2011 Featured Members
FCP is a community driven website with some truly amazing members who have achieved some remarkable goals. FCP recognizes those members who regularly contribute to the FCP Poker Forums or excel in playing poker both live or online. Our administrative staff carefully selects a new member to feature throughout our website not only to boost egos but also to give respect back to the community.
FCP Featured Members:
December 1st, 2011: armen13
Armen joined FCP in 2005, the night he final tabled PokerStars biggest tournament, now known as the Sunday Million. At that time he had only been playing for a few months. “I was an amateur and not very good, but I got lucky and made some (what turned out to be) good plays allowing me to get to the final table,” said Armen. When he got there, he was the shortstack and wound up all in 6 or 7 times, somehow winning each hand. Eventually his luck would come to an end and he finished the tournament in 8th place, walking away with a respectable $11K for his efforts. “There was a lot of talk in the forums at the time, including FCP which I lurked, so I decided to join in and post about how it was to play the event.”
After that finish, Armen began studying any material he could get his hands on to try and improve his play but since he works full time, this was a slow going process. However, 2008 was a breakout year for him as he started to do well in high stakes MTT events. He had multiple final tables in the $100 rebuy tournies on stars, including a win. “I also did well in the nightly 150’s, the 50 rebuy, and the Saturday 300. These were great but I still had leaks and the game was changing fast. It wasn’t too long before I found myself behind the learning curve and not doing very well.”
Skip ahead a couple of years and Armen decided to make some big changes in 2010 after playing the WSOP, committing himself to retooling his game. “I focused on 6 max tournaments as that is an ideal place to polish a multitude of playing styles. I started posting more hands in strategy forums and joined a hand history review group including Mr. Sparco and seacucumber. I also started getting coaching from renowned online player Ajkhoosier1.” These additions to his game started to quickly pay off and within a couple of months he had final tabled the Sunday Million again (Finishing in 5th this time), and started to win tournaments as well. “Not only did I start to win but it reinvigorated in me the love for the game that is necessary to go through all the variance and effort and hard work that is needed.”
“I have been going to Vegas during the WSOP for several years now and have had the chance to meet quite a few FCP’rs including GWCGWC, Seacucumber, Mr. Sparco, Nutzbuster, many others, and Daniel of course. This is one of the most important things about poker for me: the sense of community that has been created over the forums such as FCP. The chance to meet people you have known online in real life and form real friendships, to share in your successes and help each other out. Without all that I don’t think I would want to play poker.”
November 1st, 2011: Nikki_N
After watching Daniel play on television, Nikki quickly became a fan. She looked him up online in 2004 and joined the board to become one of the original members of FCP. Nikki sticks to low limits and keeps it pretty casual for the most part, but her favorite game is PL Omaha Hi-Low.
In 2005, a topic started for members to chit chat throughout the day while at work. Several forum members then started a group called the FCP Hardcore Army (FCPHA) and over the years the members have become very close friends offline as well. “As much as I’m not into the grind, one of my very favorite things to do is to sit at a 2-4 limit table with the rest of the FCPHA in Vegas where we can play and laugh and chat,” said Nikki.
Every summer the FCPHA takes a trip to Vegas with as many as 30 or as few as 9 for a week of debauchery and camaraderie. “One year we danced on the bar top in a biker bar. One year all the girls got tattoos. One year we took a limo out to a gun range and learned to shoot. You never know what kind of mischief we are going to get up to from year to year.” During the first big summer trip they took, Daniel and Patty joined in on the fun and partied with them at the Rio. “That was such a good time. I know Daniel thinks we’re totally nuts, and he’s right, I suppose.”
Since being part of FCP, Nikki has formed many lifelong friends. “We’ve traveled all over the country to see each other, including trips to Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Toronto (for a member’s wedding). Our relationships have gone beyond poker to that of true friendship. If not for Daniel and FCP, I wouldn’t know any of these folks who are now very near and dear to me.”
Nikki is actively involved in scorekeeping at large Magic the Gathering tournaments throughout the US because of someone she met through FCP who hired her to work a game convention. “It’s interesting to see how many Magic players play poker and vice versa.”
“The FCP boards have been really fun for me over the years and although I mainly stick to off topic instead of actual poker topics, I’ve visited nearly every day from November 2004 until today. As long as FCP is here, I’ll still be posting.”
