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Fellow Lock Elite Pro Nicky Evans is my next interviewee for my new weekly interview series. You can read the interview below.
How did you get started in poker? How old were you? What did you play? How did you progress through the stakes and different games?
I Started playing poker in my 1st year at university. I was 18 years old at the time and it all started with $10 No Limit texas holdem home games in my halls of residence. I progressed onto playing small rebuy tournaments at the local casino in brighton England where i met James Dempsey. James started backing me for mid stakes live multi table tournaments in 2006 and he coached me online. After getting to grips with online poker i started to grind full time in 2009 where i met some great poker players like chris moorman. I switched over to being backed by Chris in 2010 which enabled me to play all the high buyin live and online events.
What has worked best for you over the years in regards to improving your game?
I would have to say that having a pool of around 15 professional poker players at my disposal 24/7 on skype really helps and the views and opinions of these guys has opened up my mind to different ways we can adapt to our opponents. I feel like i used to follow set rules and guidelines when grinding mtt's (10bb do this-20bb do that) but talking with these guys has enabled me to keep up to date with player tendancies with certain stack sizes and ways to exploit those tendancies.
How old are you now?
How many tables do you usually play online?
I used to play up to 20 tables at a time during full tilt multi entry week but now i try to focus on playing less tables. I played a session of mtt's earlier today and i peaked at 14 tables but i averaged around 9 tables throughout the 8 hour session.
How many hours per week do you usually play? How many hours per week do you usually spend total on poker-related activities?
I try to play a full MTT schedule across all the major sites on Tuesday and Sunday which usually lasts around 10 hours per day and then i usually play 3-4 more days on Lock Poker playing MTT's and sit n go's which usually lasts around 5-8 hours a day. So most of the time i play around 40-50 hours a week but i have been known to take lazy weeks. I also try to blog once or twice a month at nickyevans.co.uk and i regularly tweet/facebook poker related articles. I am looking to start doing some training videos for Tournament Poker Edge in the near future.
What kind of a computer setup do you have for playing? Do you use any poker software?
I have a 17 inch Macbook pro attached to a 23 inch external monitor. I try to tile 12 tables on the external monitor before using my Macbooks screen for tables and i use the laptop screen for lobbys and skype. I have recently switched over from holdem manager 2 to poker tracker 3. HM2 was way to glitchy for my liking and it was easy enough to export all of my hands over so ive been using it for the past few weeks.
What are your short term & long term poker goals?
ultimately my short term goals are to continuously improve my play while making money on a month to month basis. I would love to one day capture a big live title (wpt, ept, wsop) but i only really play 4-5 weeks of live poker a year at the wsop and maybe 1 or 2 other live events per year.
How long do you plan on playing poker for a living?
I think i will try to play the WSOP main event and some of the side events every year but i would like to start some other projects that ultimately lead me away from being a full time grinder. The beauty of playing poker is the ability to make your own schedule. I have 2 dogs, a fiancee and hopefully one day some children so my goal is to make enough money to provide for my family so i can enjoy watching my kids grow up. Its hard to put a timestamp on it but in 5 years time i would like to think that i would have other projects on the go that will occupy more of my time than poker.
At this point in your career does poker feel more like a hobby or a job? Do you still enjoy the game as much as you used to?
After playing poker for 6 years i still love the game when things are going my way. I find it really exciting when im deep in a really big tournament but obviously it becomes a little tiresome when things are not going great. It definetly feels like a job more so than a hobby but i still get excited to load up the computer on a sunday as on any given Sunday you can win 6 figures! I have had a huge downswing in the past and it really starts to eat you alive but luckily i managed to dig my way out of the whole. I am a big beleiver in taking some time off to clear your mind when things are taking a turn for the worse. I try to put things into perspective and i realise that i am lucky to make a living playing a game of cards so overall i am very happy that i stumbled across poker all those years back.
You recently won a $2,500 Fallsview Poker Classic event in Niagara Falls for $240,000 after deals. How did it feel to win so much money in one tournament and has this inspired you to play more live events?
