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Sam Trickett Talks Big Vienna Losses, Swaps with Germans and Macau
When it comes to UK poker, it doesn't get any bigger than Sam Trickett these days.
With a new sponsorship with Everest Poker and the next $1m Big One for One Drop - the tourney that made him the winningest European poker player of all time - looming, everyone's got their eyes on Trickett in anticipation of his next big performance.
A runner-up finish at WPT Venice and a second cash this week at EPT Vienna show Trickett's on form in tournaments, but like most high rollers it's the cash games - where he runs in a pretty elite circle - where he really makes his graft.
PokerListings' Christian Henkel caught up with him after a long night at the biggest game in Vienna to find out more.
PokerListings: There are rumors here at the EPT Vienna Main Event that PLO World Champion Jan-Peter Jachtmann organizes a PLO high-stakes cash game every night at the expensive penthouse of Sans Souci Hotel. And you're supposed to have been there. Can you really concentrate on a €5,000 tournament at the same time?
Sam Trickett: I can concentrate on both. I used to play both major tournaments and big cash games at the same time. But it was really late last night.
I got six hours sleep. Enough so it doesn’t affect my decision-making here in the main event that much.
But I lost big last night and I was doomed today in the main event. I ran so hot yesterday that I think now they have a voodoo doll in the penthouse ... (laughs)
PL: Will you play the whole week?
ST: Yes, even more now that I have busted from the main event. I need something to do. So I'll try to make some money.
PL: How is it going so far?
ST: Not well. I had some really bad sessions. We played PLO and I lost four hours in a row almost every hand. I think I was all in 60 times ...
PL: In Euro?
ST: More than a five-digit number. I don’t wanna tell too much, but I think my opponents were quite happy afterwards.
PL: Other players involved?
ST: Mostly German pros and Austrian guys. Ronny Kaiser, Florian Langmann and Noah Boeken were also involved.
PL: How did you get in the game?
ST: I know some guys from longer stays in Vienna. Gregor Reichardt for example, who was floorman in the high roller lounge of the Montesino.
I always brought some really good action in the games before, so now they hope that I fill up their bankrolls (laughs)
PL: You know the Germans from other games. They smashed live High Roller Events in 2012 and 2013, and you were always one of the really few European players who could face them on the same level. What do you think about that Teutonian bunch, that scary think tank?
ST: It never surprised me really. They played most of these tournaments. And they are better tournament players than most. They train their brains almost every day, by challenging each other. And they are nice lads.
PL: Who is the best of them?
ST: Wrong question. Quoss, Gruissem, Reinkemeier and Kurganov. Four guys, four different styles.
PL: What is Gruissem's style?
ST: I can’t tell you all my reads on him exactly, but he thinks about tournament poker in a completely different way than all other tournament players.
He is always really creative in his post-flop game and in finding bluffing spots, that no other players would pick. Most tournament players prefer to have a lot of pot control.
It seems that he doesn't give a shit for pot control. That can make a really big difference in tournaments with a huge buy in.
PL: And Tobias Reinkemeier?
ST: He plays the game not as aggressive like Gruissem. Tobias plays a perfect game, really straightforwardly and never makes mistakes. He punishes you for every weak moment in a tournament.
PL: They all live in England. Do you know them privately?
ST: No. I don’t live in London. I use to play some private cash games, but I never met them there. I live in Lincoln, a city in the Northeast of England close to Nottingham and Sheffield.
But I meet them quite often at live tournaments. And I swapped with them in the high roller and super high-roller tournaments.
They are actually the only guys with whom I ever swap in these tournaments.
PL: Back to the high-stakes cash games. You used to be involved in the most expensive cash games in the world in Macau. But we heard that they don’t let you in anymore? Are too good, too dangerous?
ST: I used to play the highest games there. And I think Tom Dwan and me were for a long time the only pros who were allowed to play there. But then the games dried out a little bit.
And when they came back, the local VIPs decided to not let any poker pros in the games. So I lived in Macau and waited day-to-day to get an invitation.
But whenever they organised a game it was filled up with western poker pros, mostly shorthanded and not really attractive.
So I decided to go back to Europe. But Tom told me recently that he received some invitations from the locals again. So maybe I'll go back soon.
PL: What makes you such an extraordinary player - now the most sucessful European poker player of all time?
ST: To be honest I think I'm good, good enough to survive under the most dangerous sharks. But I had a lot of luck, with my results in the high roller and particulary with my results in the super high roller tournaments.
On the other hand I always got along with people and had never big arguments with other poker players or any big fall outs.
So people trust me and sponsors have always supported me quite well. In return I give interviews, even if I am absolutely not in the mood to do them. Like now (laughs).