Nikki’s post count as of November 1st, 2011: 31,374 and counting
October 1st, 2011: wsox8
Matt started playing poker during the popular Moneymaker boom era. Him and his friends played small $5 sit-n-go tournaments, where he found himself winning most games. “I was pretty good at guessing other people’s hole cards but it was probably luck and I had to guess right eventually, right?” said Matt.
Matt is a recreational, online poker player. He finds the urge to play while watching TV, or relaxing and has never had the desire to play in casinos. Unfortunately, since Black Friday, Matt along with many other American’s haven’t been able to play their favorite past game. “I wish I could say I was a bracelet winner or cashed for 5 figures daily like a lot of the members seem to do but I’m just your regular casual player. Now that I can’t play online I just think about playing. I’ve never actually played live mainly because there isn’t a casino within an hour or so from me, I’m lazy, and I’m so tired after work that I just don’t feel like it. Also, I’d probably have a lot of tells and get really nervous.”
Matt likes to play all types of games and doesn’t feel the need to stick to one. “You can’t really pinpoint a special game for me because I’ve played all of them and I like to switch it up every few weeks or days but I’d say I usually prefer the Mix games (8 game or 10 game) when I could play online.”
Online, Matt played lots of heads up SNGs and .50/1 or 1/2 mixed games. His largest cash was for $1785 (2nd place) in a $15K freeroll event in November, 2010. Also, prior to the shut down, he rarely missed a Negreanu Open over the past year.
“Most forum members either don’t know who I am and why I have so many posts or know me as someone who makes a lot of sports bets (which is true). I wish I could say I knew a bunch of you thugs outside of the forum but I’ve never met any of you although possibly I’ll show up at a Chicago outing at some point, but yes I am a real person.”
“Thanks to everyone for the opportunity to talk with people who share the same hobbies and interests.”
FCP would also like to congratulate Matt and his wife on their recent marriage in August!
September 1st, 2011: gruven
Chris started playing poker at the clubhouse of a local golf course at the young age of 12. He instantly fell in love with the game after finding some early success against adults and continued playing right through university. After a gig as a guitar and drum tech on big rock tours including the likes of Robert Plant and Bob Dylan, Chris headed into the pro sports world, writing and covering sports, mostly hockey of course.
In the 1990s, Chris was a regular in Toronto’s limit hold’em charity casino games, at the same time that a young Daniel Negreanu and FCP Bob (Forum Administrator) were making their way up the ranks in those games. In 2003, Chris switched gears with his career and started covering poker almost exclusively. He wrote a story on Daniel for the mainstream media, one of the first ever in Canada and in 2005, he did a cross Canada party tour that included promotions for Full Contact Poker’s re-launch.
“That launch tour opened my eyes to the potential that Daniel had in Canada, and the rest of the world. He was a rock star already by then, and it was easy to see he was going right to the top, both in poker and in popularity,” said Chris.
In 2007, Chris launched the Hardcore Poker Show, the most successful poker radio show ever, on Sirius Satellite Radio. With co-host Rob Pizzo, the show features interviews with the biggest names in poker. Well known pros such as Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Doyle Brunson have appeared regularly on the show. Over 150 episodes of the HPS were made, but at the beginning of this September, the Score Radio shutdown, and the Hardcore Poker Show broadcast it’s last episode. “Doing the show was amazing. We had everyone as guests, from Ivey to Dwan to Amarillo Slim and everyone in between. And we made some big news on the show too, including a verbal war between Daniel and Phil Hellmuth that was awfully fun to spectate.” Chris is currently in talks to bring the show to an even bigger platform.
Chris has written features for almost every major poker magazine, and did regular features for American Poker Player, and All-In Magazine, as well as writing the only syndicated poker column in Canada in the Sun newspapers.
Despite his busy media and travel schedule, he still finds time to play poker regularly online, focusing on multi-table SNGs, in the $30-$100 range, with a 38% cash rate. He’s had a couple of sponsorship deals for live tournaments, including the past few WSOP Main Events and some WPT and EPT events.
“My strength as a player is reading ability, which is part natural, and part due to some personal coaching from tells guru Joe Navarro”.
