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Ignat '0human0' Liviu: "Variance Turned Against Me"
Romanian Ignat "0human0" Liviu was a regular at the highest-stakes online Pot-Limit Omaha tables before he suddenly disappeared.
The former civil engineering student from Bucharest rang up $2m in profits over 2011/2012, all on his own dime, to become one of the biggest winners in the game at the time.
Then, as poker players know all too well, variance caught up with him.
Smartly, though, Liviu knew when to call it quits and has continued his successful run in poker to this day - just at more reasonable limits.
PokerListings caught up with Liviu during a break in the EPT Prague High Roller to talk about his rapid rise, his slow fall and being one of the victims of a break-in at the Arts Hotel Barcelona in 2013.
PokerListings: For the last few days the poker community has been shaken by a Trojan/fraud case in Denmark. During EPT Barcelona in 2013 you and Jens Kyllönen were victims of a burglary in your hotel room when someone tried to install spy software on your computer. Is that connected to the recent case?
Ignat Liviu: I don’t know. I was not informed about anything nor have I been participating in any investigation.
For me, the case has been settled for a long time.
PL: Do you not have any interest in the investigations of this case?
IL: Yes, I have. I think now that I should have stayed a few more days in Barcelona.
Above all I should have pursued the matter together with Jens Kyllönen on location. The security forces of the Arts Hotel tried to trivialize it and cover up.
It was clearly visible on the surveillance video that a skinny guy with glasses entered my room and tried to manipulate my laptop. I hope that this video helps at least somehow contribute to the investigations in Denmark.
PZ: What did you do after that incident?
IL: Back in Romania I brought my laptop to the Apple Store to have it thoroughly checked.
They told me that someone logged into my computer with the password of an Apple employee to install the spy software.
I gave the computer to a friend of mine and didn’t bother with it anymore.
However, what remains is the uneasy feeling that I was the target of a criminal gang, which also has no qualms about breaking into my hotel room.
PL: You were still quite active at that time on the $200/$400 PLO tables. Why did your famous nickname 0Human0 disappear from the PLO High Stakes?
IL: Back in spring 2011 I entered the $200/$400 PLO games without having dedicated too much time to PLO.
Then I stormed up and a year later I had earned almost $2 million. Somehow I thought at the time that I must continue to drive it as long as it worked.
But then the variance turned against me and I went back down. At that time I decided for me that I would get out of the PLO Nosebleed limits as soon as I reached the break-even point.
And that eventually happened. I was disciplined enough not to hope for a further upswing.
What has helped me tremendously is the fact that the very high PLO games have now almost completely dried out.
PL: Were you ever sorry about the money you lost?
IL: As far as the financial aspects of poker go, I'm a very cool machine. My whole high-stakes story somehow made sense. And the downswing is an almost logical part of the story.
In the end I played about 70,000 hands and still won 4 BBs per 1,000 hands. I didn’t win a lot of money. But also I didn’t lose any.
Looking at the possible swings on these limits, that is a success in itself.
PL: Looking at the amount of money you played with, one might ask if you always played with your own money.
IL: I've always played with my own money only. I have built my bankroll from zero and was never dependent on external donors.
I was very rapidly going up to the $10/$20 limits and felt quickly comfortable there. I have an educational background in natural sciences and I never had big problems with understanding complex mathematical questions.
PL: And what’s next?
IL: I will continue to grind the No-Limit Hold’em $25/50 games and besides that I’ll focus on the live high stakes.
Though I am a dedicated cash game specialist I like my chances even in high roller tournaments.
The structure, especially in EPTs, is so good that even the cash-game specialists find in certain situations and spots their advantages.
Thus the experience with the tournament specialists balances. And in a field with over 200 players in the €10k High Roller there are always a lot of semi-pros or pure amateurs.
You should always try to get their dead money into your own pockets.
PL: Last question: who is currently the best cash gamer in NLHE?
IL: One can never tell exactly who the best cash game player is in NLHE. There are always several players whom you could call the elite.
On the $25/$50 level a larger group of Russian players has been dominating for quite a while. And nosebleed games really only get going if there is a whale like MalACEsia to feed on.
I don’t want to sound immodest but I consider myself as a shark on $25/$50, too. But the swings on the highest limits are simply not my territory anymore.