No Love Lost Between Rival Poker Training Product Owners as Nitsche, Rolle, Staples Take Part in Twitter Feud

  • Patrick Leonard accidentally ignited a Twitter feud between Dominik Nitsche and Ben Rolle  
  • Nitsche called Rolle a snake oil salesman, Rolle called Nitsche a snake
  • Jamie Staples jumped into the fight, defending his position as an affiliate for Raise Your Edge
  • Nitsche claimed that Rolle sells to his minions while he sells to high-stakes professionals 
hand holds two Aces cards in poker
A well-intentioned tweet from Patrick Leonard on Friday made public a private feud between two of Germany’s best players. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Animosity between two of Germany’s best players goes public

Last Friday saw one of the more surprising Twitter spats after a well-intentioned post from Patrick Leonard made public a private feud between two of Germany’s best players.

It didn’t take much for high-stakes pros and training content/app creators Dominik Nitsche and Ben ‘Bencb’ Rolle to be at each other’s virtual throats (despite not actually following each other). Sprinkle in a Jaime Staples defense of Rolle, and all the ingredients were in the mix for a social media ding dong. 

there was genuine animus and we were witnessing a real polemic

Initially, you would have been forgiven for suspecting that this was all a marketing ploy, some theatrics designed to promote Rolle’s ‘Raise Your Edge’ and Nitsche’s ‘DTO’. As it got nastier, however, it was clear that there was genuine animus and we were witnessing a real polemic.  

Some poker training products are the real thing 

A blonde lady with blue eyes sings “I’d like to buy the world a home, and furnish it with love.” A group of young people dressed in a dashiki, a kimono, a dirndl, a Nehru and a turtleneck sing “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” 200 people stand on a hilltop singing “It’s the real thing -Coke is what the world wants today.” One of the most iconic commercials of all time first aired on American television on July 8, 1971. At that time, millions were marching to protest the Vietnam War, two music legends Louis Armstrong and Jim Morrison had just died within days of one another and, of course, a blissed-out Don Draper was ‘om-ing’ in yogic meditation on that very same hilltop.

In the iconic seventies Coke ad, we were given a vision of unity, a glimpse of harmony; all the world in concert thanks to a bottle of fizzy sugar water. In short, it presented us with a quick fix, and who doesn’t like those, right?

Poker players look for them all the time. The eureka moment. The secret sauce. The Tony Robbins fortune cookie aphorism of nonsense that will make you a crusher. 

in poker there are no quick fixes

The truth is, though, that in poker there are no quick fixes. Winning these days requires study, hard work, and an open mind. There are lots of snake oil salesmen out there, offering little to no bang for your buck. There are also a lot of excellent training products on the market to help you on your mission, should you choose to accept it. 

Leonard unintentionally starts social media spat

Benjamin Rolle’s (Bencb) poker training site, Raise Your Edge, has been around for years. Its flagship piece of content, ‘Poker Tournament Materclass’, promises to take your game to the next level by helping you to plug your leaks and master pre-flop ranges. 

In 2019, Dominic Nitsche and Markus Prinz released ‘DTO Postflop’, and just last month they unveiled ‘DTO Preflop’. With this new release, they are giving the poker public access to a complete library of charts for a one-time payment of just $399. That’s far cheaper than the going price for other comprehensive ranges. 

Also last month, the elite poker training site Run it Once released PADS on PADS – a 160-video series by high-stakes British poker pro Patrick ‘Pads’ Leonard on Postflop & Preflop Play. The series compiles 80+ hours of videos looking at ranges, bet sizing, pushing equity, limping, bubble play, and final table play. 

Given the caliber of all the people involved, all of whom play at the upper echelons of the game, it was surprising to see that a war of words had broken out involving them all on Twitter this past Friday. Patrick Leonard inadvertently lit the match with a tweet giving shoutouts to the makers of premium content/apps on the market.

No good deed ever went unpunished. Little did Leonard know that he had accidentally stepped into a minefield. Nitsche, who was just crowned Unibet Open champion last weekend, immediately aired his grievances with Rolle and ‘Raise Your Edge’.

Rolle stepped in to defend his position with a 12-part thread, claiming that Nitsche had said that he endorsed ‘Raise Your Edge’ until Rolle had made public criticisms of DTO. He called Nitsche a hypocrite and questioned his approach to marketing.

Nitsche responded by calling Rolle’s pre-flop charts snake-oil.

Jamie Staples gets in the mix 

Cue Twitch streamer and ‘Raise Your Edge’ affiliate Jamie Staples to throw some petrol on the fire. 

Dominik immediately hit back, pointing to Staples’s bias and implying that, from what he’s seen from Jamie’s play on stream, he doesn’t actually follow the RYE charts that he endorses. 

Nitsche even went as far as to suggest that Staples might be a customer of DTO. 

Staples, a promoter of many poker goods and services via his Twitch stream and podcast, admitted to reaching out to all the training apps (except DTO). 

Any doubts that this altercation was real were dispelled as Nitsche broke down the morality of his position. It became clear that the crux of the matter for him was the hypocrisy of promoting and endorsing a product that you wouldn’t use yourself.

Staples responded with name-calling, saying that there is more to what Rolle offers than the raw output from the solver. 

He followed up literally two minutes later more indirectly with a quote which echoed Rolle’s comment about negative marketing.

Oddly, though, it was a quote from Jim Rohn, the ‘motivational speaker’ and mentor of both self-help snake oil salesman Tony Robins and MLM pyramid schemer and Herbalife CEO Mark Hughes. Rohn is far from a paragon of virtue.

Nitsche points at customer base as proof of his product’s superiority

This may not have been a marketing ploy, but it certainly got eyes on both products last week. Guerrilla advertising of this nature does not seem like Nitsche’s style and, as the drama unfolded, he may have made his true motivation clear.

As a player, Nitsche has preoccupied himself with equilibrium and was one of the earliest adapters to solvers. He just genuinely believes his product is the best and that other inferior products are being touted in bad faith. 

Nitsche called Rolle’s followers “minions” and pointed to his customer base as all the proof you need. 

It will take more than a bottle of Coke to fix this one. In fact, this feud is unlikely to simmer down any time soon, as both sides feel like they have been besmirched by the other.

Let’s just hope that Patrick ‘Teach The Poker World To Sing’ Leonard has learned his lesson.