Wander into the Crown Poker Room in Melbourne, Australia during the 2014 WSOP APAC and the first thing you might hear is the voice of Oliver Gill.
It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to call Gill the Phil Hellmuth of ‘Down Under’. He doesn’t have the bracelets, but he has the table banter down pat and a reputation to boot.
Gill might be more familiar to some poker fans as “Capitao” – the name he referred to himself in third person over and over again on the televised coverage of the 2013 WSOP Main Event.
By his own admission Gill might be better off staying at home playing online poker (where he has posted more than $1.5 million in results).
However, he enjoys table talk too much to stop playing live poker any time soon.
We caught up with Gill during the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Accumulator at the 2014 WSOP APAC to hear his staunch opinions on all matters involving how he handles himself at the poker table.
PokerListings.com: You have quite the reputation for berating players at the table. One of the kings of berating, Phil Hellmuth, is currently in Australia. Do you think you can match it with him?
Oliver Gill: I’ve played with Hellmuth three times I think, including twice last year here at WSOP APAC. I enjoy bantering back and forth with him.
I don’t berate Hellmuth, I more berate his opponents. But only the regs. I’m talking about the elite German sickos, who come over and play the 100Ks.
If they sit down at the table with Hellmuth, I just pretend I don’t know who the German reg is and say ‘Buddy what are you doing raising Hellmuth’s big blind! Are you asking to get stacked?'
Hellmuth enjoys that, I think. I hero worship him just a little bit. His personality, not his skills [laughs].
PL: Do you consciously imitate the way you banter at the table around someone like Phil Hellmuth?
I would say closer to Tony G actually. Although, I do my best to only get out of line against people who deserve it. You know, people who are berating other players for no reason or being rude to the dealers.
If they are going to make it an unpleasant experience for recreational players, then I am going to make it even more unpleasant for them.
PL: What is it about this aspect of your game that you clearly find so important?
At the end of the day it’s going to make them spew off sometimes. I’ve had people get so tilted at me that they just start shoving blind several hands in a row.
One time that happened at a table I was at and one player -- who happened to be me -- woke up with aces when the fish was still shoving blind.
If you can induce someone to punt off 400 big blinds in a $1,000 tournament, it’s a leak if you don’t try and tilt people.
PL: Some people seemingly perceive your table antics as being negative for the game, but it sounds like quite often you are sticking up for recreational players or dealers?
I’m never going to make things uncomfortable for recreational players unless they are being unpleasant as a person. If someone else is making those recreational players have a bad time and I can get under their skin and make them tilt off chips, then I’m okay with that.
PL: What is your opinion of players who don’t like to partake in any talking at the table or respond poorly to the way you operate?
At the end of the day, if you pay your buy-in, you can do whatever you want as long as you're not breaking any rules. The hoodies and headphones types are certainly not promoting the growth of poker or anything like that.
If you are not promoting the game, you are not going to get any of the extra value out of poker like sponsorships and you just aren’t supporting the growth of poker.
PL: How do you think you are perceived overall in the Australian poker community and does that affect your game?
Some people know who I am at all, so that’s a good thing.
Australia has a bit of a poker clique and at first I wasn’t very liked by them. But a lot of them are the guys who came up through the same generation as me. I’m not really friends with them but I respect their games and they respect mine.
Of course there are the people who have an issue with me for whatever reason. At the end of the day if they don’t like me, then I’m not going to be nice and friendly to them. I’m going to destroy them.