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In the days of the poker boom Brad Booth was a poker icon but after a massive online poker downswing that involved suspicions of being cheated for millions playing on UltimateBet, Booth has focused on rebuilding his bankroll and paying back the money he owes people in the poker community. In this video interview with PokerListings.com Booth opens up about the changes his life has gone through and the lessons he's learned along the way. Booth speaks extremely honestly and candidly about the highest highs and the lowest lows of his poker career.
Yeah, so for me looking back into like how poker was back in the mid 2000s to late 2000s to the way the game is now, man, you know it's one of those things that if I would have listened to my inner voice or listened to the people I was surrounding myself with, where they always kept saying, you know, Brad, take some time to enjoy your life, take some money, and invest it. Maybe do something where you could get a residual outside of poker, but for me, you know, I've been playing poker everyday now for, I mean, it's about 19 years. I think I've missed probably 70 days total and close to two decades. So looking back on it now, I really wish I would have invested my money into something. I really wish I would recognized the online poker, maybe got into some sort of ownership, into online.
Maybe not because, you know, it was sort of illegal at that time. So probably it wouldn't have been a good idea, but you know what? Who knows what I could have been into. Maybe I should have invested into poker listings or something but I didn't because all I was at that time and I guess even to this day is a poker player. I've always just thought I was gonna play poker from when I was a kid to my entire life. You know, I'm pretty sure when I die it's statistically likely that I'll die at the poker table. And I'm sure somebody'll just announce seat open for a live one or something. I'm not sure. There really was a time of sort like the Wild, Wild West with the online stuff being like so crazy and no regulation to playing in the cash kings at the Bellagio of $2,000, $4,000 limit to $300, $600 no limit.
Money was flying around. People were like, you know, reading a book. If they saw ace, king they had to get it in pre, and we're talking like we've been playing like 80 and 100K pots when a guy is getting in with ace, queen suited, ace, king. And you're sitting there with aces or somebody has jacks. It was unbelievable. I remember living at the Bellagio for, I think I was there for about 18 months, and I remember one time of my life I went outside about four times in four months and the money was just flowing.
I started off in a regular suite and ended up in a villa, and it was just unbelievable. I think my monthly expenses were about 25K a month with the rooms and tips for the floor staff and tips for the dealers and, of course, the $9 every half an hour you had to pay. But it was all relative because I was going downstairs, sort of in my living room at that time, and we're playing 200, 400, and it was nuts. I mean, the game was full with a big waiting list and money was just flowing.
There was day I was up a Ferrari and down a Ferrari, and now I'm sort of like up in 87, with a Honda Civic with a dent in front or down that. So it's definitely been a real change. Because I wasn't playing live in Vancouver for big stakes I just started to play online really big and I just went for massive down swing.
I had started playing online and we were playing 300 and 600 no limit and I think I've blasted through a few million really fast to this day I'm not sure if there was a Trojan in my computer or not, or I just played bad online. We have to leave that. Maybe I will find that after this earthy years. But it was pretty sexy. So I just went on a massive down swing after that and started making a lot of mistakes and of course with the ultimate bet scandal and things like that, it was just really tough for me to sort of bounce back and now I'm in the process of driving my way back up. I'm in communication with the people that I owe money to and I let them know when I'm playing events and then if I have a deep run I'll be able to square up with them or pay them back some and things like that.
I've made a lot of progression in the last five years of taking care of those online transfers. It's just really kind of shitty that I'm still paying back the ultimate bet debt to this day. You know the people that loaned me money on the ultimate bet, they don't have anything to do with the scandal so the people that had loaned me money, I can't say to them, "Hey guys, I got cheated on this money. Why do I have to pay you?" When the reality is they loaned me the money and that transaction had nothing to do with them so, of course, the right thing to do is to honor that debt and make sure I continue to pay back so I've been doing that when I can.
So just some of the things that I have learnt along the way in life lessons and poker lessons is that I've really learnt to appreciate the dollar. I really had an understanding of how integrity is really all you have and I've made a couple of errors there and I will live forever with regret but there are mistakes and now I chalk them up as experiences so when it comes to appreciating the smaller things in life now... It's about your friends. I've really realized who my real close friends are and if I have three, four, five million dollars or more one day, I don't need a big circle of friends. I know who my friends are now.
That's one lesson I've learnt along the way, who my real friends were and who wasn't. Anyhow, it's family friends like that. I mean, I'm really lucky. I was adopted at birth and I met my biological mum. It will be five years this October 2nd. I've really come to value the small things in life are really kind of the most important. All that materialistic stuff like partying one of the clubs and buying bottle services and all that sort of stuff is highly overrated and very lonely.
However I'm off to get back into the main event. Day one see so thanks for your time. Have a great day.