Full-Ring Friends Series: BlGGIESMALLS

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 used to play the nerdy card game Magic: the gathering when I was younger and eventually all the good Magic players made the transition to poker. I remember watching Rounders and the WPT thinking that Gus Hansen was the best poker player in the world. I picked up in an interest in poker because of the similarities between it and Magic and so I started cleaning up home games in high school. Eventually I saw some friends of mine like Jeff Garza making life changing money so I joined Cardrunners and became a student of the game. I put some money online, lost it and then got staked for .10/.25 last winter. I tilted one day and blew my stake at 30/60 heads up. I had to borrow $500 from my parents to pay back my friend and that was by far the lowest point of my poker career. However, I got my rakeback and ran it up and from there it has been a wild ride from different stakes and games and I’ve finally settled on full ring. My reasoning for choosing full ring is because I think my hourly is highest at it. I can play a bunch of tables and not tilt as much as I normally would because I have a new decision to make at a new table every couple of seconds.

Why did you choose BlGGIESMALLS as your Stars name and thanksb on 2+2?
I love hip hop and Biggie is my favorite artist of all time so that was a pretty easy decision. I also hate racists so tilting them with my screenname and taking even more of their money is really sweet. I didn’t want to out my stars name right away so I made the account thanksb on 2p2. Thanksb is short for thanks barn which is slang I picked up from my Magic playing days. The definition of a barn is “one who latches on to someone superior to them (the hull)…short for barnacle…can also describe an opponent easily beaten”

What are some of your goals for 2009? Both poker and non-poker.
For poker I’d like to hit the 600k VPP mark and make $100k this year. Non poker would be the best boyfriend I can be, and have sex with my girlfriend on a pile of money, and get decent (lol) grades I guess.

What are your interests outside of poker?
I love hockey…I’ve played at a really high level my whole life and this is first year I’ve taken off in maybe 8 years and I really miss it…I also love freestyling and being with my girlfriend and my other friends. I will freestyle battle any of the full ring regs 4ROLLZ. =)

You famously took part in some $5,000 flips late last year (and ran bad). Talk about the flips, what lead you to taking them and why $5k as opposed to any other amount?
I flip after a bad session to try and get back to even. It’s obviously a terrible habit and I’m trying to break it. I’ve flipped for a bunch of different amounts $5k is just the largest I’ve flipped for and obviously the amount where I run the worst too. When I did those flips I also didn’t have any idea how much $5k really was. I just saw my account balance going down instead of up and I wanted to get it back as quick as possible. Flipping was the fastest way. Basically kids, learn from me, don’t chase your losses.

I know you have imposed limits on your poker accounts so you can’t do them anymore, but at the back of your mind are you worried that ill-discipline could jeopardise your bankroll sometime in the future?
I won’t claim that I don’t do stupid things sometimes still but I think I’ve learned my lesson. However, as an extra precaution I don’t like keeping a lot of money online for that exact reason. I don’t plan on playing 200/400 limit heads up ever again. =)

What were some of the major breakthroughs and leaks that you have plugged in order to get the point of playing solid winning poker?
My biggest breakthrough was just finding more spots to be aggressive. Usually a table is filled with a ton of regs so knowing their tendencies down pat is really +EV. For example, constantly pounding on the nitty regs and staying out of the way of the better regs seems to work the best for me. Another breakthrough I had was the realization of the power of position. I absolutely hate playing out of position because when you’re in position you can play so many more hands and I love playing as many hands as I can. A leak I had when I first started playing a bunch of full ring tables was thinking that everyone was just making moves on me all the time. After about a zillion hero calls failed I realized that full ring regs rarely triple barrel bluff.

What are the best and worst aspects of being a poker player?
The best is the money and the freedom. The worst is burning money on a regular basis and the way society receives it. It’s really hard to have no one besides other poker players have any idea about the game and what we go through. That’s why I think 2p2 is awesome because even though we’re all over the world, we can all share brags and beats and talk to other people who understand the ups and downs of playing poker seriously.

What do your family (both immediate and extended) think of your poker playing?
At first my family really hated it, they thought I was going to lose all my money because the house always wins etc. I was pretty close to being thrown out of the house after I got busted for playing underage in Atlantic City. However, they started supporting me when they actually saw how much money I was making and my relationship with my family is currently the best it’s ever been.

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?
I always get the “if I give you $100 can you turn it into $200 for me?” Or they think I’m addicted and when I tell them that I’m not and I’m actually trying to get myself to play more they get really scared and the looks on their faces are priceless.

This one kid always tells me the same story about how he won $200 once and he’s literally told me it 5 times. Once the same kid was like “yeah I play online too I deposited $50 and now I’m at 275.” I was like, “Cool man” and he replied, “No, I meant $2.75.”

As a PokerStars Supernova VIP what changes do you think could be made to the VIP program to improve it?

I was hoping that they would add the Supernova Elite Jr. because I’m not going to be able to hit elite this year so it would have benefited me. In general though they really should give more back to the really high volume players because they’re making such a ridiculous amount of money they can afford it.

Quick Quiz – Of All 2+2 SS Full Ring and PokerStars $100nl-$400nl full-ring regulars
Best avatar?
I really like those FPP Pro avatars that tiltbad made

Best strategy poster?

Best trash talker?
srk and jack frost

Best 24-tabler?


LC and WCGrinder

Rennwurm, how the **** can anyone play that much poker?

Most under-rated?

Most over-rated?

Who, if anyone, have you met in real life?

Most Tilty?

Least Tilty?

Best table selection?

Best short stacker(lol)?

Sodom by far, I thank my lucky stars everyday that he doesn’t buy in full because he would single handedly cause the small stakes full ring games to die because of how good he would be.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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