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In this episode, Lara Eisenberg, radiologist and semi-professional poker player, reveals how competitive skydiving and pool have helped train her mind to remain calm and focused, thus giving her a competitive edge against the pros. Elliot and Lara discuss how she balances work, play, continued poker education, and a happy personal life.
Listen in to hear a well-rounded semi-pro share what she does to keep her mindset steady, her body healthy, and her poker game strong.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
[00:50] – Introducing Lara, a semi-professional player and radiologist
[01:30] – She started with online PC gaming and taught herself by reading books on poker
[02:36] – She uses the A-Game planner to organize her studying schedule and studies 5-10 hours a week
[03:23] – As a working person, you must be creative when finding time to learn; you can listen to audio while driving or watch videos while doing chores
[04:20] – On sitting at the table with professional players
[04:36] – She doesn’t get intimidated and knows to put into action what she has practiced
[05:15] – What bothers her making mistakes when she knows better
[05:45] – Being a female player in the male-dominated sport of poker
[05:50] – She’s always been drawn to fields that are male-dominated like medicine (although there are more women now), pool, skydiving, and poker
[06:15] – There are advantages and disadvantages to being a woman in these fields, but she’s always been very competitive
[06:48] – The more poker is appealing to a wider group of people, the better it is for all players; help make poker more appealing by being friendly and welcoming
[07:38] – Lara doesn’t get phased by anger or rudeness at the table; she notices that the higher the skill level at the table, the lesser the players will make assumptions
[09:00] – How she juggles work and play: She works from home and works every other week, so she can attend plenty of events
[10:00] – In Maryland she’s lucky to have plenty of places to play nearby; she believes her location is better than Vegas because of the bigger games that happen more frequently
[11:35] – Cash-stake games in Maryland
[11:38] – The biggest she’s played is 510 but there are limit games that are bigger, people move near the MGM because of the tourist element
[12:35] – The re-growth of live poker; Lara believes that the U.S. should have online poker and tax it
[13:40] – How competitive skydiving has helped Lara cope with emotions
[14:05] – She read the book, “Mental Training for Skydiving and Life,” which taught her meditation, visualization, calmness, and peak performance
[14:44] – She has 4,500 jumps, so the danger element has gone away
[15:00] – Skydiving has helped her poker game because she can better look for an edge, focus, and remain calm
[15:39] – Having a short attention span is a big challenge at the table today
[16:15] – Lara fits studying, nutrition, exercise, and mental health exercises into her workweek and play week
[18:55] – The winning mindset and being driven to succeed
[19:22] – Certain people get obsessed with things and want to be the best; there’s a balance needed between that and other important things in life
[20:24] – It’s ok to play within your means and recognize that you aren’t a professional player playing high-rollers if you have a full-time job
[22:00] – Poker as recreational: You can have a job and be a winning player if you invest time and money in educational tools and coaching
[22:30] – If you don’t have as much time to invest in playing, you should invest in educational things that save you time like the Mindset Advantage or Elevate Groups
[23:18] – Alex Fitzgerald has been her coach for years and she appreciates the individualized feedback
3 Key Points
- You can still have an edge at the table as a semi-professional.
- Get your studying in by whatever means necessary; even if that means listening while driving or watching videos while folding laundry.
- Invest in educational tools and coaching to improve your game and keep up with the professionals.
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