There are no quick shortcuts to become a good poker player. That takes a lot of hard work. Tobias “Saibot” Storm is poker coach and one of those, who with a gentle hand is known to get results.
The Player and The Coach
We often hear about them, but seldom notice them. In contrast to football, the coach in poker is well hidden in the background and all the attention is on the players. But who wants to teach others to play better poker, so that there are fewer fish for yourself? The answer is Tobias Storm. The 24-year-old coach is perhaps one of the best teachers when it comes to poker. We had a chat with the man.
- It started with a board game in elementary school. We were a bunch that way back then played a lot of different games, and in 2003 or so we searched online and found Omaha poker. I deposited some money and started playing low stakes fixed limit. It didn’t take long before it dawned on me that I had a good intuitive understanding of the game and that I probably could get really good at this. When I finished high school, I had built up a good bankroll, but would obviously go out and work. I was a teaching assistant for whole two weeks …
Full Time Gig
It occurred to Tobias that poker was far more interesting than other people’s children, and he began to throw himself full time at poker.
- It’s not because I haven’t tried to work earlier. I have worked as a badminton coach and from when I was 11-12 years until I was 17, And just like Dynamo I had a spare time job as a magician. Yes, it came from that I was bored and went for a walk to the library where I came across these books about magic tricks. Over the next few years I earned a little money on it and got a lot of good experiences as well.
And when Tobias got started as a professional, he thought about the help he had received from other players via forums, maybe was something he could pass on.
- I had gotten so much help and coaching from others, so I had this idea about trying to impart my knowledge to others. I posted a note on the Danish pokerforum PokerNet and enclosing some graphs. It gave a surprising number of inquiries, so I stood in a situation where I could choose who I would teach. Maybe I offered it a little too cheap, but I just wanted to get started.
That has also meant that I never ever had to give up on a student, caused by the selective selection that has ensured that I can take those players who are most serious and motivated about their poker. There is obviously some I said no to. This is due not so much their attitude, but more that I felt I couldn’t contribute more to their game or mindset. And you must be honest and say that you can’t do anything for them if you can’t.
And should anyone be in doubt about Tobias’s own merits, his game size and BRM witnesses about a player who has gotten a little into his account.
- I typically play Heads-Up Sit’n’Gos at the level from $ 300 to $ 2,000 and sometimes I play a little cash games. When that happens, it’s just from 2/4 to 10/20. I am very conservative in terms of BRM (bankroll management), and play with many buy-ins behind me. You will need to have that when you play $ 2,000 Sit’n’Gos, otherwise the variance can kill you.
Poker sucess has not just come to Tobias easily, it has taken lots of time and hard work.
- I’ve spent so much time on self-development and optimization of my game. I have read tons of books on the subject, but if I must point out one who has had great influence, it must be Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits”. It is about personal leadership, self-control and the philosophical thoughts in order to achieve your goals. When I start a course up, I take base in the student. What typically happens is that we take an introductory talk and find out how we should weight the technical poker section up against the personal- or mental development.
Development is important for Tobias.
- I think that teaching occupies only 15% of my poker time. It is important that I develop. Modern poker is constantly evolving; and we are therefore forced to follow its path. It’s like in chess, where strategy and response strategy goes hand in hand. Nothing Of course is quite square, but there are always new things we a need to adjust to. If you want to live from poker or just be good at it, players must ask themselves: What do I want with this? You have to get yourself a goal and some sub-goals. You are forced to look at your win rate, get coaching and input.
Right now, Tobias is free as a bird and has plenty of time for himself and his new project.
- Poker has given me some sort of financial freedom. I therefore embarked on a project together with Anders Jensen. It’s a poker camp that we intend to start up shortly. The idea is that you basically sign up for six months. The camp will consist of Anders Jensen, I and six others. It becomes a very intense process where we spar, work and evolve together. Physically, mentally and in poker as well. We start the day with physical training, which we have developed together with physiotherapists and coaches that will mainly focus on core training. It is necessary to build stability in the upper body when you have to sit so many hours in a chair in front of a screen. Then we exercise for condition and start working with poker. Were looking for a place where people can stay permanently and where there will be beds available to everyone. Right now it’s a little expensive project for us, but I think it pays off over a longer time.
Not on the circuit
However, it is extremely rare to see Tobias at events like WSOP or other large tournaments, unlike many of his colleagues.
- I’ve never focused on the live tournaments. When I’m “off” it is important for me to get away. When you have worked so intensely with poker as Anders and I have, it’s important to do something different once in a while, and simply take a break. I’m in the fortunate position that I can afford to travel around. So I do and try to kite-surfing along the way. Now it’s not like that I throw around my money. I do not spend money on expensive hotels, places like Noma (world’s best restaurant placed in Copenhagen) or wild benders. It has been more sensible things like an apartment and a car. I think my controlled consumption is one of the reasons that I can keep myself in the industry. I make no ill-considered financial decisions …
And fortunately, Tobias also supported by the people who could worry about him.
- My parents were of course sceptical at first. But now they can see how well it has gone, so I have their full support. And regarding my acquaintances, I have a diverse network, but they have all gotten used to it now, so it’s just that thing I’m doing. Should I have to do anything else, it would probably be toward something with teaching. Alternative perhaps psychology, it is also a topic I have been working with a lot. But I’m passionate about poker. I have no end goal about achieving financial independence in order to stop playing. I see poker as a sport where I can deliver my own potential, and not as a cynical business.
Right now Tobias is engaged in his poker camp – and that with a lot of passion. While many of the other poker players get their annual experience in Las Vegas, Tobias has started to organize training courses and set the framework for the next six months. A lot of hard work just to make others just as talented as himself, in a world where cynicism otherwise is rewarded.