Daniel Charlton Interview

Daniel Charlton Interview

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wednesday Wildcard.

This weekend, the PokerStars’ Number 900 Million tournament celebrations exploded in a value-laden blaze of glory, and it was Daniel ‘judgedredd13’ Charlton leading the march and banking a tasty $153,681.46. But how did Charlton break his self-proclaimed ‘Sunday curse’? We collar him a few hours after his third-place triumph to find out.

Alright, Dan – have you managed to sleep at all yet?

I managed to sleep for an hour or so, but we’re getting a new oven fitted at home and I said I’d give my dad a hand with it [laughs].

You’ve previously been really successful in the big tournaments online, but this is your first big Sunday score, right?

I just have never done well on Sundays. I don’t think I’ve even had a score of over $20k before this. I don’t really have a good excuse why, but things just haven’t gone well. I’ve just always done a lot better on the week-day stuff. I guess it’s the huge fields…

When you got deep in this, did you think that it would be a decent shot at breaking the curse?

Yeah. When it got down to the last 100 players, there really weren’t that many regs left at all. I was struggling to recognise anybody. So obviously, the stacks get really shallow, and I guess the skill gets taken out of it a lot. But there were still players who were playing way, way, way too nitty and trying to ladder, so I was just stealing tons of blinds. I was thinking that, barring any kind of cooler, I might be alright – this might be the one.

When the stacks get shallower, obviously your edge gets smaller. Do you think that the fact that it’s for such high stakes – particularly, the fact that there are players who are ‘scared money’ – balances it out?

Yeah, definitely. I saw people raise/folding with 7 big blind stacks! I mean, even I was raise/folding 10 big blinds because some people would only get it in so tight. There were such huge ICM considerations as well – you don’t really want to just shove 7-7 UTG with say, 7 bigs, when you can just min-raise and know that nobody is getting it in without being super nutted. I was just min-raising tons and there were times where it felt sort of dirty, but I’d min-raise and then fold, like maybe A-J. But when you’re playing for a real large amount of money, it’s just… I don’t know! [laughs].

Is it just a case of ‘fold and tell no-one?’

Yeah, pretty much. I hope that PokerStars show a replay, because there were a few spots where I think I got bluffed and I kinda wanna see what happened. Basically, I was raise/folding tons. I’m sure that they knew I didn’t have anything, but you’ve got to put them all in the middle to find out, and it’s a pretty big risk when you’re playing for $200k and some guy has 4 big blinds and you’ve got 7 big blinds. You can end up folding to some really small stacks. It’s a pretty weird, crazy dynamic.

When you get deep and your mates come online to rail you, does that put make it a bit more pressure on your decision to raise/fold to a small stack?

I don’t think it’s like a standard MTT, so you can’t compare it to that – there is so much money on the line. The ICM side and the people trying to ladder make it completely different. I probably did some stuff that looks pretty bad, but I’m pretty sure it was alright considering the situation.

How did the rest of your Sunday go?

I only registered in about $1,300 worth of tournaments. I was in a couple of the majors. To be honest, I was a bit hungover, so I really half-arsed it. I went semi-deep in the PokerStars Big $162, but I bricked the rest of it.

How long were you one-tabling the 900th Million tourney?

Quite a long time. Probably like 7 or 8 hours. I can’t really remember to be honest. It just felt like a really, really long time. There were 18,000 runners and it just felt like when people were getting knocked out, they were just bringing more and more and more and they were never going away. Even though I had a huge stack, it just seemed like every time I looked at the lobby there would still be hundreds of players left.

It ended up being a 14 hour tournament. Did you keep focused the whole time or did you stick on a DVD?

Well, when I got down to the last hundred, I looked at the lobby and I was thinking, “Right, this is it.” I won a huge pot with A-K vs. A-Q where a guy just cold-called my three-bet pre-flop and we got it in on an Ace-high board. That gave me a pretty big stack, putting me in top 20 in chips, and after that I decided to turn Family Guy off.

I looked at the lobby and there were probably three players that I recognised, so then I started OPR’ing everyone [checking opponents results on Official Poker Rankings] and without wanting to sound disrespectful, most of the players left were guys who got in on a satellite. So I thought, “Wow, I’ve got to make the most of this, because a lot of these guys will be scared money.”

How did the final table go?

I lost a big flip just before the final. I’d got my stack up to about 30BB, then I open jammed 2-2 from the small blind for about 12BB effective, the big blind woke up with A-Q, and we didn’t win the flip. So I was a little bit short, but then I won another big flip A-T vs. 6-6 to come into the final table 4/9.

I was stealing a lot of pots from the start, so I got the chip lead fairly quick. There was a pretty big cooler when we were six-handed – a guy open raised pretty big and I shoved with A-K, and one of the big stacks behind had A-A. I lost that for a pretty huge pot. Somehow I managed to get back in it. I’m looking forward to watching the replay!

So you decided to chop three-handed?

I asked for more initially – not much more, maybe like $1,500. But the guy said no straight away. I’d sold action to friends, and everyone was telling me that I should ask for more. I basically thought that with the amount of money on the line and the low amount of blinds, I’d prefer to skip the variance and just chop it up.

Some of the guys who bought action have made a lot of money and don’t mind the swings, but I’d rather lock it up! [laughs].

I guess it’s bitter sweet to have sold action after such a huge score. But it must be a nice feeling to be able to reward those who invested in you?

For sure! I know everyone who bought action, so it was nice to send some cash their way.

So, what are your summer plans?

Even before the tournament, we planned to go to Vegas. I’m going to be doing some travelling too. Also, I’m saving for a house at the minute.

I went to Vegas in 2011, and I pretty much destroyed my roll, by just playing well above my limits and not selling anything. This year, I’m going to just play the Main Event and maybe some Venetian $1ks. I’m just going to concentrate on having a good time this trip and not actually play that much poker.

Last time, I totally burned out. I was just really depressed and unhappy. I’d done all my money and I hadn’t even had a good time doing it. This time will be all about the pool parties!

But for now, back to the daily grind?

I’ll take a few days off, but yeah I’ll get back on it. This year, I decided to go back to playing just a few tables at a time. I used to play 12-24 tables and I don’t think I was playing very well. I’d rather just play fewer tables – it makes me think about spots more and I think I play a lot better.

PokerStars 900 Million Celebration InfographicPokerStars 900 Million Celebration Infographic

Tags: Daniel Charlton, judgedredd13, PokerStars Number 900 Million Tournament