Posts Tagged ‘Spotlight’

Card Player Poker Tour Spotlight: Rem Remington

Rem RemingtonJacksonville local Rem Remington is finding his way back to the poker tables after taking a little time off to re-adjust to life with a new baby. After working at his own low-voltage wiring company, Remington played professionally for seven years before taking a break with his wife and baby and starting a real estate company.

Getting back into the swing of things is a grind, but Remington is ready and using his knowledge from his past professional time to start over. He secured a seat in the Card Player Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville $ 1,500 no-limit hold’em $ 300,000 guarantee main event early and is looking for a nice score come May 8-12.

“Starting back over, grinding is a big part of it,” Remington said. “Playing satellites to get into the big events and doing the hard things that a lot of people don’t want to do. If you want to be successful you have to commit to those.”

“bestbet does a great job pre-event of allowing the local players to get into the main event through the satellites. And even satellites for the other events like Event 1 ($ 350 no-limit hold’em $ 100,000 guarantee). A local player that is really committed to that can really take advantage of that like I did. Getting into the main for $ 185, you can’t beat it. That definitely increases the profit margin, which allows you to do some other things.”

Name: Rem Remington

Resides: Jacksonville, Florida

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Largest Live Cash: $ 17,563 – 5th, 2010 Winter Bayou Poker Challenge Main Event

You try to stay in Florida mostly now, but did you previously travel a lot?

It’s really nice that you guys and a lot of the tours are coming to Florida now because that’s a lot less traveling for some of us to get around a bit and that has really helped out a lot. Before the laws changed here in Florida, the stops were always Biloxi, Vegas, New Orleans, Tunica – so it just added a lot for someone who was trying to play the tour stops, especially for someone who lived in this area.

But now there is so much that goes on here at this great room in Jacksonville, and then down south is amazing, so now I can drive and I don’t have to be gone for too long.

Do you still travel occasionally?

I do. I still go to New Orleans – only because I run so good in New Orleans, I love it there – Biloxi and then obviously Vegas for the World Series.

Now poker is not your full time career correct? Or has that changed?

Well for about the past seven years, it was. I had a life change and had a new baby. So for about the last year and a half I’ve kind of slowed down and started a little real estate business. But now that the baby is getting older, my wife grabbed me and said ‘hey, you really miss poker right?’ And I couldn’t lie. I said ‘yeah, I do.’ So I’m getting back into playing full time. I’m excited about that and she is supporting me so it’s great.

Prior to the past seven years, what were you doing before?

I owned a low-voltage wiring company and then just got some freedom in my life that allowed me the opportunity to do what I wanted. So I studied up on the game, had a nice little run at the World Series, which bankrolled me pretty good and I played for a living for about seven years straight.

When everything changed on Black Friday, is that where your real estate business came into play? How did you deal with that change?

Well actually Black Friday didn’t affect me too much because I didn’t play a lot online, I played mostly live. But I was at the World Series during Black Friday and let me tell you, those kids were freaking out. They were trying to figure out how they were going to bankroll themselves during the World Series. It didn’t personally affect me but a lot of my friends were really scrambling. Quite honestly, it helped a lot of people who backed players start a business at that point, because there were a bunch of good players who needed funding. So there were a few people who were able to capitalize on that and make money.

From here going forward, what are your plans? You have played a couple CPPT stops and you are playing other tours as well, where would you like to be in a few years?

Just like a lot of what I call the grinding tour players – buy-in levels are great, the field sizes are perfect for someone who is really trying to what I call ‘break through’ – even though I’ve been playing for many years, everyone knows that player just needs that signature win. When you have that signature win it kind of allows you to play
differently. I’m going to continue to play on the Card Player Tour and some of the other tours when they come to Florida. I’m going to continue to play the World Series and try and hit my signature win and then go from there.

But poker just allows you a lifestyle that is great – freedom to spend time with your family and do what you want to do. So I’m good with it and just earning a living and moving forward. But everybody wants that big win. I’d love for it to be this weekend at the main event. I’d take that!

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 12:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Card, Player, Poker, Remington, Spotlight, Tour

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Card Player Poker Tour Spotlight: Tom McEvoy

Tom McEvoyPoker Hall of Fame 2013 inductee Tom McEvoy is perhaps best know for his 1983 World Series of Poker Main Event win, but in addition to the most coveted title in poker, McEvoy is the owner of four WSOP bracelets, a World Poker Tour title and has recorded more than $ 2.7 million in lifetime earnings.

