December 03, 2009
Todays interview is with Hugh Nelson Adcock aka NxtWrldChamp, here is his PTR and here is the good looking fellow himself (no, he is not lil wayne!)
6max.nl: hey man, thanks for taking the time out to do an interview with 6max.nl, hows it going?
NxtWrldChamp: Itâ€™s going pretty well. Been a good poker year, and more recently hopefully some good things happening with regards to online poker.
6max.nl: cool, where are you from, and whats it like living out there?
NxtWrldChamp: Im orginially from Virginia, but moved down outside of Atlanta, Georgia a little over a year ago. Itâ€™s a pretty nice place to live, lots to do.
6max.nl: sweet, so how did you get started playing poker?
NxtWrldChamp: I started playing poker in high school with some friends. Then when I got to college just about everyone in my major played poker so we had a lot of nightly tournaments and what not. I started on Party Poker my freshman year with a few $50 deposits that didnt last long. HA.
6max.nl: so, the party poker boom days? :) how long have you been playing now?
NxtWrldChamp: I guess I would have to say Iâ€™ve been playing online for 5 years now(wow that seems a little ridiculous to say) but I didnâ€™t really get serious about poker until the UIGEA was passed. That bill sort of kicked me into gear.
6max.nl: so would you say since then youve been taking things seriously, and would you say you now specialize in 6max?
NxtWrldChamp: Yea, I remember when that law got passed and Neteller and Party Poker shut themselves off to the US. I figured I had a few years to try and make some good money and decided to put a lot of effort into it. I started off 12 tabling .10/.25c FR and then when I got to 2/4 I switched to 6 max.
6max.nl: thats some good going, how long did it take you from micros to get to where you are now at the higher stakes 5/10 and deep stack games?
NxtWrldChamp: It took a bit of time, I rocketed through the FR ranks and hung around at 1/2 and 2/4 FR for a while. And then I realized that 3/6 and 5/10 FR rarely ran so I switched to 6 max. I started there at .5/1 and my progress was pretty slow. But I was still a student, and I didnâ€™t have much time to devote to poker. I played 2/4 nl when I got there for about a solid year making like 2-4bb/100 before I decided to get some coaching.
6max.nl: Weâ€™ll get back onto coaching abit later. What were your BR requirements for moving up a level? Any other insights? Any â€œah ha!â€ moments along the way? Do you plan on playing much higher or are you happy at 5/10? Sorry about 5 questions in 1 :)
NxtWrldChamp: Ha, I like all the questions, so no biggie. My BR requirements at the time were 30 buy-ins per limit when I first started. Since then itâ€™s gotten a little bit larger and Iâ€™m a bit of a bankroll nit I guess.
As for an â€œah haâ€ moment, that didnâ€™t really come along until I got my first coach. Before that I would figure little things out here and there but my mind just wasnâ€™t in the right place to be a big winner at anything over 1/2.
Iâ€™m happy playing 5/10 but I would like to play higher. I started this year off with a heater at 5/10 that turned into a pretty huge downswing fueled by some not so great play. The last few months I feel like Iâ€™ve been playing much better and Iâ€™ve started taking shots at 10/20. I want to start working a little bit on my HU game though so I can keep moving up.
6max.nl: sounds like youâ€™ve had a ton of experience. If you were to give 3 tips to players looking to improve in 6max nl, what would they be?
NxtWrldChamp: Hmmm. I think math is a pretty important part of the game so getting yourself accustomed to equities in certain spots is always good. Learning how to use a fold equity calculator will help a lot of people.
Pokerstove is a must have, if you play around with that for a little bit and use it to analyze some of your hands that will be a big help.
Try to get as much information as you can about your opponents ranges, once you know their starting hands and kind of what they will do with each of those hands on a certain board texture the game becomes much easier.
You only have to be 1 level above your opponent, so donâ€™t level yourself too hard. I used to do this all of the time, and still do by giving some opponents too much credit. If you see a leak in your opponent, continue to exploit it until they change. I would always tell myself to back off some of the time because the person is bound to adjust at some point, but some opponents will just keep playing their auto pilot game.
6max.nl: sweet advice, thanks alot!
6max.nl: so, if you had to start tomorrow from scratch, nada, ziltch, zero, what would be your game plan? and considering how much information there is out there for everyone these days would you even bother?
NxtWrldChamp: I try to recruit my friends all the time, and tell them that I will coach them and get them making decent money. For them I would probably start them at .05/.10 until they got a general idea of how to play, same thing if I was just starting out. Then once I got to .10/.25 I would but a membership to a training site. From there you should be able to get to .5/1 or even 1/2 nl with just a little effort. Once I got there I would probably try to find a coach to help me move past 2/4 and above. And yes I think its worth it, there are plenty of people who just play the game recreationally as well as people who take it somewhat seriously who are just lazy or donâ€™t want to put in the effort to get better.
