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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Players to Watch - Adam ‘Akat11’ Katz

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25 year old Floridian Adam Katz is currently on the tournament trail. An online turned live pro, Katz has accumulated more than $800,000 in online tournament wins and $329,900 in live results.


KL: How did you get into poker?

Adam:
I was getting bored w/ school and really not sure on what I wanted to do. I had played little card games for dimes, quarters, and dollars as a kid and started to play some home games with friends in Orlando. I really got into it and deposited some money on Absolute Poker. A few months in and I was playing the highest sit-n-go’s and tournaments they had, but it would still be a year before I jumped to PokerStars or Full Tilt.

KL: Why did you wait to get on the other sites?

Adam:
I had trouble making the switch at first. I couldn’t understand how I could be so successful on one site and not on PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker. But what it was, the level of play was so much better and different that I had to make adjustments. I was stubborn for a little while thinking "well if it made me lots of money on Absolute Poker, the same style has to work on PokerStars.” It just took me a bit to readjust, and that's when poker became even better for me, because it became of mental warfare and constantly adapting.

KL: Were you ever working a real job and did you quit school for poker?

Adam:
I worked plenty of real jobs, but my last one was at The Cheesecake Factory. I ran the bakery. That’s where my home game started. I didn’t necessarily quit school until I found poker but I was already done with it. I was down to like two classes a semester, I had lost my scholarship and just didn’t like what I was studying, or know what I wanted to do period.

KL: How did you know you could do poker as a career?

Adam:
I mean I thought I was good enough within the first couple months, but I was probably wrong. Probably about a year and a half ago is when I realized I could really go somewhere.

KL: What made you realize?

Adam:
Well I had won a lot of tourneys on Absolute, etc, but about a year and a half ago I started consistently going deep and winning mid-stakes tournaments on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. $11 rebuys to $55 rebuys and $50 to $150 freeze outs. During that time I was lucky enough to become friends with a lot of top online players and I am really blessed to have such a quick learning curve. It would've taken me years to improve this much without the help of my friends.

KL: What is the most important thing someone has ever told you?

Adam: 
The number one thing is probably from Bryn Kenney: "all it takes is confidence," and it really is true. When you play with confidence you don’t question or second guess yourself. You trust your instincts and make plays when you need to. If you played timid you’re going to get run over or just play poorly and let people catch up in spots they shouldn’t, etc. But probably most important is just the thought process a good player goes through. Amit Mahkija, Bryn Kenney, etc, all taught me how to think the right way. Decipher hands step by step, put the pieces together etc. Plus coming up with Ben Palmer and Jamie Rosen and talking all day with each other helped too.

KL: What is your biggest poker accomplishment or what are you most proud of?

Adam:
Probably making the final table of Foxwoods, but I actually appreciate my online run after where I won like 6 tournaments in the next 2 months. Consistency is hard to attain in poker, so when you can it feels great. Foxwoods would be number one if I would have won one of my races and gone deeper than 5th.

KL: Which do you like better and which do you think you are better at?

Adam:
I like live better and I’m probably better at live. I feel like I give off a good image and it’s a much easier game. People see me and immediately don’t want to fold for the most part. They see a big young kid, flashy watch, and immediately think "I’m not letting this big bully run me over." It happens a lot where I've played 4 hands at a table in 30 minutes, but the second I raise, some old guy will comment on how I always raise his blind or something. Perception and image is everything in live poker. I just have to figure out who has what perception of me and play accordingly

KL: What is a normal month for you? Are you traveling for tournaments?

Adam:
I am usually away for 3 weeks of the month and back in Vegas for the other week, if the tournaments aren’t in Vegas obviously. I travel mostly inside the US, and places like the Bahamas. I get to travel with a great group of friends, and I have the #1 poker house in the world.

KL: What do you mean?

Adam:
  Me, Amit ‘amak316’ Mahkija, Ben ‘shankingyou’ Palmer, Hunter ‘hemipowerswt’ Frey, and Jamie ‘TheCronic420’ Rosen all live together in Vegas. You won’t find 5 better players living together. We have a blast wherever we go.

KL: What do you want to accomplish in poker?

Adam:
Like everything in life, I want to be the best or one of the best before I’m done. My immediate goal is for a 500k+ score. I feel really good about winning a live $5000 or $10,000 soon. Actually I just feel really good about it in general about how the next few months are going to go. Expect to see my name a lot.

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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