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Episode 128 – Alec Torelli: Making Winning Decisions At Life

We have an interesting guest today, but he’ll definitely be sharing something we all want to learn about. That is about the importance of mindset training, and how to level up in life and in business. Alec Torelli is a world-renowned poker player and is definitely one of the best. In the rest years, he has been playing poker and teaching others how to win in it. He has built a profitable online coaching business, teaching people how to be good at playing poker, but most importantly, how to be a good poker player.


Alec fell in love with poker at a young age. But what made him successful is not just his love for the game, but his drive to learn more and his willingness to actually get better every single day. He measures himself based on how he did yesterday and get a little bit better today. His love and dedication is the winning formula that made him who he is today. But his ride is not as smooth as he wanted it to be, there are definitely ups and downs and setbacks he needed to overcome, but that just made him stronger and authentic. Today, he shares his journey and helps others who wanted to blaze their own paths like how he did his.


Are you a poker player? Do you see it a good side hustle, playing something you love plus earning several thousand a month? Well, this podcast is definitely for you. But even if you are not into poker, the chunks of knowledge shared by Alec today are truly useful for anybody wanting to start any business, especially online. From training your mindset to finding your tribe, facing setbacks, how to refocus and change strategies, to loving and sharing your journeys to somebody else. This podcast will equip you to finally taking that most difficult step- the first one. Then let the momentum do its course and reach the success you’ve been wanting!


Here’s What You Missed


  • What is the winning formula in winning poker
  • How having a tribe helps
  • How to recover from setbacks
  • What is compounded success
  • Why you should share your story, and how to do it?
  • Motivation happens through action

Alec Torelli: Making Winning Decisions At Life


Knowledge Nuggets



[3:12] Love for the game and really wanting to learn– helped with winning in poker. One, putting in the time and work to get better, and also just trying to measure yourself, based on how you were yesterday and get a little bit better.


[6:53] It’s really important, to have a group of people that are like-minded, that are working towards similar things. Because it does give you confidence to know that you’re not alone. Not only will it give you confidence and help you like progress, but also just give you the tactics and knowledge and resources to improve.


[11:34] In facing setbacks: Reduce the damage by managing your money and your emotions better. It’s really when you’re losing and you have the setbacks that one learns how bad they really want it.


[12:24] It’s a good test because when you have that adversity, you learn at what you really value and if you’re willing to push through it, it means it’s something that’s worth pursuing. If not, it probably means you didn’t want it bad enough in the first place.


[14:48] I need to focus on changing my strategy because my current strategy isn’t working and that’s hard to do because there are some ego involved. It’s not a failure, but it’s a setback. The second part was being in the right mindset mentally to accept the long run. Just accepting that it’s going to take a while, but that’s part of the journey.


[17:18] It’s really, when you get to the top that you need to work even harder because there’s more and more people chasing you and it’s even more competitive.


[18:52] “It takes 10 years to be an overnight success.” Your success sort of compounds over time.


[19:54] If you’re very destination-oriented, then you know, you’re probably pursuing something that you shouldn’t be. If you’re journey oriented in the sense that like you get in the state of flow while you’re doing the activity that you’re doing to get to your destination and you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t really feel like work. The goal is really to be in a flow state during the journey.


[22:38] Find what you can do better than everyone else, then find a way to spend as much of your time doing that as possible, and then outsourcing or hiring or partnering or surrounding yourself with people that are better at all the other things.


[32:48] You always have to be growing and evolving. And so it’s fun to see where it’s going now and where it’ll take me in the future.


[38:02] Sharing your journey also really helped you understand what you’re good at and it helps you find your voice because it forces you to be concise and provide value to other people.


[38:53] People think that they have to be great at something to start sharing. It’s more about being authentic than being an expert.


[42:30] Motivation, happens through action. Take the first action and it gives you more confidence and that domino effect compounded over time is what leads to success.


Important Reads and Links


Alec Torelli Website:                                           https://www.alectorelli.com/

Alec Torelli Instagram:                        https://www.instagram.com/alectorelli/

Alec Torelli Facebook:                        https://www.facebook.com/alectorelli/

Alec Torelli Twitter:                                             https://twitter.com/AlecTorelli


Alec Torelli Poker School:                  https://www.consciouspoker.com/


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Casanova Brooks:

What’s up DreamNation. We’re back again with another episode and this one I’m excited about for a little bit different reason. I’m excited because we’re going to be able to talk about one of my first loves and that is poker and that is mindset. And so I think that we have the perfect person on to talk about that, but of course, we’re going to talk about how exactly you can level up in life and in business and how you can make them all align.

And so without further ado, please help me and welcome. And my new friend, Mr. Alec. Torelli to the show. Alec, you want to go ahead and say what’s up? to DreamNation.

Alec Torelli:

Hey, what’s up DreamNation, happy to be here, honored to be here. And thanks for having me. I appreciate it, man.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah, this is going to be a good one, man. So for anybody who doesn’t know you, I always like to make sure that we can start off with the proper introduction. And the way that I do that is I make the comparison of entrepreneurs being just like superheroes and the reason why is because we’re constantly putting on capes. We’re flying around the world and we’re trying to solve the biggest problems in the world.

And so before you became this business owner, before you became this world renown poker player and thought leader talk to us ,about that, who you were when you were just a young boy and specifically tell us who is Alec Torelli.

Alec Torelli:

Well, I mean, I, so I discovered poker at a very young age and I started playing poker when I was 16.

So before, before then I wasn’t doing much. And I was in high school. I was hustling some, some side things. Like I had a flyer delivery business where I would, Take flyers and deliver them from people like door to door. I called it doormat delivery. And so I was employing some of my friends and I kind of had that entrepreneurial spirit where I was doing a little bit of side hustle stuff.

