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No Jumper’s Adam22 doesn’t play poker for thrills. He plays to win.

No Jumper’s Adam22 doesn’t play poker for thrills. He plays to win.

Right off the bat, It’s clear how much Adam Grandmaison — better known as Adam22 — loves the game of poker. Just a few minutes into my conversation with the creator and host of the No Jumper podcast, he pauses and eagerly tells me he has pocket aces and an opponent has just shoved into him for 100 big blinds.

Yep, he’s playing poker as we speak. “I just wanted to get that in there,” he says, before we discuss his poker journey, why he loves the game, his goals in poker, and how he came to be coached by BBZ Poker founder Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond (a.k.a. BBZ).

Grandmaison is at his home in Long Beach, California, which he shares with his girlfriend, social-media celebrity Lena Nersesian (a.k.a. Lena the Plug), and their baby daughter, Parker. He’s squeezing in an afternoon poker session in preparation for a Sit & Go versus other streamers that he’ll stream live on his Twitch channel later that day, before heading into Los Angeles to record a new episode of No Jumper.

No Jumper started its life as a blog on Tumblr in 2011 before Grandmaison revived it as a YouTube-hosted podcast in 2015. Today the channel has 3.65 million subscribers, with guests ranging from hip hop artists and porn stars to DJs and BMX pros.

These days it’s Grandmaison’s fandom and support of underground hip hop artists for which No Jumper is best known (Rolling Stone has described him as “underground hip hop’s major tastemaker”) but before rap, it was BMX biking that became his first love.

Around 2003, he moved to New York City from his hometown in New Hampshire with a goal to shoot BMX videos. “I wanted to be out filming different BMX pros all the time,” he says. “That was my big plan. But within a week or two I had a horrible back injury and that left me with a ton of time.”

With poker booming on television during his high school years, Grandmaison was already fascinated with the game. He’d bought some Phil Hellmuth books and played some online freerolls. So now that he was laid up with some free time, he decided to give poker a proper shot.

“I deposited $200 onto Pokeroom.com and basically immersed myself in poker,” he says. “I soon found myself playing ten tables at a time, going between Sit and Gos and cash games. At the time I was playing a lot of limit hold’em, which is odd to think of in retrospect. I really had no fucking clue what the hell I was doing.”

Grandmaison was clearly doing something right, however, as he ended up playing professionally non-stop for two years. “Players back then were so bad that even though I’m sure I was playing terribly, I still did well,” he says. “In fact, given how much I’ve now learned from BBZ, I know for a fact I was playing horribly too.”

When his back had healed, Grandmaison’s passion for BMXing eventually clawed him back to the biking streets. He started a blog called TheComeUp, now heralded as one of the most popular BMX websites of all time, which led to his own clothing line and biking team, OnSomeShit. “That started doing pretty well for me,” he says.

The rest, as they say, is history. Grandmaison now presides over a “DIY media empire” that includes podcasts, vlogs, fashion, social media (he has 817K Twitter followers, 1.6 million Instagram followers, and a huge following on Snapchat), adult content, and Twitch streaming.

“I actually got into poker again because I was doing these live streams where I play people’s music for donations, so artists will pay $100 for us to play their song on our live stream and we react to it and talk about it and whatever,” he says. “We’ll do them for six hours or so and I was thinking about what I could do on stream that I would find entertaining. I was like, man, maybe I should start playing poker again.”

Poker was an occasional pastime for Grandmaison, who’d fire a couple of tournaments on America’s Cardroom (ACR) here and there. But like the rest of us, when COVID hit Grandmaison found himself inside more often with a bunch of free time. He figured he’d make the best of it by studying poker and figuring out where the game was at in 2020.

“I started watching a lot of Twitch Poker streamers and I heard Easterdamnz talking about how Jordan Drummond (BBZ) was the best coach in the game. I reached out to BBZ and he was super positive and started helping me out like crazy.

“I’d never been coached on a professional level like that so to have him digging into my PokerTracker stuff and telling me the hundreds of things I was doing wrong, it was so unbelievably informative.”


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Grandmaison considers BBZ a “wizard” who could examine his stats and whittle down his weaknesses with ease. Some of his leaks included not defending the big blind enough, being too aggressive with c-bets, and overbetting turns. “One thing BBZ frequently said to me was that a lot of poker players are scared and that I wasn’t scared at all, which is great, but we had to figure out how to reign it in a little bit. That got my head going in the right direction.

