patrick leonard recipe for poker success

Patrick Leonard’s 4-Part Recipe for Poker Success

Patrick Leonard certainly knows a few things about success.

The English poker pro and partypoker ambassador boasts a poker resume that speaks for itself, with nearly $14 million in career earnings.

Leonard recently authored a blog post on Medium, detailing what he calls his “Four Underrated Ingredients to Success”. Inspired by his recent career-high tournament score in the GG Poker WSOP Circuit Online Series, the blog post presents mental game and lifestyle tips for poker success.

This look into the mental preparation of one of the world’s best players is a must-read for anyone trying to achieve success in poker. 

Before we dive into the first ingredient, let’s go over the resume of the man known as Pads.

Who is Patrick Leonard?

Patrick Leonard's Underrated Ingredients for Success

Put simply, Patrick Leonard is a tournament beast. His Hendon Mob page shows more than $2.5 million in career earnings, with consistent success since Leonard appeared on the live tournament scene in 2011.

Leonard’s online tournament earnings are even more impressive, with more than $11 million earned according to PocketFives. He added to that total with the biggest payday of his career in May 2020, finishing second in the GG Poker WSOP Circuit HR Championship for $1,611,342.

Leonard has topped the PocketFives overall online rankings at times in his career, and currently stands as the #2 ranked online player in the world. Under the names “pads1161” on PokerStars, “patrick_leonard” on partypoker, and “babu$hka” on GGPoker, Leonard takes a place in the elite tier of the world’s best tournament poker players. He also co-founded bitB, one of the world’s biggest coaching stables.

Let’s take a look at the underrated ingredients for success, according to Leonard.

Ingredient #1: Remove Negativity

Leonard’s first ingredient for success involves removing negativity from your environment.

Leonard specifically focuses on informing the people around you that they’re being negative, or else removing those people from your circle entirely.

I promise you that as a friend or a coworker, if you tell somebody that they are being too negative and it’s having a bad impact on the team, and very likely their own mental health and mental strength, then you’re doing both them and the team the biggest favor possible…

This ingredient can certainly be applied to any aspect of professional or personal life. Narrowing it down to poker, Leonard advises to stay away from other players who approach the game with a negative mindset.

If they are moaning about losing and injustice, as soon as you start losing in what seems an unfair way you will naturally gravitate towards being negative as a coping mechanism, you are more likely to join the dark side and even worse you may even encourage your “friends” negativity to increase further…

Patrick Leonard's underrated ingredients for success

PocketFives ranks Patrick Leonard as one of the world’s best online players.

Ingredient #2: Be Unhealthily Compulsive About Your Craft

The best poker players in the world form an obsession with the game. Much like most crafts or professions, the truly great players in poker live and breathe the game 24/7.

Leonard advises that it’s perfectly fine to not obsess over poker with every waking moment. He does, however, feel privileged with the opportunity to spend nearly all of his mental energy thinking about the game.

To me the best feeling in the world is being engrossed in something and fascinated to the extent that the hours go by as if it’s minutes without losing any focus or energy of the topic…

I feel like the luckiest man in the world that my rage to master is poker, something that can afford me a comfortable life.

If you don’t have an obsession in life, Leonard recommends “pausing and reorganizing priorities” until you find that passion.

Ingredient #3: Create a Process, Believe, and Stick to it

Leonard is just as obsessive about his daily poker process as he is with the game itself. The third ingredient to success in Leonard’s blog post reveals the away-from-the-table approach of one of poker’s most successful players.

The daily process for Leonard involves asking himself:

  • When do I wake up and when do I go to sleep?
  • How do I spend the first hour of my day?
  • How do I spend the last hour of my day?
  • How often will I play?
  • How often, when/what will I study?

The time you put into your process, no matter what your profession, will pay off.

If you maximize your first and last hour of every day in a productive way then you are already ahead of 99% of your competition, who will wake up slow and go to sleep fast.

Ingredient #4: Don’t Let Success Destroy You

Leonard has enjoyed sustained success in poker, and after more than a decade in the game, the partypoker ambassador is still at the top of his craft.

Once you’ve removed negativity, found your passion, and created and stuck to a process, success will likely follow. Leonard stresses the importance of not letting that success change anything about your approach to your craft.

Success can inflate your ego, success can increase your entitlement, success can destroy you and make you forget what got you there in the first place.

Once you’ve found success in your chosen obsession, you need to work even harder to sustain that success.

If you have been successful you need to try even harder to remember your process, why you made it and why you believe in it. If anything, you should set up in your process something to be ready for this.

Related reading: The 4 Dumbest Career-Ending Mistakes Tournament Players Make.

Final Thoughts

Mixing these ingredients will be crucial on your journey to the top of the poker world. By staying positive, determined, disciplined, and humble, your poker skills and quality of life will greatly increase.

You can follow Patrick Leonard on Twitter: @padspoker.

For more helpful mental game advice, check out 10 Poker Mindset Mistakes to Avoid and How to Avoid the Unhealthy Mindset That Tortures Poker Players.

All the best!

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The Advanced Solver Ranges for cash games — one of five sets of preflop charts in the Upswing Lab.


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About the Author
Geoffrey Fisk

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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