“To Succeed in Poker, You Need to Have the Whole Package”

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Earlier this month, Antonio Da Silva (pictured), who is known online as Tonyfish77, finished third in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $52,000. It was a life-changer on every level and represented his largest tracked cash to date by a mile. Now, he is considering quitting his construction job to jump into the online poker world. We caught up with Da Silva, who calls the English resort town of Bournemouth home.

PocketFives: Thank you for joining us. Tell us how you’re feeling about your Sunday Warm-Up third place finish.

Antonio Da Silva: I’m feeling great. I knew all the mistakes I had made in the past and didn’t make them here. I am very strong in cash games and also very strong in tournaments. I know how to play final tables because I have played many of them online. I’ve learned the hard way because I have been playing for five years. I have a fairly decent income and am single, and so I have the money to play. I feel like I’m on the road to quit work and play poker full-time.

PocketFives: Talk about your history in cash games and tournaments.

Antonio Da Silva: I started out in tournaments. I was a very good cash game player too. I played live cash games for a living for a little while. I was not doing too well in poker because of my job, so I quit live poker and started playing online at home and continued to work my regular job.

PocketFives: What job do you have?

Antonio Da Silva: I work in construction. I do a lot of different things like carpentry and plastering. It’s not easy because if you’re fresh and focused, you can add a lot more into your game. When you’re tired like I sometimes am, playing poker isn’t easy at all. I know how strong my game is because I can read other players really well. I watch players in every position. In the Warm-Up, I got lucky about three times, which I don’t think is a lot for a tournament with 3,000 players.

I also had a couple of hands where I had a monster and got paid, but pretty much the whole tournament, I used as much skill as I could like 3betting in position and figuring out who to 3bet and who to avoid. My 3bets worked 90% of the time getting other people to fold pre-flop. I was watching every single player the whole tournament.

PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money?

Antonio Da Silva: I’m going to start playing $0.50/$1 cash games. As soon as I build my resources back up, I’ll play $1/$2. I could quit my job now, but I’m still thinking about it. It probably would be the best thing for me because my game would be stronger. My favorite game at the moment is Six-Max Zoom. I adjust myself in it pretty well. Some people say Zoom isn’t proper poker, but I don’t believe that; it just changes people’s ranges. You also build a lot more points with Zoom. In addition, you can play one table instead of five or ten normal tables.

PocketFives: How did you get started in poker originally?

Antonio Da Silva: I started in a pub for fun. I liked the game even more once I started learning how it worked. It amazes me because there are so many people who play for a living and still don’t know how to play. It’s an expensive hobby for them because it’s a complex game. Only 2% or 3% of poker players have an ability to maintain a level of control against other players and make money because those 2% or 3% can see what others can’t. I’m 100% positive that I can be in the top 2% in the world. To succeed in poker, you need to have the whole package.

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