Full-Ring Friends Series: WCG|Rider

I had the pleasure of meeting Doug in person while I was over in America earlier this year. Before that time and beyond our real life meeting he has always been someone available for discussion and a good friend. We used to play a whole lot of full-ring together back in the day and it has been interesting to watch his poker progress and his profile grow over time. You can check out his blog, A Shifting Perspective, to follow his progress!

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.
I started grinding NL 2(.01/.02) in May 2007, after a few failed deposits. I always found my best results were in full-ring, so that made me play there. That said, I definitely play a decent mix of games although I think full ring remains my strongest.

What is the origin of the name WCGRider?
I usedto be fairly into video games (warcraft III), and WCG was the major competition i competed in. Rider was my name from war 3 s it was a natural transition.

You rose to fame on 2+2 and in the poker community in general as a result of your $25nl prop bet that you ended up losing. Tell us about the bet, that period of your poker career, what went wrong and the fame that came with such a bold bet.
Pretty interesting story I suppose, around April of this year I looked at my lifetime nl25 win rate and decided I could do a bet on amount won. I have a very good work ethic and I had already done a 5v1 bet at nl25 (5 people’s combined results in one week vs my results at the same limit)… which I won on the first day. I looked at the odds I could get, and with my winnings and what I would make in fpps I would end up breaking even, even if i lost. I worked out a deal with PokerStars for a major fpp discount, got my webcam going, and before I knew it I was grinding $25nl 24 hours a day with a few hundred people watching on Justin TV.

I ultimately had two problems though. First, I could not sleep from the pressure, rendering me extremely inefficient and tired through the majority of the bet. Secondly, I hadn’t played nearly enough full-ring recently and did not prepare fully enough. That said, I walked away from the experience about even and it is something I may consider taking a shot at in the future.

Would you take on something like that again and do you think that you are now equipped with the poker schema to win such a bet?
I could see it, it’s something I’ve thought about lately and assuming I could get the rght odds and the right situation, it could fall into place. I still think its possible and would not rule it out in the future =p.

You seem to polarize opinions in the poker community, a lot of people have nothing but good things to say about you and think you are one of the nicest guys going around and then there are some who have some disparaging things to say. What is your take on how you are viewed by others and do you even care?
Its just the way it is for anyone when you come into the spotlight I think. I obviously don’t have ridiculously amazing winrates and I am always at heart more of a grinder who likes to play my own style and enjoy what I do. Part of being a mod/cr guest pro/doing a prop bet is that it will polarize people. However, I think most of the people who attack me are doing it unprovoked and undeservingly so, and eventually you get used to it. Its sort of sad because for example, my aim screen name used to be public but now I have to have you my list to talk to me. It gets old getting harassing messages from people that want to get under my skin for whatever reason.

What are some of the major breakthroughs and leaks that you have plugged in order to get the point of playing solid winning poker?
It’s sort of a long learning process, over time I would say I’ve adjusted my game to become increasingly spewy(=p). No, but on a serious note you start to be able to make plays based on EV instead of being afraid of the money and if you can balance that with solid poker its the most +EV. Friends and 2+2 are both important learning tools, but a lot of it has to come from yourself.

How many hours a week do you generally put in at the tables?
20-60, it really depends on a lot some weeks i really want to grind and others I would rather relax more. That’s the beauty of poker.

What are the best and worst aspects of being a poker player?
Swings are the worst by far. I just have run so bad with shot taking and on to of it when you have major downswings its pretty breaking. Just gotta pick it up and grind on. The best aspect is the freedom it offers you in your life.

What do your family (both immediate and extended) think of your poker playing?
Most of them think I’m going broke and probably addicted to gambling. You can explain it, but they don’t get it. It’s okay though because I’m happy with it and most of my very immediate family is supportive.

You have played no limit full-ring poker through all the stakes, what do you think separates the micro players from the small stakes players from the mid-high stakes guys?
Micro players have major leaks that prevent them from moving through the ranks, or just havent played enough. Small stakes players tend to be ridiculously too nitty, and also start to stagnate in their games. Higher stake full-ring players are normally much better and more solid in their approach to the game.

You’ve recently been experimenting with a very loose-aggressive style for a full-ring cash game player. How has it been working for you and what are some of the observations you’ve made about how your opponents react to you now as opposed to when you played a tighter game?
In my opinion its by far the most +EV way to play. Unfortunately, it’s still in its initial analysis stage. Regulars start to play bad vs. you and in general it allows you to pick up money in alot of spots you wouldn’t otherwise. Regulars refuse to fold second best hands and it just puts you in less cooler spots to get the money in.

What advice could you give to someone moving up that is struggling with being 3-bet more pre-flop, floated post-flop and played back at more in general?
Just remember they aren’t playing back at you and they always have the nuts. Its full-ring, they aren’t making moves at you and don’t become paranoid. There is a reason they are 14/11 nits with low wwsf’s. Stay patient and pick spots. When people acutally go after you, start 4-bet/calling with a much much wider range, something like 88+/AQ+ in late positon. That said they really aren’t playing back at you unless your doing something crazy.

You’ve been staked in the past and staked other players yourself. What can you tell us about staking players in cash games, how do you deals typically work and have you made a healthy return from it?
Staking can be fairly complicated and in general i think if you’re not going to work with your players it’s better to avoid it. I do think its +EV and have probably made in the 10kish range from it this year, but it can be frustratng and there are definetely swings involved. Be smart with who you pick and mae sure they have good references.

As a PokerStars Supernova VIP what changes do you think could be made to the VIP program to improve it?
People complain way too much, it’s fine as it is. Except for the absolutely ridiculous freerolls, its just a worthless tourney at some hour I can’t play.

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 mean poker is legal in the US, so thats sort of a misleading question. Again, I think people get way too worried over this. If something happens there will always be live poker. However, I don’t see things really changing from the way they are now, but only time will tell I suppose

Quick Quiz – Of All 2+2 SS Full Ring and PokerStars $100nl-$400nl full-ring regulars
Best avatar?
Sobraoboy (Its just cool looking imo)

Best strategy poster?
AllTheCheese, I find I usually agree with him

Best trash talker?

Best 24-tabler?


Me, usually


Most under-rated?
I dont feel like i can accurately answer this.

Most over-rated?
All the 13/10 nits other than like wobbly

Who, if anyone, have you met in real life?
Eurekakid and partypoker123 are the only fr players I’ve met in the real world.

Most Tilty?
tiltbad and insanedawg

Least Tilty?
90% of fr regs

Best table selection?
Eurekakid. That’s the litmus test for a good table.

Best short stacker(lol)?
I don’t believe they are the best at anything.

4 Comments + Add Comment

  • i just figured the nl200 tables were bad if the eureka kid was at nl100

  • ” I obviously don’t have ridiculously amazing winrates ”

    AHAHAH winrates? This guy doesn’t have a winrate. Go here, 300,000 hands, -$10,000. and he pretends to be good at poker? LOL|rider

  • JP, I don’t play doug much, so I can’t speak for his game. But in his defense, that site is off. I know it’s off by over 75% for me based on my HEM vs it for the same time period. 9-1-08 to current.

  • He is definitely a winning full-ring player, I think you will find that most of that graph is either 6-max or shot taking.

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