Family Sh**t Show Podcast
Co-Founder and CEO of The Poker People, Lara Gertzen, joins host Mike Caulo to discuss women entrepreneurship, virtual team building, and the impact of women at the
Cheers. That’s always my favorite way to start it. I swear. It’s not vodka cranberry. It it just looks like it on TV. It’s just a stage prop, right? That’s all it’s got little cranberry juice. We got our hydration on. So you guys might be wondering, hey, what’s going on? This is Gina and I figured, you know what, I’m going to pass this. You do the introduction. I’ve been building this up for two weeks. We’ve been talking about this. Gene is not feeling so hot, but we’re still going to hold it down. So I’m going to kind of kick it to you to do our introduction. Give us a little bit of who you are talking about, the company, what’s going down. And I’ll talk about obviously some of the things you’re going to talk about, some of the fun while we’re doing that, I’m going to also throw some messages in the chat, some information about your company, the website, and all that fun stuff. But you guys can also see below in the description on whatever platform you’re watching. Sweet. Well, super happy to be here, Mike. My name is Lara and I am I guess they call me the CEO. My nickname is Boss, but I’m the CEO of a company called The Poker People. And we offer virtual and in person poker tournaments, mostly team building stuff on the Internet for big corporations with remote workers. But our in person games in Los Angeles tend to be charity poker tournaments, which is kind of where my heart is. Been doing that since 2006. I really love the idea that I get to go to work and actually make a difference, raise a lot of money for a lot of really good causes. So it’s near and dear to my heart. We are a Los Angeles based company. We have an office in Las Vegas as well. I have a business partner. Her name is Pamela. She’s also a kick ass female entrepreneur. And she’s holding down the Las Vegas fort while I get to live beachside here in Los Angeles. Bam. Yeah. Speaking of the female entrepreneur side, that’s one of the topics I wanted to dig into. Also, I forgot Gina is really good at this of going over the ground rules. Amazon is a PG platform, so I only thought of it because you said the kick butt. It’s a nuanced thing, but that’s why we say Familyish instead of we’re going to try and keep the PG as best as possible because, actually funny story. I’m going to tell you guys two funny stories before we get into this. And I promise we’ll be on point for the most part. But it’s all about the stories, especially this is again, this is a podcast theme, right? So we’re going to be talking more. I have products in the carousel. I even threw in some cards and some poker related things that we can have for fun and just some fun activities. There’s like a really cool mental component to it. And then, hey, yeah, Pamela, I see you in the chat. She’s in trouble already. Yeah, Pamela. What’s funny is sometimes I will type in the chat as well as talk it out loud because some of the audience is just watching without the audio. So I find it helpful to type in the chat while also now you’re not going to see the chat. So on your side, if you’re looking at StreamYard, I imagine you’re going to look at the comments. You’re not seeing anything in our private chat. I sent you a link to the actual Amazon channel. That’s where you’ll see most of the chat happening on Amazon. Just a heads up because you’re probably going to look in the comments and be like, I don’t see anything. But on Amazon, you’ll see, like, that’s usually where most of the chat is happening. Also, guys, just real quick, we have a lot of fun topics we’re going to talk about, again, female entrepreneurship. We’re going to talk about how it impacts family. There’s a dynamic there. We’re going to talk about all the different constructs of how that can impact family travel. Again, going from LA to Vegas, being able to I wanted to also kind of look at the impact playing cards can actually have on our brain capacity on something called BDNF, brain derived neurotraffic factor, which is cool when you learn, like a new skill or a new game or you’re playing something like poker blackjack for fun. I’m not saying we’re gambling. There’s definitely no gambling here, Amazon. I always like to cover our bases there. And being able to have that new skill can actually increase brain activity, increased release of this thing called DBNF, which is a very cool dynamic. So anyways, with all that being said, I wanted to just throw that out there, bounce around. I’m going to type in thepokerpeople.com again. It’s in the description. I’m also going to put it in the chat as well here on Amazon. So with that being said, I’m going to let you kind of just pick your own journey, kind of an experience. Where would you like to start? I would love to hear or I’m sure the audience would love to hear you kind of explain, like how we got started or how when I say we like, it’s my company, I’m a part of this. But how you got started on the entrepreneurial side with The Poker People, maybe you and Pamela, some of the dynamics there, and then we can go into some other pieces where it takes us. Of course, happy to jump in. It is definitely an unusual place to find a lot of women. And I’m super excited that there have been more and more people in the more and more women playing poker and really love that. One of the things that got me into the game early was a good friend of mine, who was hosting games at his house. Our house actually, its my roommate, and they were all having a great time, and I kind of wanted to be a part of it. So I actually was off work for about a month with my arm and a cast. And I said, hey, Steven, teach me how to play poker. This seems like a ton of fun. You guys are having a blast. And so he did. And to this day, it’s been 20 plus years. I give him the credit or the blame, depending on how you want to go with it. And then from there, I just kind of moved on through. I started really enjoying the game, playing in the casinos, and ended up with an opportunity to start training poker dealers and ended up opening my own school. I did deal in the casino for a while and then decided I can teach people this skill and began training dealers and doing events. And just an FYI Mike, my video dropped completely, and so I don’t think you can see me now. I’m not sure if you can hear me. Good news. I can see you and hear you. Then I’m just going to fly blind for the rest of this. It’s going to be fun. You don’t need to see. All right, we’re on autopilot now. Fantastic. But anyways, yes. So I ended up opening a retail outlet in a dealer training school and found out fairly quickly that it’s pretty hard to fight the Internet when it comes to selling poker supplies. And so we backed off of that and trained dealers. Then I started getting phone calls for people saying, hey, can you send me a really