Dan Colman video interview pt 2: “Poker is always evolving. Stay learning, stay hungry”

Dan Colman, interviewed here for the Paul Paul Poker School, is ranked third in the world in live tournament earnings. Paul Phua picks three key tips on poker strategy from the video

A few weeks ago the Paul Phua Poker School presented a video interview with Dan Colman, the poker prodigy who has won more than $28m in live tournaments at the age of 26. Watch that video, and read about Dan Colman’s poker career, here.
I am delighted now to put out this second video interview between myself, Paul Phua, and the reclusive young poker pro. These are some of the important lessons to be learned from it:

Adapt to changing poker strategies

Dan Colman’s chief message here is one close to my own heart. You know that famous phrase, “poker takes a few minutes to learn, and a lifetime to master”? It’s true! I have played for years, against top pros like Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and Dan Cates, and still find there is so much more to learn. Part of that is because, as Dan Colman says here, “poker is always evolving”. He doesn’t mean the rules of poker, he means poker strategy.
Terms like 3-bet and 4-bet and Game Theory Optimal, or the software that pros use to analyse the mathematically perfect strategy and the odds in any given poker hand, were unknown when more experienced pros such as Phil Ivey were starting out. Poker strategy is changing all the time. It’s our aim at Paul Phua Poker to help you keep on top of it. If, like Dan Colman, you are prepared to put in the effort to learn, the rewards can be great.

Seek out poker strategy advice

Also, remember that articles and videos are not in themselves enough. You know that old phrase, “two heads are better than one”? It’s a good idea to seek out the advice of friends who also play poker. It’s even better if you can persuade a more experienced player whom you admire to give you advice on problem hands.
I have been lucky enough to play against some of the best in the world. I am still humble and attentive when players like Tom Dwan comment on a hand I have played, and give tips on how I might improve my poker strategy in the future.
Even Dan Colman, despite his prodigious success, is happy to ask for a second opinion. As he says in our video interview, “A big part is having friends that are very good players and even better than you to where you are telling them a hand or why you did something then they can be critical of it and say, ‘No, I wouldn’t do that, I don’t like your play’.  Then you can think ‘Hmm, maybe you’re right’ and then work on that. So it’s important to talk poker with other good players.”

Vary your poker playing style

The other thing I enjoyed in this video interview was talking to Dan Colman about poker playing styles. We all evolve a poker playing style that suits our temperament: some are naturally more aggressive, some naturally tighter. Both styles can be effective when used correctly, against the right opponents at the right time.
But sometimes we must vary our poker playing style. As Dan Colman says in our new video interview, “How I play really depends on the players at my table, as well as my stack size and the payouts [in a tournament], because depending on if there’s a big pay jump and my stack is pretty short I might have to really be cautious and try to advance up the pay ladder. But when you have a big stack you can just put on a lot of pressure and win a lot of pots uncontested.”
There is another point to consider. As written in a previous Paul Phua Poker blog, sometimes we must do the unexpected to make money and win the pot. Or, as Dan Colman, memorably puts it, he will “zig when they think I’m going to zag”.
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Who is Daniel Colman? Poker player profile

  • Born in 1990, Daniel (Dan) Colman was talent-spotted as a teenager by poker pro Olivier Busquet, who became his mentor
  • He became the first online hyper-turbo poker player to win more than $1 million in a year
  • He won his first WSOP bracelet, and $15.3 million, in the Big One for One Drop poker tournament at the age of 22
  • Daniel Colman has more than $28 million in live poker tournament earnings, ranking him third in the world