Poker legend TJ Cloutier shares tales from the poker trail.
A couple of weekends ago I flew to Orlando for a conference and photo shoot at Deep Stacks University, a new poker education site where I’m a spokesman. Mike Matusow, another spokesman for Deep Stacks, was there, plus Nick Brancato and Herb Fuller and a few other pros. The WPT was sponsoring a bootcamp in Orlando at the same time, so several of the pros showed up for our tournament at the end of our work sessions.
Deep Stacks put $50 bounties on me and Matusow, and one of the owners of the online university. The tournament and our meetings were held at Ron Leaventhal’s home, which is truly beautiful; you couldn’t find a finer house. It’s a huge, white mansion located right next to Windemere, where Tiger Woods and Shaq and other celebrities own homes. The pool overlooks the lake with all the boats sailing by.
“So, if I win this thing, will I get to keep my own bounty?” I asked. “Sure,” Ron said, “because if you don’t get it, somebody else will.” That added a little bit of incentive. Actually I won Matusow’s bounty and mine—in other words, I won the event. And let me tell you, I had a lot of fun doing it, especially when I knocked Mike out of action.
“Well, T.J., now that you’ve busted me,” Mike said, “it looks like you might win your first tournament in seven years.”
“That’s okay, Mike,” I answered, “you just keep plowing around, and if you win about 55 more tournaments, you’ll catch up with me someday.” I get a kick out of bouncing stuff back and forth like that.
We also worked on the instructional modules we’re writing for the site. Deep Stacks is coming out with “signature” sets of lessons written and presented by each of us instructors—Tom McEvoy and Matusow and me, plus a few other pros. There are regular lessons that players can sign up for, and then these signature series of lessons, where we do lots of extra things. Leaventhal is a major investor in the project, and he rolled up his sleeves and worked right alongside us.
This is just one of the new projects I’m working on. Next time I’ll tell you about some other things I’m involved with, as sort of a preview of coming attractions. Till then, this is T.J. signing off from Texas to the world.
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