World’s Best Poker Player Reveals His #1 Success Secret


Now I don’t know how much luck was involved in Phil Hellmuth’s record 14 world series of poker wins but I’m sure the success secret I’m about to share played a part.

Phil recently revealed (on the Tim Ferriss podcast) that his success started when he created a list of lifetime goals – and put them on his mirror so he saw them daily.

Within two years of applying this powerful success secret he became the youngest player ever to win the main event of the World Series Of Poker.

Jump to 20:15 to hear Phil share the story.

It seems to me that the reason many goals are never achieved is they are too often forgotten and too seldom reviewed.

The more times you see your goals the more you’ll be reminded to take the actions needed to achieve them.

Seinfeld’s Secret to Becoming the Most Successful Comedian

Turns out Jerry Seinfeld had a similar success secret.

A few years back lifehacker published a post that shared Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret


He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

The more visible your goals are the better.

And the more your mind is reminded of your goals the more you’ll find opportunities to progress toward your goals.

Last month I decided to try this strategy out for myself.  I hung a calendar on the wall and wrote a G on every day I made it to the gym.

Personally I prefer using a check mark for success over an X.  X has negative overtones so I use check marks to denote days when I successfully did not drink and X’s for days I did.

Additionally I wanted to reduce the amount I drink alcohol so that’s what the 0 or X is in the bottom half of each day.

Here is a picture of the calendar that is currently hanging in my kitchen, with my results for October.


It’s been working wonders for me so a similar strategy will probably work for you too.

Keeping the streak of consecutive days at the gym alive became very important to me last month thanks to the calendar above.

Even though I didn’t make it to the gym every day I still made it most days…

And this month my goal is to get at least one gym session in for every day of the month.

My reason for this tracking in consistency is to improve my health and lean out to the point that my abs are clearly visible (I have not seen my abs in years haha).

With my new found consistency with the gym I’ve noticed I am visibly leaner from my efforts in the past month and that is helping motivate me to have my strongest month ever.


The main takeaway is this: Post your goals somewhere you will see them often and you’ll be more likely to achieve them.

It worked for poker champ Phil, joke champ Jerry, it’s working for me and it can work for you too.


What are some of your goals? Share with a comment below!

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3 Responses to World’s Best Poker Player Reveals His #1 Success Secret

  1. Inge Vandecaetsbeek November 6, 2017 at 4:08 am #

    Nice blog Garin. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Drew Rieder January 19, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    Garin, I need to do this ASAP. No excuses. Love the #Garinspiration bro. Keep doing great things. :-)

  3. Garin January 19, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

    Good call Drew! Where attention goes energy flows. This strategy has definitely helped with my gym consistency, and with creating the habit of daily reading. Highly recommend this strategy!

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