Interview: Chris Brammer
Thursday, 5 April 2012
Is Chris Brammer the new Moorman? The Brit now tops the world rankings following a second in the FCOOP Main Event to add to a string of impressive results.
How did you get into poker?
I started playing £5 games in the sixth form with friends, but poker was sort of banned when the Head of Year saw the money changing hands. We carried on playing with poker chips and pretended it was just for fun, but the teacher found our book of debts because some muppet left it lying around, so it was “GG” after that. At first I played in my local Grosvenor Casino in Southampton, and then started playing small games on the old Crypto software.
What's your daily routine?
I try to wake up around 2pm to 3pm and then start at around 4pm or 5pm. I play across a number of sites, pretty much any tournament that's going, normally $25-plus freezeouts and $10-plus rebuys. If I’m not playing well, I’ll try and quit as soon as possible, but I usually keep registering until midnight. Sometimes I’ll play a Football Manager game with friends around that time, at which point we all agree to stop playing tournaments.
Are you a shot-taker or a disciplined grinder?
I used to be backed by Toby [Lewis], but I’ve recently gone on my own, so I'm taking a shot right now in a way. I did go broke after a trip to Vegas one year as I had no idea how much you needed to play tournaments. I sold 40% of my action for the whole summer and within two months of coming back I had no money left.
How important are the online rankings to you?
It wasn't something I was always set on achieving, but once I realised I could get there it became more and more important to me. I always looked up to Chris Moorman for that kind of thing. I’m really into the rankings at the moment, and am having a bit of a battle with a Canadian guy called Flush_Entity [Griffin Benger]. He's a pretty good player.
Tell us about your score in the FCOOP…
[Chris came third in the FCOOP Main Event for, 'officially', $236,523.91.]
I think I went down to just over 10 big blinds on Day 1, so it was looking bleak, but I had big chips for all of Day 2, which was really exciting. We dealt three-handed because the pay jumps were steep, and although I was chip leader and confident of closing it out, it was the most money I’d played for and the equity from my stack would be favourable in a deal. Day 2 started at 7pm and didn’t finish until around 9am the following morning, but I was on such an adrenaline rush the whole time that I couldn’t sleep afterwards. Having chips and being deep in a major is the tournament player’s dream.
What are the logistics with Pokerstars.fr? What's the standard like?
It used to be a lot smaller but now everyone knows about it and a lot of the non-French grinders play there now. There are one or two extra verification steps to setting up your account, but it’s pretty easy. I've cashed out large amounts before (brag, I know) and they’ve never taken more than a couple of days, but they kept me waiting six weeks for this one. I'd swapped percentages and owed quite a few thousand euros, so they might have been worried that I was pulling a fast one.
Is there a reason for your recent success?
Confidence, definitely. I’m sure I was running great too, but confidence is huge. I grinded really hard online from August onwards, so hopefully it’s the culmination of all the work I've put in as well.
How about that deep run in the WSOP?
[Chris finished 365 of 6,865 for $30,974 in the Main Event.]
I’d been in Vegas the whole summer; watching Jake [Cody] and Pez [Matt Perrins] win was incredible, and Middy [Tom Middleton] and [Chris] Moorman had sweats too. I hadn’t made a single Day 2, so was basically pissed off when I sat down for the Main Event. I was done with live poker after this tournament, but then I started hitting flops and built a stack.
After the money broke, I had an OK stack, but lost a pot with A-K to 6-6 on an A-x-x flop. He bluffed the flop and turn, and then caught a set on the river. This left me with dust with one level to play and I was super tilted, but I spoke to Neil Channing and he calmed me down and I managed to end the day with 45 big blinds. Within 10 minutes of the next day I lost a flip with T-T versus A-K, and that was that. I could have just called his open, but the dead money and the chance he’d four-bet bluff made it too good a spot.
Image courtesy of Neil Stoddart @PokerStars.