Is Teamwork Important in Poker?

August 29, 2023

To my way of thinking, it is absolutely critical. Several times in the last few years, I have a part of the 'behind the scenes' crew for fellow players.

The first was in 2018, when I was watching a friend play in a live streamed tournament in Round Rock, TX. He had asked me to watch him play to see if spotted any trends, changes in table dynamics or actions he was missing. After about 10 minutes, it soon became apparent that my friend was in what Daniel Negranu calls "zoom-zoom" mode. My friend was acting so fast he wasn't thinking. Even my wife, Sue, noticed it. My friend was way off kilter. At the break, I called him and told him to slow down. I got him back on track by reminding him to do the 4 things he wasn't doing. Read. React. Adjust. Adapt. My friend went on to make Day 2 of the tournament but was eliminated just short of the money.

The second instance of teamwork was at this year's (2023) WSOP Main Event. My coach, Alec Torelli, was among the 10,043 entrants. He had a mental game coach in place. His wife watched over his dietary needs. Several others of us were watching critical aspects of the tournament he couldn't see. One was watching hand play. One was watching player interactions. I was watching table dynamics. Each of us would email Alec our observations each night. The deeper Alec got in the tournament, the more TV time he got. Our observations helped him formulate and plan for the next day. Alec eventually finished 11th which was worth $700,000.

As I said in an earlier post about reviews, having trusted people around you is absolutely critical to moving up the poker ladder.

Who are the people who make up #TeamMichelleNastasis?

First - my wife, Suzanne Rudisill-Nastasis

Second- my step daughter Kristine Oster

Third - my coach, Alec Torelli

Fourth - my friends Steve Roselius and Dutch Boyd

Fifth - my mental game coaches. Drs. Donna Blevins and Tricia Cardner.

There is always something new to learn in poker. The minute you think you have it mastered and can learn nothing more, is the exact moment everyone blows by you on the ladder of poker.

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