Full-Ring Friends Series: FantasticCow

My first one of these for a while, sorry about the wait guys. Thanks to Cow for the interview I definitely learned a lot about him and found it really motivating. He is a guy that I feel like has moved beyond me in terms of his poker progression in the latter part of 2008 and that is definitely something I find inspiring.

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.
Last January one of my old friends from grade school (skilled_sox on stars) who had been playing poker for about 6 months at the time told me he was making some pretty decent money. He convinced me to give it a shot and gave me a couple hours of really basic coaching and 50$ to play with at 2nl. I was doing pretty well and made it up to 100nl with like a 6k roll by the middle of April. Then disaster struck and I went on a 4k downswing in like 36 hours. It was devastating enough that I quit for a few weeks. After school, in the summer I went out to Vegas with a few friends one of whom was a 400nl grinder. One of the days while we were there he stood behind me and basically berated me for 2 hours while I played. Those 2 hours completely revolutionized my game and I went from breaking even at 100nl to beating 200nl almost instantly. From there I’ve pretty much just grinded a bunch and taken shots when it felt appropriate.

What are the stories behind your 2+2 name RosaParks and your Stars name fantasticcow?
FantasticCow is a name I’ve been using online for years. I always thought it was kind of amusing so I kept using it. As for RosaParks there isn’t really a story. I was really baked and talking to my friend about buses when I was registering for 2p2 and somehow RosaParks was born.

What are some of the interests you have outside of poker?
Hanging out with friends, skiing, traveling a bunch, a drug or two, I used to be into online games but not so much anymore.

What were some of the major breakthroughs and leaks that you have plugged in order to get the point of playing solid winning poker?
I think when I really internalized just how miserable you can make people’s lives in position was when I actually started to make money in this game. Other things were learning which boards are bad to cbet, when you can fire off multiple barrels, when you can float and who you can run big bluffs on.

Outline your poker education, what resources have you used to develop your game, who has influenced your game and have you had any coaching?
I’ve pretty much taught myself everything. I think people underestimate how much you can learn by just not playing more tables then you can handle and really thinking about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I certainly think a coach can act as sort of a catalyst but other than that I don’t think any other resources are all that helpful.

What are the best and worst aspects of being a poker player?

Well, obviously making a lot of money playing what is essentially a video game is pretty sweet. I think poker allows me a lot of freedom that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

The downside for me is really not having anyone at school I can talk to about poker. Especially when I go on prolonged, soul crushing downswing. Not having someone who you can talk to who would actually understand what you’re saying can be really frustrating.

What do your family (both immediate and extended) think of your poker playing?
My family has always been really supportive even when I was just starting out. A lot of times my Dad will sweat one of my sessions and have me explain **** to him. I haven’t yet told them that I kind of intend to play poker for at least a year or two after I graduate but I’m pretty sure they’ll take it well.

What kind of reactions do you get from people outside of poker when you tell them that you play? What are some of the funniest, ill-conceived, tilt inducing and fishiest responses that you get?
Oh Jeez. I’ve gotten all the cliché responses. It usually doesn’t bother me that much though. Most of the standard responses are totally understandable. Like, they just don’t know very much about the game except what they’ve seen on TV. Usually people are just genuinely curious and I don’t mind explaining stuff to them. The one response that tilts me though goes like this:
Them: so how much have you made?
Me: I dunno, little over 100k maybe?
Them: Wow, but how much did you lose?

$^#T*&$%@#&* Like WTF? What the **** is that even supposed to mean? I just can’t understand how they can logically get to that question. Why wouldn’t I give you the net total? Gah so tilting.

As a PokerStars Supernova VIP what changes do you think could be made to the VIP program to improve it?
Well, better bonuses would always be an improvement obviously. But in terms of things that aren’t going to change without more competition I think they could make SNE a little easier to obtain for cash players.

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?
In terms of the whole legalization thing I dunno. I’m embarrassingly ignorant when it comes to poker and politics. As for the future of online poker, I don’t think the games are going to ever die but I do think that they’re going to get much worse and probably plateau at a relatively unprofitable level.

Earlier in 2008 you were a regular at 200nl games, but in the latter half of the year you became mid-stakes regular. How have you been doing in these games and how much differently do they play to small stakes?
When I’m not on super omega monkey tilt I actually seem to do pretty well. The average regular at mid-stakes is better. As a result there is more bluffing which leads to lighter call downs which leads to lighter value betting. V-bet ranges and bluffing ranges start to converge more the higher up you go. (if that makes any sense at all.)

Quick Quiz – Of All 2+2 SS Full Ring and PokerStars $100nl-$400nl full-ring regulars

Best avatar?

Best strategy poster?
Theres a bunch. Off the top of my head: ATC, SABR, Ricky, Shaffer all seem to give advice that is usually spot on.

Best trash talker?
Last week Mike Kelly made a snide comment about Johnes Benjamin being way too verbose in some of his responses. JB’s retort wins my vote for best trash talker. It was pretty epic.

Best 24-tabler?
Wobbly (I hope he doesn’t read this though cause he tilts me to no end)


Speedle is a pretty friendly dude.


Most under-rated?
I think Hu’as girl is pretty decent and no ones talks about him. Not sure if he’s 2p2 or not though

Most over-rated?
Too much of a pussy to answer this one.

Who, if anyone, have you met in real life?
No one, but PCA is coming up.

Most Tilty?
I’m gonna say me only because at FR it’s really hard to tell who’s tilting because you’re rarely involved in multiple hands with the same person at the same time.

Least Tilty?
I have no idea.

Best table selection?

Best short stacker(lol)?
Heh, if they were good they would realize that short stacking doesn’t maximize profit. But I guess IMSAKID and noobelf are mildly competent.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • What was the snide comment?

  • ah i met fantastic cow and skilled sox at PCA. thx for the interview EK!

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