Jeff Gross: Team PartyPoker, $4 Million+ in Tourney Wins, and High Stakes Cash Games Crusher
Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 014
Jeff Gross on social media:
Today on Chasing Poker Greatness I am going to be conversing with PartyPoker Team Online pro and Twitch streamer extraordinaire, Jeff Gross.
Jeff’s been playing poker online and live for about 15 years and boasts a very impressive a very impressive resume with over $4 million in tournament winnings.
At the time of recording, the Pocket Fives poker database ranks Jeff at number 104 worldwide.
Their numbers, of course, confirm his impressive earnings on the online streets with:
– $949,000 at PokerStars
– $370,000 at PartyPoker
– $291,000 at Full Tilt
– $147,000 at America’s Card Room
And finally, the Hendon Mob database credits Jeff with over $3,250,000 in live tournament winnings and over $1.4 million in online earnings.
He also keeps himself busy streaming on Twitch, growing his YouTube channel, and producing his own podcast “The Jeff Gross Show” on PokerNews.com.
During the conversation, Jeff will let you in on his views about studying and what it takes to keep up with an ever-evolving game like poker, the importance of the people you keep around you, and the effects of how you interact with your peers at and away from the tables.
You’ll hear about the first major tournament cash that really set Jeff on the path to becoming a professional player, how black Friday changed his career and his approach to both poker and life, and plenty more.
Without any further ado, this is Jeff Gross on Chasing Poker Greatness…
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 Jeff Gross on the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast.
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Brad: Aloha and welcome to Chasing Poker Greatness. I’m your host, founder of enhanceyouredge.com, Brad Wilson and for the next 60 minutes, I’m going to be conversing with party poker team online pro and Twitch streamer extraordinaire, Jeff Gross. Jeff’s been playing poker online and live for about 15 years and boasts an extremely impressive resume with over $4 million in tournament winnings. At the time of this recording the PocketFives poker database ranks Jeff at number 104 worldwide. Their numbers of course confirm his impressive earnings at some of the major online poker rooms, including 950,000 on stars, 370,000 on party poker, 300,000 on full tilt, and 150k on America’s card room. He also keeps himself busy as an entrepreneur, streaming on Twitch, managing a YouTube channel and producing his own podcast. During our conversation, Jeff will let you in on his views about studying and what it takes to keep up in an ever-evolving game like poker, the importance of the company you keep around you, and the effects of how you interact with your peers at and away from the tables. You’ll hear about the first major tournament cash that really set Jeff on the path to becoming a professional player. How Black Friday changed his career and his approach to both poker and life and much, much more. So, without any further ado, this is Jeff gross on Chasing Poker Greatness.
Brad: Jeff, welcome to the show. Super pumped to have you. How you doing man?
Jeff: I’m doing well. How are you?
Brad: I’m doing very, very well. I wanted to kick this thing off by talking about you know, you started playing cards in college, right, and about what year was that?
Jeff: I played the start in high school in 2002, 2003 just coming brought poker plastic chip set to college, can’t we were in high school but it was a college, University of Michigan. We were there and brought the chips and we start playing you know $5 sit and goes, 25 cent, 50 cent cash games. Very small 5-10 dollar buy ins. You know, I’m just messing around. So that was when I first got on and then got $25 on party poker. Kind of do a couple player, two player transfers, you know, back then it was very easy to play. I think I was 16 or 15 when I was playing and you could just p2p transfer and that was kind of the Wild West. So, that was third playing small online and playing live as well.
Brad: Yes, I remember the party poker p2p transfers and back then to, everything was limit. They didn’t even have really no limit games right. There were like 50 big blind, maybe $50 no limit type tables.
Jeff: Yeah, it got, it got going. I think around the time I started getting there and we’re really moving, they would, they did have the no limit tables going but it was, it was, it was small and it was different. And it was, it was a lot of, it was just you know a very different landscape than it is today. And it was, I was playing small. I wish I was playing a little higher than because it was, it was basically free money for anyone that understood even the concept of poker. So, yeah playing I was doing very well at the 25 cent, 50 cent level, but there were guys 5-10, 10-25 after like a year or so. Around that time that just really were able to route, to crush and do super well. And like you said he’d been around you know the landscape. Its, pokers gotten tougher, still very profitable and possible to do well. But it’s just trickier. You got to be more selective and have better discipline and work on your fundamentals. So, times have changed for sure.
Brad: Yeah, I remember party poker back in the day. Playing that 30-60 limit game. There were like 55 people on the waitlist. I would wake up at 3am, get on the list, and go back to sleep and just hope I didn’t miss my seat when I woke up, because they only had two tables, right? The tables didn’t spawn. It was just two always active tables going on. Pretty, pretty funny to think about now. So, you know, you got into poker in college. You grew up having a love of games, strategy games, board games. Can you, you speak about that? Was it just a family thing?
Jeff: I was an only child and friends I just love board games, video games. I got a Sega Genesis for my fifth birthday. Remember that very, very vividly playing Sonic the Hedgehog and those type of games. They got sports games going. I played soccer since I was four with friends. I was having friends over we’d always be doing at board games and such and I just always love games. So, when I found out you could make money from a game that was, it was sort of the right place, right time to get into it, where it made sense. Instead of playing video games or Grand Theft Auto. I remember my sophomore year of high school playing a ton of that game, but then once I kind of found poker around the same time, and then junior year, and I sort of stopped playing video games and poker became my, my go to for that type of activity. And it was great. It was a lot of fun and met, met people that way, met a lot of friends, start and from then on just via poker directly or indirectly, and, you know, it’s, it’s great. I think board games, I think, I think games in general are great. Like I have some friends’ sons that are interested in poker and I give some help too. They’re really 16, 17 kind of into and it’s a fine line, right? You don’t want to push someone sail gambling, and you know, but if someone’s got their head on their shoulders, and they want to, they want to learn some concepts and lessons, I think in poker, you can you can apply a lot of life lessons and get a lot of positive, positive things out of it. I think poker has negative connotations attached to it in general, and a lot of spots. And that’s something that is starting to shift and slowly become more acceptable, but it’s still kind of has that dark seedy feel to it, you know. It’s almost like when I, I always get a friend or parent of a friend, a friend of mine, you know, has a kid and they’re interested. I’m always, it’s always like a little bit, always a little worried, like, how much shall I dive in. I don’t want to like get the kids super crazy hooked. But I also want to try to show them some, some tricks and some stuff. So, it’s a fine line. But I think it’s great. It’s a great game, obviously.
Brad: And once people, you know, speaking to that, once people get the bug, the poker bug, it’s kind of hard to get rid of it, right? You’re, you realize, oh, I can play a game and I can make money. And I can make a lot of money. The, once Pandora’s box is open, you can’t really box it back up. And poker does get a bad rep. And, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of people on this show, DGAF, guys that have played for a long time and have dealt with their own sort of existential crises in regarding poker in general. It’s just super important to find a balance and don’t go super bananas. You know, don’t, don’t let poker ruin your life. Take it seriously. Play hard. Play within your means. Learn as much as you can. There’s really no excuse nowadays, with so much available information. There’s really, there’s just no excuse to lack on the educational side, the only excuse is basically, you just don’t want to.
