High Roller Radio
Abe Limon Interview
Cash Game Pro
Q: It’s not something you really find nowadays. I mean, there’s all these training sites for the online guys, programs they can use; things like poker tracker and HUD’s, but the live pros, guys like yourself, seem to have an ability to treat people right, make relationships and then find themselves in these soft, juicy, action-filled games?
LP: Well, live cash game pros generally live in silence. Most of them you’ve never heard of and you never really see much of them. If you go poking around you can figure out who Daniel Alaei is, or the Abe Mosseri’s, a few of them are known, but most of them are just under the surface. These are the players who’s name you may have heard of but most of them are right under the surface. These are guys who got into it before the boom or just never entertained poker as a career. They never needed to impress their mommy by holding up a trophy. They knew the game from early on. They knew the game is for misfits and malcontents and that it’s a hustle from minute one until the very end. All it is is a hustle. Getting yourself in good positions and good games is the name of the game. The ‘World’s Best Poker Player’ isn’t gonna do much of that for you. It’ll get you beat by a computer and thrown out of a lot of poker games if you don’t handle yourself right. The guys who make a lot of money playing poker every year, the cash game guys, they’re generally like the rake - you barely even know they’re there. If you do know they’re there it’s because you like them. They are likeable people who create likeable scenarios. They basically run the poker game like Steve Wynn runs a casino; with a little bit of entertainment, a way to lose yourself for a little while, and if you give them a good gamble they’ll give you a good time.
Q: Okay, in this series of tweets on the poker industrial complex, I want to focus on tweets #5 thru #8. You write: 5) Poker is pure, gambling sickness release hobby time killer for 99.99999% of people who do it and should only be promoted as such. 6) Wasn’t meant for kids who should have been accountants and need to subject parents to a tourney luck box to validate their horrible choices. 7) There are no mommies in poker. Poker is for anti-social malcontents and semi criminals. Your mommy can’t save you! Go back to your IT job. And 8) If you want to meet a cool/honest person in a casino talk to someone who would never consider poker as a career and finds it laughable. You went all-out on these tweets?
LP: I’m getting very tired of the poker industrial complex. It doesn’t make me any money, okay, so there’s no reason for me to promote it or to lie about it. Here’s something that most people don’t know; Dan Negreanu, who I actually think s a pretty nice, entertaining and respectable guy, promotes the shit out of the poker industrial complex. At the end of any of his arguments about he says, ‘You have to grow the game.’ This is one of the huge myths of poker, that for professional poker players to make money you have to grow the game. This is completely fucking false, okay. Before the poker boom I was making lots of money playing poker. We didn’t need to grow the game. The game’s were great. Nobody knew how to play. You were basically there with guys who bet the horses, guys who wanted to have a drink, guys who wanted to get away from their wife, guys with gambling addictions and serious hobbyists. There weren’t really professionals. The whole concept of a professional poker player didn’t really exist before Full Tilt Poker. People started promoting this idea of poker as a career. Growing the game helps the poker industrial complex, it doesn’t help actual cash game grinders. Actual cash game grinders don’t know whether the game is growing or shrinking because they only need eight other guys. That’s all they need in the entire world, eight other guys. As long as there are eight other guys, who are worse than me at poker, then the poker world is as big as it needs to be. It’s a full size. That’s how these private games run. The player pool might be 20 guys and yet there’s a few pros making a lot of money off that game because they’re in with the host. The poker industrial complex is a myth. It exists to perpetuate itself and it exists to perpetuate tournament poker. Tournament poker isn’t a way for anyone to make a living and nobody makes a living at tournament poker. When I say ‘nobody,’ there’s probably some fucking unicorn that does. It’s no way for anyone to make a living and it’s easily mathematically proven. Someone’s gonna say, ‘What about Fedor Holz?’ What about some motherfucker who just a $250 million lottery? What about that guy? That’s like ten Fedor Holz. Look up to that guy because it’s the same fucking shit, man. The easiest way to prove this? They never tell you how much they bought in for. Never! That fucking shit is more secret than the illuminati, Area 51 and Roswell. That shit is the most secret thing in the poker universe. How much did they buy-in for? You’ve got those stupid poker awards. Best poker player in the world? We already know who the best poker player is. He’s some fucking guy, playing in some fucking private game somewhere, making a shit ton of money. He doesn't give a fuck. Here’s the poker award I want to see, 'Highest Number of Buy-ins.’ There’s an interesting poker award you’ll never see. ROI’s? There’s a poker award you’re not going to see. Most WSOP’s without a cash? When they start actually publishing the buy-ins for these global poker rankings then you will know the shit is real. They’ll never put down the buy-ins because, if they put down the buy-ins, the poker industrial complex crashes. It just melts under it’s own weight. You know the other thing they need to publish in the GPI? How many backers do you have and how much are you in make-up? I actually consider that cheating, by the way. I extend the ‘one player per hand’ rule all the way to taking money because poker is played with money.
