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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Interviews

The Round Table – Carter ‘ckingusc’ King – On the Grind

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23 year old Carter ‘ckingusc’ King has won millions playing online poker, including his biggest score, the win of the WCOOP Main Event on PokerStars on September 21st 2008 for $1.7 million. Currently he is living in Columbia, SC and spending a lot of his time grinding the biggest online tournaments.

KL: How did you get started playing poker?

Carter:
I started in high school with friends, when I transferred to a new school and didn’t know anyone and they just asked me to play so it seemed like a good way to make friends, and I just really liked it and kept playing and learning. We used to do like 2-4 table tournies playing nlhe.

KL: You were playing home games with them...when did online come into the picture?

Carter:
Once I went to college, I found it was a real easy way to make drinking money bonus whoring (excuse the term) and grinding small stakes limit.

KL: What do you mean by bonus whoring?

Carter:
Well I would sign up to a site I hadn't played on or a new skin and create an account and get the deposit bonus, then I'd grind out the bonus and cash it out for a quick $50-$200. Back then there was probably like 50 good deals. Also they would occasionally do redeposit bonus too and with Neteller you just could move the money so fast.

KL: Did you think you were good at poker or you just found a way to make money doing that?

Carter:
I thought I was pretty good, but I knew that it was less about making the money from poker than the bonus. It wasn’t till the summer when I had all day to play that I started really reading and visiting places like 2+2.

KL: So you would highly encourage aspiring players to read 2+2?

Carter:
Absolutely, just reading some of the hands in HSMTT and the low stakes forum can teach you new ways of thinking about the game, new terms and types of play. It’s also a great way to network with other players who might be able to help your game. You have to have a thick skin, though, and realize that when you post your thoughts on a hand that they could be wrong and people will say so very bluntly. When it comes to MTTs that particular section I feel is pretty tame compared to some of the cash forums.

KL: Are you a cash game player?

Carter:
I used to be after my freshman year up until really the start of last year. I played some tournies then and had done well in a few live tournies but cash games were my main focus then.

KL: Why not anymore?

Carter:
I do play some still now, but mostly only live.  Online I find tournaments to be more fun and satisfying; also I'm better at them.

KL: Do you think cash games are more profitable?

Carter:
Well yes and no, if you’re playing live 10k's then you have to play very high stakes to make more from cash than a person with a decent live and online ROI. But, you can make 6 figs playing 2/4 and there are a lot of tournament grinders who don't make that much. However a top 200 player online i think can make more than a 2/4 or 3/6 grinder, without luckboxing a huge score.

KL: Do you play a lot live or are you just focusing on online?

Carter:
Right now I'm focusing a lot online, there is a ton of money to be made live, but if you’re not grinding the circuit you’re just going to bleed money and since I hate traveling I prefer to just mainly play the WSOP. Otherwise it’s all online. I have played some at Foxwoods and Borgata over the last 6 months, the Borgatas last series with a 3k main event with a huge field and great structure is just too good to miss.

KL: What things do you want to accomplish in poker?

Carter:
I would like to win a WSOP bracelet. I would also like to win another big online tournament.

KL: Does it make a difference to you, winning a big online event, would you have rather that been live?

Carter:
Online is definitely better, I don’t have to toke out any dealers. I don't really care about fame and notoriety, obviously it would be better to win live as far as getting a sponsorship deal goes, but otherwise there is no real difference

KL: What interesting opportunities or situations has online poker brought you to?

Carter:
I guess the most interesting thing is allowing me to meet Michael Phelps and to live the last two summers in Vegas.

KL: How did you meet him?

Carter:
Through a mutual friend here in Colombia.

KL: Do you talk a lot of poker?

Carter:
Mostly he just sends me his bad beats, but we have talked some about hands.

KL: What do you think of his game?

Carter:
I think he's a solid TAG player, and is definitely capable of being a winning player online or live, he still has leaks and a ways to go to be an elite player but he obviously has the work ethic.

KL: Will you be in Vegas for the WSOP this year?

Carter:
Oh, for sure!

KL: Do you usually stay with friends?

Carter:
The last 2 summers I've stayed with Matt Stout, jpapola and rcrane as well as others.

KL: Is that helpful to stay with other players and talk poker?

Carter:
Yeah and you can learn so much and it's also nice to have people to vent too. The only issue is if you get too many people in a house. Last summer we kind of had a lot, but only for a short time and we were all good friends, but I’ve seen it happen with other houses where they have 11 people and no one ever has any privacy or alone time and with that many people someone is going to get on someone’s nerves.

*Editor's Update:  Just a few days after interviewing with PokerWorks, Carter King took down the Sunday Million on PokerStars for $193,697 on March 22nd*

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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