Brian "BFizz11" Fite looking ahead to PokerStars Twitch debut this week
So you're a young guy, not long out of school, learning everything you can about poker having been inspired by the sight of Chris Moneymaker sitting alongside a giant pile of money at the 2003 World Series of Poker.
You're living with five other pros, and blogging about being a student of the game. But do you sit back, listen, and learn from the others? Or do you push to the front and tell people to follow you?
Brian "BFizz11" Fite opted for the latter, challenging the most serious collection of players anywhere to take him on.
"I got on Two-Plus-Two and my first post was challenging anyone and everyone to a month long 180-man prop bet. Some pros said 'who the f*** is this guy?' and thought I would get wrecked, but that thread went on to become a very popular one."
This is usually where the story becomes one of learning lessons. Instead, Fite cleaned up.
"I won the bet after beating some other good players and in the middle of it I won $100,000 in the Sunday Warmup, so I sorta blew up then and started coaching and blogging and hosting at my house and doors started opening."
That was ten years ago and the doors are still opening.
The latest door is marked "PokerStars School". This week Fite, after a decade of coaching, will start his own Twitch stream for the new School website. It's a new addition for PokerStars and a new experience for Fite, who'll be making his Twitch debut having coached privately.
"I have a very large group of students that I coach on a regular basis and the reason I started streaming was to offer as much content to them as possible. Now that PokerStars has asked me to coach in their Online School, I'm going all in and aiming to be a top three streamer/vlogger in our industry by 2019."
It's quite the statement for a newbie, but then you recall how things went down last time and, well, you wonder why you would doubt him.
Added to that is Fite's infectious enthusiasm for this new project, which we picked up on when talking to him ahead of this week's broadcast.
He's the guy that will make you realise that mistake you made, the one that cost you your stack, was the best thing that could have happened to you.
He's the guy that makes you understand that if you're going to be successful, you should stop being the player preparing to lose.
He's the guy at the wedding reception who, having listened to you say you don't like to dance, will have you leading the Macarena, wearing a novelty hat and a smile on your face 15 minutes later.
We dare you to think otherwise. This is what Fite lives for, and has done ever since he watched Moneymaker on TV.
"The big pile of money on the table will get anyone's attention but it was more than that for me. Maybe the fact that it was on ESPN and I was a teenager into sports had something to do with it, because it was a competitive game and they were being treated like famous athletes and as a 14-year-old kid, I was attracted to the action. The next night my dad was teaching me how to play on the kitchen table with fake chips."
"When I got started, it was because I just witnessed Chris win the WSOP Main Event on ESPN. Not because I saw some nit grind out some money one slow hand at a time in a dull casino."
Fite quickly modified that, becoming a 180-player Sit and Go specialist. It's on that which he'll focus on when he begins streaming for PokerStars School in the near future.
"So when I got online, I looked to tournaments. Naturally, the huge fields didn't work out for me so I looked for a happy-medium and found 180-seat SnGs. It was still a big field and a nice pay day, but a lot higher chances of winning or making the money.
"To me back then, a 180 man was like the WSOP Main Event. Winning one gave me the rush that nothing else could replicate. Once I realized I could actually win consistently, I started looking for ways to play more games and get more volume in and 180-mans became a money printer for me."
Fite adds caveats to his initial success, the game being very different all those years ago. But playing more introduced him to coaching, a few players at first before his videos became popular among eager players ready to learn. Now coaching is the main part of his poker experience, making him ideal for the world of Twitch.
"I have basically been priming myself for this opportunity for the last ten years of my life since going full-time with poker.
"However, I can go ahead and say with confidence that it will be really, really, really cool, fun and also educational and that I am super excited to show the poker world how I have made seven figures playing low stakes tournaments and SNGs."
Fite remembers exactly what opened his eyes to the idea of coaching.
"It goes back to sports for me. I had some really great coaches, and some not so great coaches. But the most important lesson that I took from all of my experience is that a good coach or teacher can truly impact and change a person's life quite easily. And I always thought that was a pretty interesting and cool dynamic.
"I fell in love with coaching and since then it has been my secondary passion that is built perfectly within my primary passion which is playing poker.
"Now when people ask, I tell them I am a poker coach who also still plays, instead of a poker player who also coaches. I play 50+ hours per week still too, I just think of myself as a coach first.
Fite is quite clear about the approach he takes with players. It all boils down to a simple phrase: You gotta win to win.
"Seriously, I say it constantly. It means so many things and is a very deep statement, but yet so simple. It implies that you must DO, GET, BE, ACHIEVE, CONTROL, COMPLETE, CONQUER. It means you must perform the act of winning, before you become a winner.
How does that translate on the poker table?
"Stop being so damn tight and push your chips in the middle. I crush these games because I crush the players who don't play aggressively enough, and they allow my aggression to work by playing too tight. You gotta move it all in, call all ins, and win pots and chips before you ever win a tournament for money.
"So my number one tip: Stop being scared to lose and be excited to win. It all starts with how you approach the game mentally."
"I am very positive minded and I aim to inspire and encourage everyone I interact with. I want to convince everyone that it really is a skill game and that they are only losing because they haven't learned how to win yet, not anything else."
If this doesn't make you at least a little bit curious about what to expect when Fite takes to the airwaves, we can only assume you're reading this interview by accident. We're excited. We hope you're excited. Fite is sure as hell excited.
"I am looking forward to unloading all of my knowledge to the hungry hustlers out there who want to learn how to crush it or just simply stop depositing and start cashing out. I am looking forward to changing lives, because that is absolutely positively going to be the result of my live stream when we look back in a year."
Fite is clear what viewers can look forward to.
"People can expect a very active, high energy, seasoned professional who is there to put on a show and be a helpful. I am a wealth of poker knowledge that you can count on to be honest and accurate. I'll also take music requests while we ship tournaments together!"
This is the next phase of a poker journey that started more than ten years ago for Fite. That was back in his native Canada. Now he'll be streaming from his new home in Mexico, with a sea view and some industrial strength internet. The plan is for a weekly stream, with room for more as things get going. First the plan is to have some fun.
"The best moments are when things go as planned and I crush some tournaments live on stream and everyone has a great time watching and learning and chatting it up together - it just doesn't get much purer than that."
Sounds like a great place to start.
If you want in on that then you're free to tune in to the first of Brian Fite's streams in the coming weeks on the PokerStars School Twitch channel. Fite will be broadcasting once a week playing 180-man SnGs. Watch, learn, and let us know how you get on at the tables.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.