Everyone in poker has a weird story about how they got into the business. Whether it's a casual player or pro or poker dealer or poker media twerp, everyone had come from some other place in life. Unless your name is Todd Brunson, no one is actually born into the poker world. And if you talk to Texas Dolly or Todd, both would tell you that poker was the last thing Dolly wanted for Todd. The older Brunson wanted his son to stay in school at Texas Tech. But when you got gambool in your genes, it's tough to ignore your calling in life.
Marle Cordeiro has become one of the most popular poker vloggers on YouTube. Her videos are funny and direct, but accessible for all audiences. Her journey into poker is quite extraordinary. She recently posted a new video detailing her rise. It's titled "Becoming a Poker Pro" and lasts 15 minutes.
Marle lived in Las Vegas for a hot minute in her teens. I always wondered what it would be like to grow up in Vegas and actually go to school on the outskirts of Sin City. Marle's father was a poker pro. Sort of. She grew up in New England (somewhere in the Boston area) and her father had a hankering for poker. He played a lot of limit hold'em at Foxwoods during the early days of the poker boom. That's at a time when you could find juicy mid-stakes limit hold'em games, especially at Foxwoods. The elder Codeiro decided to quit his job and try to grind out the limit tables at Foxwoods.
The commute was hell. Boston and Foxwoods is not a long distance, but traffic can be hellacious. Her father made a command decision to move to Las Vegas so he could live closer to a casino and find more action. Marle joined her father and moved to Vegas when she was 12.
Marle and her family lived in Vegas for a couple of year while her father played mid-stakes hold'em at the Bellagio. He last two years before he busted his roll. The Cordeiros had no choice but to move back to Boston. They moved in with her grandmother.
During her time in Vegas, she had some photos taken by a professional photographer. She used those headshot to find a modeling agent in Boston. She found work and it could not come at a better time. Her unemployed father drove her to photo shoots during her final high school years in New England.
Marle devised a plan to move to NYC to pursue modeling full time after she graduated high school. Her agent said it was a bad idea because she lacked the proper height to be a model. Marle was too short at 5-foot-7, so her agent recommended going to school instead.
She went to college in NYC and pivoted to acting. She booked a couple of commercials and went to acting school. She started dating a commercial actor and they made short films together. During that time, she did some stand up at open mics around NYC. She also dabbled in writing pilots and scripts. Marle admitted, she was "all-in on creative shit."
However, it wasn't exactly easy street. She was a struggling creative person in an expensive city. She "hit the wall" in the same week in which she broke up with boyfriend and found out her mother committed suicide. The double whammy was one of the reasons she decided it was time to leave NYC. She headed West and moved to Vegas. Again.
Marle's father had relocated to Vegas again. She waited tables and started playing poker in the down time. She started out in very low stakes $1-3 NL. She moved up to $2-5 at Bellagio and started dating a poker player. She credits that he and his friends assisted immensely in her development from a dilletante to legit player.
After two years working in Vegas as waitress, Marle quit her job to play poker full time. She got a stake from friends and started playing cash games. Her backer gave lots of coaching and thorough hand history analysis.
After a while playing low stakes, she was barely breaking even despite putting in long hours over. After five months of playing nonstop poker, she described her status as "negative broke". She was struggling and had mini-breakdown. At the same time, her boyfriend went busto playing $5-10 NL.
They hit a desperate moment. They were short on rent one and had to figure out what to do in the future. Her friends and boyfriend suggested she should quit poker. They said she had some options as a poker dealer or bottle girl at a club. She did not want to return to waitress life. She got angry and hunkered down. She "almost overnight started winning" as she explained. The rest is history.
She said nothing changed much strategy wise, but it was more of a mental change. She got in the zone and finally started winning.
"Fuck 'em. Fuck everyone who is like 'Nah!' You do you."
Now whether or not other people should quit their jobs to play poker, she gave a disclaimer that, "Poker is tough, a fucking shitshow."
It's true. But I always advise people to keep your day job and to play poker on the side. That helps keep you sane and grounded. Even the best of the best can't run good forever. Even Erik Seidel had a couple rough years just before the boom happened. But not everyone has the mental toughness, discipline and bankroll management skills like Seidel.
Watch Marle's latest video here...