Hi. My name is James Sweeney, although I’m more known by my alias “SplitSuit”* or “Split” for short. I’m the creator of SplitSuit.com and co-founder of Red Chip Poker (the poker training site).
I’m originally from a suburb outside of Chicago and I currently live in Florida with my beautiful wife and our two sons. I had a pretty normal childhood, performing well in school and playing a ton of sports. Sports sparked a very competitive nature in me, which eventually carved a natural path into poker.
I played poker a few times in high school, but it became a big part of my life in college. In fact, I met most of my college friends (many transitioning into life-long friends) in the first tournament we ran during orientation weekend. Soon, weekly tournaments turned into daily online sessions, and a few years later I was coaching students and setting the groundwork for my first book.
SplitSuit.com was created my senior year of college as a place to blog and offer coaching. I was actually doing so much coaching that I decided against playing full-time after graduation and instead chose to play part-time and coach part-time. After Black Friday, with thousands locked up on Full Tilt, I decided to coach on a more full-time basis and also spent time diversifying my skills learning graphic design, video editing, and others to round out my ‘jack of all trades’ skillset.
* A lot of people ask me “where does the name ‘splitsuit’ come from?” I needed to create an alias when I joined the 2p2 forum forever ago. At the time, I was playing PLO8 and a split suit hand is one that has 2 different flush possibilities. Since split suit hands are so powerful, it seemed like a cool alias to acquire. So yeah, I’m one of the few nerds that not only chose their own nickname, but somehow managed to have it stick lol.
Over the years I’ve been working hard to transform my skillset into something really valuable. Poker is a game that requires strong logic, creativity, and a ton of self-drive…and luckily those skills have converted into business as well. This has allowed me to co-found Red Chip Poker – a fast-growing poker training site focused on helping live $1/$2 and $2/$5 players. To write a couple of books. To begin offering webinars. And to release more poker content than pretty much anyone else out there – complete with articles, YouTube videos, and a growing podcast.
As it is with poker, balance is crucial. The last few years have been an exercise in finding the balance between family, work, and the endless list of new projects I want to tackle. In experiencing this for myself it’s given me a new appreciation for the family-man (or family-woman!) that is trying to learn poker and grind with a job+family. Which has impacted the way I create content so it’s more effective and efficient. Because the quicker you can learn a concept, the quicker you can start using your new edge at the table and the more time you can ultimately spend doing as you wish.
My Goal With Poker Coaching:
My goal is to help poker players learn more, learn quicker, and ultimately win more. Poker is an incredibly complex game once you start digging, but that exploration should be fun! So whether it’s a podcast, video, or article – the whole point is to help you expand your poker brain in an efficient way. Because once you learn something, you can start putting that knowledge to use and profiting off it. So why not learn that skill as soon as possible!?
I’ve written multiple books, some solo and some with co-authors. My first book was Dynamic Full Ring Poker and my most popular co-written book was with Adam Jones called Optimizing Ace King. I’ve also created a bunch of workbooks to help layout your study between sessions.
PRO Tip: When reading a book, read one chapter at a time. While reading make sure to have a piece of paper and pen handy. On that paper, draw a line down the middle, and while reading write down things you learned on the left and things you have questions about on the right. That gives you a great starting point for your next study topics and routine.
Over the last few years, I’ve created well over 500 training videos, some free and some premium. Poker videos are one of the most powerful ways to learn poker since they work for audio-learners and visual-learners alike. Today you can find most of my free videos on ThePokerBank’s YouTube channel (which I manage and update regularly) – and over 50 premium videos can be found on Red Chip Poker with a PRO Membership.
PRO Tip: Make sure to take notes when watching videos. I actually wrote a complete article on Red Chip Poker about getting more value from every poker video.
Guides & Downloads
This is a new offering, but something students are loving. When I make a guide or spreadsheet that could benefit you, I do my best to release them. This saves you time, is a massive shortcut, and allows you to digest things much quicker. Here are three of my most popular ones:
- Calling 3bets Guide: www.splitsuit.com/hand-reading-in-3bet-pots
- My Custom Spreadsheets: www.splitsuit.com/sheets
- And make sure to enroll in my free 5-Day Hand Reading Course
You don’t always have the time or focus to dive into a book or fire up a training video…but a poker podcast can fit the bill when it comes to learning something without hardcore focus. I started The Official Red Chip Poker Podcast (it now has over 3,500,000 downloads) with over 200 episodes on important topics like Handling Downswings, Increasing Aggression, and How/Why You Should Play More Hands. For more of the strategy-heavy episodes, I would suggest starting with episode #7: www.redchippoker.com/podcast/
This is something I started creating in 2015 and since then thousands of players have tested their skills. Quiz topics range from SPR and Hand vs Range knowledge to fun things like Poker Player Types.
Check out the complete list of poker quizzes here.