Card Player sat down with McEvoy before the start of CPPT Atlantis Event 10: $ 120 No-Limit Hold’em Survivor.

Name: Tom McEvoy

Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada

Lifetime winnings: $ 2,724,658

Largest Live Cash: $ 540,000 – 1st, 1983 World Series of Poker Main Event

What was the draw for you to make the trip up to Atlantis for this series?

The principal reason is a nutshell, was Mike Gainey (Poker Room Manager) and Tracy Barnthouse (Publicist). And I like these kinds of tournaments and I like the Atlantis. I haven’t been to Reno in a couple of years, so I was due for a trip and some of my friends were up here too.

I’m very close friends with Vince Burgio and Howard “Tahoe” Andrew and I had another friend who hadn’t been up here before. He left already after playing the cash games, but it was like a little home week. I’ve known Mike a long time and Vince and Tahoe even longer. So it’s going to be a fun trip and hopefully I’ll make some money. I cashed in the first tournament and made a little money so it looks like I’ll have a winning trip no matter how it comes out the rest of the way.

When you say ‘tournaments like this,’ can you expand on what you mean by that?

Modest buy-ins, anywhere from $ 100 plus the entry fee up to $ 300 and $ 500, plus the $ 1,100 main event, which I’m tentatively planning on playing. With three tournaments a day, I don’t mind if I miss the noon tournament because there are others. I’m never bored, ever, as there is plenty to do up here. I took a side trip on Saturday, my friend Sam and I, he had never been to Reno or Carson City or Virginia City, so we took a little detour and did some touristy stuff. That was fun.

Have you been betting on any of the March Madness games?

No! That is against my religion (laughs) ! I make this distinction very clear when I get interviewed. There is a difference between being a professional gambler, which I am not, and a professional poker player, which I am.

It’s not that I’ll never bet on a ball game here and there ‘cause I do. But I have a remarkable skill at handicapping sports – for example, typical of my results is I picked Denver to win the Super Bowl. Earlier last year I lost something like 17 out of 20 sports bets, none of them where bigger than a $ 100 bet by the way, and I keep track of my results. I’m stuck like $ 1,400 or $ 1,500 for the year and there is a lesson there. Sometimes I just can’t resist the game but I should just simply go the other direction.

But I’m a very small bettor when I bet and I don’t play pit games except a little Black Jack once in a while. I’ve only played Black Jack once this year and I’m only a $ 5 and $ 10 bettor. I’m plus $ 20 on the year, maybe I’ll just lock it up and keep it. I’m not a gambler really. I’m just a poker player.

Now you were recently inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, tell me a little about that.

That was for me, I call it the frosting on the cake of my poker career. I’ve been around a long time and I was nominated every year for the past five years. I lost the previous four elections, which was disappointing naturally, but this time I made it and I’m glad that little streak is over. But next to winning the Main Event at the World Series of Poker, getting into the Poker Hall of Fame was the most important thing that ever happened in my poker career.

So from here on out, what does the rest of your career look like? You’ve accomplished those two main things, is it now just time to sit back and enjoy it or are there more goals to set?

I certainly would like to win another bracelet. I also have a streak going, it’s either the second or third longest streak in the history of the World Series, I’ve played the Main Event 31 consecutive years. I won it the very first year I was in it and I’ve been trying to duplicate that ever since!

But I don’t travel as much anymore. One guy saw me up here and said ‘I thought you were retired.’ I said ‘No, I may be a little tired now and then, but I’m not retired.’
I used to be on the road five months out of the year, but that is not the case anymore. I have a wife, a stepson, a dog, a cat and two birds that all like having me around. So I’m more of a homebody than I was because I’m older.

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 12:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Card, McEvoy, Player, Poker, Spotlight, Tour

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Card Player Poker Tour Spotlight: Vince Burgio

Vince BurgioVince Burgio has been a part of the poker scene for over 25 years and has seen many changes during his two and half decades at the felt. He is the owner of a World Series of Poker bracelet from the 1994 $ 1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo and has published two books, including his autobiography Pizza, Pasta and Poker. His poker resume includes upwards of $ 2.1 million in live career earnings and a fourth place WSOP Main Event finish in 1994.

