Watch out Annette_15; Clark_37 is on your back FTW!
Who says you have to be under 21 to mash up the online poker scene? Adam Clark shows the kids how it’s done…
Adam ‘clarkatroid’ Clark is one of poker’s rarest breeds: an old school internet player who is still grinding with the young guns.
He prides himself on his ability to keep up internet stamina levels and by his own admission is probably the oldest 9 tabler in the UK.
Today Clarkatroid focuses on cash games and is clearing more than most British players can dream of. But if you haven’t heard of him it’s probably because Clark has willingly tried to stay under the poker radar: a rare breed indeed in the modern age of poker celebrity.
His story into poker sounds like a scene from the good ‘ol pre-Moneymaker days: “I started playing poker while on a world trip 8 years ago. Staying in a youth hostel opposite the Elvis Chapel for 5 dollars a night, myself and my best friend ended up stuck in Vegas for 6 weeks, where I discovered HoldEm in the not so glamourous Sahara Casino on the strip. We were the fish and got stung by the locals. But they fed us for free and gave us cocktails, so we stayed until we spent our daily budget of 30 dollars each. The world trip was supposedly for 6 months but we stayed in Vegas for 4!!!! We simply couldn’t get out.”
Like everyone else, Clark had caught the poker bug. This led him to take the plunge of depositing at the very inception of online poker, when he says there were just 3,000 players grinding at peak hours. It was here where he would first meet the likes of JohnnyBax, jcamby & thebeat to do battle on the virtual felt. He says “It’s nice to see ‘Bax is still doing the business” at the highest level.
So if you thought online poker was all about the young guns, you’ve been pwned. Clarkatroid is turning over on average $30k a month – one of the highest poker livings earned by any UK player.
In the current climate where online poker stars are rising to poker fame as high as that of the live legends (and, therefore, gaining lucrative sponsorship deals), he believes now is the time to raise his profile and let the world know that being of legal age to play in Vegas does NOT automatically rule you out as the next acclaimed online superstar.
Anyway, do these young’uns even know the meaning of the word grind? How about literally grinding your bones to oblivion? Clarkatroid suspects he has a carpal tunnel in his fingers and has recently acquired and ergonomic joystick with which to boost his hefty bankroll whilst avoiding an ‘injured at work’ lawsuit.
Now that is definitely where the word ‘sick’ comes into play. Watch out Annette_15; Clark_37 is on your back FTW!
Outside industry, the UK does not respect a professional poker player, which kinda frustrates me – that’s a fact.
Online cash star Adam Clark (aka Clarkatroid) tells us about his approach to the world of poker and what makes him a consistent 30k profit maker every month… Walk us through a standard day in the life of Clarkatroid?
Clarkatroid: Ok – the truth: up at 10, shower, breakfast, put my uniform on (a fulltilt dressing gown). 3 hours grinding 9 tables. Take dog to the beach. Have a 2 for £6 lunch at the Golden Eagle. A game of badminton at tea time wearing a pokerstars t-shirt, then maybe poker 9pm till midnight. Oh, the glamour. I reckon too many folk bullshit about poker.
More glamorous than many – you’re getting the results, aren’t you?
Clarkatroid: I’m 250k up at the moment this year but I think the games are getting tougher, and I don’t think ill be able to beat them at this rate in maybe 2 years time so im putting in the hours now, to earn it while I can.
What percentage of your playing time is dedicated to to MTT, what to cash and what to SNGs?
Clarkatroid: 95% cash , 5% MTT, 0% SNG. I started out in SNGs and MTTs but switched to cash 2 years ago. I heard it could be more profitable, so I tried it out for a month and never came back. If you’re an MTT pro, you have no life. I don’t care what they tell you, if you are playing 15 tourneys a day you are consigned to the chair peeing in a bottle because you don’t even have time to go the bathroom. They all start at different times so they break at different times. You play 15 a day, each one lasts 5-6 hours; that’s a long day. Cash poker gives you freedom, there’s always a site to play at any hour. play from one to ten hours. You come and go as you please and earn 10x the rate off your average MTT pro, for fewer hours. I don’t know – maybe my game is more suited to cash poker, but that’s my experience. SNGs are too simple, and nowadays with all the instructional information out there, there too many players simply push botting these. I find these very boring, and there’s no real edge these days. Oh wait… you were asking the questions!
Oh no, this is good. The best interviews are with talkative people! Are you spending, investing or saving your current profits?
Clarkatroid: This is what I bought with my winnings this year [Adam shows me the picture you see in this article] Not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a 1969 escort mk1. And aside from that, saving and investing (that’s an old person’s answer). And girls don’t like it…
The answer or the car?!
Clarkatroid: The car! Blokes love it. Especially blokes over 30. I bought it for 5k; I’m spending 10k on it. When I’m done, I’m selling my BMW 3 Series and that’s my drive until I die. It’s very rare and it won’t depreciate. The girlfriend thinks I’m stupid – but whatever, I’m doing it! Other than that, it goes in the bank and investments. I paid off my mortgage on house and invested some in equity markets last week as I think these are very low at the moment.
