People say that you learn the most from your defeats. That’s not how I see it. Winning is the best teacher – particularly in poker. The winner spends the most time at the table, sees the most hands, and gets more experience than anyone else. Obviously, you have to concentrate the whole time – you can’t sit back and relax. You can always improve your game.
Back to Back
I learned a lot from winning the WPTs in Vegas and Cyprus. Arriving in Cyprus straight from a big win probably gave me an extra boost. When there were around 30 players left, I realised that I could make history by winning two WPT titles back to back, and that this opportunity wouldn’t come around too often. I even surprised myself during the game – and I’m not embarrassed about saying so.
I fought my way back from a 200k short stack to 1.1 million and then ran my kings into aces. That brought me back down to 400k. Shortly afterwards, Sam El Sayed bluffed me again in a big pot on the river. I dropped back to 180k, which was around 15 big blinds at the time. Normally, I’d have gone on tilt from there, but I just stayed focused and kept believing I could win. And I’m proud of that.
So what did I learn? I improved my strategy and became more patient. I had to grind the short stack for a long time in Cyprus – that’s good training. What else did I learn? That I still have plenty left to learn.
Keep at it! – Marvin