March 11, 2012
Just to recap, this segment is where I ask some of my readers, friends, and inspirations some questions about poker. I think there is something to be learned from everyone and it’s a great tool to get inside the heads of other people and get different perspectives on things. This week we have Carl “Carlos Smitalos” Smith. We met at the 10game tables on Full Tilt about 2 years ago and have been great friends ever since. He’s got a really amazing mind so I encourage you all to think about his answers. Thanks again for doing this Carl!
Name: Carl Smith (Carlos Smitalos)
Location: Sheffield (UK)
Main Game: NLHE (/Mixed)
How long have you been playing: Learnt how to play at 15 – Online: 2 years
Favourite food: Jaffa Cakes
Q.How did you get your start in poker?
I remember hearing about it from my uncle when I was 15. From then on I got curious, and when I learnt how to play I couldn’t get enough of how much fun it was to just study it. I bought ‘The Ultimate Guide To Poker’ magazine, looking back on it now it was such a nooby book :P But I loved poker even though I’d never actually played a single hand until I was almost 18.
Q. What do you do better than most people?
As big headed as this may sound, I think it’d probably be levelling people. I reckon it’s the sole reason why I’m able to tangle with arguably more experienced and more knowledgable opponents. (It might be a bad thing to say but to be honest, I’m so fuckin’ proud of it :P)
Q. What do you think is the most widely misunderstood concept when it comes to poker?
Wow. I mean, I think there are so many that I honestly have no idea where to begin. I guess the first one that comes to mind is the fact that those outside of the poker community can’t appreciate what a complex and intellectual game poker can be sometimes. I think a lot of people reckon that poker players are fairly stupid and that it’s super easy to win at it. Pffft, I wish! :P
Q . What has been your largest struggle thus far?
Definitely the emotional side of the game. I’ve been on some huge swings financially and mentally with poker and it’s been really tough. Going down to 6 buy-ins, 5.5, it’s so so hard to bounce back. I’ve just had huge problems with tilt-control when I move between variants/games or trying to make up for money I’d lost potentially playing 1 hand badly out of a 2-3hr session. I think being as determined as I am to do well and succeed, can put a lot of pressure on results, and I’ve always found it hard to accept that I won’t play perfectly every time I sit down at the table.
Q. What has been your highest high, and lowest low?
I think taking down my first ever 4 figure win has to be up there. Running like god in a 3x-turbo is always nice ;) but just the elation of battling such a huge field to come out on top sure was an amazing feeling. I remember playing in the FTOPS too, running deep and bubbling the O8 event as well as collecting a few pro bounties. Good times. :)
Lowest moment would have to be going from $7000+ on FullTilt to less than £500 on Sky Poker in a matter of a week or so. The anguish was so painful, with my decision to already drop-out of University and pursue something else, I remember being emotionally distraught. I’ve never broken, smashed, damaged anything whilst being on tilt, but I have such vivid memories of just beating the absolute shit out of my pillow and duvet. :P #tiltcontrolFTW.
Q. Who is your biggest inspiration?
As borderline pathetic as this may sound, I reckon I’d have to say the ‘haters’. Those who have doubted/looked down upon/not supported me have given me so much will-power to prove them wrong and show myself that I can do this. I try to live and die by the sword, and never go with something unless I’m positive it’s the right decision. For me, chasing my dream in something I’m pretty damn sure I have a chance to be pretty darn successful in… whether I go busto, never make it up to the big stakes, or try something else in a year or so, I have no regrets choosing poker as the route for me. :)
Q. Where do you see yourself in poker in 5 years?
I hate to be pessimistic about poker, but I doubt that NLHE will be profitable enough in 5 years time the way things are going :( I hate to say it because it is such a beautiful game, but I think there is just way too much information out there and too many up and coming wanna-be’s that in a few years, they’ll be reg-bots trying to squeeze as much EV out of you as possible. So fingers crossed… we move to mix games, and then games will open up a bit more. I hope I’m still playing by then, but if not I hope to be either in Teaching, or Policing. Poker can be a fairly selfish job at times and it’d be nice to make a difference and help others. :)
Q. Who is going to be the 2012 main event champ?
Hellmuth. Twelve in ’12 baby ;D
Q. Pick 5 guys to play a home game with. who are they?
For ease I’ll only pick poker players :P I guess I’d have to say… the main man PH, Negreanu, Galfond, Dwan, Mr.Staples. (and if one of them couldn’t make it, Andrew ‘BalguaWhale’ Seidman)
Q. Favorite Forum?
I’m not a huge forum fanboy, but I guess I’d have to say 2+2. NVG > Pokernews any day. :P
Hope you enjoyed the interview to those who gave it a read :)
How you can follow Carl:
Poker update on Monday!