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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Taylor Caby – Running Cards

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The 25 year-old mastermind behind instructional site CardRunners explains his successful rise in poker and how you can learn to make millions from him and his friends.

KL: How did you get into poker?

I started playing when I was about 13 years old. My family had always played at Christmas but I was always too young. When I got into high school they finally said I was old enough to start gambling so they bought me a couple poker books. I got all my friends hooked on it because I really liked it. I checked out every poker book from the library. I was a total poker nerd for 2-3 years in high school. I was playing with my friends from high school in my basement for like $5-$10 games. It escalated in stakes as we got more into it but I would say I won a few thousand dollars just playing with them. In college I played in the dorms for a few years and then started playing online. I literally just started out in $5 games and slowly, slowly, slowly worked up. A year to a year and a half later I was at like a $10,000 bankroll.

KL: What $5 games were you playing?

Sit-n-go’s, usually on UltimateBet. I played a lot of heads up. I liked it more because you play more hands and I am an aggressive, bluffing, player. My skill set is best suited for games where it is one on one. I didn’t really think about it too much, I played $5 games and then I had enough money to play $10 games and it kept growing. I got to the $200 sit-n-go’s and you couldn’t go any higher than that, back then those were the biggest games they had. So I moved to cash games and kept going up.

KL: How did you start playing online?

I’m not sure; I think I started watching the WSOP when Moneymaker won it. I have to think there were PokerStars ads on there, but I don’t remember. There might have been UltimateBet stuff too because I started playing UltimateBet. I remember I had a friend that was playing on UB, and he suggested me to that site.

KL: So you ran your account up and then moved to cash games?

I ran it up to like $40,000 - $50,000 and then I started playing cash games. This was when I was 20, a sophomore in college. I turned 21 that summer and started my junior year. That summer I didn’t go get a job, I just stayed home and played poker. I think I made like $100,000 that summer playing $5-$10 no limit and those games. Then I started moving up to $25-$50 no limit and $50-$100 no limit that winter and that’s when I really started making a lot of money.

KL: Do you think you moved up at the right times, to the right stakes?

Honestly, yeah. I didn’t really understand bankroll management to start when I was playing the $5 and $10 games, but I was smart enough to know that if I had $200,000 to my name I wasn’t going to be playing $40,000 buy-in games. I didn’t know exactly the kind of swings you can experience, but if I was losing I definitely moved down. I slowly moved up, but I definitely took some risks and it worked out.
KL: Were you the put $50 on and never have to put money on again type?

I think I withdrew sometimes so I would have to put more money on. I dipped into my profits, I would never have to deposit money to play but I would have to replenish my profits sometimes.

KL: Were you playing live at all or solely online?

Just online. The first tournament I ever went to was Aruba in 2004 just after I turned 21. It was the first time I had ever played a live tournament. It was fun but honestly I don’t like live poker as much as a lot of people do. I am liking it more and more because I have become more sociable at the table so that’s kind of fun, meeting other people. At the end of the day, though, you are only playing like 30 hands an hour compared to 300 hands an hour online.

KL: Then how did CardRunners come about?

So basically what happened, my junior year of college I started to do well and I had a lot of people asking me how I was making so much money. They asked me for advice on how to do good playing online. I started to help my friends, teaching them what I knew. At that time I was just sending them instant messages and reading their hands, that was all I could really do. I talked to my friend Andrew Wiggens and I told him we should start a website to teach people how to play, record videos talking about what we are doing. It was very basic to begin with; I was still a junior in college so I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, as far as running a business. We put together a real low rent basic website, posted on a poker forum, hired 3-4 pros to make videos. Now, CardRunners is a huge community and there are like 40 different pros and thousands and thousands of members.
KL: You were making a lot of money when you were still in college, what kind of response were you getting from your peers?

I don’t really talk with people back home about my poker stuff that much because it’s my job and I just don’t share a lot of details with people. Through the grapevine people heard about it. I was getting decent grades in school and my parents were really supportive. My friends all thought it was awesome. At one point I called my dad and told him I was going to drop out and that didn’t go over well at all. It was hard to be making a lot of money and getting up for class the next day. My parents would have killed me if I dropped out, so I just finished. I did have a great time in college.

KL: How did you pick the people for CardRunners?

As far as the instructors go, it’s like a community of instructors and we are all friends. I have been playing in the biggest games in the world online and I know who the best players are. I am friends with them, I see them in tournaments or I hang out with them in Vegas. It’s a no brainer, I know who the other good players are, and we are all friends anyways. It’s a good time, it’s fun to do something outside of playing poker.

KL: What is the future of the site?

We just merged with a website called Stox Poker. It was one of the top training sites on the market and now we are one company. They are kind of a brand that is targeted to mid-stakes players and our brand was more expensive, it isn’t cheap for someone that is just getting into poker. So we merged out sites so that people that are just coming in to poker training have a lower cost option.

*Like a wheel, the Round Table is a circle of adventures and victories, beats and stories, and life as it unfolds with a cast of characters that may, or may not, have joined you in your home on a local TV program. There's so much more to poker than what you see on TV. Although I won't use canvas, I will paint the full picture for you as I follow the lives of some of your favorite (and some unknown) players. The Round Table is an ongoing series of life, viewed full circle.*

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