Benjamin Rolle: Online MTT Legend & Founder of Raise Your Edge
Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 205
Benjamin Rolle on social media:
Today’s guest on CPG is not only one of the greatest online MTT players in the world, but is also an all-time great in an area very near and dear to my own heart: poker training.
Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle is the founder of Raise Your Edge where his flagship product “Tournament Masterclass” has become the gold standard in MTT training and has helped countless poker players (Including past CPG guest and one of the top poker streamers in the world, Matt Staples) realize their full tournament potential.
He’s also pretty good at poker, too… with past successes on the green felt including:
Taking down the $25k Sunday Million Super High Roller on GG Poker just a few weeks ago for almost $400k.
Scooping the GGPoker Super MILLION$ for $424k.
And winning the gargantuan 2016 $102k buy-in WCOOP Super High Roller for over $1.1 million after making a deal with friend, wunderkind, and past CPG guest Fedor Holz.
Oh yeah, both he and Raise Your Edge have also recently become members of Team PokerStars.
In today’s episode with the great bencbc789, you’re going to learn:
– Ben’s origin story into the world of poker.
– His surprising driving force in launching Raise Your Edge (Hint: It wasn’t about money).
– Why he decided to get into the esports business.
– And much, MUCH more!
So now, without any further ado, I bring to you one of the human beings who pop into my head when I think of Poker Greatness… the one and only Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle.
Click any of the icons below to find the CPG pod on the platform of your choice. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with Benjamin Rolle on the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast.
If this is your first time on the Chasing Poker Greatness website, be sure to check out our groundbreaking poker courses to help sharpen your strategy and profitably implement solid, data-proven solutions to your game today:
Pokers legendary champions, next generation stars and tireless ambassadors in the game, sharing their wisdom and guiding your journey to high achievement on the green felt. This is chasing poker greatness with your host, Brad Wilson
Brad Wilson (0:24) Well, hello there Frendo and welcome to another episode of the chasing poker greatness podcast. As always, this is your host the founder of chasing poker greatness.com Coach Brad Wilson, and today’s guest on CP G is not only one of the greatest online MTT players in the world, but it’s also an all time great in an area very near and dear to my own heart poker training. Benjamin BenCB789 Rolle is the founder of raise your edge where his flagship product tournament masterclass, has become the gold standard in MTT training, and has helped countless poker players including past CPG guests and one of the top poker streamers in the world, Matthew staples realize their full tournament potential. He’s also pretty good at poker too, with past successes on the green felt including taking down the 25k a Sunday million super high roller on GG poker just a few weeks ago for almost $400,000 scooping the GG poker super millions for $424,000 and winning the gargantuan 2016 102k Buy in World Championship of online poker super high roller for over $1.1 million after making a deal with his friend wunderkind and past CPG guest fader Holtz. Oh yeah, both he and razor edge have also recently become members of Team PokerStars. In today’s episode with the great Vinci be 789 You’re going to learn Ben’s origin story into the world of poker, his surprising driving force and launching razor edge. Hint, it wasn’t about money, why he’s recently decided to get into the eSports business, and much, much more. So Now without any further ado, I bring to you one of the human beings who popped into my head when I think of poker greatness, the one and only Benjamin Vinci be 789 roll. Ben, welcome to chasing poker greatness, sir. Hi, Ben.
Benjamin Rolle (2:41) Fantastic. Thank you so much for inviting me.
Brad Wilson (2:46) It’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure. It’s been you know, you’ve been one of the top online tournament players in the world for quite a while now. So it’s yeah, it’s great having you on here. I think that like you kind of embody chasing poker greatness, right? Like, founder of raise your edge seems to be a major part of your life pursuit.
Benjamin Rolle (3:09) Yeah, I’m trying, I’m trying my best. That’s what I’m striving for. I wouldn’t actually call myself a top poker player, because I’m not having the volume as other top poker players. So wouldn’t do justice to all the grinders out there. And to me, top poker players also defined by its its volume. And so yeah, since I’m mostly playing Sundays and streaming it because I’m so busy with ACH and other projects, I just don’t find the time to play more often throughout the week. So yeah, it’s my thoughts on that.
Brad Wilson (3:42) Yeah. It’s, I mean, it’s the hazards of making a trading site, right, or growing a business is like, yeah, you just don’t get to grind as much as you did before. Because you just have so many other responsibilities.
Benjamin Rolle (3:55) Yeah. I mean, I’ve been playing poker full time for a lot of years. 567 years and at some point, you just also would like to do something else. And I’ve reached the highest buy ins at least online and I felt like there’s not so much more right I’m the type of guy I need. I need new challenges. I need to climb somewhere. I mean, if there would have regular 2550 100k online tournaments going on. I don’t know but just if you like there was not so much more to accomplish. I mean, there’s always more to learn, that’s for sure. But you don’t need to have a perfect game right so it was enough for the stakes I was playing and I’m still super hungry to learn more but I just don’t have this drive to grind regularly anymore grinder bank roll. And I think this is also where I realized it’s so much more about the process. It just the struggles, the rewards moving up moving down. It just made me provided me with with the fire, the passion the money ovation. And, yeah, once once you reach a certain level, it just this, this falls off, right. And of course, the Biden’s that I’m playing, you need to have a decent bank role and you worry less about moving down just you don’t have the process the journey of becoming a poker player anymore. This is where I just feel less motivated to grind as I used to, like five years ago.
Brad Wilson (5:24) So where does all that passion and fire go these days in your your day to day life?
Benjamin Rolle (5:32) I think just seeing the feedback when I teach something, and people are really mind blown, when you share something about certain spots, or certain exploits, or just seeing things from a different perspective, also cleaning up with some misconceptions that have been out there for several years. And I think that’s just so rewarding. And
Brad Wilson (5:58) yeah, so, so helping other folks. Yeah, yeah. Their games is where, where the passion goes to. And yeah, I mean, this is like, just quite similar to how I feel as well, you know, as a professional poker player since 2005. Just playing cash games, helping folks teaching during this podcast, it’s just very, very rewarding after being on the show. For over a decade, it’s a new new challenge. And you know, contrary to what many folks who are outside of the trading space think it’s quite difficult. Poker is difficult. And teaching and training is also quite difficult and its own separate challenge.
Benjamin Rolle (6:45) Yeah, the biggest challenge was for sure to as a poker player, I can explain things in a way that probably beginners, intermediates won’t even understand. And when you’re surrounded with also a lot of other poker pros, and you talk on a regular basis, it just becomes to a level where an outsider would have no clue what you’re talking about, even someone who is into poker. So then going back into explaining things in a very easy and comprehensive way. So also beginners can grasp the concepts and understand what’s happening, what’s going on is was definitely the biggest challenge and need to remind myself Alright, keep it easy. Maybe talk a little less, maybe explain things in a similar way. And that’s for sure. The biggest challenge.
Brad Wilson (7:27) Yeah, the curse of knowledge is quite a difficult opponent to crack because yeah, you forget, you just forget how much you know and how much just Yeah, it’s a difficult challenge teaching folks but I think also it’s very helpful going back to like the roots and the basics and drilling them yourself because like it solidifies it in your own mind as well. The just the fundamentals and at least in my experience, I found that like going back drilling the fundamentals and like really learning how and why specific things happen and being able to explain it very clearly. Just made has made me a better poker player like there’s it just has no, absolutely. Let’s go back so we started sort of present day, but tell me about your journey into poker you know before you found the online poker success that you found.
Benjamin Rolle (8:29) At the beginning it was being very stubborn losing my bankroll multiple times
Brad Wilson (8:35) yeah, let’s go let’s go like childhood been like oh, how do you how did you enter the world of poker? How did you find poker
Benjamin Rolle (8:43) through friends basically through friends I mean back then it was being played in school during breaks
Brad Wilson (8:50) what year was back then?