Card Player sat down with Burgio before the start of CPPT Atlantis Event 14: $ 230 No-Limit Hold’em Mega Stack Survivor.

Name: Vince Burgio

Resides: West Hills, California

Lifetime winnings: $ 2,111,467

Largest Live Cash: $ 168,000 – 4th, 1994 World Series of Poker Main Event

Tell me about the name of your autobiography. What does it mean?

Well, I’m Italian and my wife and I struggled with what the name of the book should be, so I tried to intertwine some of my heritage in the book. It came out in the very beginning of 2006. In fact, it was named Best New Poker Book in 2006 by Ashley Adams, who writes for Poker Player Magazine.

What about the other book, Inside Poker: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly?

I used to write a column for Card Player and I had about 60 of the columns published. Then after each column I put an afterthought, because some of them were four or five years old and I thought ‘I was stupid to think that’ or ‘I was very prophetic because I saw this coming.’

Would you say you foresaw the current state of poker? Did you see the downfall of online poker coming?

Yeah, kind of. You just kind of new that either they (the government) were going to tax it or they were going to shut it down. One of the two. And I think it’s still the same now. At some point they are going to let it go and tax it.

What other things did you foresee?

Well, when they said you couldn’t smoke in the poker rooms people said ‘Oh God this is going to kill poker.’ I said ‘No, this is not going to kill poker. People are still going to play poker.’

What about things you didn’t see coming?

I certainly didn’t see the big boom that we had when Chris Moneymaker won the tournament (2003 WSOP Main Event). I think there were three things that contributed to that. Internet poker was just starting and television was different before that. I came in fourth in the Main Event in 1994 and they didn’t show the hands then. So when you watched those broadcasts, they were pretty boring. When they started showing the hands and now everybody could see what people had, that helped.

How long have you been around poker? When did you get your start?

I started in 1987. I had a construction company in L.A. and I played a few local tournaments down there and did well and then my wife said ‘Well lets go to Vegas, they have a tournament at the Hilton.’ It was a $ 200 or $ 300 buy-in and I came in third and got about $ 10,000 or $ 12,000 or $ 15,000, whatever it was. Then two weeks later they had one at the Riviera and I won $ 54,000. So I said you know what, maybe I’ll just try this for a while. I can always start my business back up. But I never have. It’s been good the whole time.

Today it’s a little more common to hear someone say they player poker professionaly, but back in 1987, how did people react after asking what you did for a living?

It’s funny that you say that because in one of my first columns I talked about how people treat somebody that plays poker for a living. Their jaw drops because they’ve never heard of it. ‘Oh wow, you actually do that?’ Then they ask where do you go and how do you do it?

One of my better columns was about how I went to have a root canal and the guy has both hands in my mouths and says ‘What do you do?’ I said ‘I’m a poker player,’ and he happened to be one too, and my whole column was about how he had both hands in my mouth and was asking me all these questions. I decided from now on I’m going to say I’m a crossing guard.

My mother, God rest her soul, she said ‘What will people think?’ And then of course in 1994 I won a bracelet and I also came in fourth in the Main Event. Then I won a $ 5,000 tournament for about a half a million dollars and I got a little bit of publicity. Before that, in 1992 I won the best all-around player at The Queens and I got my photo on the front page of Card Player. At that point they began to say ‘You know what, maybe it’s a viable thing.’

Of course now, you watch some of those broadcasts and seven of the nine guys are professional poker players. Now I don’t know if they are, in my definition it’s somebody who has been making a living at it for more than one year. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years.

Let’s talk a little about Atlantis, do you play here often.

Not really. In LA where I live I’m about 40 miles from the casino and I used to play everyday, because I played high but the games that I played, believe it or not, they discontinued them. But the travel time back and forth is like three hours and I just hate to put that kind of time in to go down and play.

I like to come up here because you get a room, you get on the elevator and you go down and play. So I played up here and when Mike Gainey (Poker Room Manager) took over the Atlantis, he kind of takes care of me and he is just the nicest, sweetest guy in the world, so whatever he does I will support. And at the Atlantis you’ve got no complaints about the hotel and the property.

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 6:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Burgio, Card, Player, Poker, Spotlight, Tour, VINCE

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CPTV Video Spotlight — Tour of Atlantis Casino Resort Spa In Reno

The 2014 Card Player Poker Tour Atlantis season II is running from March 20th through the 30th at the four-diamond rated Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in beautiful Reno, Nevada.

