You may not know this but back in the day your coach had one of the highest PTBB winrates in his player pool.
Quick history lesson if you don’t know what PTBB means.
Back in my day when I was trudging uphill both to and from my computer desk there was a website called PokerTableRatings.com (PTR, for short). PTR was the world leader in poker datamining.
With an account at PTR you could run a search on any screen name you encountered playing on one of the major poker platforms and get back a neat little scouting report about said player. It’s safe to say that 10 years ago there wasn’t an online poker player in the world who didn’t use PTR on an almost daily basis.
So as you can probably imagine my high public winrate was a massive source of pride for me.
What’s that old expression about pride?
Oddly enough there were a number of PTR crushers who all lived within about a 10 mile radius of one another. There was my friend Nate, his cousin Josh, and their friend Kyle.
I remember spending an afternoon with the boys at Nate’s house on the lake. It was a beautiful 7,000 square foot home with an open and spacious floor plan. Naturally, the four of us spent the majority of our time together huddled around Nate’s supercomputer looking through his database and discussing poker strategy.
A couple of weird realizations dawned on me while we were talking shop.
The first was that while I had one of the highest PTBB winrates in the entire world at my stakes, it was very likely I was the worst poker player currently in the room.
That was some bitter tasting humble pie.
Nate played a massive amount of volume and crushed all stakes up to $25-$50 on Stars, while Josh and I battled at the same stakes on a daily basis. He had a slightly lower winrate than I did but he had the ability put in way more volume. And Kyle…
Kyle was simply a freak of nature.
He told us on that sunny afternoon about a project he had been working on:
Using data from PTR to put in massive amounts of study around Phil Ivey’s heads-up O/8 strategy. At the time I didn’t really put much thought into it.
Fast-forward a couple of years:
After 6 months of being tracked on high-stakes DB, Kyle was the winningest online poker player in the world. He had absolutely scorched Gus to the tune of $4 mill at exactly heads-up O/8. I guess that project ended up being pretty successful.
Shortly after destroying all challengers at the O/8 nosebleeds, Kyle opted out of being tracked and disappeared into the wind. To this day I still consider him to have the most brilliant poker mind I’ve ever interacted with.
And I just interviewed Phil Galfond about a week ago.
The second realization was that while I took pride in my PTBB winrate, I also felt immense shame sitting there in Nate’s million dollar home. The truth is that life was a struggle for me back then. I was always able to put in just enough volume to survive (About 20-25k hands per month) but never enough to truly thrive.
It’s a hard truth to realize the only barrier stopping you from having massive success in your field is the same person who stares back at you in the mirror.
To this day the hardest battle I’ve ever fought in the poker world was with my inability to get out of my own way and put in consistent volume.
This is why I’m so hell bent on putting this team together in October.
I don’t want anybody else to feel the perpetual shame of viewing yourself as “lazy” that I lived with for so many years. I don’t want another soul to look back at their poker career with the same regrets I do.
It’s entirely possible that by launching this team on some level I’m trying to make amends with the ghosts of my past.
So if you see even a bit of yourself in my story today, you’re being offered a chance to join the program I desperately wished I had all those years ago.
- Daily accountability.
- Structured individual and team goal setting.
- Weekly 30-minute “optimization sessions” (Stole that term from Nick Howard).
- A team environment.
If this sounds like your jam, here’s your link to set up a free 30 minute consult:
I’m reserving this weekend for consults and family time, so Jason Su will catch you on Monday.
Have a great weekend,