What Ben Wilinofsky’s Blog Post Can Teach You About Striving for Excellence

What Ben Wilinofsky’s Blog Post Can Teach You About Striving for Excellence

Lee Davy takes a peak at the latest blog post from Ben Wilinofsky and dissects it to write about the importance of striving for excellence.

What Ben Wilinofsky’s Blog Post Can Teach You About Striving for ExcellenceIs this writing helping me?

Is it helping anybody?

Fuck It.

Bad Day.

Those words are from the fingertips of the former European Poker Tour (EPT) Champion, Ben Wilinofsky, and they are carved into his personal blog.

It’s been a long time since I have read a blog entry by Ben and that’s good news. You may remember that he was a guest on my Life Outside of Poker show where he talked candidly about his battles with mental illness.

If he’s penning something, then normally something has gone awry.

This is the natural way of things. It’s much easier to write about solemn shit than happy shit. People find it easier to beat themselves up rather than produce a solid pat on the back.

In the blog post Wilinofsky writes that, ‘recently, I’d been feeling like I had turned a corner. The easier life is, the harder it becomes to work on myself. I let things slip a little, and everything’s still ok, so I let things slip a little more.’

When I read this it reminded me of the multitude of interviews that I have carried out, in particular, the parts where we talk about personal continuous improvement.

I’m not about to tar the whole poker community with the same shitty brush but there are a high percentage of players who stop working when they feel like they have also ‘turned a corner.’

So what does ‘turned a corner’ mean in poker?

It can mean many things, but the one thing I notice a lot is ‘turning a corner’ comes shortly after a bout of success. People go deep in a few events, win a decent chunk of money, and suddenly the foot slips off the gas.

“It’s hard to keep working on improving when things are going right,” Wilinofsky writes, “In school we are taught about lowering the water level to find the rocks. I see the same thing in poker. It’s hard to keep working on things when things are going right.”

We are extremely vulnerable of reverting back to type when we experience failure or disappointment. All the bad habits, excuses and appalling behaviors come back to us like a boomerang; but it’s quite a different proposition when we achieve success. It’s as if we aren’t quite sure what to do next – which is Wilinofsky’s point.

“So is this an opportunity?” Writes Wilinofsky.

Yes it is. But you already know that.

It’s great that he is asking these questions – so many people don’t. When you feel like life is a bit of breeze, then you can take it as an indication that you need to work harder. Reach further. Take more action.

There is a big difference between perfection and excellence. Perfection does not exist in human form because we are imperfect beings by nature. It’s what makes us all so very interesting. But excellence does exist. That’s your red rag, now grown a pair of horns and prepare to charge.

The most successful men, and women, in the world persist and they find that the world no longer resists. David Beckham is a person whom I refer to a lot when I need this source of inspiration. A man who never stopped kicking footballs around a park until the day he retired from the game. He trained harder than anybody else, he practiced more than anybody else, he achieved a level of excellence like nobody else.

“How do I learn from times like this?” Writes Wilinofsky.

Have a dream, make a plan, create a roadmap, write down some solid steps, and take some action. Some people tell me that No Limit Hold’em is all but solved. There is nothing more to learn. Then work on your mind, your body and your soul.

It’s not the technicalities of the greatest technicians that are winning poker games. It’s the minds free of the clutter. The shit that pours out of our ears with an alarming alacrity and stops us hearing what is going on with the world.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you call your J.O.B. nobody reserves the right to stop striving for excellence. Absolutely nobody. Look around you. Who is the best in the business? What are they doing that you are not? Ask them. Model yourself on them. Surpass them.

If you stand still for too long someone might place an ashtray on your head.

Then all you are is a table. A piece of wood.

Is this writing helping me?


Is it helping anybody?


Fuck It.

Bad Day. Let’s have a great day.