This very well established Poker Player and Commentator that is known at the GOAT with his smooth tones, extensive knowledge on the game and unique insights sat down recently with the people at Paul Phua Poker to give an interview on how Poker has treated him through the years.
There were some really insightful moments in this interview, the battles, the highs and lows, depression, family life and many other things that any true poker player will know all too well.
Where do you stand on your meaning and purpose?
Meaning and purpose is a tough one, but for me it’s derived from just trying to be a solid person, working on aspects of myself, my personality, I feel I’ve grown quite a bit as a person which is good. Seeing things you don’t like about yourself and trying to change them.
With regards to Poker Nick said: I’ve put in so much time through the years, much of it was unhealthy, I would not recommend it… the road to playing poker and being successful at it is really a grind… right now though, if my head is screwed on straight, I’m surrounding myself with good people and being the best person I can be that gives me some meaning and purpose.
I think these are some good points from Nick here, Poker is a cruel grind that puts you on top of the world and then weeks later can throw you into a pit of depression with a string of poor results, it seems Nick has turned a corner in his life and just started to get on with things with a really positive outlook and trying to just have a good day, every day.
What were some of those life leaks?
A lot of times as a Poker player nothing was my fault, for years, I was very competitive and in denial about what was happening and I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder maybe… in personal relationships… I just took a look at some things, but now I’m more accepting of peoples idiosyncrasies and I’m just trying to be more grateful for things around me.
I love this outlook on his past from Nick, I think we can all look back at things we have done or ways we have acted in personal relationships or in our approach to the game of Poker and work on being a better person and better players moving forward with more healthy life choices.
What were some things you did to change?
I did some reading, I had some therapy, the classics of just exercise and a mindful diet is nice, you feel a little better about yourself. It’s just a lot of trying to be a fly on the wall and realise that I had to get rid of certain behaviours to try and be the person I wanted to be, it wasn’t like a switch went off, its a gradual thing that is still in progress.
Are you aware that you are an inspiration to people now?
I had really bad depression problems for a long time and when you have issues like that, you go to the brink of being alive sort of and when you make it through it, it changes you to the point where you are kind of free now as a person… a lot of things that people take seriously or get bent out of shape about I just don’t.
What advice would you give to others to be successful at poker or just at life?
Our insecurities plague us as human beings, we all have them in some capacity and I think for poker players those can manifest as the denial of ones’ ability, proclivities to improvement can stem off of that as well, where if you have something to prove it can really backfire and cause anger.
My advice is to not look down on people, people have stories from all walks of life, some of the people I know wouldn’t be considered smart by society but yet they are some of the smartest people I know.
Be openminded and get to know yourself, some people are fueled by anger… I’ve definitely played with a lot of that inside… before I go to the poker table thinking F*** these people… but deep down it wasn’t me really, I was just angry at myself and my life…
Getting to know who you are, what your nature is and how you want to approach things for real, like who you really are inside, I think that for me was the biggest jump start to being more successful.
We will leave you with this quote from Nick on Poker:
“I can’t say I’m having fun, but there’s no place I’d rather be.”
That’s kind of the way it is with Poker, You lose a lot, there’s a lot of pain but when I’m at a poker table I’m at the right place.
If you liked this interview with Nick then you might want to check out this CardPlayer audio interview where Nick Talks about his early days, rise in the poker world, battles with depression and more.
Card Player Magazine, Poker Stories with Nick Schulman