Sunday VIP Club Live seminar in Köln
A little more than a year ago I rented my little poker office at a building complex called Solution Space in the heart of my city Cologne - right next to the impressive cathedral called the Dom.
Initially, the reasons for deciding to get an outside working space instead of staying at home were to increase my productivity, improve daily motivation, and further my ability to socialise or network with others in a business that has seen me sit at home, alone in front of my computer for years. Even coaching sessions with my students on Skype or streaming poker on Twitch in front of a large audience did not really provide me with what only social interactions in real life can.
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The idea of being able welcome my students at my own office for private poker coaching and group seminars was born, and the central location near the Dom and the central Cologne train station seemed the perfect fit for such a project. I have now had around a dozen of live poker seminars here with many different students and different topics each time. I have really enjoyed these experiences as they - for a change in my career - provide me with an opportunity to do some training with real cards, chips, and people!
I remember the day when PokerStars approached me asking if I had an idea for something special I would like to do with a group of PokerStars players for a VIP Club Live experience event. The only natural response that came to my mind was: "Let's do a poker seminar at my office!"
So, we did it! PokerStars immediately helped me pimp up my previous seminar equipment at the office by upgrading my table to this awesome customized beast which I just love:
...and we were all set! The date was April 17th, and the format was 6-max as that is where my expertise in ring games lies. PokerStars put up the experience in the VIP store for a price of 6,000 Starcoins, and I was stoked to see my own seminar being offered there. Just imagine opening up your PokerStars client one morning to see a pop-up with your own VIP Club Live experience, and you will probably know how I felt.
April 17th came around, and even though I had done countless seminars by myself before, I was in fact getting a little nervous while preparing everything that day. Would the group get along? Would it be a cool experience for them? Would they be able to take enough out of my teachings?
All my nervousness immediately disappeared when the group met in front of my office. They were all super nice guys, and we started the banter about our favorite hobby right from the get-go!
The topic I chose for this seminar was "Bet-sizing and Live Poker Tells." After a short introduction, some coffee, and more banter, we kicked off the action by playing a real SNG on my red #grindingitup felt. Before the cards were in the air, I made sure everyone got their welcome presents in the form of a card protector sponsored by the PokerStars VIP store along with the most important equipment to create fake tells in true TeddyKGB manner: a pack of Oreo cookies!
While dealing cards to my students I kept watching them closely for potential tells and addressing their choice of bet-sizing in different situations. After each interesting hand we paused the action and started discussing the crucial aspects together. It's these times and times again when I hear different people talk about their thought process in poker that I get amazed at how many facets this game has and how different everyone perceives these. It really makes me believe that this game reflects life in a pure sense. It helps everyone in opening up new perspectives and broadening their horizons. The same applied for everyone involved, as the common feedback from all seminar participants was how valuable it can be to hear others' opinions and thoughts on different spots during the game. Even though everyone had different poker backgrounds, they all seemed to be taking a lot out of the group discussions.
After a short coffee break, the SNG went into its hot phase. There were a couple surprises waiting for the participants. PokerStars had some extra added value for everyone by sponsoring us with some of the most popular items from the VIP store which I could give out based on each participants' finishes in the SNG:
I tried to record as much as possible in between dealing and coaching to keep a little memory token of the experience for everyone. The final version of this VLOG is in German language on my YouTube channel, so if you do not understand German just skip the first part until minute-mark 4:48 for a lot of impressions from that day:
All in all, we had a fantastic Sunday in my office in the middle of my hometown Köln doing together what we all share as a passion. The group dynamic was simply awesome. We learned and laughed a lot together, and the feedback from the players was positive:
I am taking away inspiring memories of a great day and cool new acquaintances while already looking forward to my next Sunday Seminar.
Currently I am hosting them on a rather spontaneous basis myself (you can book them through my website www.grindingitup.com) but keep taking a look into the PokerStars VIP store under Live Events. Maybe there will be another chance for you to get a ticket with your StarsCoin in the future!
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Felix Scheniders is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online