I have discovered that the secret of fantastic poached eggs is to NOT make a whirlpool. I have been needlessly stressing myself out all these years over my inadequate whirlpooling abilities! Do this instead:
For 4 eggs:
1) Fill a wide, deep pan with hot water. I used my stirfry pan and filled it about 3 inches worth. Place on element at Medium-High heat.
2) Add some salt. I added 2 teaspoons.
3) Break each egg gently into a small bowl (you can do this one at a time if you like instead of messing up several bowls)
4) Wait for the water to just simmer, but don't let it bubble too much at all.
5) Gently slip the egg out of the bowl into the water. I almost submerged the bowl first and then gently tipped it into the water.
6) Add three more eggs in the same way immediately.
7) continue to simmer for a couple of minutes, until the eggs look like they are starting to cook on the outsides and are no longer "bleeding" into the water.
8) Turn the heat off and take the pan off the stove. Allow the eggs to finish cooking in the hot water. This should give you several minutes to set the plates up and get everything else ready. Just keep a close eye on them and check their done-ness by jiggleing the pan a bit - the yolks should still be soft and runny and jiggly and the whites mostly cooked and not jiggly.