“It’s been unbelievable how valuable getting coached by BBZ has been. If you just watch someone stream you don’t necessarily notice certain things, like the fact they’re stealing and defending blinds so aggressively. That was something that BBZ really helped me dig into. There are a lot of boring hands which don’t make highlight reels which are hugely consequential in terms of your win rate.”

Grandmaison’s win rate has risen steadily throughout the past year. He won a $55 ACR event on December 15th for $3,150, took down a $33 ACR event on January 4th for $7,782, and he won that Twitch Sit & Go he played after our interview for an extra $3,750.

“I’m starting to feel massively more confident in terms of my 10, 20, 30-big-blind play, which is interesting,” he says. “I went through the $33 tournament and I watched every single hand and I don’t think I even care to talk to BBZ about any of the spots. It’s pretty surreal to be getting better to the extent that I can win a whole tournament and not really have many spots I need to go over.”

Grandmaison might be proud of his poker accomplishments, but he still acknowledges he has a ton to learn. “Even if I feel comfortable playing 20 big blinds, I’m still massively intimidated by playing 100-200 big blind poker,” he says. “And I still find myself in eight-big-blind situations that I don’t know how to play. The ICM course in particular has been incredibly informative to me.”

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With so much going on in his life professionally, not to mention having a seven-week-old daughter to look after, it’s remarkable that Grandmaison ever finds the time to study poker. But when there’s something he’s passionate about, from poker to riding BMXs, he makes the time.

“I have a really hard time managing to do anything I don’t want to do,” he says. “I’ll let my email dwindle for a few days. I won’t respond to people in time about some advertising bullshit, or whatever. I feel like I’m governed by my own desires and shit that I’m passionate about. Meanwhile, I love playing poker.

“I set aside time to watch stuff on the BBZ site. I don’t feel like it’s a sacrifice. I don’t even feel like I’m studying when I’m watching Jordan or Apestyles [a.k.a. BBZ coach Jon Van Fleet] stream, but I probably learn just as much watching their hands play out as I do from actually studying. Then I’ll also go out riding BMX all day with my friends. There are a lot of things I’m passionate about. I have a kid now and that’s a bunch of responsibility, but I find ways to make it work without ever making my girlfriend feel like I’m burdening her.”

“My poker bankroll is very, very different from my life bankroll,” he says. “It’s very important for me to be able to prove myself and document a steady win rate on PokerTracker. I’m not really interested in playing $1,000 tournaments just because I can afford to, y’know? I play the $200 tournaments on ACR and I’m in no rush to climb up past them. I can tell the $600s are fucking beastly and I don’t necessarily have a lot of business trying to tango with the people who play those all the time.”

Grandmaison exercises proper bankroll management and is doing all the things that any smart poker player should do. He plays poker because he wants to be a good player and make the best decisions possible. “I definitely get a thrill from winning a tournament, but I’m not playing poker because I’m looking for some big thrill.”

When asked what inspires him about poker, Grandmaison says it’s the stories of the poker dream throughout the past couple of decades. “I love seeing random young people make so much money and do so much playing poker,” he says. “I look back at my younger days and I feel kind of guilty that I didn’t take it as seriously. I wish I had studied and got coaching when I was younger. That’s a big part of why I’m determined to do well now.”

Grandmaison also mentions Brad Owen and Lex Veldhuis as inspirations on the poker content side of things. “Those guys, anyone who has grown a huge following on social media or Twitch, I just think it’s incredible,” he says. “There’s a huge potential market for poker and a lot of people aren’t making content like those guys do. Content which appeals to that large of an audience.”

When it’s safe to play live poker again, you can expect to see Grandmaison at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas (“It would be dope to play the Main Event”), both playing and producing content for his YouTube audience. “I want to get my YouTube really on point,” he says, with 1.08 million subscribers at the time of writing. “That’s a big goal of mine.

“I’ve been very inspired by someone like Brad Owen,” he adds. “He’s a testament to what’s possible if you build a brand based on good storytelling. His stuff is so interesting to people even though he’s not playing the biggest stakes and he’s probably not the best player in the world, not that he’s a bad player by any means. He’s just telling a really compelling story of himself as a guy. He shows a lot of emotion and he really lets people into how he feels before and after a session. I just think that’s what poker needs more of.”

With an enormous audience already built on the pillars of No Jumper and OnSomeShit, Grandmaison is in a unique position to place poker in front of millions. It’s a self-imposed responsibility he takes seriously.

“I know a lot of people in poker and for many, the entire reason they play is to make money. But I really want to help the game and be a good representative for it and find ways over time to get more people excited about it. That’s important to me.”

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