Poker Genealogy – It’s Not Your Fault You Suck

- by Bulldog · Filed Under Online Poker Articles Leave a Comment 

Some things are genetically passed down from our parents- blond hair, blue eyes, knobbly knees etc. But you may also discover that an ability in maths or a pragmatic way in which you approach problems may also be inherited from your ancestors. You may never have considered this before, but the way you were raised may directly be having an effect on the way you play poker.

One of the best examples of this is the Sexton family of poker pros connected to Father, Keith moved the family to Las Vegas in 1988 to benefit from the real estate boom that was happening at the time. He was already a keen Stud poker player, but developed his Hold´em game to such an extent that he has three final table finishers at the WSOP. Keith´s two sons, Matt and Paul are also pros on, with joint winnings of over $200.000, and on their success Paul is quoted as saying that “Poker was big in my family”. Too right!

Another family home in which poker was regularly played was the Obrestad´s in Sadnes, Norway. It was here that Annette Obrestad (aka “Annette_15”) learnt Seven Card Stud from her father at a very young age before using that education to become one of the most feared women poker players in the world. With lifetime earnings in excess of $4million, that upbringing can only be described as valuable. Annette is also a regular player on

However, maybe the most famous example of a poker giant who grew up with it in his veins is Phil Ivey. Often described as the world’s leading poker player, Phil learnt how to play five card stud from his grandfather when just a kid in New Jersey. The story goes that Phil´s grandfather used to cheat on the lad to give him a negative impression of gambling. However that did not stop Phil, who acquired a fake ID to play in the casinos of Atlantic City before moving on to Las Vegas and his first WSOP bracelet at just 21 years of age. Phil is one of the Full Tilt Poker “Team” and plays his online poker exclusively at

It was Sigmund Freud who first developed the theories concerning the effect a child´s formative years has on later development, and although negative traits can be trained out, and positive ones installed, our subconscious still has a major influence over the way we problem-solve and react to situations.

It is worth looking at your game and thinking about any weaknesses you may have. If you can see where they originate from, the next time you suffer a bad beat, don´t blame the cards – blame your mother!

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