Madrid, 1994. He is the Rafa Nadal of the cards: he accumulates 17 million euros in prizes in professional poker and has been three times the best in the world league and, for six years in a row, the best in Spain.How is the preparation of a professional poker player? Is intuition enough, or is something specific needed? Poker is complex because it requires many different skills, especially psychological, math, self-management and banking control. When you start, you work the mathematical part of the game, which is the most important, and depending on that you grow as a player. Is there a lot of room for improvement, or what you have when you start is what there is? It can be improved. The easiest when you are starting is to see how other professional players play and try to copy them, or understand why they do what they do. But when you reach certain very high levels, there are fewer and fewer people who can teach you, then computer programs that are solvers are used, they have poker solutions. Is there any resemblance to chess? There is also important the work of analysis with the computer to study variables. I guess it will be something similar. The problem is that poker is an incomplete game of information, with a high probability, so it is almost impossible to solve the game completely. I know some chess players who have tried to move to poker, and some are good and others bad. What advantage does your mind have compared to another trained in chess? In the short term, in poker chance is important, which makes it very hard for the head to play better than the rest, and that makes you lose. It is usual. What the poker player tries to do is play his best so that in the long term the math is in your favor and wins. In chess, the best usually wins, and in long-term poker the best wins, but not necessarily in the short term, that is, that I could beat him. A game, or very few, might happen. But in the long term I would always win you. We are doing the interview before I enter to play a world league tournament in Barcelona, which represents the Winimax team. Don't you need to get your mind up before the games? The work I do is daily, I dedicate five or six days a week, and eight or ten hours every day, and it's like being in a bar or another job. No more I don't need a special preparation, just try to improve day by day and be a better player than yesterday. Why did he dedicate himself to poker, and not to brisca, for example? I was attracted to have everything I like: competition , math, psychology. I saw it and thought: this is cool, and I started to research online. I saw that there were professional people, that you could earn money and that whoever plays best wins, just like that. I have always been good at the cards, and then I said to myself: "I'm going to try." Who do you fear at a game table? At the level I play, I already know each other. The most fearsome opponent is a player profile between 25 and 35 years old, very accustomed to studying and playing online, which is how it gets better. What is the difference between playing online and doing it at a casino table? Live, do you play A tournament in one day. If it's online, today I could play 30. Being able to play much more volume, it makes you improve much faster. How is the mechanics of a tournament? You pay an inscription and put, for example, 10 euros. If 100 people participated, that would create a 1,000-euro boat that would be distributed based on the prize position. In a tournament usually charge 15%, that is, here would be the first 15; the one in the 15th position charges little and the one who wins takes the most part, but those 10 euros of registration will not be 10 euros ... Could it be 10,000? Yes, or more. Or less, there are tournaments of all kinds. Depending on your level of play, and depending on whether it is your job or your hobby, and depending on your purchasing power, you decide to play one tournament or another. Have you met Gerard Piqué in any of those tournaments? Yes, last year. He is a recreational player, not professionally dedicated to it, but he is very intelligent and plays well. Can you cheat in poker? Does the ace in the sleeve exist? No, this is a casino game, the cards are only played by the croupiers and nothing can be done. Is there a large circuit outside illegal timbae where you bet very hard, or is it a Myth There will be people who play outside the casino, but it is not usual. The most important tournaments worldwide are public, open and in protected and safe environments. That then everyone in your house wants to play private games, depends on each one. But I have never played a private game outside the casino, that is, the representation of poker in the movies is quite 'movie'. I understand that this is how a movie seeks to sell tickets and the most morbid part of poker can become that. But as I say, it is not usual. If you go to the casino today, you will see a profile of young people between 25-40 or 50 who are competing, and that what you are looking for is to play your best, not money. You have won millions playing poker. Does he make a better living than an elite tennis player? No, man, we are below, tennis is a very big sport. In some countries poker is considered a mental sport, and money moves in competitions, but it is not external money like in tennis. Here players put it and prize bags are mounted. It is totally different. How does the treasury treat you? I do not reside in Spain, but in London. I had to move when I turned 18, basically because in Spain you cannot professionalize, you cannot play online in the dotcom domains, which would be with everyone. Here you can only compete among Spaniards, and that creates a very small market that makes you unable to compete against the best in the world. I had to go for that, apart from that here the tax rate is huge, because legislatively poker is not a sport, but a game of chance. If I were younger, would you go to Fortnite? I don't know. Fortnite has triumphed, but it has nothing to do with poker, it is a video game. I like playing cards more than videogames. The dark side of gambling is gambling. To what extent does it exist in poker? Obviously, there are people who have problems, but there are few cases compared to casino games. In poker you play against people, you can beat others. If you play something else at the casino, you can never beat the casino for a simple matter of mathematical probability. But in poker, for me to win today, I just have to play better than the rest. As in everything, there will always be people who use poker poorly, and everything in excess is bad. But I don't see it among the rivals I play with. In Spain, poker advertising is broadcast at night, but sports betting can be seen even during children's hours. Shouldn't you restrict yourself more? It's true that you can't advertise on TV until certain night hours, to prevent children from seeing it. But other than that, which seems good to me, I think adults should not be so overprotected and that everyone makes their decisions. I think that overprotecting the population is bad, and banning many times is the worst. I am in favor of a more liberal society in which everyone has the freedom to choose what he does. Do you cheat the loner? Man, no. I try to be honest with myself. And the poker face, has it served him a lot in life? The Adrian player is different from the Adrian person, but I guess I know how to lie better than most. Once I have done it, it has surely helped me more than others.
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