All hyped up

Creating music has become a passion of mine over the last few years, something that like poker I've found myself putting a lot of study and energy into as I try to improve. Additionally -- again much like has happened with poker -- music has enabled me to meet some pretty amazing and interesting people, too.

I have a studio in my home where I produce both original music and remixes of popular songs. (If you're curious to hear some examples, check out my SoundCloud page.) One of my friends has a ten-year-old son who beatboxes, and when I heard about it I was curious and so invited them over for a recording session.

As it turned out, he was AMAZING! I was totally blown away by his raw talent. He goes by the name LilJhype, and when I heard him I just couldn't believe all of the sounds that could come from just one person!

To give you an idea, he has a YouTube channel and here's a clip that shows a little of what he can do:

That day we recorded some of LilJhype's stuff that I'm currently using in some songs. Here's an mp3 sample of some of what we did.

He's obviously worked a lot already to get to this point, but being so young he made me think about this idea of some people having natural talent and the effort that is required to mold that talent into something more.

2013.10.04-Vanessa Rousso pic (with LilJhype).jpg

People sometimes assume that winning poker players often also simply had some sort of natural ability -- something they were born with -- that enabled them to be successful. Occasionally they'll consider good poker players as being sort of like "good at math"-types who just seem to understand complicated situations more quickly than others.

But such an idea is a major oversimplification, in my opinion. Success in poker, especially over the long term, requires a lot more than just having come to the game with a certain set of skills such as understanding the math involved and/or having a knowledge of human behavior.

In fact, the most important requisite for poker success -- and probably the most overlooked one, too -- is to possess a kind of mental strength that enables you to be both self-confident and to be able to admit when you are wrong and thus be willing constantly to reevaluate your play. Good players also possess the mental control to avoid making decisions based on emotion or tilt, as well as the courage to put their chips in the pot sometimes without needing the cards to back it up.

Of course some players initially come to the game mentally strong, but it is experience that enables a person to develop the kind of mental strength that suits one best at the poker table. In other words, I think natural talent can help you a lot in poker, but the cultivating of this talent is something that comes from additional work and experience, and really is essential for players to make something more of those natural gifts.

Like I say, LilJhype reminded me of this process -- of how natural talent can certainly give someone a head start, but that it's important to have the discipline and work ethic to nurture such talents into something more. It's inspiring to me as I continue to work both on my game and my music.

Vanessa Rousso is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Vanessa Rousso
@PokerStars in PokerStars news