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Tommy Angelo


My examination of poker pain was born from necessity in 1990 when at age 32 I quit my career as a musician and became a full-time poker pro. For the next 13 years, I battled five nights a week against my two worst enemies: playing too long, and playing too loose. Then came a whole-life makeover, featuring daily meditation, followed by a two-year winning streak at double my previous stakes. During that time, following the 2004 poker explosion, I also put together a coaching program for serious players. My early clientele included Phil Galfond and David Benefield. It went well with them, and word of mouth soon spread, and in short order half my clients were sharp, young, working players competing in both live and online venues. I’ve now coached over a hundred players, some of them for years, from low-stakes recreationals to famous tournament players.

In June 2006, my bankroll was way higher than ever before, so I declared victory over poker and I quit playing and coaching for 18 months to take all the best stuff I’d learned so far from playing and coaching and put it in a book called Elements of Poker. I could not be happier with how my firstborn was welcomed and loved by the poker community. And still is.

After Elements came out, that’s when my coaching business really took off. And my passion for everything to do with poker just kept getting stronger. And I was generating and collecting tons of notes and ideas from working with clients. It was time to write another book…

In Painless Poker, seven archetypal poker players are beamed to a fictional setting called the Painless Poker Clinic where they receive guidance on how to take the pain out of poker, and life. Writing that book sparked a desire to create an easy-access coaching model focused on pain points for players at every level. And that's what I'm doing now, 2018. You can click the COACHING tab above to read about my $100/half-hour Poker Guidance offering. uses cookies to give you the best experience. Learn more about our Cookie Policy