well trained dealer to my party? And I said, sure. And we eventually started doing poker tournaments and charity fundraisers, and it just sort of rolled on from there. That’s beautiful. Also, really quick reread. Thanks for the follow. You’re going to notice, as people follow, I always like to. Now we officially did lose. Now we did lose the stream on Lara. I’m going to text her really quick. I know that I think her stream had a little bit of an issue on dropping that, but we’re going to get her back. Don’t worry. I’m going to text her right now. Dorothy, thank you for letting me know you guys can still see me, but I think I lost her. So we’re going to get Lara back on. Don’t you worry. We’ll get you back. I’m just texting her. Yeah, I figured, no worries. So she just texted me. She’s like, yeah, my whole system just crashed. I figured that’s what happened. No worries, though. We’re going to hold it down. Listen, one thing you guys know, for those that have watched this before, you guys know I can talk. And because this is a podcast platform, I mean, again, I do have all the products you’re going to see in the carousel. I do have here. Whether it’s from the cards. We have the table itself again, Lara is, again from ThePokerPeople.com. Unfortunately, I tried to drop it in the messages, but it seems it was against community guidelines. We can’t drop that particular messaging even though they have these products on the platform. We’re not talking about gambling. We’re just talking about playing for fun. Increasing brain activity, some of the charity components of what the business does. Shout out to Pamela as well. Lara’s business partner that was on the chat a little bit ago. Pamela, are you still here? Shout out to you. Appreciate you. I’m just going to cycle through some of these products kind of while we’re seeing now. In the meantime, I’m going to take it as an opportunity to just brag about her really quick, because the way we actually met is transparently. Was a client of mine. We work on health and fitness together and then still here. Friends. Yeah. Pamela, shout out to you now. Pamela, what I will say is I’m going to throw it out. There no pressure. Last minute invite. I can send you the link or Lara, continue the link. And if you want to jump in and join us too, you can. No pressure if you don’t want to, I’m sure you got things going on or whatever is going down. Maybe some people can be camera shy, so I totally get that. Respect that. But if you want to jump in as well, you always have the invite here. What I will say is it’s been amazing to be a part of this relationship with Lara and be able to see her not only grow from a health perspective and be able to be a part of this process, but to see the mental side of it. When I have to comb my hair, you can do whatever you want. I don’t even have hair. So clearly I don’t comb my hair. You don’t have to comb your hair. You could wear your hat. You could comb your hair. You could do whatever you want. I’ve had streams where we do, like, sleep routine kind of stuff when I just work pajamas, so it’s not a very formal one, especially when it’s just me when my cousin Gina is hosting with me. Gina is amazing and she’s very like. She’s great about the audio quality, video quality. I have the mic and the camera when it comes to me, dude, I’m pretty relaxed and laid back, but no pressure either way. I’m just saying you’re welcome, too. And I’m sure you guys would play well off of each other, but yeah, point being, you don’t have to comb your hair. That’s a long winded way of me saying you don’t have to comb your hair. I’m also going to highlight the under desk cycle. I was using this before. This is a great option for getting your cardio. And while you’re streaming or if you’re working at home or working at the desk, or anything like that. This one’s pretty clutch. I like this one. But again, that’s I think it’s super cool. I’m always intrigued by looking at again, we call this Real Family S**t because the dynamics and the overlaps. As an entrepreneur, I could speak to it from one perspective, but that’s just from my perspective. So I love when we have our guests onto here, especially entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs in this world, especially. I don’t know if this is true as much, but something I’ve talked to her about. Pamela, maybe you could speak to this in the chat a little bit on this idea of I don’t know how prevalent women poker players are in a professional setting. World Series of Poking we had a Zoom call with Daniel Negrano. I’m horrible at pronouncing names and I know Lara had a question for how some of the emotional intelligence closing things that have impacted his type of stuff. And I wonder just what’s the environment like from a female perspective. It’s inviting if it’s kind of like closed off because I know even in the martial arts world sometimes any world, I should say, really any environment, it could be a different experience, right? So I’m always curious what’s that experience like. And I don’t want to assume it’s like I don’t want to have preconceived notions. Basically my point. So I’m always intrigued to learn about those things. Also, fun fact, I’m looking through the carousel right now. Looks like we got like two different lightning deals. When I say lightning deals, that means that there’s a certain amount of a product that’s on sale. And once that amount of sales gets hit, the deal is off and it can be super intimidating. Unfortunately, yes. I appreciate you being transparent with that, Pamela. And I imagine that’s got to not only be difficult from the playing perspective, but even from then the networking and the business perspective and the integration, I don’t know, I could be completely wrong. So that’s why I like asking these questions and I appreciate you guys taking the time to jump on you being in the chat. Lara kind of coming on and working through her system crashing and kind of all that fun stuff and also talking about having a partner in all of this, having a relationship, having kids, having fur babies, having a family dynamic. That when you’re traveling. And also if we’re being real, being an entrepreneur can be stressful because at least when it comes to oh, snap, do I get you back? I got you back. I was just ranting while you were gone. I took it as an opportunity to just rant. That’s always one of my favorite things. I was ranting too, but none of it Amazon would like me to display. One of the things I was trying to talk about, the question I asked and the Pamela is in the chat kind of alluding to is some of the dynamics of especially from a female perspective. We can talk about the entrepreneurial space of it, but also just from a poker player or just the environment. She’s kind of saying it can be intimidating, unfortunately, or just maybe not welcoming. I don’t know if that’s maybe from your experience as well, because I have my own preconceived notions from