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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table - Sebok Takes over the Road!

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Joe Sebok can't stay busy enough. When he isn't winning poker tournaments, writing blogs, dating famous actresses or doing a radio show, Sebok is starting up his own interactive poker website. Welcome to his own poker road.

KL: You travel all the time on the tour. Being on the road so much has to produce some funny times, tell us about a crazy story on the road, something funny or outrageous.

Sebok:
Oh man, there are so many, honestly. One time at Foxwoods we had a prop bet on how many people we could get to give us high fives walking around the casino. There was an argument that people dislike high fives versus liking them. There was a time when the hosts from the WPT, Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten were doing prop bets with Gavin, racing and chin ups, that was also at Foxwoods. Everywhere we go, I refer to it as a traveling band of carnies. One of the nice things about doing all the media stuff like me and Gavin are doing is we are there for the whole duration of a tournament. If we bust out, which probably happens a little too often for our taste, we are still there for the week. We are doing the radio show, hanging out and doing interviews. We are having a good time, going out drinking, getting into all kinds of ridiculous situations. It's a blast out on the road.

KL: What's the craziest prop bet you have ever done and for how much?

Sebok:
Gavin and I have all our stuff on Raw Vegas now. We literally just sit around and try to come up with stuff. One of the things I wanted to do was give each of us a taser and see who could take the most shots from the taser gun but I think we decided not to do that. I think the most a bet has been for is about twenty or thirty thousand. I would ask Gavin because I think you remember losses better than you remember wins.

KL: You dated Shannon Elizabeth briefly last year. Was it hard going out in public with someone high profile?

Sebok:
I don't think it was that tough, we went out, we did stuff, and we had a good time. It wasn't too bad but there always the dudes that are coming up and wanting to take pictures with her which was never a problem. When I was there, no one was ever disrespectful and we never had any trouble with it so for me it was just kind of funny. I guess occasionally it would get a little annoying but it was very rare that it did. I mean obviously sometimes you just want to go out with your girlfriend and hang out. You don't want to be accosted by people wanting to take pictures and all that kind of stuff. You just kind of get used to it if you date someone in the media.

KL: You have had a radio on and off for a couple years now, of all the people that you had on the show, who would you say is your favorite guest you have interviewed?

Sebok:
It's funny because now we are in the third incarnation of the radio show, hopefully the final one, and we have had so many fun guests. Whether it was Haralabos Voulgaris who is now hosting one of our radio shows on Poker Road, Big Poker Sunday's, or Eugene Todd who I think is one of the funniest dudes I have ever seen. He just makes me laugh, I want to sit with him at the table, a bar or on the radio show, he just cracks me up the most. So, those two guys just for sheer hilarity.

Obviously there is the famous Chip Reese episode, all of us, Scott Huff, Gavin Smith and myself, we were all sitting there as if we were little kids listening to Chip. He was telling us all these stories and tales and history about poker and what not.

We did a great interview with Phil Ivey at Mandalay Bay when he made the final table right before the World Series. That's a great combination because Phil is a good friend and he is so mysterious, everyone doesn't know him and know what he is all about. I am lucky because he is a very good friend of the family so for me I can mess with him and get him laughing. We've had so many fun guests but it just depends on what you are looking for, comedy, poker content, history. I think you can pick your poison with any of them.

KL: Where did the idea for Poker Road come from and when?

Sebok:
Basically it just came out of me being sick of my radio shows being canned over and over. We had a situation with Cardplayer where we decided to leave because they wanted to take it in a different direction and then we had the situation with Pokerwire where we had the rug pulled out underneath us because of all the exclusivity agreements that the WPT entered. I just got sick of it. I had enough and wanted to start my own thing and not have to worry about that happening anymore. I didn't want to keep blindsiding the fans which happened a couple of times. A couple of companies called and wanted just to do the radio show. I had much bigger plans, of course, I had ideas for this entire multimedia website with radio shows and blogs and video content. We decided to go ahead and do it, and it's great. So far the response has been ecstatic which makes us very, very happy. We are hoping it blows up into something much, much bigger, which we expect it to do at some point.

KL: What are some of the features of the site?

Sebok:
We have the radio show with Gavin Smith and Bart Hanson from Live at the Bike. We also have Scott Huff and Joe Stapleton who have been hosts for Pokerwire Radio and The Circuit respectively and they are going to be doing their own video news show, Poker Weekly Update. BJ Nemeth, one of the most respected tournament reporters is going to have his own podcast about the x's and o's of things. There is a video section with a piece called Destination Unknown where Amanda Leatherman is going out, hanging out with the people in the cities we go to, just getting a different feel for the place where these poker tournaments are outside of the casinos and off the felt. There are also blogs from Barry (Greenstein), Jeff Madsen , myself and many more people.

KL: What is the most important life experience learned through poker, or something you have taken away from it?

Sebok:
I've been really lucky and blessed at poker since I started. It's really been like all ups and all good. I think the lesson to learn is not to get to high off of the situations. While we all know that poker players are going to go through a lot and typically there are a lot of life lessons to learn, whether it is being true to your word or making sure that you pay people back, all these things are life lessons. I have been really lucky, I really, really have. I have just always kind of won at poker for the most part, obviously not in every single tournament, but overall I have done really well. Poker has opened up a lot of opportunities for me, whether it was starting PokerRoad.com, or just writing for people, or doing radio shows, I don't know, it's been all gravy so far. It really has been all good. I feel like I have been really lucky. I just have to stay grounded because everything has been so great so far.

KL: Since it has been up, up, up for you, do you recognize the downswings in poker, have you had any and if you haven't, are you prepared if there was a downward swing?

Sebok:
I definitely see them. All the guys on the tour, and everyone hangs out, so we all know each other. A lot of them have issues that I definitely see whether it is playing table games in the pits or drinking too much or spending money on girls, you see it all happen so I am definitely cognizant of its existence and staying away from it. I think a big part of it is that I got into it when I was a little bit older. A lot of the guys are 21-25. When I was that age I was partying and going crazy, doing all that stuff in the Bay area. I was lucky because when I got into poker I was 27 and I think I kind of skirted that a little bit. I had already done all of the drinking and all of the running around so I am very, very lucky. It seemed like it wasn't going to affect me that much but I certainly notice it.

In our family we are very aware of all the negative things that can come from playing poker. Barry and Mimi (Tran) have either seen it or lived it. On some level they have watched it go down. I have certainly been schooled by them in what you can do and should do. I think it's another category where I have been really lucky. Even if something did happen I think I would be prepared just coming from a professional poker playing family.

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