An Exclusive Interview with Poker Professional Howard Lederer

Howard Lederer
Howard Lederer in the 2005 WSOP, Event 23, $5,000 Seven-Card Stud - tournament.

Young Howard was an outstanding chess player; at 18 he moved to New York to cultivate his skills in that game. However, the back room of his preferred chess club had a poker game going, and Howard really caught the bug. By his own admission, Howard was playing between seventy and eighty hours of poker per week and going home broke nine out of ten nights. He earned his daily stake by doing odd jobs for other players.

How long have you been playing poker?

I have been playing poker professionally since I was about 22 years old. I started out in Vegas when I was around 20 but didn't become a winning player until I'd played for 2 years over here.

What is your favorite poker game in tournaments and side games?

I prefer No-Limit Hold'em in tournaments and Limit Hold'em in cash games.

How do you feel about your game in this year's WSOP?

I feel good even though I have only cashed in one event so far. The luck hasn't been with me in some key hands but I believe that I have put myself in a good position to win overall.

How many WSOP tournaments will you play in this year?

I will play in most of them but I will make sure to take at least one day off every week in order to re-charge my batteries, so to speak.

How much of your poker playing time is spent playing in side games as compared to tournaments?

Except for the time I spend playing cash games on Full Tilt Poker, I only play in tournaments. I look forward to the time I get to play in high stakes cash games again in the future. A good thing is that I have the rest of my life to do that.

Why do you spend so much time playing tournaments?

Tournaments are fun and exciting to play, especially nowadays. I still see myself as one of the best tournament players out there when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it. Also, TV exposure is important to me for my other poker-related business.

You used to play in the very highest stakes poker games, right?

Yes, I played those games for 10 years and I was successful every year.

In your opinion, what does the future of poker look like?

I think poker is here to stay for sure. It's probably going to get even bigger, especially on the international level. We have seen it around the world, once poker gets exposure and becomes popular in a foreign culture it tends to stay that way. T.V does a lot to show what a great game poker is and that also helps a lot.

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