And I used that money to fuel my poker playing, but I really went all in on poker at a very young age. And I like really fell in love with this game. Because I saw it as a way that I can do something fun and I love doing it, but then it was like, so cool to me that I could like make money doing it. Cause most hobbies are like video games, which, you know, they don’t have, you know, there’s no like leveling up, right.

You just have a new character that you’re building, but you can’t quite. profit from it. So this was like, Oh my gosh, I could play poker and everyone was getting a job. And I was like, okay, I can make money playing online or with friends or at the local casino that, you know, you only have to be 18 to go and do, I can just like, avoid doing all that.

And I could also do something that I would rather be doing this game than anything else. So I really, really fell in love with a young age. And I like. Completely dedicated myself to learning and like reading books and talking with friends. And it was always something that was not just like, Oh, I just like playing this cause it’s fun.

But it’s like, I always wanted to be a little bit better. So I was always right. Kind of challenging the status quo of like how people were playing and trying to find new creative ways to. Play my hands and develop strategies to like beat my friends and then to beat people at casino or online. and that’s really what helped it was, it was the combination of like the love for the game and really wanting to learn with, putting in the time and work to get better and not just like, you know, show up and have fun, but also show up and have fun, but also just trying to measure yourself, based on how you were yesterday and get a little bit better.

and that process took me a, it took me a very long way in poker.

Casanova Brooks:

So when you were younger, were you the kid who was always like a card player, you were always trying to like finagle some way or betting or anything like that? Or was it completely a 180º to 360º? When all of a sudden you just found a love for poker and now all of a sudden you would tell your parents that this is what you want to do.

Alec Torelli:

No, it was okay. So I was always like betting on things with friends and like, I would, I had this, this might date me a little bit with your audience, but I collected pogs, which were those little circular things of paper. And then they had slammers and Keenis, which are like these little metallic things.

And you put the papers on top of each other and they’re little round circular things. And you drop a little metallic thing on top of it. And if you flip it over, you get to keep the other person’s pods. Right? So this was like a popular game when I was a kid. and so I would always play this game and I would collect these things.

I would collect cards and I would like train the cards and try and do arbitrage and sell them. And so I would like always be doing these sort of betting things. I would be betting on like random things, like who can swim to the other side of the pool faster. And like, so I got really good at like understanding, Odds.

And like, not like since, not necessarily the math, but just like a good idea, like how to gain an edge and kind of think about like the mindset of a gambler. Like you only risk certain amounts of money in this, these, these sorts of things. So I was always like, You know, fascinated with this sort of stuff.

I learned poker as a kid with like family, like I would play with, you know, with family of Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I don’t want to say it was like, I definitely wasn’t like natural, but at the same time, it was like, it was something that I was familiar with and I really loved, and I had like a passion for it to begin with.

And then when I found it with friends, it was like, wow, I was not great at sports in school. And I was like, you know, In musical theater. And so I found something that I could like beat my friends at, which was so cool to me being in high school. and something that I could compete at, it was like a mental sport.

And so I was like, okay, this is awesome. And then, you know, I just totally fell in love with the game. So yeah, there was a little bit of, you know, it was like a natural fit in some ways for me. I think people wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I played poker.

Casanova Brooks:

What’s what’s crazy about it is I remember you started talking about people going out and getting a job and I was the exact same way.

And it was like, we were all looking for that one thing that we could do that we necessarily didn’t have to go do what our parents, our grandparents, and it felt like poker was like that open source for us to be whoever we wanted to be. And you could create as much money as you want it. But on top of that, the environment, it just.

It seemed like there were so many young, you didn’t have to go very far, of course, TwoPlusTwo, which you know, for anybody who doesn’t know, were you ever on two plus two?

Alec Torelli:

Eh, not really, but yeah, I know the site.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah. Got it. So for me, two plus two was like a big site because it felt like there was so many people there that I wasn’t crazy.

Right. It allowed you eat your DJ moments, right. When you go on until, and you would just all of a sudden lose. You know, because you jump up to a higher table or whatever else. And you’re like, nah, I got to get my money back, especially in the world of online. Now, if you’re offline with that, it felt like you could, you could find your tribe pretty quickly.

My question to you is when you were first starting out, did you have a tribe earlier? Were all of your friends playing poker as well? Or was this like the thing that you really knew that you wanted to do? But everybody else is like, ah, I don’t know that that’s the way that you should be going.

Alec Torelli:

Yeah. So it’s a good question.

I think it’s really important, to have a group of people that are like-minded, that are working towards similar things, because like you said, it does give you confidence to know that you’re not alone, especially when you’re pursuing something esoteric, you know, people, otherwise you’re like, you know, you’re crazy.

What are you doing? Especially this was back, you know, 15 years ago when I started playing where poker wasn’t like, known like it is today. Like, it wasn’t as big on television and all this stuff, or now there’s like, you know, People see young people playing poker and doing well. So. yeah, like, so when I was growing up in high school, everyone was playing and everyone liked play and it was kind of cool, but there was only like a couple of people that were really serious about it that really saw it as something that they’ve wanted to do beyond just a recreational fun hobby.

And so there was a clear distinction between people that were like, Oh, I like playing poker. It’s fun. But like, You guys are crazy for ever wanting to be successful or pursue that. And there was me and kind of like one other guy that really liked it. And he really gave me a lot of confidence that like I wasn’t alone.

So we were kind of in it together. And we were like, you know, dreaming, like after high school, we’re gonna do this. We’re kind of like travel and be pros. And so that really gave me confidence. And then when I was 18, I went to my first live poker tournament in The Bahamas. And there, I met a lot of other people that were like me, except from all around the country.

