If there was something like the “durrrr Challenge” where you could play Phil Ivey at No Limit Hold'em, would you consider playing him and do you think you would have an edge?
I think I would but I'm not too sure. Ivey, I think, has a better chance to adjust than durrrr does. Even if I had an edge versus him at the start I would still be worried. I played durrrr enough to know how he's going to react to certain things. So I feel like I would have an edge versus him no matter what. Versus Ivey I would be a little more concerned after about 10 to 15,000 hands. If I could I would still take it, even though I haven't played him that much.
So durrrr is not as good at adjusting as you are?
I don't know what his game is like now but back in the day when we played he didn't really notice his own mistakes, I'll say that. Whereas Ivey, when I did play him very briefly, tried to, I wouldn't say trick you, but he made it harder to do the same thing consistently.
Right before Black Friday you lost a relatively small amount in the Isildur1 Challenge on PokerStars. What's your feeling on that looking back now?
I was mad I actually did that. During that $100/$200 PLO was running but I couldn't play because of the challenge. Honestly, it was cool to do but there was no real point to it. We already played around 50,000 hands on Full Tilt before that so the challenge wasn't really a huge thing. It wasn't like “Whoever wins this considers the other the better player.” It was a challenge I got offered to do and I figured why not. Obviously it wasn't the smart thing to do in my opinion since there were like seven good games running at $100/$200 PLO. The way they set up the challenge made it impossible for me to play those at the same time. About the challenge itself, he played the style he usually plays. I felt like he got slightly luckier than me but he also played a little bit better.
If you get your Full Tilt money back would you consider challenging him to something similar or maybe bigger now that he's a part of their team?
Probably not. There's a lot easier action to get than him but I wouldn't mind it since he's a lot of fun to play. He doesn't really care and he'll play forever and that's what I love to do too. At the same time he's extremely tough to play under the right circumstances for himself. That's not to say that I just try to play him when he's tilted but if you can play him when he's tilted, or not thinking clearly, that's way better obviously.
Is that what you meant to say in an earlier interview when you said that there's more to poker than just sitting at the table?
Yeah. For instance, you'll never play Phil Galfond when he's not playing his A-game. That might not be true right now because he's playing and learning a lot of mixed games. But when I played him it was very clear that he was always really fresh and thinking a lot. Whereas when you play for six to eight hours or longer it's pretty easy to just go on autopilot and not think too much. The thing with someone as good as Isildur1, is that he can kind of get away with auto piloting a lot. It is a mistake not to always play your A-game but he still probably had an edge versus a lot of people he played.
Do you think Isildur1's A-game is better than your A-game?
At the moment for sure, it definitely is. To be honest not really, when we played back in the day I won consistently other than PLO.
Would you ever ask Jungleman for his opinion while a hand was going on? Or is that something you would morally decide not to do?
We didn't really ask stuff during hands, it was mostly afterwards. But for instance, it would be directly after sometimes. I guess that could be kind of wrong because we could be playing a heads up match and the advice wouldn't be, “You should play the hand like that,” but “He's playing like this, he's doing this and this is how he views me and how should I play the hand?”
Maybe that's a little bad during a heads up session but in general it was more out of curiosity than gaining an edge through his knowledge. I don't think that when I'm already playing four tables that what he says during one hand will make me play much different. Most of our talking was after a session because it's very hard to think correctly while you're already playing. Personally I think that's the best way to get better when you're already playing at a high level. While you're playing you can't really think your best, as when you're outside of it you can look at your hands without any biased judgment about what mistakes you've made.
Based on what you just said, do you think that the Isilidur1 versus Brian Hastings thing was less of a deal as what it was made out to be?
People probably won't like to hear it but that was his own fault. You have to expect that to be happening anyways. If he didn't expect them to be sharing hands he's a lot dumber than I thought he was. Do I think it's wrong for them to share hand histories? I don't really know. Sharing hand histories among poker players is something that is so normal. Sharing a ton of hands on one specific player, which you only play at very high stakes, is a little different, but he should've basically known that was going on. I guess Isildur1 just thought he had an edge against it no matter what, but it's pretty tough to have an edge against three people who are specifically picking your game apart.
Would you ever consider doing something similar with your friends?
Probably not. I would rather just try to beat that player myself. When Jungleman and I played we knew how certain players played. We would tell each other what we thought their leaks were, that was pretty normal. When you're playing for that much money it's a reasonable thing to do but I wouldn't just sit there and specifically watch one player play and tell other people about what I've discovered. I would rather just beat him myself.