my experience, especially as a male, but it’s obviously going to be different from your eyes. So I always love to see that and hear that. And I was also bragging about you a little bit. I was saying, like, hey, our relationship from like, I’ve really got to beat you as a coach, and it’s just been inspiring to be able to work with you and see the integrations into your own life, as well as the mental side of things as far as dealing with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, having a family dynamic, being able to have kids, having fur babies, being able to balance out all these things and bounce is maybe not a great word to use because I don’t know if balance ever really exists. I think that maybe is a myth at times. So maybe I’ll backtrack a little bit. Start with the kind of poker dynamic your experience from what that environment might have been like or is like, maybe it’s different now. I’m curious. Maybe when you first started to where it is now, maybe it hasn’t changed a lot. What’s that like for you? Actually, it has. When I first started playing, if I wanted to play where other women were at the table, it generally meant either my own home game or other home games that were kind of small stakes. And I enjoy playing with my friends for sure. But I also really do enjoy playing in the casinos and especially in some of the larger tournaments, because you get the opportunity to really sort of test your metal in an open field. And one of the things I absolutely love about poker is that it is a completely level playing field. Poker doesn’t care who you are, where you came from, how much money you have. If you’re tall or short or fat or skinny or anything, the cards are going to break the same way for everybody over time. But you have those small opportunities to leverage your advantage when you can. And it’s about being aware of your situation and seeing small opportunities to make gains. And ultimately, if you continue to do that, you will have all the gains you need to make it to the final table and sometimes win the entire tournament. And I find poker is a bit of a metaphor for life, for business, for fitness, for family relationships. That if you are situationally aware and you look for those small steps, those small gains, you will look back over time and realize you’re much farther ahead than if you were just waiting for the big leap. If I could just close the huge client and have the big account. I’d have 100K the end of the month. But if I could close six or seven small clients, you could actually have more than that. If I could join the gym and climb the mountain or if you just went to class twice a week. So a lot of it carries over. Went for an eight mile bike ride into the wind next to the ocean. I did yesterday. I did. And I only regretted it for, well there was one hill. But otherwise I was good. But one of the things I did thoroughly enjoy to get back to playing poker in the casino, because you asked me, like kind of past versus present for a long time, I was the only woman at the table, sometimes the only woman in the tournament itself. And that has definitely changed. And I think it’s fantastic. I’ve been called little lady. And I told Pamela recently a story about one of the very first tournaments that I was successful in. And I was down to just two or three players left me and a couple of guys. And the guy, I had a good amount of chips, but the guy that was close to me in chips, he was like, look, let’s just chop this. I know you got really far, but we’ll divide the money. We’ll call it a day. And you did great. Pat on the back. Exactly. I kind of fell for it. I was really a fish out of water. I had never gone that far in a tournament. And the other person at the table, the other guy was like, yeah, that seems fine. So I let them take my power in a way. I let them literally take my money. And we did divide the prize pool. And who knows, maybe I would have been the next person out, but maybe I would have won the whole tournament. And now that’s not a deal I’m going to make or I’m going to do it with all of the information. So growing as a poker player has been a lot of fun. And seeing the game evolve has been a lot of fun, too. There are more women that play now than ever before. It’s not unusual to have two, three, four women even at the same table. We ran a charity event the other day, which tends to have more female players, but there were nine people on the final table, and four of them were women. That’s awesome. And also, Pamela said something in the chat, like, “You did great… for a girl.” Right? Yeah. I feel we’re just reading that. I’m like, what? But I get that. I totally get that. As far as I could see, schmucks saying. Excuse me. Whatever. I don’t know if Amazon, we can say schmucks, but we’ll find out if we get taken down for that. That’s om me. Oh, wow. But I think that’s such a powerful point. You actually mentioned something, too, is like giving away your power, which and you also made this, again, this analogy, that metaphor, it’s not just poker at the table. It’s like for life, right? Where in our life are we giving away that power in certain decisions, maybe in business, maybe in relationships or whatever, and then we have this Zoom call, I don’t even know. Two weeks ago now I invited because of Daniel Negreanu. I wasn’t sure 100% what that was going to look like. You asked a great question, so I wanted to bring that question up because I thought it was really powerful, which is how does the emotional intelligence side of things and the progress there impact the poker game? And I wonder, I posed that same question to you from your evolution as a person, from your evolution and your experience from poker to life. How have you seen that? And you kind of already just alluded to this. But maybe to dig a little bit deeper there, what has stood out to you for that component of it is, like you said, not giving away your power, maybe building more confidence, being more just aware. Where do you see the overlap there? There is a concept in poker called tilt, and tilt is when you let your emotions take over and guide your decisions. Okay. Poker in its purest form is math. It’s extremely fundamental. There’s even a thing called game theory optimal, which is literally just charts of in this exact situation, in a computer simulation that’s run the hand 6 million times, what is the proper decision to mathematically end up on the right side over the long haul. But there are a lot of people who try to play that way. But over time, we’re emotional creatures. So you may start off in a tournament with the best of intentions. I’m going to play tight. I’m going to just stick with the premium hands and try to exploit them when I have the right situation. And next thing you know, you’ve had a cocktail or you’ve taken a couple of bad beats and you want to get money back. You want your chips back from that guy who sucked out on you, which is a poker