KL: What do you think your greatest strength is that you bring to your game?
Amir: I think in my poker game, the greatest strength is my instinct about reading people. Usually my instincts are about 90% accurate. Another one is to be able to put up with the swings in this business. Just maintaining it, I am not trying to change my game or anything like that. Just trying to stay in control because you know this is a pattern. Everyone gets hot for a month or so, you see it. I mean it happens, you play good at a time and it's your payday month. I have been getting myself in shape for this month and hopefully it will be now, around the World Series. This would be a good month to do it.
KL: Did you do anything to prepare for the WSOP?
Amir: Not as much as I wanted to, my plan was to take the entire month of May off and just relax, but so many things came up that got my month of May busy too. April, May, and June are pretty much the hardest working months for us poker players. My idea was to take a month off before starting the World Series because there are morning and afternoon tournaments going all day long. I don't know how many World Champions they want to produce, I kind of think they are taking the value away from it, but I think they money is good and I want to play as many as I can.
KL: What do you think about the differences now for the WSOP, from what it used to be? Do you like it better now?
Amir: No, definitely I don't like it better now. As much as it's growing, poker in general has changed. The changes are good but it's like every year they are making a different rule, etc. it keeps getting changed by people other than the poker players. We have no control of our future. They want to change a tournament, fine; they want to stop one, fine. What are we going to do? We've done our job, we've entertained millions of people in their households and very few players have profited. We still have to work hard to get ourselves in the tournaments and in the other sports people are set for life. Look at NASCAR; you don't even have to be a champion to be set. There is a union; there is an organization to make sure that everyone is getting something out of it. It's not because of one champion who became popular. There should be something for all of us, not just who wins it. I get my share of money but it doesn't stop me from realizing how sad it is. Maybe one day people will come together and realize how sad it is.
KL: Do you play online?
KL: What are your thoughts on the UIGEA?
Amir: I think we all got victimized because millions of dollars were earned from online gaming and they actually brought it on themselves. They could have spent a few million to have an advocate before that happened. Now after it happens you want to go try to get them to fix it. What is in it for the players, they want us to sign the petition to make sure they can do business, but what's in it for the players? Any free rolls?
I play tournaments and I think its going to be even better for live players because all the online players will come into the casinos. I wish they would have done something earlier. For poker in general I will do anything I can to help them out. To me the law is completely stupid. I don't think it's manageable or enforceable; you are going to spend so many resources as an American, all our money to try to control something that you won't be able to control. They might as well regulate it, tax it and it will be better for the citizens because at least they know this company is regulated by some kind of department, not some off shore thing where the company has no responsibility or liability.
I don't know why they are doing it, and that was a subject that I wanted to write a book about. I know this is something that is on the minds of young people in college. Why can't they have money set aside for the education of gambling? Look at alcohol, that is in their reach on campuses, but they don't ban alcohol, you spend money on education. They did try to ban it once and look what happened. It became a business for criminals. This one is the same thing. Try to spend some money on education. There are so many other ways that they can ruin their life, are you going to ban every single one of those activities?
KL: What do you think the effect will be on the World Series?
Amir: The effect on the World Series is going to be huge as far as the tournaments are concerned because of the satellite winners that are winning their seats through the online business. Since the players cannot register through third party registration that is going to affect them. That will take away a lot of amateurs out of the tournament. It is still going to be big enough for us, though.
KL: If you had to guess the number of Main Event entries, what would you say?
Amir: Below five thousand.