Chris recently got married in August to his wife Robyn with the wedding at a castle in Scotland. They’ve also recently built a new house, with a new poker room. “The poker room (new and old) have seen some pretty decent players, including Brad Booth, Gavin Smith, and Daniel on many occasions, as well as some of my NHL friends including leaf star Phil Kessel who is a close friend. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a game that was Daniel, Kriszta (Polgar), poker coach Ryan Szegiti, PokerStars Team Pro Pat Pezzin, Kessel, FCP Bob, FCP’er Ingmen and a couple of others. I guess my job in those games is to be the dead money”.
With all the time and effort he puts into his poker consulting business and the journalism side of things, Chris still enjoys the FCP Forums. “I’m here on a daily basis, mostly in the hockey forum, but I love to check into the other forums to keep an ear on what the poker community at FCP is up to. It really seems like a great bunch, and every time I run into an FCP’er at a tournament or event, they are almost always good people.”
You can follow Chris on twitter: @ChrisTessaro
August 1st, 2011: LongLiveYorke
Like many others, Yorke started playing poker in college after ESPN popularized the game by broadcasting the WSOP. He started out by playing with a group of friends in small $20 buy-in games but eventually found regular cash games around campus.
“As a math/science guy, I became really interested in the ‘theory’ of poker and picked up nearly every book I could find on strategy, poker math, and poker analysis,” said Yorke. “I originally thought it to be a very mathematical game and that a smart person who was good with numbers could easily come out ahead.”
After reading his fair share and playing more, he came to the conclusion that the math aspect of the game can be highly overrated. “It’s a mathematical game, sure, but the complexity of the game, the number of possible hands and situations, and the influence of psychology make it completely intractable. Knowing the odds is necessary, but doesn’t by any means guarantee success. It’s really a game of psychology.”
Daniel’s entertaining personality and his understanding of the game’s psychology drove Yorke to learn more about him, and that’s how he initially came across FCP. “Watching him and seeing how his ability to read other players lead to his success really drove home to me how much poker is a game of people.”
While playing in the live cash games Yorke also made an online deposit to continue to play more often at home.. He began playing low-stakes NLHE games ($0.25/$0.50 and $0.50/$100) but eventually found his niche in sit-n-go’s. Between classes he would often 4-table $20 & $40 buy-ins.
“I think the thing that appealed to me about sit-n-go’s was the fact that losses were limited (the most you can stack off if you went on tilt was your buy-in) and they had a regular pattern to them. In a cash game, every hand is essentially independent of the one before it, but in a sit-n-go, the game constantly evolved and one’s strategy had to quickly change with it.”
He believed the reason he was successful playing SNGs was that many players simply didn’t adapt to the changing game. “I was always shocked to see people get it all in early on with high cards preflop or with a weak pair on the flop. Similarly, I was even more shocked as to how passively people would play when the blinds were 1/10 or 1/5 of their stack.”
“I think I enjoyed sit-n-go’s the most because they felt the most mathematical, in the sense that one could come up with a strategy and play very close to that strategy and do well. It seemed mathematically simpler than a deep-stacked cash game.”
Yorke has played live casino games in Florida but mostly played at Foxwoods as he’s form Connecticut. He always had fun playing live but he says he often underestimated how tiring a long, live session can be and occasionally found himself making poor decisions after hours at the table.
Since starting graduate school, he hasn’t had much time to play poker these days. Yorke is a graduate student earning his PhD in High Energy Experimental Particle Physics and does his research on a particle collider in Switzerland. While he lives in New York, he often spends time in Switzerland & France as he spent 8 months there last year.
July 1st, 2011: r0llin_game
Cody learned the basics of poker at an early age from watching his dad play a dealer choice game with his friends and like many others he got involved in poker around the Moneymaker boom. Shortly afterwards, Cody began searching online and came across FCP and Daniel Negreanu.
Growing up in South Florida, Cody benefited from be able to play live at the age of 18. “Although the biggest cash game we could play in was 1/2 min bet, we did have a few decent tourneys,” said Cody. “I managed to final table three straight that I played in. The first one was a $75 bounty tourney which I won on New Year’s Day in 2006, then the other two were $150 bounties in the following February and May.”
