Andrew Lichtenberger, affectionately known by his online screen name ‘LuckyChewy’, has built a reputation in the poker world as being someone you can count on. Both on and off the felt. And as a long-time poker pro, veteran LearnWPT instructor, and OctopiPoker founder one of those things you can count on has been his passion for helping others succeed in the game that he loves.
“There’s always an argument that people have made that if you know something that helps you in a zero-sum game, why would you want to help others? You just sort of take away from your own win rate,” Lichtenberger said. “And it’s a fair point but it’s never really been the way that I view the world.”
Lichtenberger has spent a large portion of his career helping players find their path to poker enlightenment when it’s clear, by his own results, that he never needed to. Lichtenberger’s poker resume is replete with jaw-dropping scores and major titles. With more than $17 million in live tournament earnings, and countless victories while making a name for himself in the early days of online poker, Lichtenberger has emerged as one of his generation’s top talents. As proof, he holds a spot in the WPT Champions Club, has won a WSOP bracelet, numerous PokerGO titles, as well as picked up a few seven-figure scores along the way.
“There were plenty of people kind enough to help me when I was early in my journey and I know how immeasurably helpful all the advice and coaching…and just camaraderie and community that I got when I was new to poker ended up being. So it was never really an option for me once I became competent enough to be able to teach others to ignore that opportunity on the grounds of future gain or whatever.
“Then beyond that, I just sort of genuinely enjoy helping people. And I think that there are plenty of people in poker who have achieved great levels of success that don’t have the natural ability to articulate, break down, and share what makes them successful. And for whatever reason, I just sort of have that innate ability. So I dunno. I figure if you have a gift, you may as well use it, right?”
It’s safe to say that Lichtenberger has more than a strong grasp on what can sometimes be the confounding game of poker. But that is just one piece of the coaching puzzle. It’s one thing to have the knowledge and it’s another entirely to have the gift to be able to communicate it. Communication is the challenge that Lichtenberger focuses on when he’s working on helping his students.
“The biggest challenges come in the form of delivering the knowledge in a way that is going to resonate with each individual person. Because poker is, in my opinion, a game which has a skillset that’s super transferable to a variety of other things, I often like to use analogies or explain things in context that will match up with someone’s previous experience and draw parallels between really anything that they’ve done or are familiar with,” he said.
Just like playing poker, Lichtenberger has had plenty of time to refine his coaching approach. The 36-year-old pro has been a lead instructor at LearnWPT since 2017 and created more than 80 online episodes for the site with new courses coming down the pipe. And this December, at the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, Lichtenberger will be back at the front of the class with a live LearnWPT Workshop on December 4-5.
But poker training, live or online, is a two-way street, and ‘Chewy’ knows that it requires commitment on both sides in order to produce optimal results on the felt.
“Not everyone is going to have the same path to learning and understanding concepts that their peers may,” he said. And with his LearnWPT students, while he looks to cater to their skillset and provide what he hopes will help them stake the next steps into mid-stakes or possibly even a pro arena, he admits there’s a big effort needed on the part of his students as well.
“And I guess in so far as what players themselves who want coaching and improvement in their game face as obstacles I would say really a lot of it comes down to how disciplined you are, how honest you are with yourself, and how hard you’re willing to work to achieve your goals,” he said. “The caveat on that is how smart you’re willing to work to achieve your goals. Because probably hard work and discipline is one of the most challenging things about, I guess, any discipline that you’re working on improving your skills at. It’s just showing up day in, day out, and can you continue to do this when times are good and when times are bad.”
Perhaps finding that discipline and balance is what has made Lichtenberger so successful as both a one-time student in poker and as a teacher. The ‘Yoga of Poker’ author has a reputation of mindfulness some might call a zen-like quality. You can hear it when he speaks, a thoughtfulness that has garnered him distinction as one of poker’s good guys. And while he’s quick to admit that he’s not done “immersive learning” in Zen practices, he does effort to bring that even-keeled care to his coaching.
Ultimately, it’s Lichtenberger’s ability to connect with people that has allowed him to turn his poker proficiency into a passion for teaching. Sure, there are rewards to be found on the World Poker Tour or inside the PokerGO Studio, but it’s clear that when he’s not playing himself, he’s found a way to enjoy the success of others.
“I mean, anytime you put time and energy and work into helping someone, like seeing them succeed is kind of the best thing you could hope for,” he said. Of course, there’s an understanding that, because this is poker, he can’t completely control the wins and losses of his students. Still, he has some investment in the knowledge that he’s been able to help some part of the more than 700 students who have taken part LearnWPT live seminars over the years.
“I mean, it’s a great feeling anytime I get a message from [LearnWPT] or I see just from LearnWPT Promotions that someone’s won something or just generally is finding more success in their regular playing experience. Yeah, it feels great.”