3 Things That Shocked This Chess Master Turned Poker Pro

The newest course in the Upswing Poker library comes from a chess master turned high stakes poker pro.

Alex Vuilleumier achieved the title of International Master and a rating as high as 2400 in competitive chess. In poker, Vuilleumier is a WSOP bracelet winner, with a resume that includes more than $2.2 million in tournament earnings.

Alex’s chess background forms his unique approach to poker, and he brings that approach to you in his new Precision Poker course. The standalone course debuts on February 19 at Upswing Poker. Join the waitlist here!

In his first Upswing Poker video, Alex shared 3 things about the poker world that shocked him as a player who transitioned from chess.

1. The Prevalence of Money

Alex says the number one thing that shocked him about poker culture was the prevalence of money. Money sits at the heart of poker success (and failure), yet many recreational players have no problem losing money in exchange for the opportunity to play the game. 

In Alex’s words:

“Why should (money) be the only measurement tool? Why should recreationals be happy to lose, let’s say, $200 on a Friday night? Why should they think that is better than going to the cinema ten times, or something like that?”

Over time, however, Alex formed his own answer to that question.

“Because (poker) is a beautiful game,” Alex says. “Because it is fantastic; they will be cognitively challenged. There will be psychology. There will be feelings; their heart will pump, their blood will flow.”

The prevalence of money in poker contributed to an overall culture shock effect for Alex when coming from the world of competitive chess.

2. Lack of Individuality in Poker

Alex contends that most people who try to achieve success at poker copy what works for other successful players. They watch videos and take courses that feature poker pros explaining their own methodology, and the student is trying to replicate that as closely as possible.

“People aren’t ambitious enough to try to do something new,” Alex says. “But also, very often, they aren’t curious enough.”

“Poker isn’t seen as an art, but more as a science. The difference in chess; every player in chess wants to create a novelty. Every player on Earth is trying with a computer to find something new. There is the quest of excitement and curiosity. Whereas in poker there is a lot of copying.”

“If you think about Isildur’s overbets, or Linus introducing the 10%-pot bet, they invented something and they stayed. And that is a way to be happy that doesn’t exist in poker enough, making the poker theory advance.”

3. Lack of Happiness

The world of competitive chess can be extremely stressful. The best players are often already competing for world championships and tens of thousands of dollars by the time they’re teenagers, and that stress persists throughout their careers.

Poker doesn’t have to be like that according to Alex.

“You have the pleasure of working at home and trying something, or being able to read your opponent, calling with queen-high and it’s working. Both of these elements will give you a spring of dopamine.”

“The ultimate goal is to combine both. To work on something at home, but also be able to adapt it.”

Precision Poker Launches February 19th

Alex’s upcoming Masterclass on Poker Methodology goes live on Upswing Poker later this month.

You can get on the waitlist now for this course, which aims to be unlike anything seen before in the realm of poker training:

precision poker waitlist with up branding

Keep an eye out for more of Alex’s free content on Upswing Poker in the run up to the February 19th launch.