NEED A PEP TALK? Poker Stars Liv Boeree, Fedor Holz Join Startup Coaching Platform

Fedor Holz and Liv Boeree have joined the PepTalk startup.

Video conferencing, Zoom calls, and Facetime have become part of life for many during the Coronavirus pandemic. A new startup is hoping to capitalize on that trend with an easy connection to experts providing some personalized motivation.

PepTalk is a live video coaching and speaking platform connecting interested learners with real-world experts. That includes some of the biggest names in poker.

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Founded on the idea that experience is the ultimate teacher, PepTalk launched this month with 200 coaches and speakers. Those include entrepreneurs, writers, authors, adventurers, athletes, and more.

The platform even collected a nice roster of poker stars ready to offer some advice and coaching. Two of those, Liv Boeree and Fedor Holz, spoke with USPoker about what to expect in a session with them

A pep talk to improve your poker game

PepTalk was designed for a modern remote workforce. The web-based platform allows individuals and corporate teams to book a session directly with a coach or speaker. 

Entrepreneurs Ant Cauchi and Lloyd Salmons founded the company after careers in the music industry at EMI. After leaving that industry, they launched the digital marketing agency Outside Line.

“In creating PepTalk, we were inspired by our early days in the music industry when we were fortunate to work with some of the most inspirational artists in the world,” they said in a news release.

“In time we became mentors to our own employees, and we realized that coaching and mentoring from a place of experience is invaluable. Our goal is to make that experience available to anyone.”

That could include poker players seeking a mental kick in the pants. Along with Boeree and Holz, the site’s roster of card sharks includes:

  • Maria Ho – poker pro and commentator
  • Jamie Gold – 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event winner
  • Maria Konnikova – author, poker player, and former PokerStars ambassador
  • Joe Stapleton – poker player, commentator, and comedian 
  • Jennifer ShahadePennsylvania-based poker player and PokerStars ambassador

The PepTalk platform can be accessed via computer or mobile device. A pick-me-up session with a poker pro is only mouse click or tap away.

Poker and life lessons from Liv

No stranger to speaking in front of a crowd or offering some insight, Live Boeree took a unique path to poker. Originally from the United Kingdom, she received a degree in astrophysics before launching a successful poker career.

At the tables Boeree has $3.9 million in live tournament winnings including WSOP and EPT titles. She sees her role with the startup as a way to work with others around the world.

Liv Boeree (photo courtesy of Poker Central)

The site allows people from all walks of life to gain some insight from experts in their field. Boeree’s career in science and poker offer a unique opportunity for some inspiration beyond just poker.

“I’ve joined PepTalk as a medium to share experiences and lessons learned in my life and career – including my time as a poker pro – with a broad audience,” says Boeree, who also hosts her own YouTube channel about space and science.

“I believe the principles of success at the poker table have value in life, business, and beyond.”

From TED Talk to PepTalk

Boeree’s coaching focuses on life strategies, improving decision-making, how poker principles can be used every day, and other concepts. She expressed similar ideas on her 2018 TED Talk, “Three Life Lessons from the Poker Table.”


“We know poker principles apply effectively to business and other parts of life, and I’m looking forward to sharing those with PepTalk’s customers,” she says. “My background includes speaking and writing on science, logic, math and philosophy, and I’ll be bringing all of that to the table – no pun intended!”

It’s a good bet Boeree might answer a couple questions on table strategy. Overall, however, she sees her PepTalk time as a way to give customers a boost – as the company name implies.

“In these times when we can’t necessarily interact in-person,” she says, “I hope to have a positive impact on people’s lives when they need a boost.”

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Face to face with Fedor

While he may not be an astrophysicist, Fedor Holz brings his own skills to the PepTalk team. The German poker pro has almost $33 million in live tournament winnings including numerous major titles. What’s expected in one of his PepTalk sessions?

Fedor Holz (courtesy Poker Central)

“I’m set to share my experiences and respond to questions they may have or situations they may want to talk through, applying my pro poker lens to it all,” Holz says. “I’m excited to be part of what PepTalk is building – accessibility to coaches with all different experiences and perspectives and wisdom.

“There’s an incredible range of coaches and speakers – there are a few of us from the professional poker world, Olympic athletes, adventurers, entrepreneurs. Experts from obvious and non-obvious arenas and career backgrounds who have a lot to share.”

Lessons learned preparing for poker success

Winning eight figures at the poker table isn’t easy. It takes perseverance and plenty of focus – traits Fedor hopes to drive home in his discussions.

“Building a poker career has been partially about the game and the skill and partially about discipline, preparation, and a ton of other lifestyle strategies,” he says. “They can expect to learn the big picture of poker – the big themes of what it’s about, what it takes to become a pro.”

Currently, Fedor has been playing in the WSOP Online at GGPoker, hoping to win his second career bracelet. The site signed the poker coach as an ambassador in May.

Holz worked his way up to the biggest games around conveys come of what he’s learned on PepTalk.

“It’s an opportunity to share poker wisdom in new ways,” he says, “how to win at work, for example, or how to manage a strong team.”

The startup’s poker team is ready – no cards and chips required.