“Aside from the exciting play, there’s no better place than Atlantis to host a CPPT tournament,” said Atlantis Publicist Tracie Barnthouse. “Our casino floor is always packed, and our machines are red hot – a guest hit a $ 3.89 million jackpot in February, and Money Maker, Reno’s longest-running casino wide progressive that starts at $ 20,000 and is guaranteed to hit by $ 50,000, continues to pay out big. Atlantis has awarded over $ 5.9 million in progressives.”

The day before the main event begins, March 27, players can treat themselves to a Spirited Wine Dinner complete with wines from Frank Family Vineyards. The six-course meal includes Maine lobster, Kobe steak and more, perfectly paired with Frank Family wines. Reservations are encouraged at 775-824-4411.

This will be the second year that the CPPT has made it way into the shadows of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in search of top-notch poker action. During the 2013 CPPT Atlantis main event Card Player TV toured the property to learn more about what the Atlantis had to offer players and their families away from the felt, from fine dining to spa treatments and more.

Check out the video tour below:

Here is a look at the complete schedule for the CPPT Atlantis, including satellites:

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 6:30 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Atlantis, casino, CPTV, Reno, Resort, Spotlight, Tour, Video

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CPTV Video Spotlight — Mike Leah On Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments

Mike LeahMike Leah has gotten off to a good start in 2014, recently winning a $ 1,000 prelim at the Fallsview Poker Classic just weeks after taking down a $ 5,000 no-limit hold’em turbo side event at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $ 119,770. The Canadian poker pro now sits in 15th place in the overall Card Player Player of the Year standings as a result of his hot start to the year.

Card Player TV caught up with Leah recently to learn a little more about how to approach live NLH turbos, in which blind levels are far shorter than in normal events. Leah first shared some of his thoughts on how people over-adjust to the format.

“I think some people definitely play too aggressive, they think they have to adjust and play faster and they probably do that too much. I think that really all that happens [in these turbo events] is that you get to the deeper and more meaningful stages of the tournament quicker,” said Leah. “You get to where almost everybody has 20 to 30 big blinds and you almost play the entire tournament that way, so it just puts more emphasis on push-fold, when to shove and when to call… those kind of decisions as opposed to being super deep stacked and playing a lot post flop.”

Leah also discussed other ways that people adjust poorly to the format and what advice he would give someone who was going to play a turbo if he had to boil it down to one sentence. Check out all of that in the full video below:

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 5:31 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , CPTV, Hold'em, Leah, Mike, NoLimit, Spotlight, Tournaments, Turbo, Video

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CPTV Video Spotlight — Grayson Ramage On Keeping Cool After Getting Short Early

Grayson RamageAt the end of day 1A of the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $ 10,000,000 guaranteed main event Dylan Hortin was the chip leader with 160,500. Grayson Ramage had only 12,100.
Hortin finished 96th for $ 20,300, while Ramage placed 11th for $ 112,400. This isn’t meant to imply that one of these two fantastic professionals played better than the other, simply to illustrate that poker tournaments are marathons, not sprints.

Many people lose sight of this. If they get short stacked early on they try to force the action with the hopes of rebuilding their stack right then. This results in them punting off their stack, wasting the value of their tournament life.

Ramage, who has been a successful live and online tournament player for years, certainly had to run good after getting so short. But he also used his experience and skill, remaining patient and looking for the best spots to try to reassemble a stack.

Card Player TV caught up with Ramage to talk to him about the importance of keeping your cool in this situation.

“It’s really easy to kind of just give up when you lose a huge pot, but your tournament life is just huge and you are always going to regret it if you just pitz those last few chips,” said Ramage.

Check out the full video below:

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 5:32 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , After, Cool, CPTV, Early, Getting, Grayson, Keeping, Ramage, Short, Spotlight, Video

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CPTV Video Spotlight — Mickey Petersen On Common Preflop Situations

Mickey PetersenPlaying a short to medium stack in no-limit hold’em tournament poker can be tricky, so Card Player TV recently caught up with 2012 European Poker Tour Copenhagen champion Mickey Petersen to discuss a number of preflop dilemmas that players commonly face.

