You might recall that a few weeks ago in The Cutoff we announced a competition that would see one of you win a week’s worth of BBZ Daily Seminars (usually priced at $100 per week) for free. Zilch. Nada.
There was no catch. Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond simply wanted a member of his community to experience what it’s like studying from and with some of the hardest-working players in the game.
The winner was Alex “Steraz23” Ruest, a 22-year-old French player living in New Brunswick, Canada, who currently plays full time in low stakes tournaments, with an average buy-in of $5.
When his week of Daily Seminars was over, we sat down with Ruest to find out what the experience was like, what he learned, and more.
Check it out.
BBZ Blog: Hey Alex! So what was the first thing you did when you got access to the seminars archive?
Alex “Steraz23” Ruest: Hey! I attended the Luckyfish seminar that happened in the morning, which I could then replay at any point as all seminars are uploaded to the replayer.
I jumped in and started to try to get the feel of the seminars and how things would play out. Since I had already done the BBZ Bundle, I had a decent idea of how it was going to go. There are questions and the community has to answer right or wrong. We are here to learn so I told myself ‘I’m going to participate and even if I look like an idiot sometimes I will learn and that is the goal’.
How were you feeling when you sat down for your first live seminar?
Even though I’d accepted that I was going to be wrong a lot, you still have butterflies in your stomach as you don’t want to disappoint yourself and look stupid. But after ten minutes, I would say I got more comfortable and was spitting out answers left, right and centre. Some were correct and some were wrong but you can’t care about that, you just need to focus on learning, fixing and executing the correct strategies. You have to be honest with yourself as even if it seems like you are crushing there is always something new to learn.
How did you find the first seminar? Was it easy to follow?
As it was my first seminar it seemed really fast-paced at first, but as the week went on I started to feel more in rhythm and I was able to move along with the group. I picked up ways to think faster and be more efficient while learning and I got some tips that helped me a lot.
Was there anything about the seminars you found surprising?
You have a mind-blowing moment in every seminar, but the most surprising part about this process is how open-minded people are. They don’t disrespect you when you make mistakes because everyone in the poker world makes a ton of mistakes. No one judges you as they have been there before and can relate. For me, it’s incredibly motivating to see that poker is far from solved and that the best human player in the world is still not 100% perfect.
If you had to pick, what was your favourite seminar to attend?
ICM is so understudied that seeing Jargo’s work in ICM was amazing. I learned so much in the ICM classes and that is the reason that Jargo’s seminars were my favourite.
Did you play poker sessions during your week of seminars? If so, how did they go?
I did play during the week and oh man, I even got accused of being ghosted because I was crushing so hard. I almost closed out the $5.50 Diamond on PartyPoker for $1,034 but I lost a couple of flips and finished second for $750 which is a nice little ROI.
I also made some final tables but the only tournament I closed out was a $3.30 on ACR for $365. I’ve since managed to move up a little in stakes and I feel like my game is on another level. That’s 100% because of the seminars.
Finished 2nd yesterday in the Five diamond and a thing I realized even more is, I really dont do this for the money cause I was pissed I didn't win. Although I am conscious and appreciate the fact I ran superb, still wanted the 🏆. Also a final table on ACR for a cherry on top.
— Steraz (@Steraz_AA) March 14, 2021
What are some things you learned during the week?
I learned so much, from post-flop play on varying flops to handling multiway pots. Jargo and Apestyles also had a seminar on ICM work which impacted my game by so much. There are so many concepts in ICM that are really difficult to understand by yourself and having Jargo and Ape explaining heuristics and ideas was really helpful.
Have you noticed the new skills you’ve acquired come out in your poker play since your week ended?
Donking from the small blind is one of the many new tools in my arsenal, but I would say ICM push spots–where being a complete nit is insanely profitable–is the number one new skill I picked up as there are so many mistakes being made. Final tables are the most important part of the tournament as the most amount of money is in play.
We’re glad you had a great week. What would you say to someone who is thinking of signing up for the Daily Seminars?
Let me put it this way: the hardest working group of poker players at the top of the game are giving you information that is worth an infinite amount of money, answering any questions you have (if you play poker you should have a bunch).
Studying hard is one thing but having top professionals who have been where you are answering your questions is way faster and smarter than trying to do it alone. I always say two heads are better than one but imagine adding more heads, all of whom are top players…it’s unbeatable.
Thanks to BBZ for everything!
Sign up to the BBZ Discord today for announcements, hand reviews, encouragement from our community, and more. You won’t find a more supportive network of poker players anywhere else.