At what point in time did your game cross the line and become no longer a need to earn enough money to live but rather a state of financial comfort?
Clarkatroid: I had a business, a bar, which was a disaster. I sold it last summer but in the 12 months leading up to selling it, poker became more and more my main income, whereas I played part time previous to that. I was fortunate in that because I have played online poker since the beginning – I had an online bankroll ready made, 250k ish in online accounts. I carried so much because I was afraid of going bust – I realise now this was pretty stupid (no interest etc) but the main driving factor is that i have never deposited in any online poker account for 6 years – not many can say that! If I needed to start another site, I transferred money from my pokerstars acc t friends, and they would load me up on say partypoker. Nowadays I carry 100k which is enough for mid stakes NLHE cash. I play a little 10/20 if I reach 20k. If I drop 5k at any point in the month I drop to 2/4 exclusively, and if I run good I play 5/10 mainly.
Do you think the money is a bigger factor in the motivation to play for you as oppossed to the teens and 20-somethings?
Clarkatroid: Yeah the money is the driving factor. Poker is about winning money, and nothing else. I think some of the younger winning players do not appreciate the blessed position they are in. This is why I work more hours then most I think – I don’t want to look back in 2 years time, when the games are much harder, and wish id worked harder back then. The younger ones can take it for granted.
And do you think the respect received by an online poker star becomes more important to you than a teen or 20-something?
Clarkatroid: There are 2 forms of respect; industry respect and outside industry. Outside industry, the UK does not respect a professional poker player, which kinda frustrates me – that’s a fact. The ignorant comments you get when you say you are a poker player in UK and looks of bewilderment or people looking down their noses at you in unreal. “What are you doing these days?” “I’m a poker professional” “What else do you do?” “Don’t you get bored?” “What happens if you lose it all?” I think you are categorised as a degenerate gambler, as the UK clumps poker with horse racing, roulette, bingo, fruit machines and general gambling – its not viewed as a skill game and therefore you are a loser in most people eyes. As a result, most of the time, I don’t even bother telling anyone these days what i do. I’d like some respect from the industry, although, and this is selfish and greedy, but cash is king, as long as I’m earning decent money, I don’t really care who thinks what of me. I get called a donk at least 6 times a week, it used to bother me, but not anymore.
It’s usually a good sign, ie: you’ve just won a big pot…
Clarkatroid: yeah, I used to give it back, ‘I’m up 30k this month you wanker!’ but these days i say nowt. My bank manager respects what i do, thats for sure. I’ve had 2 meetings with him 2 weeks running. Im not mega rich or ‘owt, but they keep seeing 25-30 hit my account each month, and they want to invest it for me. They were looking at my blog and wanting lessons!
As a 37-year old grinder, what are the advantages and disadvantages of age over the kid grinders?
Clarkatroid: Bankroll. Balance. Personally, I got the roll to play. I think some of the kids, talented kids, are on a fragile roll. They go bust and disappear from the game easily. I exercise tight bankroll management. Like I said, I lose 5k and I drop stakes. I have no ego in dropping down. I’ll play 50/1 if I have to whereas I see some of the younger ones go on a 50 buy in downswing at 5/10. That’s 50k remember, and they are refusing to drop stakes. This is more common than you think – there’s a stigma to dropping stakes that consumes some of the younger players, and it can destroy them. It goes back to what you were saying about respect ie “Oh I’ve just seen joe_fritzol / gary_glitter playing .25/.50, he must be busto. If you’re a bit older, i think you care less and less about this bollocks.
What approach are you taking to a live sponsorship deal? Are you contacting the major rooms, hiring an agent or just hoping to be recognised?
Clarkatroid: I have no idea as to the best way to go about this, I have not contacted any of the major rooms, and I didn’t even know you could get an agent who specialises in this! Any leads are welcome!
Is there a clear preference for your between online and live play?
Online of course, I hate live play, probably because I never win at it, but like having a pint at the GUKPT! Also, I’ve got no respect for tv poker in the uk – its boring, badly presently, uninformative to even a casual player, and full of has been players that cant cut it in today’s arena Give me an honest opinion on some of the big online names – likeMoorman1 / Durrrr / dariominieri ? I’m not really qualified to comment on Dario and Moorman as I’m not really a tourney player, but Moorman is a tremendous player, I don’t know much about Dario apart from he’s a kinda strange looking chap! Durrrr is probably the best but my favourate player is ae”fxxking”jones who has a nice blend of intelligence, humour and arrogance!
Finally, what are your main tips to the casual low stakes player in developing their game to a seriously profitable level?
Join a training site, use the forums, and play a lot, you cant beat experience. Im a big believer though that you need “feel” and good natural instincts for the game. If you aint got these you’re pretty fucked!