Q: Wait a minute. You’ve got all these poker staking sites nowadays and pros take pieces of one another all the time. You think that’s cheating?
LP: I won’t go as far as to say it’s cheating but I consider it highly unethical. It’s very, very, very unethical. Here’s the reason why; poker is played for money. It’s played for fucking money, dude. It’s not played for matchsticks or tiddlywinks, it’s played for cash money. When the money is real it changes the way people act about things. Sometimes people will get way up in a session and they’ll play differently. Sometimes they’ll get stuck and they’ll play differently. If you know a guy has a bunch of money in his pocket you can make some decisions based on how you think he’ll play. You can start to correlate some information about the money. Money causes a lot of psychological interference in your head.
Q: You see it al the time in cash games. Sometimes a guy triples up and he wants to sit on the chips. Sometimes a guy is down and he loosens up trying to chase. It’s your job as a professional poker player to recognize these ebbs and flows and take advantage of these people?
LP: Yes and they’re supposed to be playing one man to a hand. The cardinal rule of poker is one player to a hand. Since money is essentially a game piece, used in a game just as much as cards and just as much as people, money should also be one to a hand. It changes the entire dynamics of the game when people are trading with each other in the game, swapping with each other in the game and playing off combined bankrolls. It changes everything about the game. I think it should have to be public knowledge if you’re not playing with your own money or you don’t have 100% of yourself. That’s something the fucking GPI should start working on but, the problem with that is, it destroys the poker industrial complex. People will start saying, ‘Wait, he only had 5% of himself? Well, that’s not baller at all.’ This is why the poker industrial complex is a complete lie and it’s ruined a lot of lives. And, it’s ruined poker to a certain extent.
Q: Lastly, in this epic series of tweets, you write, ‘Finally, if you truly know anything about the pro grind and are promoting it as a hi-5 bros tourney balla sushi fest, you are a parasite!’ Those are strong words?
LP: That’s right, they are parasites. The poker industrial complex parasitically lives off the poker community. It saps money out of the poker community. The poker community is, as it always has been, cash game grinders running their little area, like their own little casino, giving people who come in to gamble a fair gamble and a good time. It’s not about people creating a fake poker bubble based on credit, borrowing, swapping and lies. I don’t see any good for this and I think it’s time people start calling out the poker industrial complex for what it actually is. The idea that we need to grow poker is a fucking joke and it’s always been a joke. Nobody needs it. All I need is good fair gamble, from good people, playing on their own Goddamn money. I don’t need a bunch of people sifting money out of the poker community for their dalliances in poker tournament fame. It’s a deep rabbit hole when you start to go down it because it also involves addiction too. Addiction is another serious problem in all of this, which I haven’t really spoken about too much about because I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it yet. We just don’t need it. The poker industrial complex has ruined a lot more lives than it’s helped. It hasn’t helped the average professional poker player, who’s been around pre-boom until now. People who weren’t around before the boom don’t know what it was like. It was a goldmine. Nobody knew what they were doing. Everybody treated the game right and with respect and now they don’t. They treat it bad, with disrespect, and the poker economy is drying up. A lot of people are getting left to the side. None of this did anyone any good. The poker industrial complex just needs to dry up and go away. If you’re a member of the poker industrial complex and you’re serious? Start publishing the fucking buy-ins, start publishing the swaps, and start publishing the combined bankrolls. Until then, all you are is a snake oil salesman and you’re hurting the game.
Abe Limon Thank-you!
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