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Mike Gracz, Tournament Poker Wiz-kid
Do you play online poker?
I do play online poker, mostly at Party Poker, although not as much anymore. I used to play in their $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em side games and their short-handed Limit games. My nickname on PartyPoker is NC_KIDD. I actually play more live than I do online and I prefer Limit Hold'em to any other game when playing in side games. When it comes to tournaments, I prefer No-Limit Hold'em.
Why is No-Limit Hold'em your favorite tournament game?
Because this is the game that involves moves that simply don't exist in any other game. You can't push a player off a big hand in Limit Hold'em for example. Reading players becomes more crucial. It's like a form of art to play great No-Limit Hold'em.
You have had huge success in major tournaments these last 6 months. What happened?
I have been playing pretty good and caught some lucky breaks at the right moments. I just go in and play poker and try to play it hand by hand, not thinking about the final table or how many chips I have in comparison to players at other tables.
What are your greatest strengths as a poker player?
I am good at reading people and well versed in the math of the game. I never get upset or go on tilt at the table, I remain unattached at all times. Nothing in poker surprises me anymore and I expect anything to happen.
Some players don't like to take flops in No-Limit Hold'em tournaments and basically only play 'move in' poker. Do you consider yourself a flop player or a pre-flop player?
I am definitely a flop player because that is where I can use my skills most effectively. When you are good at reading opponents you win way more chips and leave less up to luck if you play accordingly. I try to avoid coin-flip situations for all my money and try to play more betting rounds.
How many WSOP tournaments will you play in this year?
Most of the Hold'em events and maybe a Omaha tournament or two.
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