Pokers legendary champions, next generation stars and tireless ambassadors to game sharing their wisdom and guiding your journey to high achievement on the Green Belt. This is chasing poker greatness with your host, Brad Wilson.
Brad Wilson (0:39) Welcome, welcome. Welcome my friend to another episode of the chasing poker greatness Podcast. Today is a wolf edition as I promised, I don’t even know when that first episode was released. It feels like a lifetime ago. But maybe it was like a month and a half ago maybe.
Jon Chai (0:59) Feels like so much has happened. And for both of us in the last few months just working on on Wall threats.
Brad Wilson (1:07) Yeah, it’s, like I said, it feels like it was an eternity ago. But it could not have been more than six weeks ago, right? And promised a follow up. And yeah, just episodes along the way to keep up with the journey of the wolves, the journey of the program, lessons learned pitfalls, all of the ins and outs of starting a coaching for profit and rolling into a staking operation. And, you know, I’ve given you free rein to compile questions I’ve asked the village to give, you know, supply us with questions what they want to know about the wolf program. So yeah, I’m gonna turn it over to you. You can be Mr. Host of this episode. Take it away Jon.
Jon Chai (1:54) That sounded like the most popular question or the thing that people wanted to kind of know the most about was just kind of a brief description of who the wolves are, like, I guess we can just start with with how many of them are there? You know, were they professional poker players before they joined wolves? Just kind of the basics.
Brad Wilson 2:13 Yeah, so there are five, that was the amount that I wanted to bring on straight from the jump was five wolves. So there are five, two of them are professional poker players and the other three. Yeah, they have careers, day jobs, even families that they can still make wolf, the wolf program work in their lives, but they’re all aspiring to, you know, play poker professionally, or generate a win rate that like gives them options in life if they so choose. So, yeah. And one commonality is that four out of the five of them, I coached them a lot over the past year, like I’m very familiar with four out of the five, and then the fifth, the fifth one that came into the program is someone that I just like, I just think they’re a good human being. And I think they’re trustworthy. I think they’re hard working, and I think they’re very intelligent. So even though I hadn’t worked as intimately with him, it still made sense for the program. Just have a you know, following my intuition, right following Patrick Leonard of like, you need to like the people that you bring into your coaching for profit or staking operation. So, yeah, that’s, that’s the five wolves. You know, I haven’t properly introduce them or who they are, I don’t know exactly whether or not they want their identities revealed in a public way. That’s why I’ve instituted a somewhat questionable amongst the wolves policy of, you know, having like code names to speak about the wolves publicly, just because I think that like, when you publicize something, like, there’s a lot of added pressure in what they’re doing. Right. And I don’t know that necessarily added pressure is ultimately beneficial to the guys in the wolf program at this juncture, just because they’re under enough pressure, learning the strategies, doing coaching, reviewing, all their hands, kind of having every pan that they play, at the end of the month, publicly displayed in the group, going through leak finding all that sort of thing. I just don’t think added pressure is beneficial to really any of them at this time.
Jon Chai (4:38) You know, I don’t, you know, heard that after they’re all turning after they’ve all been turned into like 10 Bv per 100 winners that, you know, it’d be way more exciting to like, talk about who you are, kind of add that pressure to yourself. There’ll be ready for it then.
Brad Wilson (4:52) Yeah, right now, it just doesn’t bring very much to the table, but like, over time, you know, we will know I’ll talk to them. We’ll have frank conversations about whether or not they want to be talked about whether or not that’s something that like, you know, is meaningful to them. And if it is, then yeah, we’ll move forward. But I do want to, I want to keep the identity of the wolves like kind of close to the vest for now, just because, like I said, I just don’t think it’s, I don’t think there’s much to gain.
Jon Chai (5:20)
Yeah. So I mean, just to kind of cap off this intro section of the episode, like, could you go a little bit into like, what sort of poker players these guys were before wolves? Like? You said, some of them are professional, some of them have day jobs, but like, what, what kind of stakes were they playing? Were these guys, you know, winners, breakeven players, were they struggling to win at the six that they were playing or.