Jeff: Right. Yeah, no, I think it’s important. It is, it’s to find a good balance between playing, studying and all that. It’s, it’s one of those things where it’s easier to play in terms of being fun and make sense. And that’s great. But you’d really do need to have a group of people that you run stuff by or do studying on your own. If you’re just playing. Have you ever 100, say X amount of hours a week that you’re playing poker and you know, it should be probably especially the earlier on in your game you are the closer it should be split to study, study and play around the same. And obviously, if you’ve been playing for a long time, if you have good private games, home games are good spots to earn. It’s a little less, you know that you could argue that you should, you don’t need to study too much. You’re just kind of brush up. But yeah, I think it’s important to be realistic that a lot of the best players are studying and doing work to solvers or, or just at least running some type of simulations or some sort of checker strategy with friends or going over and reviewing different hands or study. There’s a lot of good information, as you mentioned out there. A ton of ways you can do studying. And if you’re not doing that, then you’re going to either, even if you’re good, I think you’ll get kind of left behind. And if you are fortunate enough to have revenue streams, and you know, if you have like you said you’d stream on Twitch or you have other content or revenues that you can get a little bit, you can definitely, I think be a little more lenient on that, because you can get away with it. But if you’re grinding purely for a living, you definitely want to put the time in and go and study as much as possible. I think that’s huge. And a lot of people really don’t do it.
Brad: Yeah. And I spoke with Jungleman, he doesn’t really associate with possibly falling behind. But he was talking about how 2015 was just a struggle for him. A real struggle. A year where he struggled really hard. And he finally kind of bit the bullet and jumped into the simulations and PIO, and really upped his game to get to where he needed, he felt he needed to be. So, like if somebody like Jungleman can fall behind due to lack of studying, that I’m pretty sure there’s anybody in the world is going to, going to fall behind, because people every day, you know, especially if you’re at the top of the mountain, guys are hungry. They’re, they’re going to come after you, and they’re going to do what it takes to pull you down.
Jeff: Yeah. Absolutely.
Brad: So, you got to, got to take care of yourself.
Jeff: For sure.
Brad: You mentioned soccer, you played soccer, since you were age four. What sort of impact do you think soccer has had on your poker career, as far as like just working with a team studying, pushing hard, that sort of thing?
Jeff: You know, soccer has been great. My dad makes a lot of observation on parallels with, with poker in real life, with poker and soccer for sure. And there’s just a lot of a, lot of you know, even though it’s an individual, it’s a team game soccer is and pokers in theory, an individual sport, right. You’re playing at a, at a table, you are interacting with people and having to get along in situations. So, I think there’s a lot of parallel, a lot of similarities to it, you know. I was I was fortunate to play in a really competitive team, you know, I was captain of my team growing up. I went I played at university got to. went to University of South Carolina. Had a partial scholarship for soccer. So, I was, I played at a high level up through college, and I think there’s just a lot of winning and losing, dealing with having a good game or a bad game, understanding how to, to work with your, with your teammates, and learn how to you know, deal with people. And just in general, I think that’s really important, you know, at a poker table. You have to know how to treat someone that’s, that’s negative and nasty, someone that’s positive and. and fun. You want to kind of network with. Also, people that are winners and losers, how you handle your own wins and losses. there’s. a lot of that, that is a, you kind of learn right is sports and competitive sports along the way and a lot of life lessons. So, I think poker applies in that sense that there’s, there’s a lot of similarities, winning, losing, you know, different runs, right? You do well playing well, not playing well practice, you know, if you want to put time in off the field and do on your own, not just team practice, like or games, if you’re putting in the extra work. So, I think I could take a lot of stuff but that does apply in a lot of sports or a lot of other activities that you can really apply and similar type of attributes you’re able to gain and I do think I was having that competitive mindset and focus just playing one sport, you know, didn’t do like three, four sports. I was just one sport did it to my best of my ability, played at a high level. I think that definitely was sort of nice and also really transitioned. I just kind of went from college. I just sort of decided I wasn’t going to go any further. I just wasn’t really playing much and come on.
Brad: Why? Why did you had that that decision? Was it, was it the allure of poker? how’d that come up?
Jeff: I didn’t, you know, I said but in the middle high school, I started getting really into it. And then as I was a freshman in college, I think I just got my first laptop. And I was playing online, having it was really convenient because classes and practice, I could just bring my laptop. I remember playing in class sometimes. And then I remember before practice or after practice, it was great to be able to hop in and out of these cash games. And then I just kind of realized like, I saw a kid who was two years well, one grade above me he was on my, his name is Jacob Peterson. He’s like one of the best players in the country for soccer, went to Indiana, won two national championships. He was on the one-year Michigan Wolves team older than me. And I saw like how it, like he was literally a phenom, and I remember he got like a project 40 was like MLS contracts at the time that Major League Soccer was relatively new. And I saw he was like such a great player, just like miles ahead of me. And he was getting like the last saw like what a minimum contract was and like what he was getting in it and he wasn’t even going to Europe, right? He wasn’t going to man you or Barcelona, or these teams, right? He was in USA, playing MLS has come a long way. But it was a smaller, very much smaller money. And I just kind of realized like, even if I were somehow to give everything I had, I think I was probably physically limited to not going to the next level, just like speed and whatnot. But I just sort of realized like, alright, what am I, what am I really doing? I got a scholarship, I’m in college. The next do I want to be a professional soccer player and I kind of always thought about it through high school. I was like, oh, it’s realistic. Maybe I could do it or whatever. And then once I kind of got there I started, my love for poker came prevalent. And I didn’t, I didn’t get along with my coach in college. I was always like buddy, buddy with my coach, Captain, or my teams. I would talk to my coach all the time. And just he didn’t really like that played poker, word got around. He’s like Bible Belt guy. The old school. I just didn’t really click with him and I kind of lost my love for and I was like, no, this is great. I get to not have to worry and study, game, film or go crazy and like go show up to games and be you know. I was like, I was like being a backup quarterback for even like a third stringer signing or something. I just didn’t have to worry. I wasn’t really, I knew I wasn’t going to be playing, especially my first two years. And it was kind of fun for me. I didn’t mind. I partied a decent amount. I stayed in great shape every day. I had, it’s like a fraternity. I had a group of guys right. I was friends with. I was on the team. It was, it was benefits to be an athlete in college and it was fun and I and then I was playing poker late. I would, I would stay up all night playing cards. I would you know go to my first classes and then sleep for practice, play cards and do my homework while I played online, it was it was great. I mean, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’d have awesome time. It just realized it wasn’t going to be me for the next level and I kind of didn’t want anymore. I kind of really just was interested in other things, business, stuff, and in poker, so soccer sort of took a backseat. I had a good run 17 years or so of playing intensively and it just kind of teetered out for me.
Brad: Do you remember the number? How much the phenom was going to be making with the MLS contract?
Jeff: I remember project 40. I think it was 40,000 is what they were getting like their contracts out of college, basically to be in this thing or might even be left early. But as I called Project 40, actually, buddy mind the year number the guy one year older than me on my team, Brad Guzan, who is the US. Actually, you might know that name, he’s in Atlanta. He’s a goalkeeper for the Atlanta team now. He was a men’s national team goalie as well with Tim Howard. He’s been the World Cups and he was the number two overall draft pick. So he left that for his freshman year or not after his sophomore year because my freshman year he was our goalie, sophomore like all American whatever. And he’s two, he actually went to the, ended up going to the Premier League a few years later and played over in one say Aston Villa, you know back in like 0789, those 10-11 that that eram But anyway, I was just like he was one of the few and I just remember seeing the guys in the loss I just knew it wasn’t it wasn’t that lucrative and I realized like how far ahead. Now, it says one of the things that’s kept my team, all stay this and that, and I got to college and it was like everyone was great. And I just kind of like got lost in the shuffle. I thought. I was going to come in play. I’ll be leading the team and assist. I played center-mid and then I was like, oh well I didn’t really get to play my freshman year at all, sophomore years, and that’s kind of like the dream. I had opportunities to go to other schools that were I probably would have started or played. I ended up taking this. I just loved the, I liked South Carolina, the weather, I liked the different. I didn’t want to go to Michigan because it was in my backyard. It was cold, and I also I didn’t think I would play there much. I thought I had a better shot here and then it just for whatever reason didn’t work out in terms of the plane stuff. But again it was totally fine and I wouldn’t change it if I could go back. I’m really happy how it went.
