Over the weekend, Canada’s p0cket00(pictured) took down the 888 Poker Whalefor a healthy $46,000. There were 402 entrants at $600 a pop, which sent the prize pool to almost $240,000. He moved up 15 spots in the PocketFives Rankings as a result and used to be #1 last year.
p0cket00 has $9.3 million in tracked online MTT winnings, the second most of any PocketFiver, and has been a card-carrying member of our site for the last seven years. It’s our pleasure to catch up with him to talk about the Whale as well as what he’s been up to recently.
PocketFives: Congrats on winning the 888 Whale. Tell us how you’re feeling about it.
p0cket00: Thank you. I’m feeling great about it, especially since it was bigger than usual due to WCOOP. I ran pretty good to build a stack and then I thought I played close to perfectly, which I guess isn’t saying much since it’s pretty easy to play with a big stack. It also felt nice to win it without dealing since I suggested a deal three-handed and my opponents didn’t share my view.
PocketFives: Give us a scouting report on the Whale. What’s the structure like? What’s the field like? How often do you play it?
p0cket00: I love the Whale. I’ve only missed it a couple times. I don’t skip Sundays unless there is an important family or friend function. The structure really agrees with me: not too slow, not too fast; it’s just right! The field is usually fun to play against too. You get some guys playing really aggro and others playing really tight, so you can usually be confident in your decisions.
PocketFives: We feel like we haven’t talked to you in a while. What have you been up to poker-wise and non-poker-wise?
p0cket00: Yes it has been a while. I still remember when you first contacted me for an interview four years ago. I felt special, so thanks for that, Dan. Poker-wise, I’ve been playing less than I used to. I play three days a week most weeks now, but I’ve also been studying the game a lot more than I used to.
Non-poker wise, I recently traveled to Mexico and Spain with my girlfriend, who by the way is a big part of my success. I also traveled to Gdansk, Poland to visit family, which is always a great feeling. Other than that, I have one semester left to graduate from York University in Toronto with a Kinesiology degree, so I’ll get that done in January. I also enjoy trading bitcoin and playing volleyball.
PocketFives: You’re over $9 million in online MTT winnings. Did you ever think you’d get to this point when you started playing?
p0cket00: When I first started playing, I never really thought about the future. I was young and excited and just wanted to learn the game. I loved playing, so learning new concepts and feeling myself getting better was where my satisfaction came from.
It wasn’t until I grew up a little that I realized the practical uses of money. That was a point in my life where my game suffered because it was a distraction, but I’ve put a handle on that now. I’ve been around a pretty long time and play a lot, so I’m not all that surprised I’ve reached $9 million in cashes.
PocketFives: What changes have you noticed in the online game this year compared to past years?
p0cket00: For the most part, the game has become more mathematical. Tournaments used to be mostly about aggression and “cool,” “deceptive” plays, but now more people understand ranges, ICM, pot odds, relative hand strength, etc. The big winners are hard-working, smart, and controlled.
PocketFives: Where does your p0cket00 handle come from?
p0cket00: I made the name because I started with $0.00 and built my bankroll winning a freeroll, so I thought it would be a good name to remind me where I started if I ever got tilted. It didn’t work as well as I thought.
PocketFives: How have your friends and family reacted to all of your success?
p0cket00: In the beginning, my friends and family were very skeptical, but after hearing me talk about the game and watching me play, they became big supporters. I thank and appreciate them for that.
PocketFives: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
p0cket00: First and foremost, I’d like to thank my family, girlfriend, her family, and my friends (I won’t name them all; they know who they are) for their support. Success is worthless unless you have great people to share it with and I’m lucky to have just that. Good luck, everyone!
If you don’t already have an 888 Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a special 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus, $88 free in most locations, and one free month of Tournament Poker Edge or CardRunners poker training. Get started here.