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Alex ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis: High stakes crusher, former DJ, and new BBZ Poker coach

Alex ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis: High stakes crusher, former DJ, and new BBZ Poker coach

Here’s what you probably already know about Alex ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis:

The guy is an absolute beast at the tables and is a regular in the highest-stakes tournaments running.

He has $10.5 million in recorded online cashes and more than $300K in live earnings, despite rarely playing live poker.

And he’s BBZ Poker’s newest coach, providing regular Daily Seminars and training videos.

And here’s what you probably didn’t know about this crusher.

He’s 29.

He grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece but now resides in the high-stakes haven of Vienna, Austria.

And he used to work as a DJ.

We sat down to talk to Theologis about his storied poker career so far, what matters to him in the game, why he joined BBZ Poker, and more. Enjoy.

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BBZ Blog: Hey Alex. First question: How did Alex Theologis become Pwndidi?

Alex ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis: I started playing poker around nine or ten years ago — a long time ago. How it happened is that I was never really into any sort of gambling, but I was really into strategy games. I used to play chess when I was younger. I also played some card games competitively.

One day some of my friends decided to set up a home poker game and I had no idea what it was at the time. They obviously invited me over to play as I didn’t know the rules, but after they explained the rules I found it very interesting. So, my love of strategy games combined with the financial aspect of being able to earn money while playing, that’s what really drove me to the game.

Did you take to the game quickly because of your strategy gaming background?

On one hand yes, because I had this game theory optimal thought process already from the previous games. But at the same time, I’ve always been really bad at maths, and this was an obstacle I had to overcome because it’s a lot of poker depends on statistics and maths and things like that.

What games did you play in the beginning and how did you climb through the stakes?

I don’t come from a rich financial background. I started playing when I went to university and I was basically using any sort of spare money I had or money I gained from work as a DJ (yes, I used to work as a DJ!) so I was playing really low stakes for a long time. Maybe $1 or $2 tournaments, stuff like that.

But slowly, as I started winning, I began to move up. My main climb in stakes started when I joined BitB, I think it was the end of 2017, maybe the start of 2018, somewhere in that time frame. Bankroll was then no longer an issue and it was just up to me and my work ethic to move up.

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It must be very motivating when you have people who have faith in you and trust you that you’re going to put in the work.

For sure, yes. But also just having access to a huge library of videos, like at BBZ Poker for example, provides you so much opportunity to study and it really comes down to you spending time on it. In the past, this was more of an issue, but even now, finding good poker content is tough because there are so many coaches and sites and sources. So finding the appropriate content for you can be tough. So players finding BBZ Poker now will find it really beneficial in moving up in stakes.

Do you remember when you first truly felt comfortable playing at the highest stakes? Most players take shots here and there, but do you remember a point where you thought, wow, I actually belong in this group now?

Hmm, that’s a good question. I’m not really a shot-taker. I’m never going to gamble and keep a large percentage of myself in a tournament when playing higher than I usually play, I’m just not really excited by that kind of thing.

But in regards to feeling more confident at high stakes, I think it just comes down to realizing that you’re as good if not better than your opposition.

When you’re not at high stakes, you view those players (having never played against them) and you think oh, they must be so good and doing all of these things right. But then you actually get to play against them and you realize hey, I’m actually better than them. For me, that’s how it worked and how my confidence built up.

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What do your family and friends think of your chosen career path?

Everyone has been super supportive right from the beginning. My parents were a little cautious at the start which I think is reasonable because hearing your child is playing poker a lot, your mind goes to gambling because they don’t know the details of poker and how it’s a strategy game. But once I explained it to them and started having some success, they’ve all been super supportive.

It was never essential for me to get the approval of my family. As long as they saw that I was making some money, even from playing $5 tournaments, they were very understanding.

You’re the number one online poker player from Greece. Does it mean anything to you to represent your country in that way?

On one hand, I’m definitely happy and pleased with myself. But on the other hand, in whatever I’ve chosen to spend my time on, I’ve never looked to compete against Greece. Greece is too small scale. When I was playing card games or e-sports, I was never looking to only compete against other Greek players. I think that bar is too low, without meaning to sound rude, it’s just a very small country. I don’t think being the best in Greece means much.

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Is reaching number one in the world important to you? Or perhaps winning a particular title?

No, not really. I don’t find the glory aspect of poker very appealing. For example, winning trophies and things, I don’t really care about that. It’s a welcome addition, sure, but it’s not something I concern myself with.

How did it feel banking a $1.2 million score on GGPoker?

It was definitely welcome but at the same time… I don’t want to sound ungrateful, and I’m super happy with the score, but it doesn’t really change your life at this point. I’m playing around the same buy-ins that I used to — maybe I can keep some more of my own action or play slightly higher — but basically, winning this sum of money doesn’t really change your day-to-day life.

I realize that maybe sounds strange to some people. But first off, I didn’t have 100% of my action so it’s not like I actually had $1.2M in my pocket. Secondly, when you already have a decent amount in your bankroll, winning these scores… it’s a step in the right direction but it doesn’t really change your life.

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What are your goals in poker then?

It might sound a bit cynical but for me, it’s basically the financial aspect. At this stage, if there was no money on the line I wouldn’t really play poker.

I also love the strategic aspect of the game. Solving spots and coming up with the optimal plays in complicated situations. I’m definitely not bored playing the game!

On that note, how have your BBZ Poker Seminars gone so far?

I think they went pretty well. I enjoyed doing them and I think the reception was pretty good as well.

I’ve had a lot of nice messages from people in the BBZ Poker community who enjoyed my seminars or who had some additional questions or just wanted to say hi.

You’ve been coaching for a long time. How did your relationship with BBZ come about?

I only spoke to Jordan for the first time a couple of months ago. I played against him a lot when he was more active and obviously, I was aware of BBZ as a staking group. But our relationship is very recent.

Jordan messaged me to see if I was interested and we picked it up from there.

What aspects of coaching do you enjoy the most?

First of all, there’s the income factor, allowing me to make money without risk or variance.

But also I generally like explaining things. In real life, I have this thing as well. I like taking part in long discussions and maybe studying a bit and explaining it in a simplified fashion.

Another really good thing with coaching is that by presenting a topic I also get to refresh myself. There are so many things in poker you need to remember — sizings, frequencies, whatever it may be — so by coaching these topics I get to remind myself of them too.

You’ve joined the BBZ coaching roster at the same time as Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson and Tomi ‘Elmerixx’ Brouk. That’s pretty cool, right?

For sure. I am pretty close with both of those guys. Tomi was a founder of BitB where I was staked for two years or so. It’s great to join at the same time as we’re already friends working in this environment.

Check out: Andy ‘BowieEffect’ Wilson on joining BBZ Poker and his incredible poker year

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