Maxim Katz – a poker genius
Recently, it has become fashionable to understand politics. People subscribe to various authoritative speakers on Internet sites, who try to explain in an accessible way what is happening around us in general and what the truth really lies in. The name of Maxim Katz broke into the media space about 13 years ago. Now he is known as a public and political figure, as well as as the author of the eponymous YouTube channel, where there are more than half a million subscribers. But few people know that Maxim Katz gained popularity initially, not thanks to Youtube, and not even thanks to Navalny. Katz became widely known in poker, becoming the champion of Russia in sports poker in 2007.
Maxim Katz and poker: how did it all start?
As Maxim himself tells, in the intervals between conquering the entrepreneurial peaks, and at that time in the middle of the 2000s, Katz was doing business on coffee machines; he decided to find a hobby. He stopped at poker and downloaded the poker client of PokerStars. Initially, Max played for virtual money, and his father, who was responsible for strategy, helped him.
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At some point, Katz became more seriously interested in poker. Together with his father, they began to study theory and special literature in depth. And then it turned out that poker can be more than just a hobby. You can make good money on it. Especially when you consider that poker was regarded as a pleasant pastime for most Russian players, and in fact, no one knows how to play it correctly.
After this insight, Maxim Katz switched to playing poker for real money. As Maxim admits, he was disliked in the poker community. And to be even more precise – people were offended. They did not like that Katz perceives things with a special business approach, including simple mathematics in his head and structuring information. This is how he remembers that time:
“It turned out that it was enough to read a few foreign articles to win $150,000 per hour on these tables simply.”
Maxim Katz: the road to the championship
Maxim Katz’s first poker tournaments began in Russia; all of them were ruthlessly won. The stakes had to be raised, and Max flew to Las Vegas for the World Championship. But he was unlucky there.
In 2006, poker was recognized as an intellectual sport in Russia, along with chess. There was an official Sports Poker Federation, which organized the first championship. It was there that in 2007 Maxim Katz became the first champion in sports poker in Russia.
After that, Katz abandoned his professional activities and began to sponsor other players. For some famous poker players, he became a mentor, for example, for Evgeny Serebryakov and Vladimir Kochelaevsky. With the participation of Katz, Serebryakov became the winner of one of the stages of the WPT in Las Vegas.
Important rules for a poker player from Maxim Katz
Maxim Katz believes that the most important thing for a poker player is the ability to control his emotions. Decisions should be made exclusively rationally, without giving over to emotional impulses:
“You can play for a whole month very efficiently, constantly win, and then one time make the wrong emotional decision, and all your income for the month will go down the drain.”
According to Katz, poker teaches you to evaluate all the chances, not at the moment of the game, but in advance; it teaches you to understand the probability of actions and subsequent moves in the long term. In poker, it is necessary to make sure that the opponent makes unfavorable bets for himself.
In addition, poker is able to equalize all layers of society. As Maxim notes, everyone is equal at the poker table at the start, regardless of social status, whether you are just a student or a rich businessman. If a student studied strategies for several years in a row, read a lot of books on poker and was inspired by the game of professional poker players, and a businessman came to play just for fun, then the student will hit the jackpot.
“To play poker well, you don’t need to have any special natural qualities. A simple desire to learn and carry out appropriate work on yourself is enough.”
For novice poker players, if they want to achieve real heights and money respectively, Maxim Katz would also advise them to use training poker projects or find a good coach.