Part two of two of an interview with 2+2 icon Ariel "DaEvils/FoxwoodsFiend" Schneller, one of the top five online high-stakes No-Limit Hold'em players in the world.
If you missed it, catch up with Part 1 here.
Back to the interview...
DS: What do you think the top three qualities are that separate the best cash players from the rest of the pack?
FWF: 1) Complete indifference to losing money on a hand or a better way to put it would be to be risk-neutral.
2) Tailoring your aggression well so you're not hyper-aggro but you are also not too passive (I think most good but not great players are too aggro).
3) The ability to take unconventional lines to throw off their opponents' ability to hand-read.
DS: You've said in the past that the games have gotten much tougher. With so much parity at the top where does your edge come from?
FWF: I think that's almost impossible to answer ... It's just a constant adaptation to your opponents' tendencies. Gone are the days where you just had a basic approach to the game and always used it.
Now you're constantly changing your style depending on your opponents and you just hope you're making the right adjustments.
DS: That is a pretty good answer for a question that's impossible to answer.
FWF: I'm a man of contradiction.
DS: OK, let's get to some fluff questions: Top 3 albums to stack someone to?
FWF: Reasonable Doubt, Aquemini, Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. I was listening to that album (36 Chambers) during my session vs. yossarian_20 ... such good music to crush somebody to.
DS: How did you get your rep being the go-to guy for flips?
FWF: I made a couple different BBV threads asking people to flip, in which I flipped and lost like $10k each time. Then I'd see people post like "anybody want to flip?" and it's always for some small amount of money that I think it would be funny to flip for.
So I'd go to some guy's table and flip for his $25.37 roll on Stars or something.
That and I'm always sitting at empty tables waiting for action and people will sit in and ask to flip and I will always say yes if I don't have games going because it's boring just sitting and waiting for somebody to play me so it's a good way to keep entertained.
I guess the TL;DR version is that I am just always down to flip and thus end up flipping all the time.
DS: Neutral EV gambling isn't even gambling as far as I'm concerned.
FWF: Yeah, everybody's like "the rake makes it -EV" and is all nitty about that, but if you enjoy the flipping that offsets the 50¢/hand.
DS: A small price to pay for 40 seconds of enjoyment. What's the most you have flipped for?
FWF: Well the most I've actually flipped for is $10k but I've done a bunch of fake flips with friends for like $50k or $60k. Just to trick the rail. I think it's funny that they would actually think that people who never flip are all of sudden flipping with me for $40k.
The other day somebody in BBV was slandering me about how I grimmed sauce123 (PrtectYaNeck) on a $40k flip and how I'm not a man of my word and everybody flamed him because obviously I offered in chat to ship $40k or he could fold the next hand if he wanted to.
But what I didn't say is that all the flips were fake so how could I grim a fake flip?
DS: Is that pretty much the story with that krantz versus tony bliar hand? A joke at the rail's expense?
FWF: I don't know what happened with the krantz/tony bliar hand. I wasn't around when that happened and krantz is a bit of a crazy guy.
Whenever I ask him he just laughs and says something deflecting the question.
DS: What is your preferred method of flipping?
FWF: I prefer cap NLHE because that way you can always get it all in and see the cards. PLO has too much to keep track of when the cards get dealt so fast.
It is so tilting to think you have a guy drawing dead and then realize you lost and have no idea how because you weren't focusing on his 2♥ 8♥ when he has 2♥ 8♥ Q♣ J♦ or whatever.
DS: If you could play any dead guy heads-up, who and why?
FWF: Stu Ungar. He's such a legend but I just can't help but wonder if he's actually a huge donk. Like, there are so many players who are legendary live players that I've been disillusioned playing with them that it makes me wonder how meaningful having the title of best live player is.
Especially because he was playing in the '80s when nobody knew anything about poker. I mean, people used to think John Bonetti was good and look at his bust-out hand in the Main Event that one year. So I'd be curious to see how much of it is hype and how good he really is or was.
DS: With so much success at such a young age how do you stay grounded?
FWF: Well a lot of things really help. For one, I don't believe in free will so it's hard to take too much credit for my success. I try remembering how lucky I am to have been born with the tools that enable me to succeed in poker and how lucky I am to have been raised in an intellectual environment.
I also went to Yale and most of my friends' parents are obscenely wealthy so that puts my success in perspective. Also, I have a lot of friends who are very successful or en route to being very successful so I don't think there's anything special about me.
I just happen to be doing something different but not necessarily as impressive as what my friends are doing.
I'm trying to think of a way, without sounding arrogant, of saying that I've always taken pride in being good at a lot of things so that I've never attached too much of my ego to my poker ability - as opposed to maybe some people who don't have much going for them so they have to build up how important poker is to feel like they have self-worth.
But I can't so I'll just write that and seem cocky I guess.
DS: I think I know what you are trying to say. I think that about wraps it up. Thanks for doing this; I appreciate it.
FWF: No problem.
Best place to catch up with Schneller these days: Likely waiting at a nosebleed table on Full Tilt for someone to step up, or doling out unmatched Hold'em strategy advice (along with Krantz, Selbst, Whitelime and more) through their first-rate coaching Web site, DeucesCracked.com.
Be sure to drop by either site and check out one of the game's best young stars in action. And good luck flipping for your roll.
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