Poker Player Turned Entrepreneur Helping College Students Save Money
In the world of poker, there are many names. One of the most recent figures to emerge in the poker world spotlight is Gregory Brooks. After winning the 2011 L.A. Poker Classic with a prize of more than $1.6 million, Brooks continued his winning streak by taking 1st place in a tournament for the European Poker Tour. A native of New York, Brooks is no stranger to the poker world.
A graduate of Wake Forest University, he started his poker career while a freshman in college. “That freshman year, I averaged playing about six hours a day. I focused on $1/$2 no limit hold’em and was able to earn over $25,000″ says Brooks. “For a college freshman, that was insane money. I loved playing what I saw as a game and was getting paid to do it.” Getting paid he was. Brooks was one of the top competitors at the largest stakes offered on the website Pokerstars.com. His experience with the online poker community as well as his entrepreneurial spirit led him to start the company LeggoPoker, an online community that provides training to seasoned and amateur poker players.
“I had done a good amount of coaching, and I continually heard that I could explain my thought process really well. I brought in about ten other coaches and my partner, Chris Tickner, and LeggoPoker was born. I learned everything about poker online so I knew that we’d able to teach it there as well.” Brooks added. The company grew into a powerhouse and included one-on-one training from world famous poker players Ben Sulsky (approximately $4 million in winnings) and Aaron Jones (over $1.6 million in winnings) as well as Brooks. The website was recently purchased by Phil Ivey, another one of the world’s most well-known poker players. With LeggoPoker now owned by Phil Ivey and his company IveyPoker, Brooks has moved on to his next venture.
Brooks co-founded the company Skorb with his brother in 2011. The company is geared towards college students and helps them spend less on things they need for both college and general living. The website also allows students to receive discounts from retail partners such as Apple, Living Social, Textbooks.com, and dozens of others. “Saving even a dollar or two is a big deal for most college students, but most of them don’t want to spend time searching for savings. Skorb does all the legwork and provides students with all the benefits. Skorb is a place where college students can go and find all of the discounts related to their needs,” added Brooks. The company enters into partnerships with different retailers to offer an upfront discount to students for purchasing through the Skorb site. Students can also earn money through different activities offered on the site.
Now that Skorb is out in front of retail and discount shopping market, what is next for Brooks? Brooks gave us a little teaser of an upcoming project he is working on called textbookassault.com. “The idea is to allow students to enter the information for all of the textbooks that they need and the site will find the lowest price books, new, used, rentals, and also offer a buyback program,” Brooks said. “It is like Kayak.com but for college textbooks.” Although he could not tell us the exact launch date, he did hint, “soon, very soon.” Regardless of when it launches, Brooks has shown that his entrepreneur spirit along with lessons he learned from college are going to go along way with helping college students save money.
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Richare Louis is a resident of Reno, Nevada and long time poker player. He spends most of his free time gaming online and is also a local writer for numerous Reno publications.