Benjamin Rolle (8:52) We saw I was in I think my first two sets of six I think well my first Yeah, where I go or go to non poker online poker that it even exists. And but I was very skeptical you know, it’s like it’s a scam. You know, it’s just, I had some friends that even I think it was back then Party Poker. And they told me about party programs like I was not interested in 2008 Seven, you know, you have home games with your friends at school at home, etc. And then 2009 I think where and then 2008 I think for one and a half years I was just trying to with short stick strategy and setting goals to build a bankroll no strategy no nothing, no charts, and just failed and I didn’t want to listen to my friends they told me you know, you should use some strategy and reasonable into it and try to learn the concepts behind it but I just didn’t want to so you know, failed massively. went broke three timing broke like my $50 that it deposited but then I think we’re near the fourth or fifth time and then I finally realized okay I just I’m just bad at the game and I need to spend some time on studying and I just be so stubborn thinking that I’m the best just because I want some home games against my friends where everyone is probably just drunk and has no clue what they’re doing you know and then you play online and even back then the people who were so bad like including myself was so it was so so so so bad compared to today. And it was still good enough if you just played some basic just just follow charts I think just following preflop charts you just made so much money what led
Brad Wilson (10:37) to the shift in thinking that like online poker is a scam to you know even trying to short stalking without a real strategy
Benjamin Rolle (10:47) not just my friends making some money out of it when you see Yuja would then tell my friends you know I don’t do this I wouldn’t do this because the scam to bigger average people Yeah, judgment so to speak, and then just seeing friends succeeding led me to change my mind.
Brad Wilson (11:12) Yeah, and then so once you started trying, you know, what’s your like? Okay, maybe I need maybe I need to like study some strat here. Yeah, tell me about your progression from that point on.
Benjamin Rolle (11:24) It was just grinding chars was just grind like it was at the beginning it took a couple of weeks to get into it but then I was just constantly I wasn’t even putting a lot of time in post flop if I remember I think it was just race see bad race see bad race see bit racy, bad and if you have a good hand bet big and try to get the money in the that’s that’s pretty much it, which I think even today is super important. I didn’t even know what to do on turns I didn’t even know how to talk about for I had no clue. I remember a conversation I had with a friend of mine who one year later, I started playing professionally. And I was telling them yeah, I’m struggling a bit a bit on a downswing. I started seriously paying I sat on $1 singles, and I moved up to two then $5 than 750s I think $10 Maybe around like 750 $10 I was bit stalking a bit of downswing and he said he asked me do you also Barrow turns I’m like, What the fuck? What do you want from you know just just a second bar as a bluff on turns which is something I would never do well I’m
Brad Wilson (12:32) raising preflop and see betting the flop like what are you asking me to do you want me to bet the turn? That’s madness.
Benjamin Rolle (12:38) Yeah, not for full value of course but it’s uh you know, maybe because it was just like you were just playing your helmets there was enough it was totally enough and and I think even then further like I just I was so bad at postflop I everyone especially in setting goals and tournament I especially certain goals just the level of posts for players was insane. And even on mid stakes hitting goals I remember there wasn’t even blast repairing going on. You were literally arrested and then being sent to prison if you were bluffing preflop there was just something you had your child’s you know, you would three bed Queens plus from middle position you would three but 10s Plus from the button you would three bed or go all in with eights nines and through better or whatever kind of charts you have, which is super linear approach like polarizing shit didn’t even exist, you will play your hand strength. Blockers didn’t even exist. Like they exist. We just didn’t know about them. Yeah, yeah, of course. Exactly. It’s it was it was a crazy times.
Brad Wilson (13:40) Tell me you mentioned you went pro a year after what was your life? Like, you know, when you went to school growing up? Like what was your aspiration? Career wise.
Benjamin Rolle (13:53) I didn’t have really any expiration, career wise, I just liked the game. I liked the fact that I was learning something. And I was always fed up with the regular jobs. Were you being paid on a monthly basis, which makes no sense to me. I think you should always be paid based on your performance and contribution. At least to certain degree, you should have incentives. And in poker, I really liked it because, of course, there’s luck involved. But for the most part, if you play like shit, you lose money. If you play well. In the long run, you will make money. Right? And this is something that I found fascinating. It’s just and being being a charge being responsible for my own luck, so to speak. And that’s where I started. Yeah, I think it was the beginning of my college. Like 2010 11 When I started studying, that’s where it got more serious. I mean, it’s beginning wanderlust singles, you play two or three times a week. But once you started, you know from hundreds to 1000s That’s where it’s like, oh my god, here’s a lot of possible. And yeah, it was it was just college grind college grind, I was still playing for football club back then as well. So, two, three times a week, practice match day, the weekend, I had a girlfriend. So it was just there was not so much time for anything else. Because I also took my study series, because poker was still like, you get okay, you started making a few 1000s. But like, is it enough to you know, after studying to really pay expenses to build wealth, and then maybe buy a house with that money. So I always wanted to have this plan B. So I finished my study, passed all the exams, made my degree, and then around 2014 15 When I was in second or third semester of my masters, but I also realized I don’t have anything, it just such a waste of time. I’m not learning anything about how to operate a business, how to manage a business. It was just such a waste of time. Yeah, I had my degree. And that’s when I moved also to England and met live together with Stephen Sondheim. I’ve been a camper. The German crew started working a lot together, studying together. I mean, even before that, I think we met in like 2013 or 12, even. But in 2014, we moved together. So started living together with grinders. And yeah, that was massively beneficial when you surround yourself with other poker players who have similar goals, just yeah, you watch out for each other, you support each other when things are not going the way you kick, you kick each other’s asses. And that was the best thing I could ever do.
Brad Wilson (16:46) You have like, basically, a private coach 24 hours a day. You’ll all have private coaches. You’re all coaching. Yeah, exactly. At the same time, yeah. Tell me about you playing football and any takeaways from just being a competitor that you believe helped you. As it relates to your poker journey?
Benjamin Rolle (17:11) Yeah. I mean, when you play football, even if it was during the US, it was already on. Even though I was third, I think I play started playing football when I was six or seven for a club in Germany. And I got Bose I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. They used to play Bundesliga back then they played second league moved up to first league. So the entire club, the entire infrastructure was let in a very professional way. Because when the the first team is playing basically, Premier League level in Germany, everything is driven to a way that the youth is coming up and essentially replacing the pros at some point. So you had a lot of practices, a lot of trainings, summer camps, preparation camps. So I learned to be disciplined, which was super important, I realized, like without training without discipline, especially if you compete on a high level, like I mean, it was not paid not professional. But for that level of being 1415. It was the highest level in my area, at least, or in the city. Or maybe maybe even on a state level that the highest you could play. And you like if you’re out for two weeks, you just fall behind so much. And yeah, also Yo, I had huge ego problems. I mean, that’s just something. When I look back, I would do so many things differently. But you know, you’re 14 1516 you, you don’t think like that. And also that, in those team games, you’re very much dependent on so many other variables, your coach, your teammates, if you just have a coach that doesn’t like you, no chance. I had coaches that like me had coaches that didn’t like me. And you could see that even though I would put in the exact same amount of effort to some coaches, you do better with some coaches you don’t it just how it is if they have a certain philosophy of playing the game, then and there’s or maybe they don’t like you for whatever reason. I mean, the tapes, they’re supposed to be very neutral, but you could just see that certainly I mean, you still have it in the highest levels today that there are fights there are arguments heated arguments between player and coaches or certain resentful remarks after player left towards the coach. Yeah. And this is where poker really fascinated me because it’s just up to me. I’m not depending on the coach. I’m not dependent on a teammate. I built my own poker buddies, I can choose who I want to study with and who not. So there’s literally nobody to blame. I could blame people and football and I might be right even though but it doesn’t matter. Like it’s you know, I still I still choose to play football for seven, eight had nine years on a very competitive level. So at the end of the day, it was still, I’m the only one to blame. I knew what was going on, I could have stopped any day is like, alright, but I signed up for it. Right? And the same in poker with black people complaining about bad beats, why? You idiot, you sign up for it and don’t play?
Brad Wilson (20:17) Yeah, you’ve brought this upon yourself. I think it’s probably just, it’s human nature to connect with certain people in different ways. You know, even as just a Poker Coach, you know, I think we have students that we favor more than other students, just because whatever reason they just resonate more deeply with us as human beings.
