MSPT Showdown Series

Ask the Editor with PokerNews' Donnie Peters

Donnie Peters

Here at PokerNews, we wouldn't be anything without our audience. It is you guys who drive us to produce all the content we do on a daily basis, and I'm so thankful to see all the appreciation received that allows for our continued growth. In return, I'd like to give a bit back to our readers and followers by responding to some of the questions and comments that have rolled in. We'll be bringing back our Ask the Editor series on a monthly basis. Let's get to it.

Hey there. What I would like to know is, if you get your first $100 to a $1,000 online, how to manage from there? — @Thebritkruger, via Twitter

First of all, congratulations on building to 10 times your initial bankroll. With a bankroll of $1,000, I'd suggest playing cash games where you have 30-50 buy-ins available, so $.10/$.25 no-limit hold'em seems like an adequate level to be playing. For tournaments or sit-n-gos, I'd like to have no less than 50 buy-ins available in my bankroll, so I wouldn't be playing anything greater than a $20 buy-in tournament. I'm a bit of a bankroll nit, though, but it's all about a steady grind in the right direction. Eventually over time and with more and more experience, you'll earn a big win and be able to step up once again.

How can you guys promote better treatment of transgendered poker pros at live tournaments? — @shamrockbuddha, via Twitter

As an industry, we have to remember that everyone is created equal, and this specifically pertains to poker. The only thing that hinders someone from playing a tournament or cash game in the poker world (save private or restricted events) is money. If you've got the buy-in, you can always play. It doesn't matter your skin color, your gender, your political opinion, religious views, etc.

Do you regret prematurely needling LeBron James on Twitter? — @monuwwarah, via Twitter

I'm a Boston fan, always have been and always will be. I'm also a big fan of Michael Jordan and believe he is the greatest player the game has ever seen. While I respect LeBron and his ability, he's not Michael. All of the talk has been about LeBron and his two championships. That's great and all, but let's be serious. We all know Ray Allen saved the heck out of him.

How do you find most pros get through a downswing? Do they tend to lay off for a while, try other games, or play through it? — Steve Husbands, via Facebook

Everyone is different, so it's hard to give one specific answer. I find the most successful pros battle through downswings when they happen. There's been long stretches for great players like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Jason Mercier where they haven't been able to win, but variance in poker can really take its toll sometimes. As long as one comfortably feels they are playing to the best of their ability, I really don't see a reason to switch anything up. That said, I'm also a proponent of getting your mind away from the game to clear your head if you don't feel you're able to put through your best effort day in and day out. Sometimes a break is a good thing when your vision may be blurred.

Do you like Coke or Pepsi? — Steve Bish, via Facebook

I don't think I've had either of these in at least four years, maybe even longer. I guess I'd say Coke because that would include Cherry Coke, which was pretty good back in the day, and Coke also goes with various alcoholic beverages if it ever comes to that. Bartender, Crown and Coke!

Favorite poker room in the world? — Devin Quigley, via Facebook

Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

A lot of people love the game, but for many reasons don't or can't become big winners, or the little profit they make isn't enough for them. They still want to be connected to or stay in the world of poker. How would you recommend one can start a career in a poker industry? — Mitja Dobaja, via Facebook

For one, you can check out the PokerNews careers page to possibly apply for anything we have available. There are also many other ways outside of poker media to stay involved in the industry. For example, you could try and get a job in a poker room as a dealer with hopes of working your way up to be a floor person or tournament director, or you could work in the business side of poker with a company like PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker.

Did you ever almost get killed when somebody tried to steal your skateboard? — Michael Sorosky, via Facebook

I would say, no. I'd say that the guy was bluffing. To make a long story short for everyone who may not know, several years ago a group of us were skateboarding in North Carolina and a guy jumped out of a car screaming at us to hand over our skateboards. He claimed to have a gun and had his hand in his jacket pocket like he was holding a gun inside. Whether or not he was bluffing isn't exactly known, but I do know that one of the guys in our group lunged at him with his skateboard and tried to hit him. The guy turned around running and hopped back in the car before speeding off.

