Author of popular poker book series- ‘Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker’, Jonathan Little is a highly successful poker player, poker thinker and a poker coach. Popular as ‘Jcardshark‘ and ‘fieryjustice‘ in the online poker world, Little has two World Poker Tour(WPT) Titles on his back as well as the prestige of being a WPT Player of the Year(POY) in 2006. With more than $5,800,000 in live tournament earnings, he is one of those players who has chosen to dispense his poker learnings to others. With many webinars, podcasts, audiobooks and a poker training website to boast of, Little is one of the most followed poker players in the world. OPN spoke to Jonathan Little exclusively on his books, his poker teachings and his plans for the future.
Q1 Its been almost a decade you started playing poker. Could you run us through your poker background and the journey?
JL– I started playing poker when I was 17 years old. I played $1 buy-in tournaments with friends but eventually decided that I was tired of losing with my tight, passive strategy. I read all of the poker books available on the market, around 30 at the time, and then deposited $50 online. I played limit hold’em, which was the main game 12 years ago, and worked my way up to $30/$60 while practicing sound bankroll management. I then switched to sit n’ go tournaments and did well at those.
When I turned 21, I started playing live tournaments. After a year of losing, I final tabled the PCA WPT event for $320,000. After that, I ran well and won 2 WPTs for $1,000,000 each and took 2nd place in another. Since then, I have been playing the circuit full time, usually winning or losing a small amount each year. I also play a decent amount online. I have chopped the Sunday Million four handed, took 3rd in the Sunday $500 twice, final tabled the $10,000 SCOOP high roller, and took 2nd in a $1,000 re-entry event on Full Tilt for $320,000.
I also spend a lot of time teaching inspired players how to succeed at poker. I am the author of six best-selling poker books, which you can find on Amazon. I am the owner and head video producer at FloatTheTurn.com. I also run a personal site, JonathanLittlePoker.com, where I post free educational blogs and podcasts.
Q2 Why did you decide to take up poker coaching?
JL– I realized that I learned a ton from other players and I wanted to make it easier for new players to learn from me. I wanted to give back to the poker community. Also, the poker forums where I learned, as well as most books on the market, were full of terrible information. I wanted to make sure that there was a place where people could get good, sound information without having to wade through a bunch of rubbish.
Q3 Do you study poker yourself also? Who do you follow or look up for poker advice?
JL– I study poker every day. I read most of the books by players who I know are good at their games. I watch poker videos every day, usually when I am having lunch. I enjoy watching Phil Galfond’s PLO videos, as I am currently spending a decent amount of time studying that game.
Q4 Your books are generally a converstional style of writing with which it is easy for a poker player to associate. Why did you get into this style of writing?
JL– I write as if I am talking to my student in a one-on-one setting. I want to make my books as easy to read as possible while still giving excellent, concise information. A lot of people write books or make training videos to try to sound smart. I do it to help people. You will help more people if you write in language they can easily understand.
Q5 What is so unique about your poker training site?
JL– At FloatTheTurn.com, in addition to offering over 500 hours of great poker content from some of the best players in the game, I, as well as a few other coaches, host a monthly webinar where the members can get online and ask us all of their poker questions. This gives you access to excellent professionals a few hours per month for the small cost of $10. Seeing how I charge $300 per hour for private coaching, $10 per month is a steal.
Q6 You release webinars, audiobooks and podcasts on a weekly basis. From where do you get so much inspiration to work on dispensing poker knowledge?
JL– I enjoy working and producing content because I know it will improve the lives of my students. I realize how hard my students work and I want to work hard for them. If you enjoy doing something, you won’t view it as work. I love every second of helping people who have a desire to improve their poker and their life.
Q7 What according to you are the top 3 tips for a poker player? Something like a rule of thumb!
JL– Keep a large bankroll.
Pay attention to the action on all hands, not only the ones you are involved in.
Study everything you can find from people who are good at the game you are trying to learn.
Q8 You are an amabassador to many poker related products. How important is it for you to believe in those products?
JL– If I don’t believe in a product, I don’t endorse it. I use the ShareMyPair app to display live hands online whenever I am making a poker training product. It is also a great way to share your hands with your friends. I wear my Blue Shark Optics glasses every time I play for serious money. They help conceal any tells I may have while also making it more comfortable for me to look at other players. In addition to producing hand packs on the InstaPoker app, I also study every pack that gets released by the other professionals.
Q9 Could you tell us a bit about your future plans? Planning a book?
JL– I always have lots of projects in the works. I am decently good at juggling lots of things. My next book, Jonathan Little on Live No Limit Cash Games Volume 2, will be released sometime in March.
Q10 How can sharemypair fill the void of a hand replayer? Is it very important for a poker player to get his hands analysed for future learnings?
JL– It is very important to study the hands of other players, as well as your own. Before ShareMyPair, it was difficult to view hands from world-class professionals without being there in person. It is also difficult to recall all of the details of your own hands. Now, lots of professionals, myself included, post their hands on ShareMyPair for the whole world to see. They are also more than happy to answer your questions about the hands, effectively giving you free poker lessons.
Jonathan was helpful enough to do a Facebook Q &A Session on the OPN Facebook Page and answered a lot of queries of poker players and OPN’s readers. You can find the complete post here.