Where did you learn about Merit Poker tournament series?
I heard about it from a friend of mine, who came here last autumn. We joined the Winter Fest in January and came together for the Mediterranean Poker Cup, so this is my second time here.
Do you like it?
Yes, I like it very much; it’s great to be here. The tournament organization structure is very good and this is a beautiful place to visit. You can play poker and find some time to go to the beach. The only complaint I have is that the weather is bad and we do not see too much sun, although the first couple of days were simply amazing.
Can you tell a couple of words about yourself?
I am a hobby poker player from Germany. I work in stock exchange derivative market and there you have to handle probabilities same as in a game of poker. As for the most people, for me poker started with playing a couple of games on the internet in 2006, then playing small cash games in casinos in 2008 until I gradually learned it and began joining the poker tournaments. I’ve been to Portugal for the EPT in 2010, but more often I’ve been to the Austria Poker Tour because it is quite close to Germany, and attended King’s Casino in Czech Republic, too.
What qualities a poker player should have?
To be a really successful player, you need different skills. You need good knowledge in mathematics, of course, but the poker game has become much more aggressive than, let’s say, 10 years ago. This requires good psychological skills, which help you to read and understand your opponents to adjust your own playing strategy according to their styles. It needs the ability of thinking on different levels; you have to think one step in front of your opponent. It’s easy to defend yourself against some of the players whereas it becomes a difficult task with the good ones. You have to consider the fact that your opponent might be better than you and proceed accordingly.
Do you think Hold’em is more a game of chance than skill or just the opposite?
In the short run you always need some lucky spots, but in the long run it is more a game of skill. Even a good poker player can have some bad streaks, losing money over a period of time. Then the most vital and critical thing is not to despair and to carry on believing in himself. This is the most important thing and it is very hard to accomplish. During a tournament only 10-13% of all players will reach the prize money, so you have to stay patient and confident.
Do you take risks? How often do you place all-ins?
Yes, of course I take risks and play all-ins – that is why Hold’em is a “no limit” game. But it depends on the situation; sometimes you play all-in, when you’re broke and have nothing to lose; sometimes you play all-in to push your opponent out. That is why it is crucial to understand what your opponent thinks.
What is your favorite starting hand?
I have never thought about that, I suppose, I don’t have one. To be more exact, I like the starting hands that I win with.
Thank you very much for the interview. Good luck!