My introduction to poker was, like many here, born out of a mix of friendly competition and a ruthless desire to dominate everyone around me while participating in it. I was working as a computer geek at the University of Washington, and our new roommate introduced our entire household to the game -- a variant I had never seen before but quickly became enamored with: No Limit Hold'em. Between a hypertilty girlfriend, a budding statistician, a young-but-experienced-businessman/poker player hybrid, and myself, we had a great mix for shorthanded hold'em games. Usually a few other friends joined and we'd play hours and hours each week. I wasn't the best player at the table, but I wasn't the worst, and I liked all of the elements of the game: the math, the psychology, and, of course, the money. I was hooked.
I devoured everything I could on the topic, and eventually was exposed to 2+2 publishing's online forums. Soon enough I was reading everything in sight that could help me learn to play better, downing book after book and posting on the forums repeatedly. I decided to experiment by putting $50 online, and that was the beginning of my "true" life as a poker player. I never looked back. I started with $10+1 sit and go tournaments on Pokerstars, and eventually started playing at Party Poker, Pacific, and all of the Party Poker skins at the micro-stakes Limit Hold'em tables. Slowly but surely I moved up, posting hand after hand and learning as much as I could. Since those days I've logged hundreds of thousands of hands, playing limits from $.25/$.5 to $100/200 and loving every second of it.
Since we relaunched DeucesCracked in January of 2008, I've been increasingly involved in the business side of things with DC, and have played less and less limit hold'em. I still participate as much as possible in the forums and keep up with modern LHE theory, but when I've had time to play poker recently it's primarily been $50 and $100PLO. My current coaching focuses on very heavy detail and theory-based analysis of individual hands - take a look at my series LHE Dojo and Close but No Cigar for how this type of coaching looks in practice. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions.
Entity is a DeucesCracked Executive Producer.
Q. Why do you teach? A. Poker's a great game. But at some level, I've always felt like I wanted to do "something more." In college, I studied English literature and wanted to be a high-school teacher... in fact, if it weren't for some misgivings I have with our state's educational system, I'd probably be doing that right now. Instead, a few detours later, I've found myself with another opportunity to teach.
DeucesCracked was created to let people see how and why we do what we do in a different way: rather than writing books or articles or posts, we wanted to come up with something more immersive that took a different approach to teaching. Seeing how people play does exactly that; rather than reading about it, just engaging one portion of your brain, you can see the thought process as it happens and in the environment in which it happens. It's a great approach, and we've had a lot of positive feedback from it.
Q. So why a new model? A. In short, we found something better. Way better. When we first talked with Jay (KRANTZ), he immediately showed us that there was something we were missing; we were doing a great job of showing what we did on a case-by-case basis, but there was a big piece of the puzzle missing: context. By creating a "series," as we've called them, we have the opportunity to provide a story which helps people understand more about the poker process. Not just why we're making the current play we're making (the math), but the story that surrounds every decision we make: this includes everything from metagame decisions and reads on other players to the everyday psychology of being a poker player.
When you provide a storyline for people to follow, they become more engaged in the content; when you're more engaged, you learn more easily while working less hard. If we can teach people poker and entertain them, really, it's a perfect strategy --and that's exactly what we're setting out to do.