Interview: Adam Reynolds
Hometown: London, England
Best Known For: Winning around $400k in mid-stakes no-limit cash games in 2011 as CtrlAltDegen11 online.
This week, one of the most successful and hardest working mid-stakes cash game players in poker sat down with us for an interview. Adam Reynolds won around $400,000 playing $1-$2 and $2-$4 no-limit cash games on the iPoker Network in 2011 alone. He shared with us a little about how he reached this level of success in poker.
online poker 468x60
PokerTips.org: How long have you been playing poker and what got you started in the game?
Reynolds: I've been playing poker for about 6 years, professionally for about 3. I used to play cash games with friends 5/10p blinds, it really used to mean a lot at the time, a £40 win used to set me up for the week!
Can you share with us what a typical working day is like for you?
It really depends on the games. At the moment i'm a total degen, I'll get up at like 5-6 pm GMT and start playing by about 8 pm. I try to either get a session with my personal trainer in before I start or some sort of exercise, it really helps me focus. I probably play until around 5-6am or when the games die pretty much, I play around 160k hands a month, so as you can imagine a lot of poker!
How many tables at a time are you typically comfortable playing? At what stakes?
At $2/$4 to $3/$6 I would be comfortable 12-16 tabling providing I was in a decent frame of mind and making good decisions, at $5/$10+ I try not to more than 9 tables. People say that multi tabling like this massively reduces their win rate but in my case I disagree, I play best when i'm in the zone and getting in loads of tough spots, I tilt so easily 6 tabling and find it quite boring.
You are known for doing a lot of grinding on the iPoker Network (home to sites like Titan Poker). Is there a reason you preferred the non-US facing sites prior to Black Friday?
I started off at the micros and never left, I played on Full Tilt a bit before Black Friday and enjoyed it, but for some reason iPoker has always been my banker. I've always enjoyed the aggressive games which are always guaranteed because of the mad Russian and Scandinavian players on the network. I feel a lot more comfortable playing people with wide ranges than tighter players so have always stuck with iPoker.
Can you give an example of one big adjustment you made to your game that led to a substantially higher win-rate?
My toughest jump has been from 100nl to 200nl, at the time people at 100nl just didn't have a clue how to play in 3-bet pots, I was bad but not as bad as them. When I moved to 200nl I got beaten up really badly. People were double barreling me constantly in 3-bet pots and I had no idea what to do, I decided to sit down and analyse how the best regs at 200nl were playing and why they are successful, that was definitely when it started to click for me. When you learn what the best regs are doing everything becomes so much easier.
You recently signed on as a pro with BlueFirePoker. Did you face any hesitation in deciding to reveal some of your successful thought processes at the table?
Definitely. But I thought about how I regarded players like Krantz and Foxwoodsfiend when I started grinding and that swung it for me. There is always a million reasons not to do something but it just felt right. I have never been a mathematical thinker, or someone who can dissect hand ranges. I've always relied on my instincts and ability to read and understand gameflow, I was a little worried at how this would translate in my videos.
In your experience, how often have you found it necessary to drastically alter your overall strategic approach at the tables?
Never really, I've always made slight alterations when moving up limits, people are so much better at applying pressure on weak ranges as you move up. I definitely call more at 1000nl than I did at 100nl because people are just so much more aggressive. Sometimes I make a call that I think could be terrible and get shown complete air, a hand that I should never get shown in that spot, and think "wow, this guy is a genius".
What do you attribute as the biggest factors in helping you become a successful mid-stakes no-limit grinder?
For me, volume and hard work. I don't think I am as good theoretically as 90% of the people I play against but I am a probably one of the hardest working players on the site. I try to treat poker like a job, when I lose I play more, I play until I win all of my losses back. It always makes me laugh when people respond to losing by deciding to take a week off or take a break from poker. If you want to be successful, you need to dedicate a large portion of your life to the game. The player I respect the most on the iPoker Network is a guy named 'geeforce', he is an example of what happens when a you combine a sick work ethic with poker talent.
Do you expect online poker cash games to continue to be beatable into the future or will there come a time where almost no one can come out ahead without rakeback and other volume-reward programs?
I would like to think so. People have been saying how tough the games have been getting and while I agree they are getting tougher the best players will always find ways to win. What you might see is a lot of guys who play only fish beginning to struggle. They may come unstuck if they are forced to play guys who have just battled everyone and are more competent experienced players.
Finally, what piece of advice would you have for our readers hoping to rise through the ranks and become consistent winners in the online cash games?
Work hard, if you're not playing 8 hours a day then you will struggle to crush the games unless you are supremely talented. If you don't actually enjoy poker/gambling volume could be a huge problem, I've had people ask me why they are not winning, these same people tend to disappear for 5 days at a time and play as little poker as possible.