First I must say that this blog is not sponsored or endorsed by Deepstacks, nor am I being compensated for what I am going to write. I started playing Poker about 9 years ago. I quite frankly wish I had started playing 25 years ago, and I would be that much further ahead, I think. I like most other players when they start, was a losing player for quite some time.
For those of you that may be reading this blog that are not Poker players, I can tell you that many people believe that Poker is pure gambling and they lump the game in with all other types of gambling including Slots, Lottery, Roulette and other casino games. I don’t intend this blog to be an entire dissertation on the different forms of gambling, but will simply state that Poker is primarily a game of skill. Yes luck does play a part in Poker as it does in other forms of gambling, but unlike say Slots where it is 100% pure luck, Poker is a game where a skilled player can often control the outcome.
I also firmly believe that what happens with Poker players, is that after spending enough money attempting to learn the game they either quit or they finally improve to the point where they can compete and become profitable. It’s important however to make the effort to learn not just by playing but also by reading, watching videos, talking about hands with other players you respect and going to school.
School you say? But I left school a long time ago and don’t want to go back. Well, school can actually be fun and that’s exactly what I did. I was at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, I believe it was about 2 years ago now. My bankroll is very low so I was playing low limit No Limit Hold Em’, and the ballroom next door had an event that was going to start shortly. It happened to be the Deepstacks University mini-camp.
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow came in to our room and was encouraging us to come and join. I was like many players of the mind set that hey I know what I am doing so why do I want to spend money on “training” when I can use the money at the table. So I kept playing and was really not going anywhere, I wasn’t losing much but I also wasn’t really winning much, so I decided to go next door to see what this was all about.
I went in and had Mike Matusow to myself for a moment and I asked him about the course, and while I can’t remember exactly what he said it was in typical wise guy Mike fashion and while I had not yet fully decided to take the plunge, by the time I got done listening to Mike I figured okay let’s do this, after all it was a small price to pay to be abused by “The Mouth”.
After having attended the mini-camp I decided it was very worthwhile and I registered for their upcoming full 2 day camp. I know that there are several competing camps and in all fairness I can’t fully judge them since I have not attended them, however I do know the line-up of players that the other camps have and I believe the Deepstacks is the best for a number of reasons.
First of all I was impressed by the different types of players and styles that we had the pleasure to learn from and play with. Deepstacks utilizes a solid mix of players from the old guard that have been around the game a long time and are live game specialists and the new guard of young internet players that honed their skills playing online.
They also taught us both different skill sets of cash games and tournaments, which while the game itself is the same they require different strategies. Deepstacks also has an ongoing interactive web based course of study allowing you to continue your learning beyond the classroom setting. All the instructors did a great job and were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and kept the learning fun.
One of their instructors was Adam “Roothlus” Levy. I also want to relay a quick story that I do not believe I had a chance to tell Adam when we met. When I saw his online handle Roothlus, my mouth dropped a little since I realized that he was a very successful player on PokerStars and that I had in fact played with him several times over the years. What impressed me tremendously about Adam though was the way he treated players online and especially the way he treated me.
At the time that we played together I was still learning the game and I was a terrible player. If you have ever played Poker online you will know that since you can hide behind the anonymity of a computer screen it is much easier to be abusive to other players. I had certainly experienced my share of abuse at the hands of other players. Unlike many players, Adam never abused players, and that says quite a bit about his character.
I had the pleasure of learning and playing with Adam “Roothlus” Levy, Tristan “Cre8ive” Wade, Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, Tom McEvoy, and of course the one and only Mike “The Mouth” Matusow. It was a thrill for me to play with these established players.
For those of you that do not play Poker trust me when I tell you that all of these players are highly regarded and successful. It would be like if you were an aspiring actor and you got to attend a workshop with Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Tom Cruise and Tom Hardy.
Bottom line, if you want to improve your Poker game I recommend you attend Deepstacks University whenever they are in your town. Hell, even if you have to travel to attend, it’s worth it. I want to also thank Chris Torina the president of Deepstacks and their entire team for putting on a great event. I can tell you that we always have more to learn and I look forward to attending a future event again myself.