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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Phil Galfond Gives the Lowdown on the Launch of his own Training Site

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Phil Galfond is one of the most sought-after players to teach high stakes cash game poker. Playing on Full Tilt as OMGClayAiken, he is one of the biggest winners the game has seen, pocketing almost $7 million in the last year alone. Just yesterday I witnessed Phil officially launch his own training site, bluefirepoker.com, and I insisted that he give me the scoop.

KL: What made you decide to launch today?

Phil:
It was the soonest that we could get everything ready and feel confident that we were prepared to launch.
   
KL: Why did you decide to do this site?

Phil:
I really like teaching. My first instructional experience was writing for Bluff Magazine. I really enjoyed it but it started to become tedious and also I had to have a certain amount of words, and discuss certain topics. A video site that I am in control of gives me a lot more range for what I can teach and I feel that myself and the team we put together can be a really competitive site in a tough market.

KL: You have been approached by other sites to do training for them, what made you decide to just do your own instead of working with one of the ones established prior?

Phil:
I have almost done my own twice before this and both times it didn’t work out just because I realized and the people I was working with realized it was too much work and I couldn’t justify spending that much time on it. Luckily with this site I was approached by the site that was already forming. The arrangement is that I am only brought in on the business side of things for major decisions; I am mainly in charge of content. I make my own videos, decide who we sign to make videos, and then work with them creatively on the videos for us. So I still have all the creative control that I wanted, but I don’t have to do the more tedious business side of things and I get to focus on the content, where I feel I am much more valuable.

KL: How did you decide the people you wanted to be a part of it?

Phil:
We were trying to keep it a secret that we were launching but we did get the word out to a few people that we thought we might be interested in. We received a lot of videos, sample videos, from all of them and I just watched all the videos. Players that I thought were great players and most importantly making great videos, we worked out a deal with them. There were some good players that just didn’t make great videos and weren’t a fit a guess.

KL: I’ve seen that you have spent most of today reading the forums and responding to player’s questions about the site.

Phil:
I’ve been a 2+2’er since I started playing poker. I really like the 2+2 community and I know that I’m well respected there, so I wanted to make sure that they know that I’m listening to them. I wanted to make sure they were happy with the product because honestly if they aren’t, that means there is something wrong with it because I do trust their opinion. I trust my own but if there is something I missed, they would find it.

KL: Reading through what they have said do you already have changes you want to make?

Phil:
We are still taking things in and I am pushing for all of the suggestions that I like. There are some things I am reading about and saying, ‘yeah, that’s a good idea we should do that,’ or ‘yeah, that’s a great idea obviously we will do that, I don’t know why we overlooked it,’ or ‘it doesn’t make sense for us to do that.’ Then there are some in between where I’m like, ‘well I don’t know, I’ll talk to my team and see what will work and what won’t.’
 
KL: With all the options out there, why should someone go to your site?

Phil:
I think anyone who is a serious poker player that doesn’t belong to a poker training site is making an enormous mistake and I think that a lot of people, depending on exactly how serious you are, should be subscribing to multiple sites. I don’t want to say don’t join this site or this site because I think people should. I think there is a lot of great content out there. I think what we have over other sites, frankly, is higher quality content. I personally screened all the pros and all the videos that we launched with and I am really happy with the team we have put together. We have been focused on quality over quantity and will continue to add premium pros. None of the top ten winners from last year are making videos, besides me now. Getting a firsthand look at how I play, and more importantly how I think, is an opportunity we provide that no one else does.

KL: Could this affect your play in those games now?

Phil:
I think it could but I think I’m so aware of the way that I play and what kind of ranges I have in certain spots along with balancing my own play, that I really don’t feel that any of my opponents will pick up anything that they can exploit me with. There are a lot of video makers out there that are great players and good teachers and I have watched all the videos and have been able to pick some things up on people that I have been able to take advantage of. I was definitely worried about that and still am, but I feel that I don’t have any major or minor leaks that people are going to find. I guess I will be operating under the assumption that my opponents have seen the videos and I will keep that in mind while I am playing.

Like a wheel, the Round Table is a circle of adventures and victories, beats and stories, and life as it unfolds with a cast of characters that may, or may not, have joined you in your home on a local TV program. There's so much more to poker than what you see on TV. Although I won't use canvas, I will paint the full picture for you as I follow the lives of some of your favorite (and some unknown) players. The Round Table is an ongoing series of life, viewed full circle.

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