How to achieve your goals with Mantelo

We chat to our popular blogger who recently won the UCOP Main Event about how he sets, and achieves, big goals in poker and life.


Maybe the thing that impresses me the most is how many of the goals on your blog are not poker based, they are fitness/books/travel etc, which must indirectly help with poker. 

Mantelo: Yes, there are plenty of non-poker goals, and to be honest, my weekly goals shift dramatically to non-poker related activities. However, most of them help me to achieve good results on the table even it might not look so obvious. When you exercise a lot, eat healthy, sleep enough and basically enjoy the life, that‘s when your work flourishes. I don‘t want to sound like I am the best example how everyone should lead their life, but at the same time, if I didn't have clearly visualised goals, I would be nowhere close to where I am standing now.

Do you think most poker players miss this balance in their life?

Mantelo: I believe in the past it was a common problem for many players, but nowadays people realise that poker should not take all your energy and 100% of your time. I remember watching some videos in the past when good players talked about their typical day and it was like "wake up, eat some sandwiches, then grind for 16 hours (sometimes even more) and go to sleep“. Now this has changed as the best players switched from quantity to quality, and that is a great example for us.

How valuable is setting poker results goals though, because every time you set one, you seem to smash it?

Mantelo: This quote perfectly sums it up:


If you are not sure what goals you should set, I strongly advise starting with you life vision. Then you will know the path you should take and the areas which require more attention. There are plenty recommendations on goals setting, but probably the most popular technique is SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Also having a blog where I monthly overview my goals really helped me to stay motivated as I have to be accountable not only for myself but for other readers as well. And nobody wants to look lazy or weak.

"UCOP champion is not my peak"

What do you attribute your success to? When the blog started it was quite modest goals, now you are a UCOP champion.

Mantelo: I must go back again to my vision, which I read every morning. It just takes a minute but it keeps you on track and gives you fuel from the very start of the day. I started small but every completed task gave me more energy and confidence to tackle greater challenges and I am sure that UCOP champion is still not my peak.

Why do you play on MPN a lot and why in particular did you choose the goal to be the biggest MTT winner there?

Mantelo: I really love MicroGaming Live events! They offer great satellites for live packages, which I haven‘t missed for the past three years. Hopefuly I will keep this streak for a long time with the next event taking place this month in Malta. Some say that MicroGaming is too small for a serious player, but it suits me perfectly. I don‘t want to grind all night and bust from the last tournament at 7AM, so smaller fields is a way to go for me. I only play tournaments once or twice a week but it was enough last year to sneak into the leaderboards, so I thought with some extra time I could finish in top five for 2018. With that UCOP Main Event win I am now topping the table, but there are plenty of good players who want to take that place back.

How much softer is MPN compared to Pokertars? How much softer was UCOP compared to something like PowerFest?

Mantelo: MicroGaming doesn‘t have big prize pools so it doesn‘t attract shark players, which you face in every PokerStars tournament. Maybe in festivals like UCOP you can expect the competition a bit tougher but still Pokerfest or WCOOP is way harder to beat. Also lots of Pokerstars festival events took two or three days, and I have too many other activities to spend two days in a row on poker. Probably many recreational players have the same issues.

What’s it like winning a ‘Main Event’ in something?

Mantelo: It was already early morning when the final of the Main Event was set, so my fiancee was already awake. I asked her to pinch me couple of times so I knew it was real, as in the past I have won plenty of high roller events, just to wake up five minutes later. Even after the tournament it felt a bit illusory and I certainly couldn‘t sleep for couple of hours, although it was a really exhausting night.

Mantelo's big result

"Set SMART goals"

smart goals

What do you think you will be setting as your 2019 goals?

Mantelo: I still have to complete my present 2018 goals, so I didn‘t dream too much about next year. I would like to visit Las Vegas again, so probably that might get involvement. Also at this moment I am driving a plain 15 year old Saab car, therefore some kind of "Lexus challenge“ might appear. However, the biggest change might happen and (hopefully will) with my fiancée turning into my wife. That is the most important event for me, and even UCOP is nowhere close.

Any tips for our members on setting and achieving their goals?

Mantelo: First, use your 'lifetime vision' statement as a guide for creating goals. But don‘t expect it to be right in five minutes. Read some visions of people you respect, and use them as a framework. Don‘t copy it blindly as every person is different and some things which bring happiness to others don‘t necessarily bring it to you, so be honest and write only those things that appeal to you. Do some research on SMART goals and try shaping yours by those recommendations. Don‘t expect to master it right away so try small and get the rhythm of the process. You have more than two months left this year, so prepare it well for 2019!

If you want to learn more about Mantelo, visit his blog.

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