Ben Jenkins Interview

Ben Jenkins Interview

Monday, 25 November 2013

Meet Full Tilt's new Geordie pro.

Age: 29

From: Newcastle

Career Highlights: A deep run in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up in Sept 2012, which he chopped three ways for $71,000, as well as numerous final tables both live and online.

Previous screennames?

My primary screenname has been gs08bjohnson. It's an amalgamation of things that were important to me when I created it, including my membership number 08 to a card club called Stodmarsh Perudo Club my friend set up in Canterbury. I also believe that Johnson is the English equivalent of Jenkins, which is a Welsh name.

How did you get started in poker? When did you decide to go pro?

I started playing poker in the sixth form common room. Late Night Poker, hosted by Jesse May, had just started to become popular and a few of us got inspired to give it a go. I was always a strong mathematician and incredibly competitive growing up, so the game really appealed to me, and of course you could win money! However, we never really played for more than pocket change. It wasn’t until I first went to the casino after I had left school and was fortunate enough to chop the first tournament I played for just over £400 that I got really hooked. I took a gap year before heading to university, for which I funded myself through poker, so it was a natural transition for me to play professionally after leaving university.

Have you ever made any interesting prop bets?
The reason I wear a suit stems from a prop bet. It seems kind of silly as there wasn't really anything to gain from it either. Stuart Rutter , Jamie Sykes and I all decided we should wear suits until we made the top three of a tournament, at which point we could wear what we wanted again – the aim being that the others would never come top three and forever be wearing suits to live poker tournaments. I ran pretty good as soon after I put the suit on, getting a 10th and a 7th before getting a 2nd on my third outing. I promptly started dressing normally after that and I doubt I won a pot for months live! So I returned to the suit and got 13th at EPT London. I wouldn’t say that I'm a superstitious person, but I have worn a suit ever since, thus creating a nice irony to the prop. Stuart got a top three in an EPT London mixed game side event, which was great because his suit was terrible – many a high street brand would be embarrassed – and I'm yet to see Jamie in a suit. He clearly has no heart.

Which variant of poker do you specialise in?
Unequivocally NLH. It seems that PLO shouldn't be so different, but I might be the worst when it comes to the four-card game, and adding more cards only seems to make me lose even faster. I have had some success in 7-card stud and HORSE tournaments, though, which I play from time to time and enjoy greatly.

Where is your favourite location to play poker?

If I could choose anywhere to play again it would be Stodmarsh Perudo Club, with its founder Jon Barnard. If it wasn't for that place I don't think my interest in poker could have been piqued long enough to becoming a winning player. Jon kitted the place out amazingly and it was populated with some great guys and the atmosphere was perfect. Other than that, I have just come back from Montreal and the Playground Poker Club, which is a pretty incredible venue where they really look after the players. Vegas is great, but the best trip I've been on was to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions. The city is great, it's the middle of summer with so much sport on, and the games are very enticing.

Can you tell us a strange fact about you?

There are some embarrassing ones; for example, I have certificates in ballet and tap from when I was a kid. Like a small kid, one with no free will, told what to do by his parents...

Join Ben at the Full Tilt Poker tables with a 100% first deposit bonus of up to $600 as well as entry into freerolls where £50,000 can be won.

Tags: Ben Jenkins, Interviews