Full-Ring Friends Series: Speedle

Really glad I got a hold of Speedle for this, his rise up the stakes always impressed me and it was great to learn more about him. If you are interested in following his progress be sure to check out Speedle’s Blog.

Tell me a bit about your poker story, how you came to be involved in online poker and what made you choose full-ring no limit games.
July 2006 a friend of mine linked me to, he had been starting to get involved in the game and told me I should try it. Downloaded it but found the game incredibly boring (lol) and the software kinda tilted me so I insta deleted it from my hard drive. Plus, I wasn’t even 18 at the time so even if I decided to play it I wouldn’t be able to deposit so I kinda lost the little interest I had. Didn’t touch/hear about poker until March 2007.

March 2007 a different friend of mine told me she had been playing poker for a month and it was really fun. I told her to forget about it because I wouldn’t be interested in depositing money (I was 18 at this time but I made the decision not to throw away my money into gambling) She told me “you don’t have to deposit, there is a special kind of tournament called freeroll… free entry and the top 20 get paid” I was very interested in trying this out, so I did. Stayed afloat playing freerolls for 4 months or so, never really caring about the game seriously or anything like that. Until one week, where I scored 1st and 2nd consecutively in a couple of freerolls. These paid about $80 total… I was ecstatic and the feeling of turning air into money was indescribable so I decided to get better at it. After I returned from my summer vacation that year, I took all the money I had earned until then (about $150) and deposited it into Party poker and decided to play 5nl cash games. 6 max felt a little crazy at first and I was pretty much the most variance-adverse person you could meet. So I decided to try 9 handed games. It was incredibly boring to play so I was like “well, what about multitabling? playing 2 freerolls at the same time isn’t tough, lets try 4 tables of these” 4 tables was cool and I started making money. One week later I’m like “well 4 is boring, lets try 6.. oh, 6 feels the same, lets try 9” So I started 9 tabling those games. Played SO nitty and ABC at first but I made money with my expert 10/4 style so who cares. Played on Party till the end of August, played on UB in September and then I transferred all my HUGE $750 bankroll into Pokerstars because it had the best full ring games online. Played 12 tables of 25nl until the limit was uncapped to 24, at which point I started 24 tabling those games. I remember thinking “man, I suck at this game but I keep making money, this is insane”. Played 25NL for like 4 months, never really getting better at the game, just grinding it out. Around February I monstrously tilted after a very bad 6 max session and flipped for all the money I had at Party Poker (was about 15% of my total bankroll at the time) I lost the $500 flip and was devastated. March went by and I lost a bit of my interest. When April arrived, I cashed out $1.5k to buy a new computer and to start a real poker journey. Had a 50NL bankroll so I 24 tabled 25 hours every week for the remainder of that month and discussed the game a ton with Chargers in 08 (from 2+2). Had a good month so moved up to 100NL. Had a very good month there and kept playing till July, when I moved up to 200NL. Played 200NL since then (although I haven’t logged many hands, probably 200k? not even sure). Late November I decided to try out HU and I’m really loving HU at the moment so I’m thinking about quitting full ring when the year is done (because when the year ends, so do the milestone bonuses) so I’ll work hard to become the next CTS in 2009.

What is the origin of the name speedle?
I used to be a CSI addict when I was about 16 and they killed my favorite CSI Miami character around season 3 His name was Tim Speedle and a couple of days after I saw that episode I had to think of a nickname to register in some random geek forum so I decided to use his name. I love this nickname, for what it’s worth.

You seemed to rise through the ranks of full-ring poker very quickly when compared to others, one minute you were playing 50nl and then in the blink of an eye you were 24-tabling 200nl. Can you shed some light on how you gained the poker acumen and the bankroll to move up so fast?

CTS’s vids, playing poker 25 hours every week and posting on 2+2.

Your occupation in your 2+2 profile is listed as student. What are you studying and are you planning to join the work force when you finish or stick with poker?
I’m currently taking a break from college for the remainder of the semester. I am in the second year of a Masters Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I plan on joining the work force, I tend to only look at the worst aspects of things and online poker has a lot of shady areas that make me very reluctant to even think about quitting my education.

You hail from Portugal and a lot of us know very little about your country. What is life like there? How is the poker scene? How are the ladies? Etc. Etc.
Small country, around 10 million habitants. Lately there’s been a huge surge of criminality because of the poor economic conditions most people face here but I tend not to think much about it. Life here is very nice though… can’t really imagine myself living elsewhere.

Poker scene isn’t very big, but that’s a good thing. Everyone knows everyone and people here tend to stick together for the good or the worst, so it’s a very united poker community.

People from my country have one special thing that I’ve noticed and discussed often with some friends: the average level of a portuguese person at something is extremely low. Like, when I played counter-strike, the average level of a portuguese player was garbage. But, the ones that ARE good at some area, are usually the best of the world in what they do. 2 of the biggest winners in the prima network are portuguese and one of our peers just one the EPT Warsaw. I think we are destined to do great things in this game.

Ladies here are amazing (like you should expect from any latin country) and the night life can’t really be described.

