Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast Ep. #356: James “Splitsuit” Sweeney

Bruce and Robbie welcome well-regarded poker coach and co-founder of Red Chip Poker James “Splitsuit” Sweeney to the show. James shares his personal poker journey, specifically how he started out playing and then transitioning into coaching. He also discusses the massive upgrade to Red Chip Poker’s CORE offering (2.0) and how the training materials can best help home game players

The hosts also speak with longtime listener and Salt Lake City home game host Chad who describes hosting and attending his first live poker games in the coronavirus era. With no WSOP going on, neither of our co-hosts are in Las Vegas, but did manage to play in his first two live home poker games after a 2-month pandemic hiatus, and shares his experiences.

Finally, Ben Ludlow is back with a One Outer Top 10 list of the things he misses most about the opening week of the World Series of Poker that’ll have you laughing out loud at episode’s end.

Time Stamps

00:26 Synopsis
1:22 How Ya Runnin?
1:33 Robbie’s feeling jubilant because he finally got to play live home game poker again – twice! Plus, he was a winner in both games. More importantly, the camaraderie and good vibes are back, along with some hand sanitizer and face masks. All players just appreciative to be back playing together.
4:15 Discussing home game players in higher-risk groups: older people and those with weaker immune systems. Don’t pressure them to come back if they personally don’t feel comfortable, and don’t make them feel bad about choosing to continue staying home.
6:20 No more food at the table during the game; taking a proper break to eat, wash hands, and then returning to the poker.
8:40 A feeling of general catharsis for all participants just to be back playing in person again and not be limited to Zoom and online poker home games.
11:30 Recommendation to only go back to playing home games once you’re no longer worried virus-wise. You ideally don’t want anything to cast a cloud over the atmosphere; you just want to sit, enjoy yourself and play poker.
13:20 Bruce thinks he’s shaken hands with people for the last time. It’s elbow/fist bump or bust!
16:40 No home games yet for Bruce, but he’s meeting friends at restaurants for lunch once again.
17:20 Martin from Malta sends another email letting us know that home games are back on the island. He’s product a book on Pot Limit Sviten Special.
19:10 Longtime listener Chad joins the show from Salt Lake City.
20:08 Chad discusses the types of changes he’s made as home game host for the first live game back during the pandemic, including who is and isn’t welcome to participate. No food or communal shared drinks. Full 9-handed table using hand sanitizer bottle as the dealer button.
22:20 Participants in Chad’s game were just happy to get out of the house and play in a home poker game again. Even so, nobody wanted anyone to get sick, so it’s important to abstain from playing if feeling even slightly under 100% healthy. Bottom line, just happy to once again have the semblance of normalcy.
29:00 Chad’s got the “covid cobwebs™” J
30:15 Poker Notes Live mobile app ad
31:01 Talk Poker to Me: Interview with James “Splitsuit”Sweeney
32:25 James shares how he first got into poker: “the typical online player thing that happened in the early 2000s.” He also played home games in college primarily in order to make friends and because he enjoyed playing games in general. Played online at PokerStars and Full Tilt, and then at Turning Stone Casino while a student at Syracuse University which allowed 18-year-olds.
34:05 James started taking on a couple students and really enjoyed the teaching aspects of it; things just sort of took off from there.
37:30 Though he studied Marketing, James always wanted to do something related to teaching. Poker naturally presented the opportunity to do that.
39:56 James shares his experiences playing home games in high school and college. The games were “really, REALLY good!” A good mix and rotation of people, very competitive and enjoyable. “Everyone cared, was trying hard, and there was a lot of gamble in the room.”
42:45 Black Friday was a pivotal time to make a decision about “am I going to stick around in poker or do something else?”
43:30 James shares the origin of his “Splitsuit” nickname.
44:54 James shares the origin of the name “Red Chip Poker” the training site that he co-founded along with Ed Miller, Doug Hull, and Christian Soto.
47:35 How Red Chip Poker distinguishes itself from other poker training sites and what makes it unique.
51:00 Red Chip Poker has just released CORE 2.0, a full-enhanced offering with twice as many lessons. A bargain at just $5 a week, and Top Pair Podcast listeners can sign up with code TOP and claim one week free!
51:54 James explains how the original CORE product was updated and what’s new in version 2.0. Specifically there’s a new cash game course from Ed Miller and MTT course from (Cardplayer Lifestyle contributor) Chris Wallace.
55:55 CORE is the most popular Red Chip Poker product because it’s relevant for 90% of all poker players. Advanced poker players thinking at higher levels can avail themselves of Red Chip Poker PRO membership. Also discussing which products are best for home game players.
1:02:00 You can also check out James’ Pre-flop and Math Workbook (special discount here).
1:02:30 Ben Ludlow’s One Outer: Top 10 things he misses most about the WSOP (Ed note: You’ll be laughing non-stop!)

James Sweeney



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded Cardplayerlifestyle.com in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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