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Online Poker -- Interview with Mark 'Dipthrong' Herm

Herm Talks About His Great 2008 Run


Mark 'dipthrong' HermMark “dipthrong” Herm had one of the best years online in 2008. His play was so superb and his results were so consistent that he was able to finish in eighth place for Card Player’s Online Player of the Year race.

Though his finishes were stellar beforehand, Herm’s year really got going with an amazing summer run. In June, he finished second in Ultimate Bet’s $200,000 guarantee. One month later, he won the Sunday Mulligan outright. Then on July 13th, he won the Bodog $100,000 guarantee and the Full Tilt $750,000 guarantee simultaneously. That impressive streak would’ve been newsworthy enough, but just two weeks later Herm took down the Sunday 500 on PokerStars.

The 23-year-old finished with 16 final tables on the year and almost $600,000 in winnings. So far this year, Herm has already added a runner-up finish in the Sunday Brawl.

Herm spoke to Card Player about his run last year and about his overall tournament strategy.

Julio Rodriguez: How do you feel about your 2008 performance?

Mark Herm: I’m definitely really happy, I made some good money this year. I wasn’t really gunning for the overall title for awhile to be honest since I really only play on Sundays and my volume isn’t that high.

JR: What does your normal playing schedule consist of?

MH: My schedule pretty much includes all of the Sunday tournaments with the occasional Wednesdays.

JR: What about the 1K events on Monday and Tuesday?

MH: I don’t play the $1,000 buy-in tournaments and I almost always avoid the $100 rebuy tournaments. I haven’t final tabled one of those in like a year, so I try to avoid them. The fields are just too tough and it’s not the best spot for me.

JR: According to our rankings, you were a top-10 player this year. Do you agree with that assessment?

MH: It’s really hard to determine who the best is just by one year of play. A lot of the great players stick to cash games and will never put in the time needed to win Online Player of the Year. I had a great year myself, but I also got really lucky in a few key tournaments. You have to. Next year anything can happen, but things have to go your way when your deep in a tournament and all the big money is up for grabs.

JR: Can you describe your playing style?

MH: I play really, really tight early on. I just autofold a lot, especially when I’m playing many tables at once. Then when the tournaments get deep I get more aggressive and open it up a bit. I also tend to use the all-in play a lot. Where other people might just put in a raise, I send the message that I’m willing to go broke and put it in.

I’m not worried too much about my tournament life. People play scared when there is a lot of money up for grabs. I try to use that fear to abuse the various bubbles and put people in awkward spots for all their chips.

JR: Out of all your wins last year, which one were you most proud of?

MH: I won the Sunday 500 on Stars this year, which is a pretty tough field to beat. I feel like I played great in that tournament from start to finish. So I’d say that win was my proudest accomplishment of the year. I also won the Full Tilt $750,000 guarantee, but I got really lucky in that tournament. It’s not so much the magnitude of the tournament and the overall result, it’s how I feel about my play.

JR: At 23-years-old you have the advantage of being able to play the tour here in the States. What does your live tournament schedule look like?

MH: I play like five or six events each year. I get really bored because I’m used to so many tables at once and I’d rather be playing online. I mean, live is fun because the players usually suck, but I prefer the instant gratification that online play brings.

JR: What about cash games?

MH: I play here and there, but never to a great extent. I could never really get into it because it’s not as competitive as a tournament and it doesn’t appeal to me. There’s a clear cut winner in a tournament and in a cash game there isn’t that feeling of accomplishment.

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