Eric Froehlich: $2.6 Million in Lifetime Live Cashes & MTG Hall of Fame

Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 208

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Today’s guest on CPG is a multiple time WSOP gold bracelet winner who has $2.6 million in live MTT cashes… Eric Froehlich.

Eric’s journey into the world of poker began with a gateway game you should be very familiar with at this point: Magic: The Gathering. And Efro isn’t just good, he’s a Magic Hall of Famer who’s one of the very best on the planet.

Back in 2005 when Eric entered his first world series of poker, we didn’t have to wait very long for him to make his mark. As fate would have it, his first ever cash at the WSOP was beating over 1,000 players to take down a $1,500 limit event in 2005 for a cool $300k score.

From there he ended up winning another WSOP bracelet as well as becoming a sponsored Full Tilt red pro.

But as you’re about to learn in my conversation with Eric, however, outer success is always secondary to inner peace.

In today’s episode with Eric Froehlich, you’re going to learn:

The amazing story behind Eric’s first WSOP bracelet… if you’re a bankroll nit you should probably close your eyes.

The power of self-healing and growth.

The romantical tale of how Eric met his wife.

And much, MUCH more!

Now, without any further ado, the one and only Eric “Efro” Froehlich.

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 Eric Froehlich 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:

Transcription of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 208: Eric Froehlich: $2.6 Million In Lifetime Live Cashes & MTG Hall Of Fame

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Welcome my friend 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 CPG is a multiple time WSOP gold bracelet winner who has $2.6 million in live MTT caches, Eric Froelich Eric’s journey into the world of poker began with a gateway game you should be very familiar with at this point. Magic the Gathering and II fro isn’t just good. He’s a magic Hall of Famer who’s one of the very best on the planet. And back in 2005. When Eric entered his first WSOP, we didn’t have to wait very long for him to make his mark. As fate would have in his first ever cash and the WSOP was beating over 1000 players to take down a $1,500 limit event and 2005 for a cool $300,000 score. From there, he ended up winning another WSOP bracelet as well as becoming a sponsored Full Tilt red Pro. But as you’re about to learn in the following conversation with Eric, our success is always secondary to inner peace. So in today’s episode featuring Eric Froelich, you’re going to learn the amazing story behind Eric’s first WSOP bracelet. If you’re a bankroll nit, you should probably close your eyes, the power of self healing and growth, the romantical tale of how Eric met his wife, and much, much more. Now without any further ado, I bring to you the one and only Eric EAFE. Row Frohman.

 

Eric, welcome to chasing poker greatness, sir, how you doing? Man? I’m doing quite well, doing quite well. Typically, to start off this show. The first question is how did you enter the world of poker? You know, what is your poker journey look like? And I know that you’re in the Magic the Gathering Hall of Fame. So I have to imagine those two are linked.

 

Eric Froehlich (2:33) Oh yeah, super light. I started playing poker before I was 21. And I was kind of the youngest and my friend group by a small amount of a bunch of different Magic players. And most of them, if not all of them for at least a period of time got into poker. And among those the person who played the most was most successful was Brock Parker, who was T Cipriano on PokerStars. And have been, you know, played on a lot of different sites between paradise poker and everything else that existed back then. But I spent a lot of time just kind of watching him play, decided I wanted to kind of dabble in the game, got some basic tips of you know how to start out, or at least what hands to play to start out playing what was limit Hold’em at the time, you know, a small amount of money sent to me from a friend to play on a site and started running it up slowly. I mean, it was the Wild West back then it for a long period of time, it felt like with poker, that if you were smart, and you were going to put time into it, even without necessarily fully knowing what you are doing, you are going to be pretty successful because there were so much money on there. And there were so many people who were just there for the good time, they weren’t trying to necessarily get better, or trying to do anything besides, you know, blow off steam or, you know, recreational activity. before Black Friday, and everything got checked out. It just felt like everyone I knew everyone in my friend group, the people who would tell you, they really never knew how to play poker. And for myself, who was really successful looking back then, I don’t think I was ever particularly good when I was winning the most. But it was just a time where it didn’t take that much. As long as you know, you were taking in what was happening learning a little bit, you know, trying to understand just more than the people around you, which wasn’t really that much back then obviously today it’s a totally different world and requires an incredible amount of training to be anywhere near the top or be successful. But um, yeah, it was just was something that was really interesting to me. So that was something I kind of dabbled in, you know, playing at 19 and 20. Going through magic I became friends with. I became friends with David Williams his friends, which allowed me to then meet David Williams When PEO he kinda was taking a break from Magic came back to magic. We became really close. I was kind of coaching him in 2004 Because I was 20, I couldn’t go play the World Series of Poker. But at that point, I’d gotten pretty good for the time. Not that again, I want to preface that by saying, at no point, I actually think that my skill level at poker would rival what anyone consider good nowadays, but I was good for the time, I feel like and, you know, we, he played a lot of satellites on PokerStars, wanting to play the main event. I talked him through a lot of hands afterwards, we talked a lot of poker, he ended up qualifying for the main event, I got second place. And then I came out the next year and won my first bracelet and kind of went from there.

 

Brad Wilson (5:33) It’s really hard to compare eras, you know, I think, especially in pokers, you know, because what’s interesting about like, the current era of poker, is that like, it needed that era as a foundation to build off of, right? Like, it’s not like people today are more intelligent, right? It’s like, they just had all those experiences of, you know, 2004, to 2011, to build off of, and have software and create software and invest time and invest energy into really just just, I’m not going to say solving the game, but like basically understanding the game at a much deeper level than you know, we understood it back then. And kind of going back to your early days, I guess, to set the timeline, like how old are you today? And at what part of the country did you grow up?

 

Eric Froehlich (6:25) I turn 38 in a week. I guess this was about 17 to 20 years ago when I was coming up. And at the time I was, you know, in the mid Atlantic, Brock and my friends were in the Maryland area. I was in Northern Virginia. And I went to UVA for college. And yeah, I ended up moving out to Los Angeles, right when I turned 21, right before the World Series and moving to Vegas, I guess in 2010, for the first

 

Brad Wilson (6:56) time, how did you get into magic in the first place?

 

Eric Froehlich (6:59) I mean, magic. So this was fifth grade. So 9094 and 94, and 295. And just went to a really good elementary school that had a good gifted program, my teacher, one teacher of the year, and basically was setting up, he set up this whole like economy. We had our own monetary system banking system that used a lot of various things that are actually used in banking with interest and loans and had a whole government system, which was kind of just a law for kids who were 11. And it was great, but part of the economy became, you know, having these fats that people got excited over and then sold and traded in class and it started pugs. And then it became magic. And so the entire class, the entire class started playing Magic, and all the boys all the girls were all collecting the magic cards. And I thought the game was cool. But the rulebook for magic, his attempts, like I could not pick it up. And I didn’t even I someone who’s never really been a reader or anything like that, like, just trying to go through this monotony of words and explanations and stuff that really I don’t think was laid out particularly easy, especially for a kid. It just wasn’t something that was happening. And so my dad ended up reading the whole rulebook and teaching my brother and I to play. And so he played with us. And I got really into it. And by the time next year rolled around for sixth grade, there was only myself and one other kid from class who still played magic at all. But at that point, I really liked it. And so it was something I started doing locally, going to tournaments, collecting cards and got pretty competitive into it really early. I think my first top eight they call it basically Final Table. In a large scale tournament. I was 13 I think I was the youngest to do that and qualify for the professional event. So yeah, it was something I really picked up on and loved from a very early age.

