This week we have an interview with FTR member and FTOPS Event #12 winner Chris Olson. You can find the audio here. Solid quality this week.
The text is below.
We’re here with 21 year old Chris “ilikeaces86” Olson. Chris has been playing poker professionally for three years, and is a top tournament and high stakes cash game player. He started out in low stakes cash games, but after winning Super Tuesday on Party Poker in 2005 for $32,000, his career was jump started. His most recent achievement is winning FTOPS Event #12 for a quarter of a million dollars. For all the ladies listening, unfortunately Chris is married. He has been a poster at FTR for 3 years. You’ll find him playing in all the big online tournaments as well as cash games all the way up to $40,000 buy in No Limit.., and with that lets welcome Chris! Can you hear me okay?
Chris Olson: Yeah, how are you doing ?
DS: I’m doing well. So I would just like to talk to you about your recent win in FTOPS event #12. Before you entered Event #12, what was your general outlook?
Chris Olson: I was actually… I was kind of really pessimistic about tournaments at that time because for the last year or so I’ve just ran absolutely terrible on the multitable tournaments I’ve played online so… I was a little bit pessimistic and I was actually trying to get Rob, who is Bmxicle on FTR, to stake me but he didn’t stake me and I think he’s a little dissapointed of all that now…
DS: (laughs) I’m sure he’s really dissapointed.
Chris Olson: (jokingly) Yeah he’s probably crying off in corner…
DS: (laughs again) So there are a lot of different strategies people use in rebuy events: Some people go crazy at the beginning and some hang tight. What’s your general strategy and why do you do it?
Chris Olson: I’m fairly tight, I’m just looking to take advantage of other people who are willing to gamble early. They’re just going to increase my expectation or whatever you want to call it in the tournament. So I’m playing pretty tight, its full ring. I’m probably playing slightly looser than I would in a full ring cash game, but I’m probably playing on average a lot tighter than the rest of the table at that point. I don’t tend to… you know throw fifteen buy-ins into a rebuy tournament or anything like that.
DS: Right. Okay, so how did things start off for you in the Event #12
Chris Olson: It started off pretty well. At then end of the first hour I think I had probably about nine or ten-thousand chips after adding on which was above the average, and I was happy with that. From there I was just looking to keep playing well and make it deep in the tournament.
DS: When did things start to look like you may make the final table or even win the event?
Chris Olson: Well with about 100 people go, maybe a few over 100, I don’t remember the exact hand but somehow I got knocked down to 4000 chips. The blinds I think at that time were somewhere around 500 – 1000. So it wasn’t looking too pretty at that point. I actually didn’t know I was going to final table it until about maybe an hour later when I had the chip lead and I thought there was a good chance I had going deep in the tournament.
DS: So when you got the chip lead did you, you know, tell your wife, call up some friends and tell them what was going on?
Chris Olson: Yeah you know I did the classic AIM everybody you have on your list and tell them to come rail but at that point it was really late. It was probably maybe 2:30 in the morning so not everybody is up but my wife was actually asleep. She had clinicals the next morning for her nursing school at 6:00 AM so…
DS: Uh-huh, so it was kind of just you alone right there
Chris Olson: Yeah, there were a few loyal railbirds but my wife wasn’t one of them.
DS: So you reach the final table, and you’re 3rd in chips but you’re not that far away from the chip lead, you’re only about 200,000 chips from the chip lead. At first glance how hard did you think the final table would be based on the players.
Chris Olson: Well at first glance I thought it would be a pretty tough final table, there were a lot of good players that I recognized. I don’t play as many multi-table tournaments as I used to but I still knew a lot of the names either from poker forums or just the few of the multi-table tournaments I play in general. I knew that they would be tough and I just told myself that I’d play as well as I could and whatever happened happened.
DS: Well I did some research and the final table actually consisted of 3 top 100 multi-table tournament players according to pocket fives, one high stakes cash games player, and one top sit-n-go player who recently got the Porche on Poker Stars through FPPs. So, I mean…
Chris Olson: Yeah, are you talking about DDBeast?
DS: Right. Yeah, that looked like one of the toughest I’ve ever seen in an online tournament. You know?
Chris Olson: Yeah, it was definitely an extremely tough final table at least from the looks of it. The way it played out just from the cards I got… some other things that went my way it didn’t end up being the most challenging feeling final table.
DS: Yeah. Okay so…
Chris Olson: But…
DS: Okay continue, sorry.
Chris Olson: But I mean it was a tough final table, I mean SirWatts I know is a good MTT player. THE__D__RY, THE__D__RY he plays a lot of high stakes SNGs and he’s also a really good high stakes MTT player. I didn’t know potroast or whoever the other player at the final table was. And I knew DDBeast.
DS: As we got more and more short handed, you know 5, 4, 3 players left, do you feel like you had a bigger edge on the table or did you feel that you were worse off?
Chris Olson: I definitely felt like I had a bigger edge on the table the more shorthanded it got. Just from all my experience playing cash games. I don’t know a lot of those multi-table tournament players do play a lot of cash games. I mean I’ve put in well over a million hands of mid-stakes no limit games online and I don’t think that any of those MTT players have put in that many hands of cash games. And we were actually playing fairly deep, I think the stacks were anywhere from 40 to almost close to 100 big blinds for a lot of the final tournament if I’m not mistaken.
