Pokernews: Hello, Mr. Sands! Congrats on your win in the Sunday 500 last wknd! Give us an update on how poker has been going for you from the beginning of the WSOP until now.
Sands: Thanks, Ryan! Well my WSOP started off with quite a bang, but over all it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. The weekend before WSOP, I won the cake 250k monthly for just over 50k. The timing on that was great because after the win, I was essentially free-rolling the summer. I had to miss the first week of events to attend my sister’s graduation from Princeton. After getting back to Vegas, I played basically every NLHE event I could plus a few mixed events.
Pokernews: Did you have any deep runs in any of the WSOP events?
Sands: I ended the series with just two cashes despite making 5 day 2s. I finished 11th in the pot limit hold’em event and 30th in one of the big 1500's. I also had a nice run in the Venitian 5k. I finished 15th after losing JJ to TT.
Pokernews: Sorry to hear that, that is very unfortunate. A lot of big named online players that I have talked to believe live MTT poker is much easier than online MTT poker? Do you agree or disagree and why?
Sands: Yes, I agree. I feel the average live player in an event is much less technically sound than the average online player. Live players make larger and more frequent errors than do most online players. On the flip side, however, variance can be much harder to overcome live. It’s hard to believe, but I played about as many tourneys in 2 months living in Vegas as I did online yesterday. This means that even when playing well, it is possible to go for months at a time without even cashing in a live event. I think you have to have more patience and better bankroll management to be a successful live player.
Pokernews: I take it you prefer online poker over live poker then?
Sands: I wouldn't say that necessarily. I think they are both fun for different reasons and I like to vary my schedule to keep it interesting. After FTOPS and WCCOP are done, I will spend most of my energy finishing out the year playing live events. Live affords you the opportunity to travel and see the world. I would always take a little lower ROI in exchange for the opportunity to get out and see a new part of the world.
Pokernews: I agree 100% with you. Do you mentally and physically prepare for a big "Sunday Grind" or even a big live tournament? Are there any specific rituals that you have?
Sands: Great question! The answer is yes. My schedule is much more regimented than the average online player. On Sunday I wake up at least two hours before I start my first tourney. My girlfriend makes me the same breakfast - an egg wrap with bacon, tomato, and avocado. I have a bowl of strawberries and black berries on the side. I eat before I shower to make sure I have enough time to digest. I actually think what you eat and how you eat is very important for maintaining focus throughout the day. I try to eat a lot of small healthy stacks to avoid a "food coma".
Pokernews: Good stuff! I am surprised you didn't say you go to the gym an hour before. You owe your girlfriend, my friend, for doing that every weekend.
Sands: Ha. I always go to the gym the day before. I’m the type that has to go at least 3 times a week or I start hating myself for being lazy. There is no need to worry about my girlfriend. ;) She is plenty well taken care of. She gets to come to basically every live event with me. Now, that’s a lot of fun free travel!
Pokernews: Yes, it certainly is. Last question, now, before the H2H ones. Did you and your roomies do any crazy prop bets this year at the 2009 WSOP?
Sands: We had a few poker prop bets to keep things interesting. By far the best prop of the summer was the running golf between me and my roommate, Garrett "gbecks" Beckman.
Pokernews: Full details, please.
Sands: We had a large pool in our back yard, surrounded by fake grass. Early in the summer I discovered that if you chip a golf ball the correct way it skims off the top of the pool like a rock would if you skipped it. Gbecks and I would put all sorts of different targets in the pool - mesh rafts, cup holders, nets, etc and put a dollar amount on hitting each target. We probably hit 1000+ golf balls in that pool over the course of the summer. We are both solid golfers so it was competitive, fair and we both had a lot of fun.
Pokernews: So who won and how much?
Sands: There were some massive swings. We were each up 4 figures at various points but we kept a running tab and in the end I came out on top, but not by much.
Pokernews: Nice! Alright, onto the H2H, when you are not playing poker what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Sands: Golf is by far my favorite non poker hobby. I also like working out, traveling, investing, watching movies, and going out to nice dinners.
Pokernews: What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the past year?
Sands: Hmmm, I’ve bought some pretty damn expensive clothes and shoes, but probably the single most expensive thing was my 30' computer monitor unless you count rent of course.
Pokernews: Sure, where do you live?
Sands: Well, prior to the series I lived in San Francisco. Great city but it’s absurdly expensive.
Pokernews: Where do you plan on living for good if you had to choose a place to settle down?
Sands: Now I live in LA where I rent an apt with my girlfriend. I am working on buying a place in Vegas. That will no doubt be the most expensive once I complete the purchase. I plan to split time between Vegas and Southern Cal. I need to be in Vegas for poker for about 3 months every year. Since real estate is so cheap there, I feel the right thing to do is buy now. I can’t take Vegas full time. It’s just too draining. Going back and forth works best for me
Pokernews: Cool. What poker player would you least like to have on your left in a MTT, and why?
Sands: I would have to say Steve “gboro780” Gross.
Pokernews: Why him?
Sands: He just doesn’t make big mistakes and always seems to know where he is at in a hand. He is capable of 3 betting any two cards which makes him very problematic when he is too your left. Late in a big tourney, the single biggest factor that restricts my ability to win is a great player on my left. It really prevents me from being able to run over the table because I know these guys will keep me inline by three betting. It makes it much harder to accumulate chips.
Pokernews: Interesting. If your job wasn't a professional poker player, what would you be and why?
Sands: Well, I used to work in internet marketing buying websites and monetizing the traffic. So I guess it’s hard to argue that’s what I wouldn’t be doing.
Pokernews: Last question. You have the radio blasting, and are singing in the shower to one song. What are you singing to when you think to yourself, “I’m really glad nobody is here to catch me singing this song?”
Sands: Well, I’m rapping for sure. Probably something with a corny catchy Akon hook, and Little Wayne verse or two in there. “I’m so paid” comes to mind, ha!
Pokernews: Dave, we wish you the best of luck in the future. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
Sands: My pleasure, Ryan!