Benjamin Rolle (20:39) Yeah, I have some emails that I get people asking for private coaching, just the way they write the email, I just don’t like them. There’s, there’s just nothing bad about it. What can you do, it’s the most normal human emotion that you like, certain people, you don’t like certain people, and I’m not just making this for the money. And I know, the student wouldn’t get as much value out of it. So just, I don’t know, I can’t take students right now, whatever. But of course, I’m not gonna write them, hey, I don’t like you. But you just get the wife someone the way he writes, like, that wouldn’t be a match. Or usually I do a first hour or just a 1015 minute chat. And if it turns out, listen, like, I’m not going to be the right guy for you.
Brad Wilson (21:24) Yeah, and it’s quite important too, because like the student coach relationship is a two way street. And like, you really have to enjoy working with the person that you’re taking on as a student. Else. I mean, just a lot of things kind of fall apart, like you. percent, you don’t coach at the level that you’re capable of, you don’t care at the level that you should or that the student desires or needs. It’s just really tough. And yeah, I think it’s very important to filter out the folks that don’t automatically resonate with you as a coach just kind of straight away. And the reality is, like, just different human beings connect with different people. And that’s just the reality, right? It’s like, there’s nothing wrong with with you, it’s just this doesn’t work. And there’s somebody out there that it will work with. So you know, find them right.
Benjamin Rolle (22:14) I think also very important to find a good coach is someone who, who can literally tell you to fuck off, if there’s a code because then you know, he does it, because he enjoys working with people. If he tells you listen, like it’s not meant to be, I simply don’t feel like the chemistry. I remember I had one coach that I was working with was not a poker coach. He was like a, like some sort of self development business coach, and we are who I really wanted to work with, here in Vienna, and we had a call in great, great wives. He knew where I was coming from, he could help me with my problems. So then we made a follow up meeting. And we scheduled for like, a random day, whatever, Friday and the week before I called him said, Listen, I need to postpone I need to fly to Berlin. And he said, Sure, one time I postponed by the second time, I won’t do it. There’s just simply too many time wasters out there. I have a very, very tough schedule, if you want to postpone a second time. It’s alright. If you have other priorities in your life, I only want to work with people right now. Let’s see this as one of the highest priorities. I know shit can happen. Always. It’s a one time thing. And first, I was like, Who the fuck do you think you are? You know, my ego was hurt. Why would you even consider rejecting me, but after, after a couple of hours, I was like, that’s good, man. That’s great. Because he’s not just doing it for the money. He does need to coach me. There are 40 too many coaches. I mean, at the beginning, if you build your career, you probably take on more students and later on, you’re going to be picking the cherries, you’re going to be more selective, and this is how it’s supposed to be. And I just realized, alright, he’s doing it because he’s joy doing it. And he takes the coach during relationship very, very important is I had coaches who I realized throughout the session, I wished I was not so experienced, they would step in and say listen, let’s stop it.
Brad Wilson (24:09) It removes the thought of possible like manipulation, right? I think that it like it increases the level of trust in the relationship, which, ultimately, those kinds of relationships are just built on trust. That’s all they can be built on. From both sides. Yeah. Let’s, uh, speaking of coaching, you know, going back to you launching razor edge, what led to the launch of razor edge and what year did you did you launch
Benjamin Rolle (24:43) publicly was launched I mean, incorporating it officially in the registry company books, it’s at a public company books 2014 But it really started 2006 teen 17 When I launched the term master class, I learned Just didn’t go course, which was best, there was no marketing, no social media nothing or just for me. At the beginning, I wanted to just have an information page because I got a lot of requests back then for setting goals there was not releasing all content. And it spread the word that I’m offering certain goal coachings. And I got so many requests, and I was tired of explaining how it works, what they need, I just want to have information page. Yeah. And then I realized why I was doing the coachings while I’m actually teaching the same a lot over the over and over again. So I started recording videos, where I was teaching them in video format, and put a lot of course together didn’t go course, and started making some money through those remote courses. People really liked it, even though the quality was pretty bad. I mean, I was editing myself, mostly, you know, I, I had one web, I had one web designer, my partner left at this some point earlier, he got another offer for a regular job that he wanted to take. And I just kept doing it all by myself. But then 2017 was a term master class, I think things kick really off. And the main motivation was back then I know, I didn’t know a lot if, if, if any at all, really structured good content. I know the upswing probably had some courses, but especially in for the European market, German speaking content or English speaking content, it was very rare. It was very rare. I don’t want to offend anyone. Now, as a gay there was this course already before you might be. But I simply I was not aware that, hey, this is really structured course a lot of the times there was poker platforms, but you just got X, you could sign up. I really love what random ones is doing. But I think that illustrated really well, I think they also made a shift is you sign up, and you get access to 1000s of videos from different coaches. But it’s really hard. Where do you start? What do you watch? What should you prioritize? Right? It’s a great content. And I just wanted to do it a different way, where I basically tell them, Okay, start here. ABCD and finish there. So a bit more structured. And yeah, and it got, I don’t know, it just went, I don’t want to say viral. But I think back then that was the way to go for Chinaman content and a lot of streamers. Got aware of it that even approached us, they can work with it and represented and I think we were just at the made the right choice at the rate, but I didn’t even plan I was like, I just want to do this, you know, I just I didn’t really like, oh, I want to make X equals XYZ amount of money. I just I really wanted to do this. I wanted to put all my knowledge together in a course and see if it works or doesn’t I didn’t have probably that’s also an adventure. I didn’t have the pressure of money. You know, why were you so comfortable with poker?
Brad Wilson (27:46)
Why are you so compelled to put out this course, like you said, it didn’t matter how much money you made? It was just you knew you just wanted to do it. Why? Why? Yeah.
Benjamin Rolle (27:56) Because a there was not really structured content. Right, just to show something, the way I was learning and I also wanted to do something new. I mean, I’ve been playing poker for so long, that I wanted to discover the business side of things I wanted to everything that comes with the legal stuff, Texas building a website, talking about marketing. Yeah, the other challenge is hiring people. firing people, you know, I mean, even though that’s not the most pleasant thing comes to just the whole package when it comes to business and tying this in with my my passion playing poker or teaching poker. I really wanted to do this, I really wanted to just it just, I was mind blown to meet in all these coachings how, how unaware people were with just some simple insights, how they can literally revolutionize their game. And it was similar I had with setting goals that I had these coaches in tournaments, I also back then had a coaching for profit stable. And at some point, I stopped doing private coaching, because I was just saying so even though it was individually, but it always mostly came down, I would say 80% of the time, the same leaks as everyone had.
Brad Wilson (29:12) It’s kind of funny that you say that. So in the last couple of months, I’ve started my own CFP group wolves, for very similar reasons of doing private coaching sessions. And I feel like I’m doing the same private coaching session, like a billion times over and over and over again, like let’s be more collaborative about this and do a private coaching session, upload the replay so that my group of guys can watch the like everybody has access to it and we don’t have to, like cover the same thing 100 times and then the sequencing like like you said, you know, I think it started with probably card runners.com that, okay, we’re just like upload a video, watch the video. We got a bunch of videos that were gonna upload on a regular basis and you just kind of go at it however way you want to go about it, which can be great. However, there’s no like sequencing. There’s no like, oh, I watched this video. So we’re What do I do after this? You know, you kind of have to figure it out for yourself. And poker is just such a big complex game, that people get totally overwhelmed. They don’t know what’s most important or most valuable to work on. In that moment, they get overwhelmed. And then like, I think that the impact kind of lessons to more overwhelmed folks feel? Yeah,
Benjamin Rolle (30:36) I think private coaching is very helpful for poker players. Because you have someone that can tell you exactly okay, this what you need to work on. I think it just gets very tedious. I know. Even if I think about European pads, you know, a lot of these online crushes, they’re also coaching, I think they also stopped their stable at some point. Company one or two years ago with Bibi. And I just know from my personal experience, and also other coaches that just it gets, it gets not tedious, but blind at some point, because you just and it’s a great way of doing this. By the way, how many students do you have right now in the CSP program?
Brad Wilson (31:21) I have seven with some more consoles this week. And my goal is to get to 10. By March 5.