Petersen, who’s live and online tournament winnings exceed $ 2 million, first gave CPTV some insight on determining if you have a large enough stack to make a raise or re-raise preflop for less than all-in. First off, he reminded us that as always in poker, the right approach is very situation dependent.

“Well, I guess the first rule with stuff like that is that there is no certain [approach]. it all depends on the players you are up against, your skill set, the kind of hand you have and so forth,” said Petersen. “In general, people usually say that if you have a stack of 14 big blinds or less you are usually raising all-in or folding.”

Check out the complete video below for more of Petersen’s advice on preflop situations with short to medium stacks.

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 11:30 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Common, CPTV, Mickey, Petersen, Preflop, Situations, Spotlight, Video

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Card Player TV Video Spotlight — Phil Galfond On Polarized Ranges

Phil GalfondPhil Galfond is one of the most successful high stakes cash game players of the modern poker era, particularly excelling in online nosebleed-stakes cash games. Galfond has won more than $ 8.5 million online according to tracking sites, with another $ 1.8 million in live tournament wins and a World Series of Poker gold brace also under his belt. Obviously, Galfond knows what he’s talking about when it comes to poker strategy.

Card Player TV caught up with the 28-year-old pro during the 2012 WSOP main event to discuss the poker strategy topic of “polarized ranges”. In somewhat oversimplified terms, a player’s range is polarize when they only bet or raise with their very strongest and very weakest holdings in a given situation, opting to check or call their medium-strength hands in order to control the size of the pot.

“People that play unpolarized are tougher to play against, but I don’t think that necessarily makes it a better strategy, especially in a field [like the WSOP main event].” said Galfond referring to the main event’s amateur-filled field. “In a tough tournament field you need to unpolarize your ranges because you are going to want to be three-betting, you’re going to be double and triple barreling. You just don’t have enough monster hands to be able to be doing that enough, otherwise you are just going to be bluffing nearly every time.”

To learn more about Galfond’s thoughts on playing with a polarized range, and why one might divert from this strategy to value bet more thinly, check out the video below:

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 5:31 am by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Card, Galfond, Phil, Player, Polarized, Ranges, Spotlight, Video

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Poker Video Spotlight — Mark Gregorich On Omaha Eight-or-Better Strategy

Mark GregorichCard Player TV recently caught up with Omaha eight-or-better specialist Mark Gregorich for a video interview about the types of hands that you should be playing in Omaha-eight beyond just A-A-2-3 double suited.

Gregorich is particularly well qualified to speak on the subject, because in addition to playing the game for a living he also co-authored the chapter on it in the popular poker strategy book Super System 2 with poker legend Bobby Baldwin.

In the video, Gregorich provides information on the second tier of starting hands that players should be looking to enter hands with.

“One of the biggest problems I see beginners getting into in O/8 is that they have trouble folding hands before the flop,” says Gregorich. “Since you get four cards instead of two, as in hold’em, it’s so easy to find something that looks good.”

In the video Gregorich also discusses playing high-only starting hands, an area of the game that can be confusing to fledgling Omaha eight or better players.

Check out the video below:

Card Player TV has been bringing you insight from the games’ top pros for years. As a result, a number of poker’s best players have given their take on the subject of Omaha eight-or-better. Here’s a look at some of those videos:

  • Scott Clements talks through a bracelet win in Omaha 8/OB
  • Jimmy Fricke on tips for beginners in O/8
  • Miami John Cernuto on three-betting in O/8
  • Annie Duke and Michael DeMichele talk O/8 strategy

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CardPlayer Poker News


Published on 6:33 pm by Administrator

Category: Poker

Tags: , Eightorbetter, Gregorich, Mark, Omaha, Poker, Spotlight, Strategy, Video

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Online Player of the Year Spotlight — Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet

Jon Van Fleet at the 2008 WSOPThe Card Player Online Player of the Year (OPOY) award honors the best tournament player across the major online sites in a given calendar year. Previous winners have included greats such as Isaac “westmenloAA” Baron, Alexander “AJKHoosier1” Kamberis and Steve “gboro780” Gross. Here, we take a look at one of the current top contenders.

Jon “apestyles’ Van Fleet has been one of the game’s most respected online professionals for the past five years. The New York born and Texas raised pro fondly known as “ape” took a $ 50 deposit in college and ran it up into a substantial bankroll. To date, the 29-year-old has amassed nearly $ 2.2 million in tournament earnings.

