UK Grinder Conor Beresford: “I’m really just here for the money”

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Conor Beresford has a one-track mind – not a #1 track mind (PokerStars photo)

On PocketFives.com, player rankings are obviously pretty darn important. But while some players revel in the glory of a high ranking, for others – like Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford – it’s really just a by-product or something far more important.

“I don’t really follow my rank that much to be honest,” Beresford says.

The young player, who has more than $3.8 million in online winnings, currently sits at the #2 spot in the United Kingdom, and #14 in the world. He’s been crushing so far in 2017, and only a day or two ago was at the top of the UK rankings. Things change quickly, though; something Beresford knows well.

“It’s nice to know that I was #1 in the UK, but in my opinion it just means I’m one of the most consistent grinders at the highest stakes, which is nice.

“There’s no true way of setting up a leaderboard that is based on pure skill alone because of the variance in poker, so being up there on what is probably considered the most popular leaderboard in terms of tournaments feels good.”

So we shouldn’t expect to see Beresford grinding 12 hours a day every day to get to the worldwide number one spot then?

“Number one in the world would be nice, but I’m really just here for the money at the end of the day, not so much the glory.”

It’s a mentality that Beresford has held throughout his short but super successful career to date. Back in 2012, he was working in a call centre from 9am to 5pm, heading home to his aunt’s house, and playing online poker until the early hours. A $65K Sunday Million chop in April 2012 got the ball rolling for him (yet he still went to work an hour later).

“Things have definitely changed a lot since then,” he tells us. “I lived in Vancouver for a while, and since then I have been living in Amsterdam on and off while travelling to most of the EPT stops.”

Beresford has won $142K in live poker, his biggest score coming from a 12th place finish in the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for €46K. But you might not see him at many of the new PokerStars Championships and Festivals.

“I’m a bit disappointed about the PokerStars stops this year so far,” he says, referring specifically to events coming up in Panama and Macau. “I’ve heard from multiple people that these are less desirable places to visit and I much prefer European cities just for the travel convenience alone.”

So if winning a big live event isn’t necessarily a direct goal, what’s he shooting for right now?

“I have no specific goals, but I like to keep my volume as high as possible while we still have the chance,” he says. “It’s tough to really say what will happen with online poker over the next few years, so I’d like to make the most of it while I still can.”

He’s certainly been doing that. In February 2016, Beresford chopped the Sunday Warm-Up for $41K. Then, in May, he won the PartyPoker High Roller for $64K. A week later, he won Event #31 of the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker; a $2,100 4-Max NLHE tournament for $171K – his biggest score to date.

The amazing run continued throughout the year, culminating in a Sunday Warm-Up win for $43K in December 2016. This year has got off to a great start too; in January, Beresford chopped the Super Tuesday for $56K.

“I had a pretty large stack throughout that Super Tuesday,” he says. “There was also another player with a large stack on the final table who played crazy, but I don’t really remember any specific hands. I suppose Graftekkel attempting to steal vs my open for around 20bb with J7s vs my QQ was pretty big, as I considered him the biggest threat at the table.”

In order to cope with those threats, Beresford – like most poker pros – credits talking to others as the best way to improve your game.

“That’s not to say that you wouldn’t be able to make it on your own,” he adds. “But when you can go over spots with different opinions from different people, it really makes you think about the game a lot more.”