Benjamin Rolle (31:33) Yeah, that’s the you’re trying to automate the process. Basically,
Brad Wilson (31:36) I am, you know, it’s spin got it has been a very intense project, cash game tournaments, cash games, cash games, cash games only, over the last four or five, once it’s been, you know, just building out sort of the methodology, the training sequentially. And now, the primary focus is on onboarding and, you know, sequencing things in a way
Benjamin Rolle (32:02) Screening process, I guess, is the challenge
Brad Wilson (32:05) The screening processes. I mean, it sounds such a challenge right now, for me, because mostly, what I’ve done is brought on folks that I’ve worked with for like the past year, private coaching, so I have a relationship with pretty much every single person that’s in there, I like them as human beings, I know that, you know, they have a lot of capabilities to play poker at a very high level. So screening right now is not an A major priority, just because like I know, everybody, my major priority is like integration, execution, removing points of failure, minimizing is points of failure as much as possible. But yeah, so look for that. Think thank God that I’m not the only Poker Coach that at some point was like, in the beginning, like, I guess it’s probably true for most things in the beginning, like, it’s very fun. It’s very challenging it like it was an obsession, right, like trying to figure out how to communicate to folks, very specifically to help. And then I guess, over time, like you said, it’s not that I guess boring is not or tedious is not the word, but it just wasn’t as stimulating as it was before. I wasn’t solving a problem anymore. The problem was kind of like, already solved, if that makes sense.
Benjamin Rolle (33:22) Yeah. Yeah. I mean, at some point, also, when I when then the chair master class was out there. Based on what I charge, I was like, Listen, I’m not trying to sell you anything, but you get a much better deal. But just getting the course especially when you get a discount. Yeah. Instead of having 678 hours with me, or any other like high stakes coach. So this is just something where I think you could just get better value for your money. That’s why I do see if someone really wants to have coaching with me, if I have time I ended there’s a match. I do it. But I mostly focus on like high high high stakes players who really want to find you in that game where you really need to look into okay, what can we do because they ended something I enjoy this Sunday I truly enjoy. Because I’ve been setting very high standards for myself. And I’ve always tried to find small edges. So on something I can enjoy, I believe I can also contribute or deliver value to the student who then can excel his game and make the money back that he has investing multiple times. And that’s the only time where I really strive as a coach with already established professionals could also be mid stakes, but should already be established and huge. Like yeah, I would say for the most part, if someone is new to the game or really needs to work on the fundamentals. I usually reject because I just don’t enjoy it. Like maybe it will change. It just wouldn’t be fair to the student. Yeah,
Brad Wilson (34:59) I do the same thing? Well, I did the same thing when I was doing the private coaching, like you have a console, and somebody’s just not at a stage in their poker journey and like, I have other courses like preflop bootcamp that just focuses specifically on like the fundamentals of strong preflop play, when they’re playing cash game and like, don’t pay me $800 So that I can just tell you like, Yo, you’re messing up preflop like, this is a three bet don’t flat, don’t hide from the small blind or, you know, just some some of those things, you know, it’s like, buy preflop bootcamp go through the course. And you know, we’ll have another conversation like after that, but I mean, don’t pay me 800 bucks when you can pay like $300 and get a course that solves a lot of the things that we will inevitably talk about over our four hours together. Yeah.
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Brad Wilson (36:34) So, no giant expectations, I guess you made your initial course without really any monetary expectations. Tell me about the reception because I know that your course at raise your edge was cited by I believe Matt staples, and many other people as just being a no brainer, like just a thing that every MTT grinder just should go through? It really no excuse. So tell me about, you know, getting that reception from the world and going through the challenges of growing your business?
Benjamin Rolle (37:16) Yeah, I mean, this is something where we’re really fortunate with that a little streamers really liked studying with it, and that it’s a very practical approach. So from the the main goal for the course was that I will. That’s this what I tried to achieve, that I will never say, or leave it as it is say, Okay, you have to be tighter here, you have to say here that I always provide examples, or exact numbers are exact, hence what you should be adding and deliver immediately and have. So that is a good mix of theory and practice. I was really tired of people, you know, this guy’s aggressive. So you should be you can be a bit looser here from the cutoff. But when you want to learn poker, you don’t really understand what it means to be looser or tighter.
Brad Wilson (38:05) You don’t even know what it means if somebody is being too aggressive. How do we quantify somebody who’s being too aggressive? Maybe they’re just being appropriately aggressive.
Benjamin Rolle (38:13) Yeah, exactly. So I was always trying kid, this is the proper strategy. They show up with these ads or certain frequencies working with debts and hearts. I shall try to show them thresholds. So someone has a buffer, that means he is looser, and he’s probably through getting the sense. It’s and this is a challenge because you never know 100% And you always have to emphasize on the fact that you’re doing Yeah, you’re doing your best you can it’s just a matter of being better than your opponents making fewer mistakes than them and you never need really need to hit the accurate and perfect range. It’s a long term game and just making fewer mistakes than your opponents in the long term will making the money and that was a big challenge because it’s so easy to say yeah, you know, okay, gets this guy three best 10% You just make some for that you just be a bit more aggressive, then you move on. It’s like no, okay, show an example, show exactly how far but bluff range could look like in this spot, which can I purchase, which hence, I personally would add that makes the most sense, because especially since I want to elaborate on a lot of exploitative things, you cannot just pull up a GTO chart because we’re talking about exploitative poker, we’re talking about poker hold works in real life. So I need to sit down maybe do some calculations, which ads are the most profitable to call or to raise or the four or whatever and then to come up with hands that I do believe based on my experience based on my research, what works the best whether it’s for preflop ranges, entire course all of the ranges I have been learning sitting down doing a lot of HSC kikes adjusting my opponents ranges see okay, what is the new output that I get? How I want us to perform well against the rear three betting range and not GTO through bidding ranges which are far of rare. The tea, and then basically created all those charts. And that was the biggest challenge. And I think it was also one of the reasons why it has been so well received from a lot of the streamers, because they understand that, you know, they play low and mid stakes, and it’s not GTO poker out there. And, yeah, we had that we have received heat that our ranges are not cheap at all, but I’ve never claimed this, and I never want to put GTO ranges. In a $1,200 course it is, it is a lot of money. And it was basically also, when I made this course, I was like, I’m not going to sell it for cheap. If I Nobodies, nobody buys it, fine. I don’t care, right, that’s like, what I actually mean with I don’t have any pressure because I know, I’m going to put a lot of value in there, it’s going to help people, and they’re going to make their money back multiple times that they would take it serious. And if not, people don’t want this, alright, I don’t care, I’m not going to put 10 years of experience in a course and sell it then for $200. Just literally not right. And then Alright, people just don’t want to, it’s okay, I keep grinding myself and keep making money with poker. And I think not having the financial pressure really helped with my business. And this something I always emphasize, when it’s about I think poker and business, maybe business is a bit different, but you should not have financial pressure, when you start playing poker, you’re going to be way too emotionally attached don’t don’t try to pay that debt back with with poker or try to make money to buy something. It’s, it should not concern you. If you can take one 1k from your savings. And the moment you deposit it, see it as gone. This is lost money.
Brad Wilson (41:44) Ben, this is the benefit of being older and more mature. I have to understand Yeah. I know, at least in my case. There was a all the financial pressure, but also none, I think because like as a 21 year old kid, right? Like I didn’t have responsibilities. And so like, where I needed to make money, I didn’t need to support anybody but myself, you know, and probably the same for you playing the one and two and seven and $10 tournaments, like from the beginning. And I just think that that’s like, it just depends on your life situation, as it relates to how old you are what you need to earn. But it is very difficult when you’re trying to count on making money playing poker in a game with just a lot of variance where just even the best players are going to lose and like they’re going to have big down swings. And if you have no way to, you know, stabilize your bank role, then you’re just heading for a world of trouble.
Benjamin Rolle (42:47) Yeah. What does it mean? You said you you had you were in some financial pressure. What was the situation for you? Like, were you living on your own? Or why do you want to extend you know.
Brad Wilson (42:57) I needed to make money.
Benjamin Rolle (42:59) So you really rely you really rely on the income through poker?
