140 – Vanessa Kade – The Power of Putting It All Together

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As a self-taught coder, Vanessa Kade started her career in the video game industry. She discovered poker at the office, where her co-workers would regularly play a quick sit-and-go during lunch. 

After years of grinding live games, Vanessa switched to online in order to give Twitch streaming a try. It was then that she realized she could no longer coast on intelligence alone and needed to put in serious work if she was going to be successful in the game. 

After a “simulation-like” run that saw her speaking out against misogyny in the poker world and getting an ACR contract, Vanessa capped it off by taking down the PokerStars Sunday Million Anniversary Special for $1,514,920. 

In this episode, Vanessa joins Elliot Roe to discuss the emotional roller coaster that played out like a fairy tale and culminated in the biggest score of Vanessa’s career.

[01:02] Welcome to this episode with guest Vanessa Kade

  • 1:54 The beginning of Vanessa’s poker journey.
  • 4:35 Moving from video game production to professional poker. 
  • 6:13 Making the switch from live to online poker and Twitch streaming. 
  • 7:31 The realization that coasting wasn’t going to cut it anymore
  • 8:23 How Vanessa approached serious study for the first time. 

[10:56] How this new approach prepared Vanessa for her deep run in the Sunday Million

  • 11:42 What it feels like to win $1,514,920 and how Vanessa plans to spend this huge score. 
  • 14:24 How Vanessa handled the emotional roller coaster starting the final day and playing down to the win. 
  • 16:02 The surprising reaction Vanessa had the moment she shipped the tournament. 

[16:54] The simulation-like lead-up to this tournament win. 

  • 18:50 Who will play Vanessa when her story gets turned into a movie? 
  • 19:18 Vanessa’s advice for poker players who are struggling with a bad run. 
  • 22:07 Vanessa’s new contract with ACR.

[23:48] Vanessa’s plan for the rest of 2021 

  • 24:28 Playing her first $25,000 in Florida.
  • 25:19 Playing a full schedule at the WSOP.

[27:02] Wrap-up—thanks for checking out this episode!

3 Key Points

  1. Poker is not a game where you can get by on intelligence alone: 10-15 years ago, anyone who was reasonably intelligent could jump into the game and find success relatively quickly. In today’s game, intelligence alone isn’t enough. To have any longevity in the game you need to put in work on both your technical and mental games with a focus on consistent improvement.
  2. Each hand is a new puzzle: No matter if it’s the first hand of a cash game session or you’re at the final table with 1.5mm up for grabs, your job as a poker player is to solve the singular puzzle that is in front of you at this moment. When you find yourself being overwhelmed in big moments, use this as a mantra that brings you back to the task at hand.
  3. The decisions you make after hitting a big score are just as important as those you make leading up to one: An often neglected skill in poker is how you handle your money after hitting a huge windfall. Whether it be a big run in cash games or a huge tournament score, successful players often cost themselves big when it comes to money management. When you hit a windfall, take some time to make a well-thought-out plan, and get outside advice on what stake level your skills warrant. Just because you have a huge bankroll doesn’t mean you have the skill to play at the highest levels.


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About the Author Elliot Roe

Hi, I'm Elliot Roe... And I Help Poker Players Squeeze Every Ounce Of EV From Their Poker Skills and Abilities. Over 7500 poker players have downloaded my Mindset MP3s to boost their focus on the table and to relax and recover post-session. I have personally worked with hundreds more on mastering their emotions and the tabling and developing the “Pro-Athlete Mindset” needed to be successful into today’s games. Creating a strong poker mindset has been the “secret weapon” of the high stakes elite for years now, and I started this site to bring that edge to any player willing to work on that area of their game.

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