Sameer Rattonsey isn’t a professional poker player but everything he speaks or does has poker invariably written all across it. The founder director of India Poker Championship(IPC), India’s main Poker Tournament League, Sameer is a regular in the Asian Poker Circuit for the past few years.
One of the most featured Indian faces in the Macau Poker Cup, Rattonsey is headed to Manila for participation in the Asian Poker Tour(APT) Manila. This isn’t the first time this year that he will be in the Filipino Capital. In April 2013, he secured the 3rd place in APT Manila, $250 NL : Head hunter Event winning $1,700. Last year, he was in Manila for the APT Asian Series where he stood 2nd in the P 10K NL Mix Max Event getting $2,895 for his effort.
As he leaves with the Indian contingent for the APT Manila which starts from October 9th, OPN Editor Rupal Bansal spoke to Sameer about how he is preparing and other things that irk poker in India. The interview is short but hopefully,we will have much more on him once he is back from Manila.
Following is the full text of the interview with Sameer Rattonsey.
1. Hi Sameer, thanks for chatting with OPN. First of all, for readers who don’t know much about you, could you tell us how you got into playing poker?
A: I Started playing poker more that 10yrs back. Just a bunch of friends got together and we learnt the game through poker videos and the internet.
2. So you are leaving for Manila to participate in APT Manila leg, what is your strategy to go deep in this poker tourney?
A: My strategy is to keep it simple and make the required adjustments depending on the table dynamics. I never go into any event with a fixed plan but instead try to adapt.
3. Any pointers on how to prepare for a big tournament like APT?
A: Its very important to be relaxed, clear your head ( I try and listen to some music on the way to the venue), drink lots of water, rest well and stay as fit as possible because you could be grinding for 8-9hrs every day.
4. How often do you play live poker?
A: Lately I haven’t been playing too much live poker but I like to take my breaks so when I come back I can assess my game with a lot more clarity and I find it easier to spot leaks in my game.
5. For new players, if you could give three poker tips, what would they be?
A: Bankroll management is the most important, keep learning every time you play and stay healthy. If the body and mind are healthy you can focus better.
6. What do you do when not playing poker?
A: I am never out of touch with the game. I make it a point to grind online 2-3 times a week to keep in touch. Besides that I like listening to music and watching TV shows. Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are two of my favourites.
7. What is your one poker dream and why?
A: This answer will be the same for all poker players, to win the Main Event at the World Series of Poker. Besides that I want to do well in all the Asian events.
8. If not a poker player then what would you be today?
A: I am not a full time pro but stay associated with poker at all times.
9. What should be done to make poker an accepted game/profession in India?
A: We need some really good management for the poker rooms with an extremely professional setup. Players need more opportunities to play besides Goa and Gangtok. All pros need to accept and treat poker like a sport and respect it and the players around. If we don’t respect the game we cannot expect others to. I don’t think there are enough opportunities for players at the moment to turn into full time pros. That being said if you are seriously considering poker full time, please talk to the experienced players and take their valuable advice. The few pros we have currently have learnt it the hard way and if they have survived, then they are doing something right.
OPN would be tracking Sameer Rattonsey’s progress at APT Manila. Keep watching this space for updates.