 

Brad Wilson (9:04) Why did magic resonate with you? Like you? As you said, you didn’t want to read the rulebook. You know, your dad taught you how to play.

 

Eric Froehlich (9:12) I didn’t not want to read the rulebook I was failing. Very much. It was just it was above my head. It was

 

Brad Wilson (9:20) Yeah. What Why did it stick? Why was it so impactful and resonate with you in such a way that like, you just invested so much energy and you know, increase your level of skill so quickly?

 

Eric Froehlich (9:35) I think that I’ve always been someone who’s really like the competitive outlet. And for me growing up I played baseball, basketball, football, play, dabbled in the sports, but I’ve always been a big guy. I’ve always been out of shape. I’ve never been particularly athletic. So these sports, I was fine at times. I was decent, but like I wasn’t good. And I’ve always been very sharp. I’ve been very math Medical, I’m very analytical. And so finding somewhere where I could use that outlet to both be competitive and be strategic was just perfect. And so I grew up playing a little bit of chess as just a kid get like, I obviously, I’ve never good at chess either. But I was good, I was really good probably for someone who was nine or 10, like I, you know, was able to do well at all of the local to like slightly bigger than local tournaments. But, you know, never particularly good. And magic was just something that allowed me to both use the creative, like, I’m not really a creative person. But the way that I am creative blends very well to magic and like, it’s creative, and a strategy type way. Like, I’m not artistic, I’m not, you know, I don’t really view the world in those type of ways. But when I can kind of get creative with things that involve numbers more like, which also ends up playing out pretty well with poker, I’ve tried to think about different ways to play hands that aren’t necessarily straightforward. Yeah, it’s just something that really clicked with me. And so from an early age, like I also just someone who enjoys collecting, like, I have the whole DVD collection, not that I really care about DVDs, I just think those type of things are nice. I don’t read books, I don’t care about books, but I think libraries are awesome. Like, I think seeing a display of books that I never want to read is really cool. Like, that’s just part of my personality, I guess. And so the magic cards, like it hit on everything.

 

Brad Wilson (11:35) And how did it feel, you know, not having a ton of success, right, like competitively in like physical sports and things like that. And then playing Magic and another competitive endeavor, and you are competing at a high level, like you are finding success

 

Eric Froehlich (11:59) was good for me and bad for me. You know, I was both the loud kid who was always cracking jokes, and kind of I don’t want to say knew I was smarter than everyone else. But in a way kind of that, like, I knew I was really sharp. And

 

Brad Wilson (12:16) I don’t want to say it. But i dont know. 

 

Eric Froehlich (12:19)  

I’m not smarter than everyone because like, I was clearly not the case. But, you know, I think that’s kind of the saying, like, smarter than everyone else. Obviously, it doesn’t mean have to be 100%. Sure, you know, I was I was very smart for my age. And I was very quick at picking things up and magic. I think the fact that I was so good, I guess from such a young age and beating people who were 1520 years older than me consistently made me kind of cocky, kind of brash, kind of loud, kind of IQ. And so I don’t, I mean, I tried to think back to that time, it’s hard, because I don’t necessarily know exactly what I was like, but I can only imagine that like, people we know when I’m 14 and cocky, and people are 28 probably hated me. I don’t actually know for sure. But I mean, I can’t I imagine I would have hated me.

 

Brad Wilson (13:11) Yeah, they may not have hated you, but you certainly broke their spirits.

 

Eric Froehlich (13:15) Yeah, I think that kind of blends in with humor, when you’re talking about, you know how the game that you’re going to play. If someone’s breaking your spirits or anything, it’s not going to make it as fun. So, I mean, that’s something I feel like I got better about pretty quickly. But I think that was definitely a phase in my life where I went from, you know, just kind of being that cocky kid. And I ended up going to it was Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which was the number one rated high school in the country. And I was no longer the smartest kid I wasn’t even close. And I would hang out with a lot of people who are just brilliant all the time. And it also became a place where I guess being more of a goofball being allowed or just didn’t, maybe it would have been totally fine. But it felt inappropriate, as I’m like, taking college level classes and having a bunch of people who are super studious, which I obviously have never been studious. I’ve never been someone who’s gotten into books or studied or done any of these things. And that was kind of a normal thing growing up, but then I was around a lot of kids from you know, different areas who all came to this magnet school. And that wasn’t didn’t really feel like the case anymore. And so I just became very, very introverted, very quiet, very, you know, different than I think I had been for the previous few years. And, you know, I think that also allowed me to escape a little bit more into magic bars just kind of in my notebook, scribbling down deck ideas and card ideas and various things with that to kind of get lost in my own world. Because I think I was kind of more lost as as a person. Just didn’t really feel like I fit in very well.

 

Brad Wilson (14:47) Yeah. Do you think that? Do you have fond memories of going to that school or do you think it would have been better to stay in your other school?

 

Eric Froehlich (14:56) Really hard to say? I had a conversation With only my mom about how miserable I will, you know, I felt, and she wanted me to go back to the other school, but I felt like I would kind of be disappointing my dad, who again, I never really talked to about it, but he’s always like, I know he would have been totally fine with that he’s the most supportive person I’ve ever met. When I ended up dropping out of school for poker when I started traveling for magic, all these things, he was by my side, like he traveled to the events with me in high school. For the magic tournament, I was missing school all the time to go to these things totally supportive. And so I don’t know if that was all in my head, or, you know, again, at this point, it’s so long ago, it’s over 20 years, and I don’t really know for sure, it’s just whatever ideas I’ve kind of conjured up in my head about how I feel the situation was like, Yeah, would my life had been better? I don’t, I don’t know. It’s so hard to say, because I really did have some solid friendships. But I didn’t, I don’t really have those friendships today, like all of my lifelong friends are magic, and poker players. And all of the poker players are for magic. So it’s kind of all that thing. And so magic really shaped my life more than anything else. And what school I was at, it’s hard to say which one would have necessarily done more for me, like I ended up obviously, getting a great education because I was an incredible high school, I got into UVA, which was, you know, a top 20 school. Because honestly, most of my graduating class ended up going to UVA. Like it’s basically the the quote unquote, safety school, but for that high school, because everyone else is going to Harvard and MIT and Stanford and everything else. And so it’s just like, I don’t know, I don’t know how much things would have been different. I mean, the high school I would, the junior high, I went to fed into high school with six grades. It was a massive, massive campus, obviously, for you know, having six grades that are just, you know, and full grade, so probably had 6000 or so students like big, big school, life would have just been different. I don’t know whether it would have been better or worse. I don’t know, what kind of situations would arise being in a more public school because I think I was probably in a more sheltered school and a lot of ways. Yeah, it’s just hard to say,

 

Brad Wilson (17:05)  

when you played magic, were you more gregarious, outgoing, than you where in school?

