Mark Vos is predominantly an online cash game specialist, though he will make an appearance from time to time to play some live tournaments. He's making a run for the final table at this year's Main Event and has over $1.3 million in chips putting him well into the top ten. PL.com took a few minutes of his time to see how he was doing.
Where are you from and how did you get started in poker?
I'm originally from South Africa. I used to live in Cape Town and I moved to Australia in 2001. I started playing poker at the university with some friends to have a bit of fun and then I started playing online and things took off from there.
How has the World Series been treating you this year?
I've had three small cashes. Played, I think, eleven tournaments, this is my eleventh. I haven't had any big cashes so I'm still down on the buyins but it's been alright.
I've had a lot of fun outside of the poker. The poker can be pretty boring, the Main Event boring, but now it's looking like it'll be a little fun.
What did you do for your off days during the WSOP?
I went to San Diego for a few days and chilled out by the pool. I've been going to a lot of parties out here. I've been to a few parties over at the Hard Rock at Sunday School Rehab. Going out a lot and having fun with my friends.
There are a lot of weak players in the field though things seem to be getting tougher. Did you have a special strategy for the tournament?
Now that we've got a lot of chips and deep stacks I'm playing a lot of pots, seeing a lot of flops. It's really different than the other ones [tournaments]. The other ones are basically preflop stuff and that's really boring. These opponents have been really fun. You talk to them, laugh with them, and hopefully try to get a little information out of them.
Tell me about today.
Well, today I sat down at a table where I had $468,000, the next stack was $280,000, average stack was 280,000, and the next biggest stack was $147,000. I had by far and away the shortest stacked table in the entire tournament. I was thinking 'well there is going to be a lot of small pot poker'. The short stack will be trying to double up and I won't be able to get a lot of chips.
As it turned out, it was just crazy. Within the first fifteen, twenty minutes we had three bust outs and we got two new big stacks in. I had a player to my left that I felt I could control. Even though he had position on me I felt I could play a lot of pots with him.
I managed to run up a huge stack from him. I won a lot of big pots against him. As it turned out we all of a sudden had a lot of chips on our table. Lots and lots of big pots; we saw several pots that were about a million.
It was a lot of fun though. Several good guys were there, one guy from the UK the other from Hawaii. We were having some drinks and having a good time. I really enjoyed myself, it was one of the funnest days of poker I've ever played.
You seem to have a lot of fun when you play. Does the pressure ever get to you?
Not really. I don't take it that seriously. I've been in several tournaments where I'm close to getting big money. In one of them, when I wasn't even playing that well, I won big money. I've kinda been in this situation, not quite this big, but a similar situation before. Whatever happens, happens. Don't worry about it, think about it later. Be in the moment and play your hand.
You're a familiar face on the Circuit, what is it like to do all the travelling?
It was really when I did it but I'm probably not going to be doing it this year because I don't really enjoy playing live poker. It's really slow and tiresome. It was really fun to see all the places that I was excited to go. Like 'wow Barcelona EPT that's great' and I was really excited to go but now I've been there. I'm going to Europe after this but it's mostly just for holiday.
You're quitting tournament poker?
Well, to an extent. I really was never a live player or a tournament player. I'm an cash game player who plays tournaments for fun.
I've had a little success in tournaments where things ran my way and I won one major tournament. It seems like I play a lot of tournaments but really I'm an online cash game player that comes on the circuit for fun.
Do you have a plan for tomorrow?
Tomorrow I have to look at my table. It's all table dependent. If I come in and Gus Hansen is on my left I might try to nit it up and get some good hands. If I've got a table that I can raise and play a lot of pots with I'm going to do it. I'll just have to wait and see if I get a big stack to my left or whatever. Hopefully it will be as good as today.
It would be a difficult task to find someone one in the entire having more fun than Vos when he's playing his 'A' game and is surrounded by good company. We exchanged a handshake and Vos was off to the bar. He doesn't plan to continue playing too many live tournaments though, if he goes really deep in the Main Event, he might just change his mind.