Brad: Yeah, I think at that level like everybody that you play with on your team is the captain in high school and in all America
Jeff: Oh, for sure. And then you’re coming into, you got guys that are seniors and juniors. You’re in your position, a year or two ahead of you.
Brad: Which is a big deal at that age.
Jeff: Yes, it’s tough. So, it was a it was a good experience but just you know it is what it is. So, kind of dream ended there.
Brad: Yeah, I mean, I guess it’s probably pretty eye opening to see the cap, you know what you’re working for and you’re like oh wow, like that. I can’t ,you know even if I make it it’s still, it’s still not an amazing thing as far as monetary wise and plus you had the backup of poker and the knowledge that like.
Jeff: To be fair, the truth is I realized pretty quickly it was just like, it was even just you know, I think it was one of those things if I gave it like 1,000,000% and did everything in my power, I think I still didn’t think I could probably play. So, I sort of just like accepted that, but I wasn’t, it wasn’t really disappointing. It was just kind of like, okay, you know, it’s makes sense. And you start looking at the NCAA, the numbers, and all sports and what percent actually go pro are, and then you start looking at careers and NFL or other things now that average is like two, three years.
Jeff: And all that. So, it’s like, it just started thinking about the, I had a buddy as well who played MLS and you know he didn’t really get to pla,y he got in there, he was my age from my town and we were good friends growing up and played on the same teams and stuff. But it’s just you know it’s not a, it’s not sexy at least in the past and losses come. I don’t know the numbers now I think the top players now they kind of have the farewell tour guides from Europe come there back home and these huge names, tours. They come and play their last season or two to three honorees play for a few a season or two or three is Latin Ibrahimovich, they come over and they’re getting these big size contracts to be a name and just kind of fade out in through the MLS. But, I think the overall standard still fairly, you know, it’s definitely different than NFL or Major League Baseball contracts, obviously. So, it’s, it’s a, it’s a different game. But you know.
Brad: Even the, those other games, you know, the competition’s still high. Like you mentioned, the NFL, the average career is two or three years, right?
Brad: And it’s kind of a, it’s a lottery as far as making the league and then thriving and not getting hurt. Like every play, you can potentially sustain a career ending injury, you can scramble your brains, there’s a lot of a lot of risk that goes into it. And while you’re playing soccer, so your first big tournament score, you went to Atlantic City, bought into a 1k buy-in at the United States poker championships. Can you tell me about that experience?
Jeff: That was pretty crazy. That was actually I believe I was a couple weeks after I turned 21. I bet so, I’ve been going to Atlantic City several times in the past. I like it there. You know, I knew the routine of the whole thing. And then it was a, it was summer earned, I’m sorry, I was I didn’t travel. So, my team went away for the weekend. I traveled some weekends. I didn’t others. I’d wasn’t traveling that week. And then my buddy who played tennis at South Carolina, actually think, who did I tried the cliff with? I think, no, that’s not true. So, I flew up there. I’m trying to man, that’s crazy. I’m trying to remember who I went with. But I went there and then I ran into a buddy who played tennis there, and he was in my dorm, and he was there for the weekend as well. It’s kind of random. We hit it off and then I end up getting, I played in this tournament. I end up getting fourth, fourth and I made a deal. I think I like 17,900. It was like 215 people, I got 12,900 plus 5k saver with someone who is also in. But it’s pretty cool. So, it has a 1k buy in. I was there for the weekend. There is a couple days, a USPC event, side event and I got like 18,000 plus, did well in the cash games. I was playing a little bit there too. So, it was fun. I flew in and, and had like a 25k weekend. I mean, college kind of jacked up a poker version, came back, and my team, whatever they came back, I came back and I had, I had a cool story. And that kind of got me in because that was literally the first live tournament I played. So, to have, you know, final table, get some good money, come back boost the role, definitely was a memorable part of my career. And it’s something that I think, you know, if they had gone differently, would have been maybe things would be a lot different. You know, I actually met one of my best friends in the world now, Tim Begley, who I met there, in 2000, it was 2007. So, we met him at the table, sitting down randomly, had dinner, we were there. And now we’re very close. He actually came to the Olympics with me in the next year in 2008. And I actually met my one of my other best friends in the world, Michael Phelps. That’s also I met at a poker table, but that was in Windsor, in 2006. So yeah, I mean, I’ve met some of my closest friends, I met directly or indirectly from poker, or at a poker table, which is pretty cool.
Brad: Wow, I didn’t realize Michael Phelps was playing poker back in 2006. I played with him in commerce, maybe 2013, 2014 in LA, but I didn’t realize he had been in poker for that long. That’s actually a while.
Jeff: Yeah, he went to University of Michigan. I’m from Ann Arbor. We met there, hit it off. And then I went on vacation, I had come back kind of voicemails. Like, why don’t we drive up together instead of whatever, I drove with him, we became very close. And then I actually moved in with him in 2008 for seven years, we were roommates in Baltimore. And now he let me play a lot of, he’d like poker he would play a lot and you know, he’s definitely, I think I’d like you see the athletes playing on Poker after dark. You hear about some guys that do some poker. I know for sure. He’s definitely one of the strongest, like kind of athlete’s celebrity type deals like he, you know, he knows what he’s doing. He’s seen a lot of hands, and he says hello a lot, very sharp guy. So yeah.
Brad: Yeah, it’s, it’s cool seeing Michael Phelps at the table because it’s Michael Phelps, but it’s not cool see and Michael Phelps at the table just because he’s going to be like giving it away.
Brad: I have, I have played some PLO games with some, some athletes that like just potted in the dark. They bought it in the dark for like every hand for like a two hour stretch, and drop 30 or 40k in the game like disappear. Which is just bizarre in its own right, but yeah, he’s definitely a good, a solid poker player. Was that kind of the moment where you realize like that, that Atlantic City trip, like I’m going to do this, I can do this, this is my thing.
Jeff: Yeah, I mean, I was so, I was, I was, I had a great, come into college. It couldn’t have been more fun. I mean, I had been feeling good about my game. I the, 33 rebuy on party poker in particular, that tournament where you could like go all in, I don’t know if remember that glitch where you can just go all in and rebuy. So, like even if no one called you, or you want to log in, it’s like go and get checks for that, that turnout. So many people are doing it, so like the prize pools were just insane. Plus, people played terrible. So, like you could really get big stacks and, and I had some, some great scores and they’re leading up to college. I remember coming to college, got a nice laptop, I, my, my freshman year, I had two flat screen TVs, and you’ll make an absurd purchase. Like I went like 567,000. I’d spent four or five of it.
Brad: What’s the silliest thing you bought?