 

Eric Froehlich (17:10) A little bit? I mean, I was definitely, definitely as I started getting later on, like, my senior year of high school, you could have made an argument that I was, you know, in the conversation for best match. Whether it was probably not number one, but in that, you know, conversation, maybe top five, and I did extremely well and a bunch of events in a row. And, you know, that confidence that I don’t really have in anything else necessarily, especially being, you know, an overweight teenager who was not very social. It wasn’t really a, you know, I think I definitely wasn’t anywhere near popular. I don’t want to say that I was totally unpopular, because I did have. I did have people I hung out with, I did have friends. I did actually, I don’t remember much about it. But I know I used to hang out after school, like, once or twice a week and play poker with like the popular kids in the senior Lounge, which I wasn’t really friends with any of them. And I don’t really know how that came about. I remember that it was a thing that I used to do.

 

Brad Wilson (18:22) Yeah. How does it feel? You know, you said you’re about to turn 38. I’ve been 38. Now for a couple of months, I can attest that it feels a lot like 37. But yeah, forgetting these memories, like just being it’s just this weird transition period, I think in life where it’s like, wow, like, I know, I was a kid and I remember being a kid and I remember being small, but like, I can’t really imagine it now. Anyway,

 

Eric Froehlich (18:51) I can totally imagine it like I can see a game. I can see where we were hanging out. I can see the layout of the school. I know the people I know the jokes. I got cracked, but I don’t know how it started. Yeah, again, I wasn’t popular. I wasn’t friends with these people. So how and I wasn’t like a poker player. It’s not like people go like, Oh, you play poker you want to hang out and play in this game. So where would that have started? I don’t really know.

 

Brad Wilson (19:16) Well, whatever. You can make up your own story. Now who the hell cares? Nobody will. Nobody could fact check it anyway. That it happened. Exactly. You mentioned dropping out of school to play Magic and poker. Tell me about that and how that went down.

 

Eric Froehlich (19:37) I didn’t drop out of school to play Magic or poker. You know, I completed high school, went to college. And college was a struggle because it was very similar to high school and then I started off and I was the same person. I didn’t attend class pretty regularly. Like I pretty regularly skip classes. I didn’t read books or open textbooks. I didn’t really study my brain. At the time, and this is the tough part about getting gold, you talked about the memories, I used to have the best memory of anyone I’ve ever met. Actually, that’s changed now that I’ve met some people in poker, but for a long time, where I could go to class, I could sleep through the class. And I would retain a huge amount of the information from the point where, during the test, the answer was there in my head, but I’d never opened a textbook. And I wasn’t paying attention during the class when this was talked about. And so it created this very, you know, kind of easy street, but also, I felt like I’m in school, I’m at a great school. Honestly, I enjoyed the classes that I went to, and yet I had no desire to be there. And I didn’t take school seriously. And it felt like, I’m letting myself down, letting my family down letting the world down a lot of ways. It was kind of disappointing that because, you know, I said earlier, like, I think I was given a real gift of, you know, what I was given as far as intelligence is concerned, I think that I was born very intelligent, my dad is extremely intelligent, my mom is not the same as far as booksmart. But it’s just very intelligent in a lot of other ways. And I feel like I got a lot of the best qualities to my brother. And I see that not as a brag, but as a thing that I feel like. I feel like I’ve almost wasted that and a lot of ways, and especially at the time, because I wasn’t doing anything to help the world or help society, I wasn’t doing anything advantageous with it. And I eventually found, you know, these card games, I think I’ve given a lot back and done a lot of really good things as a result since then. And so I’m pretty happy with how my life has ended up shaping out. But definitely in my 20s this was a real thing that I’m just like, Man, I feel like I’ve kind of been given this, you know, Silver Spoon, golden spoon, silver platter, whatever the saying is, and I’m really just kind of squandering it and a lot of ways. And I felt disappointing, I guess.

 

Brad Wilson (22:07) Yeah, I mean, it can be a burden, right? Like you are born with these gifts. And if you don’t, you know, use them for the greater good, or you’re just using them to play card games, or whatever it is, you’re like, ah, you know, you can see it feels like you can feel like you had more to give. And you’re just kind of squandering it or how, however you relate it in your own mind.

 

Eric Froehlich (22:30) Well, yeah, and at the time, I was doing nothing, like I was scribbling down decklist for magic. But like, I wasn’t really attending class, I was in a great school and not taking advantage of it. So not only was I not using guest but I also was in this position that I think a lot of people would have really liked to be in to be able to get that kind of education and be in this great environment. I mean, UVA is an incredible campus, incredible school has so many great professors. And it’s just like, I wasn’t, I wasn’t even go into class most of the time. Like, it’s just what was the point? And yeah, so what ended up happening was, my mom actually got had multiple brain tumors, and it was, you know, serious, and she ended up having to have surgery, they ended up not being cancerous and the surgery, they said, they kind of gave, like, a very, like, the best case scenario is x, the odds of that happening are low. And then her result was significantly better than x. So a lot of the, you know, guaranteed downsides didn’t happen. And all the positives basically happened. So it was ended up being completely incredible. What you know that she was totally fine, and that she had less issues afterwards by a longshot than they said, Were the minimum. So it worked out great. But I, you know, that was kind of a low point where if something happened to my mom, I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it at all, like, really shitty thoughts crossed my, my mind on many occasions, but I ended up taking time off school. School was going poorly for me, mainly because I ran into UVA having a language requirement. And languages is one thing where you can’t really sleep through class or not study and not read the book and retain things for that long. And so once they get into, like, you know, conjugating all sorts of, you know, things getting trickier and needing to have this incredible amount of memorization and actual usage, where I was putting in no effort it became where, despite getting A’s in the class, doing nothing, the first couple semesters once you get into like, advanced, it was just like, I can’t pass, I have no chance of passing. There’s nothing that I can do under my current structure without actually learning this stuff, which I’ve never tried to do and pass and so, you know, I was at that weird crossroads of figuring out whether I want to take this seriously plus all this stuff going on. And so I ended up taking time off during that time off I hit my 21st birthday, want to see like a couple of days after my birthday on PokerStars to the main event, and decided, yeah, I was gonna go out to play to play poker. And so, yeah, that was just kind of circumstantial.

 

Brad Wilson  (25:14) And that first year that you were eligible to play poker. How did that WSOP go?

 

Eric Froehlich (25:23) Well, of course, now, you know, what, 17 years later, I’ve told the story a lot of times now, but one more time for for fun is that I went out with a couple friends, I’ll share to hotel room at the Rio, I went to the World Series with $5,000 at the beginning. And so I didn’t really know that this was not, you know, enough money to do anything, but whatever. And I had my main event scene, of course, which was like a month afterwards. And I played the first event. The first event was so awkward, because I realized I never actually played Live Poker before. Use chips, I’ve never didn’t really even know how to protect my hand or anything, this wasn’t really a thing. And so yeah, I ended up going pretty deep into day one, and losing and play the next day, because no limit 1500 than pot limit to 1500. And that didn’t go well. And last. So now I’ve got 2k left there for another month. You know, there’s only if you want, there weren’t a bunch of $500, Colossus turrets or anything. So basically, I’ve got one more tournament, I can play and maybe afford to eat for a while or something along those lines or figure something else out. And so both my friends end up going down on day three for the 1500 limit. And I’ve said I’m gonna skip this one. I’m sitting in my hotel room, and I’m just like, Man, this stinks. Like, what am I supposed to do? And I’m like, Well, if I go down and register this tournament, but basically, in my case, 1500, there’s about a 99% chance I regret that. I sit in this hotel room and never play it. There’s 100% chance, I’m going to regret that. And so I went down and played it ended up winning. And so that worked out.

