Among the first "unknown" players who became an online superstar by playing the Internet’s biggest games, Taylor Caby turned his success into a huge bankroll and also into a thriving business in CardRunners, a full-service online training site. We caught up with Caby to discuss CardRunners’ recent promotion, "Piece of Taylor" and much more.
Hello Mr. Caby! What's new in your busy life these days?
Hey, Mr. Caby, that's a new one. Just the usual stuff, poker, CardRunners, made a final table.
Congrats on your recent final table of the Full Tilt Poker Million. You are going to be battling “November Niners” James Akenhead, Luke "FullFlush" Schwartz, Dag Mikkelsen, Juha Helppi, Peter Vasiliou and an online qualifier Dec. 4 for the $500,000 first prize. You will be giving away one percent of yourself from your payout. Can you please explain this to our readers?
Sure. CardRunners decided to run a promotion in which we'll give away one percent of whatever I win to a person who is enrolled in our "Truly Free Poker Training" promotion with Full Tilt. All you have to do is go to TrulyFreePokerTraining.com, sign up (it's free), and then you can start earning free CR memberships just for playing at Full Tilt Poker. If you get really lucky, you might win 1 percent of my action at the final table. First prize is $500k for the tourney, so you could win as much as $5,000. Even if you don't win, you're eligible to get free access to CardRunners, as long as you play at Full Tilt Poker.
What can people expect for a "Piece of Taylor"?
People can expect a free shot at winning a good chunk of money. The best part might be that even if you aren't the lucky winner, by signing up, you are eligible to earn a free CardRunners membership just by playing at Full Tilt Poker. It's a really a great promotion. The Truly Free Poker Training is a promotion run by CardRunners and Full Tilt. When you sign up at Truly Free Poker Training, we track the amount of FTP points you earn each month. There's a meter in your CardRunners’ account that shows you how much you've earned, and what comps you are eligible for. Depending on how many points you earn, you can get between a week and a month of CardRunners and Stoxpoker completely free. The best part is that you don't lose your points. They are just used to keep score. You can still spend them however you would like.
How has the explosion of poker training sites affected CardRunners?
It has definitely made us work harder. For a while, we were the only game in town. There are a lot of options now and it has really made us buckle down and focus on remaining the best. Our Truly Free Poker Training promotion is completely unique to the online poker training market. Why pay for poker training when you don't have to? Finally, where else can you learn from the guys who are beating the biggest games on the Internet? Guys like Cole South, Brian Townsend, and Brian Hastings. These three, in particular, have really become spectacular all around players. They aren't just no-limit specialists. They are playing everything from pot-limit Omaha to 7-game mixed.
So have you been playing much poker these days or just sticking to the business side of things?
I’m playing a bit actually. I have been getting back into the $10/$20 and $25/$50 heads-up games on Full Tilt. It has been going pretty well when there's action; a lot of the regulars don't play other regulars.
What are your thoughts on the nosebleed action lately with the million dollar swings?
Honestly, my thoughts are that it's pretty crazy. There are a lot of people who have made a lot of money playing poker, so I'm sure some can withstand the swings. To play the amount of hands they have been playing is nuts. I've heard some sessions go for 15+ hours. Try playing online poker for 15 hours straight. It's not easy. Then, when you think about playing 6 tables of heads up poker for millions of dollars — wow.
Yes it is ridiculous. Is Tom "durrrr" Dwan busto? We've heard a lot of rumors, but yet, he did just sign with Full Tilt.
I have no idea. If I had to guess I'd say I highly doubt it. First, he just signed with Team Full Tilt, but you have to remember, he has been winning at the high-stakes games for four to five years now. There are lots of sites, lots of live action, tourneys, staking, etc.
Very true! Ok, what are your thoughts on "Isilidur1"? He was playing six tables recently, heads-up with Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, durrrr, and your boy, Cole South.
It seems like he's a very good player; time will tell for sure, I guess. That's the other thing. He might be the fifth-best player in the world, but if he's always playing the top four then he will go broke. So, I really don't know what to say. Hell, maybe he is the best player. We'll find out.
Do you feel it’s more difficult working in the poker industry or being a player, and why?
I think it's always more difficult being a player. People never really understand how hard it is to be a professional poker player. The swings are brutal. There are so many opportunities to do things away from the tables that can ruin you financially. I mean, think about it, you usually have to walk through a casino just to get to work. It's really not even close as to which is more stressful. That isn't to say being in business for yourself can't be stressful. It is. It's just not the same as having tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line in a single pot. I suppose if you owned a huge business you might have some of that same stuff going on, but I would think your fluctuations wouldn’t be nearly as bad as they are for a high-stakes player. Like I've told my friends before, it's nice because with a business you don't have too many "losing days.” With poker, good players can lose 40 to 45 percent of their sessions.
Well, what about companies that are worth multi-millions of dollars and are losing tons of money in this economy?
Yeah, that has got to be tough. I guess I would ask them if they made mistakes along the way. A lot of the companies are doing poorly due to poor decisions along the way. With poker, you can go all-in preflop with AA, which 99.9 percent of the time is the right play, and you can lose. No one would say you did anything but the right play and you could still lose a big percentage of your bankroll. I've found this stuff seems to happen less in other areas of life, but maybe I've just been lucky to avoid those situations
Give us your thoughts on the Chicago Bears and Illinois basketball seasons?
Bears, don't want to talk about it. Next, Illinois basketball. I am super excited. I think it should be a great year for us. I predict a 3-5 seed in the tourney and a sweet 16.
Alright, you've had a long day at the office, and you are stressed, to say the least. What’s the best way to relieve stress for all the degens out there who don't know how to deal with it? Any suggestions?
Haha! Probably UB Blackjack. If you're a degen that is. If you're not, I don’t know, pot-limit Omaha
Isn’t this more stressful than helpful? (laughs)
Yeah, but you might have an edge there.
Brian Townsend, Cole South, or Brian Hastings in a $1 million heads-up challenge online in no-limit hold'em/pot-limit Omaha against Ivey. Who do you choose to take on Mr. Ivey?
Hmm. I'd probably pick Cole. I make a habit of not betting against him. Honestly though, it wouldn't surprise me if any one of those guys was the better player. I really don't know who is.
Alright, Taylor. We wish you the best of luck in business and poker. Plenty of fans look forward to winning some free money off you, so please don’t mess up!
(laughs) I’ll definitely give it my best. Thanks, this was fun!