Nick Gibson is a UK pro that is going places, including Vegas, so we chatted with him: “When times are bad in poker, I think of the benefits of this lifestyle”

Nick Gibson has $722,802 in career winnings to date

After a six-figure win and a major final table at last year’s World Series of Poker, Nick Gibson is heading out to Las Vegas for a six month stint to make enough money to buy a house. PokerPlayer caught up with him to find out the full story behind his big adventure.

How long have you been playing for?

I’ve been playing for six years, but this is my fourth year as a professional on the circuit. Before poker, I worked as a director of a recruitment company and I absolutely hated it. When times are bad in poker, I think of the benefits of this lifestyle. I have no boss; I don’t have to put a suit on; I don’t have to sit on the M25; I don’t have to deal with arseholes in and out of the office.

When did you start planning this Vegas stint?

After last year’s WSOP result, I just wanted to get out of town and leave Vegas. I went to San Francisco for a week of partying – which wasn’t very professional! I then spoke to my friend, Pete Haslam, about the best way we could maximise our results when in Vegas. We decided to buy a house that we could stay in, rather than a hotel. That way we could chill out when we were not playing poker.

Why do it now?

I’m doing it to try and raise the funds to buy a new house for my wife and kids, who aren’t actually born or conceived yet. But before we start a family, this is the last time I can go away for a sustained period of time and concentrate purely on poker. My end game is a house, and most importantly, the salary for an au pair! Once we have the security of a nice house, I can carry on with poker pretty much risk free.

Why Vegas and not the European poker circuit?

I believe there’s a greater propensity of bigger tournaments on that side of the shore. We Europeans tend to like the smaller buy-ins rather than fly out to play in an event and then go back home. What happens with an event like the Bellagio Championship is we go out to Vegas for two or three weeks. Half of that time you spend with jet lag and then you fly home and kick yourself because you’ve not had the proper preparation necessary to do well in these tournaments. It’s really tough doing it that way.

Do you feel your game is more suited to America?

Yes. The US tournaments seem to allow for more play after the flop, whereas I find the European poker scene is more about trying to get your chips in preflop. I’ve more confidence in my ability to play flops. The English and European game is very aggressive so you only learn that part of the game, especially when the blinds get bigger. It will help my game in Vegas because people see flops more in the States.

Do you have a schedule planned?

I’m starting with a few sessions at the daily $1,000 Bellagio tournament. I’m off to LA to play in the super satellite for the Poker Classic at the Commerce and I may buy into the main event. After that, I’ll head back to Vegas and play in the Wynn’s festival, then maybe dip into the Ultimate Poker Challenge at Binions. I’m intending to play in several of the WPT events. Before taking a break – as I’ll have been playing for six solid weeks – I’ll do the WSOP circuit event at Caesars Palace.

What is your starting bankroll?

I’ve set aside $110,000 from my winnings. If I lose it all, I won’t be broke, but I will have to go back to the grindstone of internet poker and play the smaller events on the UK circuit, which is not what I’m looking for. It won’t make me destitute and I won’t have to stop playing, but I’ll have to downsize until I build my bankroll back up. It’s critical that I take care of that.

Just totting up the buy-ins, the total amounts to around $50,000. Are you planning to try and qualify via satellites to lessen the dent on your stash?

The plan is always to buy in directly, but if the bankroll takes a big dip, or if I’ve got time, I’ll start playing satellites. I find you knacker yourself out when you play the satellites though, and often it means you don’t concentrate on the main event itself. Two years ago, I decided that if I was playing in any of the big events, I would never satellite in. Since the time it cost me $23,000 to enter the $10,000 main event, I will always buy in directly to the WSOP tournaments!

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