While playing the tournaments, Cody met a guy named Lon who invited him to play in a weekly cash game. “I ended up playing in that game almost every week and was eventually staked by him in that game. That game went on for another year and a half until the 1/2, 2/5, and 5/10 100max buyin rules became effective. Since then whenever I played cash, it was typically 1/2.” From there on, Cody mostly just played in online MTTs and had a deep run here and there. Eventually in January of 2009, Cody was talking with 2010 FCP Player of the Year, Harrison Gimbel (gibler321) who offered to stake & coach him.
“With the exception of 4 months during football season that year, he’s been coaching me ever since. I started off playing $3.40 10 man SNGs where I ended up getting 2nd for the high orbit and received a ticket into the battle of planets and got 3rd in the freeroll for $4.5K.”
After that, Cody started playing more MTTs, mostly ranging from $11-$55’s and in May 2010, he hit his biggest online score winning the $55 Daily Ninety Grand ($300K Sunday Special) for just over $43K. He’s since moved to Indiana to be closer with his sister and play for a living.
“Ever since then (and before Black Friday), I was playing up to $55’s regularly and the majors on Sundays. Since Black Friday, I’ve moved from Indiana to Fargo for a quick week and a half stint, and now out to Vegas.”
In June of 2011, Cody played the Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza Series and had an impressive run making two final tables, finishing 7th and 3rd and winning over $60K.
June 1st, 2011: ajs510
Like many others, Adam got into poker during the Moneymaker boom. Him and his friends had a low buyin, weekly Saturday night homegame at his house. During this time Adam watched the WPT and WSOP whenever it was on, and became a fan of Negreanu as he was the big superstar of the era.
“I just happened to Google Daniel one day back in 2005 and lo and behold I came across this site called Full Contact Poker (which apparently had been around for some six months at that point),” said Adam. “There seemed to be some good discussions going on, and Daniel was a fairly regular poster so I registered right away.” For those interested, Adam’s username ajs510 derived from the serial number on his Ibanez bass.
For the first few months at FCP, Adam got involved in some of the poker discussions and was strictly a General Poker Forum poster. That was up until later that summer when FCP opened up a hockey forum…from then on the vast majority of his posting has been split between there and the other off-topic forums. “I posted in the Sick Thread from the very first day and every day for about three years, since 2009 or so I’ve been almost exclusively Hockey Forum.”
“The way you can tell who has been posting on FCP forever and who hasn’t: If you know what a Charter Member is and what the benefits are. If you can accurately describe the Smasharoo method of online NLHE. If the idea of a forum mod offering rakeback still sends a chill down your spine. If you ever offered Daniel Negreanu a fine piece of homemade pottery.”
Adam’s time spent in the hockey forums has become a big part of his life. “As far as my online life in the hockey forum goes, those guys have become like a family to me. It’s probably no exaggeration to say that I spend more time talking to them than I do my own family, co-workers, or real life friends.”
The first winter of the Hockey Forum’s existence, a group of regulars decided that they wanted to start a long-term keeper fantasy league, now known as the Full Contact Hockey League or FCHL (4Lyfe!). “It would be far too embarrassing to disclose how much of my life I’ve dedicated to managing my team in that league, The Lost Cause, but the many thousands of hours are all worth it, we really have a good time with the league. I also run the annual FCP Extreme Yahoo League every year and most everyone seems to have a great time participating in that each year. I haven’t won yet, but I’m working on it.”
Adam’s best FCP moment to date came in early 2009 when a big group of the hockey forum regulars attended a charity poker tournament at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. “I had a great time meeting a lot of the group for the first time, swapping stories, making silly hockey bets, just all-around had a blast. A large part of that group will be descending on Las Vegas the 2nd week of June to do more of the same: eat, drink, gamble and watch hockey. I think at the end of the trip I’ll have a lot of new ‘Best FCP Moments’.”
As far as poker goes, Adam’s tapered off lately after hitting a wall with NLHE. He strictly plays live poker ( $100, $200, $500 max NL as well as tournament NL). “My trip to Vegas next month will be the first time I’ve played since November of last year, hoping the downtime will drive away some of my bad habits. Other than Vegas, Turning Stone in Upstate NY is my favorite place to play live, it’s a good room with some bad players.”
