UK poker ambassador Neill Channing tells us “What I’ve Learned From Poker”
The Black Belt Poker sensei on how poker has changed his life for the good, the bad and the downright weird.
My view of the value of money was always f♣♠♥ed up.
People think I’ve been involved in poker my entire life, but for most of my life poker was just a small part of all the gambling I was doing. When I was 16 years old I was a full-time gambler. When I was doing A-levels I remember leaving one exam after 45 minutes to go to the races. I didn’t go to college for one of the three years as I was going to the races every day. I somehow still got a degree
I am constantly getting people writing to me asking to be staked
and they will say ‘I don’t really play online as my skills are in reading tells’. That is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever heard. The reason they can’t win online is because they have bad fundamentals.
If you’re a cash player you don’t need to be the most talented player in the world to make a living.
There is a guy called Rick who plays in the Vic every day. He’s one of my heroes of poker and is one of the biggest winners I know. He only ever plays £2/£5 and wins £400 most days and goes home. That’s f♥♠♣ing brilliant. He’s winning £100,000 a year sitting on his arse eating sandwiches. What he has got is masses of discipline and masses of patience and his fundamentals are outstanding.
One guy I look up to is Vic stalwart Fred Carle.
Fred is a 74-year-old guy who played seven-card stud for years in all the dodgy spielers in London. There was a massive rake in those games and he beat them all. If we started a £25/£50 game he would sit down with ten grand and be four-betting preflop. He’s a bit of a legend.
Success breeds success.
When James Akenhead made the final table of the WSOP that was a turning point, as other Brits thought, ‘I can do that’. A guy called Dominic Bourke who fi nished second to Daniel Negreanu in the 1998 pot-limit hold’em event was the first person I can remember having any kind of success at the World Series. That was quite inspirational to me. He was a Vic regular and a clever guy who I learned a lot from.
When people ask me what is your best tip,
I always say shorten your losing sessions and lengthen your winning ones. When things are going well press up.
I literally can’t walk down the street without someone coming up to me and talking about poker.
I was out having lunch in a quiet little restaurant and this guy came over and asked if I could sign a book for him. That kind of stuff is f♥♠♣ing weird. In 2001 to 2002 I made far more money from horse racing than I’ve ever made from poker in a year and nobody asked me for my autograph.
There has always been this thing in poker where the higher-stakes players don’t talk to the people in the levels below them.
I f♠♣♦ing hate that. I make a special effort to talk to people at the casino even though it’s not always good for my game.
Neil is just one of the great players we interview every month in PokerPlayer magazine HERE