Former IDF paratrooper wins about $1 million in poker

Former IDF Paratrooper Tal Herzog took second place at the World Series of Poker Winter Online Circuit, crediting much of his success to his military service.The 24-year-old Herzog, going by the moniker ‘Turkey1,’ won a total of $923,000 and 2nd place in the tournament, following Lithuania’s Paulius Plausinaitis.

Herzog credited much of his success to his military service, where he spent three years as a paratrooper, but also to the courses he developed about poker, in which he analyzed the strategies and tactics of the game so that he could make the game accessible to amateurs.

Since finishing his military service, Herzog studied psychology and will graduate soon with a degree in Business Administration. He recently became the professional manager of the soon-to-be-launched theAcademy.Poker. 

The poker platform is where Herzog plans to teach less experienced players how to play the game more professionally. He is expected to begin operating its courses by mid-year. 

“My work on the Academy courses forced me to rethink poker strategy and tactics to create lessons for less experienced players. That made me a much better player in a concise time,” said Herzog.

The co-founder and CEO of TheAcademy.Poker, Baruch Toledano, explained that due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of the tournaments have transitioned online, a move that has changed many aspects of the game. 

“All the elements of game psychology, of reading your opponents’ body language, have been eliminated online, and this has allowed younger players to take over the table,” Toledano said. “The online game is more aggressive and skills-oriented, and the courses that we will provide at the Academy will be focused on the online game and will give our students the edge.”

Poker’s situation in Israel is a rather complex one. While sports betting and lottery are both legal, other forms of gambling, like casino games, are strictly illegal, and carry very serious repercussions for the players. However, many Israelis still play poker, using things such as territorial waters and other nearby countries to bypass local laws. 

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