Brad Wilson (5:43) So they were all playing 200 No limit, except one who’s playing 100 no limit. Collectively, they were around breakeven, right. Like, I think all five of them combined. Although, you know, some of them were winning, I think the biggest winner was winning at like five or six PVS per 100. At 100, no limit, before they moved up to 200. No limit. Some guys are winning at two big blinds per 100. Some are like breakeven over you know, 100k sample. So it’s kind of kind of a mix, but for the most part, like, collectively kind of breaking even winning one or two, BBs 400 I think.
Jon Chai (6:27) Yeah, I mean, I think they’re being a mix and kind of just the wolves sort of not being crushers like, right from the get go, like, as soon as they applied, I think that’s probably like, you know, give some hope to like a lot of potential applicants and people who are watching this and maybe hoping to join the CFP in the future that like, okay, like, you don’t have to be, you know, some Crusher at the state that you’re playing like a lot of the guys who have joined, you know, in this first iteration where, like you said, they’re collectively breakeven. So,
Brad Wilson (6:56) yeah, I mean, I like problem solvers. I like people that can think through problems, solve them on the fly. I like people who are not risk averse people who can put money in the pot, you know, I think that’s a big component of the wolf program. We talked about it many times before on tactical Tuesday that like having somebody that can, you know, put money in the pot, it’s a lot easier to kind of pull them back from the edge than to push somebody towards the edge that doesn’t want to go there. When, you know, collectively, you mentioned win rate. But I think like the way that the graph looked for each of the wolves collectively individually is like the red line was going like straight up pretty much so like all red line warriors and their showdown winnings were kind of going down, which is a typical, I think, in in poker, a lot of times the red line goes down and the showdown winnings go up. So going back to what I said before, you know, red line going up is like you’re calling, you’re probably calling too much, you might be bluffing too much. And those are issues that I think like we can kind of rein in and just easier to kind of coach and communicate. Versus again, like somebody that’s just playing like very tight and is afraid to kind of just be at risk.
Jon Chai (8:19)
Yeah, I totally agree with that. And it’s definitely something that we’ve probably touched on multiple times across tactile Tuesday episodes. And I’m sure you’ve talked about it with other podcast guests as well. For sure. So I guess the question that everyone is probably dying to know is how did the first month go? Just, I guess statistically, like, like, how much money was won or lost? No, yeah. Just the black and white numbers.
Brad Wilson (8:47) Yeah. So not good? Is the answer. Right? Like, that’s the reality. I think they collectively lost two babies per 100. Fi. Yeah, they lost it looks like about 10 buy ins. After the first 70,000 Hands of them being in the wolf program, which, you know, was, I guess I have to frame that or phrase this correctly. Like, it was disappointing to me personally, not in the wolves, but more in like, wow, like it. They weren’t just crushers overnight, you know, like, there’s this is actually like, quite a difficult problem to communicate and effectively have guys, you know, integrate new strategies, new ways of thinking into, you know, just into their games and like, that’s just, yeah, it’s a tough problem to crack. And so the results were not instantaneous. As a matter of fact, the first month, one of the major lessons that I learned was that, first of all, everybody was very excited about the program, right. So when I started talking to Students when I made the podcast, like when people started inquiring about joining, and being a wolf, I asked them if they wanted to start in December or January, because you know, December’s got a lot of holidays. And, yeah, it just seemed like it would be easier to start in January, and everybody was pumped to start in December. And I think what I didn’t realize was that when you’re flooded with information, and you’re trying to learn a bunch of new things, while also, you know, watching all of the private coaching replays, while also, you know, actively studying and learning, different things that you haven’t encountered before, we’re trying to override existing information about how specific spots should be played, and putting in like, a lot of volume. I mean, it’s kind of a recipe for kinda for like, overwhelm. And, yeah, I just think that like, it was way too much way too quickly. So that was why this month, on the fifth, I just asked all the wolves, you know, I guess a big part of it, for me is like to be flexible, and to kind of learn your lessons right? Over time as you get more data, and then iterate the process. So for me, on the fifth, I just asked everybody, Hey, do you do want to take a month to just learn and train and practice like execution and integrating, and then, you know, add a month to the back end of your contract, you have no volume goals this month, it’s just about studying learning. And then firing back up in February, and four out of the five wolves took me up on it. And like I said, you know, this should have been a part of the process. From day one, I just didn’t realize how just how important, it would be.