 

Brad Wilson (27:01) My God. Ben, did nobody tell you about cash games or satellites?

 

Eric Froehlich (27:05) I don’t know how much of like, I’m sure it had to have existed at the time there. But I don’t know how much of it. There was in 2005. Like this was the first year of the Rio. I mean, there must have been stuff. But yeah, I don’t know that I know it unnecessarily done well. Like it wasn’t tough to say I don’t really remember all that much about how good I was. Or I guess I was probably still playing online. And I could have been playing online in the room or something like that. 

 

Brad Wilson (27:33) And that’s funny. So yeah, you bought into the 1500 with your friends. And you know, you had a month ago, but whatever. Well, we’ll figure it out. What happened.

 

Eric Froehlich (27:44) They went pretty well. Sometimes things work out. And I don’t know why. It’s hard to say how stuff like that happens. But yeah, Lucky.

 

Brad Wilson (27:53)  

Yeah. Would you win from that tournament?

 

Eric Froehlich (28:01) First place, and that was 360. Did like some sort of split had, like I ended up with like, 300. And then I had splits with my other two friends who are staying with so thick. I probably ended up before taxes and stuff having a little over two to 20 Maybe. And then nothing after after taxes, but still good.

 

Brad Wilson (28:30) Yeah. You can now make it the rest of the month to the main event.

 

Eric Froehlich (28:36) I did and I did not come close to catching another.

 

Brad Wilson (28:41) You’re the youngest player to win a bracelet that year right in 2005. Yes. Yeah. Was that even? Like? Do you remember when they told you that? Did you even know that that was like on the table until you had one embrace it.

 

Eric Froehlich (28:56) So funny enough. 2005 was just obviously a bit of a boom, like the fact that if you look today, or not even today, because obviously there’s a pandemic, but anytime in the past however many years and 1500 limit tournament, you know, the fact that there was over 1100 entries in first place was three to $60,000. Like that’s not a thing. And yeah, it was just crazy. And so the numbers that we’re getting were just massive, and so ended up happening. My tournament was not supposed to be covered. Not surprisingly, because why would they put a 50 100 limit on ESPN, but because there were so many people and it went so long. And one of the earlier events, I think the first event maybe Scott Fischer won, or Scott Fishman one or something like that they were supposed to, I think record the second event. And the first one went so long that they couldn’t and so they ended up putting mine in its place. And so of course then there was a bunch of interviews with, you know, before we played the final table, there’s all the ESPN stuff and all those side interviews and the various stuff with that. So, I mean, I certainly knew, I also think a lot of those records are kind of silly In a lot of ways, like I think that being really young and doing well is cool. But also like, like if I win the event, if my birthday happens to be June 1, and the event is June 3, but I’ve already got to play several events where someone else does it in their first event, but their birthday was two days earlier. They’re not really like that. That makes no sense to me

 

Brad Wilson (30:20) like, yeah, it’s pretty arbitrary. Like it’s just kind of random.

 

Eric Froehlich (30:23) If me and you are born one week apart, but I’m one week younger, but I’ve played five events before you got to play your first or am I really doing something that’s more impressive than what you’re doing? No. So a lot of that those records are kind of weird to me, but at the same time, like, yeah, it was cool. And it was definitely something I cared about. Because you’ll take any record, you can get, like, that’s just a valuable thing. If people even if it’s not something that would necessarily matter to me, intrinsically, the fact that other people say it matters means it matters because it just was a thing. And so, um, you know, then Full Tilt is reaching out to me, and I get sponsorships and things like that. And it’s on TV, like it’s just worth monetary amounts. And so, even if it’s not really that special of a thing, in reality, the fact that you know, enough people in the world care about

 

Brad Wilson (31:14) it makes it Yeah. Which is kind of true if like most everything Yeah,

 

Eric Froehlich (31:18) pretty much everything in the world is

 

Brad Wilson (31:22) A friend of mine speaking of limit tournaments, I remember it was probably 2004 2005 He He want to brace it in Tunica. And it was like 70k for like a 1k limit Hold’em event and like there was like a fair amount of people that played in these like 1k limit Hold’em events like they were I think that was like that was like a staple of the tour around the country. They would have the those limit Hold’em events. I don’t know of many limit Hold’em events that are getting getting ran these days.

 

Eric Froehlich (31:53) I feel like people really cared about limit Hold’em. When I was coming up, it was the main game I played it was the main game all my friends played No, it was kind of an afterthought. And then limit kind of became more and more solved. And that just makes it less fun for a lot of people especially those who don’t necessarily want to spend time solving it and just kind of enjoy playing their game. But yeah, it was definitely I think what people kind of considered to be a you know a really big thing. Yeah,

 

Brad Wilson (32:22) I not that I think about it. The it was like the Party Poker million Cruz was a limit Hold’em event Michael Grots wanted one year, and it was like a multiple year thing like Kathy Liebert wanted. I can’t remember if it was limit Hold’em them but I know the year that Michael Grace wanted it was a WP T event. And it was limit Hold’em. Which, yeah, I think looking back on it, it’s like, wow, that’s pretty cool.

 

Eric Froehlich (32:46) Yeah, I mean, limit. Yeah, um, it was just big. I mean, there’s no other way to put it. And now today, it’s not really something that more than a handful of people really care about on the tournament scene, at least of course, it’s still going to be spreading all the casinos because there’s enough regulars who have been doing this for decades now. Yeah, it’s just not it’s not really where the glory is. And so it’s not really where as much money he’s going to be and so that kind of became the thing is just Where’s there going to be outside money, I guess. And so where you can get sponsorships and television money and, and really just, you know, that’s the best way to be profitable in anything, is to be able to get money from outside the prize pool where you’re already putting up your own buying.

 

Brad Wilson (33:29) Yeah, you’re leveraging leveraging your success into other avenues, other opportunities. It’s funny, I just had Tarrant Shan on the podcast, and he was like the we live in Hold’em in bosses. And he was just talking about how he played heads up limit Hold’em, and like, there was a point where you just don’t get action. You’re just like sit by yourself in the lobby. And you don’t ever play against anyone. So yeah, that was I remember, like Matt horror Linko playing on Full Tilt and just like sitting by himself at like, whatever the ungodly limit Hold’em biggest steak was at the time for K 8k or whatever table they had.

 

Eric Froehlich (34:11) Yeah, I’ve never never considered playing anything like that.

 

Eric Froehlich (37:52) Yes, and no, um, you know, after that first year, and that, you know, that summer playing World Series, I kind of did not want to be a professional poker player, I didn’t really think it was necessarily for me, there’s a lot of things about the entire lifestyle, I guess, in a lot of ways that didn’t necessarily feel like it meshed with me super well, like what, um, I don’t know how at that time, especially when I was 21, I don’t know how well, I could be around just like alcohol all the time, gambling all the time, like I have a very addictive personality. And it felt like it was gonna be very easy to fall into a lot of traps. And so being able to just, you know, I have been lucky that I haven’t fallen to a lot of the pitfalls that a lot of other poker players have fallen into with things like the pit and other things like that. Too much. But it’s definitely happened in my life to on smaller scales, where I could see it was going to get worse. And so I just, I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to catch myself before I’ve, you know, done anything that would have severely negatively impacted my life, but it felt like a thing that could definitely happen.

