JNandez – My Journey

  • JNandez – My Journey

     Fernando Habegger updated 1 year, 8 months ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Fernando Habegger

    April 5, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    #1 – Connecting the dots

    Hi guys, this is Fernando writing, aka JNandez87.

    Welcome to my first blog post. My goal with this blog is it to give you guys an insight look into my journey in poker, life and business. This should also help me to have a more retrospective and structured mind. Which then leads to more clarity and productivity. The more clarity I can gain over my intentions, the easier it is to follow up with the right actions. The more concurrency I can reach between my intentions and actions the happier I become.

    Now that I’ve cleared up on that, I want to set the stage with this first blog post and give you an idea about what these intentions are.

    Become the best version of myself

    Simple, but not easy. What becoming the best version of oneself looks like is different for everyone. Here is my definition:

    Follow my purpose, my potential, my passion.


    My purpose is it to lift others up and provide them with lessons learned throughout my life. Teaching Pot Limit Omaha is one version of just that. But there many more lessons to be learned and taught throughout my life. I want to share some of them in this blog. I hope you will find the value you’re looking for. If your life gets better by just 1% by what I’m sharing, by purpose is fulfilled.


    Thinking about my own potential is scary. Because I know somehow, somewhere I’m always leaving some potential on the table. There are always ways to improve, to maximize and optimize. In order avoid being shelf shocked my mindset here is the following: Growing everyday, by just 1%, is more important than chasing some sort of illusory version of myself. I’m putting my bets on compounding growth rather than massive, unrealistic short-term gains. What makes me grow consistently is to form my thoughts, just like now, on a regular basis, as often as I can. I struggle sometimes seeing it all from a wider angle, from a birds-eye viewpoint, but whenever I try to do so I gain more clarity over my progress and necessary action to further progress.


    My biggest passion is growing, by myself but also together. I want to see growth in a family, a friendship, a company or in a community. The first step towards growth is to build yourself up. Only if you can keep yourself in check, and manage yourself properly is it, when you become an effective teacher or mentor to others. I love seeing the progression in myself and others. And that’s why I’ve started this journey within poker many years ago in 2005. I wanted to have something I can work on consistently and build myself up within. Once I’ve reached some sort of success, 10 years later, I’ve started lifting others up by creating content and coaching / mentoring others. Many of the guys that I’ve lifted up are now lifting all of us up in the PLO Mastermind as Coaches or key players behind the scenes of JNandezPoker and the PLO Mastermind.

    I often get asked how I’ve build up such a big network within poker. The answer is simple: I’ve helped a lot of poker players on my journey up. I don’t want to act like I did it all because of good-will. I’ve charged a lot of money for some of those hours, but I always gave it my best, because I knew that helping others has a huge ripple effect that will put me in a position down the road, where I can fulfill my purpose to an even higher level.Let’s talk about today.

    My main priorities today are the following


    * Make JNandezPoker and the PLO Mastermind a success

    * Become the best Poker Player I can be

    * Teach others how to improve their game and life


    * Have meaningful and deep relationships with myself and others

    * Live a healthy and productive life

    * Progress towards your potential everyday by a 1%

    Bringing poker, business and life all together has been a big topic for me, since I’ve started creating content and started coaching in 2015. My conclusion after these 5 years of trying to “balance” these different areas optimally brings me to the most important lesson I want to share today:

    “Everything you do in poker and in business is a direct reflection of your life.”

    It’s all connected. There is not “Poker Success” without success in other areas such as: Health, Relationships, Finances, Love etc. At least not long-term. Sure you can hit a hot streak and win 100 buy-ins quickly at the cash tables or ship a big tournament, But long-term success in poker is ONLY achievable if you can connect all dots and form a symbiotic well balanced relationship between the dots. Once you understand and accept that, you start looking at your life differently.

    You start to work on life areas, which you have neglected for a long-time. You might want to achieve financial freedom through playing poker, but instead of playing another session or running another sim, you need to call your Mum and start fixing that relationship first.

    Instead of quitting the tables after losing 2 buy-ins you need to start checking in on a your diet and second guessing if what you’re doing in the kitchen is congruent with your poker goals.It’s all connected.

