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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table Welcomes Bill Spadea

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61 year-old William ‘Bill’ Spadea took his love for poker to the next level last year finishing 13th place and cashing for $429,114 at the 2007 WSOP Main Event. He shares how he will be back this year along with his controversial tattoos.

KL: Tell us a little bit about your background.

I grew up in Massachusetts and then later I moved to Florida for about ten years when I had a construction company down there.

KL: How did you get started playing poker?

I started playing poker when I was a kid. I learned from my mother. My mom taught me to play and I started getting better at it and making money at it when I was about 12 years old. I was working with my father walking horses at the horse track. I used to play there and I always made more money playing poker than I did walking horses. I kept going with it and I have been playing for many years. Just recently I started playing Texas hold’em.

KL: What were you doing for work before you started playing poker full time?

I owned a construction company. I have had a bunch of real estate. My father owned a lot of real estate too and when he died, he left it to my brothers and sisters and he left that for us so we have rental income coming in. I was in the carpenters’ union for years and I retired from there and had money coming in so I started to travel and started playing poker. I started winning so it was a nice supplement to my travel.

KL: How much do you travel to play now?

Quite a bit to be honest with you. I don’t play as much as some of these guys, but I probably play 20 tournaments a year. I’m playing the World Series this summer. I have six events lined up, plus I got the Main Event. Next month I have four tournaments I am going to play at Foxwoods. When I can, I try to get out to Vegas and play there, but I haven’t really been playing a lot. I seem to be busy and I don’t have the time to do it as much as I would like to. I have played in Atlantic City, and Las Vegas; I went to the Bahamas in January and played in the PokerStars one. I have been traveling all over the world but I haven’t been playing poker. That’s what got me started again on poker. I have been retired and I have money coming in from real estate. I started traveling all over the world and was playing poker while I was traveling. One thing led to another and I started winning money playing poker.

KL: How do you figure out which tournaments you want to play?

There are certain ones that I know of that I have been to before and I know where they are at. I try to pick the best ones that I can do. There are certain tournaments that the structure is better than others.

KL: Do you play on the internet at all?

I did a little bit years ago; about three to four years ago I didn’t know how to play hold’em so I started playing on the internet to get used to it. This past year I just got back to playing on the internet again. I am trying to play more; I never really did that much before. I always liked having people in front of me. The internet was too easy to just push the button when you really shouldn’t. It was like a game you just played around with, it was hard to get serious with.

KL: What sites are you playing on?

Mostly PokerStars. I was playing on Ultimate Bet too for awhile but lately I have just been playing on PokerStars.

KL: What are your thoughts on the progress of poker? Do you think that it’s just getting bigger and better or do you think it is just kind of leveling off?

I think the big problem was when the US government started the crap. It didn’t level off it just kind of stopped there at that point. I think it would have grown even more than it did. Once that gets settled out a little better, I think it’s going to start back up. Last year everything stayed about normal, about average. I think after that it will start picking up again, I really do. So many people play, and so many people talk about it. It’s all you hear. People have been interested in it for years anyways. Years ago you didn’t want to tell people you played poker, they thought you were a nut or something. I still went out to Las Vegas and played anyways.

KL: Tell us a little bit about your tattoos.

I got the one that everyone made a big racket about in Daytona Beach. It is an angel being tempted by a she-devil. I was down there for bike week and as a matter of fact I am getting ready right now to drive my motor home down this week and take the bikes down to Daytona for Bike week.

While I was down there I had one of those nights, it was late at night, and I got drunk and ended up with that tattoo. The guy that did it designed it out and didn’t have any room on himself to do it. It took about five hours to do it and he ended up throwing the drawing that he did of it away, so it is a one and only drawing. It looked good at the time and then I wasn’t sure if I should have had that done. I had to listen to a lot of crap about it afterward from people I knew but now I like it and I don’t care what other people think. Some people take offense to it and other people are fine with it. I have gotten a few others since then, I got one out in Hawaii, and I got another when I was out in California.

KL: What are your future poker plans?

I am going to try and do a lot more at the World Series. Last year I just played that one main event and that was the only major tournament I played and I ended up doing good in that. I played since and I have gotten in the money a few times so I am doing alright as far as that goes. I plan to play some of the small ones and I want to play more cash games. I am making money doing it so I have just been getting around more and seeing everybody. I have plans for Foxwoods; I want to play about four tournaments there in March and April.

KL: Do you see yourself in poker for the long term?

Yeah, I will probably be in forever. I don’t think I’m ever going anywhere. I can get in the money enough every year to make a good living, even though I don’t even need the money from that because I am making money from the real estate. I could make a good living from the poker anyways, though. I enjoy doing it. I could play for hours and I enjoy doing it. I found something I enjoy doing and I can make money while I do it. I think I will always be able to make money at it. When I was a kid it came natural to me and it hasn’t changed. It’s just people playing people.

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