Jeff: Just for, our price of plasma TVs, you know, talking about net worth, to what I would, what I spent was, was just pretty crazy, right? Like I was spending like 70-80% of my bankroll on stuff, and I was just, it was just crazy times but yeah, I was fun. We were in, I lived in the athletic dorms. I shared, I had four sweet rooms so there’s two and two, and then like a living room kitchens type deal. And then I actually got an affiliate, the turning point for me in poker was college freshmen. I got an affiliate program. I’ve always been big into affiliate type deals and, and whatnot, but the one that changed the game was party poker because they had this thing right that he was $25 refer a friend. so, you would get 25 for every friend you referred, plus they would get a $50 bonus they cleared like 125 rate pans. And then they did these crazy bonuses. So, like I was doing, I would sign up 20-30 people a month. And then I would get like, they would say well if you do 10 more the next month you get like a 2000 bonus. So, I would make everyone these accounts. I would go door to door, sign people up, and then I would play, you know I would, I would like put the money, get them on there, show them what to do. They would play the right hands and I would take the 50 back, leave them 50 in their account, and I remember months I would get like $6,000 and I was in college from just signing up people to play. And then I showed my roommates how to do it, gave them the role to do it, and I had like 20% some sub affiliate deal to add. So, like then that was like our spring break. We went freshman year to Cancun and they paid for their spring breaks with it and it was like, it was just awesome. Now I also there’s like 100 people signed up, and it was, it was, it was great like I did that for most of my freshman year this affiliate deals and it was like kind of how, I even got more in a less plane and more just kind of generating that and that was, that was like when I knew I could do it for real is when, when I had that sort of baseline stuff coming in and poker was just so juicy. So, it was before the AC score, but that, that got me into like the live kind of deal and looking to play more live events and then the WSOPs and going out to the summer stuff. So, it’s definitely a confidence boost for live, but I had already been pretty deep into it. And you know, for.
Brad: What year was that?
Jeff: Ah, CNN
Brad: Got to be like 2004.
Jeff: 2004, 2005. Yeah, I guess I graduated high school in ‘04 and then was in in college in summer or spring or fall of ‘04, I guess would have been the start of college. Yeah.
Brad: That’s really awesome. Hustling, talking to people, getting people signed up. I remember specifically, I joined the party poker affiliate program, did absolutely nothing with it. For the record, but they sent me like a box of things like windbreakers and business cards.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those cards and they have the Mike Sexton business card. Yeah.
Jeff: I mean, it was crazy. I know a kid, I know a guy making like 70k a month.
Brad: Holy shit. Yeah.
Jeff: He was like one of the original ones. But I think I peak at like 65, 107k a month and then at some point, they stopped it and changed it to MRR only, and you know where like, based on the revenue that people are generating, it’s shifted, but yeah, it was great. And that was, that was definitely like that was a good memory. I was like where I really put down a lot of work, had the notebooks with all the emails and everything, signing up everyone and
Jeff: It was a wild time.
Brad: Flex, flexing your entrepreneurial muscles along with, with poker and then UIGEA happens and party poker just kind of disappeared.
Jeff: So long, that most of them 2006. I remember that when that happened. They had all these monster tickets, these 20 mils or some guarantee they were doing.
Brad: Oh my god. Yes.
Jeff: Yes. And so, it just shut down. Then I got into full tilt and Pokerstars and that’s how I’ve downloaded Pokerstars the first time because I was literally just playing on party, got full till Pokerstars, gotten some other gaming networks and was messing around then. But it was yeah, that was a, that was a big moment, big change and things. Things shifted pretty quick there.
Brad: And you’re grinding along. You’re playing online poker. Let’s move up the timeline to Black Friday. You mentioned I mean, obviously Black Friday is a pretty cataclysmic event for online poker players. Can you tell me how Black Friday affected you? And how it turned out to be like, in your own words, an amazing thing?
Jeff: Yeah, I mean, I remember I was in New York City. I was actually the front I mentioned I met in Atlantic City, Tim Begley. We were at a him and Mads our friend’s apartment, and like woke up, saw the messages. You know, we were playing a lot online back then. And it was just kind of crazy, you know, because it was just like, oh, well, now this is like my routine. This is what I’m doing. This is how I’m making money. This is how I’m trying to make money. And all of a sudden now, you know, I live in Baltimore, I travel around and now I just can’t do what I was doing. So this definitely, it felt like Doomsday kind of like wow, what’s next? How’s this going to work, but it kind of got me out of the online thing into playing more private games, going around doing cash games, go to Atlantic City more, was going to different stops, started playing the live tournament scene, and ultimately got me a lot healthier you know. I was sort of in a fault like thing where, I would just, we would play beer pong every night. I would I would play poker all day. Ordered Chinese food. If I was out of the tournament’s happen that the, drink basically late, you know, I was in that phase of having fun and just out of no responsibility, no school, no soccer, no practice. no nothing. I was just kind of like wild west fun. And I was getting out of shape. I wasn’t working out, eating not well, I was partying a lot. So, you know, and then I wasn’t really doing much activity or traveling or lie out of being locked in a place, so I think ultimately, it turned into be a real big positive, and I kind of got back and healthy, was traveling more and then looking back on it that was maybe the best thing ever happened. And also, I think was my game at that point. In tournaments I think I wasn’t, I wasn’t doing studying really, I didn’t know what to study. I was getting by on being a winning player, but looking back like I was barely you know, breakeven or winner on their online by that time, I think and just wasn’t really doing a lot of work right, just sort of playing very ABC and whatever. And looking back on it, you know, I wish I realized how like some of the crushers and people that were really killing the game that you know, they’d already they had done all that work or they knew the stuff, they’ve read stuff and it was a good. It was a kind of reset and a reflect and a recheck and I think it was just kind of worked out. On of those things where you look at it at the time when really it’s that’s another thing my dad would telling me it’s like not about what happens, it’s how you react to what happens. And that’s super important and everything, stuffs going to happen, things you’re going to look at immediately as like, oh, it’s the end of the world, you’re going to get really upset, could have a shining light immediately after, or down the road after, and really just got to like stuff, you got to take it for what happens, stuffs going to happen, bad people going to die, you know, not saying there’s like positives out of that show. But stuff happens, you know. You break your foot, you, you fall down, you lose, you get bad beat and the tournament, you sleep in, or you have a bad interview, or you get fired, like, stuff happens, right? And it’s just like, you just got to sort of like, take it, like that’s how it is. And now what right? How are you going to go from there, you want to cry about it, you want to mope about it, you want to say this is like why this is about me, this is so bad, or just sort of move forward. I think that’s a big lesson. And that was sort of something I could definitely look back on and use that as a powerful message in my life. The, take that example and use that in that, that sense.
Brad: And that’s, that’s super valuable. Super valuable value bomb, control the controllable, because life will throw you curveballs. Life is going to put things in your path that you don’t anticipate, and you have to rise up to meet, meet the challenge. I mean, I was completely blindsided in 2011, like, I didn’t realize I could get fired, and then all of a sudden, I got fired, right. And looking back on it now, it’s like I’m with you. I think that it ended up being a good thing for me, it broke my cycle that I was in, allowed me to mix it up, travel, meet new people, make new friends, and really forge a completely different life that at the end of the day, has led me to more fulfillment and more happiness overall.
Jeff: It’s, it’s so it’s very true. I mean, that’s a, it’s, it’s I think that’s I think, in my experience of people, the, the people, they’re able to adapt and make those type of changes and realizations that life is, moves forward. And it’s like, you know, you have a real opportunity to whatever you’re doing, whatever field you’re in, to take a situation that doesn’t just impact you. And then it really you can, depending on how you let that affect you, you can really separate yourself from your peers by, by being able to understand that and what it means and how you’re able to shift quickly, right? Like some people were able to immediately go in, they signed up in Canada, and they got their name set up, and they realized how to do it, they found ways around it, or they found ways to exist with it. There’s others that just said, oh, this is it, or whatever, I’m done. This is the worst thing that ever happened. And like, you know, you know, at the same time, some of you probably said, alright, you know, I’d say I had fun with poker, let’s get serious about life and do something else. And that’s cool, too. So, you know, I think, right. That, that really can tell a lot about a person and how strong and adaptable they are.
