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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table – Eugene Todd is Married to the Game

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Poker’s funny man Eugene Todd joins The Round Table to put some things about poker into perspective. He’s cashed for millions but still hasn’t had that big first place win.

KL: Do you play cash games?

Yeah, I play $25-$50 or $50-$100 no limit whenever there is a good game. Usually during tournament stretches I don’t play the cash games because my first priority is to play the tournaments. I make sure I play every event. When I play tournaments and get knocked out I find it’s difficult to go play a cash game. When I play I give it my all, I put my brain, my time and for me to sit down and go play a cash game afterwards I am so aggravated that I don’t think I will play my best. When I come for the two week stretch I will play but I am usually more focused on playing tournament poker.

KL: Do you have any good friends in poker that you talk poker with?

Yeah, I speak with JC Tran and Amnon Filippi, who is also from New York, Alex Bolotin. I am practically friends with everyone. I have been playing for three years and I speak to all the players pretty much on the circuit.

KL: Is that helpful to your game, to be able to discuss?

Yeah, being able to discuss hands is always helpful. Anytime you can pick up any knowledge in any way it’s helpful. If you can read a book, it can’t hurt by reading a book.

KL: Have you?

Yeah, I have read some books. I’m thinking I should read a lot more because it doesn’t hurt to read. Even if you pick up one small thing out of a book, that is already some more information. If I would suggest you should probably 100 percent read as much as possible, I think you will learn more by being in the trenches, though. You can talk about going to war and you can shoot, but once you are there and in the game and in the circle you can really see what is going on.

KL: Do you notice in your game, I have this one weakness that I have to work on?

Some days I think I should just loosen up and play like a maniac, just play like the style where I am going to gamble it up in the first two levels and either get chips or don’t. I don’t want to really play like an idiot, you know, just sit there and gamble and lose.

It depends on the philosophy, if I said right now I am thinking what I want to do for 2008. Last year I wanted to concentrate on tournament poker and that was my main strength of concentration. I put my cash games to the side and concentrate on tournament poker. As of right now I’m not even sure what I should do! I am thinking f these tournaments, these f***ing things suck, I play all day long, some times for three days, I get my money in good and I lose. They kick me in the balls and I go home.

I think, why even do this? I can sit down and go play cash games. Play some pots and if I don’t feel like playing I can get up and take a walk for an hour.

These tournaments are like being married all over again
. It’s like a commitment! I have to be there at a certain time, they tell me when I can eat, they tell me when to do everything! It’s cool if you win, but I haven’t won so it’s like what do I want to do?

I’m thinking for 2008 I am just going to commit to playing cash games. I will play the big tournaments, the main events and just play side games instead of draining myself and playing all those preliminaries non-stop every time. I think it probably makes better since.

Or I can just have the cash game philosophy, I might go play a tournament but I am going to play fast. I am going to get some chips and try to get deep into the tournament instead of sitting there and carefully looking for my spots. Instead of playing a slow paced style I’m going to go and play fast and put more time into playing cash games.

Last year I did really well in the cash games, as far as tournaments, even though I have probably cashed for a half of million dollars this year, and if it wasn’t for the Borgata I would probably be a big loser. At least I got something there. I don’t even think I’m a big winner overall for 2007 in the tournaments. Maybe I’m up $100,000, if that. Is it worth it? Hell no. Then there are other sides to it, if you win maybe you can get a sponsorship deal from somewhere, who knows. That’s not where my focus is, though.

KL: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t playing poker?

I’m a good salesman. I can sell ice in the winter, fire in hell. I guess I would probably be doing something in that field. If you are motivated and you really put your mind to do something, there are plenty of things to do. I really haven’t looked because I have been focused on playing poker. I never thought I wanted to do something else. I also personally think that if you play poker part time you will do better than if you play full time. I think once you play full time, the commitment to winning is a lot more, and if you have a job and then you play tournaments you are playing for fun.

When I started playing poker three years ago, I loved playing cards, I used to go to work and after working all day long, if I heard there was a poker game going on, I wanted to play for seven more hours because I just loved going to play. Right now when I go play the enjoyment isn’t as much. Now there is pressure, now I am going there and I have to win. I have to feed my family; I have to pay the bills. It’s not about having fun anymore it’s about I have to play good and if I don’t play good what the ‘f’ did I even come down and play for.

I don’t want to play like an idiot because I am taking $5000 to $10,000 off my family’s plate and I’m going to play cards. It’s a f***ing tough grind man.

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