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Tournament Trail Q and A -- Brad Garrett

Garrett Talks About His Outgoing Table Demeanor


Brad GarrettBrad Garrett is best known for his role as Robert on the show Everybody Loves Raymond and for his stand-up comedy. Both Garrett and co-star Ray Romano have made appearances on the felt, and Garrett recently played at the 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Championship. Garrett defeated Annie Duke in the first round and then almost knocked out Glen Chorny in the second round before he was eliminated. Garrett used table talk in both of these matches as his weapon, and he was the most entertaining player in the tournament, by far. His series of verbal antics produced a constant stream of laughter from railbirds and players at the event.

Garrett will be hosting a charity poker tournament on Saturday, May 30, at 1 p.m. at Commerce Casino. The All-In for All Good charity poker tournament is presented by Brad Garrett and friends, and it will be a $350 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament benefiting the Maximum Hope Foundation and the Dream Foundation.

Card Player spoke with Garrett at Caesars Palace about his love for poker and how he uses table talk to throw professional players off of their game and even the score.

Ryan Lucchesi: Congratulations on the first-round victory. What led to your win?

Brad Garrett: I’m very excited, very lucky. You know, I have no game, and I think everyone reading this right now knows that.

Do you think you have an advantage jumping in against these poker players in a single heads-up match because a lot of them have never played you before and they have no idea what kinds of hands to put you on?

Yes, and also because I’m very, very inconsistent and I play a lot of stuff you just shouldn’t play. I think it makes you hard to read.

RL: You’re very talkative during your heads-up matches. Is this a strategy you employ to throw some of the quieter players off of their games?

They’re not talkers, and I talk a lot, anyway. I’m just so interested in people; I love to know about people. And I know they don’t talk or respond, so it makes me talk more. If they spoke or responded, it would be like, how do you call it ... a conversation? The less they talk, the more insecure I feel, and that’s when I have to do things that are inappropriate. Like talking about Watergate and things like that.

Is that when they reveal tells with their reactions?

Not just their tells, they try to get rid of me a little sooner than they should. They think, “Oh, this guy’s a dick, let’s get rid of him,” and that just excites me. That’s probably why I’m not married.

What first attracted you to the game of poker? You said that you love people; was it the social aspect of poker?

BG: Not at all. I’ve had a home game since I was 24 years old. Loved it, grew up, got a little grip on the chip, been to a couple of meetings, not going to lie to you. I always love a game of chance.