UK poker star Stuart Fox has won a lot of cash so we decided to find out how: “About a month ago, I won $35k in one day”

UK player Stuart Fox has $722,802 in career tournament winnings, and there’s more to come

In 2006 28-year old Stuart Fox proved why he has been rightly heralded as one of the brightest talents on the UK poker scene. At the World Series, he came within a hair’s breadth of winning two bracelets; to cap off the year, he took down the $5,000 OnGame Network Poker Classic – the biggest cash of his fledgling career.

You had quite a run at the World Series last year. Can you talk us through it?

I went to Vegas quite late, played in the $5,000 short-handed event, but only lasted about four hours. The next tournament was the $5,000 pot-limit hold’em event and I ended up coming third. I was really pleased because I won $140,000. I went on to play in the main event, but didn’t last long before playing in the $1,500 no-limit, which I came second in.

Was it frustrating to come so close to winning those two events?

To tell you the truth, the main thing for me was the money. I needed to be financially secure so I could buy into future tournaments. I had a big chip lead in the no-limit event, but I just wanted to do a deal and lock up more money. Obviously I would like to have won a bracelet, but at the time I wasn’t really too bothered.

Were you nervous at the end?

A few of my mates like Nick Gibson and ActionJack were in the crowd cheering me on. I also had a few beers while I was playing. Those two things helped me relax.

We’ve heard you like a bit of a drink at the table.

Towards the end of the day, people are tightening and locking up, just wanting to get to the next level. Let’s say we’re approaching the bubble and people just want to get in the money – being a bit looser helps. I find having a couple of drinks gives me aggression and no fear.

Would you recommend that tactic to other people?

No, no. It’s just for me. I know I can handle a few drinks. It doesn’t affect my play in a bad way. When I’m playing live I just want to enjoy myself. I only need to ‘study down’ when I’m playing on the internet, because that’s what brings my money in.

What were you playing at the beginning of your career?

At the very start I was playing $2/$4 no-limit. I didn’t think it was high at the time, but I did have a couple of losing nights, losing a thousand here and there; that was quite a lot for me back then. From that point, I just got better and better and increased my stakes. Now I play $20/$40 no-limit cash games, six-handed or nine-handed depending on how I’m feeling. Since those results at the World Series, it’s given me the confidence to make bigger bluffs and bigger raises.

You started playing poker on the internet, didn’t you?

Yeah, that’s right. I didn’t play live for about a year. After about four months of playing online, I’d made enough money to quit my job as a security officer. I was definitely looking for a way out of that anyway. One night I won £1,000 and it felt great. I just looked at the online sites and thought I would learn and study in order to improve.

What’s the best session you’ve had?

About a month ago, I won $35k in one day. But the worst session I’ve had is losing $25k in 40 minutes. That was desperate. I lost a $14k pot when I had the best of it going all-in; middle trips against a flush draw with two overs. I just got foolish after that. I played a few pots that I wouldn’t have played if I hadn’t lost that big pot.

Did you feel like you could just get that $25k back the next day?

To tell you the truth, I didn’t even turn the laptop on for a few days because I was so annoyed by the fact that I had tilted. I should have switched my laptop off after that hand and come back fresh the next day.

Winning the Ongame Classic netted you over $200,000 – your biggest win so far. Would you say it was your best performance?

It was a weird one; we played half the tournament online, then they flew 45 of us out to Barcelona. It was just the closing stages that were live. I think coming third in the WSOP $5,000 potlimit meant more. It was just the amount of good players I had to face: Greenstein, Chan, Todd Brunson. I didn’t come across any weak players.

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