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“Whenever I do something, I like to be as good at it as possible. I was always looking for avenues to improve my game…That’s where WPT Boot Camp fit in.”
Joe Sidoryk: Electronics Entrepreneur Wins Two Triple Crowns and $1 Million in Online Cashes
Joe Sidoryk is the co-owner of Phoenix Display International, a company that designs and makes LCD modules. He’s also a serious online poker player who has cashed for more than $1 million in multitable tournament play and has won two Triple Crowns—an award given by the poker web site Pocket Fives to anyone who wins three substantial tournaments across three different sites within a one-week period.
Joe doesn’t plan on quitting his day job, which he loves. But he does plan to keep hitting the poker tables.
“I’ve always been a bit of a gambler,” Joe says. He started playing low-stakes Sit & Go’s and eventually moved up to the high buy-in tables. He read several poker books and gradually worked his way into multitable tournaments.
“I’m a very competitive person,” Joe explains. “Whenever I do something, I like to be as good at it as possible. I was always looking for avenues to improve my game…That’s where WPT Boot Camp fit in.”
Joe’s wife, he says, “is not the biggest fan of poker” but she is “definitely supportive”. So one Christmas, she sprang for a two-hour coaching session with a famous player. Joe enjoyed the experience, but didn’t feel that it made the difference he’d been looking for.
Then his wife saw an ad for WPT Boot Camp, and that was her second big poker gift. When Joe realized what Boot Camp was going to be like, he was even more excited about it than her previous present.
“I was really eager to go,” Joe says, “because there were both Internet and live players there. I was really, really excited to spend some time with [top online player] Nick Brancato and kind of pick his brain, so I asked an awful lot of questions and was hounding him the majority of time I was there.”
As a result of these conversations with Nick “Nicky Numbers” Brancato, Joe “really moved up the aggression in my game.” He learned how important it was to “always be the aggressor, always be raising.” At age 44, Joe says, “I’m kind of a dinosaur at the tables, because everybody else that’s playing is very young, and they’re generally fearless. So I have to get to the point where I’m willing to be as aggressive as they are. If there was one single item that I took away from that training, it was that.”
Joe really appreciated that Boot Camp offered different things for different players. Some of his fellow students, he says, had specific questions about how to play certain hands. He was already a skilled player, though, and didn’t need that kind of information. For him, Boot Camp offered “a less obvious attribute, but it was one that I needed to work on—it was a big hole in my game.” Joe was talking about the kind of aggression that he’d learned from Nick and other teachers.
“Once I plugged that hole, my game really took off,” he says. “In fact, I went on a little bit of a tear after the Boot Camp.”
Joe began playing multitable tournaments on “all the different sites…and having a fair amount of success on all of them.” Playing online makes it possible for him to devote serious attention to poker and still keep his day job.
“As much as I would like to be able to play live, I’m in partnership with this guy in Arizona on an electronics company, so that’s what I do during the day,” Joe says. “Poker is a hobby for me, because I have three kids and a wife, so it’s difficult to play live. But playing online is a great way to supplement my income.” Recently, Joe has been exploring a few live tournaments, and has been enjoying success there as well.
His mainstay, though, is online multitable tournament play. His biggest achievement so far was bagging the two Triple Crowns. According to Pocket Fives’ rules, a Triple Crown is awarded to anyone who wins three tournaments across three different qualifying sites within a week. Each tournament needs to have at least a $10,000 guarantee and at least 100 players—and Joe won two in a relatively short time.
“That was real validation that what I was doing was working,” Joe says. “And that what I had learned at the Boot Camp had helped out.”