The Eightfold Path to Poker Enlightenment

(UPDATE: Here’s a new page at my site that has all the music and tons of other stuff from the series.)

Since the dawn of, I have been singing their praises. I know all five founders well. I’ve played poker with them. I’ve hung out with them. I’ve coached a couple of them. I’ve watched the videos they make. I see the community they have built and the dedication of their faithful. Being part of the DeucesCracked family is a source of joy and gratitude for me. And now that I have a video airing, I feel like I’ve been promoted from cousin to brother.

The only way to see the videos is the be a DeucesCracked subscriber. If you decide to do that, and you use this link to, I will get a piece of your action.

The Eightfold Path to Poker Enlightenment — EPTPE, pronounced rapidly like so: eh-puh-tuh-puh — is an eight-part video series that, according to these people who have seen the first episode and written about it in the EPTPE thread at the DeucesCracked forums, is really good. I of course have no opinion on such matters since I am opinionless. (This is when my partner in the series, Wayne Lively, would call bullshit.)

Speaking of Wayne, he’s the reason this whole thing happened. Back when he had his own poker show on Hold’em Radio, he had the idea of me coaching him on the air. This was an especially good idea because not only does Wayne have an awesome voice and great microphone sense, he also exhibits some behaviors and attitudes that make him ripe for my coaching.

Well, Wayne’s tenure with Hold’em Radio came to an end right about the same time the idea was bouncing around about me doing a video series for DeucesCracked. When I learned that the DC videos are released in eight-episode-long seasons, it was an instant slam dunk idea for me to use Buddha’s eightfold path as an outline for a series, and just start filling in the blanks from there.

Wayne and I kicked lots of ideas around on the way to settling on having the audio portion of the series be improvised conversations on pre-determined topics. That’s the meat of it. Wayne and I talking. For flavoring, I decided to put short bits of piano music in between the conversations. I played all of the 100 or so piano inserts. Some of them I “made up” and others are excerpts borrowed from classical composers such as Mozart and Neil Young.

The poker talk covers a lot of ground, with the recurring theme being: How can we play our A-game more often, and have more fun (or less agony) doing it? Along the way there are many how-to’s that pertain more directly to modifying thoughts and actions that will lead directly to more profit (or less loss). Wayne came up with the best way to summarize the series: “It’s not about how to play poker. It’s about becoming a poker player.”

The visuals of the videos have been an absolute blast to think up. We use text, sparingly, to let the viewer know what topic we are on, and to emphasize an occasional spoken phrase, and to create a humorous wise-cracking third character. We use original drawings by my good friend Wendelin Montciel that capture ideas with grace and levity. We use occasional photographs, cartoon images, and flash movies, to drive home key points and to keep you from nodding off during Wayne’s long boring parts.

Two words: Rob Cole. Also known as Entity. If EPTPE is a house, Rob is the carpenter. He’s the brains and the brawn behind assembling the pieces, while adding much artistic input along the way. Basically, EPTPE is a three-man job. Me, Wayne, and Rob.

The reason EPTPE exists is because I went from being a self-destructive tilt monkey to being pretty much stable. And I want to increase the probability that you will do the same thing.