Jon Chai (11:56) Oh, I definitely experienced some of those, like, early growing pains with the whole strategy as well, we’ll probably get into that like, Well, I mean, we’ll definitely get into that towards the end of this first end of this episode, but yeah, I, I think that was like, even for me, it was like the, the biggest lesson coming out of like, the first month or so of trying to incorporate these strats was that like, there was just there was a lot to a lot to learn and a lot to process. And, you know, I almost can’t imagine having to like, do all the group, watch all the group coaching things and do all the other things that the wolves had to do on top of, you know, playing 20,000 hands and learning these threats at the same time. So yeah, I’m definitely sympathetic towards the before wolves who needed a little bit of extra time to get these under their belt. Yeah,
Brad Wilson (12:41) I mean, again, everybody’s excited to get going. So we just kind of got going and then kind of realized, like, Oh, I think we skipped a step here. Let’s go back and kind of just, yeah, just recalibrate and start again.
Jon Chai (12:58) You want to talk at all about like, the one wolf who declined the month of studying and maybe why.
Brad Wilson (13:05) Yeah, I mean, I don’t really know why he declined the month of studying. Other than like, You do? Why then why did you
Jon Chai (13:13) go into much money?
Brad Wilson (13:16) Well, yes, so he won in the first month, and things were going well, right, like, so. He did well, in the first month. And, incidentally, which is very interesting to me, this is one of the wolves is not a professional poker player that does have a family and a job to and didn’t take the month off to study. I mean, he was doing well, over the first 11 days of January, I believe he’s winning like 30 buy ins at 200. No limit, like he’s just kind of, yeah, he’s just kind of like destroying worlds right now. Like kind of just crushing everything. While every all the other wolves are learning and integrating the strats. I think another part of it, too, is like, and this is an interesting puzzle to kind of solve as this specific. Wolf has been getting private coaching from a for over a year, he’s bought all of the courses that I’ve released, and really, really trusted me throughout the whole process. And so like a lot of his the way that he thinks about poker, the way that he thinks about spots is kind of built on the foundation of like, coaching with me and the courses that I’ve created. And so like, whenever he’s was learning like the wolf strats it wasn’t like he was overwriting existing things, you know, just different ways of thinking about poker than he had encountered before. It was just sort of like a continuation of the way that he studied the way he’s thought about poker. So it was like a much more natural transition for him, which may or may not have been beneficial, but I do think it’s simple. weren’t to just say that like, yeah, the wolf program was a natural extension of everything that he was doing before. And so I think it does make a lot of sense that he, he was able to like, just integrate and execute quite quickly.
Jon Chai (15:13) Yeah. Yeah. Also, it’s I think it’s important to note that, like, we’re always in the one instance that we’ve seen him someone like becoming very comfortable with the strats and integrating them correctly. Like, it’s absolutely it’s absolutely crushing the jointer denote pull on Ignition, I mean, 30 buy ins in the first 11 days or whatever, whatever you said for January, that’s, that’s, it’s a lot. That’s like I’m seeing that’s not just a lot.
Brad Wilson (15:38) I’m hesitant to, you know, it’s, it’s like 13k hands, right? 12 or 13,000. Hands, it’s 30 by n. So like, he’s, he’s crushing, right? And I’m just, like, hesitant to celebrate, you know, until we get like a larger data set and sample. But the outlook looks promising.
Jon Chai (15:59) Yeah, it was doing really well, last last month as well. So it’s not just these 13,000 It’s,
Brad Wilson (16:05) it’s true, like, just, I’m not a not an early celebrator. You know, I’m like, I just, I want to I want to see the data. And then I can kind of be like, okay, like, I’m very I’m terrified of like, ever resting or feeling satisfied, I guess. All right.
