"I played that $160 like I played the $10k" – Jeremy Becker just wants to play

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: February 16, 2024 13:31 PST

11 months ago, most people in the poker community had never heard of JeremyBecker.

Since then, he's consistently made waves, winning daily and nightly tournaments at the Wynn, Aria, and Venetian on such a regular basis that hardly a week has gone by without his name in the headlines. Becker embodies the grindermentality to a T. In terms of volume, he estimates that in a two-week period he plays 13 of the 14 days and, keep in mind, this is live poker we're talking about. He's self-taught, built a bankroll from money earned as a caddy on the golf course, and his ambition might just take him to the highest level.

PokerOrg spoke to Becker about his meteoric rise within poker, his origin story, and his plans for the future – check out the highlights from our conversation below.

A chat with Jeremy Becker

Did you just win a Venetian tournament?

JeremyBecker: Yeah, last night. It went late, that's why I'm a couple minutes late here.

Right, the $400 NLH Epic Bounty.

JB: Once you're in the money the bounties are 500 bucks, so it kind of kills the prize pool, but it's cool if you knock a bunch of people out.

It seems like you did just that.

JB: Actually, I only knocked out like four or five... I'll take it, can't complain.

So, I want to ask a little about your background--how you got into poker, where you came from--because it's almost like you appeared out of nowhere around about a year ago.

JB: Yeah, I moved to Vegas 11 months ago. What do you want to know? When I learned poker?

Yeah, where you learned the game, how you got into it, anything like that.

JB: Me and my friends in middle school, high school – just degen gamblers. Anything really, like the next lady that walks around the corner what color shirt she had on for 100 bucks, super dumb stuff. So, I was always into gambling.

And then I went to college in Florida. I grew up in New York, but went to school in Florida, five minutes from the Tampa Hard Rock. I couldn't gamble there, you gotta be 21, but for poker, you only have to be 18. I had money from caddying, that was my job, at a golf course. For a kid, I doubt there's a better job, you know, you're just getting cash tips every day. I mean, it's hard work, but it's for sure worth it.

So, I had all this money saved up, and I started playing $1/$1, $100-max. I'd never heard of poker, I'd heard the name, but never played until college. It was never on TV where I grew up, so I don't know if I just never saw it or what. I knew blackjack, roulette, that type of stuff.

I lost every single day for probably two months. Eventually, I started getting the hang of it, you know? I was playing $1/$1 and once I built up to like $5,000, I moved to $1/$2, then got to $20,000 and started $2/$5. Yeah, honestly, I never really looked back, but it took a while to become a winner. I mean, I truly lost every day for a couple of months.

Oh, so you started out playing cash only?

JB: Yeah, I just grinded cash. Once COVID hit, I got into tournaments.

Then in May of last year you unlocked the cheat code, huh? You cashed in 18 tournaments and won six – what's your secret?

JB: I would always tell the people that I'm close to: if I get it in with aces versus your seven-deuce all-in preflop and you beat me; usually at low stakes the person with aces is going to be super upset and show it on their face, maybe talk about how unlucky they are. I would never do any of that. I say good hand, whatever. But then I'm texting my group chat, 'This is bullshit. It's the same thing every time. These games are rigged', you know?

I'd say I was on the wrong end of that for a very long time, but also, I used to not believe in this, energy and mindset is super big. So, I would get it in with aces and think I'm gonna lose, which is a terrible mindset. And I would lose. I believe in that energy and mindset thing. Now I try to get aces and think that I'm going to win. I'd say when that changed for me, when I stopped, I guess you could say, being a 'victim', thinking everything's against me, like it's rigged against me... yeah, that really changed.

I still lose with aces sometimes, but that's okay. And I don't text in my group chat. No more saying what bullshit it is. That's fine. It's part of the game.

I wanted to mention the volume you put in because it feels like you win a tournament once a week. Where are you drawing the energy from?

JB: I would say, [out of] 14 days I play 13 days.

