Interview: TheClaimeer

Interview: TheClaimeer

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

At 28, Rick Trigg is considered a grizzled veteran these days, but he’s still got the skillz to pay the billz.

How did you get into poker?

Like everyone else my age it began with Late Night Poker, and I was a Devlifsh fan because of the razzmatazz that surrounded him. I soon started playing with my mates and eventually the £10 rebuys at the casino.

I left university after a week and went to work for William Hill as a cashier, and later shop manager. One week I won around £10K and so took off on a bit of flyer underolled. I’ve been playing ever since. Eight years now.

What’s your routine like these days?

I’m grinding really hard at the moment and putting in a lot of volume, so I’ll start at 2pm and play through to 4am. I normally play around 16 tables, so near the end of the session I’ll put on a film or something to keep my mind active. I always listen to music. I couldn’t play a session in silence like some people.

Are you excited about Full Tilt Poker?

Not as much as everyone else as the guarantees are modest so far, but that’s understandable given they’ve only just reopened. I also don’t have any money on there as I’m overcautious when it comes to security and shipped my balance over to Chris Moorman – who was staking me at the time – before the World Series.

Did you watch the Lederer Files?

He’s one of these guys who, when he talks, you listen, but the evidence is massively against him on this one. I do think he has a right to play poker, though, if he’s not behind bars. Free men are allowed to enter tournaments, so it’s an ethics issue in the end. I read a Tweet recently that said at least he’s finally giving some money back to the community.

How’s your current form?

It’s OK at the moment, but I endured a year of total misery after the WSOP in 2011. My peak loss was $220K and everyone was telling me that I was running badly. Confidence is such a huge thing; you play passively on a huge downswing and take lower variance routes, but having other players to speak to really helped me get out of that rut.

Who do you speak to?

Sam Grafton, Bram [Chris Brammer], Moor [Chris Moorman], Ash [Mason] – there’s a group chat on Skype most nights that includes eight of the best players in the country. It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off other players and find assurance that you’re not playing badly.They’re really honest and will say if you’re doing something wrong. It’s really important to endeavour to improve, but a lot of players think they’ve cracked it after a big win and get complacent.

You’re currently fourth in the UK rankings. What’s the secret?

The best players are the ones who put the volume in. People are so lazy with their notes, but you’ve got to know your regs. I often have six or seven players with notes at my table, and it gives you a massive advantage. You can’t just do it when you lose a hand, you have to think long-term. Not bothering is one of the worst things you can ever do.

Any other tips?

Sleep is one of the most underrated things in poker. I’d rather play drunk out of my mind than play tired; you just lose the ability to care. Sometimes I’ll take a quick nap before a session and it can make a big difference.

Do you play much live?

The expenses are so much that I’d rather just take the buy-in and play a few online tournaments instead. You’ve got more chances and you avoid having to pay for hotels, nights out, etc.

The glory isn’t that important to me these days. I’d like to win a big one, but it’s not paramount. What makes me the proudest is if my peers respect my game and say I’m a good player.

Any funny prop bets to report?

There was a bet at the Gold Coast in Vegas where we all had to get dates for dinner at TGI, and whoever failed had to pay the bill. We paired up, thinking it would be less creepy, and so I joined forces with Sam Grafton in the hope that his charm and charisma would pull us through, but we ended up spending all our time working on two girls who had just finished a shift at the restaurant and didn’t want to go back.

We thought others would be in the same boat, but when we returned there were loads of women there and the threat of a massive bill, so we headed back out again at the last minute with one of Jake Cody’s dates who took pity on us.

Thankfully, we managed to find these two old lasses, and then Pab [Paul Folytn] walked in without a date meaning he had to square up the bill. It was a really fun day.

Do you ever get bored with poker?

When I’m playing well it’s fun and I enjoy every session. It doesn’t feel like a grind. In a way, it’s a lonely existence. You’re on your own for 14 hours and don’t meet many new people. It’s weird, because your life doesn’t always adapt along with your game and sometimes you just need to take a step back.
For the time being, I’m going to keep on playing and, once I’ve got some money together, I’ll think more about what I’m going to do in the long term.

Tags: interview, claimeer, rick trigg