Online Poker Pro Ash Mason Trades UK for Australia

Ash Mason
Ash Mason

One of the best things about being an online poker pro is that most of the world can be your office.

If you like the idea of missing a northern hemisphere winter, why not jump on a plane to Australia? Or you could stay for a bit longer, just like Ash Mason decided to do. 

The young online pro is an integral part of UK’s elite poker scene. He’s grinded with, hung out with, and lived with some of the best poker talent the UK has to offer. Then at the end of last year he packed his bags and immigrated to Perth, Western Australia.

Mason is mainly known for his prowess on the virtual felt and his biggest successes have come in some of the biggest buy-in events online.

In 2011 he took down a $10k high roller WCOOP event for a massive $430k. A couple of months after that, he followed up that victory with a 4th-place finish in the PokerStars 10th Anniversary High Roller Event for another $160k. 

He has yet to have a big live result, although he has a big stack, post bubble, on Day 2 of Event 28 $1.5k NHLE – his first event of the series.

PokerListings: Why did you decide to leave for Australia?

Ash Mason
Ash Mason

Ash Mason: A couple of years ago I did a ski season in Canada and I met a girl there. We stayed in contact and then she came to live in England last year.

She had to move back to Perth and I decided to go with her. So basically I followed my girlfriend.

PL: Do you feel lucky to have a job where you do that?

AM: Yeah definitely, although I’m not sure I see it as a job yet, it’s just a game for me. 

I’m probably in the worst possible place I could be to play online and it’s still not even that bad.

I have to get up at 5am to play tournaments in Perth. I’m finding the change in timetable fine. I’m normally up at 5am in England because I’m still up.

This way I’m tired when I get up but it doesn’t matter as it’s early in the tournaments and you can’t make many mistakes, but by the time the important stages of tournaments come around I’m fully awake and fresh when the rest of the world is tired. That gives me an edge.

PL: Do you feel part of your success so far was down to being surrounded by a really talented group of poker players?

Ash Mason final table
Ash Mason's epic WCOOP final table.

AM: Definitely, and although I’m not surrounded by them geographically anymore, I still talk to them all the time on Skype. That makes it feel like you’re still in the same world of people.

In fact, I’m probably surrounded by more talented players than before, as I’ve got to know a lot of the Australian regs as well. Even though they live on the east coast I’m able to bounce hands off them as well now.

PL: What are your plans for the next couple of years?

AM: I’ll probably be in Perth for the next couple of years, although possibly Melbourne next year. Then it’ll be back to England for a couple of years and eventually end up in Australia.

You really should be directing that question at Soph (his girlfriend Sophie) though as she’s got it all planned and I’m just going with the flow!

Chris Moorman
Ash Mason learned a lot from players like Chris Moorman.

I’ll be continuing to play poker for the next few years at least. At some point I might go back to university and finish my maths degree, as I’m not sure I want to play poker forever.

PL: What do you think you need to do to break through in the live arena?

AM: I’ve been playing live poker for probably a year now, playing around one live tournament a month. At first I was playing pretty badly live, as it’s a completely different game.

Everyone makes so many technical mistakes that you don’t want to go all in with a hand like ace-jack, where online that would be a great spot.

It’s taken me a while to adjust to that and I kind of think I’ve got it, although you can always improve.

I’m friends with a lot of great live players who I’ve taken advice from. People like Chris Brammer, Chris Moorman, JP Kelly, Jake Cody and Matt Perrins are all good friends and have helped me with my live game.

Hopefully I can prove that at this World Series!

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