This week’s guest on the Life Outside of Poker series is Tristan Wade, who talks about his intention to get involved in a basketball training camp business and his love for music.
Wade is also the Director of Poker Operations, as well as a poker pro, for the WPTDeepstacks organization, but I have invited him onto the show to talk about his interest in basketball and music.
I believe you are on your way to New York to talk to some friends about a business opportunity involving basketball camps. Can you elaborate on that?
“I got a couple of buddies who are up in New York right now putting up a basketball camp. They are high school friends, and with the $10 million guaranteed coming up soon, I thought it was a great time to head to NYC – a place that I haven’t thoroughly explored yet – and talk some business with some old school friends. I am going to hang out with them, participate in the basketball camp and then talk some business.”
I believe one of your friends is causing quite a sensation on Instagram?
“His name is Johnny Stephene, but people might know him better as dribble2much on Instagram. He amassed around 500K followers after starting to post videos of his ball handling skills on Instagram. It just exploded. It worked out for him and he got a lot of pro athletes seeking him out. His business has really boomed over the last year. He is trying to build his brand called Handle Life and I am very excited to see where he takes his company. My other friend is Brian Macon (bmacfischer on Instagram).
“They offer training camps, at both ends of the spectrum, from the high end to the people who don’t have that much money. He is trying to do something bigger with his brand, other than training but these camps are some of the footwork he needs to do to build his brand.
“One of the best things my friends have done is positively affect the youth. They work with a lot of kids, as well as having their eyes on a lot of others. It’s good to know there are some good people helping out in the world.”
What’s your role?
“I used to play basketball in High School and have played through since then. I had a couple of injuries so never got to play at a high level. I love the game. Basically, I know these guys, I love basketball and they asked me for my help and advice. I will always help my friends. I think it’s a cool opportunity and it’s something I want to do.”
Where does your business acumen come from?
“I believe it’s been in my genetic make up since I turned on a computer at a young age. I always wanted to figure out the why and would always ask my parents why, why why? I created this thought process to work things out and break them down. I love businesses, companies, and figuring out how a business can be successful. I want to get more heavily involved in businesses – not just running one but the whole A-Z of business.”
You recently won a six-figure score at Palm Beach. How much of that goes towards your business dealings and how much to poker?
“I allocate it where it’s needed. Luckily, I don’t need to throw it all back into poker. I use the money for both business and poker and ideally what the best use of that money is at the time.
“I try to be smart about it. Businesses can be a gamble just like poker is. I have invested some money into the businesses I am involved in but I make sure I am never overspending or wasting money in any one outcome.
“The ceiling is only so high in the poker world. Only a very few players – the superstars of poker – the ones who have been on the right side of variance probably only have a few millions dollars in the bank. Now that’s a lot of money, but it’s not enough for everything I want to do in life.
“I definitely want to diversify and spread my money out into different places where I can make a much bigger return, and make more passive income over the long run.
“It’s very difficult in poker. Money comes and goes very quickly. Everyone has the dream to win that tournament for a million dollars, but that’s not the realistic side of the poker world. Tournaments are very high variance, you have to be very good to win and also get very lucky.
“You can grind cash games, and make a steady income, but unless you are playing in huge game you aren’t going to be able to make a lot of money. Very few people are doing so.
“It’s easy to get lost in the wave of poker. Money flows so easily in the poker world that you can lose your value of it. I think more people are beginning to see poker for what it is and not just this thing that’s glamorized by ESPN.
“My generation are the pioneers. We are the first players to play online and then travel around the world playing live tournaments. We busted our asses online, figured out the game, became great poker players, but the sponsorship deals aren’t there anymore. You have to figure out a way to make money outside of poker. Hopefully, we can continue to advise the younger players, and let them know what poker is really like.”
You also have a passion for music?
“I have always been very passionate about music. I always wanted to make enough money in poker to build a studio and start producing music. I made the money but didn’t build one, but I have been building one in my garage and adding to it over the years.
“It’s a hobby, but one that I enjoy. If it can continue to grow and spread and I can do something with it then great. I used to play the drums but I don’t play instruments at the moment. The music I make is electronic. I write music and I rap. I don’t know how to classify the genre that I am working on but it’s mostly hip-hop and RNB geared. It’s the creative process. It gives me the outlet to create and that’s why I love it.”