 

Brad Wilson (39:05) What was something that was like kind of a close call?

 

Eric Froehlich (39:08) I mean, I’ve lost reasonable amounts of money, and all of those types of situations. But I’ve never, you know, kind of unloaded the clip, or really gotten off the handle, or, you know, I’ve had too much to drink, but never to the point of not having any memories and kind of losing a large chunk of money or making some huge mistake that I think that would be pretty common for a lot of people, especially in their early 20s to kind of run into. Yeah, so I’m also someone who’s never actually done any drugs. But you know, it’s one of those things that each thing is kind of a stepping stone to other things. And so I have no idea what path I could go down, but it’s worrisome enough that I don’t never want it to kind of find out.

 

Brad Wilson (39:52) Yeah, and I mean, that’s a very rational approach. You know, I think one of my one of my best friends is the smartest human I’ve ever met. And he’s, he’s very similar in that regard of like, No, I am not going to drink my dad was an alcoholic, and like, I’ve just never going to take any sort of chance like that, and to his credit, never has, ironically ended up being like a high stakes sports bettor. But I guess that’s a different story for a different day. He could do anything he could find an edge in, he’s willing to throw down.

 

Eric Froehlich (40:27) Once I, you know, kind of took the path of becoming a professional poker player, which was mostly because I got offers I couldn’t refuse. Like it felt like it was too. Greedy is not the right word. Selfish isn’t the right word. But it’s down that path of just like I can’t turn down the opportunity I’m getting from having success at 21. Now that I’m 22, to not take this like Full Tilt deal to not go play more of these events, especially when I do enjoy poker. And so I ended up imposing a self ban on alcohol whenever I was in Vegas. So when I if I’m in Vegas, I’m not drinking was a rule I basically set for myself. And so yeah, just trying to find ways to make sure that you don’t find yourself in a spiral, because it’s just easy. And there are so many things in life that I feel like are very depressing. And one of my big things, I think, probably what a lot of people probably know me for, in a lot of ways like social media related, once that became a thing is that I was very negative on all these things, I would complain about bad beats. And that was a very mental thing. And basically growing up, I never went to social media forums like two plus two, because I had friends who would link me to things, just people bashing me and insulting me. And because I was overweight, and I didn’t deserve what I had. The attacks on me were relentless. And so I don’t want to read this stuff, these people have never met me. And they’re saying all these terrible things about me and how I you know, and not about anything that is irrelevant, just it was basically all associated to looks more than anything else. But that was kind of the shield is that this is what they’re talking about. And this what they’re attacking me. And they want to find things to attack me for. And so then social media as it became bigger, I basically set up a wall like bubble where I didn’t want anyone to be able to get close. And also I think I was kind of defensive of just like, I need to explain why I’m out of this tournament that I took this terrible beat and people aren’t going to understand otherwise. Like, unless I go like this, this terrible beat happened to me. But also I don’t want them to get closer. This also pushes them away. It’s accomplishing both of my, which ended up being stupid goals. But that was kind of my not that I was thinking about that out, you know, consciously. But when I went back and thought about, because it’s so different than my actual personality of what I must have been, you know, kind of going through at the time, it was very clear to me once I actually decided to break it down and found things like therapy and wanted to figure out why, you know, these things just kind of kept me down. And so I think that was just kind of a big part of it.

 

Brad Wilson (43:14) Yeah, man. I’m sorry, you went through that, you know, that’s just terrible. I think it’s just,

 

Eric Froehlich (43:21) I don’t know, if it’s, a lot of it is self imposed, though. Like, it’s hard. Because yes, there was a lot of shitty things said to me, about me, etc, many, many years ago, but then by the approach that I took, and by putting my kind of public persona in that light for a period of time, by choice, it kind of allowed people to think that I am this, you know, different person and not necessarily a good person or positive person, just kind of a negative person that complainer. You know, all these things are just like, not really someone you’d necessarily want to hang out with there. Anything positive, and so it just

 

Brad Wilson (44:00)  

Self defense mechanism, you know.

 

Eric Froehlich (44:01) Right. But it also set me up for failure pretty hard, and also set me up for failure. And just like if I wanted to continue in that world, or if I wanted to be more public, or do anything that involves shows or sponsorships or things like that I not really making myself marketable at all. And so, I wasn’t marketable to a company. I wasn’t marketable to people, as you know, someone you’d want to hang out with is I just really, I made things harder for myself. And I know I now understand why I did it. And I feel like why I did it and at least made sense for what I was dealing with at the time, but I didn’t do myself any favors.

 

Brad Wilson (44:41) And if there’s somebody in the CPG audience that is going through what you went through in current day, you know, what would be your wisdom, what what advice would you give them and how to handle it?

 

Eric Froehlich (44:54) Yeah, I mean, I think one of the best things I did was just going to therapy and admitting that you know, life is hard. It was really hard and to say that as someone, and I want to be very clear about this, my life is very privileged. Like, I grew up white in America, the, you know, middle class kind of had everything given to me, I think I was born with a lot of gifts that I think people, you know, that not everyone has, while also not dealing with a lot of struggles. And so, and I good family, like I, I know how many people really struggle with things that are so far out of their control, where they just don’t have a good support system don’t have positive influences, and I had all of that. And still, my life was really, really hard. And so you know, that kind of goes to show it’s going to be hard for just about everyone. And so and that’s okay, that’s okay. Like,

 

Brad Wilson (45:45) I understand the need, you know, to, to, like, qualify, the suffering that you felt, and it’s just, yeah, it’s, life is a struggle, and especially various parts of our lives. And you know, when people especially, because I’m assuming that like, you got a lot of blowback from the magic crowd, or was it the poker crowd, or both of them?

 

Eric Froehlich (46:10) For a lot of this, I wasn’t really in the magic world, I kind of moved out at like, once I went to college, I kind of focused a little bit more on poker. And then by the time I was 21, I, you know, still paid a little bit of attention to magic, but I hadn’t been playing it. And I really didn’t for a while until 2010, they ended up giving me an invite someone, one of the professional tournaments, that, you know, I didn’t normally have to go play a qualifier when that that has a couple 100 People were only first place or so qualify as something like that, along those lines. And I hadn’t gotten it done that they just gave me a special invite, as they also did for David Williams. And so yeah, that got me back into magic. And I never left from there for more than 10 years. And so yeah, I definitely receive some of that from the magic side, too, because I kept some of that personality of the, you know, defending losses, as you know, kind of bad beat complaining, and using that kind of social media, again, pushing people away. But I also had a lot of people in magic, who I was friends with, who were very popular in the community. And because my persona I think was so different in person versus online. And the fact that there was so much more in person, so people got to experience that more. And then because I was so successful, and so, you know, talented, I guess at magic, I was useful to a lot of people in a lot of in a very different way than poker, whereas poker, you know, being able to bounce ideas off someone is valuable. And magic, you’re literally going to show up at the next tournament with a different deck, where you’re just decided states are better than hearts are better than diamonds, which is not a thing in poker where it just doesn’t exist. And so the edge you get from having talented people around you is exponentially more than what you could ever get from poker, because if you show up to the next event, with the best deck, the odds of you doing well are extremely good. Yeah, so it’s just a very valuable asset. 