You seem very passionate about your ‘football’. They call it “The World Game”, but in a lot of places like North America and Australia it isn’t quite as popular. Why do you love the game so much and why should those outside Europe and South America take more notice of it?
Can’t really express why I love it so much. Why do people love baseball, american football or rugby so much? There’s no logical reason for it. Some stuff just touch you in ways no other things can and beautiful football does that for me.

I love watching the Premier league every weekend. My favorite portuguese team is S.L. Benfica. My favorite english teams are Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. My all time favorite player is Thierry Henry, who currently plays for Barcelona FC. I play football once a week.

Asians love football. I think the North American residents are the only ones who don’t seem to care much about the sport.

You seem to be playing a lot of live poker in the last few months, is it purely a social thing or do you take it seriously? What limits are you generally playing live and what is the level of play like?
Social thing mainly, I play in a live game made up by my college peers. We usually play 50NL. I am also the biggest loser in this game, my biggest losing session was -€250 (I am probably stuck €500 overall) Most of my friends are what you would refer to as “live poker fish”, meaning the level of play is extremely low but I’m just playing those games for fun and that includes triple barreling 250BBs in 4 bet pots with 6 high vs a guy who plays exclusively KK+.

Besides poker, football and drinking do you have any other hobbies?
I frequent a gym about 3 times a week. Not sure if you could consider cinema as a hobby but I really love watching movies. I used to love reading but I don’t really read anymore.

What are some of the major breakthroughs and leaks that you have plugged in order to get the point of playing solid winning poker?
“People always have what they rep” was a maxim that helped me beat 50NL. Thin valuebetting and improving my handreading by watching videos was also vital. I also can’t stress enough how fundamental tilt control and bankroll management are. Those are almost as important as any poker skill.

How many hours a week do you generally put in at the tables?
A very good week is about 35 hours. My usual week lately is around 15 hours at the tables.

What are the best and worst aspects of being a poker player?
Best are probably the flexibility of your schedule and how easy it is to make at least 10 times your country’s minimum wage if you’re any decent at this game.

Worst, aside from the social stereotype attached to being a poker player, probably having to shake off 2 outers as a part of the game on a regular basis.

What do your family (both immediate and extended) think of your poker playing?
I am probably the luckiest person in the world regarding this aspect. My mom was reluctant at first but then she saw how I constantly made money but never seemed to have deposited. After I taught her how things work, she doesn’t really seem to care as long as I don’t quit my studies. My dad plays freerolls on a regular basis.

My younger brother supports it vehemently because he has free computer games and video game consoles at the distance of a request, hehehe.

Also, a tip for young guys like myself to win over your parents support: offer them expensive stuff for their birthday.

As a PokerStars Supernova VIP what changes do you think could be made to the VIP program to improve it?
Never thought much about this, I think it’s pretty good as it is, actually. Pokerstars is really good in this area so I trust their judgement more than I do my own.

How do you view the future of online poker? Will it be legalised in the US sometime soon and if it is what sites and networks do you think stand to benefit?
I am not very literate in this aspect so I can’t really offer my opinion on it. I just want to say that I really love how Americans like to call themselves “the country of the free” and yet, people can’t even spend their own money as they please. Also, how is it possible for them to be in the middle of the worst financial crisis ever and they apparently want to enforce stupid bans when they could be exploiting a very lucrative business? Makes no sense to me…

Quick Quiz – Of All 2+2 SS Full Ring and PokerStars $100nl-$400nl full-ring regulars
Best avatar?
I like my own avatar because it’s one of the most beautiful sights in that website. Other than my own, ranka’s avatars always crack me up.

Best strategy poster?
AllTheCheese always had my respect, he’s really good at poker.

Best trash talker?
srkbigdaddy, for sure.

Best 24-tabler?
Not sure if fantasticcow is a 24 tabler, but he plays very solid for a massive multitabler.

Close match between ranka and 13_Xerxes. I like those 2 very much.

LearningCurve and it’s not even close.

Probably 99killed. Not that I don’t like him or anything, but I can’t really find anyone to put in this category and he has something I can’t quite put my finger on.

Most under-rated?
Chargers in 08 is a very good player and people never seem to reference him in the forums. He’s a huge winner at 200nl and probably the reason why I started winning at 100NL in the first place. I owe him a lot.

Most over-rated?
People always seem to put me in their top 5 or whatever of the toughest regs to play against but I’m pretty sure most of them just do it out of courtesy. Not sure if a lot of people think highly of me, but in my opinion I’m one of the most over-rated players in that forum.

Who, if anyone, have you met in real life?
No one.

Most Tilty?
jackk frost seems prone to tilt, but seeing how he is making a living out of poker for quite some time now I find it hard to believe that he actually tilts as much as he wants people to see in the forums.

Least Tilty?
You, can’t really seem to remember you ever badmouthing anyone at a poker table and you are very pleasant at the forums. You are a class-act all around and have all my respect, both as a poker player and person.

Best table selection?
studboy1 always had my respect in that area. I mean, personally I don’t think that he’s particularly talented but he has made money every month for some years now so he has to be doing something right.

Best short stacker(lol)?
I can’t think of a single solid ratholer at 200NL.

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