Jon Chai (16:25) Well, I’m gonna do some early celebrating right now. On this episode, I guess first thing I’ll check with you is like, was there anything else you want to talk about with the walls program before? Kind of? No,
Brad Wilson (16:37) I don’t think so. I think I think we covered covered a lot of it. And I think that like the audience probably wants to know about your experience, because, you know, you You’re crushing the games that you play in you, I believe your win rates, like seven or eight at 1k and l or it was seven or eight over like a, I don’t know, was it like 60 80k Hand samples, something like that. So like, you’re very successful in the games. And, you know, it’s one of my lieutenants, you’re in the wolves program, kind of helping build out strats and give feedback and help the other wolves like answer questions and be a part of the group coaching and all of that. So, yeah, I mean, for somebody that was already successful, and then introduced to the wolf strats, like, let’s talk about, you know, your journey over these last couple of months or so.
Jon Chai (17:32) My first kind of foray into like just playing these old strats. And really making an attempt to integrate them, I think I would say started at somewhere in the middle of November. Like Brad mentioned, I’m not actually one of the wolves, but I’ve been helping with the strategy development and you know, a little bit with like, the coaching here and there. So I got a little bit of a head start on the strategies because I was helping create them. So I started in the middle of November, and really, really, really struggled to sort of change my game to like, match the strategies, or I just didn’t have like a good feel for like, really what I was doing holistically and so I was just kind of taking a lot of like piecemeal stuff and like, Okay, on the flop, I do this, on the turn, I do this on the river, I do this without really thinking about, like, how does my flop action, you know, affect things that I do on the river, things like that. And so I would say for a month and a half, so all of December and the second half of November, I struggled a lot, I think I lost like 17 by and straight, which is like 17k for me just like just heard a ton, especially just like ending the year off like that felt so just just like, gross. Like, I was like, oh my god, like I was killing it this year. And like now I’m like adding these upgrades to my game. And I’ve just totally, you know, printed off like a month and a half of of work or like win rate. So I took the first couple days of 2022 off and just sort of tried to regroup and set like a strategy or plan for myself to get better at doing these threats. I think starting sometime early in January, the first few days of January, I decided to drop down to 500 Zoom and just use that as like a training ground basically for learning these threats and getting practice for executing these threats. And I think that actually was a really, really good idea. And it ended up being something that I suggested to like the rest of the wolves that like maybe dropping down and playing like smaller stakes than you’re used to. But getting like tons more hands per hour at the Zoom pool might be a good way to practice recalling these strats and using them. And so since I believe January 3, I’ve been playing zoom and 500 Reg tables, it works like the strats worked really well at zoom. So I started integrating some reg speed six Max tables at 500. And things went really well there so now I’m slowly starting to get back into like the 1k STS and me Using these threats at 1k, so far successfully, but it’s over a tiny, tiny sample, like over the last few days, basically. And I don’t know, if you want to show my results over, like, the last two and a half weeks or so. Yeah. Yeah, it’s just been. I mean, it’s just been like an absolute dream.
Brad Wilson (20:22) Like a podcast listener, you know, we can just talk about it, your red lines pretty flat, which isn’t really a thing for you.
Jon Chai (20:30) That’s actually like, I mean, it’s probably like one of the most unexciting things about this entire picture. Like I think like people will probably see like, the BV is 400 or whatever, and be like, Oh, wow, that’s like, that’s pretty cool. But like, honestly, the thing that I’m most excited about is the red line in this graph, which is like, basically breakeven, it’s just a straight line from left to right, which is a huge, huge upgrade for me. You know, even like my winningest months, I had like negative sloping red line. I’ve had like, negative sloping red line for, you know, my entire online career. And so yeah, I’m, I’m really, really excited to see that, like, the strats have helped a lot with it.
Brad Wilson (21:07) Yeah, and I can’t really see the combined BB per 100 Here in this, like, 15k hand sample over the last, the last couple of weeks 17.6 17.6. And that ringing endorsement of getting crushed for a month and a half the beginning, right, like following that, like, what has changed over the last couple of weeks, you think.
Jon Chai (21:36) It’s gonna sound it’s gonna sound very vague, but I’ve just, like, have a better understanding of the strategies just from like, top to bottom, like holistically, like, I understand, like the big picture plan. Now when I’m when I’m playing a hand, and it’s not just like, Okay, I have this end on this street, which means I should do, you know, through this action, which is how I was playing like the first month and a half. Other than that, like, it’s, without giving the strats away, it’s, it’s a little bit tough to talk about, like, what I’m doing differently. But I mean, I’m sure as people can tell from the red light, and like, I’m calling more, I’m bluffing way more than I used to. Just kind of strategically, I would say, those are the two biggest changes to a game that I’ve made, like, I’m calling rivers and bluffing rivers significantly more than I’ve ever done before.
