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How A Career in Real Estate Helped Nick Vertucci Improve His Poker Game

nick vertucci plays poker on live at the bike
NVREA CEO Nick Vertucci At The Poker Table

Nick Vertucci is a respected name in real estate investment, where he has built a place for himself flipping homes in Orange County, California. Vertucci entered the real estate industry in the early 2000’s after losing his business and his money in the wake of the dot com boom. He owned a business that specializes in the sale of computer accessories; such a business had no legs to stand on when up against the economic downfall of 2000. Nick pivoted, putting his attention toward growing a successful real estate business, and within a couple of years, he went from broke to a millionaire.

Vertucci found his success by identifying and following a mentor, studying continuously, becoming active in and engaging with the market whenever possible, and learning from his mistakes. In 2014, Nick opened the doors to the Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy (NVREA), an educational opportunity for those seeking wealth in real estate. Recently, in 2018, Vertucci released his first book, Seven Figure Decisions: Having the Balls to Succeed, a story about how he overcame the odds. The book covers details about his strategy to helping entrepreneurs and aspiring real estate investors become successful.

It’s not exactly common knowledge, but Nick Vertucci is also an accomplished poker player. He has competed against famous poker players, such as Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari, Phil “the Poker Brat” Helmuth, Mike “the Mouth” Matausow, David Benyamine, Phil “the Unibomber” Lakk, and Kenny Tran; additionally, he has sat at the tables with A-list celebrities, including Jennifer Tilly, Ben Affleck, Don Cheadle, and James Woods.

Vertucci’s history in the game dates back to before he was a real estate leader. In 2004, Nick played in his first major tournament, the No-Limit Texas Hold’em Championships in Commerce, CA, where he placed 8th out of 251. His buy in was $1,500, but he walked away with $7,530.

Through the years, Vertucci has improved his poker game while honing his skills for building wealth in real estate. It should come as no surprise that the characteristics of a winner in both ventures are related.

The Ability to Read Others. Calling a competitor’s bluff is the name of the game. Whether it is in a real estate transaction that requires determining whether the seller’s agent really has 3 other offers on a property, or in poker tournament that demands you figure out whether the man across the table is holding a pair of aces, reading others is a necessary skill to have.

Intelligent Bluffing. Not only does a successful investor and player need to read others, but he must also possess the ability to bluff. Sitting at a table holding a flop hand, but going all in; deterring your opponent from continuing to play; or telling the broker on the end of the line that they need to step up their offer because you already have one with more favorable terms in the seller’s hand – all of them demand intelligent bluffing.

Adaptability. Change is inevitable, and adapting to change can be puzzling. However, in both poker and real estate, adaptability is critical to overcoming unexpected changes. If the flop turns the game, or a false NOI repositions a deal, an effective individual will have the strength and knowledge to understand how to adapt and progress. Nick Vertucci even reported in an interview with IdeaMensch that if there is one piece of advice he would give to his younger self, it would be to “Plan for change.” It is apparent that Vertucci has the mindset of a poker start.

Knowing One Bad Hand Won’t End the Game. Simply put: staying straight. There is a great degree of uncertainty in both real estate transactions and poker – variables that can never be fully understood until the end of the game. Therefore, if given one bad hand (or an unexpected end to a contract), a champion won’t bow down. Rather, they will continue to move forward with the hand they were dealt (literally, and metaphorically).

Emotional Control. Any winner should know how to keep their cool. Emotional control is key to bluffing and reading others. Among the general population, managing emotions doesn’t come easily, and keeping a straight face when you are excited can be quite the challenge.

Confidence is a trait that cannot be replaced. Confidence can improve risk assessment, keep a player in the game, and intimidate the other participants. Whether in a poker game or during a real estate transaction, a strong jaw can help earn you millions.

Finally, Vertucci is aggressive, patient, focused, and disciplined. As Vertucci has perfected these skills over the last 15 years, his triumph in tournaments has also expanded. Vertucci has participated in internationally recognized tournaments, including:

  • World Series of Poker (WSOP): A series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas
  • World Poker Tournament (WPT): A series of Texas hold ‘em tournaments that take place different countries around the world
  • Live at the Bike: A live broadcast of poker games hosted at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens, CA
  • Poker After Dark: an hour-long poker televisions program on NBC.

Vertucci’s participation in such tournaments has even improved his ranking on TheHendonMob.com; as of October 30th, 2018, Vertucci was ranked: 108,680th on the All Time Money List; 8,754th on the All Time Money List Best Ranked; 53,621st on the United States All Time Money List; 10,199th on the California, USA All Time Money List; 223,725th on the Global Poker Index Ranking; and 66,450th on the Popularity Ranking.

Nick’s game of choice is Texas Hold’Em – the basic rules of the game are simple: each player is dealt 2 cards (known as own cards); next, five community cards are dealt face-up on the table. The cards are dealt strategically to allow participants to bet intermittently. Each player can use their 2 cards plus any 3 cards on the table to play their best hand. The hands are that of poker: 5 cards.

In 2016, Vertucci participated in one of the biggest tournaments of his career, taking a seat at the World Series of Poker. With a buy-in of $1,500 and a pool of 7190 entrants, Vertucci ranked 828th and won $2,532. The first-place seat was taken by Qui Nguyen, who earned $8,005,310. Nguyen was the underdog in the game, playing against previous two-time bracelet winner, Cliff Josephy.

Taking the lead in any game is a success, and Vertucci’s positive earnings in the poker game are rare – as more than 90% of poker players around the world report 0% profit from the game, but rather lose more than anticipated. In 2017, there were reported 23 million adult poker players in the United States. These numbers have been expected to rise given the increased popularity of the game. With these statistics, one can understand why it is overwhelmingly challenging to become a successful poker player.

Considering that Vertucci is only a part-time player, one can only assume that his skills come naturally. Most likely, they have been refined through years of experience in real estate. One can only wonder how Vertucci’s poker game would shine if he invested 100% of his time into the game.

However, such a day will most likely never come, as Vertucci’s true passion is in NVREA. Vertucci enjoys helping others build their knowledge and confidence toward becoming accomplished real estate investors. Instead of playing full time, Vertucci plans to continue his commitment to helping his community by providing seminars and classes for entrepreneurs of all kinds. Additionally, he continues to promote his new book, Seven Figure Decisions: Having the Balls to Succeed, which is geared toward helping not only investors, but anyone looking to take steps toward personal growth.

Learn more about Nick in his own words with his Ideamensch interview.