And so it was like, wow, I’m not alone. There’s this group of people that are, you know, some of them were already ahead of me and they already.

Well, and they had saved up this bank roll and they were, you know, playing full time online. And I was like, wow, there were other people that were doing that. And so surrounding myself with other like minded people and networking with them, and then also learning from them where like I could, you know, learn the strategies that they were doing that were working and they could learn from me.

And we were like really helping each other. Progress and get better and be ahead of the curve. That was really, really valuable. So for people that are in entrepreneurship too, I think that’s also really important because there are so many things I’ve learned in poker and then also the business world from other people that are doing similar things, even if it’s in another industry.

Sure. Like if you’re selling shoes and someone’s selling hats, like it doesn’t matter because the way that you need to. Build a brand or market yourself online or develop a product are all very similar. And so there’s very, there’s a lot of similar process or strategies and finding other like minded people, not only will it give you confidence and help you like progress, but also just give you the tactics and knowledge and resources to improve.

So that was huge for me in poker. I can’t overstate that enough and throughout my whole career, I’ve always been lucky to be around some of the best players in the world. And that’s really helped me reach the levels of that I’ve been able to.

Casanova Brooks:

Talk to me about when you first started and, you know, before you started to play all around the world and then train other people on how to do it and have their mindset. What was your biggest struggle?

Alec Torelli:

Well, Hmm, I guess it depends on which part of my career, because definitely had many setbacks, I guess the hardest, the hardest thing was building up a bankroll.

And I’m doing really well at poker for a period of time and saving up and being really disciplined and moving up in limits and like building up this progress and then. Making a mistake because you, maybe you mismanage your money correctly or your mindset isn’t right. And you can control your emotions.

So you start playing poorly, which causes you to lose more money. And then on top of that, you’re getting unlucky while that’s happening. And then you perhaps overcompensate by moving up in stakes, try and get your money back. And then there’s this cascade of disaster

Casanova Brooks:

Which is something you referred to earlier as going “on tilt”.

Alec Torelli:

Exactly. And that happened early in my career where I didn’t have the proper bankroll management system in place. My mindset wasn’t as strong as it is today. And I mean, those mistakes early on in my career, you know, I was in my young twenties or my late teens. And, actually when I was 18, 18, 19, I had one of the biggest years in online poker.

I’ve won the biggest tournament in online poker at the time, which was like a little over a quarter million. And then I was one of the biggest winners in online poker in 2007 in the whole world. So I built up a large bankroll and I started, I was playing the biggest games in the world online. and I was doing really well, but then the, you know, the year after I started to let ego get into the situation, I stopped learning and improving.

the games got tougher. I started, you know, like hit a bad run. I got unlucky in certain spots. And then my mindset wasn’t right. Like I said, and so I started to play poorly and I lost a lot of the money back that I had earned. And so that was really difficult to kind of have the humility to move down and steaks and build back up and grind again.

after a huge setback, you know, going from being on top and playing the biggest games to, you know, moving back down and having to like really rebuild things, was very, very difficult, mentally and also just emotionally. and also just knowing that you have like this really long road ahead and knowing that you made this, like it’s large, I mean, there’s luck involved.

So, you know, some of it is out of your control, but largely you could have. Reduce the damage by managing your money and your emotions better. So knowing that it was my fault and that wow. You know, like I’m hopefully never going to make this mistake again. But knowing that it’s going to take a long time to get out of it was very difficult.

So that’s really an interesting point in your in one’s career when it’s easy to, you know, play well and have everything go right when you’re winning, but it’s really when you’re losing and you have the setbacks that one learns how bad they really want it. And so that was a point for me, where I realized, you know what, like.

Okay. I hate poker and I can curse the gods and all this stuff, but I really want this, you know, I really want to win at this game. I really want to be on top. I really want to be one of the best players I can. And so it really tests you, and that’s when you hit those brick walls, you learn whether or not it’s something that you really want in life.

And I think that’s true in, in business or poker or whatever. So I think it’s a good test because when you, when you have that adversity, you learn. At what you really value and if you’re willing to push through it, it means it’s something that’s worth pursuing. If not, it probably means you didn’t want it bad enough in the first place.

And maybe it’s not the right direction for you. So that was a, it was an interesting point for me in my career.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, adversity, it builds character. We say that all the time. And so you have to understand that going through it. Yes. You’re being tested, but at the end you come out with a testimonial and you’ll never really have the appreciation for the love, whatever love you have, whether it’s business.

Poke or whatever, if you didn’t go through it and then you didn’t come back stronger to understand that you could have been wiped out. Right. Like if you didn’t have the right mental and you would’ve just kept spiraling down, you could have lost everything. But now the second time around, because you’ve been tested, you’re like, Hey, let me make sure that I can maybe put a stop clause in, in my life and my process.

Right. So I don’t go down this whole spiral hole again, because then I’m going to feel even worse because now I know better, but yeah, I didn’t even do better. Right. So that’s a big deal and I appreciate you saying it. And I think that people in business, you know, no matter what, where you are in life right now, that’s something to really take he too, because there’s people right now that are looking at it and they’re saying, look, I’m struggling right now.

Right. And I feel like I’m going down my spiral, but I don’t know necessarily how to. Stop it. And so that leads to the next question of like, how did you have that breakthrough? How did you have that moment to say, okay, here’s where it stops. Was it a book? Was it a mentor or was it just the deepest of darkest where people felt like they turned on you and you were like, look, I got to get it together on my own.

Alec Torelli:

Well, there’s definitely a point, at least for me, to me, where I was like, you know, you really have to come to terms with where we’re at right now and do like a new accounting and accept the current reality. So a lot of it was like, okay, let me just, you know, I’m not back at this point where my bankroll was this and I need to stop trying to get it back to that point overnight.

