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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Players to Watch – Phil ‘USCPhildo’ Collins

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No, he isn’t the lead singer of Genesis; this Phil Collins is an online poker genius. He is one of the top ranked online players of this year with cashes over a million and growing. In just 2008 alone Collins has taken down the Full Tilt $1000 Monday and had a second place finish in the same tournament a few months later, won a $100 rebuy on PokerStars and final tabled multiple big events.

KL: Where did you start out - online or live?

I started by playing $5 and $10 games in the dorm rooms at the University of South Carolina. I tried playing online a little as well, and played off and on for 3 years, probably making about $10,000 by the time I graduated in May 07.

KL: Which do you like better and why?

I like both. Online is so much better when you want to play hands, since you get so many. Live poker can be very boring at times, but there's nothing like being deep in a live tourney or at a final table.

KL: If you could change one thing about poker what would it be?

Bad players wouldn't be allowed to talk at the poker tables, because listening to their monkey logic makes my head hurt.

KL: How important is it to you to be ranked?

It was one of my main goals entering 2008, and rankings are definitely a motivating factor to me. I was very excited when I saw I entered the top 10, and I'd like to be number 1 one day.

KL: What has been your favorite online tournament win and why?

My $1000 Monday win for $70,000 in January of 08 was by far the biggest score of my career at the time. It was my first cash in a 1k buy-in, and when we hit the final table my heart was pumping and my hands were shaking a little.

KL: What is the hardest and easiest thing about online poker?
Controlling your emotions is probably the hardest thing about poker in general, since it’s so easy to get frustrated and play bad. The easiest thing is probably being able to play anytime, anywhere.
KL: Where do you play? Home, office, laptop, around people, alone?
I like to play with other people who are either playing also or watching me play. It’s nice to have someone keeping an eye on you sometimes. It keeps you accountable for mistakes. I have two 20" monitors for my desktop that I play on when I'm at a lot of tables, but later in the day I like to sit out on my balcony overlooking the Charleston harbor with my laptop and relax and focus.
KL: Do you have a set playing schedule or do you just play when you feel like it? How much do you play?
I pretty much play Sunday - Wednesday, from around 1 or 2pm till midnight or later, depending on how deep I go in the late tourneys. Lately I've been playing every day during the FTOPS, but once it’s over, I'll use the weekends as a time to relax and do things outside of poker.  

KL: Do you multi-table? How many?
I definitely play my best when I'm only at one table, but on Sunday's there's so many huge tourneys, I'll be in 8 at a time often. The most I've ever done is probably 15. When I want to put in a lot of volume sometimes I go nuts and register for everything, but lately I've only been playing between 1 and 4 at a time so that I can focus more on the big tourneys.
KL: Any future online poker goals?
Win CardPlayer’s OPOY [Online Player of the Year] race. Be ranked number 1 on pocketfives. Win an FTOPS. Have a $100,000 score. Make over $1,000,000 online.  

KL: What online players do you respect and why?
PearlJammed has always been a player I've looked up to for both his ability to win tournaments and his classy behavior at the poker tables.
KL: Who do you think is the most underrated player?
A few names that come to mind are TheCronic420, Holdplz, and s00tedj0kers.

KL: What is the best advice any poker player has ever given you?
"If you want to soar with the eagles, you have to stop walking with the chickens." -Brent Hanks aka 'usourcek'

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The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

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