May 1st, 2011: babylondonks
Phil first discovered online poker when he was just 14, when a friend told him about online play money tournaments. This led to a weekly home game and the search to make him a better player. Eventually Phil came across Daniel Negreanu and FCP. “It was here that I was lucky enough to come 2nd in a 4.40 that I was staked in, and the dream had begun,” said Phil. Inspired by the success of players who posted on the forums, he decided that 6 max NLHE was his niche. “With my winnings I jumped right into 0.05/0.10 to begin my meteoric rise to the nosebleeds. Over the next couple of months I was ready to make the leap to 25nl, until one fateful Christmas Eve where I saw a number of the ballers of FCP playing some drunk 50nl. I obviously had to prove my worth and join in the fun. Half an hour later I had $28 left in my account. Merry Christmas.”
Fortunately he was able to bounce back, getting staked by king1305 in $3 45 man turbos which he did very well in. “Suddenly I had a bankroll for 25nl and this time I was ready to really give it my all. I studied hand histories, watched some videos, talked to people far cleverer than me and I also ran really really well. I have to give a shout out to Citizen Erased at this point, we talked a lot about poker while we were both in the micros and I think it really helped both of us improve as players.” His success at 25nl eventually led to 50nl, and by the end of 2009 managed to become a pretty successful regular at 100nl and 200nl. Having now finished high school, Phil elected to take a year off in 2010 before beginning university in order to give poker a shot. In addition to playing, he was also coaching and staking at this time and it helped him build some really solid relationships with some amazing people.
Unfortunately 2010 began in pretty disastrous fashion. “I began running badly which then affected me far too much and led to me playing badly. I fell in the trap of being influenced by results and my EV line which led me to the decision to take some time off from the game.” Phil’s passion was quickly rekindled however and he began playing much better towards the middle of 2010 which was good timing. In June he flew all the way from Melbourne to Las Vegas, where he lived in a house with fellow FCPers during the World Series of Poker. “Being only 18 at the time, I had to keep a fairly low profile, especially after I got kicked out from the Rio twice in five minutes, so I spent a lot of time grinding online. And of course by grinding online I mean drinking and making dumb prop bets. Even being under age it was one of the best months of my life where I made some great friends, had an amazing time and even managed to win enough playing poker to breakeven on the trip (and plane tickets don’t come cheap either). It also helped that I am amazing at Credit Card Roulette.”
Since his time in Vegas, he lost a lot of drive and motivation to play poker regularly and really didn’t play much in the last few months of 2010. “I’ve begun my Commerce degree at university which has taken up a lot of my free time and energy…well the partying associated with the degree certainly has anyway. I plan on grinding a lot more live poker in the future and hopefully recapturing some of that passion that led me to playing so much poker in the first place. Finally I have to give some shout outs to people who have helped me develop as a poker player and also become some of my best friends: Bellairedrew for being sexy, Shtoopidhead for making my job super easy, Kingjames for being far better at poker than he gives himself credit for, Albertoflamingo for being a continuing source of inspiration, Trueace for teaching me to say ‘baby’ at the end of every sentence, Fargo for sharing my taste in music and making me look like less of a luckbox comparitively, kobe2odom8 for being the best damn Lakers fan ever, donk4life for teaching me how to ducky, Dutch because he needs a mention, Highway for his accent, RDog for being a far better coach than I deserved, superjeff13 for once saying that we were brothers, Negs for his continued support of the Orlando Magic and finally Tehtoe for walking through a gift shop with me and not even complaining about it once. Finally a big thank you to all the other FCPers and to Bob, Gov and the others who run this great community.”
April 1st, 2011: seacucumber
Frank began playing poker around 2004 in home games with friends like most other players. While following Daniel Negreanu’s blog, Frank discovered FCP in 2005 as well as the Negreanu Open, which was where he cut his teeth on MTTs as he played weekly against old school regulars including DNA4ever, GWCGWC, Poguemahone, specbrad, mcpickl, WKTSWAY, Figger, AAsnake, checkymcfold, nutzbuster, suitedup, Zimmer and the legendary Spademan. “The Negreanu Open is probably the toughest $10 tourney you could find anywhere which makes it a great place to learn about MTTs. It has gotten even tougher these days as the quality of play has really improved over the years,” said Frank.
In 2006, Frank participated in Daniel Negreanu’s Protégé contests and fell 2 places short of reaching the Season 1 final table set to be played in the Bahamas. Despite the near miss, Frank believes the experience really improved his game as he battled weekly (and sometimes daily) against and learned from great players like shahmat, Naked Cowboy, gobears, troyomac, gilbertology, vatche and CobaltBlue in various qualifying rounds.
