CLC Student Justin Lynch’s $0 to $100k Poker Journey

Justin Lynch

Justin Lynch is an entrepreneur and poker player from Broomfield, Colorado. Justin joined Chip Leader Coaching in 2022 and has since seen consistent success, most recently taking down the MSPT United States Poker Championship in San Diego for $61,624 and finishing in the top 10 in the MSPT 2023 Player of the Year race despite playing a limited event schedule. 


In this article, he details his poker journey, how CLC helped his game, how it felt to tangle with WSOP bracelet winners, and a WPT Champion at a final table and more.


Unfolding the Journey

Like a lot of players, Justin got into poker around the poker boom around 2003. In his first home game with high school friends, he won over $500 on a hand of Guts (where pots grow exponentially) and he was instantly hooked on cards. Live NLH tournaments with friends turned into grinding online Sit N Go’s and cash games on Full Tilt Poker until Black Friday hit and the demands of a career made playing poker more difficult.


“The Itch” Returns

After not playing much poker for close to a decade due to running his marketing agency (X3 Marketing Group) and starting a family, Justin found his passion for poker rekindled in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After winning some low stakes tournaments on Ignition, he decided to start taking the game more seriously, playing some live events and dedicating time to fixing the leaks in his tournament strategy.


Frustration with “Other” Poker Training

The initial dive into poker training was frustrating. Many sites mainly covered basics such as preflop charts while feeling like getting a lecture from a boring college professor while others were focused on GTO concepts and memorizing very specific plays that were not very applicable to low to mid level buy in live tournaments. 

“Imagine that you are trying to learn to surf. You won’t become a great surfer by reading every surfing book or getting lectured by Kelly Slater on how to surf – you have to learn by doing. Poker is the same. You have to mess up, learn WHY you messed up and course correct.”

“I was looking to deeply understand WHY I should make certain plays rather than trying to memorize certain actions at specific stack depths. Rote memorization is not a good way to learn any new skill – especially poker – which was my main frustration with most poker training.”

CLC to the Rescue

Justin credits Chip Leader Coaching’s CLAI with massively helping plugging initial leaks in his game.

“When I started using CLAI, I knew immediately that I had found what I was looking for. I was able to actually practice many spots/hands and get immediate feedback with the responses written by Alex Foxen and Chance Kornuth explaining why each decision was correct. Alex and Chance’s style of teaching poker also resonated with me much more than other players had previously.”

“Even with my busy schedule, I was able to spend 20 minutes a day on the platform drilling down on fixing specific leaks in my game. I was comfortable playing deep stacked but needed to improve playing 20-40bbs deep while finding additional opportunities to accumulate easy chips throughout a tournament.” 

He started making some deep runs but would often get knocked out just short of the final table.

The Closer helped me in navigating the bubble and later stages of tournaments as well as better understanding playing to win the tournament rather than just being satisfied with a decent cash.”

The Breakthrough

After a final table finish at the MSPT main event out of nearly 500 runners at Black Hawk, CO in July, Justin found himself at another MSPT final table 2 months later in San Diego.

“It was a solid final table, especially for a $1100 buy-in event, with multiple WSOP bracelet winners, Kirk Morrison and Young Eum, as well as former WPT Player of the Year, Matt Salsberg. I took down a big pot early and decided that I was going to play for the win and not think about the sizable pay jumps.”

“Despite being the least experienced player at the final table, I was very confident in my game and didn’t feel like there were many spots that I wasn’t prepared for – I have to thank CLAI for that. I also obviously ran well and made a few big hands that were critical.”

Justin took down the MSPT United States Poker Championship and a career best score of $61,624 while cashing for close to $100K in 2023.

Advice For Aspiring Players

Justin’s advice for players looking to improve their tournament play is to master the fundamentals, identify weaknesses in your game by consistent practice and repetition while surrounding yourself with a community of like minded players with a growth mindset.


Looking Ahead

As his company also helps CLC with their website and marketing efforts, Justin looks forward to helping them grow their business and reach more aspiring poker players in 2024.


With aspirations to play more tournaments in the near future as well as again competing for MSPT Player of the Year, Justin’s future in poker looks promising. 


You can find him on X and Instagram @JL7NCH

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