Cullen Connors, aka Cumicon, won his way to retirement at the age of 30 by spending over 5 years playing the heads-up (HU) Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) games online at mid-to-high stakes. Although an American citizen he spent his days in Canada, sitting in his computer chair waiting for action 10 hours a day. Why would he wait for action and not spend those days in the pit, grinding it out? That’s because Cumicon knows something the vast majority of players, even winning ones, don’t: how to win big.
A little about this man’s amazing accomplishments, he profited at a staggering rate of 25bb/100 over 1.3mil hands of HU PLO resulting in over $7,423,000 in table winnings. With rakeback included we can safely assume he walked away with at least $10mil of profit in those 5 years. This is the stuff of legends; these are the stories that made the poker boom in the 2000’s so infamous and seemingly mythical; this is what people have been saying is impossible to do in today’s games since the late 2000’s; this is what this man DID between the end of 2012 to the end of 2017.
So, what got him on his way to these enormous winnings? Well he started off playing HU no-limit hold’em (NLHE). After grinding that for several years and making a good living, he noticed that the games were becoming more and more reg infested. He saw that the waiting lists for tables with fish seemed like they would never give him a chance to play anyone except for regs. Looking for more action, he looked over at the HU PLO tables. What he saw would make him abandon the game of NLHE altogether.
“I thought I’d just learn enough PLO to just bumhunt it”, he says about starting the game. Let that sink in. This man, who won over $7.4mil at the tables, learned the game going in just enough to bumhunt it. Going on he describes how he went and purchased some HU PLO coaching videos from a world-renowned PLO player to get an understanding of the fundamentals of the game and off he went… To win over $7.4mil at the tables!
He goes so far as to say that he spent NO time studying off the tables as well after learning the game. He didn’t spend his days examining every single spot or putting every range of every spot ever into a solver and attempting to memorize and drill it to compete at the highest stakes. He didn’t waste his time battling for the sake of it over some micro or even non-existent edge and hoping to grind out a small win-rate or relying on rakeback. He spent his time wisely.
During an interview with him and Joe Ingram (aka Papi, aka Chicago Joey, aka AYYY JOEY) on his podcast he gets “accused” of being a bumhunter. His response to such a slanderous and obviously ridiculous accusation about him as a high-stakes HU PLO crusher?
“There’s a limited amount of tables and pretty tough competition for them, you have to play regs to get the tables. But for like the last year or two I have pretty much been a bumhunter.” He goes on to explain the reasons why, “…most of the action now is probably in zoom where you’re mostly going to be playing regs as well, since there’s like one fish entry and then four other regs and two entries in the pool… Now that it’s zoom, there’s no real battling at all between players. It’s just like, a fish is in the pool so then like regs just flock to it. Then the fish leaves and it’s over.”
Read that again. One more time. The fish gets in the pool, the sharks follow, the fish walks home, the sharks go back to waiting for more fish. The sharks aren’t attacking the other sharks! Why?! I don’t know, I’m far from a high-stakes HU PLO crusher. I can just observe and report, and my report is clear: sharks don’t try to eat other sharks, they lurk around waiting for a fish to come into their waters then eat.
If only that was that easy though, just beat the fish! Easy game! Except you have to find them and keep your spot. At Cumicon’s level that requires being logged into multiple sites for give-or-take 10 hours a day. He also had to be competent enough to “hold down” his tables from other sharks, this means being able to let them know playing him simply isn’t worth their time and to wait for another table.
When Cumicon was speaking about it I was reminded of bears on a river, two at different ends of it swiping up fish to eat. When one bear starts going to the other bears spot, he has to stand up and roar and let the other bear know that that’s his spot and it will be a fight if he wants it. However, this doesn’t mean the defending bear is always going to win the fight, or even be a favorite, it just usually isn’t worth it to fight for that spot. One is simply risking and doing so much for such little reward more-often-than- not. Most bears know there are usually other parts of the river to get fish and move on.
Besides that, he was a man on a mission. He put a monetary goal in his mind and says he put in as many hours as possible until he attained that goal. Initially, he thought it would take 10 years, it took him 5. This is because he completely dedicated those 5 years to get there. Yes, it sounds like a sacrifice because it was one. Something must always be sacrificed or given in order to receive something, usually, the more you give the more you receive. This man gave 5 years to solid grind time for a lifetime of financial independence at the age of 30. Sounds like a pretty +EV trade to me personally.
Cumicon isn’t some unicorn however, there are players out there making high six-figures consistently year after year online. How are these sharks doing it? What is the secret that sets the 3bb/100 winners apart from this 25bb/100 absolute crusher and those like him? Well, he told us. Play in good games and pools with fish, have a solid fundamental understanding of your game so you can hold your own while you wait to get paid by the fish, and put in the hours and time. Fortunately for you and I there is no one better to learn the game of poker from than BestPokerCoaching.
by Thomas Snyder
A little about myself, my name is Thomas, or “ursobadbruh”, and I’m from Florida, USA. I got the NoBS guide and preflop chart (back when they still charged for it!!!) 2 years ago. Simply relying on that I have won at a rate of 3.39bb/100 over 129,000 hands at NL2 and NL5 with no idea of table selection whatsoever and getting lines from the NoBS guide wrong (with the knowledge I have of it now I’m sure it will skyrocket, I really had no idea how important table selection is. Big winners consistently coming out and saying the same things time and again finally made it click for me.). I had to take a hiatus due to personal reasons but have returned to poker and jumped in line for their CFP Special Forces program as soon as I got the e-mail. I did so in order to get a better understanding of the game by ironing out the fundamentals and starting to learn the rare exceptions. After my results from the NoBS guide and preflop chart alone, it seemed like way too good of an opportunity.
I hope what I was able to learn from Cumicon’s interview and results helps any of you reading this to remember the four main things I think it will take to be a big winner in today’s games: play in good games with losing players, don’t get into “reg wars” or battles, have a solid fundamental understanding of your game, and put in the volume. One last and very telling thing, his biggest poker regret was leaving money on the tables by not staying current on HU NLHE so he could continue to bumhunt it!