My Brother Lived with Mark Vos at University

Published on Mar 24th, 2013

Surrounding yourself with some of poker's top minds can only improve your own game. That's a lesson we can learn from Australia's Tom tollgate Grigg (pictured), who recently took down the Full Tilt Poker $350,000 Guaranteed for a colossal $71,000. The tournament drew 1,269 players, exceeding its guarantee, and Grigg defeated xqsays heads-up in a non-chopped ending.

"I'm feeling good," Grigg told PocketFives rather quickly. "I think I played well." Despite the tournament ending without a deal, Grigg told us that he would have been open to chopping if approached with the idea: "I'm always happy to chop when it's that sort of money on the line. I just played solid poker at the final table and didn't really do that much. Things just went my way. I played super aggressively throughout the tournament and then tighter at the final table."

Grigg is staked, so he will only be receiving a portion of his $71,000 score, but explained that he is trying to organize a high-stakes backing deal that would allow him to enter smaller-stakes tournaments on his own dime. He is up to over $2.5 million in tracked online MTT cashes in his PocketFives profile and was once ranked as high as #17 worldwide.

Throughout his online poker tenure, we have recorded two six-figure scores for Grigg. The first came in November 2010 after a second place finish in the PartyPoker Monthly Million for $110,000, while the second came one year later in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $143,000. On the two gigantic scores, he remarked, "I have never had a big enough score to really change my life. The six-figure scores make life a bit easier, but my life doesn't really change all that much. I guess my confidence grew, though."

Several recent interviewees we've spoken to touched on the importance of confidence at the tables. "Confidence is very important, I think," Grigg said. "Anyone who says it isn't is wrong. Everyone plays much better when they have been winning and much worse when they have been losing."

Grigg's brother lived with poker pro Mark Vos (pictured) at university. "I heard that he was playing poker and winning a lot of money," Grigg said. "So, I started playing, originally cash games and then tournaments. I thought cash games were really where the skill was and wanted to beat them. I always tilted massively in cash, though. I would play well, get up a few buy-ins, and then lose a stack and tilt off like six or seven buy-ins. Eventually, I'd put my whole bankroll on one table and bust it. Cash games weren't my friend at all."

After breaking up with ring games, Grigg moved over to tournaments, where he experienced instant success: "I was obviously very lucky, but the first MTT I registered for, I won. I played FPP sit and gos for ages and then eventually $12 180-mans until I had about $5,000. I thought, 'This is enough to start taking shots,' so I registered for the Daily Eighty Grand and won it for $15,000."

His live tournament resume includes two scores of over $100,000. The first came in the final month of 2009 in the APPT Sydney Main Event for $119,000, while the second occurred last August in the ANZPT Grand Final in Melbourne for $119,000.

Given his live success, we asked whether Grigg would be playing more brick-and-mortar poker down the road. He responded, "I enjoy playing live. It's much softer. You can chat with everyone and have a beer or two. It's much more relaxed. I wouldn't mind playing a lot of live $10Ks. It's all about bankroll, though, but, purely from an EV perspective, you're going to make a lot more grinding smaller games online and mass multi-tabling than playing one $10K tournament that takes a week."

See who else is making waves in PocketFives' New South Wales poker community.

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  1. go the aussies!

  2. good stuff bud.

  3. WD Tollgate, representing Australia well!

  4. great title

  5. check my resume if you're past me your well on your way to beating nl$2 ,and then the coins just start rolling in ,from what I hear you can melt down 20 cent pieces and make silver jewellery , a bit of gold plating and it's "BallerRR".Well done let's see some Aussie flags waving at the 10K's attached to your name.

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