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Matt Bolt - aka "mbolt1" (Inactive)

Poker Coach – Matt Bolt

I graduated in Dec. 2005 from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, with a degree in management. I finished college on a Saturday and started work for my stepdad's roofing company in Simpsonville on Monday. It was a great job by most any standard. But I found myself jealous of friends who had far worse jobs than mine, because they'd earned the positions themselves.

I knew I was blessed. But I also knew I needed to do my own thing. So I took a job in outside sales for Orkin Pest Control. The sales experience and freedom were big plusses; my jerk boss was a big minus. Again, I found myself dissatisfied.

My brother had introduced me to online poker. I'd been playing microstakes and was improving, but had massive issues with tilt and bankroll management. Naively, I wrote the legendary Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt, and asked him for some advice. He was very kind to me, and through him, I was introduced to Matt Amen, another coach at DragTheBar.com who became my first instructor. In June 2007, Matt invited me to meet him and Dusty in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.

I'd been making $500 to $1,000 a month playing a couple of nights a week. Still, Matt hounded me to quit my job and play poker full time. I had to admit, the freedom these guys seemed to enjoy was tempting. Convinced, I left my job in late 2007, and was able to ratchet my earnings up to a modest $2,000-$3,000 a month playing 25 cent/50 cent NL. My expenses were $1,500, so I was getting by.

But complacency was seeping in. I played video games, watched TV and went on trips. I forgot that poker was my job, and I was falling woefully shy of the commitment I'd made to myself to play 30-40 hours a week. In Jan. 2008, I went on a terrifyingly bad run. I had no financial cushion, and I was genuinely scared that I was going to have to get yet another job to which I'd hate going every day.

I called Dusty in February and convinced him I'd seen the error of my ways. He said he'd be willing to work out a staking deal with me. His idea was for me to move up in limits aggressively and not worry about bankroll - what was his was mine. At that point, I'd never had $10,000 to my name.

There were provisions to our deal. I had to play 16,000 hands per week minimum. I could fall shy one week, but if it happened again the deal was off. He would review all of my hands with me. He also wanted me to email him five questions a week on topics with which I'd been struggling. With no bankroll concerns, I went up to $1/$2 right away. I was working diligently, and the results were immediate. After peaking previously at $3,000, I had my first $10,000 month in March. In April I made $20,000, and I made $30,000 in May. By November I had my first $100,000 month.

One problem I'd always had was leaving my results behind when I was done playing. A bad session would ruin my day, even my week. Dusty recommended that I work with his performance coach, Jared Tendler. Jared helped me to rationalize variance and get over my issues with tilt. Now I can play longer and think more clearly.

My game and Dusty's have diverged since the beginning of 2009. I have a bit more gamble in me, so I'll play fewer tables, but do it at higher stakes. I do much better when I'm challenging the limits. I still play no-limit at $5/$10 and $25/$50, and also challenge the bigger stuff when it runs. Things have continued to go well for me, and in Dec. 2009 I made $180,000. (I later realized I'd made $16 per minute. At Orkin, I made $15 per hour.) I'm 27 and live a great life with my fiancée in Greenville, SC. Other than poker, I enjoy golf, video games and movies.

My goal at DragTheBar.com is to teach people to play solid poker that is as mistake-free as possible. To me, it's not important to play a fancy style and constantly put moves on people. You need to minimize your errors, so that when others make them, you're in a position to capitalize. I'll teach you to control the size of the pot and set opponents up to make a mistake, so you lose the minimum and make the maximum.

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