Haseeb Qureshi

Public Coaching Session: João

Strap in, because it’s time for coaching session #3.

João is an MTT grinder whose average tourney buyin is around $150. He’s a strong player online, and even took 2nd in several of this year’s SCOOP events, but his primary issues were in live poker–particularly, he wanted to make the transition to playing more live tourneys. His challenges were that he got bored easily, would get anxious when his stack fluctuated, and seem to make significantly worse decisions in live games in live games.

This session deals primarily with boredom, transitioning to live games, and dealing with anxiety. Give it a listen. (External link here.)

Listen Music Files – Upload Audio – Joao Initial Session -Haseeb
  • Haseeb:

    I recently completed the audiobook version of your book and found the information incredibly sound, and the prose very deep for a writer of your age. I was also impressed with your clear, spoken delivery of your written word, too. When I finished your book yesterday,(after listening on and off for a few weeks) I promptly went and applied my new found theory to the live poker room and entered a satellite for a large event coming up this weekend. I went out in 8 hands in the satellite! In fact, I have never been beaten so bad, so fast, in my entire life! However, and to my surprise, an interesting thing happened. Thinking about the advice from your book, I did not go “on-tilt.” (Now a little context here – I go “on-tilt” watching TV commercials and usually scream vulgar profanity each time I see one.) So, for me to remain clam, sane, smile and pay homage to the poker gods was cathartic. After a few moments, I gathered my thoughts and headed to a cash game, a fishy 1-1 game that I thought was adequate penance for playing so horribly (and un-lucky)just a few moments earlier. Of course, I cashed out higher than I usually do at most 2-5 sessions I play. Though I have always understood the intellectual basis of variance, this was the first time I let poker variance “wash over me” and “cleanse” me.

    I like to think I am somewhat knowledgeable of poker and of the poker world having played the game, somewhat competitively for the past 30 years; however, I knew very little, if nothing about you or your background. Before I found your site I was sad to learn that you had been involved with some poker scandals during the past few years. I have to admit I was somewhat devastated, especially having invested so much positive thought into the words of your book. I sat for a few moments and then realized, your words and ideas were universal and beyond the disappointment I was feeling about your checkered past. Like my embracing the knowledge of variance in my recent satellite beatdown the night before – I too came to understand that despite my new found disappointed in who you are, or to be fair, who you used to be – I only have to embrace the deeper message that you as a medium of these terrific ideas and thoughts had delivered to me.

    I hope this book and your coaching work delivers you from the mistakes of your past and helps you to recover your credibility within the poker community very soon.



    • Steve,

      Thanks for writing to me.

      I actually read your comment on the day you wrote it, but hesitated in composing an answer. I wasn’t really sure why at first. But I suspect now it’s because your message triggers some of my deeper unacknowledged fears.

      I made big mistakes in the Girah Scandal. Those mistakes still follow me, and they’ll probably never leave me. Perhaps I will always be known as the guy who did that. It’s tough to move forward in life believing that you’re defined by the past. But ultimately, that fact is something I’ve had to not only learn to accept, but embrace.

      There’s only one thing I can do now, and it’s to move. Like I mention in an old post (http://haseebq.com/three-lessons-on-being-present/), there’s no point in looking back or forward. As long as I keep moving, doing whatever I’m good at, and providing value to people–whether it’s in writing, or coaching, or instilling in others the insights that I’ve acquired through the years, all I can do is, in short, to keep doing.

      So Steve, my friend, I understand where you’re coming from. And to your ambivalence, I can offer no antidote. I only hope that you will continue to keep tabs on me going forward in the future, and continue to see what it is I make of myself.


      • Haseeb:

        Sorry, I just noticed your comment, about my comment. In re-reading my comments I may have been too critical of your past. I guess my comments were simply a visceral reaction to my disappointment in learning about the Girah mess. I was really impressed by your book, its message and the clarity of how you approach poker. To suddenly learn you had this past made me question my belief system (not of life, but of poker advice.) I apologized for being so harsh, I was simply sharing my reaction about you having invested so much time and energy in your book. (In poker terms: I turned over the wheel, only to be smacked by the steel wheel.) It was more about me, than you.

        With that said, and from further investigation, I applaud you for coming to terms with your actions and for coming clean. Your scandal was tiny compared to the bigger fraud that took place in the online world. Your public acknowledgement of your role should be applauded, or at least recognized as an honest attempt at an apology. (The FTP mess with Lederer and Ferguson and the fact that they have never apologized for any role is downright unforgivable, IMHO.)

        Again, being from the south, my prose is often nothing more than a rambling of that “stream of consciousness” inside of me. I would do myself a favor and re-read my posts, before they actually become posts!

        Move on my friend, dont’ let your past define you. You have a brilliant mind and I hope you return to poker someday, Take advice from your own book: use your past experiences to influence your decisions in the future. (or something like that, I got the audio book – LOL)

        Haseeb – Again I apologize for being so critical – not my intent. We have all made poor judgements or decisions in our life. Those mistakes are imperative to our personal growth. Embrace them, find humor in them and then move on!