term. Amazon is where the guy that beat you. I appreciate the clarity. No problem. And so when you let your emotions start guiding your decisions, you are then on tilt. And as a player, I recognize when other people are on tilt. And I have this little checklist that I keep in my wallet, and I read it on breaks, and it kind of reminds me of where I want to be, what I call my original mindset, the reason I sat down to play, the goals that I had for the game, how I’m going to get there, it’s got a little couple of affirmations on it, and it just helps me to kind of refocus. And once people lose focus at the table and they go on tilt, they’re not able to control those emotions. And that was sort of the core of the question I asked Daniel Negreanu the other day was based on his experience with the emotional awareness leadership training that he’s gone through. Does that help him read other players? Does that help him recognize when other people are making emotional decisions? And does it help him avoid making emotional decisions, as a poker player, he’s a joy to watch. He never stops talking. And he will use his words to draw out reactions from the other players, and he will figure out he will read them and he will figure out what their cards are and then tell them what their hand is out loud. And they’re just like, “aaaaah” they got nothing. You can’t fight that back when the person looks at you, oh, your pocket nines. Okay, I understand. And then they make the exact right play against pocket nines. And you’re like, oh, well, there’s nothing I can do about this. It’s like, cool. So I watched his documentary. Why am I drawing a blanket like the Poker Kid? Poker kid poker. Thank you. Yes, exactly. I just drew a blank. And that was, like, an interesting thing because they pulled some snippets from it in the documentary of him doing exactly that. It’s like, all right, so you got this and you got that. And they had, like, the first thing that he said. He was like, all right, so if you have this, this is what we’re going to do. You can see the mathematical systematic approach. And then even in that, again, that call he talks about, he aluded to this of like studying the numbers or studying the game. And I imagine systemology or no, I’m sorry, I’m butchering the word, but the systematic approach to being able to see it for that dynamic and being able to just be objective, but then get those reads, is Full Tilt Poker still a thing that was like a company, right? Full Tilt Poker. It was one of the big gaming sites before Black Friday, but they were shut down along with PokerStars on Black Friday. Pokerstars is back. Full Tilt was actually purchased by PokerStars as part of their deal with the Department of Justice. Poker stars agreed to make all of their players whole to pay them back the money that they had put in. I didn’t know that. All right. And that’s like, I never understood that term. I just thought that meant, like, hey, I’m all in. Yeah. Full Tilt is I’m all crazy. I guess a full send it emotional, like, kind that brings so much more perspective to that term, into that idea of hearing that. All right, well, that’s interesting. So now I kind of want to maybe take a couple of steps back and then look at taking that approach to poker and applying that to business and then maybe also applying it to your life. Where do you see the overlap there, because from what I’ve gathered, and I don’t want to put anything on blessed like, you have a great support system around you, you got great people around you, you’re a great person, obviously yourself. That’s why you attract that your life is what I would speculate. So I wonder where you see that overlap and was that always the case? Obviously, there has to be work to be done throughout all this, and it’s always an evolving process. I speculate. Poker and business are very related. There are a lot of tent polls that go through both of them. In business, you operate off of incomplete information. You are anticipating trends, you are operating under deadlines. You’re balancing the personalities of the people around you. And everything is changing all of the time. And you’ve got to be prepared for a variety of outcomes and honestly not afraid to take the leap when you need to. And for me, as an entrepreneur, I was destined to be an entrepreneur from a young age. Both my parents were business owners, and so for me, it was just like a no brainer. I started my first business in 7th grade and just never felt like it would be anything but a doable thing. Like, oh, I decided I want to do this thing. I went and bought all the teen magazines, and I opened up the staples, and I took out the articles on Don Johnson and Madonna, and I’m dating myself a little bit and the Corys and all that, and I piece them out. I sold them for $3 for the poster, $2 for the article, $0.50 picture, and became the middleman of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat magazine. And I literally just spread it all out on the table at my lunch room. And I remember I did it for a few weeks, a few issues in a row, and I was making money, and the principal pulled me into the office, and he said, you can’t do that. You’re like, what? It’s really cool, and I respect your enthusiasm, but you can’t sell magazines partsto the kids. And I had little file folders with each person’s name, each celebrity’s name on it and stuff. But to me, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. And my family has been chock full of entrepreneurs, so I’ve felt very comfortable in that scenario. And I never really wanted a, quote unquote real job. But I have to say that at this point in my life, I’m a terrible employee. I could never work for anybody else. But I have the most amazing group of people around me right now. Between my fantastic wife of 26 years and my business wife Pamela, her husband Scott, who is my brother from another mother. I feel like I’m Superman every day when I wake up in the morning because I think I can do and accomplish anything with these people around me. It’s been an amazing journey so far. And I’m super excited for everywhere and anywhere that it ends up. So I think that’s just a beautiful way to kind of, like segue into something that not that I’m hearing this. I’m just going to project maybe my own observations of other situations. Not that you’re saying this, but when it comes to any dynamic, any influence, whether it’s from an entrepreneurial side or like you have a family of doctors or lawyers or teachers, did you feel any, at least on a conscious level, any kind of pressure? Maybe pressure is not the right word, but maybe expectation or like you said, hey, this is what I’m going to do. Just like, I know I’m going to graduate high school. This is like a pretty obvious path. I wonder at any point at least that you can remember, right if there was an expectation or a pressure or if it was just like, hey, like an opportunity maybe is a better word that describes it. I’ve been kind of stubborn my whole life. I never really wanted to go to College. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just wasn’t very traditional about things. When I finished high school, I was working for Disneyland, which was a ton of fun, and it’s good to work in the park. I was actually in the wardrobe department, so I got to dress the characters, and I actually went on tour with them on a US tour and on a European tour. That’s awesome. And then I was kind of bored there, and I decided to get in the medical field, and I got my EMT certificate, and I started working on an ambulance running 911 calls. And that’s a very legit kind of a job. I was thinking about becoming a paramedic or a nurse. I started working at Children’s Hospital, so my family was very supportive because I was in the medical field. And I think that even if you don’t go to College or what have you, it’s still a respectable vocation with logical progression of steps. So I didn’t really get a lot of pushback from them on that scenario. But I definitely know what you’re saying about people that feel like they have to follow either the family business, which is really challenging for some people to grow up in a family business, and then they never get to choose. And it’s one thing if you pick the family business, but it’s another thing if the family business picked you and you have no choice. But I always tell people, just go travel, see other cultures, meet other people, expand your horizons, and then just do what brings you joy. The whole adage about if you wake up in the morning and you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, which “meh.”. I work. I love it, but I work for sure. For me, everything was very logical and kind of tumbled one thing into another. I actually hurt my wrist. And so the entire medical field was closed to me, literally in a day. And I had to kind of reevaluate what I wanted to do. And I was playing poker at that point with friends, and I thought I’ll go make some money in the casino. So I played for a living for a short period of time, which kind of takes the joy out of the game because you have to make money. You can’t just mess around and have fun. And then it sort of morphed into becoming a dealer, which I could still do with the wrist injury. And it worked out worked out very well in the long haul because I think I probably would have burned out in the medical field over time. That’s a keyword burnout. Yeah. And that’s why I was curious. So you mentioned burnout too. And that idea of no matter maybe what we do, there can be that burnout component, especially at least from my experience. I can only speak from that. And maybe I’m projecting here, but the idea of going so hard because we’re so passionate about what we’re doing, I’m sure it comes off even in the streams. And you know, this from us talking, it’s like I’m really passionate about health. I’m really passionate about lifestyle and some of the components there. Again, I haven’t mentioned this, the whole stream. I always like to mention this every stream. I set a big goal over the next two months, over 100 day period, we have two months left to impact 25,000 lives with our website, which is like right over here. I got to know where to point over there in the corner lifestyleofitness.com. Again, I don’t care about the money. We have our course. We could run everyone through you get free access to if you can’t afford to invest in it, obviously you’re not going to get the same coaching that other clients are going to get. But if you guys want to sign up or apply for a scholarship program will give you free access, we will help you guys out. I just want to impact 25,000 lives because I know when we impact 25,000 lives, money takes care of itself. And fun fact announcement update. We’re at 1952 lives impacted through the course and through that. So we still got two months left, and now we’re going to start. Basically, the goal is double it every single week until we hit that mark. But I just like to plug that every time, especially I’m on the platform for everyone watching streaming, all that good stuff. If you guys don’t want to reach out publicly, like you could reach out personally. We have the website, we have contact forms, all that good stuff. That’s my little segment plug right there. And that also reminds me for those that might be just joining, you can check out The Poker People.com. Unfortunately, when I tried to share it on Amazon, they just blocked. You can’t even say poker on Amazon, apparently. Fun fact. Just found that out the hard way. Put it in the chat on all the other platforms. You could see the link below it’s in the description. You could see LinkedIn, the website, all that good stuff. So let’s actually say I want to pause for a second. Let’s say someone wants to work with you. What’s the best way to go about that? The website? Or is it LinkedIn? And then what does that actually look like? What is some of the most common kind of situations, environments and clientele that you’ll have? Sure. Either one is fine. We’re on everything every day, all of the time. Yeah. You can always reach me through LinkedIn and there’s contact us forms on the website that will come straight through as well. We have basically kind of two channels that we’re in for our worldwide audience. I joke we’ve narrowed our business service area down to Earth. But we run virtual team building poker tournaments for companies including Amazon all over the country and all over the world, for Fortune 500 companies, Fortune 100 companies, and just fortunate companies. Anyone who has remote workers and needs to keep them engaged can definitely take advantage of our platform. Our games have live dealers, and we actually run it on our own private platform. The players never put any money in the company just pays us to host the same way you would pay a DJ or a caterer. And we run a nice party for them so they get to hang out, play cards. There’s live dealers on the stream that are able to help and answer poker questions, tell a few mostly true poker stories, and just kind of act, as we call it, a poker ambassador. So that’s our main product. That’s our virtual product. And then our in person events. We do primarily for charity causes in Los Angeles, but we also work with other companies and charitable causes all over the country. California, I believe Pamela just finished one up in Utah not that long ago. We’ve got some stuff coming up, possibly in New York. So maybe I’ll come and see you, Mike. That kind of stuff. So we’re kind of all over the place, but we’re growing and we’re super excited about it and just really happy to have a bigger impact. So one thing that I heard and I wanted to maybe highlight this and you could tell me if I’m missing the Mark or if I’m starting to steer it off. Here is the dynamic, because that’s why I think has been interested since over the last two plus years. The pandemic, all