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Patrick “pads1161” Leonard on the Mental Game and Trapping Aggressive Players

Patrick Leonard

Like much of the poker world, British poker pro Patrick Leonard is in Spain this week participating in the European Poker Tour Barcelona festival, the first stop of Season 12 of the EPT.

Leonard has an impressive record of live tournament success most recently highlighted by a trio of relatively deep runs in last summer’s World Series of Poker. Meanwhile his résumé online has been even more accomplished. Leonard has held the distinction before of topping PocketFives’ worldwide rankings with the site recording more than $2 million worth of cashes for Leonard, best known online as “pads1161.”

Leonard took time to speak with PokerNews’ Sarah Grant yesterday about a couple of different topics — one having to do with the psychology of poker and the other focusing on a specific strategy.

In the first part of the video, Leonard shares some thoughts about having spent recent months working on his game with mindset coach Dr. Elliot Roe, pointing out how renewed attention to his mental approach to the game has reaped rewards.

“In poker, often you’re only as good as the people you speak with and how good your friends are,” Leonard explains, then goes on to point out how often in the past when he spoke with other players the focus was strictly about strategy, wrongly neglecting the mental side of the game.

But Leonard likes to talk strategy, too, and so following that recommendation, Leonard shifts gears to talk about a hand he played during the EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller that serves as a chance to illustrate important ideas about how to play against aggressive players.

In the hand, Leonard presents an example of how to go about trapping an aggressive player, focusing on the situation when you are strong and can get more value by letting such an opponent bet into you rather than be overly impatient to bet yourself.

“I think a lot of amateurs will often think that ‘Now I’ve got aces, I have to start putting lots of chips in the pot,’” says Leonard. “But if you’re playing against a crazy guy, you can just let them put the chips in the pot for you.”

Watch and hear how Leonard adopted such a line after being dealt pocket kings and having position on an aggressive player when a dry flop falls:

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  • How much work do you put into your mental game?

  • Do you have a strategy for taking on aggressive opponents?

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