As the WSOP approached in 2007, Frank began playing satellites on FTP which started as low as $8.70 and eventually won two seats to $1,500 NLHE events. He made his WSOP debut in Event #35 but unfortunately busted just before dinner break when he ran AhKh into aces. A couple days later, Frank made a better run in Event #38 and placed 73rd out of 2,778 players for his first WSOP cash. A trip report can be found here.
In January of 2008, Frank planned a short weekend getaway trip with his wife to Harrah’s Rincon in San Diego which coincided with the start of WSOP’s Circuit Event. With the support of his wife (who was 6 month pregnant at the time), he played in Event #1 (which happened to be the first WSOP Circuit Event immediately following fellow FCPer monix’s victory in Tunica) and made it to Day 2 with a top 3 stack in Event #1. Frank eventually finished in 1st place out of a field of 558 players and captured a WSOP Circuit gold ring. Many people thought that Frank’s unborn son brought him run good baby luck, but Frank believes that his son was actually trying to coach daddy by kicking mommy continuously throughout the event: i.e. 1 kick for folding, 2 kicks for raising and 3 kicks for ALL-In!
Later that year, Frank went to Las Vegas in April to meet up with WKTSWAY and Yoda, 2 FCPers he had met through FCP’s IRC chat room. He also met Getsprung during this trip and played in Event #4 of the WSOP Circuit Event which was taking place at Caesars Palace, finishing 32nd out of 392 players. While disappointed at the min-cash, Frank nevertheless found some encouragement as it was his third cash in his last 3 WSOP events.
Thanks to FCP, Frank has met more than 30 FCPers (including the “mini-ballers”) at the WSOP and LAPC and over the past couple of years has gotten to know some great poker players who have helped him improve tremendously in various ways, including Cwik, Acid_Knight, Tremomey, Rdog, Vtlaxer09, Jordan, Fluffdog, NoSup4U, Moneyball16, Gary212121, Armen13 and bracelet winner Mr. Sparco. As a result, Frank’s improved understanding of the game has yielded recent scores in 2010 which included a 15th place finish in FTOPS XVI Event #1, a 12th place finish in Event #1 of the WSOP Circuit Event at Caesar Palace, Las Vegas and 1st place finishes in the $10K Super Turbo KO and the nightly Fifty-Fifty on FTP.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank these gentlemen and the FCP community for being instrumental in my development as a poker player and understanding of the intricacies of the game.”
Lastly, Frank would like to give a shout out to the crew of FCP’s IRC chat room, feralcowpoker IRC chat room (led by vbnautilus and qyayqi) and to his son Eugene (who will be turning 3 next week).
Happy 3rd Birthday Eugene!
March 1st, 2011: DinkDonk
Like many others, Kenny started playing poker during the Moneymaker boom with his friends. He ran hot right from the beginning. When he was around 14, a friend invited him to a small buy-in home game tourney which got anywhere from 12-16 guys each week. Kenny won 4 of the first 5 that he played. He didn’t seem to know much about poker at the time beyond basic 7-stud lessons from his dad, but figured out quickly that they folded a lot if he was aggressive and raised lots.
The other guys started to take the game semi-seriously and everyone started talking about different concepts and situations, making all of them better players. Kenny was no longer able to run over the game, but over a 3 year period he took 50 buy-ins out of the game playing just over a 20 week stretch each summer. Only one other guy finished above break-even.
During this time Kenny was also playing with play money on PokerStars. “I managed to legitimately sell some chips off for cash a couple times. However, I eventually grew tired of the silly games that I assumed would kill my growth as a player,” said Kenny. He eventually convinced his father to let him use his credit card to get some money online. “I was 16 at the time, so I obviously couldn’t get an account without him, but he was interested in poker as well and shared the account to play SNG’s and small stakes cash games. Together, we went through a couple of $50 bankrolls before I sold my car and put in $350.”
Kenny had already started lurking FCP at that point, but didn’t take anything seriously until he discovered Shorthanded Limit Hold’em.