6max.nl: great advice here man. something I just picked up on you mentioned earlier about your â€œmind just wasnâ€™t in the right place to be a big winner at anything over 1/2.â€ Could you please elaborate? What mental aspects do you feel someone needs to have to make it as a full time poker pro?
NxtWrldChamp: Yea sure. By that I meant I wasnâ€™t really thinking about the game in the right way. I was pretty level 1, sort of just play my hand based on its absolute strength. I wasnâ€™t thinking about what everyone else had for the most part, I didnâ€™t even know what a hand range was.
I never took relative hand strenght into play whatsoever, if i had a flush, hey thats pretty high up on the hand rankings chart. IM ALL IN.
Nowadays to make it and progress you need to be thinking about ranges, what range your opponent is playing, what range he is percieving you to be playing, and how you expect him to react to the things you do.
Having a solid math base is key as well, as it can be pretty eye opening in spots, be it how little fold equity you need for shoving to be very good or how often villain needs to be bluffing for you to call.
6max.nl: Who are the players you look up to the most? if any?
NxtWrldChamp: Phil Ivey is the man in my book. Everything I see and read about on him boggles my mind. Durrrr as well.
6max.nl: If you didnâ€™t play poker, what do you think youâ€™d be doing with your life?
NxtWrldChamp: Ah, an easy question! I would be a golf professional. Either running a golf club or giving lessons.
I majored in Professional Golf Management at Clemson Universtiy, bascially a 4 year program with a minor in business sponsored by the PGA.
6max.nl: sweet, golf and poker seem to go hand in hand somewhat these days, any degen golf/poker related stories you could let us know about?
NxtWrldChamp: Well Iâ€™m right handed, and I bet my roomates junior year $1,000($500 each) that I could break 130 at the Clemson University course playing left handed. So I borrowed a set of clubs from a lefty friend. I got to the course about 45 mins early to practice a bit and I was hitting the ball really well. I was a lock in my mind, and I was actually thinking about breaking 100. Unfortunately for me, the course we were playing had quite a bit of trouble and forced carries on it. 134 strokes and 18 golf balls later I lost that bet.
6max.nl: sick life
NxtWrldChamp: Also I guess that $1000 bet was about 5-10% of my networth at the time, easily the single biggest bet I had made at that point in my life.
6max.nl: definate brag when you think about even considering it.
6max.nl: back to coaching, who have you been coached by and how was the experience?
NxtWrldChamp: I started off with Chaostracize from Deuces Cracked. Canâ€™t say enough good things about him, he really got me into a good poker mindset. We did a lot of hand history reviews and we would talk through every part of the hand, and narrow down peoples ranges so that we could come to a pretty clear conclusion of what the best play was.
That definitely was the spark I needed. I started with him in November of 2008, December was an ok month but I felt I was playing really well just running sort of bad. Then in January I had the best month of my life, outdoing my previous best month by like 5Ã—. It was amazing.
Since then Iâ€™ve been coached by Moonshine from Deuces Cracked and iRockHoes from CardRunners both of whom offered me some great insight and opened my eyes to certain parts of the game. I would say Iâ€™ve probably had 15 hours of coaching in my career.
6max.nl: so, still taking coaching?
NxtWrldChamp: Not currently, I havenâ€™t been getting coached for a couple of months. But I highly reccomend it to anyone who wants to improve and break into mid to high stakes games.
6max.nl: ok cool, do you coach?
NxtWrldChamp: Yea, I just started a month or two ago. I offer individual coaching at $200/hr with some discounted packages and have just introduced some group coaching for $75/hr. I would say that my group coaching for $75/hr might be one of the best values for a midstakes coach out there.
6max.nl: alright how can our readers get in contact with you for coaching?
6max.nl: thanks alot man, now I have a few user submitted questions..
NxtWrldChamp: ok great. Bring em on.
Q from yojimgari: Ask him his thoughts about pot limit Omaha hi-lo if he will play it and what itâ€™s future is please?
NxtWrldChamp: I havent really ever played pot limit omaha hi-lo so I dont think I would be the best to comment on its future. Ive probably played less than 50 hands at that game in my lifetime.
Q from yojimgari: How does he cure his tilt?
NxtWrldChamp: Ah, tilt. Luckily for me I donâ€™t really get tilted, nowadays Iâ€™m able to stay pretty calm no matter what happens. But if someone does have a tilt problem, I would say the best thing to do is to take a break from the game. If you are playing a session and you can feel the tilt setting in, sit out or close down the poker client and do something else for a little bit. If you feel better a little later in the day then play again but sometimes its best to just wait for a new day. Also a stop loss is definitely a good thing, Iâ€™ve never been able to abide by one tho.
