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- TableTalk with PokerListings: #6 – Mike Jozoff: The Journey to Poker’s Tournament Elites
TableTalk with PokerListings: #6 – Mike Jozoff: The Journey to Poker’s Tournament Elites
Mike Jozoff came from relative obscurity to scoop two huge tournaments, winning an LA Poker Classic trophy before scoring a huge win and a WSOPC ring at Bell Gardens. Jozoff did a poker soul search during 2022, deciding whether the allure and winnings from the juicy LA cash games would be enough or whether he was searching for something more. A talented, young poker player in the best cash game scene in the world with a healthy bankroll behind him, who would have blamed the Canadian native for staying put and taking his fair share.
A Rapid Start in the Poker World
Despite being just 23, Mike Jozoff has been trying to climb the poker ladder since 2017. Back in college, he fell in love with poker and began making small deposits - and losing them - consistently. A clearly intelligent mind and naturally competitive individual, Jozoff would slowly work out a winning strategy, finding wins in live cash in LA before COVID stopped his live games and opened his world to online poker.
Since then, his eyes have been firmly set on the online high rollers, a lucrative-yet-brutal circuit that travels the online sites of GGPoker and PokerStars and transverses to events like Triton Poker and PokerStars’ PCA and EPT. Over the past year, Jozoff has set his sights on the best of the best and wants to be in the group with Daniel Dvoress, Ben Heath, Jason Koon, and beyond.
What Defines Greatness in Poker?
When you look at what makes the greatest poker player, there are a number of measurables and features you can look at. Who wins the most money? Who has the most bracelets? Who is the biggest name? But I think the answer lies somewhere close to that group of high-stakes MTT players who regularly battle each other, whether at a Triton live poker table or a GGPoker or PokerStars online one.
This is a group of elite poker players who have such a grueling and rigorous training routine. They must learn game theory, live exploits, study their highly-capable opponents, and manage high-stakes tournaments' brutal emotional swings. When you look at the best ever to play any game, they all had something that superseded gratification through money. It was about winning and loving the process of getting there.https://twitter.com/mikejozoff/status/1680890187956756480?s=20
Mike Jozoff is chasing this group, and this episode of TableTalk is a great conversation with an incredibly talented poker player obsessed with being great. In 2023, he basically locked himself in Canada, grinding a full schedule on SCOOP while running sims and following a regimented coaching schedule. After this latest World Series of Poker, he is working towards being a staple of the highest-stakes MTT circuit.
“I’m basically sitting at a Triton table, but it’s an online $600 tournament. And I’m thinking, ‘What am I doing here? Why am I doing this?’ But I do have a vision, and I trust the process. I believe the rate of improvement you achieve by playing these tournaments is massive.”
This is a perfect episode for an aspiring online or live grinder, as you hear the story of someone who has battled their way through the stakes and is on the cusp of hitting the pinnacle in poker.
Other topics include:
- How Mike started in live and online poker and when he turned the losing corner
- Battling LA cash games with some stories and reflections
- Common tournament leaks for cash game players
- The politics of private LA cash games
- Breaking down the toughest online tournaments today
- How to pick a good live cash game
- The mental game behind live poker
- How to mix solver study and GTO with exploitative play in live poker
You can find the full episode on YouTube and Spotify