Jason Koon Discusses Anger Management and Discipline – I Am High Stakes Poker


– What are the problems that are popping up in your life that you’re having to deal with on a regular basis? – Being overworked is a big one. Whenever I’m – anytime I’m tired, I’m disposed to the weaknesses that I carry. That’s when the anger would surface. That’s when the lack of discipline to take a couple of deep breaths and not panic would happen. So if I’m overworked, then things start happening. Stress starts to happen without that balance. So lately, I’ve been going really, really hard and it’s kind of in the sense of like the opportunity cost of not playing right now is too high. Then in a couple of years, we’re going to have kids and everything is going to slow down. But I really have to have discipline and stick to that idea. I can’t just like be one of these people that says I’m going to work really hard now and then live a good life at the end. I have to make sure I do that or not even at the end. In a few years. So hopefully 35 isn’t the end. So yeah, the biggest problem with me is always working on that balance of letting off the throttle of poker and taking enough time to work on the things that – the damage that I carry. – And how do you switch off? How do you bottle those anger demons and quiet them down? What is preventing you from booming and having a deep breath? – Like I said, the most important thing has definitely been the help of my girlfriend. She’s also – we’re both avid with meditation exercise. Zooming out, you know. I was talking to Jungleman about this yesterday actually. It’s just like as simple as it is. Just a few times a day. Just zoom out of your situation and think about how – it’s like we’re sitting by the sea right now in Montenegro and I was just playing some nosebleed tournament and this and that. It’s just like an amazing life and if I would have been talking to my 21-year-old self, I’m like dude, you know, you’re going to be doing this. I would have been so stoked. So just zoom out. Take a deep breath. – Yes. That’s very important to just – meditation is really important I think. – It’s enormous. – I mean when you said to me – you said to me yesterday I’m just going to go and meditate and then I’m going to come back and I’m going to win this thing. – Yeah.
and I’m going to win this thing. – Yeah. – I was like, oh, the world is definitely changing. – Yeah. – There was a bit of time where there’s a break and someone would just be on their mobile phone for two minutes playing some poker and then back there again. – Yeah, I know. Not me. Like wake up and jump in the sea and sit down and meditate. Those things just bring me – they bring me fulfillment and gratitude. Just being so stoked about how pretty this bird was. I was sitting outside today and this beautiful like yellow bird landed beside me. I just sat there for about a minute, staring at that thing and I was just like, yeah, that’s kind of the point of being alive. It’s just to appreciate something like that. – Yeah. No, I like that. Before 2018 started, did you have one particular goal in mind that you wanted to accomplish and have you accomplished it? – No, I wouldn’t – I’m very disciplined in my life. That is one thing I’m good at. I’m very disciplined with my diet and my habits. So I don’t need the big goals in front of me. I do I guess visualize things, what I think is the right direction for me to head. But I’m never like OK, I’m going to play 35 tournaments or I’m going to play 60 hours of cash games this week or whatever. It’s more just like be in line with what you want and then every day, have tons of different little tiny goals that you work on achieving rather than just the big giant thing. Maybe that’s a mistake but that is the way I do it. – So you’re not like a vision board, writing down in your journal type of guy. – No, I’m not – [Crosstalk] – Exactly. I don’t need to make this much money. I don’t need to acquire this much of anything. It’s just more like go step by step and make sure every decision I make is plus EV. That’s really it. – And what makes poker so important to you? – Well, it has been kind of the conduit to all of this. Not just financial freedom but just to – like I said, enlightenment through meeting great people. That happened to be my thing. I’m sure there’s a hundred other things I could have done that would have worked out great. But this happened to be – this simulation, this was my thing. So forever be grateful that I’ve found that. I know that when you’re young – whenever I was in college, I really had no clue what I wanted to do, you know. So just to fall into something that you like to do and you could actually make a living at, it’s really special. So I always have love for it. – Are there any risks you know that you’re not taking out, that you should be? – I’m hardly ever guilty of that. – I was listening to you yesterday playing and I could tell that there’s no worries on the score. I mean it’s one of the plus points of being a great poker player, right? You need it, right? – Yeah, yeah. I mean you have to be able to draw a line of what’s – – Has it always been like that? Have you always been like that or did poker kind of sharpen that kind of thing for you? – Oh, I’ve always been a kind of – needed to keep that side of me in check. I was the kid that wanted to jump off the roof of the house into the grass or off the cliff into the lake or whatever. I wouldn’t even necessarily say thrill seeker is the right word. I don’t think it is. But just to kind of always push the boundaries a little bit.

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