When I arrive at the table the cut of Jonathan Little is unmistakable. His specially designed sunglasses giving me a second view of the action, and two slivers of white dangle from each side of his stubbled cheeks. I would like to think the sounds of Robin Thicke are pouring Blurred Lines into each earhole, but something tells me that it’s more likely to be the sounds of the latest audio poker book that has hit the shelf.
The flop is [Jd] [8d] [4s] and Little has just put his opponent all-in and gets a call. Little is holding [Ts] [9d] for the open ended straight draw, and his opponent has [Ac] [Jc] for top pair. Little remains unmoved.
The dealer burns and turns fourth and fifth street and Little gets there on the river. After pulling in his chips he pulls out a thickly set notepad and starts scribbling content.
This is what Jonathan Little does. He beats people up, wins plenty of money and then sells his secrets to the world in the form of excellent training books such as Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Vol I-III.
So where did the idea come from to start recording and distributing his views on poker?
“I have a very bad memory and at the end of every day I would go to my room to talk about poker hands with my friends and I would never have anything to contribute because I couldn’t remember any of my hands. Then one day I decided to start keeping a journal and my friend told my that I should create a poker book out of that and so I did.”
I love the idea of journaling, not just in poker but also in life, as it allows you to gather data that can be used to improve whatever it is you set out to improve. You cannot manage what you cannot measure, and you cannot measure without accurate data.
“It allows me go back and review all the hands I have played. This is critical because it allows me to go through the scenario again, but this time outside of the moment. You do things differently in the heat of the moment, and thinking about it at a later date allows you to consider different lines and approaches.”
It’s not often that you see Little playing his live poker on European soil. I was curious to learn his view on both scenes.
“There are a lot of good European kids that don’t play in America, so I think the American tournaments are a little softer. Also a lot of the Americans have left the country to play online poker and now play in the European competitions. They are tougher, but also bigger. The European Poker Tour (EPT) can attract a lot of players, including a high level of online qualifiers, so they are very good.”
Little spends his time jet setting between New York, Canada and Las Vegas, primarily because of the constraints the red, white and blue place on online poker. With Atlantic City sharpening up its online poker claws, what does Little think about the future of the games back home?
“They are just not going to be big enough. We have seen that with Nevada. They just can’t get a good online player base going. The exception being when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) was on, then we had some decent action. I have gotten set up in Canada now, and I will just wait it out and see what happens. If the action gets good then I just have to hop on a train and I am in Atlantic City.”
So what next for the man behind the shades?
“I have just finished a psychology book called Positive Poker and that should be out now. I am also writing a cash game book and running online training webinars. We have one on bluffing on Nov 2nd, and you can grab a seat by subscribing to my e-mail list at my training site floattheturn.com.”