That's crazy, how do you sustain that?

JB: I love it. I wake up, let's go, where's the tournament at? I truly love playing tournaments. If I won the lottery for $100 million tomorrow, I'm just playing bigger buy-ins. I'm not buying cars or houses, I just want to play.

A lot of people want to get into poker, hit it big, and get out. I love playing. And you know what, if I won that $100 million tomorrow and there's no big buy-in tournament, I'm playing the daily. No bullshit.

I have backing now for PokerGO stuff, big buy-in stuff. I had a day, it was in September, I busted two bullets in the $10k at PokerGO, went straight to a Venetian $400, busted, went straight to a Wynn $200, busted. And I still wanted to play, it wasn't even a tilt thing, I just wanted to play. I got into, just in time, the Resorts World $160 and that was my day. And, I swear to God, I played that $160 like I played the $10k. I don't think there's anyone else in the world doing that.

No, I don't think there is.

JB: I want to give a shout out – Eric Baldwin's pretty close. He'll do a $10k and then a $400, I've seen him do it. But I don't think he's got the $160 in him.

Respect for the shout out. What about study? Are you doing any formal study?

JB: Everyone's different, but for me, I'm a big trial and error guy. You know, I'm not scared to look stupid. I'll do some dumb stuff, get caught, and then be like, 'Alright, I'm not gonna do this again.' And that's my studying.

I watch the GG Super Millions, the final tables. I think that's why I do pretty well at final tables compared to the average person. And I watch the PokerGO final tables, that's my study. I don't even have a computer, so I don't have a solver, never even seen a solver.

Wait, you don't have a computer?

JB: No computer. I had one in Florida, but when I moved here, I don't know, I'm just lazy. I always say I'm going to get one and play online, but I've never played a hand of online poker.

You've never played a single hand online?

JB: The only thing I've ever done was during COVID when the casinos were shut down in Florida for two months, I four-tabled these hyper-turbo single table sit & gos on ACR. And it just wasn't fun for me. I did it for four days, I think I won like $200 and I was like, 'I gotta play live.'

What about plans for the future? What are you looking to play this year?

JB: Any no-limit in the PokerGO Studio. I've never played above a $10k yet. I almost did this past series too. I want to feel like I'm on a high and like I'm going really good. If I feel like I'm getting hot and I have confidence, maybe I'll play bigger than that, but anything $10k and below I'll play there.

What about the WSOP? You gonna play a full schedule?

JB: For sure a full schedule. Actually, last year, I did not have a good WSOP. I did good in the Main Event, but other than that, I really was out of it. I think I had COVID, some sort of flu, I was out of commission for like, two weeks. And really, I was out of it until that Main Event.

So, hopefully that doesn't happen again. I'd say if I get drafted in this fantasy thing, I will for sure be all over the WSOP. And if I don't get drafted, I would still try to lean WSOP, but I'll be all over town. Every World Series I say I want to go for the bracelets. And then three days in when the dealers are exposing cards left and right and I'm sitting 10-handed, I find myself at the Wynn.

Okay, last one for you--what are your overall ambitions in poker? Is there a number you're chasing or are you just playing to play?

JB: I would say right now – in $1,600s and below, $1,000s and below – I gotta be towards the top. If you ask a normal regular player, 'Who do you think is the best player at these stakes?' I would think I'm up there. Maybe they're just like, 'Oh, this guy's a fish. He's just running like God for a year now.'

I think it's been long enough that it's clearly not just run good.

JB: Yeah, but you always have haters and stuff. I mean, who do you say is the best in the world right now? They're gonna say Alex Foxen and Stephen Chidwick, guys like this. Right?


JB: I would like to be mentioned with those guys at some point. My goal would be to eventually be a regular in these PokerGO $10ks, $25ks, $50ks. I want to be respected with the best. But also, I don't care if one day I get to play those $50ks regularly. If they don't have that $50k, I swear to God, I'm playing the $400 at Venetian.