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“The WPT Boot Camp really helped me refine my game, focus on making correct decisions, and gave me the confidence to know that I can compete on the felt with the best!”
Lee Childs: Final-Tables WSOP Main Event Three Months After WPT Boot Camp, Wins $705,000
When Lee Childs took his first WPT Boot Camp he had an online tournament Return on Investment (ROI) of negative 88 percent. Basically, that means for every dollar he invested in a tournament, he lost 88 cents! Although Lee had recently taken a leave from his job in software development hoping to make a go of it as a professional poker player, his negative ROI did not bode well for career success.
Then Lee attended a WPT Boot Camp. Three months later—to the day—he was at the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Lee had played poker for about five years before his Boot Camp experience. But, he says, “Until attending the WPT Boot Camp, I had never approached tournaments with a true dedication to making correct decisions throughout the tournament.”
Lee’s WPT Boot Camp experience was all the more impressive because Lee was already such a serious student of poker.
“I’d been playing online and really working on my game,” he says. “But the camp really helped me plug some key leaks.”
Plugging those leaks made all the difference. Not only did Lee get to the highest level of poker’s most prestigious event, he also turned his negative 88 percent ROI for the three months before Boot Camp into a positive 205 percent ROI for the three months after Boot Camp, including two significant first place finishes.
“I’m just a regular guy with a passion for playing poker and never really thought I would be sitting at the final table of a major poker tournament, let alone the Main Event of the World Series of Poker!” Lee says. “The WPT Boot Camp really helped me refine my game, focus on making correct decisions, and gave me the confidence to know that I can compete on the felt with the best!”
Competing On and Off the Felt
Even before he discovered poker, Lee liked to compete with the best.
“I was always a very competitive person,” he says. “I grew up playing sports and eventually became the captain of my high school wrestling and football teams. I played rugby at James Madison University where I graduated with a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems.”
After college, Lee went into software developing, working his way up from programmer to Vice President of Applications Development. By that time, he says, “I had developed a passion for playing poker and wanted to find out if that was a viable opportunity for me.” So Lee took the plunge, leaving his day job to become a professional player.
“After reading pretty much every poker book I could get my hands on and playing countless hours online, I signed up for a WPT Boot Camp to try to plug some leaks in my tournament game,” he says. The WSOP Final Table he achieved as a result remains one of the highlights of his life.
“What a ride that was!” he recalls. “My dad was by my side the entire journey and we had a blast. Every day I just kept surviving with a steady increase of my chip stack. I still remember when I called my wife on one of the breaks and she said, ‘Do you know that you are the chip leader?’ What? I was the chip leader in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker? Wow! That was cool. There ain’t a poker player alive that doesn’t dream of being there!”
From Dramatic Wins to Steady Success
Lee’s triumphs continued both live and online. He became a WSOP Circuit Champion, won a Full Tilt Poker Sunday major tournament, and final-tabled the FTOPS (Full Tilt Online Poker Series) Main Event. His tournament winnings total more than $2 million.
Lee’s success cemented the importance of poker education to his game, and he has gone on to teach at WPT Boot Camp. Before he became a teacher, however, he wanted to continue learning. Even after Lee reached the Main Event Final Table, he attended several more Boot Camps. Lee explains "I had seen with my own eyes how valuable their training was, and I knew they had even more to teach me." After all, it was Boot Camp that helped get him to the Final Table. If that’s what poker education could do for him, Lee wanted more!