May 13, 2011
One thing that I am enamored by is successful people. I feel like in order to be the best at anything you have to put a lot of time and work into it, have something that others don't. That particular thing in Ashton Griffin's case seems to be his competitiveness and drive. Playing basketball with the guy, I could see how competitive he really was. He put his all into almost every possession. If he thought he was going to miss a shot, he sprinted to get the rebound. I respect that drive a lot, as it lacks in so many people in various sports, business, work, life, etc... I think poker is no different. In order to be the top of the top players, there definitely requires a competitive spirit, knowing that you have an edge and playing confidently. Outworking everyone else is a big part of this as well. If you simply jump into a HU game without doing the work, you'll get crushed. So that competitive drive applies in the amount of work and studying you do as well. Obviously this isn't a groundbreaking observation, we all know that if you want to be the best at something, you have to work hard at it. From the people I've met that have had great success in poker, this competitive spirit and drive was obviously present in all of them. None of these players ever seemed to doubt themselves, even when playing the highest possible stakes. They were in a sense fearless from their confidence and competitiveness.
I've been fortunate to coach some of poker's top nosebleed players, and get to know them ( I didn't coach Ashton, but met him through some friends). in poker there is always something that separates people like Ashton from everyone else, which is probably why they are so successful. Being the best at something is what most people strive to be, and if you want to be the best, you just have to work that much harder to stay ahead of the field and poker is no different. So for all you that feel like you could never be the next (enter successful poker player's name here) you just have to buckle down, put the work in, and be confident that the work you do and the time you spend will be enough to be the best. If not... work harder.