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The Miracle Morning | Smart Poker Study Podcast #13


Sky Matsuhashi

on January 25, 2016

‘The Miracle Morning' helped me to accomplish so much: I lost 30 pounds after employing the lessons learned, my poker game improved and my bankroll shot up from $200 to $1100 in just 5 weeks, I created the Smart Poker Study blog which has led me to this podcast, and I still use what I learned to this day to be more productive and to “Get Shit Done” before my boys wake up at 6:30 every day.

I learned so much from it, and I'm sure you will to.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


‘The Miracle Morning,' Podcast #13

Podcast Mission

At the end of this podcast you’ll have an easy set of practices that you can use every day to start you off on the right foot and accomplish more than you ever thought possible before others even wake up.

Hal Elrod's Life S.A.V.E.R.S.

The main message in ‘The Miracle Morning’ is to wake every day with purpose and start it with tasks that make you a better person; this is the key to getting what you want out of life.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

Where you are is a result of who you were.  But where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.

‘The Miracle Morning’ is all about having a “Level 10” life by developing successful habits and having the proper mindset that brings you closer to the person you want to be.  Now, this is going to be hard for lots of poker players to hear, but these habits start with waking up early each morning to practice what Hal Elrod (author) calls his Life S.A.V.E.R.S.

These 6 activities help you experience the spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional benefits of Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing.  By doing these daily you’ll feel more energized, focused and less stressed so you can accomplish more each day than you would without.


Purposeful silence, through meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing or practicing gratitude can help to reduce levels of stress.  Being a poker player is very stressful; trying to earn enough for rent and food, dealing with variance, sitting in front of a computer screen or at a table in a card room all day (or all night) and getting inadequate sleep all add to our stress levels.


Affirmations allow you to develop the mindset and the determined focus you need in order to get to the next level.  You repeat them aloud to yourself once or twice a day, preferably during your Miracle Morning and just before going to bed.  Say it with true emotion and feelings to make it more real and impactful on your subconscious mind.

Muhammad Ali (GOAT) said over and over again to himself and to others, “I am the greatest!” on his way to actually becoming the greatest.

I am committed to   (activity you want to do that will produce the ideal result)  ,   (specific frequency)  , so that I can   (ideal outcome)   by   (target date).

Here’s one that I use currently:

I am committed to studying one topic every week for at least one hour per day so that I can become adept in that specific topic (Mastery vs Overload), and I’ll put what I’m focused on into play each session so that I can hit my $20,000 bankroll goal by December 31st.


Visualization is the active process of imagining what you want out of life, and envisioning how you’re going to achieve it.  All star athletes and highly successful people from all walks of life practice it: Tiger Woods, Bill Gates and Tony Robbins just to name a few.


The Mayo Clinic lists seven benefits of regular exercise: controls weight, combats health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, puts the spark back in your sex life and it can be fun.

Exercise stimulates the brain and leads to clearer thinking and improved mood, two things that all poker players need to play at their optimum.  There’s no ‘A-game’ without calmly thinking through your decisions and avoiding tilt.


Reading is the fastest way you can acquire new knowledge.  If you want to learn about poker (of course), history, self-improvement, playing the guitar… anything, there are plenty of books that can teach you what you want to learn.  And, many books teach you via stories of failures as well, so you can learn what not to do.

When you’re done reading a book, it shouldn’t look physically like you’ve never touched it.  It should be highlighted and underlined, should contain scribbled notes throughout, and have plenty of dog eared pages and a broken spine.  It should look worn and used.  Those are the signs of a good book, one that you learned from and can refer back to your notes and highlights later to refresh yourself on the important lessons it imparted.


Scribing is just another word for Writing.  Putting your thoughts down on paper is a good way to relieve stress, get new perspectives on what you’re going through, or just a way to record for posterity what your thoughts are.  You can write down your insights, ideas and inspirations to help you flesh them out and to bring them to life in other aspects of your life.

There are many ways to put Scribing into your Miracle Morning:

Journaling (my favorite for daily writing); Blog Writing; Letters to family and friends; Writing a book; Writing a strategy guide

Podcast Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Try the 6 SAVERS (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing) each morning for a week.  Do this before you hit the Twitter or the interwebs, and do all 6.  You can complete this each day in as little as 6 minutes.  Let me know how you find this exercise.

Get your copy of The Miracle Morning


Sky Matsuhashi

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