Brad Wilson (22:23) Yeah, so basically, you just have like, a better understanding, you’re more comfortable in the execution side, right? Where as before, you know, and we talked about this too, and I think it’s like, just breaking even at poker, right is kind of good, right? It’s not, it’s not a bad place to be like, as a poker player. Because like when you’re dealing with rake, and you know, the blinds, and all of these things, like just being a breakeven player is like, not a bad place to be. And so like, trying to upgrade or in your case, go from like, eight BBs to like 12 BBs, right? Like actually any sort of increased and big blinds per 100 for you is like quite significant to your yearly results, like just too big, like, I mean, that’s 25% more income at the end of the year, like just going from like eight to 10. But like, I the, I think the danger is in just kind of like throwing out everything that you know about poker, and like trying to like replace it with something else, when the reality is like, if you’re breaking even, or you’re slightly winning, like you know quite a bit about poker already, you’ve got a foundation. And we don’t just have to like crack that foundation and throw it off a bridge, we’re just going to take what you know, and then give you upgrades that will help you go from a breakeven player to you know, a five or 10 big blinds per 100 winner. And I mean, ultimately, that’s my goal, right is for every single wolf to be a 10 big blinds per 100 winner at whatever stake they play, which is quite an ambitious goal. But it is my goal. So, yeah, I mean, and again, you know, like I said, in that first month and a half, like we’re learning, we’re in the learning phase, right. And this is something that like, over time will change. And we can go back to even you were the in the first class of preflop bootcamp, right. The very first one, where it was $99. The day of the launch, I realized the software that I was going to use, didn’t need didn’t do the thing that like I needed it to do, which threw a total wrench in how everybody was going to study how people were going to learn and how people were going to grow over the course of that. I think the first iteration was like, even five days, it wasn’t seven days. And so when my resources kind of relaxing, right, where it’s like, oh, great, like so now what do I do, right? It was kind of, okay, like, I have to take responsibility here for this program. And I’m going to will everybody to learning these strategies and spent, you know, something like, I mean, I don’t even know how many hours I spent that week just quizzing people, asking questions, helping people learn and grow their preflop strats. It was a lot of time I know that much. It was something that like, is unsustainable for preflop bootcamp over the long run, but like, it had to work, I had to make that program successful. It was just like, yeah, there was just no other alternative for me. And it’s the same thing here with wolves, where, you know, in the beginning, some things are gonna happen, that are unforeseen, right, the only way that you can kind of see these problems is by going through the process and finding them as they come up, which means that like, over this past year, over this past couple of months, you know, the podcast listener, probably recognizes there’s been less CPG episodes every week, right? Like, there’s been less tweets, if you follow me on Twitter, like, I haven’t tweeted much, I haven’t been releasing a ton of episodes because like, this program has been all consuming to me, it is like I go to sleep at night, I wake up, I think about this program 24 hours a day, how do I help these guys? How do I will this program to be successful. And I think that, like, that’s just what is going to happen for these first five wolves over the first, probably three to four months of the program. And then as resources get built out, as things become automated, as like, I kind of understand the right buttons to press and the right sequence for future wolves to take, then I’ll be less involved, you know, then I won’t be investing as much energy in the program because it won’t be necessary. Like, you know, I still do the private coaching, I still do the group coaching. And then for the most part, a lot of things are just already in place for the new wolves. So yeah, that’s sort of how I think about this program right now is like the guys who are in it are getting a lot of my energy. Most of my working energy are going into these guys. Whether it’s just messaging them and asking like, how are you doing? Like any questions like anywhere you’re struggling and then hopping on like an impromptu call and meeting with him for an hour, right? Like, that’s just not going to happen? Six months from now, but but it will today. So, anyway, that that’s sort of how I’m that’s the experience of wolves for me thus far, and sort of how I anticipate things moving in into the future.
Jon Chai (27:37) I think that’s a really good analogy, comparing it to preflop bootcamp, and like the struggles that you experienced in the first iteration, with just setting up the program and having it run smoothly. So yeah, I think, I think that’s a really good perspective to have going forward, that, you know, these are just the early growing pains of running something like this for the first time, and, and next time, it will be smoother and a lot less work on your end.
