KL: Let's go back to when you won the Main Event. What was going on in your life then that you ended up playing at the World Series?
Huck: I played in the World Series every year since I was 21, I mean it was a big goal of mine to win so I played from 21 to 25 and came close a lot of those years, and then when I was 26 I won. When I was 24 and 25 I was kind of playing too much poker and got burned out. When I was 26 I kind of took a break and the whole World Series I hardly played. I was in the gym, playing golf and just staying relaxed.
KL: You moved to Vegas that year, didn't you?
Huck: Yes, I'd just moved to Vegas and was at home. Other years I was staying in a hotel and playing too much poker and kind of like living a hotel life. It gets old when you're in a tournament for a month and playing too much poker, not getting out of the casino. It was a huge advantage for me to move here and have a life. And also, that was just me personally because that's been my problem, playing too much poker.
A lot of people get excited about playing poker and they play all day everyday and it's just too much. You get burned out and you don't play as well or intense when you're playing because you're playing too much. So for me just playing less, just playing when I wanted to play, when I really wanted to play has helped me and that's what helped me that year because I really, hardly played and was doing other stuff and getting outside. During the World Series I'd get up and go to the gym and wasn't playing any other games, other years I was playing all night and played every tournament and was hardly getting any sleep. For me making sure I don't play too much and don't get burned out is important.
KL: Are you still keeping that strategy?
Huck: Yeah, I have to stay aware of getting burned out and playing too much and not playing when I'm sick of it. It's hard in tournaments. In side games you can just get up and quit and in a tournament you have to play. If you're in a tournament, you really want to make sure that you're not sick of poker and you haven't been playing too much. When you don't feel like playing you either have to be really good at motivating yourself to stay focused the whole way or you can just take a break. Take a few days off or a week or two or a month before a big event and by the time the tournament comes you'll be hungry to play.
KL: How much are you going to play at this year's World Series of Poker?
Huck: I'm not sure yet, I'll just see how things go and try to stay aware. I'm motivated to just play the tournaments - that were pretty exciting last year with a lot of the great players. I go in and out; I never really enjoy tournaments as much as the side games, but hopefully I'll be entering a lot of tournaments.
KL: What do you think the fields will be like this year?
Huck: I don't know, I think they will be pretty big. The Main Event will be less I think but the other tournaments will be similar fields or more. I heard they changed up the schedule but I'm not really sure, I haven't really looked at it. I don't really know how it's going to go; I guess we'll just see.
KL: What do you play when you play side games?
Huck: I pretty much play everything.
KL: What limits do you play?
Huck: I play every limit and every game.
KL: What's your favorite game?
Huck: My favorite games are no limit and pot limit, but if I play one game too much sometimes I get bored of it. I like to play all the games; it's more interesting if you switch them up sometimes. They are so different, all the different limit games, I like that no limit got so popular, because I like to play no limit. I mean before, back in the old days, you could hardly ever get a game. Now there are games everywhere.
KL: Your name is always tossed around as a player people expect to do well and to win tournaments. When you hear this does it add pressure?
Huck: To me that's kind of silly, it's like everyone wants to love the winner. I think people just say that because I've won before and they say, ‘this guy's going to do it.' I don't know why people do that but I thank everyone for their support. I have a lot of fans and stuff so it's definitely a help, definitely a big help having fans and having people say positive things about you. I appreciate it.
KL: But it doesn't add any pressure?
Huck: No, it gives me energy and motivation. It's just good positive energy.KL: Do you play a lot online?
Huck: Yeah I do play a lot online because I like to do different things and play different games and that's a completely different game. At first I didn't like it because you couldn't see the people and it wasn't really poker, but it's a lot of fun for me now because the hands go so fast and you can play multiple games at once. It's definitely something completely different and fun for me to play.
KL: Where do you play?
Huck: You know that, Full Tilt Poker!
KL: What are your thoughts on the UIGEA?
Huck: My thoughts are not really good! I got into poker because a lot of the other things I wanted to get involved in had too many politics in them, and there were no politics in poker. You just go play and you either win or you lose, there wasn't all this TV and internet or all these big companies and sponsorship. Now it's just got as many politics as anything, and I don't like that. I mean I'm getting used to it, but hopefully the bill won't affect the game of poker, even though it seems like it has already a little. It will be a shame if that hurts the game.