the situations here, even driving connection is more important component now than ever. And whether that’s the in person, the virtual dynamic of it. I thought it was very interesting. When I used to work for Noom, I worked with a health coaching company called Noom. I was a health coach for them. We looked at behavior psychology, behavioral change, and the importance of connection. And unfortunately, because of COVID, we didn’t have the same in person events and they did a lot of virtual things. That’s actually another one that I don’t talk to as many people from Noom nowadays, but I was thinking even for you, that would be an interesting dynamic. Anyways, I’m going to just tap into some of it. Your network drives your net worth. There’s always an expression I’ve heard which I think is very interesting and probably true in so many ways. But the idea of again, the benefits of socialize like productivity tends to go up for what I’ve seen in different studies and even seen from behavioral change in different organizations is being able to see camaraderie retention of employees because that’s a big shift I’ve seen in the last year and a half of this great resignation in this age group of the millennial generation. Even what I’ve seen, I don’t know. I haven’t checked as many of the references on that truthfully that’s I’ve seen a lot of YouTube content put out there. So YouTube is not always like the best reference point. I usually like National Institute of Health and verified peer reviewed journals. But for what my anecdotal experience of it is, if you can make your employees happy, you can drive social connection, you can drive those experiences. It’s going to overall increase that bottom line in a variety of ways. And I wonder if you don’t mind me asking, this is like when you talk to potential clients and stuff, if those are points that you highlight, what’s some of the biggest reasons people will come to is it like you said, I know it’s the virtual social component of it, but do they express any like, hey, have you guys seen this? Or like, hey, we’re doing it for this reason. If you can even discuss any of that, if that makes sense, we are approached by it’s usually someone in the Human Resources Department, Chief, People Officer, those kind of folks. And they are dealing with really challenging environments these days. Their job is to take a diverse group of people who are at home most of the time and help build genuine relationships between them so that they feel invested in each other and thus invested in their work environment and wanting to support each other in projects and in just everything you need to do to get your job done. And for us, we take our own medicine. We actually have almost 50 employees. We’re spread across nine States because we have our virtual engagement. So the majority of our folks are based in Los Angeles. But we do have employees everywhere. And we realize that we also have to do things to engage them. So we have held other kinds of events virtually that are not poker in order to keep our people engaged. So when we’re contacted by a company, we get it. We’re facing the same kinds of struggles that they are. It’s not good enough anymore to have a ping pong table in the office and pizza on Fridays. It just doesn’t work. People are demanding more from themselves, personally, from their employers, and just out of life in general. And I respect that, and I respect that these companies are coming through and saying, hey, you know what? Our people are important and we need to take care of them. How can your product help me do that? And I’m really proud that it does. It’s a little bit different than just jumping on to play like a trivia game or doing a happy hour or a coffee break or that kind of thing, because it’s structured, it’s got a framework. It’s like when you go work out, you’re not just going to walk into the gym and look around and pick up a dumbbell. You’ve got a system. You know, I’m going to stretch, then I’m going to do the big muscle groups, then I’m going to narrow it down. And the fun part about what we have is there’s a framework to it. So whether you’re the CEO or the summer intern, you’re on the same path as everyone else. You’re subject to the same luck, the same math, and you have an equal shot at the social environment that’s occurring on the Zoom connection or on the screen. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun. We have great dealers, and you get to come up with your own poker, handle your own poker, nickname, your display name on the screen. That’s good. And we started encouraging people who, like, go crazy, have fun, be as creative as you can in twelve characters or less. And then we started as dealers picking our favorites. And that’s been a lot of fun because I post the results on our LinkedIn and things, and we’ve had people come through with some really fun nicknames, things we never would have thought of. You know, everyone’s like, I’m going to be just Gimme Aces or King of the river or whatever. My all time favorite so far has been GoFeltAFish. Definitely top of the charts for me. But yeah, bluffing, Slayer, Bluffy Slayer. There’s just all kinds of fun things to let people be creative and enjoy themselves. And you’re just not going to get that in a traditional work meeting. Yeah. Pamela said CheckNorris. That’s right. Yeah. So, guys, I want to pause there because there’s a couple of things I heard that I think would be fun from an interactive perspective, because usually depending on what we’re talking about, depending on how the chat is, first of all, I appreciate everybody that’s watching, checking it out, popping in, popping out. Obviously support all the other streamers as well. That’s what’s cool. We have a cool community like shout out to Gina Capone, shout out to Christina Nietzsche. I was chatting in their chat before we went live. They were giving us a plug. I always like to support them and plug them as well. And everyone that’s live kind of have that community. If you guys are a streamer and you’re near, let us know in the chat. Also, if you are at a company or if this is something you’d be interested in, let me know. I’m curious. What do you guys think? What questions might you have let us know in the chat? No pressure. I’m just more curious. I like to figure this stuff out and then also let’s play a little game. If we can come up with some usernames again, it’s got to be what, twelve characters or less? You said twelve characters or less. Yeah. I’m going to challenge the chat. I don’t know. We’ll see. I feel like more people have been popping in and out. We’ll see how many people actually want to engage in that. What I’m going to do is I’m going to change the banner role here at the bottom so you can see it says, hey, talk live in the chat and follow. I’m going to make a new one right now. So I’m going to say share your favorite. It’s got to be twelve characters or less. Okay, favorite. We can