There have been some incredible main events over the last 50 European Poker Tour stops and Pierre Neuville has been there for all of them.
The Belgian has qualified online for more live tournaments than most people will play in their entire lives.
Recently Neuville was also nominated for a PokerListings Spirit of Poker award in the 50+ category.
We caught up with Neuville and discussed his amazing streak at the EPT and how it felt to be nominated for a PL award.
PokerListings: First off Pierre, what's up?
Pierre Neuville: Not much, you know... I'm a very, very happy poker player.
I have just been told by PokerStars that they want to keep me as part of their team for season 10 of the EPT.
I'm going to start this season as the eldest player on the team, but I still have the fighting spirit of a young one!
Being the eldest member of the best poker team in the world is a great honour and I appreciate it greatly – I see it as a reward for dedicating my life to others, to companies, to sportsmen and to poker... I see them all as my friends.
That doesn't mean I have to win, but it does make me the happiest poker player at the tables or behind my computer when I play online every night.
PL: What does being nominated for one of our Awards mean to you?
I see this nomination as a validation of the joy I feel as a poker player. Obviously the term “Legend” makes me feel a bit like a thing of the past, I definitely wouldn't have minded being nominated as one of the up-and-coming players... (laughs)
But being recognized by such poker experts as PokerListings is such an honour.
PL: With the exception of yourself, who would you vote for in this list?
I love the description of your award, how these players are legends, but they're also still very good players, players that have to be reckoned with.
And all the players in your list match this definition, they all deserve the award.
Pierre Neuville is a Kid Poker fan.
PL: Who are your favourites in the two other categories?
Well, I do have an opinion for these two other categories. I think Daniel Negreanu is by far the most influential player in modern poker – not only thanks to his amazing results, but also to his attitudes and opinions about everything related to poker.
As for the young players, Paul Berende is my favourite. He's a gentleman, a friend and an excellent player. He's always in a good mood, but he's a very tough opponent. He's truly a good guy and I hope all future players will be like him.
PL: The PokerListings Awards Ceremony will be held during the second Battle of Malta at the end of September. What were your impressions of the inaugural Battle of Malta, in which you participated?
I have wonderful memories of the first Battle of Malta, which I think could have been named “Friendship of Malta” considering how friendly the atmosphere was all through the tournament. It was also an amazing opportunity to visit Malta – I'd never been there before!
PL: What tournaments and events are you going to play to start off the season?
Of course, my priority will be Season 10 of the EPT. I'm the only player to have taken part in the last 50 EPTs without missing one, so I'll be trying to extend that record some more!
Speaking of records, I'd also like to stay in the all-time Top 10 for a bit longer, but I think this will be tough because there's a lot of competition and many young players are looking to get into the Top 10. But if I do manage to stay in the Top 10 at 70, I can guarantee that this record won't be broken for a long, long time – even though I'm happy to prove that there is no age limit to play poker. And as my friend Philippe Ktorza says: “I encourage them by showing them how many more years they will be able to enjoy poker!”
I love getting to a poker tournament and seeing my friends from all over the world, everyone's smiling and speaking different languages, there's a lot of mutual respect between all of us before we get into the arena.
Pierre Neuville and Liv Boeree checking out Neuville's banner.
PL: Back to poker and its evolution – what do you think about these young players who spend their time staring at their tablets and smartphones at the poker table. Does it annoy you? Make you sad?
I used to think it was sad to see players coming to the table with their books, so with a tablet... ugh. I think it's mostly sad for the players themselves though, because it means that they're neglecting the human, psychological and social aspect of poker.
I think that sitting at a table to play the Main Event of the WSOP or the EPT is a privilege, a privilege that millions of players are dreaming of. So yes, it is very sad to be sitting at a poker table and be so bored that you need to check out the news on your tablet.
PL: There's another debate going on at the moment, about trackers, these stat softwares designed for online poker players. Do you think it's fair that players can use them? Do you sometimes use them and what do you think about them?
Personally, I've always refused to use trackers – even though they're allowed on PokerStars.
So I don't know if they actually help you win more online, but I like poker too much to let a robot play instead of me.
PL: What would you change in poker today? What evolutions do you think would be good for poker?
I think that the people who CAN change things have done it well.
They have done a lot of things for the EPT, by teaming with national tournaments and organizing amazing poker festivals.
And now there are also festivals for players who are on a budget, and I think that's great for poker.
Poker is wonderful: men and women from all over the world come together and play, it's amazing. At a poker tournament you can meet people of all races and religions, it's almost like the Olympics!
Our governments should understand that and promote poker!
Author: Fred Guillemot
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