Brad Wilson (43:03) Absolutely. Yeah. Okay, so I was 19 years old, and I just told the story. I’m thinking poker, but I was 19. And a friend travelled through town. I was working as a server at Applebee’s like I had, which is, you know, I don’t know if they have Applebee’s in Germany, but just like a lowish level restaurant, waiting tables, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, honestly, like, nothing made sense. Nothing pulled me in. I just couldn’t figure it out. And he came through town, and we talked about poker. And basically from there, he was already, like grinding on. I think he was grinding on Party Poker back then, like, but yeah, it’s like 2004 ish. And I just saved up like, three or $4,000 and moved 10 hours away, and just said, I’m going to play poker, like, this is what I’m going to do with my life. So yeah, I didn’t have a job in Florida. It was only poker, which was quite stressful. And very fortunately for me, I lockbox, like a fourth place on Party Poker, like one of the 200k Night leaves for like 15k, which was quite a relief. And yeah, so ever since that point in time, like poker, well, I guess until the last couple of years running the business was just like, my sole source of income as a human being.
Benjamin Rolle (44:33) But what would have happened if you would not have been that 15k or let’s just say if you would have not made a substantial amount of money to I would have to cure your life expenses or what what would have been the worst case scenario and that’s,
Brad Wilson (44:48) I drive back home and start my job again, and save up more money, you know, so but that’s
Benjamin Rolle (44:54) that’s exactly what I mean with. Yes, you had financial pressure, but you haven’t really and this is What I mean that a lot of chairs their worst case, they start playing poker, and if it doesn’t work out, their entire life falls apart. Yes. Especially when they have families, they start gambling with their savings. And that’s what I mean, where that’s basically your last final lifeline. And this is just not going to work out. And I mean, you have, I also had a friend here who he was debating for months and months, should I try this like this, like, save up some money that you have for year, take some for the bank roll, and try for a year going full time, what if you fail? Well, I could go back to my old job to see like, and you could maybe crash on a friend’s couch or move back to your parents for a few months, which was all options. So that’s the worst case, versus it works out. And living the ultimate freedom today is traveling the world. So it’s, you have a lot of these stories. And I think I don’t mean like financial pressure. Because even I caught in two different shells, and then had financial pressure and I was studying poker playing poker was my own only income. So I had this financial pressure. But even if I go broke, I alright, I started a regular job. You know, it’s like, and the most important thing is where, because when you have this financial pressure, it’s just so much on the line, that you then start making dumb decisions where you start borrowing money, or taking money that you’re not supposed to take, and then just trying to win it back playing higher stakes, neglecting bankroll management. And this is just where you start making idiotic decisions that can really harm your life. Unfortunately, I get these messages a lot, where people are, fucked it up. And I should have listened and proper bankroll management and not played under this pressure. I always say, Get your shit together first, and then you can play poker.
Brad Wilson (46:53) I agree. 100%. And that’s like a number one red flag for me. When I was doing the private coaching, consults is like, what is your life situation? Are you you have a family and you’re planning on quitting your job to play poker, but you have no record of winning? And you know, you want my help, like, Sorry, man, this is not, this is not a good fit, right? Because it’s just way too much risk. When you have all of those responsibilities. It’s just absolutely irresponsible. It’s not a thing that that you do.
Benjamin Rolle (47:26) Yeah, it was an agree. And I think it’s similar with business. And that was a huge advantage for me that I just didn’t have this. Like, even less than with poker at the beginning. I mean, listen, like there’s probably billions of people that had worse, I wasn’t born and Rich, I was just average working family, I would say maybe a little bit better than the average person. We could afford some vacations, we had a nice apartment. But it was all my parents always taught me to stay humble, to be grateful for even if they just bought me football or shoes for playing football. So I was very grateful for that. But yeah, we weren’t really like, super rich by any means. But then when I moved out, my parents also wanted you know, to not to basically teach me life, you know that I’m on my own. And now you don’t have to do everything that was said, if you want to play poker, play poker, right? If that’s what it is, you’re not going to get a lot of money from us. So there was a now with the business since I could afford this business and nothing would have changed with that situation. I just realized when you really have this, maybe also level of confidence is just it’s such such a huge advantage, you can make very clear decisions. You don’t have to make decisions. Just a quick some Chase, Chase, chase some short term profits, because you need to make money. And you can really think about the long term how to build a healthy sustainable business and do the things you enjoy. Plus people want for me the ultimate equation of success and making money then it’s not for me personally, I don’t believe in this follow your passion bullshit. Because if there is no market, if there is no demand, then it’s not going to work out. Sorry. So that’s just something that
Brad Wilson (49:22) you can’t follow your passion if there’s a market that is that
Benjamin Rolle (49:27) nobody will want to if you’re talking about making money if we’re talking about like, for most people, the the metric of being successful is making money, right? Just follow your passion. Right? But if there is no demand, you’re not going to make money. Maybe you create a new market where there will be demand because you solve a problem but I just I mean, yeah, good luck with becoming a chess pro today.
Brad Wilson (49:50)
You know, just creating your own market is not a thing that is advisable. It that is like the the hardest way to go about.
Benjamin Rolle (49:57) Absolutely. I’m just saying it’s possible but it’s incredibly difficult. But if you just think about it, why have been people so successful? They’re making money. Yes, they follow their passion, doing what they love. I think it’s super important. But also on the same side, there was interest for that there was interest for your service. I mean, even chess today has actually gotten quite popular. But like, five, six years ago, before the what was the next Netflix show called? So yeah, becoming a chess Pro. Even if you’re one of the best, you barely make any money if you’re, if you’re not like top three, top five. If you compare that to other industries or sports, where just being top 30, top 50, top 200 in your country. You can also mirror this for for any other kind of industry in business, and just I see people approaching his projects and business ideas on like, it’s just meant to fail. Just yeah, it’s your passion. It’s good for you that you enjoy this, but people don’t want it people don’t want it.
Brad Wilson (50:57) Yeah, you basically need to be very secure if you’re going to just do something because you want to do it you know, in your life if
Benjamin Rolle (51:02) your passion is mix games and you want to open up and mix game poker school. Good luck with that, and having two students per month. Let’s just
Brad Wilson (51:10) I got at least eight mix game guests on the show. There’s at least eight people out there.
Benjamin Rolle (51:15) Oh, it’s great. I love mix games. You know, building an empire building a business if your goal is also to make a substantial amount of money. If maybe just making a little bit of money, then it’s a different equation. I’m just you know what you shared on social media. Hey, just follow your passion. Everything you want to be rich. There’s one part 50% of the equation missing in my opinion.
Brad Wilson (51:37) No, I agree and chasing poker greatness seven card stud is it’s going to be launching in the next couple of months. So everybody stay tuned. Actually, the two people who probably won’t would never even listen to this show. That like seven card stud. Stay tuned. I noticed that not only have you built, you know, a really big following on YouTube with razor edge. You have a personal YouTube channel as well. Could you speak about? You know why you you made the personal YouTube channel?
Benjamin Rolle (52:11) Yeah, I wanted to also talk about topics that are non poker related. I didn’t want to mix the two on the two separate poker and then I don’t know just stuff that intrigues me. And I’ve been working on basically, it’s a novel A lot of people going to cringe now it’s a self development children. But only the stuff that I’ve been trying out and that I’ve been going through basically just sharing my experience. So instead, things journals I’ve applied. Yeah, for competing on the highest level and I think no, I don’t want to put myself too high. But I think I can relate very well with what people are going through if they try to become competitive. I mean, I’ve been competitive Larry, since I was born since I can think and I went through the same shit like I was in my youth. I was such a dumbass such an idiot big ego. Fucked up multiple times. Didn’t understand poker at the beginning. You know, I’m not like overly smart. I just I feel like I am not overly smart. But I’m clever. My grandpa always told me you know, you don’t need to be wise as you don’t have a lot of degrees. You don’t need to be intelligent. Just be clever. Don’t fuck it up. Big time. Try out things take risks. Just be clever about it find your way.
Brad Wilson (53:30) What is clever doesn’t to you.