Brad: It was a big filter, it filtered a lot of people out from poker at the time. And you mentioned that you’d kind of, your breakeven player, you weren’t growing in the way that you felt that you should, what was the highest impact action that you took around that time to improve your game?
Jeff: I started talking to players about hands situations. I think poker is a lot of ego, of course, makes sense. You know, you want to believe that you’re doing the right things. Well, because you could just figure it out intuitively, but at some points talking to guys that you see have better results or friends that you might want to discuss hands with and say, hey, what do you think here because that could be something as simple as your small blind week of calling or a certain stack size of 25 or 20 to 35 big blinds, you’re playing, you know, pairs incorrectly, by flat instead of shoving or folding, instead of calling all these different, like certain adjustments can go a long way, like something small could trigger a big impact in your game, then maybe you play great and so many areas, but you play terrible and a few, and a guy who’s just pretty good and most is going to even do better long term. So, I think it was a sort of like realizing the players and, and checking my ego at the door and talking to people and then, you know, just being open to different methodologies on situations of hands. I believe that was very impactful and just sort of realizing like it’s okay. I think a couple of friends that I was hanging out with a lot they would lie sometimes to about their hands like you’d ask them oh, what happened at a live thing. You know, there wasn’t really reporting are online. It’s different, right? Like, people say, oh, you got I lost ace, queen, ace, king, or I busted on this. It’s like, people it was almost like, some train of thought was, it was like embarrassing to get your money and bad and I think that was like, a big, big thing for to sort of realize like no, like you’re certain spots you supposed to do stuff like you need to make this play with queen, jack off shelving for 15 blinds like, that’s the right thing. It’s like, okay, if the guy had ace king or aces and you ran into it, you lose, like you made the right place. So, I think I was kind of stuck in a little bit of that. Some of that school of thought where people did want to get it in good and it was important to getting good. And in that mindset, which wasn’t necessarily correct. And just I think that was a big growth like realizing that talking to people about spots and realizing like it’s okay to take chances and make moves. And even if you run into a better hand, it’s not a big deal. Just getting into that next level of player and thinking. So,
Brad: Yeah, outside perspectives. All these different inputs, they can be very, very helpful, especially when they come from trusted sources in, in growing your game exponentially, just really expediting that growth. And one thing that I always caution to be careful of it is, do pay close attention to the sources that you’re getting your information from. Because bad information can be very harmful to your game, if you take it and apply it. So be sure you trust the folks that you’re getting feedback from.
What is up you future star of poker, you. Coach Brad here and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re sitting there wondering to yourself, why? Why is coach Brad promoting this PKC poker app thing? Allow me a moment to explain my why. Battling in cash games has been my livelihood for the past 15 years. It’s how I survive and put food on the table for my family, which makes it imperative that I either test out or seek qualified opinions on all of the poker platforms on the market. One juicy fine can mean the difference between a meh year and an amazing family vacation and why kind of year. With that said I’ve tried almost all of the major poker apps on the market to date and despite the hype about amazingly juicy games, I’ve come away from the experience unsatisfied. I was just never able to find amazing success against seemingly weak competition. And in one specific case was getting outright destroyed by passive villains playing more than 50% of their hands. What on earth was going on, right? After many evenings sitting in the bathtub, wondering if I had lost it, I finally dug into the data and learn something that shouldn’t have been too surprising to you. These dudes were colluding and super using their pants off. So, I swore off those free money, decentralized devil apps and decided to go back to my more familiar streets of ignition. It was then that I was contacted by a good friend of mine who turned out to be the Vice President of Worldwide Operations at PKC. Him and I had a long in-depth conversation about security, the ecosystem and the future direction of PKC, and he managed to convince me to give it a shot. That shot turned into an incredible six months with an hourly rate that’s about five times what it would have been playing on any other US platform. As it turns out, I didn’t forget how to play, I just needed to be on a level playing field to return to my crushing ways. I have no doubt that you, my community, my audience is going to play online poker somewhere. And I want to be damn sure that you don’t go through the pain and frustration I felt by messing around with any poker app besides PKC. This is why promoting PKC is a no brainer for me. I love you, I love my community. And I want to put you in the best position to succeed at this game that we both love so much. So, if you’d like to join me in the streets of PKC, simply head to enhanceyouredge.com/pkcpot and get your invite code to play. You must have an invite code and you must be 21 years of age or older. One more time, that’s enhanceyouredge.com/pkcpot to get your invite code. Best of luck, and now on with the show.
Brad: You mentioned private games, that you started playing in some private games. Can you speak about that? And what’s your experience been in those games specifically?
Jeff: I’ve had, I’ve been fortunate with that because private games of course are tricky, as opens up the door for I mean, listen there can be mark cards or cheating or collusion any game whether it’s televised, casino.
Jeff: It doesn’t necessarily mean that, but you open up a huge opportunity for cheating collusion you know, if places are taking a rake that they’re getting things are not done correctly. So now that it’s, it’s, it, it’s very tricky, but my situation was, I was in a, I did a personal development course in Vegas, actually Antonio Esfandiari got me in, had me go to it. And he suggested me to go there, Bill Perkins as well, as one of his very close friends. He’s got to go there and said, you know, trust me, this is like, this will change your life. You want to check it out. We went there, we hit it off, came super, super close. And then shortly after, there were, he was in Houston, I would come visit, hang out, and I was playing the game there. This was just a wild game. You know, I was like 200-400 and I was playing this game all of a sudden with the best lineup I’ve ever seen, and doing very well. So, I did that for I don’t know two, three years of coming in for once or twice a week.
Brad: What year is this?
Jeff: It was like 2012.
Brad: Oh wow, so not that far removed from where you felt your breakeven player. What happened? Why, why were you able to find such excess, such success in such a massive game?
Jeff: Well, no, I think first of all, I mean, again, we’re talking online. Mostly I was playing tournaments, so multi table tournaments, this is cash games, I’ve always done well in cash games, you know, online like at that point six max. I was trying to play like 12 tables of one.