aim for that. We can always let it slide just a little bit. Okay, lucky 13. Gina always my cousin. Gina laughs at me. She’s our co host. She’s like, Why do you talk while you’re typing? I’m like, it’s what I do. So you don’t miss any of the words, right? Oh, man, I put up. That was the wrong place. I meant it to be scrolling. Hold on. Let’s take this one. There we go. Now we got to make this scroll. I’m going to leave it up for a little bit. All the different commands and things. BLUFFaloSoldier. Pamela, nice Fuego. Post this out there. I want more of our regulars and the people are usually in the room. So this is what’s interesting. I don’t know if this is good or bad. Usually we have certain users and people in the chat. I can see their username and I know exactly who it is. I just remember people you usually kind of get like regulars or people that will be popping in. So I always appreciate the support from everyone. But I’d love to hear from you guys on what might be a name you would use in a poker tournament. Twelve characters or less. And then I guess a follow up to that and we’ll get back into the conversation and dig in. Stuff is what questions might you have, even if you’re like at a company? You think that would be cool? What would you guys like to see as far as with this type of environment? What drives your social connection? What are some events you’ve maybe had at work that you’ve liked, and then maybe some of those dynamics we can kind of get going in the chat? I always like to stir that up. So now kind of going back to that component, the connection, being able to not only do that in person as well as virtually, I kind of want to now go back. One thing, at least from my experience of what I’ve seen with us, conversations that I might be putting on blast here is like you travel quite a bit. So I wonder being able and I somewhat know this just because we’ve talked about this, but I like to ask it for the public is being able to find that dynamic. And again, because we’re Real Family S**t is name of the podcast, having those relationships in your life with your partner, with your family, with your kids, and being able to have that come together. I obviously got great support, but was that always the case? Do you have communications around this conversation? Was it like an ongoing, evolving process? What was that like? How did you get here? Because from what I experienced, you have great live here. I just drove a car. I don’t know. I actually can say that. I did some traveling growing up with my family. We moved a couple of times, so we were in different States and drive home to see family and whatnot. I’m originally from Minnesota. I grew up in Colorado, but I moved to California when I was a teenager. So I have little plots of family all along the way that I go and visit. But I met my now wife in 96 and travel has been a really important thing for her for her whole life. When you do that backpacking through Europe and College thing, she never stopped. And she’s an extremely independent person. And we first started getting serious. She said, look, I go on trips, I’ll leave for three, four, five weeks at a time. I go by myself, and it’s what I really, really like to do. If that’s an issue for you, this isn’t going to work. And so it was something that I had to kind of think about and be aware of. Am I good on my own? Do I need to lean on a partner all of the time or can I be a grown up all by myself? And it worked out really well. She would go on these trips. She’s been all over the world and it sort of opened up more places for me. I didn’t even know there was a Kazakhstan, and now I’ve been there. But as her trips have progressed, she’s said, hey, let’s go together on a couple of things. So she still does things independently even today. And we also travel together. And so that works out really nice. But it’s also given me the opportunity to say, hey, you know what? I’m going to go to Vegas for a week. And she’s like have at it, have a great time. She’s not a poker player, so she doesn’t really enjoy that kind of trip. And so I’m very confident to go out and do that on my own. And she’ll stay and watch the house and keep an eye on the dogs. And I’ll go mess around in Las Vegas for a week, or we’ll all go as a group. Pamela and her husband Scott and a couple of other friends of ours, we joke and refer to each other as the six pack. And we’ll go and do stuff together. We all went to Portland together, some of us on the train or we’re planning a New Orleans trip. So travel is a big part of my life. And I think that it really helps kind of keep me grounded in a lot of other ways because you’re just forced to interact with people and deal with situations and make plans and adapt when they change. I have this theory that everyone, when they finish high school, should have to go to College out of state or live somewhere else, away from your parents, away from your normal support system for a year so that you can kind of be enlightened and sort of just see how the world works. Travel is a huge part. It’s great now that Scott and Pamela live in Las Vegas, because I don’t have to pay for a hotel room anymore and I can just go out there. But yeah, I used to joke that I would go to Las Vegas and I stay at one of the hotels and I would play poker until I felt like sleeping, and I would sleep until I felt like playing poker. And then like four days later, I’d come home. So that’s kind of my jam. I love it. And I love that dynamic. And again, I go all the way back to that. The dynamic of power, meaning owning that maybe power. Tell me if this makes sense. I’m thinking about being able to have that support system. Being able to have that partnership allows you both to have this power and this ability and this freedom to not only support each other to do your own interest, but have enough security and understanding that you can come together and have experiences but also have individual experiences. And one thing I just saw in the chat, shout out to busy. Yeah, busy. I see you. That’s against one of our regulars in the chat, she also threw a username road runner. She said that was her dad’s old CBD radio handle. Cbd. Cb. Yes. I just said CBD out of habit of sure it is fine. Cb radio handle. Yeah, exactly. Let’s see. Hold on. What am I I supposed do to love the card table or love cards, but love. I don’t even know if I’m going to say that word. Pinocchle. Pinocchle. Yeah. Thank you. Pinocchle. Yeah. It’s a different kind of card game. Yeah. I was like, I can’t read, but. Yeah. Thanks for laughing. It’s been easy for bouncing. Yes. I’m just being a silly goose. And also saying you love the poker table kind of set up again. I have some kind of card playing products related to because I wanted to highlight some of those since we’re having you on and being able to dig into again, The Poker People.com. For those of you that are just joining, you can check that out. Great events, both