We sat down recently with James "croll103" Carroll to discus a little poker, his housemates and basketball. He's really excited about playing in the World Series of Poker this summer.
Hey James, how's it going? For the people who don't know much about you, give us a little background on yourself and how you got started in poker.
It’s going good Ryan! Well, I’m originally from Dedham, Mass., it's about 10 minutes south of Boston but live out in Vegas now. I started playing $5 and $10 home games with my friends after school and eventually decided to deposit $50 on PokerStars after my friend had a some success on there. Basically, I used my whole bankroll everyday playing as high as I could with what money I had. This obviously didn’t work out at first and I went broke a bunch before I saw some success.
After high school, did you attend college or graduate from anywhere, or did you just start crushing the MTTs and haven't looked back?
I attended community college outside of Boston for about a year and a half before dropping out. It wasn’t till October of 2008 that I decided to quit school and my job to focus on poker though.
When do you feel like it's ok to drop out of college, is there a certain amount in your account you should have or what’s your whole theory on that?
Honestly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to ever drop out and I kind of wish I didn’t. Poker is always going to be there and college is a once in a lifetime experience!
Besides playing online all the time, what are your plans for WSOP and what event are you most looking forward too?
I’m going to try and play every event I can since this is really my first real WSOP. I’m really looking forward to finally playing the Main Event!
How much do you estimate you will be spending? Also, do you have a backer?
Yes, I do have a backer. I think my total for the WSOP is going to be like 60k. I’m going to try and play all no-limit events except the $25k and a couple smaller PLOs.
Since you are an online MTTer, do you feel like you are going to need to adjust your game to live play? Anything stick out in mind?
I think online MTT players definitely need to adjust to live play. My live game and online game are almost completely different and I feel real comfortable playing both styles. I feel a lot of online MTT players three-bet and four-bet too much live in spots where I feel flatting is a better option.
Time for some head-to-head question. What would Mr. Carroll be doing on his off day if he didn't have to throw in a huge grind session? Give us a scenario of an ideal day for you.
I would definitely be doing something active during the day, either basketball or golf, followed by a good dinner and drinks with friends and go from there.
Since you live in Vegas, your top three favorite casinos to play at?
Bellagio is first, Venetian is second, and lastly, Wynn. Those casinos have the most action.
You said good dinner and drinks above, give us your favorite restaurant/meal and also your favorite alcoholic drink?
I’d say just about any steak house in Vegas. There’s so many good ones I guess I don’t have a favorite and pretty much everything is really good. I’d say my favorite alcoholic drink is probably a good beer. I’m pretty simple there!
Even though you're a Boston fan, who is your favorite player on the Celtics, and will they take the title?
I don’t know that’s close for me. It’s definitely between Piece and Rondo. That’s not even a question, obviously we're going to win!
Last question, I know you live with Billy “durangodan35” Kopp, Nick “ispewchips” Phillips, and Ryan “gutshtallin” Welch and you guys are bunch of party animals. We're going to say you are at club XS at Wynn Encore, who is the guy (1) that you are taking shots with all night at the bar or your drinking buddy, (2) who will be your wingman to pick up the hotties across the way, and (3) who is the life of the party or the dance machine?
1. It's close between Billy and Nick, but I’ll give it to Nick.
2. Billy because he rocks the gray chest hair to attract the older demographic of women
3. It would have to be Ryan even though he would probably just be slow dancing with his wife the whole time.
James, thanks for talking the time to talk to us, we wish you the best of luck at the WSOP!
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