When was the moment you knew you had an edge on the fields you competed against? What methods did you use to take your game from break even to winning? — Austin Tanner Roberts, via Facebook

I'm confident in my poker ability to think that I'm a favorite in most games or tournaments I enter, but I also realize there are going to be players better than me that I will encounter, so I can't just enter and think I'm always going to win. I also play within my limits and comfort level so that I feel like I am able to really have the edge I hope for.

Like anything in life that you want to be successful at, you have to want to work. Hard work pays off. In poker, that means studying the game, chatting with friends about hands or ideas, and playing to gain experience and apply your knowledge. You also have to be willing to learn. In poker, if you're not willing to learn, you're not going to get better. Working in this industry, you see a lot of people become complacent and expect to win without putting in the work and exuding a willingness to learn. Don't be that guy.

How many feathers on a ducks arse? — Dean Francis, via Facebook

Good question, let's Google it.

What makes a great and profitable poker news site? — Frank Ferriss, via Facebook

A hard-woking staff of knowledgeable individuals along with dedication to the industry and growing the game.

When pro poker players talk of "working really hard" to improve their game, what exactly does that entail? — Wes Ferris, via Facebook

Playing, reviewing, and studying. You have to play as much as you can to gain experience and put your skills to the test. You have to review your play when you're not at the tables to see what you could improve on. You have to study the game, new theories, and different ideas.

What is a large hand that you lost and will always remember? What did you learn from it? — Steven Goodwin, via Facebook

Wow, there's been so many! But one definitely sticks out the most from my earlier days in poker and also because it taught me to stay composed and remain focused.

I was grinding at Foxwoods and had been on a long session of around 20 hours or so, partly because I was winning a lot and partly because there was a snow storm that wasn't going to allow for a pleasurable ride home. To put this hand into context, I had about $1,300 on the table and my opponent had around $700. This was when the max buy-in for the $1/$2 game at Foxwoods was $100 (I know, crazy right?). I flopped jacks full on {j-Spades}{10-Spades}{10-}, and my opponent decided to freak out with {j-}{7-}, but he had the {7-Spades}. We got the money in on the flop, but following the {8s) turn and {9-Spades} river, he made a straight flush. I remember having to take a break because at the time I was still new to the game and didn't know how to handle it. I gathered myself, went back to the table, and won a bit back, cashing out around $1,000. I remember how great I felt on the ride home because I was able to gather myself, stay focused, and play well even despite the beat. That's something I always remember even when I play nowadays and take a beat — always stay focused, beats are going to happen. It's poker.

What percentage of traveling tournament pros do you think play 100% on their own money? — @dirtyhalfmile, via Instagram

When you factor in selling pieces along with backing/staking, I'd say less than 40% do. I think it's smart to sell pieces where necessary because it's smart bankroll management, so this isn't a bad thing. Much of the poker audience is so often misinformed with the amount of money players actually have to play with or are winning in an event. I wish this stuff was more out in the open.

I have a concern about counting chips. I'm used to playing online much more than live, and online play has the benefit of knowing everyone's stack size at all times. When playing live, it's much more difficult to know, especially if you aren't used to live play. This information is very important when it comes to shoving small stacks and your fold equity, knowing if you are covered or not, implied odds, etc. — @_timh_, via Instagram

I'd just suggest practice here. Practice counting other stacks when you play live, and keep in mind that most live players keep their chips stacked in towers of 20, therefore it's just simple multiplication based on the chip value. You can also always ask a player to tell you, or ask the dealer.

What's the best way to get a job in the poker news industry? — @chrisj0384, Instagram

See the above response I gave to Mitja Dobaja.

Going through these was extremely fun for me, and I love engaging with all of you. We'll be back with another piece in a month's time, but if you can't wait until then, feel free to fire off any questions or comments you have in the comments section below. I'll be happy to respond.

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