I need to just accept that it’s not going to be what it was. Today tomorrow or the next day. And that, you know, I have to take account of what is reality right now. Even if I don’t like what it is, I have to accept what it is. And that was the first part for me, was really looking at it and saying, okay, what is my current strategy?

Not what is the strategy that worked when, you know, my bank roll was five times what it was or when I was. You know, ahead of the curve and winning in these games or whatever, what is my strategy right now? I need to focus on changing my strategy because my current strategy isn’t working, I need to move down in these limits.

And so I needed to change my approach because my old approach wasn’t working and that’s hard to do because it’s, you know, it’s, there’s, there’s, there’s some ego involved and it’s acknowledging that. What, what was working in the past, isn’t currently working today. And so that’s, that was a hard to do. You know, you have to kind of distance yourself from the situation.

At least for me to see it clearly enough to accept it, a difficult reality, you know, just accepted a temporary setback. It’s not a failure, but it’s a setback. So that was the first part. And then the second part was being in the right mindset mentally to accept the long run. So not trying to get everything back today because that leads to.

Over aggression, right? It leads to making poor decisions to try and compensate, to just, you know, make a, get rich, quick plan. And that’s not the way it works. You know, you have to kind of build slowly. Over a long period of time. So it was, it was accepting that, okay. You know, to climb back up this mountain, you know, it’s kind of like you climb up the mountain and then, you know, you skydive off the cliff.

You’re not going to just fly up the mountain again. Right. So it’s been stopped for that and really saying, okay, I got to put one foot in front of the other. What is it that I can do today? That is the little grain of sand that I could put down. That’s going to help me build that mountain again. And so it was really looking at it from a new lens and, and taking enough time off and disconnecting enough to come back to be in that mental place where I can, I can make that progress again.

And I knew what to do because I had gotten there before. So I had to had to have a different approach, but I knew that I could climb the mountain. And so that gave me confidence that I, you know, Being successful at what I’m trying to be successful at now. So I know I can do it and I know it’s within me.

Okay. No, I have the, you know, the drive and the talent. and then it was really just working towards it. And like also just finding ways to measure my progress in the interim before I got to the final destination. So it was having milestones along the way to say, okay, You know, these are the, you know, the stepping stones to get to the top of the mountain.

And so how can I use that to build them and confidence and also be to checking in every time to make sure. And I’m still sharp. I’m staying ahead of the curve. I’m studying, I’m doing everything I need to do to progress from one milestone. But the next, because it gets you from point a to point B might not be the same thing that gets you from B to C.

And so on. So it was, it was, it was doing that and keeping my feet on the ground and having that humility, that really was important. And I learned that the hard way after, you know, reaching the top and just thinking you’re going to stay there forever without putting in the work. And it’s really, when you get to the top that you need to work even harder because there’s more and more people chasing you and it’s even more competitive.

So those were some of the things that really helped me. just accepting that it’s, you know, it’s going to take awhile, but that’s, that’s part of the journey.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah, man. And I love the fact that you said that that analogy or the story about if you make it to the top of the mountain and then you fly down pretty quickly, whether you jump off or you slide back down, you got to understand that you’re not just going to reappear fly back up to the top of the mountain.

You still got to build it. And it’s, I mean, you can look at it even as like, you know, a big water slide. Right. What happens? You slide down the water slide and then you gotta walk all the way back around and get up there, whether it was in voluntarily or voluntarily. And so that’s a big thing that I think a lot of people recognize, be okay with accepting that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Right.

And especially in business, it takes a long time because there’s so many different moving pieces. And a lot of the times that’s what we don’t want to do. We don’t want it to take wherever. We don’t want it to take forever. And it’s easy for us to see Alec where he is today, right.

Casanova where he is today, but not understand, like you said, for people that are looking at the poker and they say, Hey, I want that type of success. You started playing 15 years ago. Right. But even younger, you started training your mind when you were already betting and you’re weighing your odds and saying, Hey, can I win this bet?

That was something that was training very early. So that’s significant to know.

Alec Torelli:

Yeah. And I, I wrote, I wrote a piece, I produced a video on this too, about how I became an overnight success. And it’s like a catch because, you know, it takes 10 years to be an overnight success. Right. And so it’s like your success sort of compounds over time where you’re putting in all this work in the beginning and you’re making this incremental progress and nobody’s really noticing, and you’re not really seeing any results, but then over time, you know, that work you put in eventually compounds to where you get to a point where like now you’re making serious progress. But the thing is that most people quit before they get there. And, like I said before in poker, it’s like something where you really find out how bad you want it. And, and that’s important because you need to do something where you’re intrinsically motivated enough to.

One to really work hard because you can only push yourself with willpower so much and all of the sthe setbacks happen faster than the climb. Like, think about it. Like you, you climb to the top of a diving board. It takes a while like climb 10 steps to get to the top, and then you jump off. It takes a second, right?

The same is true in every setback, right? Like, or with diet, you know, you, you eat clean for a month and you lose a couple pounds and then you have. Three bad days on the weekend, you gave it all back, right? I mean, it’s, it’s really, you’re always going to be very challenged and if you’re very destination oriented, then you know, you’re probably pursuing something that you shouldn’t be.

And if you’re oriented, like, I mean, if you’re journey oriented in the sense that like you get in the state of flow while you’re doing the activity that you’re doing to get to your destination and you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t really feel like work. And that’s like, especially in entrepreneurship, I mean, if you have to have a job because you have to have a job fine.

But if you’re, you know, presumably a lot of these listening are entrepreneurs trying to start their own thing, a lot of people look for the destination of which things going to make them the most money. Whereas, you know, in business, there’s a lot of ways to make. A lot of businesses will make a lot of money or at least provide a great lifestyle for people.

