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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Great Scott – Q & A with Scott Ian from Anthrax

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Known primarily as the lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Anthrax, Scott Ian is ready to be known for something else as well. After winning a celebrity poker tournament last year held by VH1, Ian has been on the fast track to learning poker and loving the game.

KL: How did you get started playing poker?

Scott:
We played on and off on the tour bus over the years. I have always known how to play but it wasn’t until I got a chance to play in this VH1 tournament earlier this year, that I won, so that is what got me much more interested in it. I found myself watching it on television all the time and I started playing in other charity stuff and semi regularly with my friend Jerry Cantrell from the band Alice in Chains. He has had a game at his house for years, so I started playing and have been there basically since January or February, whenever I played in the VH1 thing. It has only really been this year that I kind of got the bug.

KL: How have you done so far?

Scott:
I have never finished in the money at Jerry’s, the best I ever did was when I came 4th one night out of about 19 people. I tend to get my ass kicked pretty bad at the Wednesday night game, but I figure I’m due at some point. I am hoping all the knowledge I gained in Aruba will help me at home.

KL: Who plays in Jerry’s game?

Scott:
Once in awhile some of his other band guys play, but it is mostly a lot of friends and business associates.

KL: Are they good?

Scott:
Yeah, there are a lot of good players at Jerry’s game, a lot of guys who play all the time. Guys who play at Hollywood park and guys who play poker all the time. Jerry is great, he is a great player.

KL: How did you end up playing in VH1 tournament?

Scott:
They called me and asked me to be in it, I do a lot of stuff with VH1 all the time. So I just got the call asking me to be a part of it. I definitely wanted to because it was Vinnie from Pantera, Ace Freeley from Kiss, Sully Erna from Godsmack and Dusty from ZZ Top and I know all these guys already. We are all friends so it just seemed like wow, how much fun is that going to be to go to Vegas and play cards with these guys

KL: Had you played in a casino before you played in that tournament?

Scott:
I have never sat at a casino and played. I am too intimidated and I don’t even really know how. Because I have never done it, I’m not really sure what you even do when you walk into the poker room and what the etiquette is. I know eventually I’m sure I will. I go to Vegas all the time. The thing is I’m so not a gambler. I never gamble. I will go to Vegas for five days and I will not spend a dime on gambling. I’m sure one of these days I will end up in Vegas with Jerry or my brother or somebody and I will finally sit at a poker table.

KL: Have you played online?

Scott:
A little bit. I signed up for Ultimate Bet about two months ago but it doesn’t work on my Mac. I don’t understand why you can’t use it on a Mac and I was bummed about that.

KL: In VH1 tournament did you feel like you knew what you were doing when you were playing?

Scott:
Yeah, I did. I felt pretty good about it. I have played enough over the years that I know the ins and outs of the game, kind of. I felt comfortable but if anything I was intimidated by Sully because I know Sully plays regularly. He enters the World Series and he finishes in the money so I know he is a great player. I figured going in, if anything, that I was just going to have fun and it’s for charity and Sully was going to kick everyone’s ass. I didn’t even know that there was a prize [a seat into the 2007 Aruba Poker Classic] at the charity tournament. When I won and they told me, I was like, ‘what do you mean?’ Sully was like, ‘duh, that’s why I wanted to win so bad!’ I just had no idea. If I probably knew that there was a prize, I would have lost. If I knew that I was actually playing for something other than charity, who knows. I might have played differently or something, tried to be more aggressive at some point and it would have changed my attitude towards it, but I just played kind of loose and free wheeled.

KL: Any future poker goals?

Scott:
I just like getting to play and the experience. Sure I would love to win some money; that would be amazing. The idea of wining money for playing a game is almost as crazy as getting paid to play guitar in a band. It’s like a fantasy come true for me. Getting invited to play in cash games with Phil and Annie Duke in Aruba was amazing, my friends were so jealous! I just want to keep playing more and continue to get to hang out with Phil and some of the other pros I watch on TV.

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