Blackrain79: Building a Fortune a Few Cents at a Time

Nathan Williams 2
Blackrain79 has earned more money at NL2 and NL5 than any other player on PokerStars.

Nathan “Blackrain79” Williams has played six million hands of small-stakes No-Limit Hold’em online with some of the highest win-rates in history.

In his new book Crushing the Microstakes Williams shows you exactly how to replicate those results.

This is a book geared towards the beginner, designed to help newbies build a bankroll and a solid understanding of the game while sticking to the lowest stakes.

Surprisingly, it’s a niche that’s been largely ignored in poker publishing. Especially surprising since the micros are home to more players than any other stakes on the Internet.

And while a lot of strategy writers might have played the micros early in their career, they’ve long since moved on to bigger games. Williams makes a living playing low-stakes and has a proven track record crushing the very lowest.

That’s the experience that he brings to bear in this book and because it’s so current, and specifically geared to the madness that is micro-stakes online poker, it stands apart as a unique tool for beginner online players.

Blackrain's Backstory

A university graduate who found poker at the relatively old age of 24, Williams grew up in a suburb of Vancouver, Canada and turned pro in 2007.

He got his first bankroll selling the play chips he had accumulated on Party Poker for $60 and since making the move to PokerStars he’s earned almost $30,000 at NL2 and NL5. That’s 1.5 million big blinds at NL2.

Nathan Williams
Experienced? Williams has played six million hands of online poker.

While that doesn’t represent his total winnings it does put him among the biggest micro-stakes winners ever on PokerStars.

According to Williams he’s the biggest.

“When PTR came out my exploits at the lowest stakes became public knowledge and it became interesting for people to talk about,” Williams told in Vancouver.

“I guess because no one was playing as many hands as I was and getting such high win-rates, people just thought it was crazy,” he said. “At the very lowest stakes I have the most winnings ever on PokerStars, at 2NL and 5NL.”

What to Expect from Crushing the Microstakes

In Crushing the Micros Williams shows you the moves that made him famous, including spazz-shoving all-in with the nuts into miniscule pots, and opening for 10X raises against players who don’t know the difference between 3X and a 300ZX.

Higher-stakes players may scoff at some of the advice, but Williams knows a lot more about the micros today than they do. Heed his wisdom and it will pay dividends. He’s drawing on his experience playing the same games, as well as what he’s learned about teaching as a coach at

Nathan Williams 3
Williams also coaches at

Coaching and writing strategy books, helping fish and newbies to become better players, seems to be at odds with trying to make a living playing poker but Williams maintains that no matter how much material is made available, there will always be players willing to lose their money.

“I realized that the players you make the most from playing lower stakes are just recreational players. They’re not joining training sites or reading forums or buying my book,” he said.

“Sure, the regs in these games will continue to get better by using books like this, but the recreational players really aren’t doing anything to improve, and that’s where most of your money is coming from at the micros.

“And I don’t subscribe to the opinion that anyone can just join a training site or get some coaching and expect to be as good as the best regs. There’s always going to be a pecking order in poker,” he continued.

Studying Crushing the Microstakes will help make sure you don’t get stuck at the bottom.

Click here to read the full interview transcript of our conversation with Nathan "Blackrain79" Williams.

For screenshots and more information on Crushing the Micros head over to Blackrain79’s blog.

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