So I think it’s really important to have something where you’re really getting in a state, like a state of flow on a daily basis with whatever it is that you’re working on. And you kind of lose sense of time because you’re so absorbed in it and you love what you’re doing. The problems seem more exciting.

You become more curious about them and they don’t seem like problems. They seem like fun obstacles and challenges. And then, you know, the, the success eventually comes, but it’s, it’s the product of doing your job correctly, which it’s not like necessarily the goal. I think the goal is really to be in a flow state during the journey.

And poker gave me that because I loved. The climb. I loved walking up the mountain as much as I love putting a pole in the top and saying I’ve been there and taking a photo. So I think that’s really the process that I think I challenge people to look for is like really fine. A path that you want to climb to get to top the mountain don’t fixate on being at the top of the highest mountain.

Casanova Brooks:

I love it. I love it. And that’s something that I’ve always told my students, right. Is you don’t have to, you don’t have to. Well, here’s what I say. I say that you don’t have to necessarily love the journey, but you have to be married to the destination. But I think that it’s kind of the same thing of what you say is because you’re just saying.

Still keep your eyes on it, but find some path that you can keep going when your, why is really the calling for it, because your journey will be tough no matter what you do, right. There’s there’s always going to be the times, like you said that you’re not going to be motivated. Everybody’s not motivated every second of the day, but if you could find a common denominator in this state, you say, I do like this part of it, and you can find a way to do more of that.

That’s going to get you there a lot sooner because you’ll have less. I would say, like veering off the path, trying to find something else that you’re going to do. And then you hate that. And then you go back and you go forward. And I think that’s what a lot of businesses is. A lot of people, they never find that one thing that they just kind of love to do.

And they’re always so fixated on the journey, but it’s a two part process. Would you say?

Alec Torelli:

Yeah you really have to find what. What only you can do and what you can do better than everyone else. And then you have to find a way to spend, and as much as your time, as much of your time doing that as possible, and then outsourcing or hiring or partnering or surrounding yourself with people that are better at all the other things.

So like in, in my business, you know, I’m really good at one or two things. And I try and say, okay, I understand that. Especially in the beginning, you have to kind of do everything to get to where you can only do more of what you want to do. but as I can start finding other people to do the other things that they’re better than me yet, I try and outsource those things and.

You know, use my time to make money and pay people to do those things that they’re better than me, and then focus on what I can really do really well. So in the beginning, you’re kind of scrambling or throwing things on the wall and finding out what sticks, but you’re really experimenting, defined what it is that makes you unique.

What is it that makes your business or you as an entrepreneur different than everybody else. And then how can you leverage that and find ways to spend more of your time on that one thing that makes you stand out, whether you’re selling a service or. a product or whatever that is. and, and that’s really what the game is.

So it’s, it’s kind of about marrying, what is your unique skill set to something that you deeply enjoy and finding where those things overlap is probably where people should spend most of their time. And, you know, assuming that also provides value to other people. So you kind of need that, that triangle, you know, like what you’re really good at what you enjoy and what provides value to other people is kind of where you want to center yourself in the middle of that triangle.

Casanova Brooks:

For anybody. That’s thinking about getting into poker right now, we know that poker is a, a business that you can create your own success. There’s no shortage of games. You can have them at your home. You can do whatever you want, but it’s not the same as it was back in the ’05 days. ’06, ’07. Do you feel like. That people who are thinking about getting into poker, that’s still a valuable way to try to create a living, or would you say that they should maybe be looking at offering a service or business to someone and then keep poker as your passion rather than going after in the beginning for profit?

Alec Torelli:

Yeah. So we have a, a program at Conscious Poker, an Academy program where it’s like a business course for poker. So it’s like a poker school for business people that want to either go full play full time, or make poker to a profitable side hustle. It’s an eight week program and we just actually wrapped up last week.

and what part of the discovery process is finding where poker fits in your life? Right? So it’s either the first is either being the number one thing, which is the primary way that you make income and support yourself. And it is your number one business. And then you have a side hustle. Or you have a primary business or a primary job in poker is side hustle.

And what I always say that is, I think it’s really cool to play poker, but it’s not necessarily really cool to have to play poker. So I recommend for people that if you’re debating this, it means that poker is not your number one. The people that know that poker is their number one. Don’t really have to ask the question because they’re clearly.

They’re just like cut out or meant to be, or they’re so driven that they will stop at nothing to be a professional. And it’s kind of like that in other industries, like if you know you’re, an artist or an athlete or whatever it is, you don’t need ask someone else type of thing. So like people that are kind of on the fence, they love poker.

They think they can make money at it. They think it would be fun. They would like to make an extra thousand, a couple thousand a month in. They think they have a knack for it. They’re good at it. They want to study. I think it would be good for them to pursue it and to try and get as good as they can either for the love of game and do enjoy it.

Why not make money at it? If you love what you’re doing, why not make money on the side as well. But I think I would, I would keep it as that number two piece of the puzzle and, and accentuate your current lifestyle with whatever that is. So I would keep whatever it is, your number one. And work on poker being that number two, it would still be important to have a deal profitable business and profitable endeavor.

You still want to apply all the practices of the professionals with managing your money and your mindset and treating it like a business so that it is a successful endeavor. But at the same time, it’s always at that number two place in your life where there’s something else. That’s the number one. And then poker is the side hustle to that.

Number one, I think that is a great balance. For most people. It takes a lot of the stress off. And it’s still like fun. I mean, vacation money, side hustle money, and it’s a great, a great accentuate or two, whatever that is that the primary thing that they’re doing.