Benjamin Rolle (53:31) Clever means to me. That, let’s say intelligent would mean to me that if there is a question, I know the answer. Right? I’m intelligent. I know the answer. Clever means I find a way to find the answer. Well, I know someone that knows the answer will find a way to evasive question. So I don’t need to answer it. So a good example, is maybe University. So when we had a lot of exams, I realized that first of all the way I was studying, like I was usually trying to not pass any exams and when we had something that is important, relevant for the exams to learn it right away. Because if you wait three months, and you start learning right before the exam, it’s just so much harder. So, I mean, I was playing poker almost full time. I had, I had I was still playing football. I had a girlfriend, you know, it’s a lot like just college and poker at the same time was the end at the beginning. I had a side job as a cashier in a supermarket when I started playing poker for the first year, so I needed to be very, I think clever and smart goes in the same category for me, but it’s a little bit different than intelligent. And when they were very Getting the exam was hundreds, hundreds of hundreds of papers. And it was due just two or three different professors or students that were evaluating those documents or your papers. And I knew they need to fuck it up. And basically, not many. Sometimes for some of the exam structures me, that one used to go to variations like, like, here and there that could have been interpreted a different way or saw a mistake, and I went to back to them. And very often I would get a better grade because they overlooked something. But most students were too lazy for that. So there’s just one, one example. And also the way I was studying I just tried, okay, I didn’t have as many time as others that were studying full time, you know that we’re just deadly son and study. I didn’t have so much time. I barely went on any parties in university. So I had my priorities, but I still needed to be clever and smart about my time. That’s basically how I distinguish. being clever, being smart with being intelligent.
Brad Wilson (55:57) And as it relates to your poker journey and cleverness, what do you think was the most clever thing you did? Like, sort of, in the after you exited the beginning of your career?
Benjamin Rolle (56:12) I think surrounding myself with very like minded people, you don’t need to be an intelligent to do that. If you’re intelligent, if you’re overly intelligent, you can probably figure out all the shit by yourself, but I’m not. So I need to have people I can learn from but I also can share my own experience my own knowledge with
Brad Wilson (56:28) To be fair, maybe you could figure everything out by yourself. But it it takes a lot longer. Yeah. It takes a long, long time. And yeah, I suspected that would be your answer. But I just wanted to hammer it home for the listener, that surrounding yourself with people who are immersed and have a similar goal is just, you can’t, I can’t really overstate how valuable it is to your progression.
Benjamin Rolle (56:57) Yeah. And that’s why I also think, for example, with your coaching for Profit program, the value not only comes from from your coaching and what you learn, but also just having other people in the program that you can connect with, that’s massive value. And most people heavily underestimate this. And it’s unbelievable how many messages I get. And people asking Ben, I don’t I don’t have anyone I’m on my own. Like, can you coach me? Or where I find to find poker friends? Or where can I connect with you? I will live in a 9050 20 years before the internet. Have you heard of forums? Have you heard of discord? Have you heard of these programs where you can meet a lot of the times it’s, it’s you can sign up for very little money, or even for free? Like, our Discord is for free forums for free. It’s so easy, it has never been easier to connect with like minded people.
Brad Wilson (57:54) You can just tweet like, you can connect with pretty much anybody that you want to just on Twitter, right? And like everybody has communities in discord like there are places where these human beings congregate, go congregate with him and just join the conversation. You know, that’s, that’s really what it boils down to. Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned something there too, that like I couldn’t agree more with is the value of the other members of the CFP and communicating with each other meeting with each other using one another as a resource is just massive for for the members of that group. And it’s something that like I’m constantly guys throw up, Zoom meeting, like when you’re going to review your your pots bigger than like 10 big blinds like review them together, talk about things together. Like if you’re building out like a presentation on conceptualizing strategies, like talk with the other wolves who are in the group and communicate like What are you both working on, you know, and help one another? Because it’s just, it’s so invaluable. Like, it’s just so important. And it’s such an easy resource for those guys to take advantage of.
Benjamin Rolle (59:09) Yeah, absolutely.
Brad Wilson (59:12) All right. So we’ll, let’s move to some lightning round questions here. Alright, so when you think about joy in your career playing cards, what’s the first memory that comes to mind?
Benjamin Rolle (59:28) Probably winning the first Tidal and in Canada for like 200k or something. At this point in time at resisted from sort of goes to tournaments and yeah, also the fact that I was we were with a group of poker players with fetal heart Stephen Sondheim, I know Kemper. colway idemia. I was called with us there. I think it was. We just won the WSOP Main Event. Yeah, and a bunch of other guys. And yeah, just great to celebrate such a victory with your friends in your back, you know, you have
Brad Wilson (1:00:10) What was the atmosphere like?
Benjamin Rolle (1:00:12) Oh, it’s insane. I mean back like, I mean to be fair this these days winning 20k online, it’s just it’s happening left and right with this, like even a 2k is nothing special anymore back then like a 2k was Wow. Throughout the week you had the Sannomiya and the $200 buy in. And I think you had maybe one 1k tournament that was like special. So everyone was waiting for scoop and W coupe was the most prestigious series which I think to suddenly gets the list but like, at this point in time was just, you know, you’re just you’re super horny even to the play last that serious. And celebrating this with your friends. It’s just priceless. That’s what came to my mind when I think about joy, for sure.
Brad Wilson (1:00:57) So the opposite question. When you think about pain in poker career, what’s the first memory that comes from
Benjamin Rolle (1:01:05) 2012 I think I had a stretch for one and a half years just running terribly below EV incident goals. It was almost half a year I was on the verge of quitting. I had great friends supporting me. I was still breakeven throughout the year and making money through rakeback. It just I was running, I think three four or 500 buy ins below V. I also made a YouTube video on that. It and I was revisiting some of my college entries. I post on my blog and poker strategy.com. And it was just absolutely painful. And I was super desperate. It was very painful for me because I was not winning. And my Eevee went up and I just couldn’t. I was also running limit code. I mean, back then I was playing 100 200-500-1000 2000 $5,000 in goals. And you know if you Yeah, you win 100 $203 in goals, but you break on everything above. Because you just run so terrible, just massive pain.
Brad Wilson (1:02:04) Yeah. Do you remember that turning around for you know, just
Benjamin Rolle (1:02:09)
suddenly started running better, I don’t know. And then it just it when the way went down, it would just straight up, like just absolutely insane. I don’t know it just from one day or another I started to understand, you know, the most brutal thing about downswing is not the downswing itself. It’s like the downswing after the downswing, you know, you run a bit bad for why. And then you’re fighting, you keep yourself at breakeven, and maybe it goes up, you get your hopes up, and then just boom, it goes down again. And this is where it can be very devastating for your mindset. But I got familiar with it quite well, especially sitting goes hybrid signals, the variance is insane. And it’s easily possible that you’re just run terrible for very long stretches. So there’s just something where then, I don’t know at some point, I was just running so much better. And I think it was in around 2013. Also 2014 and winning and tournaments as well. Where things started going much better.
Brad Wilson (1:03:10) Yeah, the internal strife and anguish that the down swings cause are off often just like the worst part of the downswing just like the self doubt, the anxiety, the struggle, the frustration, the anger, the sadness, just all the emotions. And then, like you said, you call it a downswing. You get back to even and you’re like, Oh, it’s my time now. It’s, it’s time it’s turning around and then boom down again. It’s yeah, just devastating. Yeah,
Benjamin Rolle (1:03:43) absolutely.
Brad Wilson (1:03:44) What would you say? Is the most unexpected thing that’s come from your poker journey?
Benjamin Rolle (1:03:48) Actually, I would say the the friendships I would have not expected that for me. It was always more like a business. But what kind of deep relationships you can develop through poker was very now very unexpected to me.
Brad Wilson (1:04:05) Yeah, same thing. Well, what was it for you same the friendships, the relationships, you know, I can, when I so after Black Friday, I lived at Commerce and is playing like 60 hours a week at the Commerce Casino cash game, the 1020 game and I don’t remember very much like I remember a handful of pots that I played in that time, but like I have really good friends that I’ve made that I communicate with to this day. And one of the guys that I met at time is like one of my best friends in the world. So yeah, all of those relationships just were not expected not something I was seeking out or searching for. They just kind of happened organically and turned out to be the most valuable thing. From that time period of my life and then the podcast, I think it’s like just the relationships the friendships like even coaching, right The friendships that grow from just coaching and becoming friends and getting close with, you know, your students and your community, it’s something that kind of blows my mind.
