TonyW4rriorz is a mixed games poker streamer and enthusiast. In this interview we discuss who TonyW4rriorz is, his passion for mixed games poker and his hopes for the future. He is very open about some of the tough challenges he faces.
As a viewer, I watch Tony streaming mixed games poker whenever I can. I have played against him on various poker sites. He is a very good player, mostly sticking to strong hands. He also has a keen eye for making a move when his read tells him it is right.
One hand I watched Tony play really caught my attention. It was near to the bubble in a pot limit omaha hilo tournament. Heads up in the big blind against the small blind, Tony defended against a raise with A35x. The flop brought two high cards and a 3, with two to a flush. Both players checked. The turn was a suited 5 – Tony didn’t have the flush. The small blind now bet full pot, more than half his remaining stack!
Tony took his time and described his thinking for the stream. The key point was that the small blind would have continuation bet most of his flush draws on that flop. Tony pulled the trigger and shoved: the small blind folded. It was a great play and helped Tony chip up at this crucial stage. Tony probably had the best high hand with his measly bottom two pair. But a huge number of river cards could have been bad for him. He had no low draw to provide any insurance.
So Tony, How did you first get into poker?
I first learnt the Poker hand rankings from playing video poker in a local Irish ran pub in South-East London. I got my first taste of hitting a royal flush albeit in video poker, on the same day I also got banned from the same pub. That story is probably best for another day though.
How are you running recently?
As a poker player this is a hard question to answer. Others looking in seeing my results could argue I’m running well, getting some good results. From my own perspective though what is more important to me is playing well. Playing correct and learning from my mistakes.
I know you have played plenty of online poker, what experience do you have playing live?
Very little, this is mainly due to me suffering from depression & social anxiety, it is an illness that I am not going to let get the better of me. I have played Live on two occasions. The first being in a micro buy in £25 + £5 KO in the Empire Casino Leicester Square (London). I really enjoyed the experience, although it didn’t last too long. I lost a relatively large pot early on, an old chap shoved all in from UTG having just lost a pot. Everyone folded to me, I looked down at AJ and made the call for about two thirds of my stack. He turned over QJos. There was an Ace on the flop and I nearly got my first experience of winning a KO in live Poker. The Turn was a Q and River a Q to give my opponent runner runner queens I’ll never forget it.
The second time I was very fortunate to play in the GG Poker Masters in Dublin. It was their first and until this date their only live event. I won a $5 satellite via a competition on their twitter page. From this I turned the $5 into a $30 ticket and from there $30 into a $400 main event entry. As much as I enjoyed going out to Dublin, playing in such a prestigious event, and meeting the GG community, I was crippled by anxiety at the whole scale of the event, unfortunately it was not the best of timings.
Do you have any plans to venture into more live poker?
This might come as a surprise, but yes eventually I would like to play live. I think every poker player dreams of playing in big live events, with trophies or bracelets up for grabs. On my bucket list will definitely be me playing a mixed game event of some sort at the WSOP.
When and how did you decide to start streaming?
I was aware there was poker on Twitch through watching Videos on youtube, I never really had the desire to personally go over to Twitch and search poker to watch though, as the poker videos on youtube were enough for me. However I was playing Battlefield Hardline on the PC , and a teammate had said they were live streaming on Twitch. Once I had finished playing I went over to Twitch to check out the guys stream. It was incredibly fortunate that poker was being featured on the Twitch homepage. The streamer was Scrimitzu a Partnered streamer from Romania, essentially from that day on I was hooked on watching poker on Twitch. I decided to get into streaming as I noticed there were little to no Mixed games streamers at the time. I believe I could share my passion for these games with others.
How often do you stream?
At the moment I am currently streaming on average five days a week, three days on my channel, and two on a channel called BadBeatTV, a new channel that is dedicated to mixed game streamers.
Do you have any personal highlights from any of your streams?
Winning my first Tournament on stream has to be right up there! Seeing guys spamming the chat with my emotes once the delay had caught up felt even better than getting the win itself.
Online Poker Sites
You play on a little known site called SWC poker. Tell us about the site
SWC is a relatively unknown poker site, it is bitcoin only, which was a really good selling point when the site first started out. However the bigger sites ACR etc have now cottoned on to the benefits of accepting the digital currency. What attracted me to the site was the amount of different poker variants, before finding the site I hadn’t heard of games such as Badacey & Badeucy. When I first found the site I was put off by the bitcoin only. I, like the vast majority, didn’t really understand too much about the digital currency. I recently wrote an article on my website to show how easy it is to buy/sell and deposit using bitcoin.