DS: Okay, so you end up getting heads up with probably the best player at the table besides yourself of course, THE__D__RY and you actually have a huge chip lead on him about 4 to 1. Do you think at this point when you have a 4 to 1 chip lead on this guy that you’re just going to take the first prize home?
Chris Olson: Oh yeah, I definitely thought right away when I got heads up with the chip lead that it was all over and then it got a little scary actually but…
DS: Right so you…
Chris Olson: We could talk about some of the hands if you want us to.
DS: Well I was looking at the hands and you get all in in it seems like some pretty standard situations. One where you flop a flush draw and an overcard versus his top pair and you don’t win that one. And also another one where…
Chris Olson: Yeah…
DS: Well you can talk about that one if you want.
Chris Olson: That was kind of an interesting hand because I had been watching THE__D__RY when there were about two or 3 tables to go. From what I had seen when he would call a preflop raise without three betting preflop he tended to lead a lot more flops than your average regular. So I wasn’t sure with what types of hands he was leading. So it was pretty standard just to raise and get it in when at that point he only had somewhere around 20 big blinds.
DS: Right. I thought it was a pretty standard play myself. There was another hand where you get it all in with top pair with a worse kicker than THE__D__RY had, who also had top pair. But both of them to me looked pretty standard. At that point THE__D__RY actually took the chip lead, so I’m wondering were you freaking out at that point like, “how is this happening” or did you keep your cool?
Chris Olson: Yeah well when the final table started I just thought to myself, “I’m going to win 250 whatever thousand.” Then when he wins those two hands and he gets to a little over the chip lead, I think to myself, “Man, I gotta take this down dude.” We’re playing for somewhere around $90,000 difference between first and second. So actually when he pulled just barely ahead maybe by a few hundred-thousand chips, after that point for a while he just let me take down a enormous amount of small to medium sized pots. He was limping a lot preflop which was kind of awkward at least for me since I don’t see that all that much in cash, someone who just limps every hand on the button. In general he was letting me take down a lot of small-medium sized pots.
DS: Okay so eventually luck did turn in your favor, but you ended up winning on a pretty bad beat where you get it all in, 44 versus his 55, and you win it all. So how do you think this win ranks all time for you, in your entire career?
Chris Olson: Oh, it’s definitely in my biggest win ever. I don’t think I was as happy after this as I was after my first Super Tuesday win, just because at that point I had only been playing poker for maybe a year and now I have played poker for over three years. I’ve had some pretty large swings and won a lot of money, so it just didn’t seem as much life changing even as $32,000 did in 2004 or 2005.
DS: So let me ask you a question. What sounds better, a quarter of a million dollars, or two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars?
Chris Olson: Definitely a quarter of a million dollars. I just like to use the word million whenever I can talking about…
DS: I think I agree about that. Alright, so now we’re going to move onto the lightning round of the questions. I’m pretty much going to ask you a bunch of pointless questions and just answer them as fast as you can. You ready?
Chris Olson: Yep.
DS: What’s your favorite Casino?
Chris Olson: Probably Caesar’s. I liked their poker room in Vegas the most. I don’t know if they had the best games but it was my favorite for aesthetics.
DS: Favorite beer?
Chris Olson: Ah, my favorite beer. It would probably have to be… Maybe just a Leinenkugel’s, whatever one they’re brewing at that time of the season.
DS: I have never tried Leinenkugl’s maybe I’ll have to try it. Favorite Book?
Chris Olson: Favorite book. Um… I’ll just have have to say anything written by ?Khan? ?Engleton? He wrote a whole historical fiction series on Caesar, and now he’s writing another series on another historical leader whose name is slipping my mind. Oh, Genghis Khan. So I love historical fiction books by him.
DS: Interesting. Favorite tournament player besides yourself?
Chris Olson: Huh… We talking online here?
DS: Any, live or online.
Chris Olson: I’ll have to go with Phil Ivey just because he is so successful.
DS: Favorite Movie?
Chris Olson: My favorite movie is probably Gladiator.
DS: Favorite classic video game?
Chris Olson: Just the original Mario Bros. for sure.
DS: Solid choice. Favorite poker Hand?
Chris Olson: Obviously pocket aces, I mean my name is I like aces I gotta stick with that.
DS: Yeah I guess I could have guessed that one. Favorite possession? Like a car or computer.
Chris Olson: My computer, it’s just what I do all my work on.
DS: Favorite song to grind to poker to?
Chris Olson: I don’t listen to music when I play in general….
DS: Oh you’re the second… that’s interesting.
Chris Olson: So I’ll have to say my favorite song is silence.
DS: By who?
Chris Olson: Just… silence.
DS: (laughing) Oh, okay. I’m sorry about that. Very interesting choice. So now my final question is, and you probably saw this coming, what do you plan on doing with the money that you won?
Chris Olson: I plan on… Before now I’ve been mostly playing 5 – 10 online, and I plan on playing 10 – 20 and 25 – 50 when the games are good. So I’ll use a little bit of that to just keep more money online, and the rest I’m just going to take out and save and I’m going to be buying a house here pretty soon. So that’s what I’ll use it for.
DS: Alright, sounds good. Well good luck in the future and I hope to see you at another big final table soon.
Chris Olson: Thanks