Sam Trickett: Big Buy-Ins “Bring Out the Best In Me”

Sam Trickett2
Sam Trickett also says he's spent $1 million on champagne in the last three years.

Hangovers and millions of dollars, Sam Trickett is used to playing with both.

Tricket has earned more than $20 million playing live poker tournaments and is England’s top-earning player, but he doesn't plan on stopping there.

“I want to be the best, or at least compete with the best. That’s all I want now,” Trickett said.

“I’ve made some good investments so I’m set for life so from now on I just want to try and get more results, try and get a couple of bracelets.”

Trickett is currently near the top of the leaderboard in the $5,000 NLHE 8-max, but his eyes are on the Big One. Trickett finished second to Antonio Esfandiari in the inaugural Big One for One Drop in 2012 and now he’s giving the title another shot.

“I’ve got a bigger piece than I had last time,” Trickett said. “I’m obviously looking forward to it and it’s a good opportunity to make some big money.”

Trickett Has Bigger Piece in 2014 One Drop

And Trickett knows how to turn big buy-in events into big results. $16.3 million of Trickett’s tournament earnings come from $100K-or-more buy-in events. This includes a victory in the 2011 A$100,000 and the 2013 A$250,000 Aussie Million high roller events.

Trickett says he has an edge in high buy-in events. His secret? Himself.

“I excel when the stakes are big and the pressure’s on. I seem to make good decisions, or better decisions, than I do when I’m playing smaller,” Trickett said.

Sam Trickett
Trickett did not wear sleeves in his first $1 million poker event.

“I always feel like it brings out the best in me these big tournaments and I try and I’m really determined to win.

“Obviously it’s going to be a tougher field this year and, you know, I might not be able to play perfectly, but I’m going to give it my best shot and hopefully it works out.”

The previous field was capped at 48 players but now the One Drop will have 56 players, each putting up $1 million.

So far the WSOP has confirmed 41 players including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates, Greg Merson, Isaac Haxton and Phil Galfond.

It’s the toughest field money can buy.

While the field is bigger and badder, Trickett’s preparation for the event will remain the same.

“Probably not gonna differ too much from last time,” Trickett said. “Got myself a separate room from all my friends and just chilled out for a week before I played, didn’t go out.

“I was going to the gym every day and I just tried to get my sleeping pattern in sync to the start of the tournament and that’s about it really.”

Trickett Spent Seven Figures on Champagne

Trickett is taking it easy for One Drop, but his extravagant partying is well-known in the poker world. In fact, Trickett estimates he could’ve bought into the One Drop himself if it weren’t for champagne.

“I don’t even like champagne but it just seems to keep coming to the table all the time. I’m ashamed of how much money I’ve wasted on champagne,” Trickett said.

Sam Trickett
"I’m ashamed of how much money I’ve wasted on champagne."

“You don’t even want to know, it’s at least seven figures over the last three years, at least seven figures, it’s absolutely crazy.

“Every time I go out I say, ‘I’m not gonna spend too much tonight.’ The next day I’ll just feel so stupid and think ‘I didn’t need to do that,’ but when I’m drunk I make bad decisions.

“I haven’t been out too much this year so I’m doing alright.”

It’s been quite a swing for a player who found himself broke in 2009.

“I was in debt ... I didn’t know what I was going to do because there weren’t many people who staked back then.

“Yeah, so that was obviously a bad time, but an opportunity came in Cape Town to teach people how to play and I was blessed to get that opportunity because everything went well from then on.”

At the 2010 WSOP, Trickett went on to finish 2nd in the $5,000 NLHE for $505,725 that year and bubbled the final table of the $25,000 NLHE six-max for $141,168. A few months later, Trickett finished 4th at EPT Villamoura for $177,519.

“I Get a Rush From Winning”

But Trickett says the most memorable tournament was when he won the Partouche Poker Main Event in Cannes. Not only did Trickett achieve victory, he got to share it with the people he cares about.

“It was just a big tournament for me. I had all my family and friends there, my mom was there watching me. It was the delayed final so I was able to take them over there,” Trickett said.

Sam Trickett
Winning the Partouche Poker Tour main event is Trickett's most memorable moment.

“To win a tournament like that for a million Euros and have all your friends and family there is the ultimate feeling basically.”

Trickett’s family and fiance aren’t in Las Vegas so he’ll be chasing the next best things, victory and money.

“I still want to win money. I’ve had a bad six months actually, I’ve been losing quite a bit,” Trickett said. “I lost some big pots out in Macau and haven’t had too many results but, I still want to win, I just enjoy winning. I get a rush from winning.”

Trickett’s competitive nature came way before poker. Trickett was once a semi-professional footballer but saw his athletic dreams crushed in 2005 when he suffered a career-ending injury.

His enthusiasm for the game hasn’t changed though and the professional gambler had some predictions for the world cup

“I bet Germany, I think that was a good bet, 5-1. I like Germany,” Trickett said.

“They’re a good tournament team and they just play well as a unit. They gel well together. Obviously Brazil are the favorites but I don’t think they played well their first game.

As for England -- who lost 2-1 to Italy in their opening game -- Trickett is a bit more skeptical.

“Same old England. We always get our hopes up,” Trickett said. “I didn’t get my hopes up too much this year, but in the previous years you always get your hopes up and they just let you down.

“Hopefully, one time they’ll pull out a big performance and just, get some compliments and have a deep run in the world cup, but that doesn’t seem to ever happen.”

Looks like England’s best hope for a deep run in sports this summer is Trickett himself.

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Dumbstruck 2014-06-18 08:37:12

At least he's ashamed and not bragging about spending $1 million on champagne in last three years. Pretty mind-boggling the kind of money people flush down the toilet when there's so many people out there who could actually use it, you know, for stuff like eating and clothes for their kids.

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