|About - The Coaches|
Poker Coach Jim Bucci continues to play professionally while taking on selected players for poker mentoring. Jim's coaching and training focuses on the finer points of playing winning tournament poker.
His tournament record and resume includes numerous final tables in the games of HoldEm, Omaha, Omaha8, Stud-8-or-Better, and 7-stud. He's won limit, pot-limit and no-limit events during a poker career spanning over 25 years. See some of Coach Jim's record at the Hendon Mob Site.
Over his poker career, Jim Bucci has "made the money" on five different occasions at the World Series of Poker.
Jim first tournament win was the Pot Limit Omaha Event at the World Poker Finals in 1993 at Foxwoods.
Coach Jim's Kind of Poker Students
Jim is looking for players with high potential who are ready to learn, goal-oriented, and in sync with his coaching style.
Jim's style of coaching includes:
A typical student of Jim's will experience an initial phone consultation followed by immediate observation of online play.Coach Jim and Baseball
Coach Jim was very athletic in his teens and twenties and played a lot of baseball. He got quite good at it.
In the late 1950's and early 1960’s, Sandlot Baseball leagues were very prevalent. So prevalent in fact, that many corporations and even unions had their own baseball teams, which they sponsored. These teams would play in up to 10 cities, and there was a state championship event.
Because of all of this very widespread interest in baseball, you could often get hired on a job because of your ability to play. The company would hire you just to get you on the baseball team. This is what happened to coach Jim at the Washington Post. He was hired as a printer, but his basic responsibility was to play with excellence on the baseball team.
Coach Jim played for 2 years and then he got an opportunity to manage the team. He also got many opportunities to do some coaching.
Coach Jim coached baseball from 1963 to 1990 in various leagues and capacities as his 5 kids grew up.
Coach Jim explains, “… in 1964 I was the manager of the Union Printers sandlot baseball team. This was a team with ex big league players and young players yet to go to the big leagues. We also had a lot of ex minor league players.
“The year 1963 was my first year as manager, and we finished second. During 25 years playing in the league, this was the first time the Union Printers ever finished that high. I was twenty-seven years old in 1964, I was managing, and we won the league title.
“We also won the Unions Printers baseball tournament made up of teams from ten cities.
“We also won the eastern seaboard tournament. This was an annual tournament held over Labor Day weekend, consisting of the very best sandlot teams on the east coast.
”In 1984 I coached an American Legion team who won the Maryland State Championship. The age limit was 18 and under, and my son Bret was on that team.“
According to Coach Jim, "I truly enjoyed coaching baseball. Once I got into it, I truly enjoyed it as I had the privilege of coaching some great teams.”
The decades of very successful coaching in baseball didn't seem to really add much to the resume.
Then tournament poker started gaining in popularity nationwide.Coach Jim and Poker
Jim Bucci has been playing poker since 1965 and playing for a living since 1990. In 1989 he played in his first tournament, the WORLD SERIES OF POKER. In his first tournament, he made the final table and finished 6th overall in the $2500 Limit Hold'Em event.
Thereafter, he was hooked on tournament poker. He made 10-day trips to California and played at the Commerce and Bicycle poker rooms consistently in 1990 and 1991. During this time he played as high as $100-$200. During this time he also made frequent trips to Vegas, playing in tournaments held at the Four Queens, the Hall of Fame tournament, and the WORLD SERIES OF POKER.
When Foxwoods opened he shifted his focus to the East Coast, preferring the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and Foxwoods up in Connecticut.Jim Bucci has played with all the great names
Jim Bucci has played with all the great names, including Doyle Brunson, TJ Cloutier, Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and even Phil Hellmuth.
Testimonial about Jim from Poker Player, George Smart, North Carolina
Unlike other coaches or even some poker books, Jim’s approach demystifies the game and empowers the new player to avoid the most common mistakes. I was especially impressed with his grasp of reading a table, whether online or live.
Testimonial about Jim from Poker Player, Colin Mcilhinney
When I first got coaching from Jim Bucci I had been successfully playing cash games as my main source of income for about two years. I wanted someone with experience to look at my game and to help me improve upon the results I had been getting in tournaments. What I got was more. I got a great philosophy on how to approach tournament play. I got great support as Jim went out of his way to provide support and advice "out of hours". I got plenty of entertainment value as Jim regaled me with some great stories of his gambling escapades down through the years. Oh, I also got those results that paid for the lessons many times over!!
Apparently, at the Bicycle Club in California, the field boiled down to 4 players. Coach Jim and Phil Hellmuth were among them. Two players had big stacks and 2 players had little stacks. Coach Jim had one of the big stacks, and Hellmuth had one of the small stacks.
