Adam Levy is one of the toughest online players in the game. The 25-year-old from Orlando, Florida who calls himself "Roothlus" in just about every online poker site out there has scored big in the Sunday million-dollar tournaments and wins consistently all over the Web.
That all changed about four months ago when Levy made the transition to live tournament play, but it didn't take long for him to make a big splash as he cashed more than $75k for his recent ninth-place finish at the 2007 WPT North American Poker Championship.
Unfortunately, Roothlus didn't fare too well at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic this time around, getting bounced on Day 2.
Levy: Internet Phenom Goes Live
But he stopped by on Day 3 to have a little chat with PokerListings.com about his transition to live play, his past and his future that's so bright - he's gotta wear shades.
I guess the Five Diamond wasn't too good to you?
The first day was a battle, but I got through it. Yesterday was not too kind to me. The bust-out hand and the last few hands were not epic; I just got short.
What did you think of the field here compared to the WPT in Niagara - pretty stacked huh?
It was definitely more stacked, but the tables that I was at, I didn't feel outmatched. I felt like there were tough players, but there were also a lot of players who just wanted to sit down in a $15,000 tournament. There actually might have been more of those here. At Niagara there were a lot of players that satellited in, but here there were a lot more people that just bought in.
You've had some pretty big success online; tell us about that.
The highlight of my online career was getting third and fourth in the (PokersStars Sunday) Million in a four-week span. That was like a year and a half ago. But I've just been a pretty consistent winner for like four years now.
And now you've made the transition to live play?
I had a taste of it in Europe when I played the EPT in Baden and I bubbled that, two or three months ago. I think it is a little bit of a jump for an online player. Normally online you're so short-stacked at the knees right away, but here you just have so many chips.
That's the biggest difference, deep stacks?
Deep stacks and just realizing that the play is different. It's not as fast and people might play a little tighter than they would online. I think a lot of people don't realize that.
I also think a lot of the young online players come in with a big ego, like "I'm this guy," or whoever and they don't respect these guys enough.
It's a little annoying to me. I may have came in with a bit of that attitude, but [having] actually [talked] to these guys out here,
I think you actually have to do something live before you can act like you are the best and online players just don't realize that.
The only two players who intimidate me a little bit are Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonious, but I think once I get to the table with them it's easy to see they're just nice guys. They are real people like you and me.
So now that you've found your footing and gone deep live, you must feel like you're going in the right direction?
I'm definitely headed in the right direction. I was happy with my play yesterday, but I got short and didn't see a hand for an entire level. That happens sometimes.
How is it that you found your way to poker in the first place?
It's the whole clichéd story. I watched Rounders, I saw Chris Moneymaker do his thing and I got into it. Also before this I was playing Magic and a lot of Magic players started playing poker. At first I didn't really like it, but I caught on.
So is the plan to try and make a career out of this now?
Perhaps if I had gotten a little further along with college I might have finished, but I started making all this money and I decided to go with it. I might not want to play poker as a job for the rest of my life, but I like poker; I love games and I could see myself playing casually for the rest of my life.
Casually for millions of dollars?
Ya right, casually for millions of dollars (laughs).
So I suppose you'll be out there promoting yourself and trying to get some kind of sponsorship deal for the immediate future?
I think I'd have to do something in a big event before I can get sponsored. It's only been three or four months since I've been out here and I'd rather not get it until I've done something big. I'd rather not have people wondering "How did he get a deal?"
OK, so what's next?
Well, I'm headed off to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
Thanks Adam, good luck in the Caribbean and don't forget the sunscreen.
On the tour these days you're sure to find a lot of Internet phenoms making the transition to the live game. Unfortunately, very few are doing it with the kind of humility Adam "Roothlus" Levy is. PokerListings.com is betting his is the winning attitude and there's no doubt he will find the road to consistent poker success a little easier because of it.