The TonyW4rriorz freeroll series is in full swing on swc. What were your aims for the series?
My main goal is to create extra traffic to a site I believe has a lot of potential. Traffic is definitely on the low side, however once a table does get going it usually does become full over time. I had ran HomeGame series in the past on Stars, which was great, but it was time for a change and SWC has so many more options when it comes to creating different variants, it also allows my friends from across the pond to compete for real money prizes too.
You recently became an ACR Stormer. What does this mean?
An ACR stormer is a streamer who represents the ACR brand, we get rewarded in the form of Tournament Dollars, and other benefits from time to time. The reward system they have in place is no hidden secret, it is advertised on their site. An interview to become a stormer is required, I was lucky enough to be accepted. It feels really good to be the only Brit to represent them, I’m looking forward to showing others similar to myself ACR is a site that definitely has a lot of merits.
What other sites do you play on?
Stars, Party, Betfred (Ipoker network) MPN network in the past, GG occasionally. In this day and age of online poker I don’t feel there is reason to solely have your action on just one or two sites.
You are a mixed games poker streamer – what is it about mixed games that attracts you as opposed to No Limit Texas Hold Em?
The long and short of it is, I enjoy poker in general, at times this can be me playing NLHE as well, but overall I do enjoy the lesser played games. I find them more enjoyable, and a lot more strategic. Many of them are yet to be fully mastered. Your average NLHE player for instance, will be able to play the games to an ok standard.
Mixed Games Poker
What are your best poker variants – both the most profitable and what you most enjoy?
Omaha8 is where I have earnt the most money, it is also the game I have played the most games in as well. This is mainly due to a traffic thing. If I could at times grind Badugi all day for instance I would and would have earnt a lot more if the traffic allowed it. When it Comes to enjoyment, I’m torn between 2-7 Single draw & badugi, I have recently really started to enjoy Badacey. This again is a game that is limited to how much I can grind it.
Are there any poker variants you haven’t played that you would like to?
I am yet to play Sviten a game I know you are very keen on, unfortunately there are currently no online sites that I can access from the UK. Turkish Poker is another game I am interested to learn and play, it is very similar to 32 card Draw poker.
You also have your own website. What are your plans for that?
My goal for my website is to have a place I can reflect on and allow others to read up on what it’s like to balance being a poker streamer and full time Dad. I’ve been a little slack on the blogging front recently. I don’t want to force the issue, blog for blogging’s sake, once I get things that I am working on into a manageable routine I am sure I can blog at the frequency I had hoped. I have also written and intend on writing more Articles. These will be informative for the most part, but there will also be the odd casual read as well. For instance I want to write an article about poker/gambling and combine it with my love of Greek history & mythology.
How much time do you spend working on your game and what type of study works for you?
Not enough, this is something I definitely need to work on. I learn alot from playing, it’s probably the best way for me personally, but this will only take me so far. At the moment I do look back at key hands etc, but nowhere near enough of the time. This is definitely something I will be working on in the future.
What do you hope for the future for yourself, you stream, your website and for mixed games poker?
My end goal as a streamer and as a poker player, is to earn a living from it. I’m not dreaming of the big time, owning a fancy house or a luxury sports car or anything close to that level, just enough to get by to support my family. My goal for mixed games is for them to become the norm, for them to get a lot more traffic which is what they thoroughly deserve as they are so much fun. It would be great to fire up the computer and have an abundance of mixed games at my fingertips, instead of potentially having to wait for a game or tournament to get started.
Any chance you can make a trip over to Malta to play mixed games over here?
At the moment what with my finances being low and bringing up kids, my time & funds make this difficult, but I see no reason why in the future this can not happen. I’m going to keep on plugging away, keep on fighting on the poker felt to make my dream hopefully a reality.
I’d just like to say thank-you very much Martin for allowing me to do this interview, best of luck with the blogging and I’ll see you on the virtual felt real soon.
Thanks Tony! Tony expands further about his life in and out of poker on the “About” page of his website. The story of his pub ban remains a mystery!