What I’ve Been Up To
Over the last few years, I’ve been super busy. Here are some of the highlights:
2016: I released The Hand Reading Lab, the first-ever major course dedicated solely to hand reading in poker. This course has revolutionized the way players think about ranges and breakdown hands in real-time. I also created and released my first-ever poker workbook that continues to help live players work through real-life hands and improve their technical abilities between sessions. This first workbook laid the groundwork for all of the poker workbooks that followed.
In the summer of 2016 I helped manage the Red Chip Poker booth at the WSOP. This was an awesome chance to meet fellow Red Chippers, put some faces to names, and see Vegas from a different point of view. And on a personal note, I got baptized and bought my first house – so it was a spectacular year, to say the least!
2017: This was a busy year between travel, developing a stronger balance between work and family, and attempting to build a bigger team around me. On the professional front, I challenged myself to write an entire book in a 1-week timebox. To complicate matters further, I live-streamed the entire writing process on Twitch and after some editing and design, the book Unfolding Poker was released. Months later I finalized the Tournament Final Tables Workbook with Ben Hayles completing the trifecta of poker workbooks (live, online 6max, and tournaments).
2018: The work I did with the Red Chip Poker team allowed us to bring CORE into the world. Over the years, the biggest request I’ve gotten is for an A-Z syllabus to create a pathway for going from beginner to intermediate. CORE is exactly that with over 100 lessons, lots of exclusive video content, badges, a leaderboard, and more. This was a massive undertaking, but it’s been hugely popular – though that could very well be that at $5/week it’s the highest value training you can find.
2019: My wife and I got pregnant early in the year and much of 2019 was focused on supporting her through pregnancy. She went into labor on December 1st, and after 79 hours of attempting a natural birth, we ended up going in for an emergency c-section. Unfortunately, there were immense complications, and our son was rushed to the NICU and there for the first 18 days of his life.
Kingston is now home and doing wonderfully!
On the professional front, I spent a lot of time putting THE VAULT together. The largest complaint I hear from players is that high-end training is too expensive and ultimately disorganized – so THE VAULT fixes both of those issues by giving streaming access to all of my best courses for one monthly price. Plus, I added heaps of supporting content to each video/lesson and packaged it together for a single black chip per month. If that sounds up your alley, you can even take a one-week free trial today.
I also created a free on-demand training called Crushing Ace-High Flops. And 2019 was the first year that I got back in front of the camera for most of my YouTube videos. Though that’s likely the reason why 40% of the comments on recent videos are about my beard, lol.
I also put a lot of time into creating the workbook that launched on the first of 2020…
2020: Coronavirus made this a very odd year. With no WSOP during the summer, and being locked down in the house, I ended up releasing quite a few projects.
- Released The Poker Math & Preflop Workbook
- Launched Season 3 of the Red Chip Poker Podcast
- Launched CORE 2.0 (the biggest update yet)
- Released PRO GTO Ranges via Red Chip Poker
- Released The Postflop Workbook
- Released The Poker Math Course
- Launched Season 4 of the Red Chip Poker Podcast
There were some other projects that fell by the wayside, including two new podcasts that ended up getting shelved due to my workload. But that’s still a pretty packed year all things considered!
2021: This year was an absolute blur. I sold my home, went down to South America for a while, and then came back to the US and bought a bus. With so much happening on the personal front, this was actually the first year where I didn’t release any new SplitSuit products. However, some excellent new stuff was created:
- Launched Season 5 of the Red Chip Poker Podcast
- Began doing poker VLOG episodes on YouTube
- Released the GTO+ Bundle on RCP
We also spent a lot of time building an app for RCP that will officially launch in 2022.
2022: This was another incredibly busy year on both the personal and professional fronts. We relocated from FL to NC, decided to put the bus we bought in 2021 up for sale, and got settled down in a nice place. As for professionally…
- Season 5 of the Red Chip Poker Podcast continued the entire year without breaks
- The GTO Ranges App officially launched
- We added 3 new range sets to the App, including the world’s-first comprehensive live GTO solve
- GTO Gems got written, launched, and very well-reviewed
- I spent a month doing high-level marketing for a crypto project that ended up pivoting
- My YouTube channel hit 100K subs, and I got my silver play button
One of my biggest 2022 accomplishments was getting this guy. Thank you for subbing! pic.twitter.com/YNCQlccGir— James "SplitSuit" Sweeney (@SplitSuit) December 23, 2022
2023: This year is already off to a busy start. We ended up buying our “Shalomstead” in Ohio, so Q1 was super packed with home buying, moving, setting up, and even getting a flock of ducks started.
Somehow, during the midst of all of that, I ended up getting a new workbook created and launched The Advanced Poker Workbook in April 2023.
In Q2 we found out that we are expecting our third son in early 2024!
I also created a list of the top poker YouTube channels. Of purely strategy channels, I believe that puts me at #2 (ranked by subs). And #20 across all poker channels. That’s an honor that I don’t take lightly 😃
What’s Coming In The Future?
Keep In Touch!
As you can see, there is always new content being created, but keeping up with it all can be time-consuming. So if you are interested, join my free email list and receive weekly emails curating the best-of-the-best content for you. I send the occasional coupon code and free download as well!