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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Playing the Victim

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Hey what’s up guys, I apologize for the lapse in time since my last entry. I have been pretty busy being a “poker superstar“these past few months. It ‘s funny, I have had consistently good results for almost 4 years now in online tournaments and not until my recent big score had I been sought after for articles and interviews by major publications. I guess it really does a take a score like that for people to take notice. Now you can check out my insight on an interesting hand from that Sunday Million victory at Full Tilt in this month’s Cardplayer, hear an interview I gave to them over the phone on their website, and even look for a feature on me in an upcoming Cardplayer.

I never thought that sitting around the house in my underwear playing poker could ever lead to this kind of celebrity, and to be honest it doesn’t really even seem real. I’ve even found myself being placed in the top 20 in the world in the online poker rankings at Pocketfives since that win, an honor that I feel I hardly deserve. All this attention is a bit tough to deal with it, but I am just taking it in stride. In the meantime I’m going to let you guys in on one of the huge secrets to my tournament success this past year.

No, I didn’t go out and read the book “The Secret” and just start mowing down tournament fields left and right, however this secret does have little to do with strategy and a lot to do with mindset. I’d say that for the past few years, until recently, I’ve really made myself a victim to the game of poker. I know you’re thinking what the hell does he mean by that, well I mean that I had convinced myself the reason that I hadn’t gotten any of the really big scores that I had so often seen my friends accomplish was simply because I didn’t run as good as they did.

It is so much easier to blame shortcomings on the cards then to really look deep into your own game, and I had gotten to the point where I was so set on this mindset that I would almost subconsciously hope for bad beats just so I could send them to all my friends on AIM in order to further prove how bad I run. I know it sounds ridiculous, but the mind can come up with all kinds of excuses to explain failure.

To add to that I surrounded myself with a circle of friends that would just send bad beat hand histories back and forth instead of discussing hands to actually help our game. Really when you think about it, when you are surrounded by this much negativity, how the hell are you supposed to win. It almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which for those of you who didn’t major in Psych in college is basically the idea that you are so positive things are a certain way that you behave in a way that help cause them to be that way even if that isn’t necessarily the way they really are. I knew that Psych degree would come in handy one day.  
At the start of this year I got a reality check when I was at the PCA tournament in January and came to find out that my friends were more than tired of hearing about my poor luck. I didn’t want to be that guy that was better known for whining and complaining then his actual poker game, so it was at this point I realized it was definitely time for a change. I made it my mission to resist complaining about bad beats and sending the hand histories to friends, no matter how brutal that they were.

It was tough at first, but after awhile I found that I was enjoying my poker grinding sessions more and more and on top of that my results were noticeably improving as well. I was discussing more hands from a strategy standpoint with friends whose game I respected, and this was allowing my approach to poker to evolve to a new level. The thing with online poker is that people see so many hands an hour when multitabling so the game really does evolve at a ridiculous pace, and if you get to the point where you have no desire to continue working on your game and learning new things, then your results will suffer drastically.

When you couple this drive to always stay on top of the game with a positive mindset you make yourself a dangerous opponent on the felt. The fact of the matter is that there are always going to be bad beats in poker, no matter how hard it is to accept. It’s inevitable. We have no control over what cards come out, however we do have control over how we choose to react when that two-outer does come on the river next time. The more we let these things eat at us, the more bitter we become both on the felt and in our lives away from poker. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’m just saying if we do have the power to choose, why not choose to see them as minor road blocks in our path to success? That’s how I’ve decided to see it, and it seems to be working out for me so far. Alright, I’m stepping down from my soap box now.

No matter how corny it sounds, this whole positive mindset thing can really improve your game. There is no point in turning the game we love into a game that is out to get us, because once we do its really all downhill from there. Look for my next entry sooner than later as I’ll be preparing for the WSOP and continuing to grind online in my quest to reach top 10 in the world in online poker before the end of this year.

Study poker with Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard at

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