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My Higher Education
Susie Isaacs is a professional poker player, winner of two WSOP bracelets (in back-to-back Ladies Events) and is the author of two poker books.
I was the recipient of an ultimate poker gift this past weekend. From me to me, I attended the World Poker Tour Boot Camp on Tournament Poker Strategy. I have wanted to go for months, ever since I discovered that Jan Fisher and Linda Johnson were going to be on the panel. I know them and I have been to a few of their free "mini-seminars". I like their teaching methods; even if you make a bone-head mistake, they don't embarrass you and make you feel like a fool (like some poker seminar teachers.) Also on the agenda was Crispin and Jules Leyser (husband and wife) pro players who have been teaching for WPT Boot Camp since it's inception. Additionally on the program was Nick "Nicky Numbers" Brancato. His nickname speaks for itself. Needless to say, all five are top tournament pros.
I was well aware about a lot of what was taught and what is important in winning tournament poker strategy. I use a lot of this "basic" information in my own teaching, however, a refresher course never hurts; as a matter of fact, it always helps. What excited me was the "advanced" techniques. I simply was not good at math, but math is a big part of decision-making in poker. Nicky gave us some formulas that made it much easier for me to "get it." I had several "Ah-Ha" moments over the weekend. I won't get specific, it wouldn't be fair to me as you may be my opponent someday.
I will tell you the first question asked of us: What is your purpose of playing poker? To make money, to have fun, to socialize - all wrong answers. The purpose of a winning poker player is to make the right decisions.
Students came from all over the country. I realized that only about 5% of the audience were Las Vegans. Linda explained that many take the opportunity to visit Las Vegas and attend the Boot Camp.
I was delighted to realize that there were a lot of women in the audience. I asked Jules if that was the norm. She said that in the beginning of the WPT Boot Camps they may have had two or three women in the classes, but today it easily has grown to about 30%. Go girls! I went with two girlfriends, Sassy and Nancy. We all three are very excited about our new poker knowledge.
After only one day of study, some of the students took their newly acquired poker knowledge and skills into the evening tournament at the Golden Nugget (where the Boot Camp was held). Four of them made the final table and one, John Jones from Peoria, ILL, won first place! He told me that after only one day of instruction, he realized how many mistakes he was making in his game and he corrected them! His wife, Terri had given him the Boot Camp for Christmas as an investment in their future. Without a doubt, he said, the best Christmas gift ever!
After hearing about Jones victory, Linda Johnson beamed and said, "This stuff works!"
We were served a delicious hot lunch every day. My compliments to the chef! Interestingly, at lunch one day my fortune cookie read, "A person is never too old to learn." I have been studying poker for 25 years and this is the best thing I have ever done to improve my game. Can't wait to get out there and put all this new-found knowledge to practice.