PokerNews Interview: Josh Brikis
On February 19, the Poker Pros Network launched on the Cake Poker Network. The PPN linked up with a myriad of both online and brick-and-mortar pros including Poker Hall of Famer T.J. Cloutier, Poker Hall of Fame and Women in Poker Hall of Famer Barbara Enright, Women in Poker Hall of Fame member Marsha Waggoner, and Jonathan Tamayo, Jennifer Leigh and Josh Brikis.
Brikis, who finished 55th in the 2010 WSOP Main Event for $138,285, was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about his new deal and what he thinks about the state of poker.
Josh, thanks for joining us. For those who don't know your story, when did you start playing poker?
I worked at a bank in 2003 around the time [Chris] Moneymaker won the Main Event, and a friend had a weekly home game. I started to go. They taught me how to play and I was instantly hooked.
At what point did you consider yourself a professional player?
Around 2006 I went pro, but I actually went broke in 2008 and picked up a part-time job. That lasted less than six months, though, because I hit two big scores while working there. I quit after that and never looked back.
You went deep in last year's WSOP Main Event. Tell us a little bit about that experience and how it's changed your career.
What an amazing experience, I think about it a lot. I always think about a few hands that I could have played differently, or somethings that could have gone my way for just two more days because making the November Nine is really life changing. Finishing 55th was a fun experience, but the only thing that really changed was that the TV time let people know who I am. It was fun and I certainly hope to make a run at it again this year. I can't wait for the WSOP.
You were just signed by the Poker Pros Network. Tell us a little bit about the PPN and how you got involved?
I am excited to be part of the move of PPN to the Cake Poker Network. Last year, we really tried to help build the site and it was a bit rough but moving to Cake will help make things run smooth. I am ready to be a part of growing the site and if you want to play against me then head over to the site and click my name!
The list of pros is certainly impressive. Have you worked with them in the past?
I haven't worked with anyone yet, but I've certainly talked to many of them and I am friends with a few. The group is very diverse and hits various demographics, which is perfect for a growing site.
You've been very vocal on Twitter about multi-entry tournaments on Full Tilt Poker. What don't you like about them?
I normally try to avoid controversy or negativity on Twitter and Facebook because alot of people pay attention and follow me on there. However, I am truly upset with these and I felt the need to let someone know. Multi-entry tournaments are just plain bad for me personally, as well as for poker in general. There are a few key reasons that they are really bad.
One, the swings online are already huge and you already have to deal with a large amount of bad beats and variance. Now, you take that large amount of variance and multiply it by four or six and you take every buy-in that used to be $100 or $1,000 and make it $400/$600 or $4,000/$6,000. I don't know if they are trying to break everyone or what, but it's going to happen. A second huge problem is that your average player either can't afford to buy in four times or they just go broke even faster. If they play with one buy-in and keep losing, they'll soon realize they can't beat the pros four times, or they'll buy in multiple times and be finished. Poker has already gotten hard enough over the past few years; this just makes it harder.
Do you think there's a place for them in online poker?
I'm going stop before you have a book of me ranting away here [laughs]. I think clearly my answer is no, and I hope they go away completely. I pray that other sites do not even attempt them.
If you could add a feature like Rush or multi-entry to PPN what would you add?
I'm not really a fan of Rush, either [laughs]. All of these things are just ways for the company to make more money faster. If I were to suggest anything to the PPN it would be focus on the customer. At the end of the day I want them to be happy and to really enjoy playing on our site.
Is there anything else you want to say that I haven't covered?
Just to stir up the pot a little. I absolutely despise anyone who has cheated or is cheating. There's just no place for it. In my opinion, if you ever get caught anywhere, you just should be banned from casinos or a series of tournaments. I won't mention names, but everyone in the poker world knows about the things that have gone on. It makes me sick that cheaters just get a slap on the wrist and go right back to cheating.
If you have the skills, we have $55,000 in added prizes. PokerNews Skills Challenge at Full Tilt Poker is a series of money-added tournaments every Wednesday night, which culminates in a $20,000 Freeroll.