Interview: Sebastien Sabic
Best Known for: Playing $400/$800 Mixed Games online
This week, we got the chance to catch up with Sebastien Sabic a few days before he heads to Las Vegas to participate in the $50,000 buy-in WSOP Player's Championship and sit in the highest stakes cash game in the world in Bobby's Room. Sebastien can be seen on PokerStars where he is a Team Online Pro playing some of the highest stakes games running on the internet.
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PokerTips.org: How long have you been playing poker and what got you started?
Sabic: I have been playing poker seriously for 2.5 years now, I was playing a little bit casually for the last 4 years though. Even though I sucked very badly at first, I always saw the opportunity to make money.
PokerTips.org: You're known for playing mixed games like 8-Game for the highest stakes on the internet at PokerStars where you are a Team Online Pro. How did you come to be such a great mixed game player while everyone else was playing no-limit?
Sabic: To be honest I sucked at no limit, I bought Super System II to try to improve my NL/PLO game (which it was worthless for) and read the chapter about Triple Draw. I started playing Triple Draw and ran like god so I obviously loved it and thought I was made for the game. I moved up playing it and when I traveled to Vegas for the first time I wanted to play it live, unfortunatly I couldn't since its only spread in mix games. Thats why I played the mix games at first and havent really looked back since then, I actually only learned no-limit seriously since I am playing no limit everyday in the mix game and losing my stack every time the NL/PLO comes arround isn't too fun.
PokerTips.org: You're playing the $50,000 buy-in WSOP Player's Championship later this week which uses an 8-Game rotation. How many players do you expect to see in this tournament? How many of these players do you think have more of an edge in this tournament than yourself?
Sabic: I expect to see between 200 and 250 players. I consider myself among the 15 best players on PokerStars, so I guess I would put myself in the top 25 or so of the tournament, although I have no idea how the high stakes live pros are playing (although I highly doubt they compare to the top online pros).
PokerTips.org: If 200 players participate in this event, what percentage chance would you give yourself to make the final table? Win?
Sabic: Thats an incredibly tough question, I would say 1 chance in 125 to win and 1 in 15 to make the final table.
PokerTips.org: What's your best game in the 8-Game lineup? Worst?
Sabic: My best game is Triple Draw by far, both because this is the game that I played the most and because this is the game where other mix games player are the worst at. Then I feel like my edge is the biggest in NL/PLO, then LHE/O8 then Razz then Stud/8 and Stud. This is probably due to the other players background, most of them are live pros and they have been playing stud for a long time so thats their best game.
PokerTips.org: Who are some of the other high stakes online players that you respect the most?
Sabic: My roomate, Alexandre Luneau, he is a very strong NL/PLO player and learned all the limit games really fast in just 3 months. He is now doing very good in the 100/200 and 400/800 mixed games. Good2Cu came out of nowhere some day, I had never seen him playing the mixed games before, and started multi-tabling all the 100/200+ games that were running and he was decent in every game, he probably played them live before but that was pretty impressive. My colleague in the Pokerstars team, Sebastian Ruthenberg, is also a very strong player all around.
PokerTips.org: This summer, you're planning on taking a shot in Bobby's Room, the high stakes room at Bellagio, where some of the biggest pots in the world are played. Can you tell us more about that?
Sabic: Yea this is a plan we have with some of my friends. It will heavily depends on how we will be doing in tournaments and live cash games. But yea if we run anything decent you can be sure that we will (I say "we" because obviously I would have to sell action for this) take a shot. Playing in Bobby's Room is probably the biggest brag a poker player can make, its definitely a life goal for me and even if things dont go well during this WSOP and I have to differ to another year, I will take this shot someday for sure.
PokerTips.org: What do you enjoy about life when you're not playing poker?
Sabic: When I am in Thailand (about 6 months a year) I love to get a massage after a long session, it really helps you relax and lets you think calmy about what you want to do. I also love going out (restaurants/bars/night clubs), living with other single poker players is awesome for that since they have the same lifestyle as myself (and same financial situation, going out with my high school friends is a lot harder). The typical day in Thailand was waking up at 2 pm, go have lunch in a restaurant near the beach, come back and play online until 9 PM or so, have dinner, go play pool in a bar, get a few drinks and go clubbing. I also spend an awful lot of time on TV show, I am currently watching LOST, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, 24, Breaking Bad, The Office, 30 Rock, The Pacific and obviously High Stakes Poker.
PokerTips.org: What's the biggest cash game pot you've won? Lost?
Sabic: I lost the 2 biggest pots I ever played, both were $80k pots and both were actually against the same guy (buck21). Strangely enough, I don't recall the biggest I won, but it's probably between $40k and $50k. All of those pots were at 100/200 NL/PLO (part of the 400/800 mix on PokerStars).
PokerTips.org: Where do you see the future of poker in 2-4 years?
Sabic: Its very hard to say, I don't like how its looking though. In Europe, many governements are forcing their citizens to play on regulated online sites where usually only the citizens of a given country can play. I don't know if this trend will continue but it sucks. I don't think the game will get a lot tougher, I mean it couldn't be easier to learn how to play well than it is already yet a lot of people just don't want to put in the effort to improve.
PokerTips.org: What advice would you give to new players hoping to make a career out of poker?
Sabic: Get some coaching, think for yourself about the game, play a lot, don't whine when you lose 3 hands a in row, and try to have a poker buddy or two that you can talk with and have sweating your sessions, it really helps.