This is part two of our interview with Patrik Antonius. In case you missed part one, click here to read it first. We caught up with Patrik as he was leaving Monte Carlo after the EPT Grand Final, and here is what he had to say.
What about the fact that you are, considered by many, to be the best online player in the world. How's that title suiting you? I mean, we got billions of people on this earth and you are the best. That's..
That's pretty strong, haha. I've been doing extremely well. I've had a period of four months playing the biggest games, like 1000-2000 limit and 300-600 NL, where I had like three or four losing days. There's so much luck involved in having that kind of streak, but I guess I've been doing something right as well. I haven't really worked on my game that much lately. I used to work so much on improving my game. Even when I wasn't playing, I was playing all the hands, the situations, the players, analyzing everything. Now I'm just basically playing, nothing more. I still have to improve, but I can't complain. I guess you have to look at it overall. I can play all the 15 different games, and I'm very happy about that. Other players normally have weaknesses in some game. The only game I haven't made a hand yet is 2-7 Razz, which is also the latest game we have there, but I haven't it played that much. And maybe Hi-Lo Regular, which I really don't like that much, but that's about it.
Others might see you as the best, but how do you see yourself?
Well, it's probably good for me to think I'm the best, as it will increase my confidence. It's not good to think you're the best, when you can't back it up if you start playing the best out there.
You don't have that problem
No, not really. But if you take all the separate games there are, there could still be some players that are better than me, but to tell you the truth, I don't even know at which game I made the most money. No Limit, Limit, Pot Limit Omaha, I really don't know. Maybe I'm number one because of that. David Benyamine is really good, but I've been beating him for big money too.
Yes, I know. There are actually sites out there that monitor every high-stakes poker game online. Because of that, I know exactly what you lost yesterday. Isn't that amazing?
It's funny, yes. I'm not sure if they track all the time, like 24 hours a day, but they probably do, yeah. I'm not sure if I like it, because of the tax-people, haha.
There was a lot of gambling going round here in Monaco. Chinese Poker, coin flipping, other crazy stuff. What about you?
Well, I like to gamble I guess. Let's put it like this: I've noticed that all the best players in the world like to gamble. You have to love to gamble: that's what's gonna make you play better. If you're scared to gamble, it's gonna hurt your game. And besides, it's good to gamble with players, as they'll give you more action on the felt as well. But I'm still very careful. It's such a big game. Even if you're the best, you can have a losing streak of 5 million, for sure. I've lost a million in less than 10 hours once. I was up half a million playing Sammy Farha and ended up losing a million in the same session. It's all about minimizing risk.
Do you bet on golf or other sports?
Well, I had some big bets going on the Australian Open and the World Cup of Football. I won on the tennis, but lost on the football, haha. But truly, I don't have time to bet on sports, or play golf.
Chinese Poker is really hot right now, Phil Hellmuth mentioned he lost half a million to Ivey yesterday.
Yes, I was there. I was up 100K but ended up losing 30K. Bottom line is that betting big is gonna affect your game, for sure.
The question you are asked the most must probably be: what is your bankroll?
There are two things that are secret; the deeper aspects of my personal life and my bankroll. Even my fiancé doesn't know exactly how much money I have. Obviously I'm doing fine. If you're playing the biggest games, you have to do fine. It's not a secret that I'm not broke at the moment. I don't count my money all the time, and when I did a few months ago, it turned out to be 2 million different than I thought, so I guess I don't even know what my bankroll is, or how much I'm worth, haha.
Is it possible that you'll ever go broke?
Yeah, sure. But I would have to lose my mind to go broke I guess, I would never put myself in a position where I would play for my whole bankroll. If I have a million dollar bankroll, I would be playing in a game where I could lose a maximum of 70K or something.
At the moment it looks like it would be impossible to go broke, as I have some investments and money I just can't take out. I don't owe money to anybody, I don't have any debts, my house is paid for. There's one thing I hate, and that is to owe people money.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now? Still the best?
I doubt it very much. I'd almost guarantee that I won't be the best in ten years. There's gonna be so many good players in the future. I see so many talented players already, but all of them seem to have some kind of problem, I don't know. So many times they outplay me completely, in a one-hour session. But in the long run, they end up doing stupid things, or gamble too much; it's like they can't maintain that kind of level of play.
I'm part of a new generation, of which the people have an athletic background. You have to be in really good shape to play the best game. Your mind has to be so clear to play, and in order to achieve that, you have to be in good shape.
At the moment, it seems like I'm so far ahead of others, especially since I play all the games. Because of that, I have much variance if I play one specific game.
What about this jet-set life? You probably once had a life which wasn't this glamorous.
Life is good right now, but I've always been happy and active in my life, I've never been miserable. Since I was fifteen I've had 1-or 2-year goals, and basically this last year was the first time in my life when I stopped looking in the future. It came pretty fast; I thought it would be a longer process. I never had goals like this, obviously. Everything just happened. I still have goals in my personal life. I always want to be in better shape than I am now, and I'm working my ass off to get there. Every day when I wake up, I know what I need to do.
You'd rather be a poor unhappy man, than a rich unhappy World Champion?
For sure. Money is only money, and I know that's easy to say, because if you're broke it's everything. When I was fifteen I was betting on horse-races, placing 20-dollars bets with friends, and it seemed that I had more fun when I lost, because of the fun I had with my friends. Happiness comes from the fact that you can do what you want to do. Not working in a job that you hate, stuff like that. I've done a lot of stuff I didn't like. I worked in a factory, as a waiter, salesman, mover, delivery boy, I finished my military service, I worked as a tennis-coach, as a model, all that kind of stuff. Just working, learning that it's not easy to make money.
Would you rather have a 10-million dollar cash-session or a 500K WSOP bracelet?
At the moment, I'd take the money, for sure, haha. Tournaments are not about the money, it's more of a competitive thing. All the Big Game players have had little results lately in tournaments, because they haven't been playing their A-game. I mean, the money is so little, but still I'd love to win 'm. I consider myself a cash-game specialist, but then again... I had a side bet going with Phil this week, saying one would match the other's prize money. I still see myself as one of the favourites to win a tournament, but I just don't play a lot of them. Guys like Mizrachi, or Men The Master, they play all the tournaments and win the player of the year award. If I'd play all the tourneys, for sure I'd get results as well. I probably played like 8 tournaments last year.
Isn't there a helicopter waiting for you right now?
You're right. Man, I need a break. Just one day of having great fun. Okay, back to packing, thanks.