Unknown Speaker (1:05:12) I mean, it’s fantastic.
Brad Wilson (1:05:13) Nuclear, somebody in my community is just like, was traveling around like the United States and like meeting other members of the community, right. And like, you know, we we met at the Atlanta airport for like, an hour or so he had a layover. And it just kind of dawned on me that like, wow, like, I made a thing that like, it was just me and the slack bot, in the community. Like, I remember the day that it was me in the slack bot, you know, and like, people are just connecting outside without me even being involved. And that was just, yeah, just made me happy and quite an unexpected thing.
Benjamin Rolle (1:05:50) That’s a cool story.
Brad Wilson (1:05:53) What’s something that you feel folks who are chasing their poker dreams, don’t spend enough time thinking about
Benjamin Rolle (1:06:00) self awareness. I do think we’re all fucked up in a certain way. And we all have our own problems. I just think what separates people that made it to the top or have gotten successful that either they have a natural ability, or it’s, it’s somewhat inherent, that they’re just more self aware of what you need to work on. And some others just have layers of layers of layers of bullshit, on top of their problems and can’t really see where any need to go. And also not willing to put in the work, maybe meditation, journaling, whatever helps improving your self awareness, to really penetrate all these layers of distraction and bullshit that has been put there on top from social media and movies or expectations, social brainwashing paradigms, where your parents wherever it’s coming from, and just having this ability really this, zooming out, changing our perspectives, seeing things with a clear mind, high level of self awareness, it’s just something that I would put on there, because ultimately everything like factor bankroll management, why does it come from why because you, you overestimate yourself? What What’s the cause of that? unawareness, very low level of self awareness. Maybe lacking the ability to learn properly to focus and then really grasping concepts and learning properly, that you’re able to apply these concepts? Where does it come from also a low level of self awareness, no level to concentrate, because also, if you have a high level of self awareness, you also you can focus work, you can study work, it just goes hand in hand. So it all a lot comes really down. A lack of self awareness, in my opinion.
Brad Wilson (1:07:51) It’s great stuff, man. Just greatness bombs galore in there.
Benjamin Rolle (1:07:56) It’s something that because I also it’s really dangerous to be like, oh, yeah, I’m more enlightened rights and someone else, or I’m smarter, or I’m better or whatever, I don’t think it’s really bad. I think that just some people really have a higher level of self awareness and put in the work to overcome their traumas, their problems, and some others don’t. And that’s just, that’s just my opinion, how, how I see things and and then ultimately, the result of it will be ultimately that you’re going to be successful or achieve the goals that you set out.
Brad Wilson (1:08:34) And awareness is, you know, just from like a practical standpoint, I remember playing in a game one time with Josh Aria, who’s been on the podcast, we were playing a PLO game, and he was buried. And I remember he bought like 25k in chips, and was like, about to buy back in and sit back down and just had like, a moment of clarity. And he just said, I’m going to dust this off if I play, and then he just like, stood up and left. And that stuck with me as like, you know, the folks that just torched their bankroll, right, the folks that get stuck and end up just battling for 48 hours and just, you know, going broke over and over and over and over again, like, you need to have self awareness to realize like, I am compromised right now, like I am not in a rational state of mind, a rational state of being and then because like, if you’re not aware that this is happening, you can’t take action. Only by being aware, can you take the action of like, oh, this is a this is good things are not going to happen if I keep going. So I need to like collect myself and regroup, you know, but just so tactically, you have to be aware. And I think that like it comes at major decision points in your poker sessions as well. Like you can be biased or infer woman’s by some sort of inner emotion that causes you to make subpar decisions. And like if you have no awareness that like that part of your body is pinging you to do something that is going to not going to end. Well. You can’t correct that either. So like, yeah, you’re absolutely right. And segwaying into the next question. What’s something that you think folks spend too much time thinking about?
Benjamin Rolle (1:10:29) Love coaching and bluffing? I just had a session today with one of our partners on stream as we’re talking about this. When students bring hands or when I see other people reviewing, I mean, this is probably what just pros should focus a lot on. And the average player beginners in the media, it’s absolutely insane to me how much time I feel like 980 90% of the time goes into studying difficult bluff catcher spots, bluffing slots, and 10% of the time, in maybe 20% of the time in playing how they play the value hands. But if these days, you can even get access to cybers for free for like a trial period. And if you will just watch and see how much profit how many BB you generate. From your value hands versus your bluffs and bluff catches. It’s astonishing to me that most people don’t reverse it and focus 70 80% of paying their value and property. Because you can generate all win rates of 5060 7080 big blinds per hand when you have a good head versus 0.8 big blinds with a bluff or bluff catcher. So what do you think what determines your win rate to play your value ads properly. Also play your blast for if you skip a bluff or two, if you maybe make a tight lay down and you don’t find the proper column, it’s not going to cost your winrate as much as if you fuck it up with your value hands. If you bet half pot instead of pot and you miss 50 big blinds on your turn. If you die and don’t find this, that thin value bet on the river that can bring you 20 3040 big blinds. That’s kind of like that’s insane for your winrate.
Brad Wilson (1:12:09) Yeah, it’s it’s Pareto Principle, right? Like 20 20% of the thing affects 80% of win rate. And so focus on the 20%. Right and most of winrate is generated from maximizing value. Yeah. And yeah, it’s just first app could not agree more that like first thing is maximize your good hands. Like when you have good hands, you need to maximize value. Yeah. What’s some common poker advice you hear that you completely disagree with?
Benjamin Rolle (1:12:42) Every call the charm we have to call the river. That’s the most worst cringe. And then something like, oh, we invested already 1/3 of our stack, we can’t afford any more for preflop situations. Like three if you want to three votes, you’re 20 big blinds are men raising Alpha human race with 10 big blinds we can’t afford anymore. Like I just I’ve seen and heard so many advice are just like, Oh my God, that’s just so terrible.
Brad Wilson (1:13:11) I can’t really comment on 10 Big Blind poker, I don’t know, I have no idea what to do.
Benjamin Rolle (1:13:16) If I haven’t raced with 10 Even though you’ve made big blinds, it’s definitely possible. It’s all about the odds that you get the equity not the stack size you’re raising of at some point you reach a threshold where you have to raise call your entire range, maybe 6.7 big blinds or whatever. But this is because the odds we get not we stack size we raised with in the first place and then big lines of race is to solve for nine big blinds and someone jumps on you. You fall you’re not committed, you don’t get the right price to call it off. And that’s what matters. It’s what most people don’t understand.
Brad Wilson (1:13:47) Yeah. And as it relates to like saying calling turn, always calling the river, it’s like sometimes they like they don’t bet the river every time, right. And like if they just under bluff and calling the river doesn’t make much sense, right?
Benjamin Rolle (1:13:59) Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And also the rivers can change everything like,
Brad Wilson (1:14:04) yeah, we’re not at the river yet. Yeah, right. Like we’ll have the data point of what the river is going to bring. So there’s information that has been yet to be realized. So like when that information is realized, then you just look at the situation as it is.
Benjamin Rolle (1:14:21) Yeah, absolutely.
Brad Wilson (1:14:24) If you could gift every poker player one book to read, and it doesn’t have to be about poker. What would you give them?
Benjamin Rolle (1:14:32) Pretty easy Eckhart tolle’s a new earth.