Jeff: I was whatever. Like, it wasn’t nothing super great was, was happening. I did fine. But, yeah, that was at that time. I think it was just, yeah, when I play one table, more focus. And then also the level of play like it’s just like, you can play very exploitatively, right, like, you know, like golf or value. When you have it, you can tighten up your ranges. And guys, you can make big mistakes and whatnot. But yeah, I mean, I was very fortunate, played in there, I mean, and then I met my wife, 2014. And it became less of light. And then I actually got to twitch. So, you know, that kind of became Bill moved away from Houston. And it was a lot to fly in there. Now, I had, wanted to start a family, I had a serious girlfriend. I was living in Baltimore. And it just became like, it became, the game slowed down some, and it was just sort of like a lot to juggle doing that. Plus trying to stream on Twitch, play live tournaments, have relationships, I kind of make some cuts. And I think that was like the biggest decision I ever made was to go for it with Twitch. That was a big decision to say, all right, let me just do this. Let me, I believe in the process, I think that I’m going to have a successful avenue here. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Twitch, a lot of, I’ve had a lot of people come to me and say, kind of tangent here. But it’s interesting, because a lot of well known, I would say well known pros or people want to start it and try it. Either they do it. They never get off the ground or they try it do it like once, twice, three, ten times, and they maybe think their name is going to carry them now. Phil Hellmuth, Daniel on the ground. You know, like Phil Locker, Antonio Esfandiari, if they hopped on Phil and Daniel do have twitch channels, they don’t really do it, but they’ve done it. Those type of names. Sure, could, could drive a big, big following and big numbers very quickly. But outside of maybe four or five people, it’s like, you know, even if you’re a crusher, if you’re one of the best high stakes players in the world, you know, you’re going to build a slow channel, like it just how it works. People have to follow you, they got to, you know, they add you they see or they’re they want consistency. And that’s just, it’s a tough at most. So, I think when I saw Somerville streaming, Jamie Staples, Kevin Martin at the time, and I was like, wow, it’s pretty cool. I see that they got big channels. I see how they have their affiliate stuff below which hit home to me, I saw how there’s like recorded content, makes it kind of at that time, poker was sort of dying in terms of multi table tournaments, or it’s gotten that time was so much harder, right? Like, it was like people are playing for a living. It’s a way different landscape. So, I was like, look, I like playing, if I’m going to play make some sense, but I would say that I’m like, benefit. It’s like playing a video game now too. Like, there’s nothing no value in playing a video game. But if you stream, you become a good streamer, you get a scholarship. Now there’s opportunities you can become. There are big monetized streamers now, so I thought the same thing with poker, welcome to play online. May as well record it, I may as well try this. Let’s see if we can do it. And I sort of told my wife like, hey, bear with me. I think this is going to be cool. And then back then to the technology was different. The twitch wasn’t as nice, internet issues. And I was flying all over the world to try to stream. So, we go to New Zealand, would go there, internet doesn’t work. The hotels you call, have to call ahead, check this Oh, yeah. oh, five upload, five download, just still not great. But it was good enough. And then you get there that’s not steady. Australia, couldn’t stream. Brazil, worst internet at the time. You know, it’s traveling around. Imagine stories and things I wish I was filmed or could document up, this tilt to stress, carrying your stuff on the road, the laptop, you miss a cord, ethernet cord, something breaks, your second monitor, bags lost, like all this shit that struggles of streaming on the road. Like if I got to just stream from my house, and click live and have my nice setup and my comfortable chair and good internet, all good equipment, I would probably stream every day by now or every other day or whenever I could 2, 3, 4 hours a day. But that was a big, very intensive process to get kind of go, go through it. So yeah, that, that was like the biggest move, I think, decision to sort of get away from the steady private game to build something, because again, a private game is amazing, right? If you’re in a great private game, it’s good. But guess what, there’s no real value, make some good contacts, okay, but then the game dies. A couple of big feeders of the game don’t come play. Or you know, whatever reason, the game shuts down, for those 10 different reasons can shut down, and then what? If you have nothing, you’re not investing, if you don’t have some sort of backbone, there’s really no foundation for yourself, like other than being good at poker and whatever. If you have Twitch, if you have YouTube blogs, new podcasts, you have endorsements, you have other opportunities that you lay a foundation, now you’re pretty insulated from, from a bad run or from whatever, and just you have that, always. You have your twitch videos. You have content. You can put up later. You can do stuff with. So, now for me it was like in my mind, I had this whole vision. It just, it just was like it was a lot long term play. And I think even just in the last, you know, even up to maybe a year ago, I was like, man, is this the right choice? The game picked up and got bigger. And I was, you know, I was just like, do I? Is it the right play for me? And then as I thought about it, it just was, like, it was just simply like, I see the light, I got to deal with the dream with party poker, got a good thing going there. And some other stuff happened. And it just kind of all came together. But it was a, it was a tough choice, and not really sure what the right answer was at the time, but just kind of my gut said, go this route, go the content route, do what you love, and build something. So that’s sort of, that was like a big change. And chance.
Brad: Yeah, I mean, we can’t compare the timelines because we don’t know what happens if you go the other route. Right? So, it’s like an impossible thing. But it seems that you know, you’re exploding. Your podcast itself is exploding, you’re the things that you, you make, your website all of that is, I’m very envious of how beautiful the, the graphics and everything looks. Because this is something that I struggle with in such a big way. Such a massive way.
Jeff: I mean, really, the, the, the, the answers always, in my opinion, outsource, you know, like Andrew Nimi for example, he’s got the Marquee Twitch, or I’m sorry, YouTube channel, you know, 120-30 or whatever it is 1000 subscribers. That’s his thing. He’s doing his own videos, his own editing and all that, it’s very tough. I think he was looking outsource that. This some point. But that was like his craft, you know, he learned it. But I mean, it’s he’s spending 8-10 hours a day on just the blog. So, you know, for me, I’ve, I’ve been lucky that I’ve had a very, a guy, Vedran, who did over 200. Twitch streams development. He was with me, we kind of took him on full time, he then started doing less of all the other stuff. He was doing folks on my we came up with a deal. And then Bill Perkins, I got, I told him, hey, like you should, I think you’d like Twitch, he started doing Bill stuff just exclusively working for us. And you know, we, we and we have him directly doing this stuff. Because it is, it’s hard, man. If you’re doing your podcast, you’re doing your stuff, you’re creating the content, that’s like what you want to do. I think you hit on it. We talked before a bit about finding some ways to monetize, having some steady other stuff, then you can start justifying your spending. Because you know, it’ll come back, once you get to that point where like, alright, I’m going to spend X amount a month, and outsource pay for some advertising, pay someone to help me, you’re just, you’re going to level up because if not, you can’t really get ahead because of what you’re good at. Or what you want to do is, you know, yeah, as a good, maybe it’s valuable to learn how to edit and do some stuff. But the time it takes and all that really, you know, the opportunity cost, but other content or playing you can do, it’s tough. So, I think that’s like, that’s a, that’s a big suggestion I would make. And again, I have no idea on point, if you’re doing all yourself, or if you have some help or whatever that that’s, that’s a big step. I think for people out there looking to sort of go that route and try to, try to take that, maybe go out of your comfort zone and say, I don’t want to add spending 500,000, 2,3,4000 a month, or whatever it is, if you sort of like break it all down, you realize you can expand your horizon a lot, it’s usually going to be worth it. If you have good content, and you have a good message, I think it ends up usually working out to try it.
Brad: Very gratefully. I have a team of 10 now that, you know, I’m managing them and building the business. And we’re you know, they’re immensely helpful in every single aspect of the things that I do, because you only have so many hours in the day, like you said, Andrew Nimi, spending eight to ten hours a day. And that takes him away from creating more content. That takes him away from growing his brand and doing other things that he could be doing. So, buying those hours back by heading to Upwork or heading to some freelance site and finding guys and I’m with you too. Like, I don’t believe you should be a master at all the little, the little things like editing and graphic design and these things. I do think you should have some cursory knowledge, so that you at least know what people are doing. Because if you don’t, if you hire somebody for Facebook ads, and it just completely bombs, you need to know what went wrong. And how you can improve.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s true. Yeah, it’s true. It’s fun to learn as well. It’s just, I think I saw, there’s, I met CeeLo Green at amfAR, at this charity poker thing and, and chatted with him a bit, and I follow him on Instagram and I saw one of the things, it was a, I love this statement. It is about like, I don’t complain about having a lot on my plate because I’m not you know, because I want to eat, like I’m no one wants to. It’s like, anything is a blessing. If you get to that point where it’s just like you have all. I have so much stuff I can do, people that complain, they’re so busy, whatever. I mean, really, it’s like isn’t that that’s kind of what you want. And if you’re able to choose and sort of itemize what’s important or whatnot. It’s, it’s, it’s cool. You know, it’s a good thing if you feel busy and you have a lot going on. Yeah, I think that’s a good thing.
