Fausto Valdez is no stranger to the podcast rounds, giving listeners a taste of not only his life as a professional player, but a taste of his strategy as well. These guest appearances on Red Chip Poker, Just Hands, and the Poker Zoo follow Fausto from the swinging start of his career, teaching the game, and into the workhorse days of 2019.
Have a listen:
It’s September 2016. In his first appearance on the RCP Podcast, the subject is the nerve-wracking precipice of a professional poker career. Fausto tells RCP host Zac Shaw how his bankroll dipped into the scary three digits – and how he got things back on track.
Mental strength, Fausto tells Zac, is really the key to getting through the variance. However, Fausto’s advice doesn’t stop there, advising the audience on interpreting low stakes player betting frequencies. A key point, according to Fausto, is the polarity in player types – everyone is out of whack at one-two, either too passive or two active. Identifying these opponent tendencies makes for easy – and big – profits.
Moving to the two-five game, Zac elicits some key advice from Fausto – advice built on his own initial mistakes. “You just can’t make assumptions every single time,” he said. “You still gotta understand your opponent.”
This podcast has aged extremely well, with some great advice on game culture, why you don’t have to go out of your way to be entertaining in most games, and life balance.
One year later, one year wiser, Fausto returns to the RCP pod in 2017. “It’s my job as a professional to understand a dynamic and find a way to win.” It’s true, he did it –Fausto Valdez is now a full time professional player.
Host Zac unravels how Fausto found the faith and confidence to leave the nine-to-five. It turns out, more has happened, as well. Fausto is taking students for the first time, with little more than a little word mouth and a thread on RCP. The allure of running up stacks a la Fausto creates an instant demand that has not ceased to this day.
Over the course of the podcast, Fausto describes to Zac his teaching philosophy. He connects his new teaching practice to the experience he had with his own mentor, Solve For Why’s Christian Soto.
Amusingly, Fausto gets a little feisty on one of his favorite topics – table and seat changing. What does Fausto believe and why does he care so much? The podcast concludes with some key poker topics, including player profiling, how to do it effectively, and implementing the strategy to counter opponent tendencies.
Fast forward a year again, and Fausto continues his climb in the poker world, now an official Red Chip Coach.
At this point, Fausto’s no longer content “to run a big bluff at the local card room.” Fausto is in for the big dollars, and describes to Zac his 2018 WSOP experience. A bag here and a bag there, it turns out. Well, tournaments are tournaments, but “cash was so generous to me,” reported Fausto, sounding more than a little satisfied.
Fausto tells Zac how he managed his three interests – cash, tournaments, and his students. The answer is that Fausto has matured. “Poker doesn’t care,” he tells Zac, meaning he has stopped “ruminating” over the bad days, and instead focuses on his friends and family. In fact, he recounts some funny stories how he used his mental game strength to slightly tilt some opponents!
In the second half of the podcast, Fausto offers some of his most important thoughts yet captured on a podcast, focusing on using self-awareness to both play better and learn more effectively. And of course, he helps out Zac with hand.
It’s Fall, later that year.
Commence soft jazz. A soft spoken poker expert quietly and hesitatingly patterns. Fausto hits the Just Hands podcast with now solo host Jack Laskey!
On this pod, Jack interrogates Fausto about a classic Fausto hand: crisp line work plus solid meta understanding.
At the Sands Casino, $2/$5 Full Ring
Fausto (1200) opens UTG2 to $30 with AdQc. HJ (1000) Button (1000) and BB (1200) call.
Flop ($120) Qd9h6h
BB bets $65, hero raises to $180, folds to BB who calls.
Turn ($480) Tc
Checks to hero who bets $300, BB shoves, hero?
Hands like this show both Fausto at his best, as well as the kind of dynamic play he teaches. How does Fausto deduce his opponent’s holding? Why does villain want to fight with Fausto for this one? How the heck does Fausto run up all those Instagram chip stacks?
Listen and find out.
It’s 2019, and three years now of serious and professional play for Fausto. Only now, he’s not the one going to the Solve For Why Academies, he’s the one sending students there. He’s an established pro, a popular coach, and yes, still a tournament dreamer.
But, he’s not satisfied yet, so it’s only appropriate he talk about where’s he at with fellow player and coach Chris Murray, aka Persuadeo. The two have talked poker and battled at the tables for years, with each one raising each other’s’ game in the quest for what matters at the poker table: Pride. (oh, yeah, and the dollars.)
On this podcast, Persuadeo asks Fausto about his highs and lows. Fausto describes the key moment in his career when he pulled it all together, shares his ambitions to get into bigger games and on streams, and hints to the universe that a nice staking deal is past due.
Bankroll is a big deal for full time players. Persuadeo questions Fausto on his choice to risk parts of his roll on tournaments. Fausto describes his management strategy.
The podcast finishes with an exciting hand, where Fausto once again exhibits a deep understanding of how his opponents think in order to pull off a risky bluff. Even Persuadeo is surprised at this one.