Brad Wilson (28:00) Yeah, I mean, that’s just, that’s sort of the nature of things, right? We don’t, you know, when I launched the program, I think I said in the first episode that like, there’s going to be problems that I don’t foresee. And we just have to deal with those when they when they happen. And I think the trick is that like, experiencing problems, and resolving them as quickly as possible, and then iterating, and doing better moving forward. And like, over time, we kind of eliminate a lot of those problems, just because we’ve experienced them before, but like, systematically trying to resolve the same problem over and over again, I think that’s, that’s not a that’s, that’s not a good system of operations, right? It’s just like, and some problems are quite difficult, like some problems take a lot of energy and a lot of effort, right? Like creating this poker factory where somebody comes in, goes through it and comes out the other side is like a 10 big blinds per 100 crusher is not a simple problem to solve. And it’s not easy. But yeah, it’s been a very fulfilling and rewarding challenge thus far. And, you know, hopefully, next month and the month after, when I have a larger dataset for the wolves to share. Yeah, we’ll have a sexy looking graph with, you know, well, well over 100,000 hands, and things will be kind of operating seamlessly.
Jon Chai (29:24) Yeah, I hope so. I think maybe a little bit biased by my own recent experience, but I really do think and hope that we’re kind of turning the corner when it comes to like, at least these first five walls, kind of really getting the threats down and feeling good about using them every day. Yeah,
Brad Wilson (29:39) I mean, like, to be fair, and I think that like as cynical a cynical person, right could be like, oh, like look at Jon Chai’s graph, you know, that’s like 50 Gay hands you just on like a sick eater, right? Like he just ran is running super well right now. Whereas like, in November, December, he was just running running bad or below average or whatever, right? So like really having the larger data set? And I think I think that people from the outside should be cynical, honestly, about a program like this, I think that you should be suspicious, because it is quite a difficult challenge. And yeah, I think though, now, in the middle of January, as we’re recording this episode, I’m pretty hopeful that the end result is going to be exactly what I envisioned. And yeah, over time, now, it’s just on on me and on the wolves to kind of prove that.
Jon Chai (30:41) We next time we make record one of these podcasts, we’ll we’ll have some really good news to share.
Brad Wilson (30:48) I can be damn sure that the one wolf who’s running right now is going to have a nice looking graph at the at the end of this show.
Jon Chai (30:55) Is that and pretend that that’s that’s the aggregate?
Brad Wilson (31:00) Yeah, like he’s, he’s destroying it right now. So like, I’m pretty confident that he’s going to have a sexy graph. But yeah, I mean, to, like, yeah, it’s hard to, I can’t prove it. But like, I do feel like over the past few weeks, there’s been a bunch of different breakthroughs that will be reflected in the wolves results over time, including, like, you know, your own breakthrough, right. Like, and like I said, we don’t have a massive data set. But like, you can speak to the comfortability level of like, November, December, and then how you felt the last couple of weeks in January.
Jon Chai (31:43) I’ll just make a big dataset and show everybody. Yes, yes.
Brad Wilson (31:49) Yeah. And Jon Chai’s going to be putting in more volume than probably any of the other wolves. So yeah, well, we’ll get the data set sooner rather than later.
Jon Chai (31:59) Or easier to put in volume when you’re winning. By the way. It’s easier to get myself to play when, when things are going well.
Brad Wilson (32:07) Yeah. Anything else before we close down this episode of the wolves?
Jon Chai (32:11) Now? I was it for me, I think, all right, we will have want to do this, like every month or something?
Brad Wilson (32:18) I do. I do. I think like, it’s just good to give a rundown of of how the program’s going. And for the record to CPG wolves.com is where you submit your application. And until, yeah, it’ll probably not be until March 1 that I start doing interviews with potential wolves. And then like April before, you know, the wolves, the new wolves actually get in there and start going to work because yeah, if I’ve learned one thing, that month of onboarding and learning is quite essential to to the program. So yeah, that’s all I got for now.
Jon Chai (33:03) Oh, you’re next month. See you next month.
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