 

Brad Wilson (48:13) Yeah. So, you got back into magic in 2010. What was the years you know, 2006 through 2010? You know, what did that look like? As it relates to your poker career?

 

Eric Froehlich (48:27) I mean, I ended up I was living in LA, I moved in with a bunch of friends, they kind of very quickly decided to move back to the other side of the country, which I just come from.

 

Brad Wilson (48:40) How did that happen? Let’s get him out here. And once he gets here, we’re gonna all move away from it.

 

Eric Froehlich (48:46) Yeah, I mean, I, I got convinced that I needed to move out there that you know, very, it’s not like they’ve been out there for years and just decided, but it had been kind of a short period of time. And it was a pretty quick turnaround. And so I ended up moving back in with my parents. I ended up moving back in with my parents in Northern Virginia, for a little while before moving to Michigan to move in with a friend there. And yeah, I would definitely travel to a handful of events, I would still go to the World Series during the summers. I went to a handful of WP T’s and really struggled because I did not understand DeepStack play like everything I did in tournaments was very much translated over from cash games in a lot of ways, which I think worked very well back then because there wasn’t necessarily a great tournament strategy, especially for the shorter stacks is kind of played enough similarly that I was able to have at least a decent amount of success not that I was incredibly successful or anything, but WP T’s and DeepStack man I struggle with but I finally final table, the one and Foxwoods I think they said it was like my 20th appearance and my first cache. And so you know really just Not nothing was successful there. But I guess the you know, I ended up getting fourth or so and I think that made me more money than the previous 20 by and so I guess it was still fine in the end. But yeah, it was just figuring a lot of stuff out and I had my full tilt deal. And so for a period of time will tell it was giving me a break back and also paying me an hourly whenever I set the table, and at one point in time, they’re paying me such a high hourly for being at the tables that like, consumed my life for such a long period of time where I felt like, I couldn’t do anything else. Like, I think I don’t remember how much I was getting paid, it was less than $100 an hour, it was close enough to that, that it was just like I can’t, why I can’t afford to go to the movies. Like I can’t take two hours off, like I’m not going to go spend $200 to go see this movie. That’s ridiculous. And it was for small stakes here. Like it’s not like I had to be playing 2040 I can be playing Penny stakes. And this was what I was getting paid. And it’s just like, and I interact with the chat. It’s not like I was not doing my job. And they had a table like named after me. It was like table, Eric Froelich, and I would sit there and chat with the people. But it also just felt like I can’t afford, like the amount of money I can bring in from just doing this will pay for all my World Series buy ins this year, if I can do this for enough time, like it’s just so much money. And so that I just again, it became obsessive. And that was just kind of my thing. And that was kind of in 2008 2009, I think was when I first figured out that I should probably go and look into therapy and figure out, you know, some of the issues that I’m dealing with both with like, the world with friendships with, you know, obsessing, and then again with food and weight and various other things with that, that I’ve always struggled with.

 

Brad Wilson (51:48) And as you started going to therapy, and doing some work, like what were some of the gains that you made.

 

Eric Froehlich (51:58) I mean, countless to the point that when you asked me questions about a lot of this stuff beforehand, it’s hard for me to remember specifics, very hard to remember mindsets, because it’s just kind of an idea versus a real focus. Because it’s it feels almost out of body in a lot of ways. Very hard to kind of pinpoint. You know exactly what was going on. Because I just felt like, there were so many constant struggles between, you know, being lonely and not being you know, never really be able to find a relationship struggles with a lot of different friendships. My family was great. But of course, there’s plenty of issues there too. And a lot of I think, my dad’s struggles with everything I struggle with to a greater extreme than I struggle with it. But I’m much more willing to try to figure out the answers and, you know, being older makes it makes I think any person less willing to put in that time because it’s already, you know, so many years by

 

Brad Wilson (52:53) and as a result of that, and by the way, like as you get Yeah, like, it’s another part of getting older in age you, if you like, I look back at my 20 year old self, and I don’t really recognize them, like you can’t, it’s hard for me to even imagine what that human being was thinking at certain points, because I just feel like, like a totally different human. These days, 20 almost 20 years later, dear God. Now the upgraded version of yourself after, you know, you started working on yourself and building relationships and able to, you know, have more friendships and, you know, meet a partner, like, I guess, what was what’s the most major upgrade? Like, if you could pin it on like one thing that that you upgraded what what was the one thing that kind of upgraded all the other systems

 

Eric Froehlich (53:51) I don’t think that’s the thing. Like, I don’t think it’s ever a one thing I think that like, I think that’s what makes so many of these things so hard is that they’re all connected. And so you know, when the whole saying you can’t love someone else until you love yourself, like all of these things that are kind of there, there’s a lot of various things I think are similar to that in nature, that are just true, not that they have to be specifically true about that one thing, but that, you know, everything has a lot of connectivity. And so when you’re struggling so much with one facet, it really makes each one each other facet, you know, the same way as our body is once you have back pain, the fact that it causes issues with your legs and your neck and various other things. It’s just, it all kind of spirals and so that’s why it’s very easy for to spiral into a low and once you’re, you know, figuring a lot of that stuff out and finding more ways to be content and finding, you know, positive outlets and just not feeling the weight of the world all the time. It definitely really just does make everything else a little bit easier. And as each other thing gets out little bit easier, it makes the next thing a little bit easier. And it’s never actually going to get to the point where it’s easy. I don’t think that anyone really has it easy. It’s always going to put in work. But once it feels tolerable and manageable, that it’s something you can do. It’s just a, it’s just a different world. And so it’s just night and day. And so again, I don’t think that there’s just one thing that’s going to then shift that it’s just an entire mindset of. And it’s really not just like an optimistic, pessimistic view of like, oh, this glass is half full versus half empty. But in a lot of ways, it kind of relates back to that of like, once you see that half full glass like, and you can figure out all the ways that, you know, this is this can work out just fine. And it’s going to be a lot easy, a lot easier to then cope with off the negatives, as opposed to very easy to spiral down once you start the other way.

 

Brad Wilson (55:52) And what does life look like from you know, the before, and then, you know, these past 10 years?

