Interview with mindset coach Dan Heskett

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Charles Hawk
High Stakes Reporter
Joined: Mar 2 2012

Interview with Dan Heskett


Charles Hawk: First off, tell me how and for what reasons you decided to shift from being a poker pro into becoming a mindset coach?

Dan Heskett: When I originally set out to study Hypnotherapy I hadn’t planned on becoming a Mindset Coach. I thought it would be an interesting pursuit and would allow me to improve my own mental game alongside enlightening my further on a potential profession after my poker career. Having personally had mindset coaching with Elliot Roe several years ago, I found the process to be genuinely fascinating and experienced first hand the massive changes, which could occur after just one session.

I've played online poker full-time for just under a decade now and it became clear that my experience of playing poker combined with being a qualified Hypnotherapist uniquely positioned me to relate to other poker players and help them deal with the issues they face as a professional. Having previously made videos for HUSNG as well as providing one-on-one coaching, I realised that I actually really enjoyed teaching and relaying new ideas and concepts to players and would probably find it more interesting and fulfilling than remaining a full-time poker player.

Charles Hawk: How has playing poker successfully in multiple game formats helped you understand poker player's mental issues?

Dan Heskett: I think my clients definitely appreciate the fact that I’ve faced a lot of the same challenges that they have. When I’m working with HUSNG or spin players especially, they know that I’ve personally endured similar difficulties many times before. That being said, I also work with a number of high stakes regs cash game players and MTT players and whilst I’ve never played high stakes 6 max PLO for example, poker is poker - the elite players don’t usually have big leaks in their game but they realise that fine tuning things e.g. increasing focus or working on very specific areas of their game, are hugely beneficial. The higher stakes you play, the smaller the improvements have to be to make purchasing Mindset Coaching a massively plus EV decision. They understand that even if they tilt once a month and it costs them 200 USD, over the course of a year that’s $2,400. When it’s broken down like that, suddenly mindset coaching becomes a snap investment.

Charles Hawk: Do you have any target audience (live/online mtt/cash etc.) or do you work with all poker players? Describe your main method and strategies you implement.

Dan Heskett: Mindset Coaching works really well with all players and I have had success with everyone from live mtt grinders to online mass tablers. All poker players make mistakes and have self-sabotage holding them back. Just as I don’t believe that even the best players in the world are what you could consider a 10/10 poker player, I equally don’t believe that any poker player has a 10/10 mental game. I've yet to come across a poker player who I felt unable to help.

I also currently work with a spin and go stable called Evolve Staking. Their head coach is Paul Collins, who HUSNG members will know well. The level of support and coaching that the guys receive is outstanding and at this point I’d say I’ve worked with as many spin and go players as anyone so I guess if I had a specialization within poker then spins/HUSNG would be it. I utilize different therapeutic techniques as part of the Mindset Coaching I offer which includes Hypnotherapy, NLP and general coaching/mentoring.

Charles Hawk: Since it's, why husng or spin players in particular should be interested in your services?

Dan Heskett: I currently work with a lot of spin and go players ranging from 7-100 USD regs. Spins are particularly good to work on, as they’re such a high variance format. Therefore, issues such as tilt, stress, lack of confidence, etc. all play a part. A lot of regs get too uptight about their EV over small samples and get easily discouraged. One thing I look at with my clients is how EV over small samples is meaningless; one tip I give clients is to only check their graph over a decent sample size and to stop looking at it from day-to-day as you’re basically giving your brain extremely poor quality feedback. When I talk to clients they are often getting good feedback from coaches who are saying they’re playing well - their EV over 2k games is solid but their EV over the last 300 games is poor and the latter is the part they get annoyed about. The 300 games sample is by far the poorest metric of how they are playing. The feedback from their coach is the best as they can identify where you are playing well and where you are playing poorly - 2k games sample is the next best as it’s somewhat meaningful.

Charles Hawk: How much do you charge? How many sessions usually it takes to get long-term benefit from a mental coach?

Dan Heskett: My rates are 150 USD for a one off session.

Alternatively, I offer a discounted rate of 500 USD for a 4 session pack, which is what most guys go for.

Or I offer a further discounted rate of 1,000 USD for 10 session pack.

The first session with a new client is always 90 minutes so that we have time to do a full client history, work out what issues are holding them back and create a custom-made program that's focused on getting them real results as quickly as possible. 

As for the amount of time it takes to see results, I’ve had clients who have made massive progress and improved an issue like tilt or focus by 80%-90% after the first session, which is obviously a fantastic result. With others it takes a little time but certainly after 4 sessions I’d expect them to be noticing significant improvements. Many of my clients now opt for monthly sessions or just book in a random session as and when they have something they want to work on. Therefore, purchasing the 10 session pack, which you can complete over a 6-12 month time period, works well for many clients.

Charles Hawk: Any success stories you would like to share?

Dan Heskett: Playing poker was always a dream for me; I remember on my 20th birthday (which was the day I decided I would play full-time) feeling so excited that I’d found this path. So now when I get to work with guys who are playing part-time, who after working with me gain the confidence and develop the skills to quit their job and go full time, that always feels good :)

I am always looking for new interview opportunities with HUSNG and Spin Reg's who play $30s and higher. Please PM me here or on 2p2 (Charles Hawk).