Casanova Brooks:

I got it. I love that. And, and the reason why I asked though is cause when you first start playing, I think it’s very hard unless you, you know, that you come in with the mindset that, Hey, I’m only doing this for fun, but if you have nothing else going for you right now, and as far as like, if you’re just working a job, I think it’s very hard to separate.

Should I be trying to do this full time and for living and a lot of people, they jump in straight for the profit. But then they don’t have the education. And then it’s a battle within yourself to say, should I keep going with this or should I not? And now I don’t know that there’s besides obviously your program and, and, I don’t know that there’s a lot of coaching teaching programs that are out there to teach somebody how they can get started from day one on how to build the right resume and the right knowledge for poker.

What would you say? Is there a lot of programs.

Alec Torelli:

So there’s definitely to be fair. There’s a lot like poker strategy training sites, where they teach you how to be better at poker strategy. and there’s, there’s, there’s a decent amount of those on online, but where I think that we approach it a little bit differently at Conscious Poker that’s, you know, we try and distinguish ourselves from some of the other training sites is that we really try and take it like a holistic approach and say, okay, like, how do you make your poker journey successful?.

So it’s not just about you being better at playing the game of poker as anyone who plays poker can atest it’s about being a better poker player, which is managing your money, treating it like a business, your mindset, your tilt control, your emotions. Your purpose, your routine, all the other things that comprise a winning poker player.

So we try and, you know, we have a poker business course, which, you know, the first couple, the first part of the course is about setting up a sustainable business within poker. So how much money are you going to allocate to this game? What stakes you’re going to play? Are you going to play cash games or tournaments?

How often are you going to play? Which, where are you going to find your games? When are you going to play online or live? Where are you going to find your edge? what’s your hourly rate going to be? And how do you reverse engineer to figure out how many hours you need to play into accomplish your lifestyle goals?

So this is sort of like where I think we’re really unique in our approach. and so that’s why I call it the poker business course, because that’s really what it’s meant to be. And it’s also meant to help people. Have that self discovery process where they figure out where poker fits in their life and then what kind of lifestyle they want to have and then how much they need to make playing poker.

And then how to reverse engineer to make the money they need playing. They want playing poker to help give them that lifestyle that they’re looking for. So that’s a lot of what we, what we work on. We do have the strategy component as well. We have different membership tiers and stuff like that for people that want the strategy.

A side of things as well. So we kind of take that balanced approach to help people attack it from both sides. And I think that really is what makes us successful longterm, well-rounded winning player in today’s environment.

Casanova Brooks:

I love it. Cool, man. for you right now, are you still focused on poker?

Alec Torelli:

Yeah. I mean, so, you know, my, my journey as a player has evolved over the years where at the beginning, I was like only playing poker and that’s like, mainly all I was doing. I was only dedicated to being the best player I can and competing at the highest levels traveling. I traveled around the world full time and just.

Like you would in tennis or golf, just playing in different stops in different places, lived in Macau for a few years and Vegas, the whole thing. Now it’s like more, when I opened the YouTube five years ago, I started sharing my journey. And so like, my relationship with poker changed a little bit because I started not just playing poker and trying to compete, but also just share a little bit of what I learned and then that.

YouTube grew organically. And like my brand grew organically. And so it was, it was then about saying, okay, well, how can I serve these people that are asking me similar, all asking me questions. And so that led to like a poker business being born, where I was like selling coaching. Cause people were asking them selling like training books and products and services and a membership and a poker school.

And so then it’s became, it’s become more of a balance between, okay, I want to play poker and I still want to Excel. And I. Go to the world series and play on these streamed or televised games when I can. or when I’m in a place where there is poker, there’s, there’s high stakes poker in the place that I’m at because you know, it’s very jewelo location centric where there’s only decent sized poker games and a few places around the world.

And the rest of it is now like coaching or I’m like now coaching others, you know, five years later after starting my brand, it’s been like, okay, now I’m coaching clients. And I work with them to help them succeed at poker. And that’s as rewarding as. as me climbing the mountain, it’s helping other people climb the mountain.

So as I’ve progressed and evolved as a player and played professionally for 10, 15 years, it’s also equally, or if not more rewarding now to help others, and see that grow for light bulb moment in them. So now it’s, it’s a lot more of a balance between, you know, playing and also. Creating content and coaching and sharing and that sort of thing, and running a business, frankly.

So, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s evolved a lot over the years and increasingly more toward the latter in recent years. And that’s been really, it’s been really fun. So I’m still really involved in poker. I’m also thinking of studying very often. Cause I’m still like. Helping solve, solve other people’s problems and running equities and in the lab.

And that sort of thing is I create content and products. but yeah, it’s more well rounded now, more balanced now. And it’s, it’s, it’s a lot more fun and I think, you know, you always have to be growing and evolving. And so this was that next step for me. And so it’s fun to see where it’s going now and where it’ll take me in the future.

Casanova Brooks:

And that’s cool to hear. And the reason why I asked that there’s a couple of things. First off, the reason why I asked this when you’re playing poker and you’re traveling all around the world for a lot of people, it’s hard to balance that for you do when you were traveling, did you have a wife and kids, or was it only, you.

Alec Torelli:

Well, I started traveling when I was 18. So then it was only me. I met my wife when I was 24, 24, 25, like just turning 25. So I started traveling with her when I was like 26. we lived together.

Yeah. And we started traveling together. We ran, an online business together as well, doing marketing. And so we.

Did that together for like four years, like traveling around full time. we lived in Macau for three of the years. So that is an Island off the coast of Hong Kong where there’s, you know, there’s some of the biggest games in the world, you know, kind of like the gaming Mecca of the world, is there. And so, yeah, we had, we had an apartment there and lived there and then traveled back and forth between there and whenever there were other poker stops, whether it was in the U S and various cities or Europe for the European poker tour.