 

Eric Froehlich (56:01) I think that a lot of my issues were kind of anger related, I think that I was very angry at a lot of different things for a long time. And most of that was very internalized, which would kind of then come out more with the social media type stuff. And that when I’m pushing people away, or I’m angry at the world, for handing me a bad beat, whatever it might be, that was kind of my outlet in a lot of ways. Because I’m not the type of person who’s going to get physical, I’m not going to put a hole in the wall or hurt anyone or anything. Like that’s just not something that I think is at all, okay, and so that was kind of my line. But getting really fumed up or slamming a door or, you know, doing off nonsense on social media was definitely something I could see myself doing. And, you know, being able to get past a lot of that stuff and be at the point where, you know, that doesn’t feel like a thing that I need to be doing. Because what ended up happening, and a lot of the reasons why though, it’s like, when life is so hard, when real life just feels like there’s problem after problem. And there’s so much to deal with. What I ended up doing was using these poker tournaments and magic tournaments, they felt like an escape. Like when I am playing this tournament, first off, I can win that a you always have that dream like that is a totally possible scenario, that you’re going to have this great result. But also my focus is on this thing. And so I can now escape from my real world problems, and everything negative kind of going on, and focus on the task at hand and I was very good at that. Then you bust and you hit usually bust on, you know, some kind of bad beat pretty commonly, especially if you know, the better you play, the more often you’re going to lose on something that is unfortunate in a lot of ways. And also, because there’s so many different ways to take a bad beat, like whether you got all in pre and take that bad beat or, you know, someone just happens to fly off the handle and you get cooler in that way. Like all of these things are different forms of bad meat. So it’s very easily very easy to internalize. Everything is being unlucky for you when you’re in that mindset. And so I will get to the point where not only am I not taking this bad beat, where I’m not thinking about all this stuff I lost out on. But now I’m forced to go back into whatever negative reality I might be dealing with. And all of the problems of real life, and my bubbles just burst. And so it’s just this this big thing up to the it just is a crash down just like lots of negative things at once. And so I feel like that was a pretty common thing where, you know, I needed to, I felt like I needed that release of like, oh my god, I have to go back and deal with all this crap. I just took this bad be let everyone know how unlucky I am and get out this anger on social media or whatever. And that was part of my way of processing and it.

 

Brad Wilson (58:55) Yeah, it sounds like poker was kind of like your drug. Like it was your escape. Oh, yeah. Tell me about meeting your wife. Because as I mentioned, in the pre call, I had this whole thing in my head because I was like I was doing my research and saw your wife on Twitter. And her username is a lawn truss, which is like one of my favorite books like Brandon Sanderson is probably my favorite author. And I was like, Oh, cool. Like we have this common interest, we’ll be able to talk about that. And I mentioned it first thing and you’re like, Yeah, I’ve never read that book. I’ve only read three books ever. And I was like, Oh, okay.

 

Eric Froehlich (59:31) We have my wife on the podcast. She’ll tell you. Oh, yeah, there you go. No, I mean, I’ve never she’s a big reader. I’m not but yeah, I actually met her on Twitch. The streams magic. She was one of the first female streamers. Which partially was because she didn’t see other female streamers. And I thought that would be a cool thing to kind of do. And yeah, you know, I saw her on there. All right. probably clicked on it for the first time because I saw a really attractive woman streaming magic pretty rare thing. 



Brad Wilson (1:00:08) Not Not that.

 

Eric Froehlich (1:00:10) Yeah. But yeah, then, you know, we ended up getting to talking and he had no idea who I was. And I was pretty famous in the magic world, but you have to follow the professional scene in some way, which was kind of nice, and a lot of ways too. But, you know, then we started talking and hit it off pretty well, I guess. Then she told people at her local game store and they’re like, wait, you know, you know, you know, you throw like, that’s a big deal, which probably was bonus points.

 

Brad Wilson (1:00:38) Didn’t hurt anything? 

 

Eric Froehlich (1:00:40) not. But again, she didn’t care about anyone doing well, that magic or Yeah, anything. And I wasn’t even really playing poker at all at the time, either. So yeah, she ended up taking the train down. Like she was living in Philly. I was in Vegas, and there was a big magic tournament in DC. And he took the train down for our first day. And I ended up making top eight of that tournament, which was the tournament that ended up basically clinching the fact that I was for sure gonna get voted into the hall of fame that year from having another top eight, or final table, or, you know, for people who don’t follow those type of games. And, yeah, it was kind of move pretty fast. She ended up moving to Vegas within a few months. And we got engaged at my Hall of Fame ceremony at the end of that year and got married. About two years after we had our first date. married for a little over five years now.

 

Brad Wilson (1:01:35) Congratulations, man. The, you know, there’s always some level of attract attractiveness when somebody is great at something, right. Like when they have achieved some level of success at some endeavor. It’s a, it says a lot about a human being just about their drive about who they are. And I think yeah, that certainly helped. And it’s great that you guys took the after sliding into her Twitch private messages, you know, that everything worked out in the real world, too. That’s a good story, man. 

 

Eric Froehlich (1:02:09)  

Yeah,she’s very into passion, and being passionate about things. And of course, what you just said ties in very well with that you’re not going to be great at something without being passionate about it, and putting in that time and effort first. And so I think that combination was, was definitely something that was, you know, of interest. 

 

Brad Wilson (1:02:30)  

And, you know, these days, what is your your life look like? Like, what do you what do we spend our time doing?

 

Eric Froehlich (1:02:36) I mean, I’ve been working with like a sports betting conglomerate for a period of time now. And it’s definitely a job that I’m very suited for. And then it’s all analytics and data and spreadsheets and stuff like that, while also combining it with sports in which I am obsessed. I watch all the games all the time, she actually set up my office type, you know, loft area, with just rows of televisions, you know, when we were in Vegas, so it was kind of like a sports book. We haven’t got we’ve just got a huge television, for our house here. Now that we’re out in the Seattle area. We haven’t done the full sports book thing yet. But yeah, it’s just great to kind of combine all the things that I really love in all those spaces together to make a living, I guess.

 

Brad Wilson (1:03:21) Yeah, that’s sick, man. So have a lightning round here. So some questions to close down the show. But what’s the most unexpected thing that that came through? From your journey through the world of poker?

 

Eric Froehlich (1:03:40) Oh, no, no, that much was unexpected. I’m very much a planner to, you know, make sure I’m getting into things that I know

 

Brad Wilson (1:03:47)  

began that begin that 1500 Tournament that’s pretty unexpected. Or maybe it wasn’t unexpected back then.

 

Eric Froehlich (1:03:55) Yeah, I guess the fact that I’ve ever, like had the level of success that I’ve had and when, but the thing is, at the time, I was so confident, like looking back on it and seeing you know, the type of ways I played and the mistakes I was making and how different they are from, you know, like right now people ask me about poker. And the truth is that I know I’m not even like in the conversation of being close to anywhere near the best. Like there’s so many levels below where I am now where I think but I still think I’m a very solid winning player in World Series events like I think that my ROI across the World Series is high. And I think that you know, year after year I go and I am successful almost every time and I think that’s the type of thing that will continue because I am nowhere near the top again like I can’t play the high rollers. I can’t compete with the people studying all the solvers and stuff but I do know a lot about tournament poker. I do know a lot about how people who are below me tend to, you know, the mistakes they make that I’m good at taking advantage of. And I think I’m good at putting myself in a nice position like the last five main events I’ve done lasted 20 days, or something between the five of them. So like, I can go deep in this tournament and set myself up for where, if I catch a break or two, I’m gonna, you know, put on a real run. And, you know, I gotten a little unlucky at some of these day three or day four spots. And you know, that’s just something that happens, because it’s a grind. But at the end of the day, like, I think that yeah, I think I’m very, very lucky that I got lucky at a young age because that could have easily not happened, where everyone was kind of at a very similar skill level. To me, even if I was maybe a little bit better than the field in a lot of ways. You know, actually winning the tournaments is worth so much more than finishing fourth, and that could just easily you know, flip around, then your life totally different. I’m never sponsored, I probably, honestly, if I don’t snap off that one tournament, you know, probably don’t even finish out the rest of the series. I’m definitely not sponsored I, the odds of me playing poker today are very low, although maybe I then study more and yeah, because like, I grew up in the same area, as me and Justin Bonomo played the same magic card store, you know, two miles away from home grew up in the exact same area, like maybe I ended up going down that path. And, you know, Justin did not have as much success in magic, he had a little bit, and then kind of moved on to poker. And even in poker, for a while, I was more successful in a lot of ways. But he really studied hard became, you know, maybe the best player in the world at a time where it was the most valuable to be the best player in the world. And, you know, now he’s in contention for the, you know, the number one all time money list and like, is that something I could have potentially gotten myself into? totally possible? Like, I think that I have very similar mindset and skills, and a lot of ways, but he had the dedication drive found the right people, you know, did did the right things and put himself in position to do that. Is there a chance that I would have done that if things have been different? I mean, there’s, like, I don’t know. Yeah, it’s very hard to say,

 

Brad Wilson (1:06:55) yeah, it’s impossible, these different decision paths, if things don’t go a very specific way, what what else might have happened, even if, you know, things going a different ways, not exactly a positive thing.

