Name: Mike Vann, The Leaf (stars), ownfest2k6 (ftp)
ZCB (zonacrewblog): How long have you been playing poker seriously?
The Leaf : About 2 years ago when i began talking strategy with bdubs3737 online.
ZCB: What did you play when you first began online?
The Leaf: bdubs had me grind the $5.50 9 man sngs until i had a bankroll to work with, so i did that until i had $300 behind and then was fortunate to “luckbox” a 5th in the $3 Rebuy….from there a lengend was born…..(j/k)
ZCB: Whats a normal day usually contain for you?
The Leaf: I play mostly mtts, ocassionally you can find me in any of the 180 mans on stars. I stick to lower limits although with recent success, i have been playing the $55 mtts regularly on stars and tilt
ZCB: You speak of your recent sucess, mind sharing some of your latest scores and a possible explanation for why you seem to finally be getting the $$$$$ you deserve?
The Leaf: I took 2nd in the 10$ 20k gtd for about 3k, 2nd in the $8.80 on stars for 1k, 5th and 1st in the $55 7.5k gtd on ftp in the same week for 500 and 3k, followed by a 32nd in the ftp 750k for 2.2k and a 1st in the ftp 24k gtd for 5k. I think my recent success is due to some major adjustments i have made in my game. In this agressive world of poker we compete in, the open raise/c-bet is a vital tool: however now that the lag, or agressive style has been adapted by so many players I realized it was time to re adjust my play to explot the agression. I do this by restraining my open raises to hands I am most willing to call a re shove in that given situation, instead of trying to chip up using the open raise w/semi moderate hands. However I find my image is considerably tighter when I play like that, so to further use that to my advantage, I re shove/raise moderate hands on agressive open raises. I believe w/my tight image players have to give my shove more respect.
ZCB: What has been you’re greatest poker achievement?
The Leaf: I would have to say my recent trip to TurningStone ( a casino in New York for 18+) where i was able to play and discuss poker with some of the best poker minds in the game. I also was able to final table my first major live tourny there, a $300 buy with over a hundred people.
ZCB: Do you have any poker goals you’re aiming for?
The Leaf: For some time now I’ve made it my goal to reach the top 150 on the Pokerstars TLB of the Year (im floating between 180-250 now). But my main goal is to become a winning enough player online to live and support a myself in a comfortable lifestyle.
ZCB: And finally, any advice for others who grind the mid stakes mtts?
The Leaf: although it is frustrating playing torunies with hundreds to thousands of people for minimal payouts…..well just look at aconsuma today. I guess that’s all i really need to say.