Q from Cody C. Heiden: Ask him about Nanonoko, does he thinks heâ€™s human? Is he as good as he seems to be, should he be classed as one of the absolute best?
NxtWrldChamp: Believe it or not I dont have a lot of experience with the legend that is Nanonoko. I havenâ€™t played on Stars in over 3 years but all I hear and see about him is that he is a god. He plays on FTP under the same name and Iâ€™ve probably played a few K hands with him but I didnâ€™t notice anything spectacular. You have to hand it to him, his Stars results are unreal for someone who 24 tables anthing higher than 1/2 6 max. I probably wouldnt classify him as one of the absolute best poker players, but probably the best grinder/poker player.
Q from Matt S: 3 quick questions all about moving up. 1. What does he think are the best things a player should do to help him ascend the ranks as fast as possible?, 2. What should a player do if they have been on a long breakeven stretch or a long losing streak?, 3. How should a player approach playing a new stake- Like what should he do to prepare to beat the next level when he has enough bankroll for it?
NxtWrldChamp: Best things a player can do to move up quickly is to put a lot of work in. Review hands that give you problems, post them somewhere or have friends look at them and see what they think. Other players insight is a great help
If you are on a long breakeven or losing streak I would reccomend moving down and getting some confidence back. I did this just last month, I started the month poorly and decided to play some 3/6 and 2/4 to get my head on straight. After a couple days there my confidence was as high as ever and it really helped me play much better in the 5/10 games. Confidence is such a huge and overlooked factor in just about everything in life in my opinion.
And if moving down doesnâ€™t help, I would look into hiring a coach to help you get back to the fundamentals that will help put you back on track.
The most important thing when moving up to a new level is to not intimidate yourself. By that I mean donâ€™t sit there and come to the conclusion that every single person is better than you at the table, or that they always no what you are doing so you have to adjust and do something youre not accustomed to. Be confident, you obvioulsy navigate your way through the last limit you played to make it here, so just play your game and for the most part things will take care of themselves.
Q from oneonth3run: iâ€™d just want to know what routines he does (if any) in reviewing his own play and the primary action(s) he takes in improving?
NxtWrldChamp: Well, since I started my blog last month I think that has really helped me go back and look at the interesting hands I played each session. Normally after I play I will go back in holdem manager and look at hands that gave me problems to see what I could do differently. I will break down ranges and do some calculations to see what the best play is. Being able to narrow peoples ranges down is one of the most important aspects in getting better. The better you know peopleâ€™s ranges the better decisions you will be able to make.
6max.nl: finally, weâ€™ll close up with a few simple ones,
6max.nl: what are your favorite poker books?
NxtWrldChamp: The first one I ever read was Phil Helmuthâ€™s â€œPlay Poker Like The Prosâ€. I look back on it now and laugh but 5 years ago it was a decent guide when the games were much easier. Stu Ungarâ€™s book was an amazing read as was Mike Matusowâ€™s. I also liked The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King. My favorite is between Matusowâ€™s and the one I just listed.
6max.nl: I love ungars book too, its an almost cinematic read.
which training sites are you a member of?
NxtWrldChamp: A lot, CardRunners was my first, then Deuces Cracked, then Leggo and Bluefire, and PokerSwat.
6max.nl: best site in your eyes?
NxtWrldChamp: I dont really sit down and just watch videos anymore, but I will have them playing in the background during my session quite often and if I hear something I find particularly interesting I will pay more attention. Um best site? I dont think I can say one site in particular because each of them offer some good stuff but my favorite producers are CTS, Brian Townsend, AEJones, JMAN, DrGiggy, and Krantz.
6max.nl: last question, earlier you mentioned â€œmore recently hopefully some good things happening with regards to online poker.â€ â€“ Is there anything in the near future going on with you online poker wise you could let us know about? or did I read into this too much :P
NxtWrldChamp: Haha, a little too much in-depth reading from you. I was just referring to the delay on the UIGEA regulations as I think that is pretty huge and quite possibly the first step to regulation. In which case I will take a week off of poker and dance around.
6max.nl: haha, sweet, oh last last question. If the plug gets pulled on US poker, would you leave and live in Europe or start up back on the green?
NxtWrldChamp: I would find something else to do. Most likely golf but I try to think of other ideas all of the time. Iâ€™m geting married in March so moving to another country is out of the question, and not something I would really want to do anyway.
6max.nl: alright thanks a lot for taking the time to answer all these questions, theyâ€™ve been a great help
NxtWrldChamp: No problem, Ill put a link to your website on my blog as long as you return the favor ;)