Episode #271: Phil Hellmuth – From Poker Brat To #Positivity. 15 Time World Champion Shares His Insecurities

Phil Hellmuth… In his own words: “I am known as a volatile professional poker player w the nickname “Poker Brat.” My occasional tantrums at the poker tables–always shown on ESPN, it seems–are entertaining and detract and obfuscate who I really am. I’m a 15 time World Champion of Poker (number one by far in wins), who wrote a NY Times Bestseller (“Play Poker like the Pros”), a family guy (married 29 years), who loves to laugh (and often does), with a balanced lifestyle. I do LIVE commentary for ESPN covering the World Series of Poker, and I have my own segment (the “Raw Deal”) on the World Poker Tour. Once I understood that I inspired tens of millions of people by making moves and folds they couldn’t make, I decided to that “Inspiration” would be a mission for me. My autobiography “Poker Brat,”is inspirational and my next book “#POSITIVITY” teaches 8 important life tips and explains why you are always in the right place at the right time.”

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“Therapy is very helpful.  I want to know what I am doing wrong.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of sustaining excellence:
    • They believe they can do great things. That have energy, buzz, and confidence
    • They have drive, intelligence, and the will to get it done
    • Elon Musk, Bill Lee are examples
  • Phil is known for having a legendary ego… He shares why that’s not true
  • Why didn’t he have friends for many years?
  • His midwest roots and being ridiculed for having an ego
  • Why does he verbally berate people at the poker table?
    • “That is 1% of what happens, but it always gets shown on TV.”
  • Most great poker players never tell the bad players they are bad, they just take their money.  Why does Phil tell them how bad they are and how good he is?
    • “It’s because of my own insecurity.”
  • I asked if he goes to therapy… “Yes, if I can get 2 1/2 hours a week, that is great.  Therapy is very helpful.  I want to know what I’m doing wrong.”
  • How Phil felt that he could never live up to his Dad’s lofty expectations (get good grades, be good at sports… Phil didn’t do either) and how that impacted him
  • “I’m like Draymond Green and John McEnroe… I lose it sometimes”
  • “The poker brat made me famous”
  • His friendship with Daniel Negreanu… And how it’s grown over the years
  • How to tell if someone is lying?
    • “It’s instinctual. Everyone has physical tells.”
    • “Look for thumbs and pinkies together as a power move”
    • “There’s always a full story.  I put it all together and rely on my instincts from that story.”
  • Your instincts can be developed with a lot of repetition
  • “The art of reading people is lost on the new generation.”
  • “Look into their eyes!”
  • #Positivity — New book focused on being in the right place at the right time
    • Write your goals and tape them on your mirror
    • Write your blessings and tape them on your mirror
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

“The art of reading people is lost on the new generation.”

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Episode 234: Jocko Willink — Why Discipline Equals Freedom