Ryan Foster Q&A: 2014 Goliath winner on winning Europe’s biggest poker event

In the run up to this year’s Goliath tournament, we catch up with the reigning champ about his year since winning Europe’s biggest poker event

The Goliath win is by far your biggest cash – what did it feel like to win such a massive tournament?
Well it was really surreal at first, I didn’t go into the tourney thinking about ever winning it as it was such a huge field. I remember being so focused on every decision that I never really gave winning the tournament, or what it meant, a thought. A few days later it started to sink in and it obviously felt pretty good to achieve such a huge win, the money has been very nice too!

You went into the final table of the Goliath as one of the smaller stacks. Were you out to win it, or to try and ladder up?
I lost a big pot K-K vs A-5 all in preflop with two tables left, so that left me short going into the final. I went in just looking to find and take every spot really, I certainly wasn’t looking to ladder but there was obviously ICM considerations with the pay jumps.

You doubled up fairly early on with A-K – what did it feel like to play for so long and then get it all in on a flip with so much money at stake?
It’s a massive part of poker and you are normally going to have to win a few flips to win any tourney so I was prepared to flip. I was a bit disappointed to be flipping with such a big hand but thankfully I ran good and managed to get there.

And it was another A-K flip that gave you the chip lead. Is that when you started thinking you could win the whole thing?
To be honest I felt like it was a really soft final table and from the very first double up I felt like I had every chance to win it. Once I hit the chip lead I felt like I was in a very good position to win it. I had the second chip stack to my right and he was clearly reluctant to play pots with me once I picked up chips so it was a perfect spot for me to just keep the pressure on and use my chips to my advantage.

Have you played much since?
I haven’t played as much as I would like, I have maybe played five live tourneys and I haven’t even played as much online as I would have wanted to. I am planning to work harder and put many more hours in, but I guess I’ve been planning on doing that all year so who knows!

Are you going back to defend in 2015?
Yeah at the moment the plan is to go back again and hopefully make a reasonable defence.

What’s your strategy going to be for navigating what’s set to be another huge field?
Just cross my fingers and hope to be really lucky, again!

For full details on this year’s Goliath tournament schedule click here. To get involved in Grosvenor’s new ‘Dave vs Goliath’ promotion just click here.

Poker Player magazine will be attending the Goliath as usual – grab a free subscription to our magazine here.

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