Thursday, 24 March 2011
After winning an Aussie Millions package in the Black Belt Poker Grading, Sam Razavi went on to finish sixth in the Main Event for A$225,000. Adam 'Snoopy' Goulding founds out how he did it.
What stakes/games do you play?
I play mainly $1/2 heads-up No Limit Hold’em, sometimes $2/4. I used to play six-max, but, after finding heads-up and realising that I rarely lost, and if I did, the swings were minimal, I just stuck to that and haven't really moved out of my comfort zone since.
When did you turn pro?
I spun my account up to about £2,000 one day, withdrew and deposited some money onto a skin of the old Tribeca network, where that same week I went on to win two tournaments in one night for around $5,000. I think it took me about two months to make my first £10,000. When I hit that target, I was confident I would be playing poker for a living for the foreseeable future. I haven't looked back.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a poker player? Do you still enjoy the grind?
If I weren’t a poker player, I'd still be plugging away at an acting career. I do still get a kick from making a chunk of dough sitting in front of a laptop clicking buttons, but I would be lying if I said I hadn't lost a bit of the buzz. After so many years, it really begins to take its toll.
When I was living in Thailand, I developed a problem: because there was so much money to be made online, if I decided to have a night out, it would feel like a losing day because every night I spent on the tiles meant I was missing out on £500 to £1,000. So, over the years, I suppose I have become a little more anti-social than I would have liked.
I'm disappointed with the amount of money I have blown and I'm changing my ways to save enough money over the next few years so that poker can take a bit of a back seat. There are more important things in life, but I fully appreciate how poker makes those “more important things” easier to realise.
What do you consider to be your strengths?
I often get accused of “bum-hunting”, so I think my main strength would be a lack of ego. On the occasions that another pro wants to come and give it a shot, or if I find that a player has the same sort of playing style and is difficult to crack, I won't play them. It doesn't impress me in the slightest if someone claims to be fearless and takes on all comers. Poker is merely a game of cards, and anyone who puts in enough time and effort and has a good feel for the game will have an edge over most of the players out there. I am in this game to make as much money as I can, as quickly as I can and as easily as I can. When it comes to the day-to-day grind, why on earth would I want to put my money at risk against the more competent players out there?
You were one of two to win a £10,000 Aussie Millions package in the Black Belt Grading. What did you learn from the process?
In all honesty, I realised that there are a lot of really lazy poker players in the UK. The Grading is one of the best promotions I have seen as far as online poker is concerned. It is beyond me how the promotion was unable to attract at least a handful of regulars on the iPoker network as the value of the package was worth much more than any rakeback deal they would have been on at the time. It also opened my eyes to the possible benefits of tracking software and the wealth of tools on the internet designed to help improve your game.
How did you feel straight after finishing sixth for A$225,000?
Although it’s a lot of money, I was slightly disappointed and felt I played a couple of hands badly. I would have been satisfied with $500,000, but I couldn't find any spots and it was such a strong table, with Chris Moorman, Patrik Antonius. James Keys and so on. Still, not a bad result.
As a result of your win, you earned promotion to Black Belt and now receive $10,000 a month in live backing. You offered bets you’d get to Black Belt; did anyone take you up on the offer?
I offered up to £10,000 worth of action that I would make it to Black Belt by the start of the 2011 WSOP. I think it was a great value bet considering what a mammoth task it is, but, alas, not a cent of action was taken. It's lucky I finaled in Melbourrne, as the month of December and the start of January had taken a lot of out me personally, and that has nothing to do with poker, so I hadn’t played anywhere near as much as I would have liked. I was still confident I could hit the target, though.