NL and PLO cash at the same time. This is the biggest reason why I’ve focused on only doing my live podcasts and haven’t made anything else a regular thing. I’ve spent the past 30-45 minutes writing this mailbag. When you are used to looking at everything from an hourly perspective or from a “I could be playing poker and making xxxx amount of money right now” it is very hard to say, I am going to spend 60-120 minutes writing out something when I don’t really excel at the ability to write well and I make nothing immediate from doing this. Why wouldn’t I just spend this time playing poker if I am going to be on the computer anyway. This has been really hard for me to shake and while I think I am getting better at it, its still something I am working on. I understand that when you add up 100 60-120 minute writing sessions over time, you can potentially build something where the long term hourly exceeds the short term hourly + progressive hourly you have maintaining that ability but its also an uncertain future hourly compared to a certain short term hourly + an unknown progressive hourly that you assume will stay pretty high. I think you will see a more concentrated effort from me in the near future on really trying to focus my work ethic on building up the content creation side of my world/mind. Just from writing this answer I came up with 7 ideas that if expanded upon would be super interesting (IMO).
I plan to travel at some point in time to Asia but I think that Asia is probably behind Scandinavia on my list of places I would ideally like to go. I also would probably rather spend time in other spots in the USA with different friends than go to Asia right now. I’ve heard that if you are a tall attractive white man in Asia then you are in pretty good shape when it comes to the AGG (asian girl grind) and I am really interested in learning more about the culture in those countries and exactly what it is like. It comes down to the desire to do so much with my time (as previously stated in this mailbag) and then figuring out a way to fit it all together and do it all. I think I am on year 1.5 of actually trying to figure this out. Give me 5 years and I should be more GTO at navigating it.
Tom Dwan on podcast lifetime- 10%
I’ve never talked with any of those 4 guys so I’m not really sure. I imagine we can get Dwan on the podcast in about 5-10 years from now a large percentage of the time but will go with 10% to be safe. Bilzerian I could see happening if we ever became friendly with each other. I think Perkins is almost a lock to come on at some point because of how personable he is and he is in the GPL, enjoys participating in other poker related television shows and I think he would see himself having fun on the show. I don’t know Vlad so I can’t add much about him 🙂
These questions helped 🙂 Gracias
I spent way too long on these answers so lets get to some of the more non-serious ones.
Q:Hello Mr Ingram,
On April 30th were desperate enough to ask your podcast viewers for some random spam. Since I have nothing more productive to do at work today I have decided this will be the day I am going to provide you with just that.
Here’s a suggestion for next time you have Hollywood Haxton on. Every time I hear the Dream Machine tune from Lazerhawk it reminds me of your podcast and Hollywood’s alleged cheating ways. If you would ever need an intro tune or something of that sort I feel it would be perfect.
Ps. If you were expecting nude pictures or dick pics to be included I’m terribly sorry that I had to disappoint you.
Some random weirdo.
Wow this song has changed my life
They mention 2+2 followed by GTO followed my Dream Machine….. WTF
I know this song came well before Hollywood Haxton and the Dream Machine but what if it didn’t….. what if Hollywood got the inspiration for the dream machine from this song…… What if 2+2 poker forums is tied together with GTO and the Dream Machine in an Illuminati type of way and this song is some cover??
It is getting late where I am at right now….
I’m a fan of you and your podcast, and you’ve inspired me to use “GTO” and “papi” in daily life with my non-poker friends. I’m a midstakes NL online cash pro, and I have a proposition for you. First a little background: I do not have any tattoos, and I have always been too scared to get one. My proposition is: if I get a “GTO” tattoo, I’ll let you buy me into the main event this year AND keep 5%. Let me know what you think and let’s make a deal 🙂
peace out papi,
I’m happy to hear that I’ve inspired you to use GTO and papiiiii in your daily life with non-poker friends 🙂 I do this all the time and have probably introduced the word GTO to 1000+ people at this point in time. If anyone else out there does this, please let me know 🙂
With regards to your proposition…. It does not seem like a very fair offer to me. You get to have one of the greatest words in the world on your body AND get put into the main event at a 10,000USD value. Lets go back to the drawing board and make a deal.
Hola, José Ingram
You probably get many messages like this but had to pass it on.
Your podcasts from iTunes help me get through long days at work. I liked the Haseeb one although it was different, happy to see Colman, always a fan of Lefort – just to name a few. Need Isildur1 and Trueteller !
If you are ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia I’ll take you for drinks and we can go on the big girl grind 😎
PS: [SPOIL] 160 or below gotta go![/SPOIL]
PSS: [SPOIL]160 or above show some love [/SPOIL]
(Was originally gonna send it on twoplustwo hence the spoils)
I find it wild, fascinating, amazing, astonishing, many many adjectives when people tell me that the podcasts help them get through long days at work. I honestly do not even know how to think about it. There are people sitting at work, waiting to get the fuck out of there, passing the time with my voice in the headphones and making life more enjoyable in that moment in time for them.
Isildur and Trueteller will make appearances on the podcast at some point in time and it will be fucking glorious!! I cannot wait. You remind me of the fallen Stars Reg Probs when you talk about the BGG and Nova Scotia in the same message and that is only a positive on your side. We shall have a drink together and BGG one day papi 🙂
I told myself I would spend a max of 60-90 minutes on these answers. I emailed many other people back privately but if I didn’t I am sorry. Some of the emails were very intense in content and I want to give a full fucking super GTO answer to all of them like I did in the first 2 for this mailbag but I get really carried away on them 🙂 Now I’ve spent an extra 30+ minutes rereading and editing things.