Friday, February 24, 2006

Deal Me In 3-3

(I'm only going to post these when they have some value to blog readers. Writing about the basics of hold'em serves you no purpose, but they are the subject of many of my columns. It is for novices, after all. I assume you aren't one of them.)


By Johnny Kampis


University of Alabama student Shannon Storr, who took some time off to play online poker, recently won $205,000 in the Aussie Millions tournament in Melbourne. We recently chatted about his efforts.

Q. How were you able to finish fourth in the Aussie Millions? What was the key to your success?

A. I made it very clear by my style of play that I was at The Australian Poker Championship to win. I wasn't interested in sitting back and trying to finish in the money. To propel myself to the final table, I used naked aggression and my ability to manipulate others into doing what I wanted.

Q. How did you get into poker, and how long have you been playing? Where did you get your start?

A. I started playing $5 house game tournaments with my college friends back in November of 2003. I made my first online deposit to PartyPoker in April of 2004. I've played online probably 95 percent of the days since I made my first deposit. It wasn't until about June 2005 that I started playing stakes that you could actually make a nice living off of. It is pretty amazing to see where I am now compared to where I was when I started 30 months ago.

Q. I understand that you dropped out of school at UA to pursue playing poker for a living. Is this temporary, or do you hope to make it a career? Do you plan to hit the tournament circuit?

A. At this point I plan on playing it by ear. I'm not going to swear that I'm going back to school in the fall of 2006 or whether I'm going to continue to play poker professionally. I finished fourth at the Aussie Millions for $205,000 and second at the Canadian Poker Championship for $75,000, so poker is very, very, very good right now. I will say that it is going to be hard to go back to school when I can, potentially, make eight times as much as a poker player then I would with my civil engineering degree. I've done quite a bit of traveling so far in 2006 and will continue to travel internationally until I turn 21 on June 7th. I then plan on moving to Las Vegas for the month of July to play all of the hold 'em events at the World Series of Poker.

Q. What advice would you give to novice poker players?

A. Poker isn't for everyone. A very small percentage of people who ever play poker can beat it over a long period of time. In my two short years I've seen it turn people's lives totally upside down. I've seen it make happy people miserable and make wealthy people struggle. If I could offer one piece of advice to amateur players it would be to play within your bankroll. You can't make a living playing poker just on skill. You have to have the ability to manage your money wisely and determine what types of games are best for you.

Reach Johnny Kampis at

The kid seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders except for this line..."I will say that it is going to be hard to go back to school when I can, potentially, make eight times as much as a poker player than I would with my civil engineering degree."

Now, I don't disagree with his thought of playing poker for a living if he thinks he can cut it. Early results are, obviously, very positive. But I doubt he could consistently make eight times what a civil engineer makes. He uses the word "potentially." That I will give him.

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