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Tournament Trail Q and A -- William Fry

EPT Hungarian Open Champion Talks About His €595,839 Win


William Fry grinded it out professionally for years, although it must be noted, primarily in the online world. Cashing here and there in live tournaments, it took the first ever EPT to be held in Hungary before the red-haired Brit would make it to the final table of a major event. His happy-go-lucky demeanour was shattered, as the field got smaller, by some shockingly courageous moves, and uncanny reads. As he sipped a celebratory glass of red wine, he spoke to Card Player about impressive opponents, taking Phil Helmuth to the cleaners, and getting to where he is today.

RM: What did you expect from your first EPT, were you nervous?

William Fry: Not really I was just going to take each hand as it comes, and I was quite glad to see that there was not theWilliam Fry best standard early on. I heard the people around saying that this was one of the weaker fields of the EPTs, so that was good, and it all went well.

RM: Were there any make or break hands where you probably should have gone out but a bit of luck got you by?

WF: None that would have knocked me out really, except for the final table. I had queens versus jacks early on, but that’s not make or break because I’m ahead. I had one river card which was really really nice to me, when I was bluffing. He checked the flop, I checked the flop, and then he checked the turn, and I bet the turn, and I had nothing. And I hit this miracle card to make a straight, and I needed a ten basically, otherwise I was crushed. Then he moved all in and I had the nuts. So, that one card was so pretty. I was loving it. But apart from that, no, I pretty much just grinded my way there. Sounds a bit weird but I didn’t even run amazingly well, I just always had chips. I was pretty consistent. I was pretty happy with the way I was playing.

RM: Did anyone impress you?

WF: Yeah, Johnny Lodden. His attitude ... he’s Norwegian, so they’re probably used to the cold. He’s like an ice guy. And he’ll tell a quick joke and be really funny as well and you’ll be like, “That’s really funny” and then he’ll go ice again. When he’s raising you, you kind of think, “hmm interesting”. Kara Scott played quite well. We had a good giggle on our table. An English guy, Sebastian Saffari, he was looking good when he was on my table. I didn’t play with him for long enough to tell how good he was. Annette Obrestad — she was playing very well. She got sucked out on. I took some chips off her, which is always nice because she’s very good.

RM: Is there anyone that you would have liked to play against, like any of the big pros?

WF: Yeah loads! Phil Ivey, Greg Raymer, Chris Ferguson, Phil Hellmuth...

RM: Is there anyone you think you could take?

WF: I’d take Hellmuth to the cleaners. He’s a good player but I think I could get under his skin as much as he gets under everyone else’s. That’s part of his game. I’d like to play with Patrik Antonius ... Doyle Brunson, just to say I’ve played with him. I could go on for ages.

RM: Did you have a strategy in this event?

WF: I had a strategy most days. Day 4’s strategy was keep it tight early on, wait for a few people to go out with their short stacks, which happened — the short stacks didn’t go out but a couple people went out like Johnny Lodden. Wait until it gets down to about six-handed and then I’ve got a bit more money. Once I got about sixth or fifth, about €100,000 I was happy with that, so I just thought right, go for it, start getting aggressive, start raising with pretty much any two cards, maybe three-betting people. Although, I didn’t do that too much. But early on, it was definitely just to stay tight, and wait for some other guys to make some moves. It was a crazy action final table. I think it was a good final table for me, there was some wild stuff going on.

RM: Because you’re primarily an online player, what are the major differences for you between live and online?

WF: I’ll give you an example because there’s not that many — ok, you can see players and you’ve got tells. The standard when you play live is worse. Online, it is very strong. I had a situation the other day which was really great playing live because I can be a bit of an observant sneaky guy and I went to make a raise with some rubbish hand to steal some blinds early on, and the gentleman in the small blind was leaning quite far forward. I’ve kind of read some books and some articles in magazines which have said if a player leans forward they’re quite interested in what’s going on, and if they’re back, they’re not interested. He was right forward and then he looked at his hand about three times. Come on! Why do you look at your hand three times? You want to make sure you’ve still got the A-K or whatever, so I was going to raise and then I thought ... no, I won’t raise, I’ll see what happens. And I folded, and the guy next to me raised, and he said, “All-in.” I was just like, “I’m in the zone!”

RM: So, all of these things you maybe haven’t experienced as much online as live...

WF: I’ve still played some live events, just some smaller ones and festivals. I’ve been to the Masters in Holland twice, that’s really good fun. I played in one tournament out there, I think it was a €500 buy-in. Recently I went to Austria for the Masters in Vienna. It’s a wicked place. I played in three events, the early ones, the €100 rebuy, the €500, and the €400, so I’ve played some live tournaments.

RM: How did you do in them?

WF: I did alright. I came 13th in one of them, which was the bubble, and I had a 50/50 with a guy to go one of the chip leaders, so I was a bit annoyed, I thought I could have won that one.

RM: Have you upped your game since?

WF: No, not at all. I’ve been a pretty strong poker player, I think for the last ... about a year and a half. You just keep getting better in this game because you keep learning and as long as you have the right mind set, as long as you’re always ready to learn more, there’s always more infoRMation to learn out there. There’s always stuff to improve in this game, because it’s got so many facets, and so many different aspects to it. You might be great at reading players, but maybe your maths is a bit of a problem. Or you’ve got all that probability, and you know all the maths, and you know how to read players, but you’re mentality... like, if you lose a hand you get angry. You’ve got all these things. You’ve just got to get good at everything. That would be nice. So, I’ve got some stuff to work on.

RM: Why did you do a deal? What was the decision behind that?

WF: I think the money was just too important to me at this stage of my life. I mean I’ve got a mortgage to pay and I want a bit of extra money, and I think with that money, I can do some good for myself. So, I thought yeah, let’s do a deal. I was happy with the deal, it was a lot of money. The other gentleman was happy, and the guy that came in third, Martin Jacobson, he wasn’t too happy with his deal, but we gave him about €3,000 extra, and suddenly he was very happy. 

RM: You going to go to another EPT after this?

WF: Yeah I think I will. I’ve got the buy in now, I don’t have to use my Action Points to get in. I think I will still play the satellites. I don’t know. It’s a crazy day for me.


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