Davida Mintz Guest Blog: Play Poker? You May Also be the Next Great Business Mogul

Another in a series of guest blogs by valued members of the poker community who possess information or insight they desire to share for the benefit of the collective audience. Any poker player who has something of value to share with the poker community . So long as your writing is in good taste and serves a purpose to the community, I will gladly post it on this website. It is my hope this site can be an outlet for those of you who find the current outlet of forums a bit unfocused and occasionally frustrating.

Davida Mintz discovered poker out of a desire to learn a live table game to play during trips to Las Vegas. Little did she know that poker would become her life. Accustomed to trading stocks and options, her brain quickly adapted to analyzing and sorting through poker stats and information. Soon, she started playing online poker daily, joining training sites, reading books and articles, as well as reviewing and analyzing hands using popular software. With a degree is in broadcast journalism and years of experience in television and radio news, her next logical move was to write about the game she loves.
Poker pros and entrepreneurs have a lot in common. Major live events are a stage for talented players to showcase their business skills. The 2013 World Series of Poker was no exception.

What would you do after grinding out a long day at a World Series of Poker event? Knock down a few beers, or go to bed early? Two-time WPT Champion Jonathan Little plays even more poker. He spent hours each night playing cash games and MTT’s on Ultimate Poker. The multitable action was streamed live to give players outside Nevada the chance to experience the first legal online poker room in the U.S. Simultaneously, Little was actively recruiting private coaching clients, and new members to join his website, Float The Turn. He answered viewer questions and commented on every hand played, encouraging his audience to invite poker buddies to watch. Turns out, some of his online opponents were also checking it out, listening to him talk about strategy and writing questions into the chatbox.

Entrepreneur, Educator Producer

Little has more than one additional stream of income. While playing at the 2012 Main Event, he put together a set of coaching videos to help his students prepare for the WSOP. The six video and Mp3 course is on sale for $299, and Litte says quite a few of his students have had excellent results this year. Dr. Patricia Cardner attended Little’s WSOP class last year, and went on to final table a major tournament in Oklahoma. With more than $5 million in career earnings, I asked Little what motivates him to continue working so hard. Little’s response, “I do not need motivation to work hard on a daily basis. If you enjoy what you do and would do it for free, getting paid is a bonus.”

Hypnotherapist: Specialty-Poker Performance

When Jonathan Little is in Las Vegas, he turns to hypnotherapist Elliot Roe(DHP) to work on his mental game. Here’s a quote from a testimonial Little gave on Roe’s website, Hypnotherapy Las Vegas. “I listened to the mp3 every day before and after the $25,000 WPT main event and I feel like I put in 4 of the best days of poker in my life. I was paying attention well, not tilting, and picking up small tells much better.” Little told me he listened to each Mp3 again to ensure a positive mindset at the 2013 WSOP.

Poker players make up the lion’s share of Roe’s business. He uses regression therapy to get to the root of scenarios that trigger emotional responses and make players feel angry or out of control. For example, he says players who don’t like to be 3bet can often trace that back to being bullied at school. Roe says hypnosis improves focus, reduces tilt and says, “As people get better at poker, the edge you need to have becomes greater, so if you can last longer without tilting, people will know that those who’ve invested in their mindset are making more money, and therefore, they’ll be happy to invest in them as well.”

Staking: Invest in a Player’s Career

Poker players with the cash on hand,are happy to invest in the high risk high reward business of staking. Players back other players, even teams of players, and frequently compete with each other in the same tournaments. The backer generally pays 100 percent of the tournament fees, and splits the winnings 50 50 with the player. If the player has losses from earlier tournaments in the series, they’re deducted before the split. In the event both players score, the backer is looking at a huge payout.

Coaching: High Profile Pros Hired for the Final Table

These high profile players have seen more than their share of enormous payouts, and now they’re coaching poker on the side. Three 2012 Main Event players hired two time WSOP bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst, Jason Somerville and Mike McDonald to get them final table ready. With a TV audience, and $8.5 million dollars at stake, the players wanted to walk into the final table arena looking and feeling prepared. Jesse Sylvia turned to Selbst, Russell Thomas worked on his game with Jason Somerville and Jake Balsiger picked Mike McDonald, the coach Pius Heinz did some training sessions with before winning the 2011 WSOP Main Event championship. The price these coaches are paid for their services is not public knowledge, but to get a range, I looked at the Deuces Cracked website, where Vanessa Selbst publishes her fee of $650 an hour for online sessions.

Tournament Training: Classes that Travel to Tournament Events

Deepstacks Live is a hand-on poker training seminar that travels to tournament sites, hotels, casinos and card rooms where groups attend intense, hands-on poker training seminars. Attendants play side-by-side with pros that include Michael Mizrachi and Mike Matusow. They’ll test your skills, find your leaks and teach you how to plug some of the holes in your game. Deepstacks Live is part of the Deepstacks Poker tour. The tournament company plays national and international televised events.

A New Cottage Industry is Right Around the Corner

So as you can see, there’s no shortage of ‘cottage industries’ that can be born out of a passion for poker. Skilled players with some business acumen will always be looking for a way to increase their return on investment.