Interview: Benny Degenerito
THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2008-04-06, by TwoGun, OzoneUpon hearing word that Benny Degenerito decided to get back into poker, we tracked him down to see if he was interested in doing an interview with us. Benny told us that every professional poker player gets interviewed at some point or another and that now must be his turn. Right you are, Benny. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
PokerTips.org: Benny, last we knew, you had given up on poker and even had gone so far as to regard it as a sin. Is that true? Also, what made you decide to get back into the action?
Degenerito: Well I quit playing poker for about six months and began regularly attending Sunday services. After a while, I felt like something was missing. One Sunday, pastor's sermon was about how Jesus was an empowering leader who want others to follow their instincts. That night, I turned on ESPN to watch SportsCenter, but the World Series of Poker was on instead. I knew I should have turned the channel, but then I remembered about how pastor said that Jesus wants us to follow our instincts. That's when it hit me! I'm a born gambler. Some of us are salesmen, some of us are prostitutes... I'm a gambler.
PokerTips.org: So after that revelation, how have things been going for you at the poker tables?
Degenerito: Let me tell you, I'm on one of the sickest runs of my life. They say that taking time off can be great for your game. I hadn't ever been able to actually take time off before now, but I'm glad I did. It's funny, I am making cash hand over fist with pocket fours. I mean... I understand odds and all, but I swear I flop sets way more with pocket fours than anything else. I've also changed the way I play pocket aces, but I don't want to give away my secrets to success.
PokerTips.org: Surely a man like you has plenty of keys to success. C'mon Benny, care to let us in on this one?
Degenerito: You make a good point. Alright I've found that there's only one way to play pocket aces effectively, and that's to move all-in preflop. I mean... think about it. How else can you absolutely 100% guarantee that you get your money in with the best of it every single time? It's really quite amazing that more people haven't caught on to this. You show me a play where I can have my money going in with the best of it every time, and I'll show you a play that I use every chance I get.
PokerTips.org: Describe some of your weaknesses as a poker player.
Degenerito: Well I would say when ridiculous donkeys make a horrible play and suck out on me, but that's not something I can really control. Umm... let me think... Well, one thing that has always bothered me is how casinos hire attractive women to be cocktail waitresses. I have my theories that they know cocktail waitresses are a weakness of mine and so they use them to keep me gambling. Let me put it this way, I play my best poker when things are kept at a professional level, you know, when there's no sex involved.
PokerTips.org: Do you dabble in any forms of gambling aside from poker?
Degenerito: Since you asked, I should say that I think I might be able to beat roulette. I haven't worked out the kinks yet, but it's pretty clear there are patterns. I just haven't figured out to bet when its hot or if something is overdue.
PokerTips.org: So what are some things you enjoy doing when you're not gambling?
Degenerito: Well, I had been spending a lot of time with my girlfriend, but we recently broke up. It's okay though. As Edward Norton says in Rounders, "in the poker game of life, women are the rake. They are the f&*#ing rake."
PokerTips.org: Lastly, do you have any tips for our readers on how to invest winnings?
Degenerito: It used to be that investments weren't a very strong suit of mine. For example, I bought a house in 2006. Now I'm piling all of my money into gold and commodities. My theory is that Wheat is the new Google. I bought gold at 960. It's down some from there, but hey, gold is gold! Also, I'm starting to get into currency trading. It's something I think I have good instincts for. I think I knew the dollar was going to decline, which is why I saved all of my Euros from my trips to Amsterdam for stuff... you know... that's cheaper than in the States, you could say. I guess I just feel the Euro is a better all around currency because of all the different sizes and colors. The dollar is old news. All the same color, all the same size. I think the world is ready to move past that. To me, the future is all orange, purple, and blue!
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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