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Marvin Rettenmaier - The Heart of a Winner

Marvin Rettenmaier The Heart of a Winner

In a thread I saw you were selling action for the €100,000 in Monte Carlo at 1.06, where does that .06 come from? How do you determine that?
It’s really just demand and supply. Nobody really knows what your ROI is in a tournament like that. Usually you just say that the staker and the stakee share the profit. To make that work I would have to have a 12% ROI, and that way they would make six percent and I would make six percent. That’s the general idea of it and that could vary as well. If someone doesn’t need to sell the percentage could be a lot higher and for some stakers that doesn’t matter, they just want a sweat and don’t care if it’s +EV or –EV.

How much do you need to sell from a €100,000 buy in, in order to feel comfortable?
It’s hard to say really, but I would definitely not play if I had to put it all up by myself. I didn’t sell at all for the $50,000 event in Melbourne and that was kind of stupid. I didn’t sell because I thought I couldn’t sell for anything close to what my ROI was in that event because the field was so soft. I was just going to take a shot, but than it all of a sudden got really expensive when I had to fire another bullet. In the end I felt bad about it because it doesn’t feel good to lose $100,000 in one day. I had a swap that was doing well so I was lucky it wasn’t quite that much.

Was it your biggest losing day ever?
Probably not, because I lost very big in a cash game once before as well. Luckily I had won even more in the same cash game the day before.

The four Germans that are playing all the big events, Fabian Quoss, Tobias Reinkemeier, Igor Kurganov and Philipp Gruissem have been on a different level lately. Are they so much better than other players? Do they have a good investor? Do you think you can learn a lot from them?
Yes, yes and yes. They definitely have a lot of money and they are really, really good players. Of course I can also learn from them, but that’s the thing, you can learn from everyone. That’s a thing that people really don’t get a lot of the time. People think that you need to talk to the best in order to become the best. It helps to understand how they think, what good spots are and what a good strategy is, but if you look at most fields you’re playing against then it’s mostly amateurs or professionals who are not by any means the best. So you also need to understand how they think about the game. That’s a problem many professionals have, they don’t know how to adjust to amateurs because they think on their highest level. They are not able to go down there where the amateur is thinking. They misanalyse because they can’t adjust the way they think. I’m not talking about Fabian, Phil, Igor and Tobias now but I’m just speaking in general. There are many high level players that are not nearly as good against amateur players. What I’m trying to say is that you need to talk to players from all levels in order to become a better player. You can learn from everyone.

Are there amateur players you seek out specifically to talk to and to learn from?
Amateur players like to talk. They talk a lot of strategy at the table even though they don’t know what they are doing. You can pick up a lot there from just listening to what they have to say. In live poker you don’t get to see a lot of hands but encouraging them the show cards is helpful. If they show their hand you can start a conversation and say, “I didn’t expect you to do that, why did you play it like that?” There have been some very interesting hands where I had no idea what my opponent was doing and therefor it’s always good to pay attention and talk to them. A lot of professionals don’t know how to adjust properly. Maybe they shouldn’t do all the six and seven-betting for instance. A lot of players find that attractive and say, “Yeah but it only has to work 20% of the time.” Against some players it's just never going to work though.

Are you superstitious?
Not really, but I do the same stuff sometimes during a tournament. For instance during the $25,000 WPT Championship I listened to the same music every morning. I also had the same food every day during that tournament. It’s not like I feel like I can’t win if I don’t do that but I like the routine. If the restaurant I went to was closed on one of the days I wouldn’t have panicked or anything.

Marvin’s winning songs:
Drak ft. Wiz Khalifa, Skrillex & Nero – Promises
Machine Gun Kelly – Half Naked and Almost Famous
DJ Khaled – All I do is Win

Don’t you put too much pressure on yourself by saying you want to win both of those prestigious events?
My goal is really to win tournaments, but of course the main goal is to play well. The victory and the trophy will come along with playing well. In the end it’s poker, and there are huge elements of luck involved. You can bust out of the money every single tournament for 32 tournaments straight and you might not even play bad. If you’re not unhappy when you bust out of the WSOP Main Event then something about your attitude is wrong. If you don’t win, you’re down for a bit, that’s normal. After busting the $50,000 in Australia I really was not happy. I came back up to the room and my girlfriend was there. She said she had read what happened and tried to comfort me. I told her that I just wanted to lay down on the bed for a while, but she wanted to be all sweet and helpful. At that point I couldn’t really take it and she wasn't too happy about me not acknowledging her willingness to help. At that moment I can’t be “Happy and nice Marvin,” but a couple of hours later I was doing well again.

In earlier interviews you said that winning a WSOP Bracelet and an EPT is a goal. Are those realistic goals to set?
I think so, definitely. Earlier we talked about ICM and it’s not that I’m playing 100% for the win; I’m still trying to be a good poker player and make the most money I can. In the end I want to win and it almost always hurts when you don’t. When you start a final table nine out of nine you might be happy with a third place finish, but besides that you are almost never happy when you don’t win.

Interview by Remko Rinkema
Remko Rinkema - Igaming.org Interviewer

Remko Rinkema has covered the biggest poker tournaments in the world since 2008, including many WSOP, EPT, Aussie Millions, APPT, MCOP and Unibet Open events. As an in-depth interview and story enthusiast he tries to do things a little differently. Besides the usual writings Rinkema grabs every chance to appear on podcasts, live streams and in the occasional video.

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