Ever wonder how professional poker players think about poker? Or what is important to them when playing poker? Check out this peek into the minds of Rep and Rick.
Having a solid understanding of the fundamentals, and their relationship to each other, will allow you to best understand the situation you are in and make the best decisions. We tie this all into an overall strategy that is designed to help you amass more chips, run deeper, and win more often.
Hey, my name is Rep Porter. I’ve been playing poker professionally for over 10 Years. I’ve won 3 WSOP bracelets and had 41 cashes at the World Series of Poker.
Right out of college I went to work in a high powered Wall Street firm, but I quit shortly after once I realized I could have a higher quality of life playing poker professionally.
It’s no secret that I’ve always been good at poker, it came easy to me. Not because I’m some freak of nature, or a super smart guy.
It’s because I had an advantage… My family. We would get together at my grandmother’s house for every conceivable reason. The adults would always play cards, usually poker, and my cousin Rick and I were delegated to the kid’s room to play other games.
You see some kids took apart toasters to see how they worked. My family and I took apart games.
As kids we would sit around the table playing games as a family. Sneakily my parents would encourage us to ignore the specific game we were playing. Instead they would encourage us to think about what makes the game work on a fundamental level. Not just how to play the game, but think about what the game is on its deepest levels. What makes games “tick.”
My parents taught me that all games seem different when you play them. But when you break a game open, and look at its guts, they all share something a little magical. It’s the thing that makes a game a game. And although games have existed for all known history, for 99% of that time no one knew about the DNA that games share.
It took a British ambassador from the 1700s to first catch a glimpse of this magic inside games. His name was James Waldegrave.
Waldegrave became obsessed with a card game similar to poker called “Le Her.” He desperately wanted to win more consistently, so he meticulously broke down each possible “hand history” in Le Her. Through his countless hours of trying every angle to unlock the secret of Le Her, he stumbled upon something shocking about the essence of games themselves.
He wrote a letter to a friend describing his findings in the year 1713. That letter would change the lives of the select few who were lucky enough to read it. What he discovered unearthed the very soul of games. It revealed hidden forces that move the tides of winning and losing. Something beyond math and statistics.
If you saw what James Waldegrave saw, then you could potentially dismantle any game and use those tides, legally, and fairly in your favor. And in fact some “lucky” people did. The masterminds behind casinos know these forces very well. They use them to their advantage every day. It’s how they can consistently rake in money day in and day out without fear of losing. Our very own Government even uses this information to predict and manipulate the tax system.
But things got really interesting for poker when a Hungarian born man named John von Neumann opened James Waldegrave’s letter. John Von Neumann was the genius responsible for discovering how DNA self replicates. And he used his unique position—and the knowledge in that letter—to unlock further secrets of game-DNA.
But his findings about games, and poker, were almost completely overshadowed by his society-altering accomplishments in biology and digital computing.
At age 53, while writing his final masterpiece “The Computer and the Brain”, Von Neumann tragically died on page 96. Leaving the work incomplete. Some dedicated followers of Von Neumann have picked up where his work left off. Those most passionate about his discoveries on game-DNA call it “Interactive Decision Theory.” The name sounds intimidating, and that’s probably why it never gained much traction. But there are some who know a version of this information by the name, “Game Theory.”
I attribute a significant amount of my winnings to Interactive Decision Theory, and I believe it’s the reason why I’ve been able to play professionally for 10 years.
But the truth is, just knowing the details of Interactive Decision Theory won’t automatically make you a better poker player. You have to know how to apply the concepts specifically to poker and figuring that out is not exactly easy.
Back in my days on Wall Street, I used to hold classes in the office to teach my co-workers how to win at poker by applying Interactive Decision Theory.
Teaching was a ton of fun, and very rewarding, but once I quit Wall Street, I got distracted, and life took over. Teaching took a back seat.
A few years ago, I was hanging out with my friend Ron, we were talking about the old days and the subject of those Wall Street poker classes came up. Ron asked if I was still teaching, and I said no. But Ron is a professional radio host, interviewer, and he has a ton of camera gear. He probably should have been a salesman too, because he talked me into creating a series of video classes on how to win at poker using my strategies.
I didn’t want to do it alone, so I recruited my cousin Rick. Rick was a natural choice because I’ve known him forever, he has been teaching poker for many years, and we use very similar poker strategies. We also both play poker professionally.
Rick and I got together and spent hour-upon-hour writing out notes, and detailing the best way to show you how to improve your poker game. Ron was a little freaked out when we slammed down a book full of notes on the table, but he still wanted to help produce the videos.
So we got to work and spent many long nights filming the classes. It’s hard to do this right, and we spent over 9 months preparing just our first round of classes. Let’s just say Ron is a little unhappy with us for the amount of edits we made him do. But we wanted this to be quality information, with a quality production. Not off-the-cuff half-thought-out rants and power point slides. We expect many more classes to come, and we’re getting faster at making them now that we have a routine.
We call these classes “The Poker Academy”.