You know, really travelling quite often, I would say pretty much full time for that. And that whole time until we, you know, did it a little bit less than in recent years, but we still travel often. you know, we divide our time between, the U S and various stops in the U S and Italy, where, where she’s from.

So we really liked that nomadic lifestyle. We’re lucky to be able to work online and play poker, and, you know, you can do that from, from various places. So, it’s fun as well. No, no, no. She goes out and she’s, she’s actually quite good. but not like competitive.

Casanova Brooks:

Got it. And that’s it. Like I said, that’s a big deal because for a lot of people they struggle with that balance and if they didn’t find that person who is essentially can be like their soulmate and that’s willing to travel with them and do everything, it can be hard to really have that connection.

If you’re just traveling and you’re leaving your significant other, or if your significant other is even in the U S but they’re on the other side of the country. So you have to travel to see each other. That makes it really tough. so that was why I asked that.

Alec Torelli:

Yeah, definitely. I could see that being very tough.

yeah. I mean, ideally you’d be in a spot where you can do your thing, whatever that main thing is for you, for your business or whatever that is. And then you don’t have access to a casino locally, which is in a decent amount of places. There’s a local card room in many cities and, you know, you go play there on weekends or at nights, and you run your business during the day and you kind of have a great balance between that and it, and it almost feels like.

Cheating cause you’re like, wow. Poker is like a hobby it’s leisure. But then at the same time, you’re like, wow, I’m making, you know, whatever it is, whatever it is, you’re, you’re making on the side and it’s just adding to your lifestyle and that’s, that’s a great balance without the traveling. And then you could take, you know, one or two trips a year, which I have a lot of clients that do.

They’re like, look, I, you know, I have a family and I want to go to Barcelona in the summer. Cause it would be really fun. And at the same time, I know there’s a European poker tour there in August. So if I can go there and then. Hang out in Barcelona for a week with a wife and kids and play poker and poker pays for that trip.

That’s a win for me, cause I’m like, you know, on a free roll, I just go for free. I get to play poker, which I love poker pays for the trip. And I also take my wife or the family or the girlfriend or whatever. that’s a great balance. And I think, you know, taking a couple of poker trips a year and trying to make it work with those numbers.

A is a great, a great balance for a lot of people. And that’s a, that’s a lot of what I work on and with clients or in the programs like that. so that’s a really good balance, I think. And it doesn’t have to be more than that. You don’t have to be on the road full time or anything like that, unless it’s like your full time competing, you know?

So that’s the cool thing about poker is it’s quite flexible and you can pick and choose where you want to go. And, which destinations and which situations seem profitable and also exciting.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah. And the second part of that is you talked about, you were already great at poker. You were doing a great, but then you, you understood that you wanted to really venture out and start to share and document your journey.

And then organically, it started to grow. And I say that because a lot of people that are listening right now, they’re already great. It may be one thing, right? Whatever that job is, whatever the skill is that they’ve already acquired, maybe it’s accounting, maybe it’s video or graphic design. It doesn’t matter.

But they haven’t started to share their journey so they can’t evolve, which is the word they use. And so I think that that’s a significant thing for many people to hear it’s to understand right now, just to assess where you are and if you’re already great at that one thing, now just start to share your journey.

You don’t have to be an expert, but there’s going to be a lot of people that don’t have questions because you’re only maybe one or two steps ahead. And so they’re saying, Hey, you were just where I was maybe three to six months ago. How exactly can I. Start to blaze my own path like you did. And so I hope that somebody took heed to that as I did is just to share your journey, document your journey.

And that would be the only thing that you need to open up your organic relationships with your audience.

Alec Torelli:

Yeah. And also, I mean, there’s so many things to unpack there. I’m glad you said that it means sharing your journey also really helped you understand what you’re good at and it helps you find your voice because it forces you to be concise and provide value to other people.

If you provide value to other people, you have to find out what it is that you can provide value at. And sometimes you throw darts on the wall and you know, some of them miss you try and create a piece of content and it doesn’t resonate with your audience. You create something and people love it. And you’re like, Oh wow.

I got to do more of that. And I, you know, I discovered that early on where I. Was creating a piece of content called the hand of the day where I shared an interesting hand of poker. I played from. Various tournament or cash game around the world. And I talked about the strategy that I used in that hand, and people loved that.

And I was like, Oh wow, this is something I’m good at. I’m good at teaching poker strategy. And that led to, you know, conscious poker in the whole school and then other pieces of content I’ve created, haven’t stuck as much. And some of, some of them have. And so, you know, you kind of have to experiment with it.

But the other thing is, I think people think that, you know, they have to be great at something to start sharing. And it’s like, a lot of it is. It’s more about being authentic than being an expert. And so if you are starting out something and you’re trying to brand yourself as an expert, then there’s an incongruency, and people are going to think, you know, what is this guy doing?

But if you are authentic about the fact that you’re just starting out your journey, whether it’s whatever, whatever type of journey it is, an entrepreneurial journey, a weight loss journey, whatever it is. And you’re saying, look, these are the things I’m learning. These are the things I’m trying. This is a total fail.

And I just had a setback and it didn’t work, but you’re documenting that and you’re sharing that. And then you start to share your successes along the way, and you share the things you’ve learned on the way that builds interest and trust with your audience. And then they could see this progress of you going from beginning and, you know, Bootstrapping, whatever it is you’re doing, you’re you’re sharing journey or your entrepreneurship journey to finally having some wins and successes and as you get better.

And so I think it also holds you accountable too. because now you have like, you know, you’re making some things public, you’re saying like, look, I’m. Going to launch this project in the next month and here’s where I’m at. And in a month it’s going to be done. And you’re like, well, I just told people I’m going to do it.