“The game was perfect for my preferred LAG style. There was a point in my early career in which there was absolutely no difference between my opening range and my 3-betting range; which means that if I planned to raise a hand before someone raised, I would 3-bet them 100% of the time anyway. And yet I was winning at a pretty solid rate. It was early in the poker boom, around 2005 and LHE was filled with loose, passive, awful players who peeled lightly, but never showed down so I luckboxed into a game that supported my spewy style.”
In the year and a half following his decision to switch to Limit Hold’em, he studied constantly. He thought about poker non-stop, read the strat forums at FCP and 2p2, read Cardplayer articles and blogs, and signed up to a poker video tutorial site. “I also bought up every book I could find on poker and read them through multiple times. I think I still own something like 12 poker books, despite giving a few away. So I improved immensely at actually playing the game, stayed aggressive, and moved up much, much too quickly.”
Kenny moved away to college, and at different times was playing as high as 30/60 regularly on a 12k bankroll that was essentially his entire net-worth. “I took shots at 100/200, tilt-sat in a $2k HUNL SNG, and donked away bankrolls of $20k, $16k, $10k, and $8k. I came away with very little, maybe $5k worth of material stuff, but I had achieved Supernova for the year and was something like 60k VPPs shy of 200k and a $2k VIP bonus with about 2 months to go.”
However during this time his family was having a few issues so he was forced to move back home after his first college semester.
Kenny’s father put him on one last $300 stake to try to make his bonus. He started at $0.50/1 and was also playing all of the VIP freerolls. “I went into grind-mode and quickly moved up stakes and started playing on my own roll, giving my dad a $1500 profit and leaving me playing 3/6 at the beginning of January of 2008, having gotten to 200k VPPs and starting to work on my bonus. I was playing my own money, but still living with my father.”
In February of that year, he chopped the Supernova Freeroll for $7,750, which allowed him to move directly to 5/10 and 10/20, levels where he found success at in the past. “Since then, I have not dropped below those levels for any extended period of time. Sometime around June, I moved up into the very juicy 15/30 games during WSOP time and never looked back from those levels, either.”
He ran incredibly hot for the rest of 2008, building his bankroll to a point where he is a regular in all of the games from 10/20 to 200/400. “I’ve had some very successful years as a professional, especially the past two years where I’ve played a very small amount of poker and yet made more than enough money to support myself. I played a few World Series events last year and plan to play more this year as well as transitioning a bit more toward higher-stakes live games.”
“I consider FCP to be a key component in my development as a poker player and so I try to contribute in whatever ways I can. The LHE strategy discussion isn’t at the level it was when I first discovered this site, but I still willingly give whatever advice I have whenever the occasion arises. Some guys who especially stick out to my FCP experience would be Voldemort, Cappy, DirtyDutch, HighwayStar, Navybuttons, FlushGarden, and FCP Bob amongst many others.”
February 1st, 2011: SBriand
Steve started playing poker after Chris Moneymaker’s televised WSOP Main Event win. He started out by playing a lot of low level MTTs online. He would end up blowing any winnings on mid-level MTTs & SNGs thus never showing much profit at the time. Eventually PokerStars $4.40’s became his game of choice where he did well enough to stay ahead.
Skip ahead a couple of years when him and his wife took a 2 week cross country road trip. “We went from Detroit to Las Vegas and back. While in Vegas Liz, my wife, urged me on our last night there to play the Midnight $65 MTT at the Strat. By 7am I came back to the hotel room with the 1st place winnings and we stayed 2 extra nights in Vegas.”
One of his favourite FCP moments was going to Toronto to play in a charity poker tournament at the Hockey Hall of Fame that was run by FCPer Gruven.
“We hung out and played with many current and ex NHL’ers and a bunch of the guys from the Hockey Forum like Zach888, serge, Untilted, ajs510, troyomac, and many others. It was a fun weekend that was filled with poker, girly drinks, and degeneracy.”
Steve spends most of his time now on the hockey boards and the off topic forum where he picked up the nickname Angry Steve. He plays poker sporadically now, mainly playing 8-Game with the FCP Hockey guys on PokerStars.
“Angry Steve came about from the Sickie Thread. I tend to vent there about the tenants at the apartment complex I manage. I tend to get Angry. Then I go to lunch and those idiots at subway try to force me to buy chips when I don’t want chips but they don’t take no for an answer and then I have to get all angry again.”