Brad: Yeah, it’s a personal preference. And it’s, you know, what brings you joy and what makes you happy and what you want to spend your time on. I think like if you hate editing your podcast, for instance, and you’re spending three hours doing it, then hire somebody else to do it. Because that three hours, you can spend doing something else, and likely if you’re in the poker field, make more money doing it anyway. So, yeah, it’s just, it’s a personal preference on all of these little things. All right, let’s head into the lightning round here. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about poker, what would it be?
Jeff: Probably, I would have to go with the tanking slash talking rule stuff. I think Jamie Gold sort of blew it for everyone and not even blew it but like, not necessarily to his fault, because it was. what was allowed, but hit that. I think how the rules were shaped from that were really not correct in a way they’re overcompensating, I think for the extreme to say no talk and it’s pretty annoying read table and you can’t even start chatting to the guy you’re playing with, like I get like, there’s angle shooting your training information about the hand. I mean, so many times I see a dealer say you can’t talk about anything but the weather down and try, or like you just like there’s so stringent on that. And I think that’s like, I think it makes people less have fun, also more afraid. And it just feels kind of like that, that to me is bothersome, because I get it. I get the reason why they don’t want anyone like to protect people from giving up information about their hand, you shouldn’t say, I have ace queen and youngster playing these mind games and specifically your hand. But like still you can, you know, are you bluffing or talk to a guy and say, would you do this here? I think man, I think you have or like, this doesn’t make sense. You know, talk a little bit your thought process and stuff. I just feel like that was so fun on TV to see back in the day. These guys kind of work through hands or talk about it or say to a guy like NickRon newer, Sal and these characters that chatted and devilfish. And all these guys are just animated personalities. I’m Brett, they’re Brennus and all these things that just sort of have gone away. And like that, I think is that’s a that’s something that I miss and I think is an issue with the game right now.
Brad: Yeah, there’s this direct correlation between freedom and security. And by aiming to make the game more secure, they’ve taken away a lot of the freedom, because poker is a psychological game, right? Like, everything is information. Everything is data, you’re constantly collecting it. And it’s a game of people. Like if you’re not going to let people talk, then why are we even here? Why are we sitting around in this circle, playing this game? If you can’t say, hey, I’ve got a really good hand here. Like, you know what’s going on? You know, just, just have because yes, of course, you’re trying to get more information. That’s what everybody’s trying to do. But that’s the game. That’s what makes the game beautiful. Personally, I think this is for just from a cash game players perspective. Like, I would love it if people could show their cards and talk about it and try to get a reaction. And I mean, people can close their eyes, people cannot respond. That’s their own choice. If they engage, that engagement when you have Negreanu talking to somebody and they’re talking back. That’s, that, that’s good for TV. It’s good for the game, in my opinion. And I’m 100% with you, and Jamie gold. Yeah, I’ve played with him multiple times. And it’s not that, that’s just him. That’s who he is actually. He talks incessantly regardless of if the cameras are on or if the cameras are off.
Jeff: Yeah, no, yeah, for me, that’s what I just see it all the time. It’s like a, it frustrates me when, especially when it’s not about when they’re clearly not, you know, that’s like, it gets uncomfortable, almost like it’s like an amateur will say something or, or do something where they’re clearly just thinking or talking or visibly frustrated, have a tough decision. And then they like say the dealers like can’t talk, anything, it’s just like, really like, and it’s and then they kind of feel embarrassed or unsure if it’s like almost looks like their angle shooting or something. And they’re not. I mean, so it’s, it’s a yeah, I missed I think that’s an issue.
Brad: Yeah, me too. I’m with you. 100%. What’s something people would be surprised to learn that you’re horrible at?
Jeff: I guess I get made fun of for driving. I mean, I in my mind always used to say that my friends have sex. I didn’t really drive. I actually got a lease in 2013 or 14 or 15, or something I forget. But I had, I end up putting 2000 miles on the 24,000 lease. I don’t really drive a lot. And I don’t know, I guess that people think I’m bad at driving. And I thank a lot of Ubers now. I have I didn’t have a car even for a couple years. We’re traveling all the time, got when we have a baby, five-month-old now. And I, but I just feel like it sort of seems like I get that comment that I’m not good driving the same time knock on wood. I’ve never had an accident, or a no problem. But yeah.
Brad: This is, this is me. Like, you’re speaking my language here. Like, and I don’t know if your wife comments. My wife does comment about me being a bad driver. And I’m like, I’ve never been in an accident. I’ve never, I’ve had some speeding tickets. But you know, let’s hold off calling me a horrible driver until I get into some crashes here. Like what’s my what’s my, what’s the metric that you use to judge good and bad drivers? If it’s not getting into accidents? Right?
Jeff: For sure. Exactly. So yeah, I guess you could say bad driving.
Brad: What’s a project you’re working on this near and dear to your heart?
Jeff: Really uncouple but I mean, the, I’m working with Robbie on, on some stuff with party poker and just in general changes there. Also, a side project that’s coming. Be announced pretty soon. That’s a related industry with him, but I’m doing some stuff with him and just in general party poker, trying to get the cash game scene back online, something. It’s very tricky whether you have aliases, not aliases, how the games are structured and how they’re not predatorial. So, I think that’s something that would be a huge win for the game if there could be online cash games, it feels kind of back now date back a decade or so. Which is uphill battle but Rob’s working really closely on doing that. He’s got a lot of ideas and innovation and really open with the players and getting feedback on that so it’s I’m trying to help with and just get the online poker kind of in general the feel better feel for not having negative connotations and, and get that back to healthy. So I’d say just kind of branding, working with party poker and getting, getting the overall poker feeling of online back to a stronghold side, that’s sort of the biggest thing I’m working on. As well as a podcast going, growing the podcast, trying to find a rhythm with that, because, yeah, same thing I want to, I want to get more of a schedule, like once a week or have set times and stuff and there’s periods of time or I’ll do like two, three in a row. And I won’t do one for a month so you know, that was a, that was a big learning to, you know, you’re doing your, your shows, but just like how to get the timestamps, how to have it done, put it out on all the outlets, Spotify, iTunes, get it digitally done correctly, have all these things like, it’s so hard to start stuff. I think that’s something I’ve always been pretty, you know, YouTube blogs, twitch, to saying, I don’t really care, like someone say, what’s your goal? What’s going to happen? I don’t know. Is twitch going to work? I don’t know. My YouTube is going to be successful? I don’t know as a podcast going to do go forever. Is it going to make money? I don’t know. I’m doing it because I like it. I’m doing it because I believe I can be good at it. And I see a long-term path. I think if you just don’t, you know, they say the first step to 1000 miles, all these quotes or whatever. But really, if you like something, you want to try it, you should dive in, if you wait till the best equipment, if you wait, I need to line up 100 guests, you know, this kind of stuff is never going to happen. You really got to go in for it. You’d be surprised you reach out to people. You know, I’m looking to do not just poker, that’s why I made Jeff Gross podcast. I didn’t do Jeff Gross poker podcast because I want to do guests, not just only poker price, there’ll be half or more poker. But you know, I think that’s, that’s like, that’s what I’m passionate about. I was just kind of going for stuff doing it. And then whatever happens down the line is going to be Joe Rogan podcast, I’m going to make money from it. I don’t know, I don’t really care. Really. And I think that generally, usually those things work out the best when you do something you’re really passionate about, you know. They, if, you do something you love, they say you’ll never work a day in your life kind of thing. And that’s sort of what I sort of tried to do.