According to Jim, one of the players suggested an equity deal to cut up the money. "It was funny," Coach Jim explains. "We get in the room, and Phil is pretending to not know my name. I know he knows my name, and just playing a head game with me. Anyway, we all get in this room and Phil says "I'm telling you all right now, I'm the best player in the room, and I will not make a deal based on chips. IVE NEVER FINISHED FOURTH IN A TOURNAMENT IN MY LIFE. I'll need more than my chips to make a deal. I'm the best player here, period."
"So I say 'what are we doing here? Let’s go play.' And I leave the room, see? So we all go single file out back to the table.
"We get back to playing this Limit tournament and here comes this situation. It's Phil on the button and he raises Jim in the big blind. I have A-J offsuit and I call. Everyone else is out.
"The flop comes with an ace. I check, he bets, I raise, he re-raises. I call.
Phil only had 1/2 a bet left.
"He's got A-Q off suit. The turn is a blank and the river is a Jack. I win.
"Now you have to remember, this is the YOUNG Phil Hellmuth. He sees the Jack and just GOES OFF like a cherry bomb, yelling, waving his hands, calling me names, and so on. The reality is, he is OUT of the tournament ... because I busted him. I had to draw out to do that, and I did.
"After a while he comes back to collect his money. I just couldn’t resist a taking parting shot at him.
"'Phil', I said, 'you will never be able to say that you never finished 4th in a poker tournament, and-- just for the record-- my name is Jim Bucci."
This elicited quite a bit of laughter from the remaining players and spectators at this final table.
Jim went on to win that event. This episode was at the Bicycle Club in 1993 or 1994.
Coach Jim's best finish in terms of money was at the Hall of Fame tournament in Las Vegas. He survived the final table to play Noli Franscisco head-up for the title and the bracelet. Previous to this head-up showdown, they made a deal to split the cash just about evenly. Francisco went on to win the title and the bracelet that went with it.
"I'm pretty sure if I did not make that deal, I'd have beat him. I'll never know," explains Jim. "I do know I made a deal, and I finished second, getting half the money but missing the bracelet and the title. Now I generally avoid deals, and play my cards accordingly."Coach Jim's Tournament Record
Coach Jim's record includes FIVE final tables at the WSOP. His record also includes FIVE wins at other (now WPT) events: two 7-stud 8-or-better; one Omaha 8 high-low; and 1 Limit HoldEm event. He's made 32 final tables, with 5 of these at the WORLD SERIES OF POKER. Coach Jim has played the $10,000 WSOP event 3 times. "I've gone out twice with KK against AA in the big one at the WSOP," explains Coach Jim. "My best finish in that event was 69th." Coach Jim has had numerous final-table finishes at tournaments at the Taj in Atlantic City. "And not just in Texas Hold'Em," explains Jim. "All the games. I've had final tables in Omaha, Stud, and Omaha-8." In 1995, Coach Jim finished first in No Limit and second in 7-Stud at Foxwoods. The next year at Foxwoods (in 1996) he finished first in 7-stud and second in No Limit Hold Em.Coach Jim and Online Poker
Coach Jim plays on the Internet every day, at PokerStars. "The internet presents some interesting challenges," explains Coach Jim. "A lot of these players are unpredictable because they are so new to the game." Regardless, Coach Jim has never had a losing year playing poker on the Internet. "I like the Internet. I can win money without having to go ANYWHERE." So, for players that want to focus completely on Internet play, Coach Jim can help you... with real expert advice regarding on-line play, based on experience in that medium.Predictions on Poker Trends from Coach Jim
According to Coach Jim, the hyper-aggressive younger players coming into tournament poker from the Internet is causing some frustration within the ranks of established pros.
"The pros are taking it on the chin right now," says Jim. "But after this year, and thereafter, I believe you are going to see the pros more consistently asserting them selves to dominate these tournaments."
"I also believe the tournaments are going to get really huge, with thousands of people buying into the smaller-buy in events."
As for his personal coaching goals, Jim says, "What I really want are serious students who really, really want to win a major tournament."
"I know I can help get that done, and nothing would please me more."
Coach Jim Bucci's Poker Links:
Documented Tournament Performance
Coach Jim's 3rd place finish at the $1000 Limit HoldEm event at the WORLD POKER FINALS at Foxwoods in 2000
Coach Jim's FINAL TABLE at the WORLD SERIES OF POKER, 2002, Event #3 $1500 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Split (finishing 8thjust ahead of Phil Ivey)
Coach Jim's FINAL TABLE at the WORLD SERIES OF POKER, 1997
Click here to see Coach Jim's FINAL TABLE at the WORLD SERIES OF POKER, Omaha8 or Better, 2001
Coach Jim's MONEY FINISH at the 1999 WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Coach Jim's 3rd place finish at the 2001 $500 Limit Hold Em event at the US POKER CHAMPIONSHIP in 2001
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