So now I have to do it. And so there’s a huge, like, there’s all these other ancillary benefits that are hard to kind of see or quantify or understand in the beginning. and then when you start doing it, you start to realize like, wow, this is, you know, there’s amazing things here. There’s also the aspect of like, you could stumble upon.

A business or like a brand that, leads to monetization in the future, even in ways that are hard to understand whether it’s through speaking opportunities or a book deal or, or like collaborations or investments or partnerships, or like people just opening opening doors to, because people like. You and your personality and your content, and that’s because you’re putting yourself out there and making yourself vulnerable.

So, so many doors have opened me from creating content in ways that I never would have imagined because people that I’ve worked with or come in contact the way that have emailed me or clients of mine that I’ve coached and poker ended up having other, you know, mutually beneficial skill sets. And we ended up doing other things together.

And so there’s so many things that have come out of building a brand over the last five years that I never would have even dreamed or quantified or imagined at the beginning, but I couldn’t. Recommend that enough to anyone that is interested in, in building a business to also do a side project of sharing that journey and finding a medium that your good at communicating in.

And then. Focusing your energy on creating content for that medium. You know, for me, it’s it’s video because I’m comfortable on video. I grew up on camera playing poker, musical theater, and it was on TV at a young age playing poker. So I was just comfortable on video. for other people it might be podcasting for other people might be odd for that’d be writing, you know, and so really finding the medium where you can share content and committing to doing that, I think would be a great step for many people listening.

Casanova Brooks:

I love it, man. It’s, that’s so true. And that’s something that I share with my audience all the time. So hopefully them hearing it from another person year that they take to it, for sure. For there’s somebody out there right now. Now that is very. Inspired by you inspired by your journey. Maybe they want to blaze their path in poker, or they want to blaze a similar path as you have starting with poker, but then expanding out, becoming a coach, becoming a speaker and building a brand.

But they have that little voice in their head. And that little voice says that they’re not strong enough. They’re not smart enough. Or maybe they just don’t have enough resources. What’s the one thing that you would say to that person to get them to just take action.

Alec Torelli:

Just that. Motivation, happens through action.

And so a lot of times I feel like going through the motions of doing something creates this domino effect of you being more confident and better at it, and more comfortable with it and wanting to do it more. And I think people sit around waiting for the feelings that come with the action to happen first, but it’s, it’s the wrong relationship.

Right? So a lot of times I get up and I don’t feel like doing, I don’t feel like working. I don’t necessarily feel like working out or doing my routine or anything like that, but if I just do it. Then suddenly I feel like doing it because now I’ve built momentum and confidence and I feel accomplished and I’m happy that I spent my time doing something important to me.

It’s a lot of times it’s, it’s about understanding the relationship between, okay. You know, this is a feeling I have, this is an emotion I have. This is a thought I have, but then it’s, it’s where you give your attention and what you really listen to. So if you’re listening to. The, you know, the voice of fear or that, you know, the judgment of others or the concern about your image or what are other people gonna think, and you place that thoughts or you place that fear higher in your priority than your own desires to succeed or whatever.

Then you’re always going to be limited by your action because you’re placing that as a higher priority. Whereas I think you have to, you have to say, okay, like, These are, these are noises that I’m hearing, but I’m not going to listen to the noise. I’m going to focus on my own tunnel vision of what I want to accomplish.

And that’s going to require this action and this motivation, but in order to get those things, I have to be the one that initiates that process. So I just have to go through the motions. I just have to hit the publish button. Like I have to put out a piece of content. It might be a piece of crap content, but you at least.

You at least did it. And then the next one will be a little bit better. And that fact that you did it is like, okay, now I can do it. I’ve proved myself that I can publish these accounts, prove to myself that I can start this project. And then you build on that. I proved myself that I can hit the gym once.

And then, you know, you build on that and that makes you more excited about doing it. It gives you more confidence and that domino effect compounded over time is what leads to success. It’s not the other way around. It’s not like you’re sitting around waiting for this moment of Nirvana to start. And I think people have that relationship backwards.

And if you just change that relationship and you just start doing shit from day one, everything opens up.

Casanova Brooks:

There you have it. I think that’s a perfect way to end. You have to prioritize what you’re going to believe. Are you going to believe in the fear? Are you going to believe in the limitations? Are you going to believe into your desires and what you want to accomplish and your ability to be able to get shit done?

So that has been a phenomenal way to end it. Let me ask you for anybody who wants to stay connected with you. We’ll put the links in the show notes below, but where can they find you at.

Alec Torelli:

Thanks for that. Well, so if they want to reach out to me personally, my social media is just at Alec torelli, my name: A L E C T O R E L L I and I’m on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook.

LinkedIn. That’s very easy to contact me. I read all my DMs and emails and whatever. So hit me up. Let me know you found me here and on DreamNation then I’ll, Yeah, well, we’ll connect. Otherwise, if you want that, you could also go to AlecTorelli.com. Learn more about me or whatever, but if you want some poker games, you can check out consciouspoker.com or youtube.com/consciouspoker.

And that’s my YouTube and my blog, my training site, where I have tons of free content, like 500 videos, tons of blog posts, free guides. You can download on how to improve at poker. So it really depends on what you’re after. But one of those two places is definitely where you can learn more about me and in some of the things I’ve done done in terms of content wise, that can help you on your.

On your journey, whether it’s, you know, entrepreneurial or, or in poker. So reach out to me say, Hey, I’d love to connect.

Casanova Brooks:

Got it. We definitely will do. And like I said, we’ll drop the links in the show notes, but again, my man. Thank you. We appreciate you coming on. And just as he said, DreamNation, you have to take action because otherwise, you know, if you don’t, it will only merely be a fantasy that’s all for this one will catch you on the next one.





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