Ryan has been a well-known and respected online pro for quite some time now, but recently he’s been getting more attention as one of the principals over at 먹튀폴리스사이트 , a site that offers users hand-by-hand insight into the thought processes of top-flight players.
Read our review of RealPokerTraining here.
PTP recommends RPT for players who are looking for investments that can improve their tournament game. Even if you already have a subscription at another service, you can still get significant value from adding RPT to your roster. And now, the interview…
CG: For our readers who might not be familiar with you as a player, give us a little background on how you got started in tournaments and how you moved through the rankings.
RF: I have been playing online poker since late 1999 when Paradise Poker firstlaunched. They did not have tournaments then. I played $.50-1 limit and donked about $50 a week. Then I found 5 Card draw. I was able to develop a winning system and strategy for 5 card draw and kept it to myself for a fewyears and raked in a lot of profit, eventually moving to the highest draw level 10-20 and consistently crushing it. During this time tournaments hadcame out and then been around for a while, and I had dabbled here and there with my best score at the time a 3rd place for $3500 in the nightly $30 re-buy (it had a 35k guarantee then). I would then take a shot in tournaments every now and then as would my friend Broodogg who was also owning draw. I met NSXT2 (Todd Arnold) online who was killing tourneys as well, and we actually started RPT together with him teaching tourneys and me teaching Draw. Watching Todd do so well and then Broodogg started hitting tournaments like crazy on Paradise making over 50k profit in about 4 months. So I started playing them a bit more using some of Todd’s lessons from RPT and did pretty good on a few occasions but always would go back to my cash games, my heads up and my draw to hold me down and played tournaments more for fun. Then the Paradise POWER promo came out and I decided I was going to make a run for it, I had 10k on my account and decided to devote towards just tourneys as I felt my game was ready. I started off in 1st place of the power leader board and the most final tables for most of the first month. In the second month, I slowed down a bit and went to Vegas with some of my winnings for WSOP, I didn’t cash in but, I felt I played extremely well. Then when I got back from Vegas, that WSOP, in 2006 I just started crushing tourneys all over the place, on Stars, Party, Paradise and others. I was making 10-30k profit a month playing tourneys and I guess I have not looked back after that. I got ranked just before the new automated rankings came out, in 75th place out of 75. Then when the automated rankings came out I started around 30th and within 2 weeks I was in 18th place and just continued playing a ton of volume. I slowly started playing less and less and have moved down the rankings as a result to 35th right now. I have considerably lowered my volume since about Feb 2007 but plan on making a run for the top 10 after WSOP.
CG: If you had to pick your most memorable tournament experience, what would it be?
RF: Playing on the TV table and tripling up off JJ Leie and Joe Hachem with quad 10s at Aussie millions. Really just the whole Aussie millions in general was a great tournament. Although, I was upset when I busted 28th for 40k as I felt that I self-destructed my stack, after playing perfect for 3 days.
CG: What’s your favourite regular online tournament these days?
RF: $200 re-buy on Sunday nights at Stars, I have two seconds and a third in that one and I am going to take it down very soon, dammit.
CG: Tell me a little bit about Real Poker Training and how the idea for that
RF: I was playing online poker on paradise regularly and talked to NSXT2 a lot, and also had a friend who ran a website design company, Ryan Hache. I have always talked with him about how I have a million ideas for websites and we got to start a site together of some kind. Then Hache and I were out drinking some brews one night and he told me about this software Camtasia and said, ” ok here is this screen recording software, find a way to make an online business using this software.” I immediately thought of Todd Arnold because he was doing phone training for online poker already and had mentioned a desire to sell some type of poker video. So I told Hache about my idea on new years eve 2004. I contacted Todd Arnold and he was on board right away and we had the site up and running by February 2005. We were the first Poker Training Video site.
CG: Have you found it difficult to balance your role as a player and your role
as a business owner?
RF: Oh my god, do I ever. Now, with a new baby in the picture its even more complicated. I am constantly traveling to play in live tourneys and when I’m home I have to balance my time between playing online and working on the site. I have an ongoing time management issue that I have been trying to defeat. I read a great book by David Allen called “Getting Things Done” that is really helping me out, as is a software called Achieve Planning Software. I have been basically working on the site in the day and playing at night lately. I make so much more from playing poker then I do from the business that its hard for me to focus on business tasks sometimes and it causes me to procrastinate. I would like hire a manager eventually to take over my duties so I can focus more on playing.
CG: Do you have any hope for RPT to someday expand beyond an online presence, or is there something about the online format that works uniquely for RPT and couldn’t be recreated offline?
RF: We really started the online poker training boom, and have kind of been less visible then our competition in recent months. We plan on getting back into the spotlight and further increasing our market share in the online training market. I think that our instructors would be fully capable of conducting an offline seminar and it would be a possibility to expand into that market. At this time there is no current plans, and I would say it’s not a priority for us at this point.
CG: What are some of the overlaps you’ve found between playing poker for a
living and running a poker-related business? How about some of the differences you didn’t expect, or surprises that popped up along the way?
RF: Running a poker related business and playing poker for a living can get monotonous sometimes. It’s important to have other leisure activities and to be able to escape from it all from time to time. The legislation issue was a surprise that popped up that can affect me as a business owner, not so much a player as I am in Canada.
CG: Who’s the online tournament player that you have the most respect for right now? Is there any particular player that was a model for you as you were developing your game?
RF: I have the most respect for Imperium right now, the guy is sick good. NSXT2 was a big influence as I was developing my game.
CG: How competitive do you feel with other online poker training sites? Do you feel like you’re all competing for the same audience, or is the market big
enough for several 먹튀폴리스사이트to co-exist?
RF: I feel very competitive, in a good way. I feel like the other sites have been working harder then us recently and its pissing me off. Expect big things coming up from 먹튀폴리스사이트. We have done plenty of restructuring and plan to step it up and offer online players the best training option. We are competing for the same audience but at the same time the market is big enough for us to co-exist. A lot of people are members of more then 1 or all of the sites. I am good friends with Sheets and Bax from PXF and have nothing but respect for Cardrunners, so its friendly competition. At the end of the day, people will stay subscribed to which sites they like the best, and continues to offer new and relevant content, we plan to be that site.
CG: How much of a challenge is it to create the kind of top-flight content that poker players would be willing to pay for?
RF: For me it has kind of came natural to do the teaching part. I just play and verbally express my thought process. Fortunately for me, and them, plenty of people can learn from me doing that and that is a great thing.
CG: Has exposing the intricacies of your game forced you to change your style at all?
RF: It did for 5 Card Draw, I’m not actively playing it anymore, but after my 5 Card draw system became very popular and there were tons of players on the tables using it, it became tougher and tougher to beat the really good ones who would find ways to use my system against me. I was able to create a counter attack strategy to deal with them but it was an ongoing battle of who was ahead of the game by anticipating the next level. It actually became a very complicated game between me, and a few very good players who had too much ego or too little sense to avoid each other. Participating in that complicated exchange of constant adaptation of playing style that really primed my skill set as a top contender in online tourneys. I attribute a lot of my success to my draw days.
CG: What’s your long-term view on the likelihood of explicitly legal online
poker in the US?
RF: It is inevitable that Americans are going to gamble online. It is hypocrisy for the US government to try to eliminate it. My long-term view is that online poker will eventually be regulated and legal in the US and likely dominated by large US casino operations. This will eventually happen but it could be 15 years off and it could follow a period of extreme prohibition.
Thanks to Ryan for the interview, and good luck to him and RealPokerTraining at the WSOP and beyond.