USA poker player Freddy Deeb gives us the scoop on his years of poker experience: “Poker’s taught me how to manoeuvre my way around, how to handle these people according to their personality or intelligence. I can handle anybody”

What I’ve learned from poker with Freddy Deeb

The living legend looks back on more than three decades spent surviving in poker and providing for his people

The number one thing I learned from poker is how to deal with all kinds of people.

You see everything at the tables, every nationality, every business and every walk of life. Poker’s taught me how to manoeuvre my way around, how to handle these people according to their personality or intelligence. I can handle anybody.

After my first big win, I bought some real estate and I helped out a lot of people.

I have a lot of family back home in Lebanon that needed money, and the country was just coming out of a war so providing for them was important. I felt good about myself. I’m very satisfied mentally and emotionally about my responsibilities in life towards my friends, my family and my people.

My best moments in life are when I’m doing things right, when I’m not pushing and when I’m relaxed.

If you play good, and you’re happy with your play, there’s nothing else you can do… as long as you know what playing good is.

Poker’s a tough business. It doesn’t matter how good you are.

You could be the best player in the world but if you don’t have money management, you can always be short or lose a lot of money. A few bad months can make all the difference. I’ve had my ups and downs, and I’ve quit poker a lot of times, but overall I’ve managed to survive.

When I was younger I chased.

But the biggest flaws I had were not about poker, but casino games. It didn’t matter – dice, baccarat, black jack – I loved them all. I went through a lot of turbulence. That’s part of life sometimes. I could lose $100k in one poker hand and not even flinch. But when you lose $10k playing dice you feel sick about it. Now I just act like all those games don’t exist.

I have a lot of good memories in poker.

My greatest was winning the $50k HORSE tournament in 2007. All the big tournaments were huge to me. But it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, there’s always bad moments. It’s how you handle them that counts.

I’m not desperate for the wins now, I don’t have that mentality.

I still like the challenge of poker, to challenge myself and be disciplined. If I’ve played bad, for a few days I’ll be kicking myself inside. but if you’re happy with your game the money is going to come no matter what. You might not win today or tomorrow, but check again by the end of the month.

I wanted to go to school when I was younger, but I couldn’t because of the war in Lebanon and I lost touch with my family for about a year and a half.

I never told them that I played poker. The first time they found out about it was when they turned on their TV. I couldn’t get a job in America because I was there on a student visa. I started playing poker and I’m still looking for a job.

I don’t wish I’d done anything differently in life.

Nobody’s perfect, but I believe in destiny. Certain things happen out of your control and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just take the right steps, do the right things and make sure you’re not hurting anybody. That’s all there is to it.

I appreciate that people now respect what I do.

Before, if I met anyone and they asked my profession I would never say I played poker because it was too hard for many to understand. Now it’s just another part of life.

A lot of people talk about how the new breed of players coming into poker lack the same life stories as guys like me.

I don’t agree. Everybody has a story, whether it’s small or big, emotional or not. It’s about how you choose to survive in life and what you do to achieve that. I’m proud of what I’ve done to survive.

If you like this interview then why not try the 24 pages of expert poker strategy in PokerPlayer magazine HERE

Pin It

Comments are closed.