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World Series Of Poker Europe: Andy Black

Andy Black Talks About Stacking Up Early and his Poker Nemesis Erik Seidel

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Andy BlackIrishman Andy Black has long been known as one of the most unique and entertaining players on the tournament circuit today. His wild and aggressive style of play means that he almost always accrues a giant stack on Day 1 or is sent on the first bus home. This has led to deep runs in the 2007 Aussie Millions, and his famous appearance at the World Series Of Poker main event in 2005, when he finished fifth.

Day 1A of the World Series Of Poker Europe main event, presented by Betfair, was no different, as Black sat near the top of the leader board when Card Player caught up with him. As usual, the loud Buddhist, (surely a contradiction in terms) was never at a loss for words in dismissing any accusations that he had been stealing the blinds, and also about his rivalry with tablemate Erik Seidel.

Shane Gittes: How is the tournament going and how is your stack looking at the moment?

Andy Black: I'm doing well, I've got 70,000 so that's really good and well above the average.

SG: You seem to have a knack for getting huge stacks very early on. What is it about your style that allows you to do this?

AB: When I get opportunities, I just really go for them, you know? Today has been a funny day though. I've had aces against kings. And then I had kings against A-Q, which was a big pot. It was small blind versus big blind. I raised, the guy reraised, I reraised, and he shoved for 20,000 — all preflop and in the blinds. An ace came on the flop, and then a king came on the river! And then I had another big one with jacks versus A-Q which held up. But I play a lot of pots, so when I do have a big hand people aren't sure. It's very difficult to be sure that I have a big hand, which helps me get paid off when I do.

SG: You seem to have almost all the smaller denomination chips on the table. Does this mean you've been stealing a lot preflop?

AB: Haha, that's a terrible thing to imply! I've had my share of winning the antes and stuff, but I knocked out a few people who had a lot of small chips so it probably looks better than it is.

SG: You're often known for playing a very loose and wild style. Has that been the case today?

AB: Not too much actually, I've just been lucky with a few big hands. I've mixed it up a bit but the big pots have all been big hands.

SG: How's the rest of your table? Obviously Erik Seidel is always a threat.

AB: It was a very strong table to start with. I think midway through the second level I was leading the table and I only had 26,000 from a starting stack of 20,000! But Seidel, he is my worst enemy. I play worse against him and I've been knocked out of more tournaments by Erik Seidel than anyone else. So hopefully he's not going to do me this time! And if he does, I’ll come back and get him next time!

SG: You've started Day 1 very well. What are your aims for the rest of the tournament now?

AB: I'm trying to win the bloody thing! I always think it’s a cliché when I get asked those sort of things. I'm feeling very confident right now. But it’s very easy to lose that. So I'm just trying to concentrate on working hard in between the hands.

SG: You've been laughing and joking all day long with your table, as usual. Is that any attempt to gain an advantage or is that simply you and your personality?

AB: Well, sometimes it’s to gain an advantage but mainly you're sitting there for 12 or 14 hours and you're going to be bored off your ass just sitting there! So if there is a possibility for a bit of fun I'm going to try and take it. And mostly I don't think I piss people off, so that's good!