I received your questions on my Facebook page yesterday and said I would choose 10 of them to answer, so here they are! Thanks to everybody who participated!
If you had to choose poker players to build a basketball team, who would you recruit?
There are a lot of good basketball players that play poker for a living. I would first take the Julius brothers — Ryan and Kyle. Ryan is the older and smaller of the two brothers, and he can handle the ball very well. Kyle is probably THE best basketball-playing professional poker player. In August, we were at a gym in Florida and within a few minutes on the court, he made 39 “Nick Van Exel” free throws in a row. For those who don’t know, Nick Van Exel was an NBA player who shot his free throws from just inside the three point line. To round off the team I would take Olivier Busquet, once he recovers from his ACL injury (hoping for a speedy recovery, buddy!), Jimmie Gunther, and Kory Kilpatrick. All three of these guys are very solid players that I played bball with during the summer in Vegas. I would be a player/coach for the team!!
Do you regret your A4 shove against Phil Ivey on High Stakes Poker?
I don’t regret that play at all. After running some calculations years ago, I justified the play as massively profitable. Ivey has a strange approach to the game sometimes, and I always second guessed whether he picked up some sort of physical tell on me. This hand only helped me develop a stronger table presence, and was one of my many “not-so-awesome” moments on television. You can’t win them all!
What’s your top three places to play poker in Florida?
1. Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL- Home casino close to where I live, big tournaments and cash games.
2. Isle in Pompano, FL- Very friendly dealers and staff there
3. Jacksonville Best Bet Poker Room- I’ve really enjoyed my overall experience the times I went to Jacksonville for the WPT events there. Amazing poker room!
Did you read Koskas’ mind, or just stare at his empty bottle of water?
I really felt like he was bluffing as soon as he moved in on the river. As he walked around and drank his “empty” water bottle, I became more and more convinced that he was in fact bluffing, which led me to my call on the river!
What is the first major thing you purchased with your poker winnings?
The first major thing I purchased with my poker winnings was a condo for myself. I bought a condo in South Florida in 2007 before I won EPT San Remo. After I won EPT San Remo, I bought my parents a new car.
Has the thought of going broke ever crossed your mind?
The thought of going broke is something that a poker player somewhat always has in the back of his mind. It left my mind a few years ago, as there is just no way it could happen for me with how conservative I am with bankroll management. For example, if I got down to my case 100k, you would see me playing 5/10, not 200/400.
Can you elaborate on tilt and how you use it to exploit people?
The way that I tilt people is just by playing my normal game. People get frustrated when they lose, it’s human nature. Once I am aware of a player being tilted, I may then play a hand differently than I normally would knowing that they are going to shove wide, or call light etc.
What did it take for you to become a successful poker player? Did you risk your bank savings to play live until you became successful, or was there somebody else to promote you?
I started playing online poker with $30. I grinded that money up and never once went completely broke. By the time I started playing live events, I had a 6 figure bankroll just from playing online.
Do you hate amateurs who go on long runs in main events with bad play but seem to get lucky all the time?
I definitely don’t hate amateurs in any form. Amateurs are what makes the game interesting, fun, and more profitable. Alot of times, I’m rooting for the amateur that is running deep in a major tournament, similar to rooting for the underdog in a sporting event.
What is your favorite sports moment as a fan?
My favorite sports moment as a fan would probably be when the Florida Marlins won the World Series in 1997. I was only 10 years old at the time, but was so excited as it was the first time any of my favorite teams had won a championship. I still remember laying down in my parents family room and going nuts when Edgar Renteria drove Craig Counsel home for the game winning run.