Despite his success, Van Fleet nearly lost it all thanks to too much partying, bad bankroll management and a big ego. Now living in the city of Austin, Van Fleet has separated himself from the distractions, gotten his life in order and now sits in the top five of the OPOY rankings with just a few days remaining in the race.

In this interview, Van Fleet discusses his start in poker, his downfall and how he picked himself back up and even offers up some advice for beginning players.

Julio Rodriguez: At 29-years-old, you are a bit older than the typical online pro. How did it all begin?

Jon Van Fleet: The first time I played for money was in college in a simple $ 5 game with some friends. I was pretty terrible and had no idea what was going on and I think I ended up losing around $ 20 to $ 25 in that game, which, to a college student, was a decent chunk of change.

At the time, I pretty big into chess and very competitive, so it bothered me that my friends could beat me so easily at something. I started reading some poker books in my spare time and before long, I was beating that game. I put $ 50 online a couple times and that was pretty much it.

JR: You mentioned chess, how did you get involved with that game?

JVF: That was a similar situation. This guy who I considered to be “not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” beat me in chess. I ended up betting him $ 50 that I could beat him if he gave me three months to study. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the game and got pretty good. I only played for a few years because I realized that I started learning the game a little too late in life and that it would be almost impossible for me to become a grand master. I still get steamed whenever I lose at anything, but at least now I’ve learned that I don’t need to go out and study something for months just to be able to beat my friends.

JR: You got your degree in Psychology from Texas Tech University. How has it helped you in your poker game?

Jon Van Fleet at the 2007 WSOPJVF: I think that an interest in the motivations of people, trying to understand what makes people tick; it can definitely help you when you are at the poker table. My goal when I sit down to play is to discover how each individual approaches the game and even make a few inferences about what the game means to them. Once you can step into somebody else’s shoes, it becomes much easier to make the right decisions against them.

This is something that you don’t need a psychology degree to do. One of the biggest mistakes that I made when I first started playing, was that I generally assumed that everyone played like me. I’d make these huge hero calls just because I’d be able to convince myself that if it were me making the bet, I could conceivably have any two cards. Well, it took awhile, but after being shown the nuts over and over again, I got the message.

Each hand that I observe contributes to an overall profile I have for each player. Don’t get me wrong, people are complex. I don’t claim to be able to size up an individual just from a session of poker. But lately I’ve found that I’ve been able to visualize the game from all kinds of different perspectives and that has ultimately brought me some success.

JR: By assuming that everyone else played your game, what kinds of mistakes were you making during your sessions?

JVF: I did my own study on how often the average player folds to reraises preflop. You would think that looser players would fold more often to reraises, simply because they generally have worse hands. But I found out that the two aren’t correlated. It turns out that even though the tighter players are opening with stronger hands, they are also folding more often to three-bets.

Like me when I first started, other players are simply assuming that their opponents play like they do. The tight players raise and assume that when they are reraised, they are beaten by a better hand. The loose players raise and assume that when they are reraised, their opponent is just as full of it as they are. Now, this isn’t concrete for each and every player, but it’s something to think about.

JR: You’ve always been one of the more consistent players in the online community. In 2007 you had a solid year, finishing in 35th place in the OPOY rankings. In 2009, you came back to finish 12th and you are looking at a top 10 finish in 2010. What happened in 2008?

JVF: I wasn’t running very well. Now, I’m not going to blame it all on bad luck. I’m a firm believer that when you run bad, you also start to play bad and sometimes you don’t even realize it. The fact is that I was arrogant. I had a great year in 2007 and thought that I had the game solved. I told myself that I didn’t have anything else to learn and spent my time drinking and partying at every opportunity. I had no work ethic whatsoever.

After the WSOP in 2009, it had gotten to the point where I was nearly broke. Even worse, my health had taken a nosedive and I was pushing 300 pounds. At that point, I told myself that I could be fat or broke, but not both. Since poker wasn’t going very well, I decided to focus on what I could change, which was my lifestyle. I started eating right and going to the gym and coincidentally, poker started to go well too. It’s amazing how the two go hand in hand. Within six months, I had lost 80 pounds and gone on a $ 300,000 upswing. Since August of 2009, it feels like I’ve done nothing but win. Poker is fun again and now I have that drive to compete.

Jon Van Fleet is the co-author of Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time, available at amazon.com.

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