It was a huge weight off of my shoulders. I have been so close to huge scores on mutiple occasions and ive not managed to close out so this was more of a relief than anything. Since winning the event i have put in more hours online than the previous 3 months month so i guess it has inspired me to play more. In regards to playing more live poker i hate flying and im in a pretty serious relationship so being a live grinder just isnt feasible and to be completely honest i dont think i would enjoy being on the road all the time. Saying that..... I cant wait for the WSOP to roll around now!
How do you adjust your game when playing a live event as opposed to an online MTT?
I read a really good article by Casey 'BigDogpckt5s' Jarzabek a few weeks back called 'The killer Instinct' (http://www.nickyevans.co.uk/#/articles/4554588940) and it just opened my eyes to the fact that i was probably playing a bit to conservative in areas i should be doing the complete opposite. Its safe to say that most high stakes mtt guys are going to be fairly competant so i play with the assumption that online players know what they are doing until they prove otherwise whereas live i take an alternative approach. I try to play a similar game live to online but obviously you can make some cool adjustments as you can instantly profile people and assign them pretty accurate ranges in most situations. I tend to stereotype youngsters as competant, woman as tight, middle aged men as solid and old guys as tight or insane and i will make adjustements based on how i see them play over the time i spend at the tables.I find that in live tournaments most recreational players really tighten up around the money bubble and then around the final table bubble and these were the 2 spots that i went to work in the $2,500 and made alot of chips. Alot of people get stuck in the routine of following a set of rules for certain stack sizes and hands and positions but in live poker you can bend those rules and make plays that would be unprofitable online into a profitable live play. Raise folding off smaller stacks, 3b folding off smaller stacks and other quirky plays become much more profitable live as people dont tend to pay attention to the stack sizes and situations and just assume a 3b means the player has a good hand or that they cant play vs an open as they have a bad hand.
If you never got into poker, what do you think you would be doing for a living right now?
When i was at university i studied Business and Marketing so i would probably be working in a bank or something similar.
How did you go about getting a Lock Pro Elite contract? How has your experience at Lock been so far?
Lock approached me 2 years back for a small rakeback deal but i was grinding MTT's so it wasnt realistic. Last year in June i was contacted again through my poker agent at Poker Players International (PPI) Randy Kasper and i took a serious look into the company and there vision. I spoke with Eric Lynch for a few weeks on and off and i really liked the direction Lock were headed. They had some great ideas and the roster of Pro's were solid in American and European markets. Lock have been great to me! The pro team is like a family more than a team and i love representing them. They have gone from strength to strength over the past year and they continue to listen to what the players want and they do there best to accomodate. I would like to run a little better on the site though as im losing quite a bit in MTT's right now :(
What do you like to do in your spare time besides poker?
i love going to the gym, playing soccer, watching any type of sports, eating, MMA, socialising and trying out new things.
What are your favorite movies and TV shows? Who are your favorite bands/musical artists?
Anything with denzel washington, edward norton kevin spacey or morgan freeman.
24, dexter, The Event, breaking bad, cough 'greys anatomy' cough.
Music is practically impossible to rank as its all mood dependant but lately ive been listening to lifehouse, eminem, evanescence and daughtry.
What’s your favorite food?
Me and my Fiancee Barbara have been trying out various diets lately. I am currently on the Paleo Diet which is basically the caveman diet. Its all meats and vegetables which im a huge fan of! I love all foods and Barbara is from an Italian family so cooking is a huge part of our life. I love seafood aswell so i really am easy to please in the food department. The only thing i will not eat is celery.... i cant handle the after taste
What’s your favorite place you have traveled to?
I love being in las vegas with all of my friends for the world series. The novelty is probably starting to wear off a little but i have easily had some of my greatest days/nights messing around in Vegas. I also love going to the cottage in the summer in northern ontario with all my friends for bbq's, beer and volleyball.
Thanks for taking the time to do this & good luck at the tables.
For more on Nicky Evans you can follow him on twitter @nickyevanspoker and go to his homepage at http://www.nickyevans.co.uk/
You can sign up for Lock Poker here http://download.lockpoker.com/jaredhubbard for a 150% deposit bonus and VIP benefits (http://jaredhubbard.com/lock%20vip.htm)
In case you missed the past weekly interviews, here they are:
Bryan Pellegrino: http://jhubpoker.blogspot.com/2012/02/weekly-interview-series-bryan.html