"Bax" is good and he isn't afraid to let everybody know exactly what he's doing. Josephy creates videos that show hand-for-hand analysis of exactly how he takes down the big bucks in tournaments. PL.com caught up to him at the end of Day 1d at the Main Event to see how he was doing.
Welcome to the Main Event. How many tournaments did you play this year?
I didn't play too many. I made two small trips in the beginning of June and in the middle of June. I had a lot going on back in New York. I had two family birthdays, a kid going home from summer camp. A lot of events going on in New York, so I came out here for two small trips and never did anything. It was horrible!
I never really got anything going and I felt like there wasn't a lot of room for error. Things change here in the Main Event when they start you out with 200 big blinds and you can play some poker, as opposed to having it be expensive or having to be worried the whole time.
It's well known that you're a family man. How does having a family, and putting them first, affect the way you go about getting things done in this crazy industry?
It's, it's - you know I work. It's like any other job. I'm home most of the time and it's been really good during June. I was away a little bit and I didn't work much during the days. I didn't play at all during the day in June when I was home. Normally I play four or five days a week online but I didn't play at all when I was with the family.
I spent time with the family and it was wonderful! Went to the ball games at night. I spent a lot of time with them and it's been great. You know, I work hard and I have to go away even though I don't like it. But I don't go away often. I go away once a month and it's great to come home and have three kids come up and give you a big hug and the wife too.
How did you get started playing poker?
That's the old question. I don't know. I worked really hard in the stock market and to relax I would play hearts one or two nights a week on the Internet and I became addicted to that. I went down to visit my parents in Florida in Christmas of '03 and I saw the Moneymaker thing on TV and I thought it was really cool. Then I saw my dad playing on the Internet so I went on and played and there it is.
You got up to around $100,000 today - was it an easy day for you?
Yeah; I thought it was a really easy day. I started the day off ... it was kinda soft. I liked my table where I started. I flopped or turned the nut-flush draw with really no action in front of me but I never got there. I got rivered one hand. I got down to like $15,000 during the first level.
I really liked my table and I knew we weren't going to break all day. Then they grabbed me when they went from 10-handed to nine-handed and I was about to post my big blind. They moved me to another table and I was really upset.
They moved me to a table where four guys were talking some strange language - these Swedish guys. It turned out they were not the stereotypical Swedish guys that you hear about. It was limp, limp, limp, limp, limp.
I was just limping my tens or ace-queen under the gun and it wasn't the way I normally play. I like to see a lot of flops and take it from there. Let them make their mistakes after the flop, and they did.
I took it from there. I was very upset when that table broke; it [had been] phenomenal for me. There was just no resistance at all. I thought with everyone I had a really good read. I went from 20-something to 40 or so at that table. I came to the last table and you saw the hand, I showed it to you. You probably reported on it. It was just easy. It was a really easy day.
The field is really watered down now. When will it start getting tougher?
The field is watered down that is uh [laughs] ... This is the best event in the world! With the structure and then you talk about the field ... these people just don't know how to play. These people do not know how to play.
It's like when I first started playing and you would get some tables with people that don't know how to play but it keeps getting harder and harder as time goes on. This is the one event where you still get the people that don't know what they're doing. They need the PokerXFactor training ... that's www.pokerxfactor.com.
What's that all about?
We teach people how to play. I won't go through all the names, but a bunch of us submit our hand histories and we have a hand replayer. We basically replay online tournaments and we discuss why we played certain hands at this juncture of the tournament.
Why we play ace-eight this way; why we folded ace-queen in this spot; why you check-raised this player; why you play really fast in certain tournaments; how to read opponents, and so on. We give players as many factors as they can include in their decision-making.
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With that, it was time for JohnnyBax to go get some rest. We'll be keeping an eye on him on Day 2 to see what he does with the chip stack he built today.