10 Minutes with Ludovic Lacay

10 Minutes with Ludovic Lacay

Monday, 21 July 2014

We grab 'Sir Cuts' for a quick chat.

How are you finding Marrakech?

I love it. It's not my first time here, but it's great – the perfect place to play a poker tournament and then party in the pool.

Has the party vibe made it difficult to stay disciplined for the next day of poker?

Well, I mean, that's what poker players do anyway! But they've made it easier and brought the party to us rather than the other way around. The numbers have been great, and everyone's been having a good time.

Is the atmosphere a bit different to, say, an EPT?
People don't take it as seriously. They come here in groups to enjoy themselves. The poker tournament is not the main attraction – they just want to hang out with their friends, partying, drinking and playing a bit of poker after that. It's about having fun, and going to the pool. It's more of an experience than just a poker tournament.

The tournament's gone pretty well for you so far.

Yeah, I have a good stack. I had a great Day 1, and a pretty easy table to start with. I made a few hands, then just built my stack from that. Six-max poker is what I like, there's way more action. I was playing pretty loose and it just went well.

Do you feel confident for the rest?

Yeah. I'm glad I didn't party yesterday! I'm very proud of myself for that, because the temptation is always right there.

You've had wins in big tournaments all over the world, but you're part of Team Winamax – would winning a Winamax event mean something different to you?

Any win means something. Here it's a big field, and pretty hard to focus with all the distractions. Some people might also say that the buy-in is a bit small, and it is especially compared to the tournaments I normally play. But any tournament is important. It's all about confidence, making money, and enjoying yourself. I'm having a great time here, which is good because nowadays I don't enjoy playing poker as much as I should. People take it too seriously, and so do I sometimes. It's still a game, and you need to remember to relax and enjoy yourself.

Does playing tournaments constantly take its toll?

We actually talked about this last week at one of our Winamax Team Pro boot camps. Usually we cover a lot of different stuff – poker and strategy, but also the mental aspect of playing. In general, we focus too much on the bad things in poker, which is something that a lot of players do. They focus on the hands they've lost rather than won. We like to complain a lot when we shouldn't – we have great lives and get to travel all the time. Even when you're at the poker table you're able to meet nice people and have a lot of fun. It's a dream job, but I've been doing it for such a long time it can be easy to forget.

Is the travelling a pro or a con for you?

At some points I really hated it, because it felt like I was just jumping on a plane, playing a tournament, busting the tournament, then immediately getting on another plane for another tournament. Nowadays when I go somewhere I just try to enjoy myself – stay ten days no matter what, and if I bust on the first day then I have nine days to enjoy the city! If I go deep, then that's good too because it's my job! You need to slow down sometimes, because if you don't you get depressed. I was depressed for a while because all I was seeing was planes and hotels, and I'd get off and not know where I was. I'd arrive at the airport and look at the screen to collect my bags, and not even be able to remember where I'd come from.

You're most famous in France, and here in Marrakech there's a lot of French qualifiers. Is it strange thinking that everyone knows who you are?

At the table it changes the dynamic a lot. I make videos for Winamax, so everybody kind of knows how I play. Something happened on the first day which surprised me. I was playing with a sixty year-old local Moroccan guy for two hours, and then suddenly he asked me a question about something really specific he didn't understand in one of my videos. I was like, 'Shit, even that guy watches my videos?!' It can be very challenging, because I have to adjust, and try and figure out who knows who I am and who doesn't. It's very interesting.

What's the standard of play been like so far?

It's been pretty soft. People are not afraid to take risks, because of all the perks outside of the tournament. It's pretty incredible how many players we lost on the first day, it's ridiculous. It's been generally quite aggressive; soft at first, but getting tougher and tougher as the day goes on.

What's coming up for you in the future?

I will be going to Vegas, and playing almost every day for a month and a half.

Do you have a Vegas routine?

I do, but it never works! Usually I have a fitness coach who comes three times a week, but last time he was coming every day and I ended up cancelling half the time. That seemed silly, so this year I told him just three times a week should be fine. This time I've also decided to go off the Strip and rent a villa with friends in order to stay away from distractions as much as possible. I'm not sure if it'll work, but we'll see.

Tags: Ludovic Lacay, Winamax, Marrakech