Brad: That’s awesome, man, I didn’t realize you’re going to branch out to like the non-poker player, type, folks. And last year, I did a podcast completely different, not about poker and spoke with experts, Olympians, amazing entrepreneurs, learning their daily processes. And that was just an amazing experience. It didn’t make me much money. But then it prepared me for this project. I know that, I know the process now for doing all the things that you talked about, because it’s extremely time consuming. I know you, the folks listening might be surprised, but I don’t just wake up out of bed, upload a podcast episode and it gets distributed across all channels, right? It’s like a 15-step process that’s extremely intensive, and tough. And really, there’s a story about potters and these two potters they, basically one potter spent one week making one piece of pottery and this other potter spent a week making just as many as possible, right? And then they compare to see which one was the best. And it was like not even a contest like the people that made the many, many, many different pieces of pottery just crushed the person working on one. So, it’s an immersive experience. Get in there, try it out, it’s going to suck. Like whenever you do something the first time, it’s going to suck, period. You just have to learn from that and grow as time goes on. And you can really build something great if you put the time and energy into that learning process and growth.
Jeff: Yeah, it’s yeah, absolutely. I agree. And it’s fun. And it’s evolution too. It’s like the equipment gets better. The stuff gets better. The technologies you’re working on the platforms get better with speed with precision with features, Twitch has the multi, what’s it called? Squads now, there’s just all these different innovations and the graphics get better and the bits they add and donations and different like tricks and things just kind of improve along the way. So, it’s, it’s fun, you know, it’s fun looking back, I’ve had different, three different logos, different slogans, different names, different emojis and emoticon. Like the whole thing just kind of just sort of happens overnight. It doesn’t it doesn’t happen overnight. You, you just sort of look back and like wow, like that was crazy. Like I remember two, three years ago and you know all this stuff. So yeah, just get in there, do it and sort of learn as you go. I think that’s the way to go.
Brad: Yeah, the days are long, but the years are short. You look back and see how far you’ve come. And you realize holy shit like it doesn’t seem like it because you’re with yourself everyday but then you look back like wow, I can’t believe.
Jeff: And I think there’s a big opportunity as well. There’s a, with poker, if you enjoy content and you’re younger and hungry, you said you’re 33.
Brad: I’m 35, I think.
Jeff: 35. You know, like the guys like, I’m very close with Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Locke, Brian Rast, those guys and then they help me as well. But then there’s other guys like Ivy, if you really named the big four and Negreanu, Ivy, Hellmuth and Tony, I think those like the four pillars in poker like that have been around, they’re like the main guys who play the highest stakes, have done some of the craziest stuff and but you know the personalities you’ve seen forever and you can name another 10 guys as well in that list. But, those are sort of like I would say the biggest four in Tony’s got two kids now plays more cash games kind of relaxes isn’t really doing turn on the ground. Negreanu just resign from stars. You know, you got Hellmuth who, he’s also you know, he’s pretty active and does stuff, but he’s also not like super active. And Ivy sort of disappeared and just in his own little world and what’s happening is over in Asia it’s like there’s a lot of opportunity. I think now the guys that are in the industry are the twitch guys, the YouTube people, the podcast, the guys that are doing content, Joey Ingrams, those type of things you had, Lex who’s got a huge lead on Twitch now just been so active and consistent. But no, it’s like guys like Jamie Staples, you know, myself like you’re doing a podcast, you’re doing a lot of content, you’re putting stuff out, you stream like, this is the stuff where when if the USA opens back up as well, there’s going to be great opportunities. And I think that’s like people are looking for that. They got there’s guys I see that I, remember my first YouTube vlogs I was doing in 2017 in Vegas, same thing. I just like, was like, you know what, let me start this YouTube thing. Jamie Staples, told me it’s the way to go months before I said, I’m going to start it. I got in. I walked around. My first vlog was terrible. And no, I do. I’m doing I’m filming everything walking through stores, whatever, this and that. But then I remember bringing my camera to a tournament around that first week and a guy came up to me. I had released maybe five or 10 vlogs, four vlogs, was midway through the summer skies, like comes out and we’re sitting at a 1500 WSOP event. He’s like, like, oh, man, that’s cool. He’s like, that’s really cool. You’re doing the vlogs. Like, that’s great. And goes, do you know, do you know Doug Polk? And I was like, yeah, you know, I know Doug, what’s up. He’s like, Ah, you know, I love that guy. He’s, he’s the reason I’m here. Like, I hadn’t played poker in two years. And it was like, the guy’s like saying, now here’s from Doug’s video, this guy was like, they’re at the World Series playing an event. And I think that’s like the power of that type of stuff. Like the guys that are putting out troopers and Jeff Boski. And, you know, you can name 100 guys and Tonka, easier days is scraggy, Matt Staples pad, like guys on Twitch and then the YouTube and then it kind of flows in together. And it’s like, it just like the people that are putting the content out. Those are the ones that are keeping poker live. So, if there’s no Twitch, no YouTube, no podcast, poker will be basically dead. I mean, poker central, poker go now, they got you know, they do poker after dark. Sometimes they have these special shows once in a while. It’s a little different. But really, there’s, that’s what I think people are watching and they’re seeing it, that’s getting them excited. That’s getting them interested, that’s getting them back in it or into it for the first time. And you know, Pennsylvania just passed sports betting passed at a federal level. Like there’s definitely signs of a resurgence and sort of opportunity to come in, I think, for those that are hungry and want to do it.
Brad: And people love it. And you know, beyond just showing the final tables, like on ESPN, their poker coverage, which was great. Back in the day, too. There’s just a giant market for people that want to consume poker content, which I think reflects the status of the market in general. And maybe one day, we’ll come back to the US on a bigger scale than it is now. And I think that would be a very good thing. I remember the glory days of party poker. I would very much like that to happen. But yeah, in the meantime, just going to keep doing my thing, and you’ll keep doing your thing and creating the best shit that we can. So last question, that will get you out of here, man, you can go to Europe. Where can the chasing poker greatness audience find you on the worldwide web?
Jeff: Yep, so I’m Jeff Gross Poker across the board. Twitch in particular, it’s jeffgrosspoker.tv. I have a YouTube channel, Jeff Gross poker and then Twitter Instagram, pretty active Instagram Stories, almost every day put out content there little, little bit of my son now and family stuff, but it’s a lot of politics a lot. What’s that?
Brad: It’s a lot of your son. Let’s not be modest.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Brad: You’re very proud.
Jeff: I get it. I get those parents now, they post the baby stuff on fun. But poker flow show is very poker heavy only. That’s on my Instagram and Twitter and then I have Jeff Gross podcast which is the podcast that’s across all this podcast platforms and on YouTube as well. It’s separate channels. So, but if you Jeff Gross poker really Snapchat as well, I don’t use it as much but Facebook. I have stuff Discord. You know, I have a lot of the difference in a website, my website, you can see kind of all that into my results or whatever. It’s spile cross Aboard everything tied in there, so.
Brad: Yeah, love it man. And all this will be in the show notes for those of you listening that want to click through and check it out. Jeff, it’s been an amazing experience. Thank you for coming on my friend. I’ve enjoyed it greatly.
Jeff: Awesome, really nice to meet you, talk with you and we’ll see you soon. I’ll be following along. And best of luck. Thanks for having me.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of chasing poker greatness. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please take a moment to do so on Apple podcasts or wherever your favorite place listen to podcasts might be. And once again, I also wanted to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re on the lookout for a new platform where the games are safe and secure and the action is amazing, head to enhanceyouredge.com/PKCpod to get your code and jump into the games. You must have a code to play as well as be 21 years of age or older. One final time that’s enhanceyouredge.com/PKCpod. Thank you so much and I’ll see you next time on Chasing Poker Greatness.
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