Brad Wilson (1:14:35) I think Jungleman recommended that as well. What it’s worth Jong Un jungle Eckhart Tolle, why Eckhart Tolle
Benjamin Rolle (1:14:45) I think you’ve the first 2030 pages are very difficult to read as far as what it was skipping on to, but I think midway through the book it just gets so insane where at least I had another epiphanies I don’t have a ha moment And, and I just learned so much about self awareness, the ego the pain body, and was just I could resonate with so many situations in my life and I could finally understand where it’s coming from before that was okay, just the way I am. The way I react, respond to keep in relationships in poker, and I just, that’s the way I am, I can’t do anything about it. And then you suddenly understand where certain emotion certain frustrations, anger, where it’s coming from, how you can cope with it, how you can change your relationship to it, it’s not about suppressing it. And this is just something that has really opened my eyes. And a lot of the time I have spent on perhaps, working on myself just realize, okay, it’s actually not about trying to fix it or working on it in terms of denying it, suppressing it, right. The way most people approach it is they try to ignore, say, okay, that’s not part of me, and this is how I fix it, and I move on, but ultimately, it will come back and it’s it is the way you are, it is the part of you and it just about changing your relationship to it. And, you know, What you resist will persist. And I just started, I just had so many insights on general how we operate, how we work as human beings in terms of our mind, and just being present, and how it can really impact your life. And also, what was very interesting to me is around the pain body, how an entire industry is built on negative emotions, how we can get addicted, the addictive to negative emotions. I mean, why do you think the entire entertainment industry is built on negative emotions, right? Action movies, murder news, everything is around negativity like 90% of the time, right? Because we are addictive and he explains very well why negative emotions and positive emotions, what it has to do with frequencies and why we are more prone to be addicted to those emotions, why certain people cannot get out of toxic relationships because it just it feels so addictive to be to be attached to that drama to that net to those negative emotions. And it’s very interesting what once you read about the, the science fair, I don’t want to spoil too much because I’m also embarrassing myself too much if I get too scientific. So yeah, just give it a read. It’s definitely worth in a lot of different efforts. Not even just you not interested in poker, maybe you stumbled across this channel here, just for your relationships, you. I mean, it’s not a poker book, by any means. So for your life, but it’s definitely very helpful for poker as well.
Brad Wilson (1:17:45) It’s probably doubtful that somebody’s listened to this whole conversation and has no interest in poker, I would say. Never know. But yeah, like, basically, one thing that you mentioned there is just suppressing emotions, right? And feeling like they’re just bad or negative. And, you know, we just give a lot of power to our struggles when we suppress them and deny them and the reality is, we just need to be aware that they’re there and then work you know, and then go start at that point and then go from there, but never tried to like, you just can’t switch off. Emotions. We are biologically emotional creatures. You can just, you know, even as poker players, right? You can’t just become a machine because like you are a human being and thank God for that right? Because else we would experience no joy or pain either way.
Benjamin Rolle (1:18:38) Yeah, absolutely.
Brad Wilson (1:18:42) If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about poker, what would it be?
Benjamin Rolle (1:18:47) Sorry, can you repeat that? Please?
Brad Wilson (1:18:49) If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about poker?
Benjamin Rolle (1:18:54) Well what is the what is the magic wand? Like is it like a wish or..
Brad Wilson (1:18:58) rub rub the genie lamp and he gives you He gives you only one wish? What would you poker? Yeah What is the magic wand that’s pretty.
Benjamin Rolle (1:19:11) Tough to say I mean, I wish it would have way more of a way bigger audience but I feel like it’s more the result that needs to happen before that in order for this to happen, right? So but if I if I would have had wish I was like maybe 10 times the the audience of poker because it is awesome. It’s an it’s an it’s an insane game. A lot of money is at stake. And the most obvious one would probably pat the rake in half.
Brad Wilson (1:19:47) Less rake more people as a game. Things I can I can certainly get behind. If you could put up a billboard that every poker player is going to drive past on the way To the casino, what is your billboard? Say?
Benjamin Rolle (1:20:07) Bluff bend CB what would you put on the Billboard?
Brad Wilson (1:20:15) I don’t know. I’m not sure it changes. So often I think like, one that gets kind of repeated over and over I think is just be kind treat others with respect. I think like, that’s just a part of poker that, you know, when we talk about growing the game 10x and getting more people involved it a large part of that is having an environment that facilitates that. And that includes just being kind to the people that you’re playing against, you know, it is a competition and there are emotions. And it’s okay to like express emotions. But calling people names, just making it a bad atmosphere. I just think there’s really no place for that. And yeah, it’s just something that if I could wave my magic wand, that’s one of the things I would I would get rid of everyone, you know, what’s a project you’re working on? that’s near and dear to your heart?
Benjamin Rolle (1:21:15) Actually, right now, there are two projects that I’m really passionate about. One is poker one is non poker related. The poker related one is that we are developing a new tier four pair, which is our study software, where you are basically getting to practice preflop ranges in early mid stage of the tournament. ICM adjusted ICM has a much bigger impact on preflop ranges than I think most people think. It’s incredibly hard to study because the Sims are incredibly huge. If you consider the payout structures, it’s like three, four or 500 players left. So you get to practice how to hold ranges change from the beginning of the tournament up until the point that 50% of the field are busted up until the point you reach the money by practicing the money by practicing Final Table ranges. Because as it turns out, GTO just purely chipping Egidio ranges are not very useful for tournament poker. And yeah, this is the project now that that we have been working on we are importing lot of ranges, I will create video content around I think that’s going to be a massive, massive game changer for a lot of people. Once they discover Oh, wait, I’m supposed to do this year. All right. And then the second project is eSports. We’re being an eSports. With a cent club. We just got valorant World Champions and yeah, that’s just a project that is very exciting. Exciting new teams working with the players just makes a lot of fun.
Brad Wilson (1:22:44) What are your what is your responsibility in the eSports?
Benjamin Rolle (1:22:49) I’m, I’m the founder and owner of a sand club before that it used to be razor edge gaming. It was before we entered valorant with Riot they’re very Yeah, they’re probably a bidding sponsors with gambling background. So then we basically stopped research gaming and started a new project started a new company with the same club.
Brad Wilson (1:23:11) Why? Why gaming?
Benjamin Rolle (1:23:15) Oh, I when I stopped playing football, I also was enjoying playing video games. I was playing video games myself professionally, I just love eSports and I think it’s the future of, of competitive gaming. Not not only eSports but also in comparison to any other regular sports. I think the way they are the next generations. It’s just everything is going to be around smartphones, tablets, and yeah, I just I think not necessary because of eSports I just really enjoy working with young aspiring people. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. It’s a it’s a it’s a cool industry. I still love to play games myself. And I say my date with poker. I’m just trying to connect, you know, my passion, my hobby, with something that looks very prosperous in the future, which is eSports.
Brad Wilson (1:24:03) Yeah, that that sounds great. That’s awesome.
Benjamin Rolle (1:24:05) And I’m trying to follow my own roots connect your passion with with potential or with something that people want and
Brad Wilson (1:24:13) And going back to that first project, when do you anticipate launch?
Benjamin Rolle (1:24:18) I want to get content out there as soon as possible. Probably around somewhere maybe beginning mid end of February, beginning of March something and that’s that range.
Brad Wilson (1:24:30) Cool. So quite soon. Soon. Yeah. Yeah, so just one more question for you. And that’s if the chasing poker greatness listener wants to learn more about you on the worldwide web. Where can they find you?
Benjamin Rolle (1:24:46) Twitter Ben CB YouTube razor edge. We also literature for research, Instagram, razor edge and Ben CB. If you just type it in, you would very likely find us We also recently released a free course. So if you want to get into tournament poker and you don’t really know where to start entirely for free, you can sign up, you get your first you make your first steps in the world of studying poker. And you can see if it’s something for you. And yeah, just learn concepts around preflop posted on ICM bankroll management. And it’s basically the same what I did with the tournaments didn’t go course because there’s again, also not really structured free content. And I got this I get this question a lot. Where can I start? Yeah, and or how can I start studying? What if I don’t want to spend money? Yes. I mean, it’s, again, a bit controversial. If you want to study something, you don’t spend money, I think in these days, yeah, I mean, you have to probably then go on YouTube, but it’s not very structured. But I just wanted to do like a mini course where people make their first steps, studying without spending money.
Brad Wilson (1:25:51) Awesome, man. And if you’re an aspiring MTT player, I think raise your edge is like, again, this is totally unqualified, promotion here by me since I don’t play MTTs. But all I can say is like I’ve heard from many, many different places that your course highly influential in their poker careers and attribute a lot of their long term success to us specifically, so can’t be a bad way. So razor edge.com been It’s been great having you on the show very much appreciate and value your time and yeah, let’s do this again in the near future.
Benjamin Rolle (1:26:33) Absolutely. Brad, thank you so much for having me.
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