virtual and in person to just drive connection to be able to have, especially here in HR. Like you’re saying, there’s a lot of dynamics at play there. So yeah, so we kind of touch on all that fun stuff. I kind of want to leave it to you to see if there’s anything. And yeah. Pamela, thanks for the follow, by the way, that you want to kind of either elaborate on dig into because we touched on the relationships. I mean, you kind of like knocked out of work we had on all this fun stuff. I also want to be mindful of time because I know that it’s been a long day, right? It’s been over a twelve hour day for you. I see you grinding. I see you kicking butt and taking names. I just want to say thanks for giving me a chance to come and be on the show and share and meet some new folks and get some more fun poker handles for our contests. I’m very grateful for where I am in my life. I definitely have weak spots and you never know where those are going to lead you. If I hadn’t been trying to make improvements in health and fitness, I wouldn’t have been able to meet up with you. And you’ve been a real joy. We talk pretty frequently. Some days I just text you and I’m like, I’m not coachable today, Mike. It’s not happening. I’ll talk to you in a couple more days. And you’re always super cool about that too. But I’m in a really good spot in my life, but I certainly didn’t start off that way. The same kind of story arc as how people grow in their poker skills, the story arc of how people get better in their fitness, get better and just making their choices. It just takes time to build all of that stuff. And I want to say thanks because you are always really good about being accountable. And one of the things that inevitably comes up in every conversation that we have, I’ll vent about what have you and we’ll work through stuff and then you’d be like, how can I help you get to the next stage? What can I do to make you more accountable for that? And it’s good to have a coach and it’s good to have friends that kind of help you to stay on the path and be encouraging without necessarily being judgmental. One of my favorite lines that I use all the time is make the best decisions you can as often as possible. And I think that works in poker, in business, in relationships and in fitness. All across the board. So thank you for getting me to say yes to this, because I think it was a good decision. Yeah, I just appreciate your openness. And that’s something that from a transparency perspective, I’ve always appreciated in our relationship beyond even just like, coaching clients from a friendship perspective. Fun fact. Guess what? You’re stuck with me for life. We joked about this in the past. This isn’t good. No, we’re okay. I thought I lost you for a second. I got scared. Don’t you leave me as I said that. Of course you just leave. As I was like, I just said that, and now you’re going to go. And that’s my thing. We’ve talked about this, and I never want a client for life, if that makes sense. Meaning, I want to get everybody and not just me. Like our entire coaching system, our whole philosophy is like, let’s get everybody to a point where you can fly free, baby bird kind of a deal. That doesn’t mean I literally have clients. I’m working for almost ten years just because they like that dynamic that you’re talking about. And even beyond, regardless of the coaching client dynamic, most of us are friends now. And that component that I always appreciate. And I’m just like, super. Now, again, you’re stuck with me for life, even if you decide, hey, we’re ready. You’re good. All those fun things. And then this is also my open invite for you to come back on, to be able to dig in, to share with us. And again, I’m super grateful. And I know Gina is going to have a bunch of questions because she usually tends to, like, jump in and watch. Also, I hope Gina feels better. She’s not feeling so hot, so she’ll be able to come back. We’ll have to have you come back on. And then, Pamela, you have an open invite, Scott as well. Everybody has an open invite to come hang out and dig into things, share their own experience. And then, yes, that’s my other question, too. I was actually just reminding my last question. One thing that you kind of offered up or have the services to do is, again, those virtual things. So I’m wondering who would be interested in that? Maybe we’ll do some version of that on a podcast. We’ll talk about that behind the scenes, figure out what’s possible, how we could do that, and figure out how we can even get everybody involved and promoted from if you guys have a company or if you guys are part of companies that think you benefit from that. I’d love to connect you guys obviously in support. And with all that being said, again, you could check all The Poker People.com we have LinkedIn social media is in the description below on any of the other platforms except Amazon. Amazon’s, apparently a little fussy about dropping poker and websites. Pamela says that would be fun. Pamela and yeah, just again go support guys even if let’s say you’re not doing that right now. Check out LinkedIn. We have all the information. Check out the website, share it. It’s always greatly appreciated. I appreciate you guys for the community we have here. Very supportive and that’s really all I got. I just want to say thanks one more time and we’ll bring it home. We’re going to do like an outro video and then you hang around for like a minute or two and share some fun stuff with you. But I mean, I think that might do it. Everybody. I’m going to give everybody a cheer. Pamela thank you for hanging out in the chat as well. Hanging out with us. Answering my question next time. Pamela yeah, that’s what you I was joking before when you went out and like, hey, listen, you could still come on do I have to comb my hair and stuff? And then busy says, yeah, I love the community. I didn’t catch a lot but what I did. Thank you. Yeah, busy, I know you kind of came in at the end but we were just talking about again having Lara as a guest and being able to talk about The Poker People.com that’s her company as a female entrepreneur. Her partner Pamela business partner Pamela is in the chat. I don’t think Scott was on. We’ll have him come on on Amazon as well. We’ll have everybody come and do a guest breakdown and then the big thing I wanted to highlight is just the dynamic of, like social connection in an in person or virtual dynamic and facilitating that the best way that we can. Yes, totally. A rock star, Pamela says you’re a rock star, by the way and that’s obviously yes, you are. And then yeah, busy says I will check it out. Thank you. Yeah, of course. I always appreciate the support, busy. With that being said again, we’ll get the outro. Cheers everybody. Thank you for hanging out with us and we’ll see. I’ll be back with Gina tomorrow probably for our next stream. So everyone see if I get the outro going here, we’ll get this down. All the buttons.