Lee Davy continues his deep dive into the routines and habits of some of the best poker players on the planet with a look under the hood of Jordan Young.
For the second week, we are fortunate to spend time talking to a founding member of the successful Solve For Why Academy.
Here is Jordan Young.
Who are you?
“I’m an avid golfer, sarcastic friend, extremely fortunate, and occasional poker player, Jordan Young.”
What is your claim to fame?
“You don’t get to choose your claim to fame for the most part which is a bit frustrating for me at times because I think I’ve done so many more impressive things but it is what it is. Mine is a double major win on a Sunday, six or seven years ago online. I hope to change this in the future but only time can tell.”
When did your aspirations to become a poker player begin?
“My aspirations from early on in life were always that I didn’t want to work for anyone else, so poker was the perfect fit. I started playing when I was 15 with some friends in my basement for low stakes, and by the time we were 18, we were playing for a couple of hundred bucks a few times a week. That was when the idea of playing for a living started to crawl into my mind, and by 19 years old, I was pretty set on the notion.”
How do you spend the first hour when you wake up?
“When I wake up, I’m typically ready to rock right away. I take my dog, Doogan, outside, I grab some coffee, and if I’m not golfing that day, I hop in front of the computer to catch up on anything I’ve missed.”
What time of the day do you find it easier to play poker and why?
“I’m a night person without a doubt. I like to take care of whatever it is I need to take care of early on in the day and then focus on poker at night. The games are typically better at night as well.”
Do you have defined goals for how many hands/sessions you play in a week: both live and online?
“No, I play when I want to play, and I leave when I want to leave. Fortunately, I love my job.”
Where do you play online, what types of games, and stakes?
“I played MTTs online ranging from low to high stakes for about seven years, but I’ve moved on from there. I don’t play online anymore.”
Same question for live?
“I play cash games at either Aria, Wynn, or Bellagio. I’m a one trick pony, for the most part, playing strictly NLHE at stakes ranging from $2/5 to $50/100 with the bulk at the $5/10 and $10/20 stakes.”
Do you have a set routine before you play?
“I don’t have a particular routine before heading to play, but I do have a specific mood/headspace I prefer to be in before going to play.”
When you first sit down to play poker how do you begin?
“Typically, with a raise. I want everyone to think I’m here to gamble and I’m going to be a lot of action, with only the latter being true.”
Describe your grinding station set up.
“I’m in the process of putting one together, but it’s unlikely to be used for grinding poker. It’s more likely to be used for grinding blogs/content creation for The Solve For Why Academy that Matt Berkey, Christian Soto, and myself have built.”
What tools do you use when playing poker, live and online?
“While playing, none. Away from the table, it’s a lot of inner reflection, assessing assumptions, and the possibility of biases I could be projecting to fit my narrative.”
What’re your thoughts on listening to music when playing? If you do, what do you listen to?
“I don’t listen to music while I play, but I do have a fun fact to share about myself relating to music. I don’t know all of the words from start to finish of a single song. I’m not a big music person.”
Do you have a specific warm down routine after you have finished a session?
“Usually, after I’m done playing, it’s pretty late. I head home, mess with Doogan, and head to bed.”
What is your process of review?
“I have a small, close circle of friends that I discuss different concepts with along with a few hands sometimes.”
How do you educate yourself about poker?
“I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase “the best way to learn something is by teaching it to someone else.” I have plenty of those opportunities via the S4Y Academy as well as through 1-on-1 coaching that I regularly do as well.”
How do you improve your mental state?
“I play my best when everything is in order away from the table; I think that holds true for most. I spend time with friends, catch up with family, and make sure any tasks are completed promptly. When I don’t have anything on my to do list, my mental state is at its best. I’m an advocate of meditating as well; I really enjoy it.”
How much of your time is spent playing versus learning?
“I go in spurts where I will be playing 80/20 and then it will get flip flopped. It just depends on what’s going on during that period.”
How do you know when to stop a session?
“When everyone else has left.”
Are you consciously trying to emulate the style of a particular player? Do you have people you look to as models for your game?
Is poker easy? Does it come naturally to you?
“Poker isn’t easy by any means, but I will say I’ve been afforded some great instincts and feel I have a lot of raw, natural talent.”
Do your surroundings affect your work, how?
“I need structure with defined goals. I want my workspace organised (it’s very messy, but I know where everything is).”
Was there ever a time when you didn’t want to play poker? How did you get out of the funk?
“I moved to Rosarito about four years ago, while in $300,000 of makeup and no idea of how to improve. I didn’t know how to study; I was broke, I had just come off a nasty breakup, so things just weren’t going my way at that time. I wanted to quit poker for about two years during that period; I’m so glad I didn’t.”
How does poker make you feel?
“You know when people say they’re in their comfort zone? That’s how I feel when I’m at the poker table, I enjoy myself.”
What is the one thing you know you have to change after answering these questions?
“I need to find other challenging tasks to insert into my life along with goals at the end of the rainbow to help me accomplish those tasks. I have a few things in mind from public speaking to getting in better shape, just to name a couple.”
What is the one question I didn’t ask but should have asked, and now answer it?
“What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you’ve started playing poker for a living?
“Your network is the most vital thing imaginable. If you have a strong network with people that believe in you, it’s impossible to fail. No matter what happens, you’ll always bounce back.”