 

Eric Froehlich (1:07:11) I kind of felt forced, like I said earlier a little bit to be a professional poker player at a time where I didn’t necessarily want to, and there’s some chance I would have just fell more in love with poker and then really became a study or grinder. If that had not happened. I mean, I have no idea if that’s likely or extremely unlikely, like it could be anything. It’s just so hard. Because again, it’s a lifetime ago, like this is talking about stuff almost 20 years ago at this point.

 

Brad Wilson (1:07:34) Yeah. And it’s probably not something that like, makes you makes you love a thing when you feel obligated to play 24 hours a day because you’re getting like full rakeback and close to $100 an hour. On Full Tilt it. It’s very easy for that to become an obligation and not be a passion.

 

Eric Froehlich (1:07:52) Yeah, definitely a job and a grind and a different way.

 

Brad Wilson (1:07:55) Yeah. If you could erect a billboard that every poker player is going to drive past on their way to the casino. What’s your billboard? Say? More rake is better. Clearly more rake is better.

 

Eric Froehlich (1:08:08) I don’t know like I really enjoyed all that stuff. I think I really liked Doug and Daniel consider them both to be not friends but friendly and I my wife was actually editing Daniels vlogs for a period of time and I think they’re both great guys. I thought I thought all that stuff was pretty funny though.

 

Brad Wilson (1:08:28) Nothing like a rivalry to get people interested in

 

Eric Froehlich (1:08:32) that whole I was watching them play heads up even though I don’t care about heads up and there’s no whole cards it’s just like man got sucked into it all

 

Brad Wilson (1:08:40) I i’ve been a part of this world for so long like I did commentary on sulfur why for the sulfur wise live stream on that heads up event and like I don’t even play heads up and I can promise you that like, if I’m going to be doing something with my time I do not want to be watching two people play poker against each other. That is not a thing I want to spend my free time doing and yet there I was watching this thing 

 

Eric Froehlich (1:09:07)  

I’m addicted to the Hellmuth matches those with the commentary done by Alia whether it’s Nick or failed or whoever like I got so excited to watch him play against Tom again. And yeah, like I’m like that as must see TV for me even though again, like the game itself. I don’t know how much I care about but like, Oh, I love it.

 

Brad Wilson (1:09:28) Some of these like events just kind of get it going. Like I remember the very first one drop at Commerce Casino everybody’s playing cards and like just glued to the TV. Nobody’s paying attention to their games because we’re watching this like million dollar buy in event. It was Yes, something that’s pretty rare in poker. What’s a project that you’re working on right now that’s near and dear to your heart?

 

Eric Froehlich (1:09:58) I mean, my current obsession is indeed Upshot, I don’t really care about NF T’s. I don’t have NF T’s. I don’t know, even if I like the fact that NF T’s exist in a lot of ways. Man, again, it goes back to what I was talking about, right at the beginning, when I got into magic, the whole collecting aspect and loving the NBA, in the fact that I can now have these moments and that there’s kind of a market where I can, you know, use my knowledge of the NBA to kind of have a better understanding of what’s going to go up and down and have new things to collect and challenges and ways to be competitive. There’s so many things about Topshop that feed into my obsessive personality and the exact things that I love. And it’s just become, you know, something that I, that I’m on every single day at this point. And just, yeah, I’m kind of all about

 

Brad Wilson (1:10:48) it. How does your wife feel about Topshop?

 

Eric Froehlich (1:10:50) He likes it, she’s got a topside account, and we kind of joined together. There’s been a lot of weird ups and downs. Like it’s weird because to have with her job and the number of like, she does a lot of stuff on social media. So she can’t really talk about because there’s so many people who are so anti NFT. And for mostly good reasons. Some of them I don’t really agree with but a lot of them I do agree with. And so we’re not vocal about this kind of stuff on social media, because there’s a lot of backlash on negativity, and we’re not even 100% sure how we feel about that either. And still figuring a lot of that stuff out. But yeah, I think in a lot of ways, it’s brought us closer, like she uses the platform. She’s watched more NBA and has favorite players that she had never like she didn’t watch the NBA beforehand. And so, you know, we’ve been to a handful of games before the pandemic where, you know, she had some idea, they’re mostly Trailblazers game. So she got, she became a Trailblazers fan and was into Damian Lillard, which hasn’t worked out so well this season. But um, we’ve watched a few more games, she’s got a few more favorite players, a few favorite plays, you know, she looks up some stuff makes some showcases. And so yeah, it’s been really cool. I actually think it’s been really good for our relationship. And anytime I want to make a big purchase, or do anything like that, I always talk it through with her, which also feels good that we kind of do that together.

 

Brad Wilson (1:12:07) Yeah, just bonding experience and having the shared passion for thing that’s awesome. Awesome to hear.

 

Eric Froehlich (1:12:13) I don’t think she’s got the passion for it. But the fact that she is,

 

Brad Wilson (1:12:16) So you’re sure you’re sharing your passion with her?

 

Eric Froehlich (1:12:20) Well, that’s the thing is that she’s so willing to indulge my passion, which just makes me feel better as a person that the person I care the most about cares enough about me to then make this a thing and has basically chosen to care about something that she would otherwise not have cared about.

 

Brad Wilson (1:12:34) Yeah, that’s the dream, man. That’s the dream. And with that said, Just one final question. If the CPG audience wants to learn more about you, where do they go?

 

Eric Froehlich (1:12:49) What are generally is the best space at E for poker. Yeah, that’s basically the only place I really am for the most part.

 

Brad Wilson (1:12:55) Cool, man,

 

Eric Froehlich (1:12:58) I don’t really like I used to use a lot of Facebook. I’m not really an Instagram person. Don’t use any of the other stuff. But Twitter, Twitter, so is a good one.

 

Brad Wilson (1:13:06) I have all of them because I have to do too, but I can’t tell you the last time I checked. I haven’t assisted now. Yeah, I have an assistant now and most of my tweets are just like they’re going out me logging on logging on Twitter, and Facebook. I can’t remember the last time I actually just logged on Facebook to see what was going on. Yeah, for sure. Well, it’s been great having you man. Have a great rest of your day. And yeah, it’s my pleasure.

 

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Thanks for reading this transcript of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 208: Eric Froehlich: $2.6 Million In Lifetime Live Cashes & MTG Hall Of Fame

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