Dermot Blain Interview

Dermot Blain Interview

Friday, 22 November 2013

We chew the fat with one of Ireland's best.

Age: 29

From: Dublin

Career Highlights: 1st in the 2009 APPT Macau Main Event for HK$4,194,000 (approximately $540k), 5th in the 2011 WSOPE Main Event for €275,000.

Previous screennames?
My Stars name is flounder18. Flounder is a fish of course, and 18 is my favourite number (few lucky hits on roulette). I didn’t give it too much though but that sounded like a fishy name to me!

How did you get started in poker? When did you decide to go pro?

I was pretty late coming to the game – I was 22 and working at the time. I used to go play every Friday at the local card room, and somehow managed to win the first "End of the Month" tournament I played for £3k. The next night I won £2k in a £1/£2 game, so I won more in two days than I would make in months at my regular job. That got me hooked, I guess. I then moved to Dublin, still working, but I had some time off so I decided to go to the casino, and when I was there I managed to win 20k in a week playing 2/5. From there, I decided it was time to take on the world. It didn’t work out, unfortunately – I busted my first bankroll and decided to go back to work for a little while. Then in early 2009 I won a freeroll on Full Tilt for £10k. I used that to fund a poker trip to Macau and ended up winning the £5k APPT event for $540k. I haven't looked back since!

Have you ever set yourself a poker ‘challenge’ of any kind?

In the past, when I’ve had big downswings or felt like I hadn't played my best, I’ve challenged myself to playing 10k hands at lower stakes – partly as a form of punishment, and partly to get me refocused. I’ve always been pretty good at reacting to downswings and bad runs, and it’s a good skill to have.

Have you ever made any interesting prop bets?
I really don't like spicy food, so when I was in a Japanese restaurant in Vegas once my friend bet me £1k I couldn’t eat a ball of wasabi without getting sick. I made the stupid mistake of trying to eat it slowly – I was really struggling but he managed to let me buy out for £400 or something. He was a bigger prop bet fish than me!

Which variant of poker do you specialise in?

I play high stakes NLH and Omaha MTTs live, as well as a decent amount of live cash and mid-stakes PLO cash online at the moment (anything from $2/$4 to $10/$20).

Where is your favourite location to play poker?

I really enjoy playing at home in Dublin. I think people are very friendly and it’s where I learnt to play. Overseas, I would say the Bellagio; running up big stacks in the big PLO games there during the Series is definitely a fun experience. Finally, online is my new home. Full Tilt!

Who is your poker idol?

I think it would be my fellow Full Tilt Poker Team Pro Victor Blom (Isildur1). He is the one constant that exists at the nosebleed stakes – he turns up everyday, and takes on the best in the world at the highest stakes available at any game and wins. He’s also a very nice guy, to boot!

Join Dermot at the Full Tilt Poker tables with a 100% first deposit bonus of up to $600 as well as entry into freerolls where £50,000 can be won.

Tags: Dermot Blain, interviews