Name: Chris Vaughn
Full Tilt Poker – BluffMagCV
PokerStars – SlippyJacks
What sites do you currently play?
Mostly on PokerStars, some tournaments on FTP.
Congratulations on taking down two huge tournaments in the last month – the Full Tilt $750k (on Sunday 21 Oct for $198,000) and the PokerStars Sunday Million (on Sunday 28 Oct for $240,000). How the hell did you manage that? Were there spots where you got incredibly lucky?
I got incredibly lucky in both, just like the hand in the Full Tilt $750k where I ran TT into TT and JJ and won, and in the Sunday Million this week I ran KK in to 55 on a 653 flop and hit a King on the turn. This was at the final table between myself and the other big stack and it was for my tournament life.
The manner of your winning the Full Tilt $750k when Kongsgaard lost connection when heads-up with you, and you played on, is somewhat controversial. Do you have any regrets or would you do the same again?
Absolutely no regrets. As I said before, it’s not that it was malicious or anything. I feel for the guy, but I would expect the same to be done to me. There had been so many disconnections in this tournament, and everyone who did not disconnect took advantage of it. Also, I have a chip lead. If I wait and wait on him to reconnect, I let the blinds go up and significantly decrease my chances of winning.
When or what started you off in playing poker? How were your early experiences in learning how to play?
I started like most kids. I saw Rounders and got interested. I started back in the days of PlanetPoker and then moved on to PartyPoker. I probably lost for a year or two before getting the hang of it, but I only played casually back then.
How did you start off your online bankroll?
I started playing the turbo sit-n-gos on Party when I quit this insurance job I had. I did pretty well at that and built up a $5,000 roll or so while playing bills.
So what factors/skills /attributes got you to that level?
The biggest factor in my game recently has just been all the advice and support I get from other players. My job at Bluff gives me the opportunity to talk about poker with a lot of really talented players. I think another quality that led to my two wins is my ability to not get excitable deep in tournaments. I very much keep my cool, even when losing or winning monster pots.
What are your biggest cashes playing online poker in the last two years?
These two and it’s not close.
Do you play Sit ‘n’ Gos (SNGs) and, if so, which ones are your favourites? What are your golden rules for SNG play?
I have played thousands and thousands of SnGs. They are probably the reason I do so well in these large field MTTs. In a SnG, you have to understand early tight play when the blinds are small with no ante. You also learn the importance of attacking the blinds once antes kick in.
Do you play offline, and if so, where/when did you play?
I have played a fair amount offline. I played two WSOP events with no success this summer, and play home games around Atlanta every now and then.
Has there ever been a time when things just weren’t going right for you while playing poker? What was your worst run ever and what did you do to get through these times?
I am sure there has been, but like I said earlier, I just very rarely let poker get me down. I have gone thru some pretty serious swings playing SnGs, but I never put myself in a position to go broke when I was playing for a living or anything.
Who is your favorite professional poker player and why?
Patrik Antonius is probably my favorite, but there are plenty. I like his style at the table, because he never whines or bitches, and all he does is win. I’m also a pretty big fan of a lot of online players, since I tend to follow that more.
What proportion of poker is luck and what proportion skill?
It’s probably about 80% skill and 20% luck in my opinion. But this number is pretty impossible to accurately calculate.
What do you consider is your biggest accomplishment in poker?
Winning back to back Sunday Millions?
Do you have one memorable hand you would like to share?
Definitely the KK vs 55 hand during the PokerStars Sunday Million final table. I raised up KK and the only player who covered me called with 55. The flop came 653 and we got it in and I spiked a K on the turn. Pretty nasty.
Which online poker players do you consider to be the best? And why?
Depends on what you are playing. In MTTs you obviously have Annette_15, Imper1um, lilholdem, and the list goes on and on. In cash games it’s probably Antonius, sbrugby, durrrr and others. I really could not say as I have not played any of those guys. Just going more on what I hear than anything.
What are some tips and tricks you can give out to the readers that might improve their games/build a bankroll? What do you suggest is the best ways to improve?
Run like God in back-to-back Sunday Millions? Seriously though, just read forums and talk to other players. You will never make it as a poker player if you are stubborn. You need to realise the things you do poorly and change them, while still understanding your own personality and how your game can adapt those changes.
Which one poker book/video, if any, revolutionised the way you play poker?
Small Stakes Hold’em by Ed Miller and David Sklansky.
Do you want to say ‘Hi’ to anyone?