    As for me, I’ve been struggling myself to build a symbiotic relationship between all my life dots. Especially two years ago, I’ve felt overwhelmed with the added pressure of opening a business. So many new lessons to be learned. The quickest way to learn lessons is to make mistakes, and I’ve made plenty of them. I will share some of these mistakes in future blog posts, but for now I would like to keep the focus on the Poker playing aspects. The biggest mistakes I’ve made when it comes to approaching poker are

    1. Not treating playing poker as a high performance act

    2. Building incongruities between my personal life, business and poker

    3. Not caring enough about the competitive aspects of poker


    1. Poker is a high performance act

    I love this quote “If you want to beat poker, you have to BE poker.”

    Nothing is more true that this in my opinion. I think it’s true for any high performance act like being a professional athlete, musician of whenever you’re trying to become one of the best any anything basically. As we launched our own company “JNandezPoker” in 2018, I’ve collected new responsibility, outside of playing and teaching poker. This lead me to believe that I needed to treat the playing poker aspect as a side job that needs less focus and attention. My subconscious belief was that because I’ve played poker professionally for so many years, that I could wing it as a side job easily. This wasn’t the case! I ended up playing with depleted batteries and couldn’t find a way to recharge those. My lack of focus showed in my results and I couldn’t find a way to turn it around to my older form, for the first year of the Mastermind. But once I became more efficient with the business responsibilities I had some more breathing room to work with and things started turning around. I’ve started to look for other areas that would allow me to increase my focus and productivity. I’ve improve my diet, my sleep schedule and quality and become an all around happier and more productive human being. My current form is a good as never, on and off table. This is a direct result of connecting all these dots together and optimizing it. I’ve shared a lot of my insights about that shift in the 10-week transformation course of the PLO Mastermind as well.

    2. Personal Life and Business / Poker Life have to be congruent

    Here is the issue: You can’t be a bad ass at poker, without being a bad ass at life. You either have to crush it everywhere or you won’t have success. I’ve tried my fair share of shortcuts. I’ve tried to be super focused at business and poker only, and build up incongruities between professional and private life. It didn’t work out! You can’t crush the tables, if your relationship with your partner isn’t working out great as well. You can’t grind at your highest level without a fit body and a proper sleep schedule. You just can’t, please trust me on this one. Over the last year I’ve significantly improved in all these areas and look at it a lot more holistically than ever before. That’ the key

    3. Poker is about competition, not money

    Poker is a game of skill. The issue with removing the competitive aspects of the game, and focusing only on the money aspect, is that you will lose your hunger. If you approach poker just like a job you don’t care much about, you won’t succeed. You need to look at it like a huge challenge, against other, well prepared killers that are trying to hunt you down. Only with this mindset, you will be hungry enough to put in the hours and develop the grid to overcome tough times. That’s what I’ve learned and programmed my mind to in the last 12 months. Meditation / Visualization helps a lot here!

    Results / performance

    At the end of last year the main game that was running on PartyPoker was the $1k FastForward game. I did very well and felt super focused playing them. Unfortunately the game got removed by Party and only PLO $500 FF was left over. I had problems adjusting first, only because of my mindset.

    The money at stake and the competition on the tables felt different and not exiting anymore. It took a while to fix this. But I was able to come back, and I’m very happy with my performance of the last 50k hands. I also get 40% rakeback and place in the leaderboard on a regular basis, which I haven’t included in the results.

    These “off-table” winnings are very substantially to anyone’s winrate and the main driver for the PartyPoker FF games in the first place.I’m also very happy with my PLO MTT game. In the last 2 years I’ve put a good amount of work into them, when most player didn’t.

    The result is that I feel comfortable playing up to the highest stakes online (2ks, 5ks) and compete with very strong Cashgame players. I’ve ran really hot in this sample of 135 games, winning $144k. Whenever I play a High Stakes Tournament I feel exited about the games and have no problem focusing for many hours at a time.

    I’m going to leave at this point for my first blog entry. Tomorrow I will launch a new format in the PLO Mastermind called “JNandez Study Streams”, where I dissect my game and the pool in great detail. I’m looking forward to the insights I can gather and share with you guys. I really hope this format will be a great success and many of you guys will find value.Good luck at the tables and thanks for reading!


    Fernando Smiley

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