My Background

My father was a genius. He was a physicist who worked at Bell Labs before going to med school. He played Bridge.

I am not a genius, but I was pretty good at math. I remember as a kid playing gin rummy on family vacations and, even at ten, doing pretty well.

I went to a really good college on an academic scholarship. I played drums in punk bands and ended up working at CBGB’s and did a lot of other fun, creative stuff in NYC in the late Seventies and early Eighties while completing my undergraduate degrees in English, Philosophy, and Classics at Columbia.
In 1992, I also completed a graduate degree in Classics, (Ancient Greek and Latin Literature and Philology.)

In 1993, I went to rehab and have been sober ever since. I am still very involved in AA, trying to do my part, and keep myself on the beam.
Along the way, I acquired an MFA in Creative Writing and a law degree. I worked for a while as a civil litigator in a big corporate law firm in Portland, Maine, where my wife, my daughter, (soon to leave for college,) and I live. I am a published poet with two books to my credit.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with a fatal and incurable blood cancer. Thanks to advances in treatment, I am doing well for now. But it’s weird. I started playing poker almost a year ago. I love it. I approach it like a job. A fun job. But a job. (I am disabled as a result of my cancer.)

I am very organized. I have a study and playing schedule. My regimen begins with meditation. I have a Poker warm-up routine, which includes hand reading exercises, equity estimation exercises, pre-session review of basic strategies for online micro-stakes, and setting an intention to focus on the week’s study topic as I play. I play around 200 hands a day generally. Afternoons, I do some GTO study, some range/board texture analysis, and some fundamentals study. I take notes, keeping a study journal, and I track my progress with a weekly goal chart. I have compiled a vast library of outlines and “white papers” in my Windows File Manager. I have read several books, including Sklanksy’s Theory of Poker, Janda’s Applications of No Limit Holdem, Angelo’s Elements of Poker, among others. I often circle back to books I have read as my understanding evolves, slowly gaining more insight each time.

I have dabbled with a few other training sites, Conscious Poker (Alec gifted me a membership,) Run It Once, (I did the From the Ground Up course,) Red Chip Poker, and mostly recently Overnight Monster (Alvin Lau reached out to me and gifted me enrollment in his two courses.) I have learned a lot from all these different perspectives. And I am extremely grateful and moved by the kindness and generosity which so many members of the poker community have shown me. I have a poker buddy. We meet once a week to go over interesting hands and discuss strategy.

Nate and Andrew interviewed me for their Thinking Poker podcast.

All in all, the last year has been an incredibly rich experience. I have made some wonderful acquaintances and a couple new friends. Poker has kept me engaged and amused, both challenging my intellect and my psychological balance along the way. I have been very, very, very fortunate, both in poker and life. I look forward to expanding my knowledge of the game and improving my skills on the felt with your help.

Although I am a winning poker player, my goal is not to rapidly escalate up the stakes ladder. I have no delusions of fame and riches. I just want to be the best poker player I can be. That has always been my goal in everything I have done. I feel strongly that pokercoaching.com offers me the best opportunity to achieve that goal at this point in my development.