Ellie Biessek

Ellie Biessek

Monday, 21 July 2014

Crowned Grosvenor 25/25 Champion.

Polish poker pro Ellie Biessek has now become the first ever female champion of the 25/25 Series after fearlessly beating out a field of 187 runners to win the tour's Luton Main Event. This means that not only did Biessek win her first Grosvenor Casinos trophy and a juicy £10,000 (after a heads-up deal with eventual runner-up Vikrum Mehta), but she also made history. This is not former Maths teacher Biessek's first time in the spotlight. In fact, she already had three GUKPT and two 25/25 final tables under her belt. We have a chat with Ellie on what it's like going from teaching to tournaments, and what's coming up next.

Hi Ellie, congratulations! How long have you been playing poker for?

After Christmas last year I gave up teaching to see can I live from poker. I'm not one of those people who think that I'm suddenly an amazing player and then want to be a pro. I actually had a lot of passion for my job and was very difficult decision for me to give it up. The reason I decided to try to give it a go for eighteen months was that I strongly believe that it's better to try and fail than wonder, 'What if'. Luckily, I thought that if things don't work out I would be happy to go back to teaching. So far it's gone much better than I thought it would.

Are you playing poker full time now?

People told me that I needed to play in cash games as well as tournaments, so I gave it a half year trial – that's why I wasn't playing many tournies for the last six months. Although variance is much smaller in cash games, my hourly rate is not even near as good as my tournament one, so I decided to go back to tournaments. As a maths person at heart, I'm a strategic thinker, so I like to experiment to find the best solution and I constantly thinking of how to improve my game.

Do you feel your background in Maths has a huge part to play in your success in poker?

I actually think there is not as much maths in poker as many people think. Psychology for example is much more important in my opinion. What is definitely useful is mathematical logic.

What do you have planned for the money?

People might not believe me, but it's never money that drives me. Of course it's great to feel secure, and life becomes much easier when you have it, but for me my winnings are more of a score than money value.

What are your poker aspirations? Are you going to Vegas?
Ideally I would like to master my decision making. I just want to be good at this game, that's all. Yes, I'm going to play the WSOP main event and few other bracelet events for the first time this year.

Finally, which poker players' games do you respect the most, and why?

English - Simon Deadman. He is of course very good poker player and I really would like to learn his way of thinking when decision making.
Worldwide - Vanessa Selbst. She is the best woman in poker, and I admire her aggression and the fact that she seems fearless.

Tags: Ellie Biessek, GUKPY