Lee Jones: Author of Winning Low Limit Hold'em
Lee Jones is the author of Winning Low Limit Hold'em, a well-known book in the poker community. In addition to writing that strategy book, he has also held many poker-related jobs over the years, including cardroom manager at PokerStars, executive host of the European Poker Tour, and the Chief Operations Officer at CardRunners.com, to name a few.
For more information about Lee Jones, his childhood, and his numerous career choices, please feel free to read through this elaborate biography. We end this bio by giving you details on what he is up to now. We bet you will learn something you never knew before.
Lee Jones was born on April 23, 1956, in Hagerstown, Maryland, to his parents Ethel and Dale Jones. His father was a calculus professor at Duke University, and his mother was a seamstress who owned a small shop just a few streets over from their house. Jones was the youngest of three children, having both an older brother and an older sister to look up to.
Jones was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 11 years old and struggled throughout the rest of his middle and high school career as a result of his learning disability. While he struggled academically, he was still an amazing athlete. He was a skilled basketball and baseball player who led his teams to victory on several different occasions.
Because his father worked at Duke University, Jones was able to attend the university for free. With the help of a teacher's aide, Jones graduated from the university in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. He then moved on to the University of Maryland, where he earned his master's in electrical engineering.
It was while in grad school that he was first introduced to poker. He would regularly play Texas Hold'em against his classmates, spending countless hours honing his skills and trying to become the best player he could be. When he finally graduated in 1983, he decided to pursue a career as a professional poker player.
Early Career Choices
Jones moved to Las Vegas and spent the next couple years trying his luck out at the tables. He entered numerous tournaments and played a variety of cash games. Some days, he would be up tens of thousands of dollars, while other days, he wouldn't have two dimes to rub together. Discouraged, he decided it was time to start looking for more steady work.
Jones was approached by PokerStars in 2003, as they were looking for a cardroom manager. Under this position, his responsibilities involved coordinating PokerStars' tournaments and selecting which games they would offer on their site. Under this position, he learned a lot about the different types of poker and started to consider himself an expert on the subject.
In addition to his cardroom management responsibilities, Jones was asked to be a spokesperson for PokerStars. Under his new role, he was asked to make major company announcements, respond to players' unanswered questions, and use suggestions made by players in order to improve the site. He became an active blogger on the 2+2 poker forums and was known for developing authentic relationships with the site's players.
Becoming a Published Author
In 2005, Jones published a book he had spent several years working on. It was titled Winning Low Limit Hold'em, and it was full of anecdotes and experiences from his time working as a professional poker player. Readers were attracted to this book because it was written in simple language, and it explained how to win low-limit hold'em in a very easy-to-understand manner. This book was well received by the whole poker community.
Professional poker player Antonio Esfandiari had this to say about the book: "I always thought poker was a game of luck. After reading Lee Jones' book and applying the techniques recommended, it was as if I were in The Matrix. It all came clear to me. I simply saw the truth at the poker table."
2004 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Greg Raymer made this comment about the book: "I wish this book had been out when I started playing hold'em because it is a great way to learn the game. If you want to put yourself on the path to becoming a top hold'em player, Lee Jones' book is the place to start."
Jones contemplated writing a second edition of the book that would address the strategies he recommended for low-limit hold'em in a little more detail. He also considered writing a strategy book on no-limit Omaha in a similar format as his first book. He later decided that writing books was not something he actually enjoyed doing. He prefers writing blog-style articles, several of which have been featured in Bluff Magazine.
More Career Changes
In 2007, Jones left PokerStars to become the executive host of the European Poker Tour. This job involved a lot of traveling, as he would have to attend each tournament of the tour. Jones was required to visit England, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Germany within his first few months on the job. While he enjoyed his job, it was very time-consuming.
The following year, he stepped down from his position of the executive host to become the chief operations officer of CardRunners.com. CardRunners is a poker training website available to all poker players no matter what their level of experience might be. It features in-depth articles, exclusive videos, and a variety of poker forums. Anyone interested in reaping all the benefits this site has to offer simply has to pay a small membership fee, which was something Jones initiated when he first accepted the position of COO.
Wanting to change his career again, Jones left the company in 2009 to become Cake Poker's cardroom manager. Similar to when he was a cardroom manager at PokerStars, he was responsible for selecting what games would be offered to players and what tournaments would be available. He left that position soon after he started because he wasn't comfortable with how they ran their business.
Jones took a break from working for 3 years, from 2010 to 2012. He never really explained his absence from the workforce, other than to say that his family needed him at that time. (We give you more details on Jones' family life in the section below.)
Jones was approached by PokerStars once again in 2012, just after they had acquired Full Tilt Poker. His new title was "head of poker communications," and it was his job to establish a good relationship between the Full Tilt Poker community and the PokerStars community. He was both the poker community's representative to PokerStars and Full Tilt as well as PokerStars' and Full Tilt's representation to the poker community.
Thanks to Jones' efforts, the merger between PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker was a success. He is still currently employed at PokerStars, with his position changing on a regular business. He has no plans to leave the company again and has actually said he plans to work at PokerStars until he retires.
Lee Jones married a woman named Bridget Farver in 1989. They were married for about 6 years before they decided they wanted to start having children. Their first-born sons were a set of twins, Marcus and Matthew. They eventually had a daughter as well, Maggie, who suffers from Down Syndrome. Jones is known for being a loving husband and father who always puts his family's needs above his own.
Jones' love of poker that he developed in grad school never subsided. He still plays poker on a regular basis with some of the dads in his community. He will even occasionally compete in world-renowned tournaments as well. He took 14th place in the 2014 United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour's No Limit Hold'em event in the Isle of Man.
When Jones isn't working or playing poker, he can be found volunteering. He believes simply giving money to charities is very impersonal, so he chooses to get actively involved in those charities instead. He has traveled to various parts of the world with the Habitat for Humanity organization to build homes for people who either never had a home or who lost their home due to a natural disaster.
Another organization Jones works with is the Orphan Outreach program. Though this program, Jones has traveled to Guatemala, Kenya, and Ukraine to spend time with the children there. He has helped organize fun activities for them to do and helped prepare healthy meals for them to eat.
Lee Jones tried to be a professional poker player, but luck just wasn't on his side. Instead, he got actively involved in the poker community, having had several influential poker-related jobs over the years. His most recent job title was the head of poker communications at PokerStars. Jones also influenced the poker community when he wrote Winning Low Limit Hold'em, which is still a very popular strategy book today. We are thankful for his contributions to the poker community and look forward to seeing what he does in the future.